Scrittura Sensoriale: Writing With Your Senses


An interactive and enlightening experience of writing using sensory prompts: from food, art and our environment.

Writing with your senses help produce descriptive and engaging writing. As a writing tool, using sensory stimulus (smell, texture, taste, sight and sound) enables the writer to recall memories, tap into emotions and ignite creativity. The course will be a series of exposure to writing prompts and very brief explanations to allow maximum time for practice and feedback as a group.

The Program:

Lecture 1 – Writing with smell 

In this lecture we will describe free writing and the function of free writing to produce quantity vs quality. Explain the senses and why they are useful in creative writing. Describe how senses relate to each other and how smell is crucial for flavor.

We will use an aroma kit to speak about smell, use spices to learn how flavor is determined by smell, and write using these stimuli.

Lecture 2 – Writing with touch 

This lecture is about the sense of touch, about texture and paying attention to physical sensations. This is about physical sensation of touch, tactility, but also temperature and humidity.

We will write about all tactile sensations, by paying attention to how we feel on our feet, in our clothes, or outside, and by picking up objects with different textures. 

Lecture 3 – Writing with taste 

The Proustian moment has become a reference for the way we think about taste and memory. We see this in literature but also in films (think about the last scene in Ratatouille).

In this lecture we will taste food, write about our memories, talk about the experience, and share our writing. 

Lecture 4 – Writing with sound

Onomatopoeia is creating a word that phonetically imitates a sound. We will use it in a text, replacing existing words with sounds and discuss the effect. 

Another way to talk about sound is to compare it to something else. Metaphors and similes help us achieve this. We will practice writing down good descriptions of sounds without using adjectives by using similes and metaphors.

Lecture 5 – Writing with sight 

Writing with sight means paying attention. By paying attention to details and recounting these we can allow the reader to visualize what we describe, to see the same thing.

In this lecture we will use art to guide us. We will view a painting and create a list of things we notice about it. We will write down colors, shapes, and details, as specifically as we can. Out of these, we will pick the three most interesting things we noticed, and using those we will write a description of the painting. This will be a great exercise to pay attention and describe unusual or specific details in our writing.