Events Listings

Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy

Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy

Title: Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Course
Location: MadLab
Description: Using miniature accessories, students will be encouraged to anthropomorphise their mice. Standing, sitting or sleeping, holding a small pipe or book, donning a top hat or a tricorn, we will transform your mice into a fun parody of human life.
Dates: Friday 18th April 2014
Time: 10:00-14:00 (Morning Session) 16:00-20:00 (Evening Session)

 

 

The term taxidermy comes from Latin meaning ‘moving skin’. In this 4-hour workshop, students will learn how to skin and stuff a mouse, wire up limbs and learn the basics of preservation.

Anthropomorphic is the attribution of human characteristics onto animals, nature or inanimate objects. Using miniature accessories, students will be encouraged to anthropomorphise their mice. Standing, sitting or sleeping, holding a small pipe or book, donning a top hat or a tricorn, we will transform your mice into a fun parody of human life.

About the Course Leader

Margot Magpie is a member of the UK Guild for Taxidermists. She teaches mouse, hamster, guinea pig, bird and rabbit taxidermy across the UK, including the Last Tuesday Society in London. Her work has appeared on tour with Lana Del Rey, at the Science Museum and she has designed taxidermy fascinators for musician Amanda Palmer. She blogs about her thoughts and experiences at ofcorpsetaxidermy.wordpress.com

Booking

This course has sold out. To stay informed about future courses, get in touch at office@madlab.org.uk

WordPress for Beginners

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
WordPress

WordPress For Beginners

Title: Beginning WordPress
Location: MadLab
Description: A hands-on introductory course to building a website or blog with WordPress.
Date: 1st & 2nd May 2014 (Thursday & Friday)
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:30
Booking: Grab a spot here, or drop us an email at office@madlab.org.uk

 

 

 

 

A hands-on introductory course to building a website or blog with WordPress

We’re thrilled to tell you that WordPress co-founder Mike Little will be leading our two-day introduction to the site.

WordPress is the publishing platform of choice for more than 73 million websites and blogs – including some of the most high-profile sites in the world. It has a Content Management System (CMS) market share of 54%. WordPress is quick to install, and simple to get started on, with little configuration and setup.

But, as an incredibly powerful web publishing platform, it takes some knowledge to truly get the best out of it.

This course will give you a great start. It will take you from the installation of the software, adding content (including multimedia), interacting with your reader, through customising the look and enhancing the functionality of your site.

Who will benefit from this class?

This class is ideal for someone who wants to set up their first website, whether you have heard of WordPress or not. If you have heard about blogging and want to start your own blog, this course will get you started.

If you have a small business – maybe, for example you’re involved in a scout group or local church and you want to get started with a web site – this course will be ideal for you.

You might be a freelance journalist wanting to show off some of your writing, an acupuncturist hoping to attract more clients, or a gardener finding small ads in the free paper less and less effective.

You may have already tried to set up WordPress but got lost in the technical stuff.

This course will set you back on the right track.

Who uses WordPress?

Government

Media

Commercial

Personal

More examples of WordPress powered sites

Course syllabus

Day one

  1. Introduction To WordPress: What is WordPress? A little history
  2. Installing WordPress: Demonstration
  3. Anatomy of a website: Headers, footers and sidebars
  4. Exercise: Sketch your site layout
  5. The WordPress Dashboard: Logging in and looking around
  6. Content types: Posts, pages and more
  7. Publishing your first content: It’s that easy!
  8. Exercise: Adding content to your site
  9. The look of your site
  10. Exercise: Changing things around

Day two

  1. Settings: Configuring WordPress just how you want it
  2. Comments: Engaging with your readers
  3. Exercise: Commenting and moderation
  4. Plugins: Playing with plugins
  5. Exercise: Logging in and looking around
  6. Installing themes
  7. Exercise: Trying some themes
  8. Multiple users: Let someone else do some work
  9. Exercise: Co-authoring, editing, and workflow
  10. Free for all, Q&A, show & tell

 

Equipment you’ll need

  • Please bring a laptop computer with Windows, Linux or Mac OS installed (if you do not have your own laptop and would like to borrow one from a friend or family, that’s ok, too! You will not need to install any software, but you should have a modern web browser installed. Our preference is for the latest version of Firefox or Google Chrome, but the latest Internet Explorer or Opera will be fine too).
  • You may want to bring some sample images that you will be able to upload to your website as you follow along on the course.
  • If you feel more comfortable using an external mouse, please bring one, too.

