Category Archives: Mentor

imaginarium

imaginarium dissolve

is a cross-genre writing programme where you will explore your writing potential.

Eight writers. Six monthly workshops. One tutorial.

Through small group workshops, peer-to-peer feedback, reading and a one-to-one tutorial we will consider how best to express our ideas and feed the imagination.

“The imagination is the power of the mind over the possibilities of things.” Wallace Stevens

Who’s it for?
If you are working on, or plan to begin, a sustained project of a sequence or collection of poems or short stories, a novel, memoir, creative nonfiction, a performance, or something more hybrid, this Imaginarium offers a structured space to support you through six months of writing, thinking, experimentation and / or completion.

Anyone is welcome to apply, whatever your writing experience. The only requirement is that you are committed to your writing project and the Imaginarium for its duration. It might be, at this stage, you only have the vaguest idea of what you might be working on. Vague is fine.  

The workshops will offer writing and thinking time through guided activities and structured discussions. They will be a space in which you’ll investigate your imaginations.  Each of you will be assigned a buddy for online peer-to-peer feedback on your individual writing project between meets. 

Cost
for all workshops and one hour long tutorial there are three (self-selecting) bands:  £200 full, £140 part-waged or £60 concs*

Download more information here:  imaginarium info 2017

The hope is you’ll reach the end of the programme having created surprising new work, deepened your imaginative experiences, and be equipped with the momentum and skills to continue to grow as writers.

That is the true magnificence – if you can live in a culture that is so destructive as ours is, one that keeps you down and discouraged and broken-hearted and if you can still sing your song, dance your dance, cook your food and speak your mind, then you’ve won — Alice Walker 

How to apply
Download and fill in the questions here imaginarium questions 2017, returning to me by 30th May

*Deciding whether you are a concession is at your discretion. I want this programme to be accessible to anyone interested in developing their writing.

Testimonials for the first Imaginarium

A safe space to be an unsafe writer – to push beyond your comfort zone, write stuff that doesn’t matter, chop it up, turn it round and then realise it’s like nothing you’ve written before, and that that does matter.  What it entails – better trusting the innate potency of the intangible to assist with your writing – writing, re-thinking time, colour, shape, ownership, associations, triggers. It allows you to write as your synapses actually fire, more than as society wishes your mind to work. Uncolonised writing.

I liked the inputs and reading you give us and the crazy exercises, not just writing and reading out. A group on imagination has to be imaginative after all

I didn’t really know what to expect from it but I’ve come away with some new and different ideas and a desire to finish my novel so I can chalk it up as a success … a melting pot of thoughts, discussions, ideas, views and useful written exercises for all genres of writing.

I found the one-to-one to be invaluable. Talking to someone about it and some of the problems I’m facing with it helped me to see it more clearly and gave me something of a different viewpoint on it, which was good.

Pulls you out of your writing and into yourself, then pushes you out of yourself and into your writing.

How can writers of different genres learn from each other? How might the work, ideas and interests cross-fertilize? What happens in that space where different imaginations meet? Read more about my thinking of the imaginarium here

If you have any questions, then get in touch via the below

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

Editor

3311232819_8e50351040_m

I was editor of Flax, Lancaster Literature Festival’s publishing imprint from 2006-2011.

Alongside designer Martin Chester and then Anat Kaivanto, we produced 29 publications that ranged from pdf pamphlets of poetry and prose, illustrated posters, ebooks, films and walking tours. We launched all the publications in one way or another, celebrating the coming together of great quality work.

A sample of our work is below. You can see more on the Flax page of ISSUU

Walking in Circles – poetry walksguide for walks

Seed Haiku
Another collaboration with Maya Chowdhry
http://vimeo.com/25316376

I continue to edit anthologies created in workshops and with fellow writers.

Most recently, Solstice, with Rebecca Bilkau.
An anthology of hours. Twenty four poems clocking the twenty four hours of the longest day in 2012. This ‘hinge’ of the year is tracked by transience, evident in the views of street lamps, hedgerows, cafes, the rising light, swallows, rain, and ultimately the growing dark, its rituals, noises, pathways disappearing ahead.

Poems from Helen Ivory, Andrew McMillan, Wayne Burrows, Jane Routh, Seni Seniviratne, Maya Chowdhry, David Tait and many more.

Front Cover-page-001

Mentor

statue at rievaulx

Between the mentor and the mentee is the work. As a mentor my interest lies in working with you to achieve your writing goals.

I will be a thorough and careful reader of your work; a supportive and empathetic communicator. Your work is yours – I won’t steer you in a direction you’re not happy with and although growth means change, I understand what it’s like to be a writer. I don’t want to turn you into something you’re not.

Sometimes we won’t be working on the writing, but on your writing self, on your growth and motivation, helping you to develop a sense of your own process. There are rough places, times when motivation fails, times when doubt creeps in. I can help you learn to negotiate these difficult periods in your writing life.

