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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

04 June 2020

Posted by Adrian Harris

Community Writing Workshop

Planning a Virtual Community Creative Writing Workshop for the Museum. (Blog post 4)


As life now revolves around Zoom and other video conferencing Apps, normal face to face interaction seems a thing of the dim and distant past, an echo of a memory lost to a historic  time before lockdown, which is perhaps slightly apt as this writer’s next challenge is about examining interesting historic artefacts from the museum with a group of budding writers from the local community.


Life at Poole Museums has yet to spring back to the time when families and friends bustled their way through the floors of local heritage and maritime history, therefore I am eagerly waiting to meet, albeit virtually, a group of people familiar with the museum and keen to explore their creative talent for uncovering stories based around the collection conserved by the custodians of the museum.


I am a scriptwriter by trade, so I delve for the dramatic deeds that may bring a story to life. I crave conflict and crisis through complication and disturbance that may lead to a climax that returns balance to a once harmonious situation. Therefore, my challenge to our workshop group would be to find inspiration in an object from the museum, and create a story around the piece, which could be related to its maker, its owner or its finder. It could tell the story about how it was lost or found, or the narrative may even give a voice to the object itself. I hope that everyone taking part in the workshop will enjoy learning a little more about the objects they have chosen as inspiration for this creative writing exercise, as well as learning about building a dramatic story. However, I hope that they will dig a little deeper and let their imagination run wild, we’re not looking for a factual paper on the history of any one artefact, it’s a tall tale that tantalises the reader that we’re after.


Whatever literary gem springs to our writers’ minds, it will be interesting to see which artefacts speak to our visitors and why. Because Poole museum is at its heart a rich mine of Poole’s cultural tapestry, so we hope to weave some wonderful stories from its history that will not only enthuse the reader but encourage them to seek out the object that inspired the piece of writing, and possibly be moved to learn more about this beautiful harbour town awash with history.


So, soon we will gather under the glow of our respective screens, connected electronically across the internet, set miles apart by this pandemic. Yet we will still be able to share the rich heritage of our community through stories inspired by the past, that will hopefully soon become the future of the collection when the museum can once more reopen.



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