Creating a Docudrama – take 2

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild is delighted to announce the return of our much-heralded Docudrama Workshop series.

“I had an idea for a story, but what to do with it? This Docudrama workshop was the perfect solution for me. I would give it a 5-star recommendation!” –Marilynn Slobogian (Participant in the 2021 workshop series)

Creating a docudrama involves many of the literary arts, as it can include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, song, dance, film clips – whatever you need to bring your passion project to life in a 10-15 minute presentation. The form is as fluid as your ideas. The classroom support provided by the instructor will focus primarily on writing, but the collective interests and talents of the whole class can enrich each participant’s final product. So, if you have a story to tell about your life, your family’s life, current political or social strife, the future of our planet, or any other idea grounded in reality but open to being framed within a story, docudrama is for you.

The classes are lively, fun, and full of vivid imaginings.

Sessions will include:

• Developing a tightly-plotted exploration of an issue, concern, or question of interest to participants

• Realistic and engaging dialogue

• Authoritative knowledge or research that informs but does not overwhelm

• Collaborative and independent work.

Each workshop is designed for small groups of 2-4 people working together. However, we can also accommodate those who prefer to work independently.

WHY CREATE A DOCUDRAMA?

• It’s a focused, fairly short format that incorporates all aspects of both fiction and non-fiction writing. All course participants will have opportunities to hone and refine their writing skills. It can, but does not need to, include poetry, song, and even dance.

• It is performable, so you will create a product that can be used for a variety of purposes, from launching a book to giving a talk on a contemporary social issue, to discovering the many voices that speak to a particular social concern, to simply entertaining others.

• The performance can be acted (drama) or read (reader’s theatre).• It is publishable in the same way that short stories are publishable. The MWG will maintain a collection of all docudramas produced in this new program, with a future goal to publish a collection of them.

For more information, contact the Manitoba Writers’ Guild at MWGEvents2022@gmail.com or check out our YouTube ads at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmAn9KB47Fj1Ynulv8bs3MA

Tickets go on sale June 1 with EventBrite (see below), but to get your name on the list or to get more information, email MWGEvents2022@gmail.com

To register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/writing-for-children-tickets-321507366187

ABOUT THE PRESENTER:

Dr. Sharon Hamilton, Professor of English (Emerita), has enjoyed a lifetime of writing, drama, and teaching. In addition to her published memoir and over a hundred professional articles and book chapters, she is working on her fifth novel and has written two plays, performed in Winnipeg, Indianapolis, and Texas. She developed a senior level docudrama course at Indiana University and has adapted it as a 8-session workshop for the Manitoba Writers Guild. She created a docudrama for the 2019 launch of her fourth novel, Manitoba MAID, at McNally Robinson.

Info on the MWG Docudrama workshop series

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild has been collaborating with the Shoestring Players to develop another video to answer the question, how can the Creating a Docudrama workshop series help me improve my writing? You can find the videos on YouTube (see below for the links).

Watch Marilyn Slobogian, Nathan Zassman, Maureen Taggert and Karl Eckstrand discuss their manuscript problems and learn why they should become a team to take part in the workshop series. During this 8-week course, beginning on September 9th at 7 pm, participants will start their journey to create a publishable or performable piece of writing that includes:

  • A tightly-plotted exploration of an issue, concern, or question that interests you
  • Realistic and engaging dialogue
  • Authoritative knowledge or research that informs but does not overwhelm
  • Collaborative and independent work.

A docudrama can be a work of fiction or creative non-fiction. It can include poetic form, dance or even songs that can inform and entertain. It can be about a topic of interest to children or adults or both! It can be used to create an interesting script for a book launch or advertisement, such as the ad in the YouTube video.

The course will help you develop your writing skills, whether you have trouble with writing dialogue, tightening your plot, or developing characters. It is a fascinating format to explore any topic about which you feel most passionate. It will help writers at any stage of their writing career, whether you are just beginning your journey or whether you’ve been writing for years and want to try something new.

You can work independently or with a group, but it’s fun to share your ideas with others. If you want to sign up &/or if you have writing friends you’d like to work with at the workshop, please follow this link to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/creating-a-docudrama-tickets-150383297491. Email the Guild (manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com ), if you want more to learn more about other payment options.

Cost: (includes eight two-hour sessions with online access to the course leader between sessions and light refreshments if we are able to hold sessions in ArtSpace)

$247 for Non-member of MWG

$197 for Regular MWG member

$147 for MWG member; student/low income

While we hope to be able to meet some of the participants in person, we want to make the sessions accessible via Zoom to those living outside of Winnipeg. If there are several people interested in taking the workshop together, I’m sure the local libraries will be able to make their WiFi available to you, so you can take in the sessions remotely in one of their program rooms. Please email the Guild office to learn more about how you can participate this way.

To learn more about what the course is all about, check out these fun YouTube Videos:

#1 link https://youtu.be/jtqQETbruGg         (Introduction)

#2 link https://youtu.be/tgLyNjt0dt4           (Dialogue Development)

#3 link https://youtu.be/r86RT2hia04          (Improving writing skills)

#4 link https://youtu.be/WM6a7VZmn6Y    (How it’s useful even if not a scriptwriter)

#5 link https://youtu.be/mpOMJkUBUSc (Use as educational tool)

#6 link https://youtu.be/8lXovI-Um38       (Zoom discussion with facilitator, Sharon Hamilton)

 

YOUR COURSE LEADER: Dr. Sharon Hamilton, Professor of English (Emerita), has enjoyed a lifetime of writing, drama, and teaching. In addition to her published memoir and over a hundred professional articles and book chapters, she is working on her fifth novel and has written two plays, performed in Winnipeg, Indianapolis, and Texas. She developed a senior level docudrama course at Indiana University and has adapted it as an eight-session workshop for the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. She created a docudrama for the 2019 launch of her fourth novel, Manitoba MAID, at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

*The above photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.1 Japan license