Workshop 2013

The Zurich Writers Workshop will be held April 12-14, 2013, in Zurich, Switzerland. It is divided into two sections: Storytelling Fundamentals and First Draft to Bestseller. The workshop is conducted in English.

Storytelling Fundamentals
The Storytelling Fundamentals section is ideally suited for those just getting started with writing or currently working on a draft of a novel, short story, memoir or personal essay. This section is limited to 15 participants.

Instructor: Sam North
We have all been enchanted by reading a story, and, for some of us, that enchantment leads us to want to write our own. Yet it seems like a difficult task – what is storytelling, and how does it make its magic? This beginners’ course will concentrate on three particular principles which are of central importance in the composition of a story. They are simple to understand for the beginner, and without them fiction will not come alive in the reader’s mind’s eye. Close reading of some short stories – to see how others work with these principles – will be accompanied by writing exercises which will start the writer’s working practice.

Participants are invited to submit up to five pages of work for written feedback from Sam. Additional details will be provided in the registration confirmation e-mail.

Sam North is the author of eight novels, including The Automatic Man (1990), which won the Somerset Maugham Award for fiction, and The Unnumbered (2004), which was long-listed for the Man Booker prize. He brings years of experience writing for the big screen and television and was director of the drama department at the AP Watt literary agency. He now concentrates on writing and teaches in the English department of the University of Exeter.

First Draft to Bestseller
The First Draft to Bestseller section is designed for writers who have completed a draft and are at the stage of revising a novel, memoir, or a collection of short stories or personal essays. This section is limited to 12 participants.

Instructor: Lee Weatherly
Tutor Lee Weatherly will use examples from your writing to illustrate story structure, scene structure, characterisation, dialogue, ‘show, not tell’ and pacing (including killing your darlings!). With the focus on how to self-edit, you will be encouraged to view your work like a craftsman and a professional: the first draft is vital, but it is only the beginning. Submitting your work to agents and publishers will also be covered, and one-to-one sessions with each participant will focus on your personal strengths and areas for possible improvement. Her fun but challenging workshop will be a mix of lecture, group work, exercises and discussion.

Participants will submit ahead of time a sample cover letter, a synopsis, and the first ten pages of their manuscripts for a one-on-one critique with Lee. Additional details will be included in the registration confirmation e-mail.

Lee Weatherly is an award-winning author of over 40 books in more than 10 languages. Her bestselling young adult dark romance trilogy, Angel, is currently under option for film; the final book in the series, Angel Fever, is due out in October. She is the co-author of Write a Blockbuster and Get it Published, and is a gifted writing coach, teaching workshop courses across the southeast UK.

The workshop will be held at the Volkshaus, Stauffacherstrasse 60, 8004 Zürich.


Friday, April 12
19:00 – 21:00 Informal meetup for drinks and mingling at James Joyce Pub (optional)

Saturday, April 13
 9:00 – 10:30 Session 1
10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 2
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch (on your own)
14:00 – 15:30 Session 3
15:30 – 16:00 Break
16:00 – 17:30 Session 4
18:00 – 20:00 Literary dinner at Haus Hiltl (optional)

Sunday, April 14
9:00 – 10:30 Session 5
10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 6
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch (on your own)
14:00 – 15:00 Individual critique sessions (First Draft to Bestseller section only) and participant readings (open to all, optional)
15:00 – 17:00 Individual critique sessions (First Draft to Bestseller section only) and informal networking/discussion (open to all, optional)