Online: Writing Bodies
Wednesday 14 April to Tuesday 20 April 2021, online
Full Price: $210
Conc Member: $135
Our bodies carry us through our lives, but what do we carry in our bodies, or on them? Bodies are an essential part of fictional or nonfictional worlds, and writers can use biological knowledge of the body to create deeper characters and more immersive scenes. Join Amanda Niehaus for this online writing course exploring innovative approaches to writing bodies.
First, we will explore aspects of the body, including the evolution of bodily forms, the names of organs, and the regenerative capacity of cells, and discuss how writers can use them to frame and prompt new work, and improve their skills at writing characters.
For many of us, our bodies take on different roles over our lives: growth spurts, puberty, reproduction, disability, illness, ageing. We will also look at the ways that our bodies mark our lived experiences, via our microbiota, shifts in the expression of our DNA, immunity, and the accumulation of scar tissue, microchimerism, and latent viruses. We will discuss the metaphorical and physical weight of lived experiences, their portrayal in literature, and experiment with literary and biological prompts to create new work.
Expected Learning Outcomes
- An increased understanding of how biological principles can be used to create deeper characters and more-immersive scenes
- Greater confidence in the use of biological principles as frameworks or prompts for writing
- A deeper appreciation of and empathy for bodies of all forms.
Participants should come with a specific place in mind they will creatively explore throughout the course.
Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.
You do not need to log into the course at a specific time and there are no live meetings.
- Participants will work through several lessons, which will open sequentially over the first few days of the course (see course dates in the blue box above).
- You can complete the lesson material in your own time.
- This course includes short writing assignments and the opportunity to give and receive peer feedback. Some assignments will receive tutor feedback if completed by the deadlines provided.
Please expect to spend a minimum of six hours on the course, noting that the amount of time needed to read, respond to discussions, write, revise and critique will vary from person to person. We recommend allocating an hour a day to the course while it is running. By setting aside this time, you will get the most out of the course, and be able to engage with other participants and the tutor.
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About the tutor
Amanda Niehaus is a biologist and writer living in Brisbane. Her work uses science as metaphor to inspire new perspectives and empathy. Her essays and stories have appeared in Overland, Griffith Review, Creative Nonfiction and Best Australian Essays, among others; won the 2017 VU Short Story Prize; and were twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. […]