ExpiredGenre-bending Fun: Using theme words to write deeper and stranger fiction and non-fiction

  • Genre-bending Fun
    October 8, 2022
    10:00 am - 3:00 pm

The aim of the workshop is to find out if choosing a few theme words and using them as part of the structure of a story, might be a useful addition for your bag of writerly tools and tricks. In the workshop, we’ll look at how some writers have used theme words, or repeated words, to tell a story. Poets often say that using the constraints imposed by a particular form, for example, the repeated word pattern of a sestina, helps their imagination go to places it might not find otherwise.

We’ll try out using chosen theme words to write a story to see how that changes the way it feels to write it and read it. We’ll also try writing a draft and then choosing some keywords from that.  The story you work on in the workshop could be non-fiction, like an essay or some memoir, or it could be a bit of genre-fluid prose. It could also be fiction. If you like rules and patterns, you could try a prose sestina, or you can make up your own rules. If you’re a non-fiction writer and you’ve never heard of a sestina, or you thought it was too complicated to bother with, come along and see what the fuss is about. If you’re a poet, and you write essays or memoirs, come and try out one way the genres can fuel each other.


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286 Te Moana Road, Waikanae, Wellington, New Zealand


We use two spaces at the Waikanae Baptist Church, both are warm and naturally lit. The first is the ground floor meeting room, with a separate open plan dining area, with access to a garden area. If this is unavailable, we use the upstairs meeting room which a modern, well lit self-contained space.


The venue has a ramp to enter the building and an accessible toilet.
The dining area is a reasonable distance from the meeting room but food can be brought to a participant who is unable to walk there.
The upstairs room is only accessibly by stairs. Wherever possible, we use the ground floor option.

Getting there

Please drive around the back of the venue and enter through the left hand door. The meeting room is the first room on the left.


Refreshments are provided as part of the session. If you have any dietary requirements please mention these when you register.