Meraki is a Greek word that means doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing. That’s what God did when He created us ‘in His image’. And we know that there are people in this church and in this town to whom God has given the gift of writing stories. We believe that every story – whether it be about somebody in this world or somebody from a made-up world – has value and the potential to glorify God the Creator. And that’s why Meraki writing workshops exist: to help you set aside time in a busy world and hone your ability to tell so that the stories in your head are allowed to come out into the world.
There will be nine workshops that run in 2019 – four in semester one and five in semester two. Each of them focuses on a different aspect of writing, and aims to push you as a writer out of your comfort zone and into places you’ve never considered taking your writing before, helping you to discover, bit by bit, how you want to tell the stories in your head.
The writing workshops are free and are open to anybody in Makhanda, no matter your current writing level. All you need to do is bring your courage and something to write with. Please also feel free to only come to certain workshops that interest you; you’re welcome to come to all nine, but it’s not compulsory to do so.
Workshops happen from 2pm-3:30pm at the Rev on Rhodes campus.
Have fun writing and be willing to be respectful and encouraging to others.
That’s pretty much it. Although this is a branch of Every Nation Church’s Creative Ministry, we don’t require you to be a part of our church (or any church, for that matter), nor do we require the things you write to be overtly Christian. They do not need to fill any preconceived ideas or moulds. Your triumphs, fears, sadness, frustration, passion, joy, messiness, doubts, excitement and love all have a space in Meraki, as long as hate speech, discrimination, lewdness and blasphemy are avoided. Just to cater for all, we ask that anything that you read aloud to the group or submit to the magazine be free of swearing and other explicit content.
No, you don’t have to read your work aloud to the group. There will be space for everybody to share and get feedback, but you can come to every session and never let another person see your work. You can even submit anonymously to Meraki Mag Online, if you so wish.
Many weeks will allow you to write whatever genre you want — fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, song lyrics or a mixture of the lot. We always, always, always ask you to write in whatever language(s) you want to write in.
You also have to have your own writing equipment, and a willingness to go outside your comfort zone. And do the homework, even though it won’t ever be checked.
Meraki Mag Online
Just before the submission deadline in May and October, we’ll ask people to email in their favourite work so we can publish it in the online magazine. Here both art and writing is most welcome, and the only requirement is that it is at least loosely based on the themes given in the groups or in the homework assignments.
You can email in as many pieces as you want, and may email in anonymously. Here the PG13 rule is relaxed somewhat, as we can put content warnings and the like on pieces before they are read.
Mar 03: Sources of writing inspiration: Freewriting, prompts and adaptations.
Mar 17: Exploring different genres of storytelling.
May 05: Character creation: Part 1
May 19: Character creation: Part 2
July 28: Writing with contributions: Name poems and round robins
Aug 11: Different types of narration
Sept 08: Utilising character point of views
Sept 22: Overlooked writing styles: dictionary entries, definition swaps and bridge writing
Oct 06: Overlooked writing styles: using messages or dialogue only.