Workshops

Foot in the door!

Foot in the door!

Writing and publishing.

The all-inclusive package. From the basics of professional writing such as plot, premise, conflict structure, character design, setting and questions of style the workshop goes right through the reality and the structure of the real existing literary establishment. Who publishes what and why? What makes editors and publishers tick? What role do marketing and target group analysis play? Why do I need an agency? But also: Why is there a place for every good text in the rich publishing landscape?
The participants learn to present themselves and their text, to write exposés, to put together pitch papers and to avoid faux pas which have to be avoided in order to be taken seriously by publishing houses and editorial offices.
All fields are rounded off by insights into practical psychology and rhetoric, which can be used both for the design of characters and dialogues as in real life at the book fair, your own reading or at the elevator pitch.

Realizing book projects

Realizing book projects

Learning to judge your own work.

The garage. In this seminar, texts and book projects of the participants will collaboratively be tuned in terms of content, concept and style and checked to see if and for whom they might be interesting. At the end of the analysis and the in-depth review, the planned project is either saleable or the work process has led to the realization that one could try something completely different.
At the end of the day there is always hope: if the quality is right, each book will find its own individual path.
The seminar helps to learn to assess one's own abilities correctly and provides the necessary tools to to improve skills. The orientation is always close to the potential product. Is it really a novel, or rather an autobiography? Would the subject be better told as a non-fiction book? And what the hell makes high literature high literature?

Close to the offspring

Close to the offspring

Writing for children and youth.

Targeting the target group. Youth literature is in rapid change. Inclusion, migration and social media lead to to a completely new situation at school and require lower-threshold reading. In the wide field between the so-called simple language and the classic youth novel, the publishers are developing fresh intermediate forms and market segments. Parts of the young audience demand material that reflects their everyday life on the net as well as the dramatic principles of Netflix series or the wordplays of hiphop. Others, on the other hand, are now even more eager to extensively staged fantasy worlds.
This workshop shows how youth between 10 and 18 years of age can actually be reached at all these levels - based on the experience of many novels which are already teaching material, as well as more than 750 performances in schools so far, where one can see first hand if the youth will buy something from you.

Kill your darlings!

Kill your darlings!

The art of shortening.

The overcoming. Who, at the thought of having to radically tighten his beloved work, sweats out or gets feelings of defiance is right in this class. As a writer in entertaining literature, a journalist for many formats and a copywriter for advertising in business and culture, Oliver Uschmann has learned one thing after 250.000 pages - just the ability to shorten distinguishes the professional from the amateur. It is astonishing how much shortening a text can tolerate and how much can be saved just by recognizing filler words, phrases or explanations of the already obvious.
In addition, the workshop teaches the ability to put your own text on the operating table. Which scenes can, yes must go? Which characters are unnecessary? How can I see if my plot works within half of the space? In the end you will realize that every text gains in size when it loses volume.

I speak, therefore I am

I speak, therefore I am

Communication and rhetoric.

The training. For everyday life. For the job. For a better understanding of your own appearance and even your cv with all its strange self-sabotage. Language is more than just an instrument for depicting reality: it creates it. How we name things and, above all, how we meet others in communication is decisive about our role in the community, our self-image and our world view. How do I present myself every day? Why do some call me by my nickname and others not? How do I meet colleagues and friends and why am I perceived as I am perceived?
Based on prepared scenes and individual experiences, the participants are trained how to apply the new knowledge profitably in practice. The non-verbal signals of gestures and intonation as well as efficient tricks from the craft case of suggestion are also a topic.

The script of life

The script of life

Transactional Analysis for character design.

The psychology. The Transactional Analysis developed by Eric Berne deals with the ego states of human beings and provides information about the many ways in which an individual dialogue or a longer relationship between people can take shape: in real life as well as in fiction. The concept of games that adults play offers a cornucopia of options for drama or comedy. Marriage games, sex games, party games, family games. Roles which you take over and over again. Self-sabotage. Conflicts that end badly for both sides and after which all actors are strangely addicted, because their gambling profit lies in the fact that the script of their own life is being confirmed.
The seminar introduces all the key terms and mechanisms of Transactional Analysis and makes them productive for character design.

The master baker

The master baker

Practice and writing of journalism.

The insight. What bread I eat, the song I sing. Whoever enters journalism, soon finds himself working as a zealous order confectioner or only, under time pressure, pushing dough pieces into the oven, which have been delivered by the news agencies.
If you are completely unscrupulous, you can create artificial sensations for the boulevard or plant underwater bombs to create waves of outrage.
Anyone with a conscience writes for high-profile niche magazines, but must also be familiar with the program, writing style and target group expectations to the respective milieu.
Building good stories can be learned just in case. But the real art lies in recognizing that even you yourself have spent your entire life in a filter bubble. To throw all truths overboard and actually work open-minded and investigative, makes the master baker, even if the result doesn't suit you.
This course shows how this can be done. At your own risk.

Reality for Germanists

Reality for Germanists

Get to know the professional fields.

The preparation. If you ask students of German Studies about their desired professions, you will usually get the same answer. Journalism, television, theatre, editing or even literary writing. They want to enter the media business or at least the cultural institutions of the country; only a few aspire to an academic career. Unfortunately, everything is equally hard: the editorial offices of the publishing houses are occupied by lateral entrants, access to editorial offices outside the local press remains reserved for a minority. But even if the step into the dream job is successful, it turns out to be a normal job and craft.
So it is time to bring two realities into the safe space of university through this seminar. First, how not glamorous the reality of dream jobs actually looks like. Second: What a Germanist can or must do for a living if the doors to the profession of your choice remain closed.

The Proceß of research

The Proceß of research

Reading Kafka.

The specialized seminar. Around 55.000 publications are devoted to Kafka's work, a large part of which are about his most important novel (-fragment) Der Proceß. On the basis of exemplary examples it is shown how the flood of interpretation can be broken down into a few channels, if you have learned to read the market of opinions once. What approaches and intentions do the interpreters pursue? Do they put Kafka on the psychologist's couch, decipher his aesthetics or celebrate him as a subversive thorn in the flesh of the existing order? The seminar destroys the illusion of an uninterested interpretation and gives insight into how literary theory is made. It is literary studies and explanation of literary theory in one. In addition, the reading of the novel is not only accompanied by the comments of the interpreters, but also by Kafka himself. Insights into his life practice make references to writing problems still valid today and show the column saint as a human being.