The Exercise Book collects over fifty creative writing exercise used by Bill Manhire and his colleagues, not only at Victoria but throughout New Zealand and around the world. The celebrated writer/teachers who have contributed include Elanor Catton, Curtis Sittenfeld, Emily Perkins, David Vann, Elizabeth and Sara Knox, Dora Malech and Kirsty Gunn. This book will be an indispensible resource for teachers and students, and excellent stimulation and entertainment for anyone wanting to give writing a go.
Exercises give your body a work-out.
These exercises do the same for your imagination.
The Exercise Book is full of stimulating trigger ideas – a treasure trove for writers. There are writing prompts here that will help those who are just beginning. There are others that tackle the dreaded condition known as writer’s block. Several exercises are designed specifically for the high school classroom.
The contributors are all published and successful writers. They include staff from Victoria’s famed creative writing program – Ken Duncum, Bill Manhire, Chris Price, Damien Wilkins – and many others associated with the program as teachers and graduates.
There are exercise ideas from writers like Emily Perkins, David Vann, Nigel Cox, Curtis Sittenfeld, Kate De Goldi, Dora Malech, Lavinia Greenlaw, Laurence Fearnley, Eirlys Hunter, James Brown, Kate Camp, Dinah Hawken, Jenny Bornholdt, Paula Morris, Hinemoana Baker, Catherine Chidgey and Kirsty Gunn – plus advice on how to create whole fictional worlds from Elizabeth and Sara Knox, from David Geary and Eleanor Catton.
In between are exercises from a host of New Zealand and international writers that explore the nuts and bolts of craft – in poetry, fiction and scriptwriting – along with others that tap the sources of inspiration or show the value of revision and editing.
Ken Duncum is a teacher of writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University-Wellington and the author of Flipside: The Men of the Rose-Noelle.
Bill Manhire directs the creative writing program at Victoria University-Wellington and is the author of Collected Poems and Lifted. He was the inaugural Te Mata Estate New Zealand Poet Laureate in 1996-1997, received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate award in 2005, and in 2007 received the Prime Minister's Award for Poetry.
Chris Price is a lecturer at Victoria University-Wellington. She convenes the International Institute of Modern Letters' undergraduate poetry workshop and manages the online journal, Turbine. She is the author of Brief Lives and Husk, which received the New Zealand Society of Authors Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry.
Damien Wilkins is a writer, an editor, and a poet, and the author of eight books, including The Fainter, Little Masters, and The Miserables. He is the editor of Great Sporting Moments: The Best of Sport Magazine 1988-2004.