Workshops 2020

Creative Writing Workshop, February 20-23rd 2020

Everybody’s ordinary is extraordinary.  Capture your own in words.  

The theme of this 4 day creative writing workshop is exactly that – the beauty of our very own locals and universals, our own reminiscences and routines, our own quite particular mundane.  Together we will find the wonder in the things that nobody remembers to see. Using objects, mementoes and memories, we will introduce you to a range of writing exercises to develop your skills. We will talk, read, write and exchange extra-ordinary life stories, using activities designed to help you tap into your own experience and sense of place, and celebrate the glory of the everyday. Poetry, fiction or memoir can all be explored. This residency will suit anyone who enjoys writing from complete beginners to experienced writers.  You will leave Ísafjörður with a toolkit of skills and some fine writing in your notebook.

PROGRAM February 20-23

Thursday 20 February
Getting Started, 19:00 – 21:00

Friday 21 February
Generating ideas I, 10:00 – 12:00
Generating ideas II, 16:00 – 18:00

Saturday 22 February
Finding your own voice I, 10:00 – 12:00
5 rhythm dance session, 14:00 – 15:00
Finding your own voice II, 16:00 – 18:00

Sunday 23 February
On Your Way I, 10:00 – 12:00
On Your Way II, 14:00 – 16:00 Dinner at Heimabyggð, 18:00
Open Reading Night at Hversdagssafn – Museum of Everyday life, Ísafjörður 20:00 – 22:00


Jenny Valentine is an award winning writer for Young Adults from Wales. Her first novel ‘Finding Violet Park’ was published in 2007 since then she has written 5 novels for Young adults and 5 for children. Her novels have been published in 19 countries. She led a creative writing course at Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre as well as workshops for the Hay Festival and local community. In 2017 she was the Hay Festival International Fellow, spending the year meeting and learning from teenagers all over the world. She works to empower and give a voice to young people. She lives in Wales and London and has two daughters. You can read more about her travels with Hay here.

Emma Beynon sails in the Arctic in an ancient Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter and writes about it. Described as ‘a writer of startling freshness and enthusiasm’ (Marine Quarterly). She is currently writing a publication out of her adventures to Greenland. Emma has a wealth of experience running creative writing workshops and has an infectious approach to building a story. Her educational writing includes Making Poetry Happen (Bloomsbury, 2015).

Jenny Valentine and Emma Byenon – creative writing workshop teachers from Wales

Price for the workshop, light snacks/coffee during the workshop and the farewell dinner is 35.000 ISK.

The workshop will be held in English however feel free to write in the language you feel most comfortable with.

For more information and registration please contact us.

Below are participants’ quotes from previous workshops’ evaluations:

I enjoyed the fact that we were writing constantly… it was like flexing a muscle repeatedly, giving it the exercise it needs to start showing definition. I felt as though as a result of this, my writing improved quite impressively over a short period of time and I got to know myself better as a writer.

I learned a lot about myself as a creative writer – my voice, my style, my tendencies, my talents – and that there is a lot more to learn about myself! I learned that it’s o.k to write just as a matter of exploration – fun and boundless, without thought to propriety or concern for producing something concrete and polished. And also that these explorative writing frenzies are all valuable pieces within themselves that  one can draw on later when sitting down to work on a structured and purposeful piece.

I liked the flow. The intimacy. How you take part and have to face your own mind. Always new tasks and nothing repetitive.

I learned that I could write. I also learned that there is a lot of tools around that will help you get started, writing does not (and probably never has) have to come from some source of genius and flow from the pen. I really liked getting to know some of these tools and exercises. And I always remember the 5 senses!

It was really nice to share and to get a glimpse into the minds of the other writers in the workshop. Reading my pieces out loud to a room full of fertile and open minds gave them a kind of separate life that helped me find new insights into my own voice and how I use it (literally and figuratively).

It absolutely freshened my perspective on how to write the world around me and it inspired me to try doing things differently. It set off a whole unspeakable process of reacquainting myself with myself and the world around me.

* The workshop is supported by Ísafjarðarbær municipality and Uppbyggingarsjóður Vestfjarða.

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