Reading as Inspiration: Fiction as a Springboard – a Generative Workshop

This one-day generative fiction workshop invites you to conjure new story ideas through the close examination of passages from contemporary novels by women & non-binary people of colour. You will be galvanized to write via a series of reading-related prompts, asking you to emulate style, explore imagery, refashion themes, transform characters, and shift perspectives.

Through pre-workshop reading, lively in-group discussion, and a series of tailored creative writing exercises, this course presents reading not as passive consumption but as inherently productive; a creative experience that can catalyze reader-writers in new imaginative directions. Writing will take place in short bursts throughout the day and everyone will leave with nine story ideas and inspiration for many more.

Pre-Workshop Reading

This hybrid creative-critical workshop requires that you engage with selected novel passages beforehand to maximize time for deeper discussion and creative writing within the workshop. Passages and questions will be emailed one week prior, whereas writing prompts will be delivered on the day.


The material for this workshop is based on Divya Ghelani’s 2020 New Fiction By Women and Non-Binary People Of Colour Summer Reading Series*. It includes work by Akwaeke Emezi, Hanya Yanagihara, Diane Evans, Sharon Dodua Otoo, Meena Kandasamy, Sayaka Murata, Leila Slimani, Celeste Ng, and Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (who was the commissioned illustrator for this series, and whose watercolour paintings will form part of the prompts!).

*Please note that you do not have to read any of the selected novels or previously taken Divya’s course in order to benefit from this writing workshop.


This course is open to all levels and is particularly suited to fiction writers looking to generate new ideas. Writers of colour, working class, LGBTQ+, disability, and anyone who believes their stories aren’t being heard are warmly invited.


Email to reserve your seat.


DIVYA GHELANI holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and an MPhil in Literary Studies from the University of Hong Kong. Her novel-in-progress has been longlisted and shortlisted for four literary awards. She has published short stories and judged story and flash fiction competitions. Her words are in Issue 1 of The Good Journal and she is represented by The Good Literary Agency.


“Divya’s workshop helped me not only to expand my writing skills, but also to find amazing like-minded writers and a warm community! Thank you the Reader Berlin for breaking distance barriers, challenging difficult times, and bringing this opportunity to me.”

“Divya is an excellent teacher and the class has inspired me in so many ways. I feel much more confident and am attempting to publish things for the first time ever! I always looked forward to Tuesday evenings.” —AMSF

“As an emerging writer, I find that I often struggle with finding a community to exchange experiences and inside knowledge with. The Reader Berlin offers exactly that community and Divya the inside knowledge. I’d do the course all over again, in a heartbeat.” —Francesca F.

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