The 16th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) is just around the corner. From 23 to 27 October, the UWRF will bring together over 180 authors, artists and activists from 30 countries for five days of panel discussions, performances, book launches, art exhibitions and more.

With this many creatives gathered in the same place, it’s the perfect opportunity for writers of all stripes to sharpen their literary abilities. From idea generation to the craft of writing to writing for performance, the UWRF Workshops cater for all writers in the audience. Here are some highlights:

Creative Karma

Karma is the UWRF 2019 theme. What is the relationship between karma and creativity? How can the concept of karma be narrated and described through creative writing? Explore these questions and more with award-winning novelist and short story writer, Clare Fisher. Through a series of interactive writing, reading and discussion exercises you will expand and explore your own creative karma.

Walking and Creativity

For four million years walking has inspired human creativity. Author and museum curator Dr Jono Lineen explains how to unlock your creative power using humankind’s simplest locomotion. Through talks and practice you’ll learn how walking generates our most innovative states of mind and how different styles can assist creatives in overcoming artistic obstacles. Come dressed for walking.

Writing and Performing Stand-up Comedy

Stand-up comedy is one of the most raw and intimidating forms of self-expression. It’s also one of the best ways to show truths, and has the ability to hold a mirror to society by disarming people with laughter. Learn the basics of where to begin as a comedian and how to bring the funny out of you with Filipino-Kiwi stand-up comedian James Roque.

I Would Never Say That: Getting Real Dialogue Out of Your Characters

Do you dread writing dialogue? Feel your work falls flat on the page? Do you love it in the moment and then upon rereading worry it isn’t serving the story? In this workshop with award-winning American author and illustrator Mira Jacob, you’ll study how dialogue works, dissect when and why it sounds contrived, and create strategies to keep it feeling believable and alive.

Spoken Word Beyond Slam

Australian Poetry Slam Champion Melanie Mununggurr-Willams will guide you through the tough times, the joys and the big changes as you explore emotions through your senses. Craft powerful poems, stories, monologues and messages as Melanie challenges your writing techniques and pushes abstract concepts into concrete imagery.

Writing the Wilderness

For as long as humans have existed, we’ve told stories that seek to make sense of the natural world around us. Covering myths, fables, novels and non-fiction, with Australian author Robbie Arnott you’ll explore how to write about the wilderness in ways that feel fresh, exciting and true – and why it’s important that we do.

Investigative Writing

Wildly curious about a place that’s hard to reach? Unsure how to convince elusive people to open up? Come and hear insights for capturing real life stories and composing creative non-fiction. Patrick Winn, an author covering the criminal underworld, and investigative journalist Pailin Wedel offer a guide to drawing narratives out of hidden places.

Short Story Secrets

How can the short story form help you hone your craft? In this workshop with award-winning Zimbabwean-American author Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, you’ll interrogate the elements of brevity, assess various writers’ styles, complete short writing exercises and explore the boundaries of fiction. Come ready to discuss the practice of revision and how to successfully establish a writing routine.

Improv for Ideation

When Einstein struggled to solve a complex equation, he’d often take violin breaks. After several hours of fiddling, he found he could return to his calculation and crack it with ease. Expunging creative or inspirational blockage often only requires the courage to get out of one’s own way – what better method than through the age-old playtime of theatre sports?

UWRF runs from 23 to 27 October at various venues across Ubud. NOW! Bali readers can save 20% on the 4-Day Pass by entering the code MPNB at checkout. For all info and tickets go to #UWRF19 @ubudwritersfest

NOW Bali Editorial Team

NOW Bali Editorial Team

This article has been written or uploaded by NOW! Bali's in-house editorial team.