speak/listen

Our so-called Masterclass: what happened?

By John-Paul Flintoff

Our so-called Masterclass at The Guardian – the first ever time I worked alongside Harriet at a LIVE event with an audience – passed without evil or harm this evening.

(Well, Harriet did stick her tongue out at me, before we started – but I interpreted this as a characteristically odd form of encouragement.)

It’s fair to say there has been dread, as well as excitement, in our house as the date approached – so phew! and indeed hurrah! that so many people came, and so many people said they liked it.

To begin, Harriet did a cracking job talking through various issues of the Guardian’s Family section, which she edits – and describing the pitfalls that writers have to negotiate if they are to turn their family story into something gripping or otherwise moving.

Then I talked about things I’ve learned about creativity, and how we might get back in touch with it, which I have taught for several years in various other venues.

And after that relatively short preamble participants got stuck into doing some exercises from our book. This picture shows one participant (anonymous by choice) holding up documentary evidence of The Night Of The Great Pea Fight, a notorious incident (she says) that took place in her youth.

Posted: March 26, 2015