WELCOME 

Thrutopia

– a masterclass for writers & aspiring writers in all media

Writing our way to a future we’d be proud to leave to the coming generations

We know that inspiring stories shape our futures.

Throughout human history, our power to imagine a better world has pushed – or pulled – us away from the comfort of the known.

But our stories of power, accumulation and self-aggrandisement have brought us to the edge of extinction and we urgently need new heroes, new ways of doing things, new peaks to aim for.

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As writers, that's hard

We may know we badly need new systems, but we’re as much a part of the system as anyone else. Even if we can imagine a world better than this one, we don’t know how to write the road map that takes us from here to there.

So we write dystopias, because it’s easy to imagine how bad things could be.

Or we create utopias, because we can leap forward and imagine something better as long as it’s somewhere or somewhen distant.

“If you knew you were at the last days of the human story, what would you write? How would you write?”

BEN OKRI

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We need to write Thrutopias: clear, engaging routes through to a world we’d all be proud to bequeath to future generations

So, if you are, or aspire to be, a…

NOVELIST
SCREENWRITER
POET
PLAYWRIGHT
SONGWRITER

or writer in any form including non-fiction

…we’ve identified 4 key ways to help you build the skills you need to be able to write the path to a flourishing future.

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IDEA GENERATION

If we’re going to write a world that functions differently, we need to get granular, deep down in the mechanics, so that we can map a clear path from here to there.

We need to know how things work: how we generate power, how we use money, how we organise our politics differently, feed ourselves…

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NARRATIVE INCUBATION

Most of us write alone, but this is new: we’re writing whole new systems, not just reworkings of business as usual So, we’ll need to road test our ideas on each other, find their weak points, the logical and emotional pain points where the shift from old to new just doesn’t work. We’ll need to bounce ideas around, shatter them and remake them in ways that resonate with as many people as possible.

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DISSEMINATION GUIDANCE

We need to understand the current state of the industries that disseminate our writing in all its forms – and how to reach the audiences with whom our new narratives will resonate. 

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THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

We’re stepping into a world we don’t yet know. It’s inspiring and exciting, but it can also feel daunting – as if we have no solid ground. We’ll need the support of others who understand what’s at stake, and are sharing the journey with us, so that we can build, week on week, towards something different.

We’ll each find areas that fascinate us: the Thrutopia community offers the space and opportunity to connect with others who share our writerly obsessions – and want to dig deep with us.

Thrutopias need to be everywhere: in every television soap opera and documentary, in the Netflix binge-watched blockbusters, in movies, plays and radio dramas; in novels, and short stories; in poetry and song and long-form op-eds. They need to be in blogs, and on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok and filling the cascading time lines of Facebook and Twitter.

THE THRUTOPIA MASTERCLASS

What you will learn

Our aim is to give you the resources, resilience and inspiration to write world-changing, life-changing stories in the widest possible range of styles and structures.

And to provide you with the best advice on how to get them out in front of the biggest, most receptive audience.

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By the end of the course

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You will have gained a wide ranging grasp of changes that are happening now and a sense of how they could spin forward into a flourishing future if we make good choices.

You’ll know what those good choices are in all the fields we cover – and how to shape them into stories that work.

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You will understand the instincts behind our current hyper-polarisation so that you can shape narratives to appeal across the deepening chasms of our divides.

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You will have the resources and support network to help you hunt out more depth where you need it.

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You will have the inner resilience to encompass the challenges to your own belief-systems that new visions will need.

The concept of thrutopia says: Don't defer your dreams. We need those dreams now.

RUPERT READ – PROGENITOR OF THE THRUTOPIA CONCEPT

INSIDE THE MASTERCLASS

More details about each element of the course

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Spark Sessions in which an internationally renowned speaker will offer their vision(s) of inspiring near-term futures and how we can get there from here.

In these fortnightly sessions, our  speakers will offer their vision(s) of one or more potentially workable, liveable, inspiring near-term futures and how we could get there from here: the choices and changes we’d have made that lift us from our current trajectory to this different, more workable place.

Our remit is that our speakers offer us views of this future world in the 2030s.  They will be with us for an hour, speaking and taking questions from the Zoom room.

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The Masterclass – working with all that we've heard.

In this 90 minute session, we will explore, unpick, and re-weave the ideas, facts and images we’ve taken from the Spark Sessions into the building blocks for our own new, Thrutopian narratives.

We can only write worlds we can imagine: so here we will hone our ideas and begin to shape characters, situations, challenges and resolutions arising from them.

We’ll combine intimate small-group work in breakout rooms with larger sessions encompassing the whole group.

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Professional Priming sessions with industry professionals in publishing, film, television and theatre.

As we begin to create our Thrutopias, we will need the best, sharpest, most up to date insights into the industries that currently exist to bring the narratives to the wider world.  We will hold video presentations and conversations with industry professionals in publishing, film, television and theatre who will share their opinions and experience on how best to reach the widest, most and most engaged audiences.

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A co-creation community space

An essential part of the programme is our co-creation community  (accessible here on our website or on the Circle app)  where we will share our ideas in the flexible and supportive space we build together. You can create or join buddy groups in which to share ideas and find ways through writing problems.

We can form sub-groups to explore specific areas of interest whether that’s specific social, political, economic or technological ways of being, or modes of writing (drama, TV, movies, blogs, short-form video, novels) or simply buddy groups arising from the Zoom break-out groups who want to continue their conversations long after first meeting.

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Signposts for the Spirit: sessions to help connect us to the roots of our imagination and take us deeper into the creative heart of our work.

