Telling Moments: Writing Screen and Poetry from Actuality, Biography, and Memoir


A 2-day intensive workshop led by award-winning writers!
Instructors: Jane Draycott & Nada Serhan

How can we creatively transform actuality in our writing, bringing it to new life while honoring its truth? How can we give the most powerful voice and expression to lived, historic, or observed material? And how can we uncover its most telling perspectives, emblematic fragments, and revealing details? Designed and led by award-winning writers Jane Draycott and Nada Serhan, this two-day workshop will take you through a lively series of practical and imaginative techniques for dramatising or poetically exploring the “real.”

Day 1: Telling Moments in Poetry

What poetic approaches can we take towards “given” biographical or autobiographical material? How can we uncover and release its heart as well as its detail in resonant poetic voices and scenes? This day of stimulating, supportive exercises and discussion is intended for writers of all levels of experience who are interested in poetic memoir or biography, or in writing from collected or documentary research, including visual or audio materials. The workshop will be led by prize-winning poet and Oxford University tutor Jane Draycott.

Day 2: Telling Moments on Screen

From Freddie to Elvis, from Marilyn to Marie Curie, biopics are on the rise. As screenwriters, how do we choose, highlight, and recreate the most telling moments of legendary lives? In this workshop, we will explore how to adapt a biographical event into an emotionally and intellectually captivating scene. Focusing on a single moment from a chosen biography, we will use fundamental scriptwriting techniques to develop it into a short script. The workshop will be led by award-winning writer and short film director Nada Serhan.

Maximum enrollment: 10


Saturday-Sunday, 10:00-17:00
24-25 June 2023
7 hours each (including a lunch break)


75016, Paris

All PICT courses are held in person. Participants will be contacted by the course instructor with all relevant details (readings if any, exact address, etc.) via email during the week leading up to the course.

All PICT courses are exclusive for PICT Members. Become a member from 3 euros/month.



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