Territory: Charting Out Settings in Stories


When writing a story, do you face problems in creating a vivid and plausible environment for your characters to inhabit? If so, then this workshop is for you. Not only will you gain tips on how to bring alive on paper settings that you are familiar with, but also some pointers on how to venture into the unknown and develop imaginary or historical settings that are beyond your everyday experience. By the end of the workshop, you will be better equip to bring your readers into the various universes of your imagination.

Pre-Workshop Preparation

For Participants

  • Please bring pen/pencil/paper and/or your own laptop/tablet.

For Organisers

Please provide:

  • a quiet, fair-sized room that allows all participants to sit (with writing surfaces), preferably in a large circle or U-shape formation
  • a table on which the facilitator can display various writing stimuli
  • a large whiteboard/flipchart and pens
  • pens/pencil s& paper for participants who fail to bring their own writing equipment
  • make copies of handouts that will be emailed to prior to the workshop.


Participants' Feedback


What aspects of this workshop benefitted you the most?

"1. The writing and critique. 2. The wonderful selection of material. 3. The process of self-discovery."

Chai Yet Har

"Wonderful! Never knew 'settings' could be used in such a powerful way to tell a story!"

Shirley Ting

"Awareness of techniques and perspectives of other writers."


"The techniques discussed and the exercises.
Reminds me to: Write. Step back. Revise."

Nur-El-Hudaa Jaffar

"Awareness of SETTING in  a story — I am usually character driven. Different ways to craft setting.
It's difficult but I'll keep trying/writing."


"The writing exercises, importance of details, not just sensory, to create a dream in the reader's mind; the use of verbs & adjectives."


"Rhythmic techniques. Creating and sustaining settings."

Jazreel Lim

About the Facilitator

A Singaporean writer, editor, storyteller and theatre practitioner, Verena Tay has published a short story collection, Spectre: Stories from Dark to Light (2012), and three play collections, and edited various fiction anthologies, including the bestselling Balik Kampung series of short stories published by Math Paper Press. She possesses three Masters: English Literature (National University of Singapore, 1993); Voice Studies (Central School of Speech and Drama, London, 2005); and Creative Writing (City University of Hong Kong, 2015). Since 2005, she has been helping people to improve their communication skills and has taught voice, speech and presentation skills, storytelling and creative writing.