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FREE | Creative Writing Workshop: Candy Gourlay and Eve Makis

December 17, 2021 @ 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm EST

Creative Writing Workshop- Candy Gourlay and Eve Makis
Creative Writing Workshop: Led by Eve Makis and in response to the film In My Blood it Runs (2019), directed by Maya Newell

About this event

Eve Makis invites you to join Candy Gourlay and take part in a Creative Writing workshop inspired by the film that we are screening as part of the Formations segment which pays attention to indigeneity and to Indigenous artists and writers worldwide.

Writing for young people is a constant exploration of the points where a character’s ordinary world and the reader’s ordinary world intersects. Candy Gourlay will briefly discuss the concept of the “ordinary world” in fiction and break down how she built her indigenous characters from historical readings and contemporary insight. Using some research Candy is doing on her current novel, participants will write a short scene under time pressure, share, and discuss.

In My Blood, it Runs

Ten-year-old Dujuan is a child-healer, a good hunter, and speaks three languages. As he shares his wisdom of history and the complex world around him we see his spark and intelligence. Yet Dujuan is ‘failing’ in school and facing increasing scrutiny from welfare and the police. As he travels perilously close to incarceration, his family fight to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education lest he becomes another statistic. We walk with him as he grapples with these pressures, shares his truths, and somewhere in-between finds space to dream, imagine and hope for his future self.

In My Blood, It Runs was shot in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Sandy Bore Homeland, and Borroloola Community, Northern Territory, Australia over three and a half years. However the director, Maya has been making films alongside Arrernte Elders and families at two Arrernte-led NGOs, Akeyulerrre and Children’s Ground for over a decade preceding the inception of this film. In My Blood, It Runs rose organically from those relationships, and the film team wants to acknowledge the deep trust and support from these core partner organizations who backed the telling of this story.

For more information, resources, and interviews with the cast, see the film’s official website:


Candy Gourlay was born in the Philippines, grew up under a dictatorship, and met her British husband during a revolution. In trying to write for children who, like her, do not normally see themselves between the covers of a book, Candy has discovered a passion for the histories of cultures intersecting with other cultures. In her award-winning debut novel Tall Story, she lightly explores the impact of the migration phenomenon that has pushed many Filipino mothers to leave their families. In Shine, listed for the Guardian Prize, she asks why people leave and why people stay. These explorations led to her Costa and Carnegie shortlisted novel Bone Talk, set at the moment when headhunting tribes in the Philippines came face to face with the American invasion of 1899. Her latest book tries to hilariously explain the forces that led to European exploration of the East Indies (which Candy only latterly realized includes the Philippines) via a comics biography illustrated by Tom Knight of the explorer Ferdinand Magellan, credited with “discovering” the Philippines among other places. Her first picture book, Is It a Mermaid, lushly illustrated by Francesca Chessa, plays with the story that European sailors first encountering bulbous sea cows in the shallows of Southeast Asian islands mistook them for mermaids.

Eve Makis is the author of four novels, a life-writing guide, and an award-winning screenplay. She’s the recipient of the Young Booksellers International Book of the Year Award and the Aurora Mardiganian Gold Medal, her works shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. She teaches fiction on the MA in creative writing at Nottingham Trent University.




Virtual Event


Bonnington Gallery
0115 848 8651
View Organizer Website

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