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Caroline Topperman

Caroline Topperman

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Caroline Topperman is a European-Canadian writer, entrepreneur, dancer, and world traveler. Born in Sweden, raised in Canada with a recent stint of living in Poland, she holds a BFA in screenwriting. Her book credits include, Tell Me What You See visual writing prompts for the wandering writer & FitWise: straight talk about being fit & healthy. She has written articles for Huffington Post Canada and was the Beauty Editor for British MODE Magazine. Her writing career also includes professional copy writing for a well-funded online start-up and real estate development websites. You can find her on Instagram & Twitter as @styleontheside
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Tell Me What You See. One Idea Press, 2019
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Tell Me What You See is the fresh perspective writers and creatives have been looking for. Rather than trying to work through the same written prompts when you catch a case of writer’s block, this interactive workshop offers photographs from around the world to spark your imagination. More than just providing writing prompts, Tell Me What You See inspires readers to take an extra second to absorb their surroundings. The workshop covers the core of the visual writing prompts technique, then guides the participants through the process of actually writing for several prompts and follows with a discussion of each one. As writers, we are always encouraged to show not tell and these exercises will teach participants how to see the world around them and examine the descriptive details in their own writing. 


Conclusion: By approaching writing from a visual angle, participants will have the opportunity to explore a new way of drawing on their creativity which will make them better writers and help them overcome writer’s block. Participants will learn how to step inside their created world, whether fiction or non-fiction and to really create memorable scenes and stories. 

Presentation Length:
2 - 2.5 hours
Writing - General
Audience Size:
Workshop Description:

Proposed Workshop Format: 

Welcome and background on why visual writing prompts are important for increasing our creativity and how we look at the world around us. This will include several techniques for relaxing and visualizing the image. 


Visual Prompt 1: I start with a photograph and give the participants a few minutes to write what they see. I then offer participants the opportunity to share their piece. This is often met with some resistance but they quickly realize that there is no right or wrong answer and that each one is creative in its own right, which breaks down barriers and inhibitions. 


Visual Prompt 2: I pass out a second photo and give participants a few minutes to write what they see. I offer participants the opportunity to share their piece. For this photo I will set the scene for participants so they have a different perspective. Participants will also be given the opportunity to comment on each other’s pieces. 


Visual Prompt 3: We create a story from one of the writing prompts as a group. Writers are comfortable writing, but speaking and hearing their ideas out loud will give them the opportunity to examine their vision from a new perspective. At this point we discuss the idea of showing rather than telling when writing.