One Hothouse Project writing course closes, another one opens

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An utter triumph, dwahlinks. Another term of North London’s finest indie writing course comes to a close.

Next Hothouse writing course starts Thursday May 29th at Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead, NW6.

We laughed, we cried, we hurled, we learned stuff … well, apart from the ‘crying’ and ‘hurling’ bits.  The latest Hothouse Project course wrapped last Thursday night and, as ever, yr correspondent learned at least as much from the students as they learned from me. (Or, as I told them, if they enjoyed it half as much as I did, then I enjoyed it twice as much as them.)

The Hothouse Project, as those who’ve checked out the more recondite bits of my site will know, is my 8-week course in Journalism As Craft and Art (held at the Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead under the joint auspices of Aaaargh! Press and Storm Books), and we’re already gearing up for the next one, which kicks off on May 29.

Remember: unlike the myriad classes and courses running under the umbrellas of major publications and educational institutions, The Hothouse Project  is the guerilla-stylee, underground-press, 100% indie writing course … about as uncorporate as it gets.

So come sign up, awreddy … we’re ready for you, and I hope you’re ready for me …

The Hothouse Project writing course is an eight-week part-time course of weekly evening classes in West Hampstead, London NW6. Next one starts 7-9pm, Thursday 29th May.

Hothouse Spring 2014 is GO – we have lift-off!

541398_10152227691108012_967829795_n This is just a quick word to announce that the first session of the first Hothouse Project course of 2014, “Journalism as Craft and Art” kicked off with the proverbial BANG. Another intriguing bunch of students showed, and it looks like the next seven weeks will generate fun and enlightenment for all concerned … me included, of course.

And, equally needless to say, I can’t wait for the first batch of homework to arrive.

(Yep, there’s homework … I’m’a work ’em like DAWGS.)

Jewish Book Week: Old Punk Prepares Reminiscences, Rants And Anecdotes

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A little while back, I was delighted to receive — and eagerly accept — an offer to join a panel chaired by my old friend and eternally ageless sistren Vivien Goldman on The Jewish Roots Of Punk as part of Jewish Book Week, taking place on Saturday March 1 at 9pm, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. Also on board will be Geoff Travis, Daniel Miller and Toby Mott, so a good time should be had by all, awreddy. (Incidentally, the event immediately before us will feature Mark Lewisohn talking about his rather impressive new Beatles book Tune In, the first volume of the massive eventual trilogy All These Years.)

We haven’t (yet) done anything as grownup and efficient as pre-planning an agenda, but I assume that we may be talking about what it  means to be Jewish, what it means to be punk and how these two states of being might conceivably intersect. I also assume that, old and dignified as we all now are, there will be little or no spitting, kicking over of microphones, shaking up beer cans and popping them in the general direction of the audience or, for that matter, mass chanting of Hava Nagila.

Nevertheless, whilst engaging in preliminary thinkage concerning Malcolm McLaren, Joey Ramone and many more (not to mention Bob Dylan and Marc Bolan, though I suspect someone will), I was reminded of a favourite adage of my late sainted father: “If I ever find out that the Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy really exists, I’ll be furious … because I was never invited to join.”

Incidentally, the above ridiculously flattering portrait may seem like an outtake from my failed audition to become the next Dr Who (damn you, Peter Capaldi!) , but it was in fact taken by Nigel Sutton on behalf of that august periodical The Ham And High on the occasion of my being Cover Boy t’other week.

It only remains to animadvert that while the next session of my Hothouse Project: Journalism As Craft And Art course (commencing February 20) is filling up nicely, we still have a few places left … so don’t be shy. I’ll be gentle with you … maybe.

One Hothouse closes, another one opens

Charles Shaar Murray Hothouse writing course London NW6

Hothouse in session … November 2013

Last Thursday marked the end of the Winter 2013 sessions of The Hothouse Project. my writing course in Journalism As Craft And Art, held on Thursday nights in leafy/arty West Hampstead. We had another excellent bunch of students this time around, and their enthusiasm and hard work made it a real pleasure to teach. We had guest contributions from Paul Anderson (on the view from the Subs’ Desk) and Anna ‘Madam Miaow’ Chen (on the ins, outs and sidewayses of the blogosphere) and a thoroughly enlightening good time was had by all …

So we’re doing it again next February, once more aided, abetted and sponsored by the good folks at Storm Books and Aaaargh! Press. The Spring 2014 Hothouse Project course is now officially open for business, and I’m looking forward to passing on whatever it is I’ve learned during four-and-a-bit decades at the cultural coalface to a fresh bunch of people who love to write and want to learn how to do it just that little bit better.

We’ll soon be adding a selection of the best work from the Winter 2013 Hothouse Project students, which you’ll be able to find on the Storm Books site, so watch for the announcement of that coming any day now.

So: thanks to all the students who did the last course … and eagerly awaiting to the opportunity to work with next bunch … hopefully including YOU.

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Anna, CSM and Paul Anderson recuperate from a Hothouse session outside a recommended local hostelry