Imaginarium

One Day Plus

is a day-long, online / offline, writing laboratory for kick-starting a new project, picking up the threads of an old one, tinkering with an unfledged idea. In short, it offers the space to play, think, write, and discuss around something – a word, an image, a story – that just won’t let you go, with the hope of ripening the idea/writing/project plan. 

One Day Plus offers a small group of eight people, working in pairs, small and larger groups, as well as solo, to flesh out words, ideas, forms to develop confidence and/or a more tangible vision for your new project. The day will be a mix of group workshops, on zoom, and guided solo activities offline. Creative play and exploration are the foundations of this full day of unfolding and unknowing. The plan is to nourish your imagination and stimulate your creative practice. 

More than a single day – each participant is offered a follow-up one-to-one tutorial with me to keep the motivation buoyant and words flowing beyond the day’s stimulation

Writers of any experience and genre interested in expanding their imaginative process are welcome. The aim is to draw together a dynamic mix of writers working across genres and subject areas. 

Eight writers. One full day workshop. One tutorial. | Saturday 27th June

Details
Saturday 27th June, 1030-1630
on zoom, on the page and on the hoof. Zoom details will be sent closer to the day.

Cost of full day workshop & one-to-one
I have priced this workshop in order to offer support to writers whose income has been impacted by the pandemic; and to encourage those with more funds to support those without. 

There are three self-selecting bands, with a limited number of places for each band (in brackets):
£5;  £20 – £30 ;  £40 – £75 .
Please choose the amount that best fits your capacity.

To Apply
Please express your interest, by letting me know the following three things

• what you might begin to explore, and what stage you’re at with it;
• what would you like to achieve in the day/tutorial;
• how much you’ll be paying;

and send to    sehymas @ gmail.com   —- by end of day of 15th June
(close the gaps in the email)

* Deciding whether you are a concession is at your discretion. I want this to be accessible to anyone interested in developing their writing. In making your selection, please consider this workshop is three hours on zoom, three hours of self-guided activities and a one-to-one tutorial. Please make your selection based on how much your income has greatly been reduced by lockdown.

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

The Spirit of the Imaginarium

Imaginariums offer a structured space to support your thinking, writing and experimentation. They rise out of my own creative practice and respond to other artforms and across genres in their aim to widen, stimulate and flex our imaginations. To take what Richard Powers wrote in his recent novel, The Overstory, ‘liking and not liking [are] the rod and staff of commodity culture’, Imaginarums are not about writer feedback and creative criticism. They are places of incubation, and quiet resistance to rushing towards an ‘end product’.

They explore how writing isn’t necessarily fast acting: either in its creation or in how it is received. Imagining operates on different timescales to our daily work/life, home/office, inside/outside worlds. It resists our consumerist culture and refuses to be commodified. It does not follow expected narratives. Imaginariums relish the joy, struggle and complexity of creation. They share a love of communication, expression, bewilderment, confusion, chaos, disruption and whatever else you unearth. Each Imaginarium is provocative: changing one thing into another, or at least how we see one thing into another (which might be the same thing).

Who’s it For

Any one who has written something, short story, novel, creative prose, poetry or something more hybrid, is welcome to participate. You do not need to have experience of writing very much, or you could have three novels under your belt. Imaginariums are for the curious; writers who are interested in how they might develop their writing and thinking around writing .

You will need to be able to commit to the full day. We will fix dates for the tutorials at the end of that day or soon after.

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

How previous participants found the Imaginarium:

A loose collective of other creative people.

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.

It made me think about writing in a more physical way.

Such a generous and kind tutor … love your bubblin joyousness and playfulness…so infectious.

It opens up what process is …  taking you outside of your usual or imagined self. I wouldn’t say out of your comfort zone because it felt like a very safe and supportive space, but perhaps that, in terms of what you imagine your writing or practice to be.

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

A melting pot of thoughts, discussions, ideas, views and useful writing exercises for all genres.

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.

This is very different from more conventional writing workshops and might particularly suit people who are not so much wanting very specific writing support but more interested in exploring their own and others’ creative process.

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

About my workshop practice

I have been creating spaces in which to think, write and experiment across the community for over twenty years. I draw on my practice as a poet, performer and artistbook maker. I devise the sessions from my own writing processes  that have created work for print, multimedia exhibits, dance videos, lyrics, pyrotechnical installations, on stage and as an improvised opera. I have written books:  Host, my first poetry collection, was published by Waterloo Press (2010), and melt is due out Autumn this year. Between the two collections I have also co-written site-specific immersive stories, told through geocaching, augmented reality, micro-print & performance. I also work as a coach, mentor and editor.
I hope the diversity of my work, plus my collaborations and interactions with the visual, digital and sound artists, musicians, scientists, writers and makers all play a part in influencing the creative and fluid space of my workshops.

Have a rootle around the website to find out more about me.

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 sehymas [at] gmail [dot] com

Remix the Poet

Remix the Poet: What song offers poetry
A Poetry and Music workshop with Hymas & Lewis

Saturday 14 November, 10-4pm
The Olive Room, Gregson Centre, Lancaster, LA1 3PY

Turn a poem into a song and back into a poem. Edit with your ears and see how the process impacts your imagining of its potential. In this playful, exploratory workshop we will be using the song form to transform the way you think about writing.

Using a variety of activities, writing and thinking time, discussions, silence and time outdoors, poet Sarah Hymas & musician Steve Lewis will share their practice as collaborators and turn the volume up on your own processes.

We have found that setting poetry to music encourages the light in. Once the words are sung, resonances spark, new phrases are found, and different ways of speaking them emerge. The poem matures. This workshop will offer you alternative ways of editing and give you a fresh confidence in your writing and how you share it.

Attending the workshop includes the option to air the results of the day at the following week’s Spotlight Club in Lancaster.

All writers, of any genre and experience level, are welcome.

More info about Hymas&Lewis

Cost
Early Birds £60 available until 30th September
Full Price or post 30th September £80.

There are limited places available for this workshop, so we need full payment in advance

If you have any questions, just ask…
[contact-form-7 id=”287″ title=”Contact Me”]

Editor

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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

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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.
Email: sehymas at gmail dot com