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Writing Workshops and Courses

Introduction to Playwriting

Ten-week course, or intensive two-day workshop.

Suitable for new and early-career playwrights

Writing for Screen & Stage

One-day intensive masterclass, or weekend workshop.

All levels welcome

Verbatim Technique

One-day intensive masterclass, or weekend workshop.

All levels welcome

How to Maintain a Healthy Writing Practice

Group masterclass or private session. (Online or in person)

All levels welcome

The Elements: Character / Dialogue / Plot

A collection of two-hour masterclasses. (Online or in person)

All levels welcome

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Intro to Playwritng
Writing for Stage & Screen

Suitable for new and early-career playwrights

Delivered as a ten-week evening class, or as an intensive two-day workshop, my Introduction to Playwriting course is designed to be a stimulating and inspiring introduction to the craft of playwriting. Between practical group sessions and one-to-one tutorials, writers will complete a ten-minute play to be performed as part of a rehearsed reading in the final session.

Course Overview

The script is the backbone of any theatre production - from the point of conception through to the realisation of the final work on stage. In this practical course, I share an introduction to the writer's craft and practice, developing the skills essential for writing for theatre, as well as exploring tips and techniques for maintaining a healthy writing practice.

Through weekly workshops, based on my book, The Writer's Toolkit, sessions cover the fundamental elements of playwriting; including dramatic structure, the creation and function of character, how to write dynamic dialogue, crafting a compelling plot, and much more. Outside of the group sessions, participants will apply the skills learned to write a ten-minute play. Each writer will benefit from two one-to-one online tutoring sessions to advance their script ahead of a staged reading in the final session.

 

Participants will complete the course armed with a fully developed ten-minute play, plus a toolkit of tricks and devices to inspire their future work.

Participant Feedback

'A great course, with a skilled and knowledgeable instructor. This will drive you to create plays, and better them!"

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'Thanks so much for putting all of our plays on stage – I had a wonderful night. I really enjoyed the course and as a tutor, you're a natural.

I'll definitely be making use of many of the exercises in the future and taking into account your feedback.'

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'Paul was superb at planning and instruction for each and every class. His concern for each student to be inspired and work hard was clearly evident.

Those factors alone made the class enjoyable from the start.'

 

'I haven't written so much creatively in a very long time. Paul, I loved your easy manner when communicating with the group.

You definitely love what you do and it translates well through your coursework and interaction with students.'

'So well planned and executed; a variety of tools were offered to help me continue working on my writing skills.'

Introduction to Playwriting

All levels welcome

As a writer working on projects for both stage and screen, I have designed this workshop to explore the fundamentals of scriptwriting across both mediums, taking practical writing exercises from my book, The Writer’s Toolkit. This inspirational workshop will arm you with a bounty of original techniques to help advance your writing.

Workshop Overview

The workshop is structured around a series of fast-paced, inspired exercises, delivered in my popular 'circuit writing' format. Participants will be introduced to a plethora of activities, suitable for writers of all levels including those who are new to the craft. ​Exercises will cover the art of storytelling, narrative structure, the creation and function of character function, as well as writing dynamic dialogue and much more.

 

Writers will leave feeling energized and motivated to write, armed with a host of new go-to tips and tricks that can be applied to any work-in-progress; or used as a jumping-off point for a new piece of work.

 

Participants will also enjoy:

  • An introduction to mindful meditation before writing

  • Immersive writing and method writing techniques

  • Tips and ideas for maintaining a healthy writing practice. 

Participant Feedback

'DO IT! If you ever have an idea to write and need help getting started, or if you write all the time and need to infuse some passion into what you do - Paul is the person to help. His writing prompts and exercises will spark your imagination and get you going down the right path. I am so fired up!'

 

'Don't miss the chance to take this workshop!

Extremely informative and valuable exercises that were not only fun but super helpful in combating writer's block.'

 

'Paul is an accomplished writer and he will absolutely give you tips that he himself stands behind!

Everything he says comes from his own success and acumen to prove him correct.'

