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Navigating the Writer's Mind to Achieve Your Writing Goals

A Masterclass in Four Sessions with Margaret South 
November 4 - 15, 2024

Middlewick, Glastonbury, UK

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What Margaret’s Mentees Have to Say

"During the last three sessions, I have learned more about the craft of storytelling than I did during my MFA or any other writing class (formal or informal)."

Rebecca Reuter


"Margaret South not only understands what it takes to write a great story, she has a gift for teaching others how."

Sean Teague


"Her infectious passion energizes every class, making them not only educational but immensely enjoyable."


Lynn Heggen

A note from workshop leader, Margaret South:

If you’re an analytical person, you might think of yourself as “Left Brain.” Many writers

and artists and musicians consider themselves to be “Right Brain.” I’m no fancy neurologist (I was a theatre major in college) but even I know the brain is more complicated than that.


In the writing community, we tend to identify as either Right Brain or Left Brain when

we say, “I’m a Plotter,” or I’m a Pantser.” The great writers use both sides of their brains, right and left. Billions of cells fire new pathways to merge all the elements a story needs. As writers (and humans), we cling to familiar behaviors. If we’re used to plotting our story out before we begin a draft, that’s what we’re going to do. If we’re used to letting the words flow, we’re going to stick with that.


Your job as a writer is to step outside your comfort zone and use all your powers to tell

the story you were born to tell. During this four-part course, I can help you break through old patterns. To make your story well-structured and tight. To make your story imaginative and emotional.

About the Workshop Leader

Margaret South founded All Girl Productions with Bette Midler and Bonnie Bruckheimer, and developed feature film projects for Disney, Fox and Tri-Star Studios, HBO, ABC, and NBC, including the beloved Beaches. Together with Ms. Midler, she wrote the screenplay A View from a Broad for Disney Studios.


She has appeared at the Crossroads Writers Conference, the Maui/Hawaii Writers’

Conference, the Women in Film Convention, as well as American Pen Women, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She currently serves on the faculty at Story Summit.

Margaret South Going to the Oscars with Bette Midler and Bonnie Bruckheimer.

Here’s how the four sessions will unfold.

Finding Out

I write merely to find out . . . ~ Joan Didion

  • Discussion Of Sharing Work with Others, Need to Connect v. Privacy Issues.

  • Discussion of 4-5 Different Types of Prompts.

  • Discussion about Feedback: How to Give and How to get.

  • Right Brain Exercise: Write a soliloquy in which the Main Character tells us what they really want. (Soliloquy examples: Hamlet, George Bailey, Cher in Clueless)

  • Sensory/Color Prompt: Your Main Character experiences something green (any shade or hue).

  • Left Brain Exercise: Sketch out the Arc of your story. Just a rough beginning middle and end.

  • Story Prompt: Write the Inciting Incident of your story.

Creating Structure

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. ~ Ernest Hemingway

  • Discussion of the need for structure.

  • Left Brain Discussion of Types of Stories (Genre) and Types of Scenes (Mike Nichols)

  • Right Brain Exercise: Write about the best (or worst) meal you’ve ever had.

  • Left Brain Exercise: (Prompt)Write the First Threshold (the moment your Main Character faces a moment in which they have to choose to move forward. Weigh the pros and cons.

Writing from Knowing

First, you write for yourself… ~ Bruce Springsteen

  • Left Brain Exercise: Write the beginning of your story. Share some examples of opening lines).

  • Discussion of Conflict (with Handouts)

  • Right Brain Exercise: Your Main Character gets advice from their Mentor or Friend.

  • Element Prompt: Main Character experiencing Wind, Water, Earth, or Fire.

  • Left Brain Exercise: Write the Midpoint of your story (where everything falls apart).

Staying with It

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou

  • Left Brain Exercise: Write the beginning of your story. Share some examples of opening lines).

  • Right Brain Exercise: Main Character experiences a change in the weather.

  • Color Prompt: Any shade of the color Red.

  • Right Brain: Write the resolution to your story (the ending). What’s it all about?



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