In early 2022, I decided to take a three-month sabbatical, partly to write. I had published my first novel in December 2021: All the Women in Me. That was the culmination of six years of working on an idea to writing and publishing with my own Red Thunderbird Publishing. It was also the beginning of a journey to write more stories. On that journey, which literally took me to Oxford, England, I met Shaun McCarthy. Let me tell you a bit more about how our collaboration came about.
I attended one of his creative writing workshops at Oxford University on a Saturday in March, then signed up for a weekend Adaptation workshop because I wanted to translate my book to screen and asked him to help write a proposal for my story idea for a Netflix Original: Queen of the New World. He does this as an independent scriptwriter. In that capacity, he has helped many one-on-one to take ideas and scripts further. His constructive feedback and practical tips and knowledge of the media world help me enormously in taking my stories forward.
I enjoyed his lessons and gained a lot of new knowledge even though I had already been trained in drama writing for TV and film. Personally, I also hope to gain a foothold in the English-speaking market, which is why I have also started writing in the UK.
‘I grant fellow writers in the Netherlands the valuable lessons of Shaun McCarthy!’
The step to ask Shaun to offer his cool workshops in the Netherlands was therefore quickly taken. He is a fantastic and accessible teacher with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I would recommend his valuable teaching and pleasant feedback to anyone who has ideas for developing a story to book more one-to-one sessions.
His workshops are not a one-off activity of Red Thunderbird. They are in line with my plans to set up an online learning environment with a range of courses in storytelling and appreciative communication, specialisms that I apply in my freelance work as a writer, trainer and facilitator for the government, among others. In the corona period, I also learned, like many of us, that you can deliver great lessons online. And now hybrid working has become the norm.
Shaun’s workshops are not online and not even hybrid, but physical and in a beautiful location. Who knows what combinations will emerge in the near future. Here you can read all about the workshops and how to register for them and the possibility to book a private consultation. In the 10 Questions for Shaun McCarthy interview, you will learn more about his background, the type of classes he has been teaching for 15 years at Oxford University, the dreams he has for students and the challenges you may face if you want to make it in the media industry. With tips on how to deal with them, of course!