The roots of creativity lie deeper than our conscious minds.

This is the realm of the muse, of poetry and word-smithing, of the ancient myths and stories told around the fire by our ancestors going back thousands of generations.

Manda Scott will lead a guided visualisation or a meditation designed to go deeper than our conscious mind allows, helping us connect to the roots of our imagination and tap into the deeper wells of our own creativity.

We have invited Buddhist Monastic, Daniel Thorson, Regenerative land-worker Mary Reynaulds and narrative strategist Alina Siegfried to speak of their spiritual connections to life, land and words in subsequent sessions.

INSIDE THE MASTERCLASS

More details about each element of the course

E

Spark Sessions in which an internationally renowned speaker will offer their vision(s) of inspiring near-term futures and how we can get there from here.

The Spark Session is a fortnightly meeting in which our  speaker will offer their vision(s) of one or more potentially workable, liveable, inspiring near-term futures and how we could get there from here: the choices and changes we’d have made that lift us from our current trajectory to this different, more workable place.

Our remit is that our speakers offer us views of this future world in the 2030s.  They will be with us for an hour, speaking and taking questions from the Zoom room.

E

The Masterclass – working with all that we've heard.

In this 90 minute session, we will explore, unpick, and re-weave the ideas, facts and images we’ve taken from the Spark Sessions into the building blocks for our own new, Thrutopian narratives.

We can only write worlds we can imagine: so here we will hone our ideas and begin to shape characters, situations, challenges and resolutions arising from them.

We’ll combine intimate small-group work in breakout rooms with larger sessions encompassing the whole group.

E

Professional Priming sessions with industry professionals in publishing, film, television and theatre.

As we begin to create our Thrutopias, we will need the best, sharpest, most up to date insights into the industries that currently exist to bring the narratives to the wider world.  We will host video presentations and conversations with industry professionals in publishing, film and television and theatre who will share their opinions and experience on how best to reach the widest, most and most engaged audiences.

E

A co-creation community space

An essential part of the programme is our co-creation community  (accessible here on our website or on the Circle app)  where we will share our ideas in the flexible and supportive space we build together. You can create or join buddy groups in which to share ideas and find ways through writing problems.

We can form sub-groups to explore specific areas of interest whether that’s specific social, political, economic or technological ways of being, or modes of writing (drama, TV, movies, blogs, short-form video, novels) or simply buddy groups arising from the Zoom break-out groups who want to continue their conversations long after first meeting.

E

Signposts for the Spirit: sessions to help connect us to the roots of our imagination and take us deeper into the creative heart of our work.

The roots of creativity lie deeper than our conscious minds.

This is the realm of the muse, of poetry and word-smithing, of the ancient myths and stories told around the fire by our ancestors going back thousands of generations.

Manda Scott will lead a guided visualisation or a meditation designed to go deeper than our conscious mind allows, helping us connect to the roots of our imagination and tap into the deeper wells of our own creativity.

We have invited Buddhist Monastic, Daniel Thorson, Regenerative land-worker Mary Reynaulds and narrative strategist Alina Siegfried to speak of their spiritual connections to life, land and words in subsequent sessions.

How does it work?

The course began on 1st May 2022 and runs until October 16th 2022. Registration remains open for the time being. If you want to join, scroll down for information.

The 13 Spark/Masterclass sessions will take place on alternate Sunday evenings from 6pm-9pm UK time (BST).

Other sessions – Professional Priming, Spiritual Exploration and Guest Speakers –  will take place on the weeks between, either at weekends or occasionally on Wednesday evenings. These also begin at 6pm and will vary in length.

During the course you will have access to all live sessions and their recordings, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything.

You will have access to all recordings until the end of April 2023.

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What does it cost?

Registration remains open until the end of June.
Sessions are recorded so you can watch any you’ve missed as soon as you join.
You also gain immediate access to our lively online community.

Price – £495

DO YOU HAVE

Questions?

Who is this for?

If you are a writer in any form: of novels, short stories, screenplays, documentaries, poetry, stageplays, radioplays or songs – anything – then this is for you.

If you aspire to write any of the above you are also welcome, but please understand that we are not teaching the basics of writing. This is a masterclass and we presume that you understand how to write in your chosen form.

This is a ground-breaking masterclass offering idea generation, narrative incubation, dissemination guidance and a supportive community of fellow writers.

But does that include me?

Yes! You’ve got this far. You care about the issues. You have a desire to write. You are absolutely the kind of person this course was made for!

What if I miss a session? Are they recorded?

All sessions are recorded and will be available on the website soon after the session has ended.

You will have access to all these resources for the duration of the course and for a further 6 months following the completion of the teaching sessions so that collaborative groups within our community can continue to flourish.

Will you help edit my work?

Editing services are not included as part of the course.

However, we anticipate that groups within the community may well offer reciprocal editing between members.

We also have trained writing coaches supporting the sessions and you may be able to make private arrangements with them to pay for editing help if you require this.

How much time will I need for this?

The 13 Spark/Masterclass sessions run fortnightly on Sunday evenings from 6pm until 9pm UK time (with a break).

The Professional Priming sessions will be 1 hour long and may run on the Sundays between, or on a midweek evening.

How much time you spend on preparatory reading and working with what you’ve learned in between the sessions will be up to you.

The full calendar with dates will be available in the Course Hub for those who  have signed up.

Is this all online?

Yes – the course is run online.

In order to create a truly generative community we are limiting places.

The Spark sessions will air to the whole group with an option to ask questions of our speaker if you wish.

The Masterclass will create flexible breakout groups in smaller numbers so we can work through the ideas together.