Last December, I got my first chance to attend a WRAP session, watching WRAP Live! with Derek Owusu via YouTube, and it was amazing. Last week, I got the chance to attend my first WRAP masterclass with writer and poet, Ashley Hickson-Lovence, author of The 392, this term’s WRAP recommended read. Ashley is writing his second novel as part of a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. The evening started off with introductions, chit-chat and familiarising ourselves with one another before we got down to business.

We started doing a series of tasks, split into coloured sections (typically yellow and green); Looking back on it now, I noticed that picked more of the yellow tasks than the green ones. The first task featured us writing about a picture featuring a crime scene outside a pub. It was splendid and bizarre to see, given it is all that we have been craving. We had to start the sentence with ‘I witnessed the police coming to arrest two men’, as a picture of two men, with one of them being on the floor, was shown on the slide. The photograph evoked scenes of police brutality: a timely theme in real life that I never thought would eventually lead me to write so much as a full page’s worth. The task was fun. It got me writing and it got my creative juices flowing.

Each task after that was quite interesting because Ashley exposed us to different writing techniques and styles. I learnt a lot from it, such as when to use longer sentences and when it is OK to use shorter ones and how it is not necessary to have so many words on a page, but to make sure the quality is good. Quality over quantity. The task highlights of the event for me were getting to break down characters into basics to see how they became starting off from their outward appearance down to their names, traits, how they think, who they are and everything in between and writing dialogue about a dinner date at a fast-food place. I picked McDonald’s and wrote a love story between two people, from the perspective of the female character. It was incredible to see how I could write solely from one person’s point of view. Overall, it was an impressive night, and I was glad to have attended. I now also hope my writing improves in the meantime too. I cannot wait to see Ashley again this month where he will be having another session with WRAP.

Ashley joins WRAP for our Evening Bookgroup on Monday 15th March, and you can book your free place for WRAP Live! In Conversation with Ashley Hickson-Lovence here.

About Zachary Omitowoju

Zach joined WRAP this year and is enjoying coming along to WRAP writing workshops, as well as refining his work at the Saturday Writing and Editing workshop. He is a 2nd year student in BA (Hons) Media Production in the School of Arts and Humanities.

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