Learning outcomes

After completing the class, you will have:

  • The ability to install and configure WordPress on a hosting account
  • An understanding of the main content types of WordPress and their differences
  • The ability to configure WordPress to your preferences
  • An understanding of how to tweak your theme settings and alter the look of your site
  • The ability to install new themes and plugins in to your WordPress site
  • An understanding of how to make your site more secure

Costs and times

£200 for the full course. You will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials. You will also receive one month’s free hosting courtesy of MadLab to test and refine your site. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

About the course tutor

Mike Little is the co-founder of WordPress, and founder and CEO of zed1.com ltd, a WordPress specialist web development consultancy. He has developed many web sites for his clients (WordPress-based, of course) including a number of prominent UK government websites. His background is in software development and has more than 25 years’ under his belt, many at the most senior levels. He is a member of Mensa, a published author, technical editor, and a member of the Usability Professionals Association.

Booking

You can book a place on EventBrite

Alternatively, if you would like to be invoiced, please contact office@madlab.org.uk

Intermediate WordPress

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
WordPress

Intermediate WordPress

Title: Intermediate WordPress
Start Date: 5th & 6th June 2014 (Thursday & Friday)
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:30
Booking: Grab a spot here, or drop us an email at office@madlab.org.uk

WordPress is the publishing platform of choice for more than 73 million websites and blogs – including some of the most high-profile sites in the world. It has a Content Management System (CMS) market share of 54%.

This intermediate course takes your WordPress site to the next level. You will learn how to thoroughly customise themes, find the right plugin for your needs, understand the different requirements for mobile platforms (smartphones/ tablets) and how to unleash the full power and potential of this CMS platform. Mike’s hands-on course will teach you WordPress best practice, SEO strategies, security tips and caching techniques. You’ll get started with e-commerce and find out about little-known and useful features of WordPress – and all from the man who helped create it in the first place.

Who will benefit from this class?

You may already have a WordPress site or two but you want yours to be better than the rest.

You may be contemplating spending several thousand pounds on hiring a developer/ designer for your new company website.

Total beginners should go on our WordPress for Beginners course.

What you need to be familiar with

If you want to work on an existing WordPress site you are more than welcome, but we will provide a pre-installed site for up to a month for all attendees.

This course is aimed at those who’ve already got to grips with the WordPress CMS. You’ll don’t need any programming experience, but a little CSS knowledge is useful.

Course syllabus

Day one

  1. Introduction To WordPress: What is WordPress? A little history
  2. Recap of the WordPress basics: Posts, pages and all that jazz
  3. Settings in depth: More ways to configure your site
  4. Advanced posts and pages: Featured images, the kitchen sink, paging and more
  5. Exercise: Getting to grips with the WordPress Editor
  6. The Image Editor: Make your own thumbnails
  7. Themes, Widgets and Menus in depth: Learning the building blocks
  8. CSS introduction: An overview and some useful tools
  9. Pulling it all together: Improving the look of your site
  10. Exercise: Customising your theme with CSS

Day two

  1. Security: Hosting, plugins and good habits
  2. Caching: Make your site fly!
  3. Exercise: Security and caching plugins
  4. SEO – an overview: The strange art of Search Engine Optimisation
  5. Anti-spam techniques: Akismet and beyond
  6. Jetpack in depth: Juicy goodness form WordPress.com
  7. Exercise: Getting to know Jetpack
  8. E-commerce – an overview: An intro to selling your stuff
  9. More useful tools and plugins

Equipment you’ll need

  • Please bring a laptop computer with Windows, Linux or Mac OS installed. You will not need to install any software, but you should have a modern web browser. Our preference is for the latest version of Firefox or Google Chrome, but the latest Internet Explorer or Opera will be fine too
  • For part of the course you will need Firefox or Google Chrome
  • You may want to bring some sample images that you will be able to upload to your website as the course progresses
  • If you feel more comfortable using an external mouse, please bring one with you

Learning outcomes

After completing the class, you will have:

  • In-depth knowledge about WordPress configuration
  • A suite of plugins to enhance your site to your needs
  • The ability to configure WordPress to your preferences
  • The ability to use industry-standard developer tools
  • An understanding of site security and Search Engine Optimisation
  • Practical knowledge of advanced plugins

This is a very practical hands-on course where you will complete exercises, ask questions and engage in discussions to make the most of the time.

