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Speaking to the Shelves: Creative Writing Workshop with Barney Bardsley

by The Leeds Library


Have you always been a reader? Have you ever fancied having a go at writing creatively but haven’t yet devoted time to it? Perhaps you are an experienced writer looking for a new form to explore or need some good old-fashioned inspiration.

The Leeds Library continues its Speaking to the Shelves programme with a new series of creative writing sessions available at the Library or online. This first workshop will be at a special rate of £8 to launch the workshop programme returning to the Library. Subsequent workshops will be priced at £12.

When the programme’s curator Becky Cherriman asked established writers and workshop leaders to design writing activities around texts they considered part of the literary canon, she expected some surprises. The writers did not disappoint. Sign up to deepen your knowledge of a much-adored Classic, discover a book you haven’t yet read, see what we can learn from the canon and expose problems within it. Sign up to write creatively. Together you will climb onto the shoulders of these powerful giants, notebook and pen in hand.

Join Author Barney Bardsey as she kicks of the season, choose from the Online Zoom workshop or the In-person workshop.

Workshop title: A Moment of Change: the Art of Memoir

Book: ‘I am, I am, I am’ by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press, 2017)

Note from Barney: Although O Farrell’s focus is on illness and near-death experiences, it is also brilliantly life-enhancing. So, taking the author’s vibrant style as our cue, we will choose pivotal moments – positive or negative – from our own lives, to experiment with pieces of prose that are just as direct, immediate and authentic.

Form: Memoir/creative non-fiction

Barney Bardsley Biography

Barney Bardsley is a writer/performer and movement teacher, specialising in Reiki and T’ai Chi. She works on the Creative Engagement programme at Leeds Playhouse, where she runs sessions for older people, for people living with dementia, and for refugees. She has appeared in three productions with the Leeds-based Performance Ensemble, telling stories from her own life in words and movement. She has written features for the Guardian, Psychologies Magazine and Femail, and has published two memoirs: ‘A Handful of Earth’ (John Murray) and ‘Old Dog’ (Simon and Schuster). A third is underway.

Further workshops in the programme can be found here: https://www.theleedslibrary.org.uk/events

The programme is supported by funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council.

Becky Cherriman curates this series of creative writing workshops, which generally run on the third Saturday of the month at The Leeds Library. Each workshop deals with a particular aspect or genre of writing. Guided by established writers, you will draw inspiration from the library’s collections to write and then receive feedback on your work in this stimulating environment. Workshops will draw on Dewey Decimal themes such as History; Social Problems and Social Services; Customs, Etiquette and Folklore; Life Sciences; History, description, critical appraisal of more than two literatures;

Becky Cherriman is a Yorkshire writer, workshop leader and performer. She works part-time as Creative Writing Community Development Officer for The University of Leeds. Published by Seren, Mslexia, New Walk, Envoi, Mother’s Milk, Bloodaxe, Well Versed, Moving Worlds and The North, she was resident poet for Morley Literature Festival in 2013 and lead artist for Altofts Festival In A Day 2016. ‘Echolocation’, her first poetry pamphlet, and first collection ‘Empires of Clay’ were published in 2016 by Mother’s Milk and Cinnamon Press respectively. Her agnostic poem Jesus Lives was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2017.

Date and Time

Sat, November 20, 2021

10:00 am - 3:00 pm


The Leeds Library

18 Commercial Street
Leeds, England LS1 6AL United Kingdom

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