Circle of Misse

Nicholas Hogg

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Nicholas Hogg

Creativity Jumpstart: Turn your travels into stories

June 16-20, 2010 (Wed-Sun)


Whether you want to write fiction, travel narrative or creative nonfiction, learning how to use your travels and observations about place in your work can reap huge rewards. For award-winning novelist and short story writer Nicholas Hogg a motorcycle journey across the emptiness of the Australian outback ended in a crash but inspired his first novel Show Me The Sky.

It’s not necessary to bring work in progress, but do bring your memories (and travel journal if you have one) and Nicholas will share the methods, strategies and exercises that work for him.

Last count I'd travelled to over sixty different countries, some for no more than a day, and some in my memory as just a trip to a museum or being drunk in a bar. For a year I lived on board a ship and sailed around the globe three times. Apart from being able to write about the cyclone and mountainous waves in Show Me the Sky from experience – one of the most frightening moments was seeing fear on the Ukrainian Captain's face when caught in a tropical storm in the South China Sea – and describing exotic locales and customs from Fiji, travel shoots the novel with a panoramic lens. Even close focus on a place or character can be enhanced by the wider knowledge of what is 'out there.' Other cultures help you see your own, what is the same, what is different.

- Nicholas Hogg dogmatika interview 

In the mornings you’ll focus on exercises to heighten your senses and your observation skills.  You’ll learn good journaling skills, how to capture details that will inspire you during the solitary periods of writing and how to supplement those observations with research. Nicholas will teach you the five principles to good scene setting and also guide you in literary techniques including methods for discovering what story a place has to tell, constructing a narrative, characterization, the dos and don’ts of dialogue, plot, tone, unity, description and the power of metaphor.

You will go on walks through the countryside and trips to farmer’s markets, châteaus and rural villages to practice the techniques you’ve learned. Afternoons will offer time to relax with a glass of wine, tour regional sites, write or go on walks.

Towards the end of the week Nicholas will offer you the option of a one-to-one feedback session.


Well researched and exciting...The journal by the Fijian is convincing and Nicholas Hogg shows that he is a fine storyteller with a good grasp of 19th century life.

- Waterstones 

Novel Boot Camp: The Pleasure of Progress

June 21-27, 2010 (Mon-Sun)

Sometimes we just need a little sympathetic nudge to get started or to press on with that novel. And sometimes we need the structure, dedicated time and advice that simply never materialises in our daily lives. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then this boot camp is for you.

Whether you have a draft buried in your desk drawer or simply an idea in your head, novelist Nicholas Hogg will provide a framework to move your work forward. Through inspiring and engaging sessions each morning, he will help you approach your material in fresh, exciting ways, showing you how to organize, plan and execute.

Throughout the process, you’ll learn strategies and writing craft that will strengthen your work, provide solutions to problematic areas and give you the momentum to follow through to the end. You’ll perform writing exercises and look at examples directly applicable to your own work.

In the afternoons, you’ll work on your novels. Inspiring spots to write, both inside and outside, abound around the property. There will be Q&A sessions to address challenges you encounter while writing, chances to share work and ideas with the group and an opportunity for a one-to-one feedback session with Nicholas.

Nicholas will also share his experience of getting started, entering contests, finding an agent and getting his first novel published.

And sometimes we do our best thinking when we step away from the manuscript for a couple hours, so there will be plenty of chances to tour châteaus, vineyards, other area attractions, learn a new dish from our cooking school, or simply relax with a glass of wine.

Nicholas Hogg relates a clever, fast-paced plot, with simple, elegant and poetic prose...I was hooked from page one.

- Eleanor Thom, author of The Tin-Kin 


Nicholas Hogg was born in Leicester, UK. After graduating from the University of East London with a psychology degree, he travelled widely, living in Japan, Fiji and the United States.

In 2005, his short story “Zen” won the New Writing Ventures award for fiction. Also that year, “The Tokyo Catfish” -- a love story set in the aftermath of a Tokyo earthquake -- was a prizewinner in the London Writers contest.

“Paradise”, a story which follows two stowaway children from the tarmac of Mombassa airport to the 2012 London Olympics, was runner-up in the 2007 Willesden Herald Short Story competition, adjudicated by Zadie Smith. It was published in the content anthology.

His first novel Show Me the Sky has been nominated for the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He is currently working on a second novel and a collection of short stories.


Show Me the Sky book cover available from amazon in:
Punk Fiction (Anthology) book cover available from amazon in:
Willesden Herald: Short Stories 1 book cover available from amazon in:


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