Community writers’ workshops

Boston Library hosts a variety of workshops, helping to draw people in through their doors.

Sci-Fi author Helen Claire Gould

They work closely with Sci-fi author Helen Claire Gould to host a Writers’ Workshop on the last Wednesday of every month.

These workshops consist of 10 writing sessions and 6 self-publishing sessions, helping prospective authors to progress their skills.

Helen Gould says she runs her first session with 7 stations, each for a different genre. Other sessions include learning about dialogue, characterisation, and critiquing.

Helen said: “I like to do a survey at the end of the first sessions so that I can learn why they come and what they want to achieve… My hope is that people go away thinking they learnt something useful.”

Helen said she is “on a mission to help people self publish properly”.

The writing workshops themselves are limited to 8 people per session, however “the people who come are all at different stages”.

As well as fiction, Helen also helps those who want to write screenplays, short stories and non-fiction.

As well as running these Writers’ Workshops, Helen runs workshops in other libraries, attends coffee meets every three months, and runs a ‘Spoken Words Night’ in Peterborough.

She is also in the middle of writing her next two novels.

She said: “It was originally going to be one book, but I thought it would look silly on the shelf because it would look too fat, so I divided it.”

Boston Library

Boston Library Manager, Alison Wade, said they have between 350 and 500 people a day visit the library, and workshops like these help bring the community through their doors.

Alison said: “Some people come in specifically for the workshops and they don’t borrow books, or DVDs, but other people come in regularly, to borrow books or use the library’s facilities.

“People use the library for lots and lots of different things. We’ve got the computers for people to use, there’s the photocopier and scanner, and you can print straight from the computers.”

She added: “We’re a community hub really – people use us for lots of different reasons.”

The library hosts a variety of different workshops and sessions on top of the Writers’ Workshop.

Some of the weekly workshops include the Thursday Crafters, Monday’s Messy Morning, and Tuesday Rhyme Time.

Monthly workshops include the Shared Readers, Boston Library readers group, and the Visually Impaired craft and reading groups.

Alison said: “We’re becoming the place to meet up. We’ve got a lot on.”

On 6 April, Boston will be hosting a Shakespeare festival in the centre of the town. The organiser has been running craft workshops at the library where children have been making spoon fairies and origami flowers.

Alison said: “Some of the pieces that people don’t take home with them will be used to decorate the market square and the tents that will be used for the festival.”

She added: “We want to be part of the community and we want to stand up and shout, hey we’re still here! And look at all the fantastic things we’re doing.

“The workshops help with this because we’ve had people come in and say ‘oh we didn’t realise you rented out DVDs or that I could get my printing done’ so the workshops definitely help to draw people in.”