Creative writing with Dutch author Vrouwkje Tuinman

How do these people know each other? Why is the one young woman looking to the side? Who or what is she looking at? Why are they posing the way they do? Is this their car? Where and why is this picture taken?

Formulating these and more questions about this intriguing picture led our current finalists to writing a synopsis of a potential backstory, expertly guided by Vrouwkje Tuinman, novelist and poet, who had just published her latest collection of poems contemplating the loss of her long-term partner, former City of Amsterdam poet laureate F. Starink.

Starink is known for writing poetry and performing at funeral services for lonely and unknown people. Vrouwkje Tuinman posthumously finished his last manuscript about this remarkable and laudable initiative.

The 2-hour session with our finalists did not involve death and mourning, but rather various techniques for creating stories based on the above picture, and a range of key words. Students enjoyed playing around with this and listening to each other’s creations.

We are working with our current Harting exchange student to publish these stories at the Utrecht University student writing platform, so watch this space!