Costs and times

The course costs £200. You will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and programmes. You will also receive one month’s free hosting courtesy of MadLab to test and refine your site. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

About the course tutor

Mike Little is the co-founder of WordPress, and founder and CEO of zed1.com ltd, a WordPress specialist web development consultancy. He has developed many web sites for his clients (WordPress-based, of course) including a number of prominent UK government websites. His background is in software development and has more than 25 years’ under his belt, many at the most senior levels. He is a member of Mensa, a published author, technical editor, and a member of the Usability Professionals Association.

Booking

You can book a place on EventBrite

Alternatively, if you would like to be invoiced, please contact office@madlab.org.uk

Advanced WordPress

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
WordPress

Advanced WordPress

Title: Advanced WordPress
Location: MadLab
Description: This advanced course takes your WordPress skills to the next level.
Start Date: 3rd & 4th July 2014 (Thursday & Friday)
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:30
Booking: Grab a spot here, or drop us an email at office@madlab.org.uk

 

 

 

 

We’re thrilled to tell you that WordPress co-founder Mike Little will be leading our two-day course.

WordPress is the publishing platform of choice for more than 73 million websites and blogs – including some of the most high-profile sites in the world. It has a Content Management System (CMS) market share of 54%.

This advanced course takes your WordPress skills to the next level. You will learn: how to build sophisticated websites for yourself and your clients, how to customise and brand administration screens, how to build an e-commerce site, and how to create events booking and membership sites. You’ll get an insight into choosing the right production and marketing tools for your needs. You’ll build a truly unique theme using WordPress child theme capabilities.

Who will benefit from this class?

This course is aimed at those who’ve already got to grips with the WordPress CMS. You’ll need to have some programming know-how, but in-depth expertise isn’t essential.

This advanced course is ideal for those who are already comfortable building WordPress sites but are looking to work in the field professionally – perhaps wanting to make a living building WordPress sites or creating more sophisticated WordPress sites. It will help those wanting to take control of your current WordPress site and fully understand its capabilities. Marketing and promotional companies looking to take their clients’ sites further will also benefit, as well as those who want to bring their website creation and maintenance in-house.

What you need to be familiar with

You’ll don’t need any programming experience, but a little CSS knowledge is useful. You need to know how to use a text editor and a FTP programme.

If you think this course is too advanced, please take a look at the Intermediate WordPress or WordPress for Beginners course.

Course syllabus

Day one

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of theme: Theme frameworks, child themes, and vertical themes
  3. Advanced theming: Anatomy of a child theme
  4. Exercise: Let’s create a child theme
  5. Functions.php: Media sizes and some useful snippets of PHP code
  6. Exercise: Beefing up Twenty Eleven
  7. E-commerce in depth: Eshop and WooCommerce
  8. Event Management: Events, calendars and tickets
  9. Advanced content plugins: Types and views

Day two

  1. Multiple users in depth: Adding workflow and responsibilities
  2. Multi-site and BuddyPress: Building a community or social network
  3. Third-party authentication: Logging-in with Facebook and Twitter
  4. Building a membership site: Overview and some useful plugins
  5. Production tools: Branding the admin screens
  6. Marketing tools: Stats, mailing lists, and more
  7. Enhancing the admin for your clients: Some useful tools and plugins
  8. Free for all, Q&A, show & tell

Equipment you’ll need

  • Please bring a laptop computer with Windows, Linux or Mac OS installed. You will not need to install any software, but you should have a modern web browser. Our preference is for the latest version of Firefox or Google Chrome, but the latest Internet Explorer or Opera will be fine too
  • You will need a text editor. We suggest
    1. Windows: Notepad++(free), EditPad Lite (free)
    2. Mac: Text Wrangler (free), Textmate (£), Coda (££), Expresso (££)
    3. Linux: Bluefish (free), KompoZer (free)
  • You will need a FTP program. We suggest - FileZilla
  • You may want to bring some sample images that you will be able to upload to your website as the course progresses
  • If you feel more comfortable using an external mouse, please bring one with you

Learning outcomes

After completing the class, you will have:

  • The ability to install and configure WordPress on a hosting account
  • Built an e-commerce site
  • Customise administration themes, and built a child theme
  • Learnt how to configure a WordPress multi-site
  • Learnt how to choose the right marketing and monitoring tools

By the end of this course you will have the insight and skills to build sophisticated, branded and customised web sites for yourself and/or your clients.

