“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Julius Caesar (Act I, Scene 2, lines 140-141) by William Shakespeare.
ENTER FROM STAGE LEFT
The true content of character is a fascinating subject for writers. With good reason too: the depiction of fictional characters in prose, poetry, paintings, illustrations and numerous other art forms is a key way of encountering, understanding, and interrogating the human condition—storytellers have always been good at uncovering its virtues and vices; through their work the very best of them have encourage humanity to be the best version of itself.
What is a good man? What makes a woman bad? How do we deny some people the content and characteristics of common humanity and, in so doing, relegate them to the other? Do the stars align to make us typical Tauruses or do we define our own personalities regardless of whether Mercury is in retrograde? Do writers mould characters in their own images? And are they responsible for what they create?
These are just some of the questions that dog writers before, during, and after they put pen to paper. While some of these moral quandaries elude definition, it remains possible to make practical inroads into the writing process to create characters who are able to enrich and challenge the writer and engage and reward the reader.
In the second Doek Workshop, characters and their roles in storytelling are explored. They are dissected using practical literary examples to discover subtle differences between their existences in short fiction and longer narratives such as the novel. Most importantly, the workshop provides its participants with creative tools for conceptualising, synthesising, and realising compelling characters.
All workshop participants will also be provided with consultation on a submitted short story (up to 3500 words) with the two best compositions being accepted for publication in Doek! Literary Magazine’s July 2021 issue.
Rémy Ngamije • Doek’s Founder • Chairperson • Artministrator
Rémy is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the founder, chairperson, and artministrator of Doek, an independent arts organisation in Namibia supporting the literary arts. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Doek! Literary Magazine.
His debut novel was published by Blackbird Books in South Africa in 2019 and is forthcoming worldwide from Scout Press (S&S).
His work has appeared in Litro Magazine, AFREADA, The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, The Amistad, The Kalahari Review, American Chordata, Doek! Literary Magazine, Azure, Sultan’s Seal, Santa Ana River Review, Columbia Journal, New Contrast, Necessary Fiction, Silver Pinion, Lolwe, Barzakh Magazine, Journal Periferias, The Forge Literary Magazine, Yellow Means Stay: An Anthology Of Love Stories From Africa, Menelique, Barely South Review, Bad Form Review, Hypertext Magazine, and The Selkie.
Rémy was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020. He was also longlisted for the 2020 and 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prizes. In 2019 he was shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines.
TUTORIAL SESSION DATES
- Saturday, 13 March 2021: 09h00—11h00: Session 1: The Fault Is In Our Star(t)s—What Is Character?
- Saturday, 20 March 2021: 09h00—11h00: Session 2: And He Maketh Man In His Own Image—How To Conceptualise Characters
- Saturday, 27 March 2021: 09h00—11h00: Session 3: All The Gunpowder, Treason, And Plot—How Characters Define And Shape A Story
COSTS AND ADDITIONAL REQUIREMEMTS
- NAD1500.00 (payable before Friday, 12 March 2021)
- Completed registration form (see below)
- Basic writing material (pen and paper)
To sign up for this workshop, please complete the form below. Upon completion, you shall be contacted for further details.
Please note: this workshop is taught in-person in Windhoek, Namibia. There is no online version.