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'Thank you for an inspiring session full of great ideas. I came away ready to write and loved hearing about your career and methods.'

 

'​Your workshop today was fantastic. My only complaint is that it ended too quickly!'

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'I really enjoyed your class... everything you shared was useful no matter the type of writing one does.

You had such great advice and practical exercises!'

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'I especially loved how quick some of the exercises were - as someone with a young child it is easy to feel overwhelmed

at the thought of writing every day, so the story in six words is a game changer for me.'

Writing for Stage & Screen

All levels welcome

In order to create an authentic piece of verbatim theatre, it is vital to build honest relationships with the people at the heart of the story, and an intimate connection to the world or locale. In this practical workshop, I share my personal experiences, and the practices that I have developed through writing my own verbatim dramas; The Countess and In the Tall Grass.

ver·ba·tim

(adverb & adjective)

in exactly the same words as were used originally.

​The verbatim technique is a form of documentary theatre in which plays are constructed from the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic. This technique allows you to deliver rich authentic writing by capturing the natural rhythm of a contributor's speech, absorbing all the textures, sounds, and fabric of real life. 

Workshop Overview

In this practical masterclass, I share my personal experiences of verbatim theatre to inspire an immersive approach to creating authentic and ethical verbatim theatre. By exploring and discussing the work of well-known verbatim playwrights including Alecky Blythe (London Road) and Moisés Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project (The Laramie Project), participants will gain an understanding of the technique, including the ethics, practicalities, and logistics of creating a verbatim play.

I distill my process, from identifying a good story to the intensive research period that follows. I explain how to build relationships with potential contributors, how to conduct a great interview, and finally, the transcription and editing process - shaping the collected source material to form an original and dynamic piece of theatre. Specifically, I discuss the different practices I employed on both The Countess  and In the Tall Grass, sharing raw interview recordings and footage, as well as clips from performances of both pieces.

I am passionate about this organic method of theatre-making and storytelling and am excited to be able to share my experiences with writers who may be discovering the technique for the first time. Verbatim plays attract high-profile criticism and spark impassioned debate - writing a good one is all about the ability to cut to the core of a story in a way that resonates with people. That's what makes it a powerful way to engage with an audience and tell true stories on stage.

Participant Feedback

'It was so well planned and executed; a variety of tools were offered to help me continue working on my writing skills, specifically for verbatim theatre.'

'Really interesting content. Paul was very knowledgeable on the subject and I really enjoyed it.'​

'Now I feel confident that I'm equipped with the necessary tools and know-how to write my verbatim play.

I can't wait to get out in the field and start work! Thank you.'

Since introducing this specialist workshop in 2016, 100% of participants surveyed rated the workshop as 'Excellent'. In addition, 99% of participants surveyed said that the workshop covered useful material with rare first-hand insight and was well presented; with helpful handouts and visual aids.​

Verbatim Technique

Verbatim Technique
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Previous Workshops and Courses

Talking Dialogue

2021-22

The Creative Hub

Auckland, NZ

How to Maintain a Healthy Writing Practice

2021-22

The Creative Hub

Auckland, NZ

How to Maintain a Healthy Writing Practice

2021

Auckland Writer's Festival

Auckland, NZ

Writing for Stage & Screen

2020

International Writers Workshop

Auckland, NZ

The Playwrights Toolkit

2018

Oak Cliff Arts Mission

Dallas, TX, USA

Verbatim Technique

2016

Oak Cliff Cultural Center

Dallas, TX, USA

Introduction to Playwriting

2016

Theatre Britain

Plano, TX, USA

Introduction to Playwriting

2015

Chelsea Theatre

London, UK

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How to Maintain a Healthy
Writing Practice

The journey to a final draft isn’t always easy. In this inspiring masterclass, I share tips and ideas for developing effective work habits and maximising your productivity as a writer.

 

A restorative masterclass focusing on mindfulness, positivity, and real-world connections using immersive writing techniques to encourage writers to check in with their inner creator.

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