Costs and times

The course costs £300. You will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and programmes. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

About the course tutor

Mike Little is the co-founder of WordPress, and founder and CEO of zed1.com ltd, a WordPress specialist web development consultancy. He has developed many web sites for his clients (WordPress-based, of course) including a number of prominent UK government websites. His background is in software development and has more than 25 years’ under his belt, many at the most senior levels. He is a member of Mensa, a published author, technical editor, and a member of the Usability Professionals Association.

Booking

You can book a place on EventBrite

Alternatively, if you would like to be invoiced, please contact office@madlab.org.uk

Short Story Writing Course

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Short Story Writing

Short Story Writing

Title: Short Story Writing
Description: Course exploring the short story.
Dates: Monday evenings: 14th April, 12th May, 9th June, 14th July, 11th August, 8th September
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00
Booking: : This course has sold out. To stay informed about future courses, get in touch at office@madlab.org.uk

About the Course

Over the course of six workshops, you’ll be introduced to the three predominant narrative structures used by short story writers and learn how to apply them in your own work. Completing set writing tasks – and receiving structured, peer-driven feedback – you’ll develop three stories to completion, and get in-course tutor feedback on at least two of them. You’ll receive tailored advice on how to shape the story and how to improve characterisation, dialogue and narrative voice. In particular the course will focus on the second major type of short story – the lyrical story – as this will be the focus of Comma’s next ‘new author’ showcase anthology.

Workshop 1: Exploring the short story form and finding ideas 
In this session we’ll discuss the form and how and why it can be so powerful. There will be exercises to generate ideas and we’ll look at how you can develop a writing routine, giving you a grounding for the rest of the course. There will be a set task to get you started with writing your first story.
Workshop 2: Using compelling images
We’ll explore the use of images in the lyrical short story through discussion of texts and writing exercises. We’ll workshop your first story, giving you the chance to receive feedback from your tutor and peers. A set task will help you start work on a lyrical short story.
Workshop 3: Developing characters and narrative voice
We’ll look at characters in lyrical short stories and explore narrative voice using stories from the reading list and your own work. We’ll workshop work in progress on your lyrical story.
Workshop 4: Working with other short story structures
We’ll explore the epical and artifice story structures through discussion of texts and short writing tasks. We’ll workshop your completed lyrical story. You’ll start work on a third story, choosing one of the three story structures to focus on.
Workshop 5: Redrafting and writing skills
We’ll workshop your third story and focus on redrafting techniques. We’ll also brush up on essential writing skills to get your stories ready for submission to publishers.
Workshop 6: Publishing short stories
There will be a final opportunity to workshop your work. We will look at current markets for short stories and ways to increase your chances of having work accepted for publication. We’ll discuss next steps for developing your writing.

 

About the Tutor

Claire Dean’s stories have been published in The Best British Short Stories, Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About Birds, Still, Shadows & Tall Trees and elsewhere. ‘Marionettes’ and ‘Into the Penny Arcade’ are published as chapbooks by Nightjar Press. A collection of Claire’s new fairy tales is due out from Unsettling Wonder in Spring 2014. She lives in Lancashire with her two young sons.

Booking

This course has sold out. To stay informed about future courses, get in touch at office@madlab.org.uk

Reading List

‘The Sandman’ by E.T.A Hoffman
http://commapress.co.uk/resources/online-short-stories/the-sandman/
‘Bliss’ by Katherine Mansfield
http://www.katherinemansfieldsociety.org/assets/KM-Stories/BLISS1918.pdf
‘The Loss’ by David Constantine
http://commapress.co.uk/content/audio/davidconstantinetheloss.mp3
‘The Fly’ by Katherine Mansfield
http://commapress.co.uk/resources/online-short-stories/the-fly
‘The Man of the Crowd’ by Edgar Allan Poe
http://www.cf.ac.uk/encap/skilton/fiction/poe01.html
‘Comma’ by Hilary Mantel
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/aug/14/hilary-mantel-summer-short-story
‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson
http://www.newyorker.com/online/2008/11/17/081117on_audio_homes
‘A Painful Case’ by James Joyce
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2814/2814-h/2814-h.htm
‘Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka
https://librivox.org/the-metamorphosis-by-franz-kafka/
‘Testicular Cancer vs. The Behemoth’ by Adam Marek
http://commapress.co.uk/resources/adammarektesticularcancer.mp3/
‘A Stone Woman’ by A.S. Byatt
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/10/13/031013fi_fiction?currentPage=all