Edwina Shaw offers innovative, interactive creative writing workshops for children, teenagers and adults. Her unique combination of movement, meditation and creative writing creates an atmosphere where creativity blossoms and students thrive.
Edwina is a registered teacher with over twenty years teaching experience for a wide variety of purposes ranging from special schools, to juvenile justice centres, English courses for migrants and refugees, childcare centres, the Queensland Writers' Centre and universities. She once had her own language school in Cambodia. Since 2005, she has been teaching creative writing at the University of Queensland and in the community. For almost two decades she's also been teaching yoga, most recently to the performance dance students at the QLD University of Technology.
It is this unique combination of the physical and the intellect that makes her writing workshops so much fun, incorporating simple yoga, meditation, drama and dance techniques to help bring writing alive.
Edwina holds a Master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of QLD (2005) and has been writing and publishing fiction and memoir since 2002. Her novel Thrill Seekers (Raven Publishing UK , 2012 & 2018) a hard-hitting look at teenage life on the wrong side of the tracks, was shortlisted for the 2012 NSW Premier's Award for New Writing. Her chapter book for readers aged 9 – 14 In The Dark of Night (Raven Books UK 2016) was featured in the National Library Program 2016/2017 Summer Reading Club. Over 30 of her short pieces have appeared in Australian and International literary journals, including the 2014 Best Australian Stories (Black Inc.). She was awarded Screen QLD Talent Development funding for her feature film screenplay “M” which is currently under development with a producer and director attached. Her most recent project is as commissioning editor of Bjelke Blues (AndAlso Books 2019) a collection of stories about life in Queensland under Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
Edwina's school sessions balance all three strands of the National English Curriculum: Language, Literature and Literacy. Her workshops are particularly effective for students struggling with literacy issues. She also specialises in classes for adults recovering from trauma, using writing as a tool for healing.
Workshops can be tailored or created for your purposes.
Writing the Body -- a combination of movement and writing activities to bring your writing to life -- using more than the five senses!
Page Turners -- how to build suspense in your stories through structure, secret keeping and surprises.
Talking Heads -- writing dialogue that sings -- this workshop incorporates role-play activities
Short Stories -- The Basics -- learn the essential elements of successful short story writing from an award winner
Writing from Life -- how to turn moments of your own life into stories readers can't put down
Screenplay – create a story for the screen, screen writing basics.
Rewrite your Life -- Writing for trauma. How to use a variety of writing techniques to help move through and transform trauma from the past and write yourself a bright new future.
Grief and Loss-- workshops combining yoga, writing and other creative arts to help move through the pain of loss
Drug and Alcohol Awareness – for teens. Using Thrill Seekers to stimulate discussion and story sharing. Educating and facilitating open communication about drug and alcohol use and how to mitigate the dangers.
The Healing Power of Story - Learn new ways to write about your life. Use the power or your imagination, magic and fairy tales to rewrite the past and imagine a better future.
Absolutely wonderful workshop session. Edwina had people up and about and clearing their minds in order to write. Will have Edwina back in a flash.
Gympie Region Literary Awards - October 2018
It was so lovely to communicate with Edwina - the whole process was very easy. Her visit was quite a different experience for our students but one that they responded very well to and got a lot out of. Thanks again.
Calamvale Community College - August 2018
We recently held a Literature & Arts Festival at St. Catherine's Catholic College, The Whitsundays for our Secondary students. All the authors that attended were entertaining, engaging and inspiring. I have had so much positive feedback from students, staff and library colleagues. The students have all been raving about how excellent the festival was, and they were disappointed at the thought of returning to classes for the rest of the week. I have had reluctant readers coming into the library to borrow books, more students are writing stories. I would definitely recommend David Burton, Josh Donellan, Kathy Hoopmann, James Moloney, Giulio Saggin, and Edwina Shaw to anyone looking at having authors present for their Secondary students.
St Catherine's Catholic College Literature and Arts Festival - May 2018
Edwina's visit was great. She was very flexible and able to accommodate our needs - and I threw a diverse range of needs at her! She was able to adapt her workshops to suit students of all year levels from Year 5 to Year 8, and to meet the needs of both high-needs and high-performing children. Her workshops were simple in structure - rather than 'dazzling' us with technology, she got down very quickly to the core of writing. This enabled our students to produce some very high-quality work very quickly... ...They loved the program, their teachers loved it and we have all been able to take some great tips for writing away from it.
Ryan Catholic College - June, 2016
Edwina Shaw was a guest writer at the BackTrack Shed, an alternative school for kids who don’t fit the system, in mid- 2013. Her energy, sense of fun and enthusiasm for writing were impressive - not to mention her ability to do the splits! Edwina helped the high school-aged boys at the shed to see that their stories - in their voices - were as important as anyone else's. The boys were visibly moved when Edwina did a reading from her book Thrill Seekers, and the discussion that followed the reading was honest and enlightening.
Backtrack Alternative School, Armidale, NSW - 2015