In the main, the mentoring meets will be monthly, face to face or virtually, to discuss your writing (the amount to be arranged between us) and other aspects of your work, such as time management, motivation, confidence, goal-setting etc.

You might want to write and/or develop a sequence, pamphlet or collection of poems. You may be on the cusp of turning writing from a hobby into a career.

At the end of the mentoring, you will have a clear idea of what you have achieved and a plan of where to go next.

What does it Cost? and Other Answers

I charge £150 per meeting, including the reading and research time.

Each meeting will be an hour and a half long. I’m based in the North West of England and if you can travel here, we can meet in person. If that’s not possible, for the same price I offer distance mentoring by email, phone or Skype.

I recommend monthly meetings, but this is negotiable.

I offer 10% discount to previous clients. If you feel you have a case for a lower rate, please get in touch.

I am also happy to advise you if you want to apply for ACE funding to support a mentoring project. Again, just get in touch.

Meeting and consultations cancelled with less than 48 hours notice are non-refundable. I’ll issue you with a contract before we begin.

Writing workshops

writing workshopsI have led writing workshops in adult education, prisons, primary schools, with undergraduates, for the  Continuing Education Department at Lancaster University,  on an annual week-long residential at The French House Experience, for the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) and The Poetry School (online) and many other short term and individual projects.

My particular interests lie in life and poetry writing. I have also led workshops on performance skills, writing from the body, self-publishing and editing.

I believe all workshops provide fertile ground for ideas and discussion and don’t expect people to produce final drafts or even work they may want to share. The workshop is precisely that: a place to explore, chisel and glue ideas. They offer the chance to hear what other writers write, read or think, to play and dip you toe into new waters and with any luck to leave stimulated, thinking thoughts you’d not had before, and confident in writing more.

What other people have said

Thanks for the talk. You were brill. All the students really enjoyed it and benefited a lot. So did I! It was really good to think about things in terms of what works for you individually.

Excellent tutor, fascinating subject!

One of the best managed/facilitated courses I have ever attended. Enhanced my listening to and respect of other people’s voices enormously.

I thought Sarah did a great job of keeping us on track and not preventing diversions. She clearly knows her stuff and how to deliver it.

Thank you, it has changed my life.

Sarah really is a genius. The way she got such a mixed bag of people to unlock their inner creativity was amazing.

Sarah, from the start, put everyone at their ease and used an amazing array of techniques and games to allow us all to tap into our own creativity.

Sarah was organised, approachable and clearly knowledgable about all aspects of creative writing and, importantly for me, the processes of creativity. I was inspired by the way she encouraged us to write for ourselves, be decisive and find our own meaning, rather than following rules, or relying too much on the opinions of writing groups.

Sarah Hymas is ingeniously clever as a creative writing tutor, and I thoroughly enjoyed her series of intense tasks and more informal parlour games, each a mind manipulation intent on making one use your imagination and freedom of expression. For me, Sarah was the perfect choice of tutor at the French  House Party Experience mini break, and would undoubtedly be equally ideal for all other such workshops.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss ideas for a workshop.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

Facilitator

reykjavik

I create spaces in which to think, through coaching and mentoring; I facilitate workshops; I create live literature events and tours; and I edit on- and off-line publications.

My guiding principle when working with others is to keep myself out of the frame. The work is what is important.

As a coach my aim to enable you to clarify exactly what it is you want and how you can best achieve it.

As a mentor or workshop facilitator my job is to help you write what you want – and in the best way to suit you.

As a producer of live literature events my focus is on creating
engaging, vibrant and inclusive occasions, introducing new writing and writers. I want to share and spread the imaginative reach of performed poetry and prose.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

About & Contact

superwomansmall

When I was working in HMP Lancaster Castle an inmate shared his experience of being a dad inside, how much he missed his son and what he wanted to pass on to him. He said “All I’ve got to give him is my word”.

I believe, ultimately, all any of us have is our word. What we say defines us alongside what we do.

My dad used to say “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never harm you.”

I love my dad, but I don’t agree. I think the thoughts and beliefs
contained in words do have power. As well as harm, they can heal, inspire, challenge and illuminate.

I like what Martin Heidegger said: “Language is the house of our
Being”. What he meant by ‘Being’ was, I’m told, the ground of our
existence.

How words root us is what guides me as a poet and celebrant. I am passionate about communication – clear, careful communication – that connects us, enables us to share experience, ideas and emotion.

I am glad to be working with such delicate, strong tools as words. I aim to highlight the wonder and limitlessness of words in poems, stories and song in all aspects of my work: writing, ceremony, coaching …

Based on Morecambe Bay in Lancashire, England, other elements I love in life are the sea and sky. I believe we are shaped by where we live. At the moment, I’m being whittled to a windblown thing.

On a more practical level, my CV can be viewed here.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message