Pair plot to help writers tell stories
Friends’ workshops focus on teaching participants to unleash their creativity
Long-time friends Tamaryn Dalldorf and Jen Bryson Moorcroft are sharing their passion for writing with East London residents by offering fun, relaxed and intimate monthly writing workshops, with their third taking place on Friday.
Began in November 2018, the workshops aim to encourage aspiring writers to tap into their creativity.
“These workshops are still in the early stages, but the main inspiration is to create a community of writers and to encourage and celebrate South African stories.
“There is a desperate need for a platform for writers in the Eastern Cape,” said Dalldorf, who is a communications lecturer at WSU.
A local playwright, Moorcroft said aspiring writers often needed to “unlearn” the way they were taught to write at school and that the workshops aimed to get them to write with imagination and gusto.
“We first teach the basics and then have a free writing session at the end, where the participants have to write a piece in a short period of time and share it with the rest of us.
“The workshops focus on ‘unlearning’ that critical voice you are taught in school because writing for an audience or a reader is very different to writing an academic paper,” Moorcroft explained.
While the pair have very different writing styles – Moorcroft, a script and theatre writer, and Dalldorf delving into poetry and short stories – the two have been writing buddies for more than 30 years.
“I love Tammy’s work and we’ve always bounced ideas off each other.
“I remember as kids we re-wrote the Sunday school play because we just didn’t like it,” Moorcroft laughed.
Dalldorf said she had often helped Moorcroft edit her plays and that they had always worked well together.
From poetic verses and rhythm to character development, plots and conflicts, aspiring writers can expect a crash-course on writing techniques, as well as a range of inspiring exercises.
The workshops take place in Moorcroft’s Beacon Bay home, creating a relaxed and fun atmosphere for all to enjoy.
“We don’t want it to feel like a classroom.
“We want people to feel relaxed, confident and inspired.
“Every time we have a workshop I end up being so inspired to write as well.
“Its great to be in a room with so many fellow creatives,” said Moorcroft.
Dalldorf said getting people to write and share their stories with others was vital.
“It’s wonderful to see people become confident and realise that what they have to say and the work they can produce is actually very good,” she said.
“So far, we’ve had so many great and original stories come out of these workshops.”
The evening workshops are open to adults, as well as aspiring high school writers, with each workshop designed to cater to the specific age groups.
In future, the pair hope to create an online community of writers in the form of a blog, where work can be shared.
The workshop on Friday will take the form of a “writing and wine” workshop for adults, starting from 6pm.
There are only 10 spots available for each workshop.
For more information or to book, contact Moorcroft on Jenniferbryson@gmail.com..