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By Mark Green on

What’s a creative writing course like?

The museum has been running a series of creative writing courses, led by BBC writer Ben Haller. Mark takes a closer look.

On Monday, Ben Haller—who’s written for the BBC, ITV, NBC and HBO—and Learning Interpreter Beth Hughes headed downstairs to Insight and burrowed into boxes full of old photographs from our archive. They were looking for pictures on a selected theme: last week it was ‘magic realism’ (for which they chose from the superb Hammer Horror collection of on-set and in-film photos); this week it was ‘dialogue’.

Cut to Tuesday, and the creative writing course day itself. The pictures were popped in display cases, and the writing circle—which numbered 12 or so this week—got to gaze at them, chat about them, make notes, and use them as inspiration for a piece of creative writing.

There was plenty of discussion and friendly chat during the ten minutes I sat in on the circle, and it’s obvious that Ben—who won’t tell me which programmes he’s written for, for fear he’ll have to kill me due to ‘contractual obligations’—has a brain brimming with knowledge and tips.

It’s a cosy, supportive environment. And it’s going so well that the group have created their own website to share and discuss stories and ideas.

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