Elections, Democracy and Human Rights Training, research and support


Creative Writing for Academics and Professionals

Rachael McGill

November 30, 2019, 10h00

CES | Lisbon


A playful one day workshop to liberate your thinking and enhance your written work. Learn techniques from creative writing to activate your imagination, take your ideas further and improve the style, structure and content of all the written material you produce. Taught in English and including specific work on good style for academic and non-academic writing in English.

Target audience

The workshop is suitable for anyone who needs to write for their work or research, including but not limited to: students, academic researchers and people whose job involves producing reports, marketing materials or other texts. It is also suitable for anyone who just wants to improve their writing and explore their creativity, and for people thinking about starting to write fiction or non-fiction texts. You need not be writing in English for your work but you must have at least an intermediate level of English to be able to follow the workshop. The workshop will be tailored to the participants and there will be the option of different activities for people with different writing needs or questions.

Workshop content

The workshop will be very informal (no lecturing!) and interactive, with all of the time taken either in individual or group exercises or group discussion. You can bring a serious text you need to work on if you like, but the texts we produce on the day will be light-hearted: the aim of the workshop is to show you that all types of writing can and should be creative and that writing should be fun.

Morning session:
- Techniques to release creativity and generate new ideas, individually and in pairs;
- Using connections, conflicts and oppositions to look at ways of structuring your thinking and your writing;
- Exploration of some different shapes that fiction and non-fiction texts can take;
- Production of short individual and group creative texts.

Afternoon session:
- Tricks for taking your work to the next level;
- Tricks for good style in English;
- Opportunities to work on a specific text you have written or need to write, or an idea, and to get feedback from peers.

The trainer

Rachael McGill is a writer of stage and radio plays, short stories and novels. She’s also an editor and a translator of literature from French, German, Spanish and Portuguese to English. Her play The Lemon Princess is published by Oberon, as are her translations of the plays Marieluise (winner of the Gate Theatre Translation Award) and The Time of the Tortoise by Kerstin Specht. Her translation of The Desert and The Drum by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk (shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize) is published by Dedalus. Her first novel, Fair Trade Heroin, will be published by Dedalus in early 2020. Short fiction can be found on the websites The Pygmy Giant, Litro, Fictive Dream and Words for the Wild.

Rachael also worked for 15 years as an organisational development worker in London and delivered many workshops for UK professionals on writing and on various aspects of running organisations. She delivered a version of this workshop at the University of Coimbra’s CES Summer School CreA(c)tivar in in September 2019.

CES Coordination:
Carla Luís, within VotedHR - Elections, Democracy and Human Rights

Date and Schedule:
30 November 2019, Saturday; 10h – 17h30, CES Lisbon (Picoas).

Registration fees:
General: €60
Former VoteDHr students: €50
Students: €50
Multiple registrations: €50