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Show, Don’t Tell - Know how to let your writing flourish

By Shelley Kenigsberg

15 September 2018 (Sat)
9:30am – 5:30pm

Singapore Book Council Training Room
Singapore Book Council Training Room
90 Goodman Road, Blk E #03-32
Goodman Arts Centre
Singapore 439053

Course Fee: $200.00
Eventbrite Registration Fee: $6.99

This is a past course. View upcoming courses.

This course is applicable for the Capability Development Grant and eligible for SkillsFuture.

Show, Don’t Tell. You’ve heard it a hundred times, but what does this writing mantra mean, and how do you apply it to your work? The workshop will consider the use of exposition and descriptive writing as well as how to reveal character, plot and theme in a manner that evokes feeling and keeps the reader engaged.

Is it always true that we should show not tell? Is it okay to sometimes tell what has happened or will this just bore the reader or give them a predictable ‘blueprint’? Show, Don’t Tell is a matter of discerning just the right amount of summary and including the right number and types of scenes to create an enduring and dynamic narrative. 

How does ‘Showing’ and ‘Telling’ relate to scene-shaping and word choice, or dialogue or point of view? What’s the use of summarising and how much can we do that? How can knowing this help a writer craft a marketable novel or non-fiction work? All these questions will be answered...and more.

Participants will learn to:

  • Identify examples of ‘showing’ and ‘telling’ in writing
  • Apply the principles of ‘scene’ and ‘summary’, and use deep and vivid description, or summarise appropriately, to advance the plot and shape the work
  • Recognise and apply decisions of word choice; point of view; dialogue and other appropriate structural elements to bring out the best in your writing

Participants should bring samples of their own (or another’s) writing, where they think there’s a particularly powerful use of description and the story/character/mood etc has been shown to great effect.

Who Should Attend: Writers

About the Trainer: Shelley Kenigsberg

Shelley Kenigsberg

Shelley Kenigsberg is a prominent freelance editor, writer and trainer. She runs S K Publishing (working with a range of private and publishing clients) and, since 2009, has presented Editing in Paradise masterclass programmes. She is currently involved in training editors, mentoring writers, and editing and writing for trade, corporate, academic and educational, government and private clients.

Registration Details

Kinokuniya Privilege Card Members

Kinokuniya Privilege card members can enjoy 10% off the workshop fee.
Please provide your membership number and workshop title to [email protected] for the discount code before online registration.

Capability Development Grant

The Capability Development Grant is open to individuals and organisations who have a strong track record of involvement in the arts at a professional level, and is able to demonstrate commitment to the long-term development of the arts in Singapore.


Some workshops are eligible for the SkillsFuture Credit.

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above can use their SkillsFuture Credit from the government to pay for a wide range of approved skills-related courses. Visit the SkillsFuture Credit website  to choose from the courses available on the the SkillsFuture Credit course directory.

Participants can disburse partial or full course fees (excludes registration fees) in SkillsFuture Credits. 

For claiming the full course fee (exclude ticketing fee) in SkillsFuture Credit, please register for the course in Eventbrite and select 'Send Invoice' at the end of the online registration page. You are required email a screenshot of the approved claim to SBC before the start of the course and to make cash payment of the Eventbrite registration fee at the workshop.

If you use partial SkillsFuture  Credit to pay for the course fee, please sign in to your SkillsFuture account and after which email to [email protected] a screenshort of the approved claim and arrange for payment for the remaining course fee (including Eventbrite fee).

Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis and workshop fees must be paid before the workshop. If the minimum number of participants is not met for the class, the organisers will inform all participants about possible postponement and cancellation, two weeks before the workshop date.

Cancellation & Substitution

The workshop can be cancelled or postponed two weeks before the workshop date if the minimum number of participants is not met. Participants will be fully refunded for workshops cancelled by us.

Participants who are unable to attend a workshop they have registered for are to inform us of the reason two weeks before the workshop date. They will be fully refunded in the event of extenuating and mitigating circumstances (E.g. illness, bereavement, accidents) . Those who inform us up to five (5) working days before the workshop date will receive a 50% refund. Participants can also attend another course at the same value within the same year.

Upon registration, you are deemed to have read and understood the cancellation, withdrawal and substitution policy and accept the terms contained therein.