Fiona Mason – Co-Director/Tutor
Fiona has been a compulsive scribbler since childhood, but being widowed in her forties was the catalyst for deciding it was time to take her writing more seriously. Her first book, written whilst completing an MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths, is a work of life-writing called 36 Hours and was shortlisted for the Pat Kavanagh Prize. She co-founded Word After Word to share her love of writing and language with others.
Fiona is an RD1st/Culture At Work Accredited Coach and member of the Association for Coaching, a member of Lapidus, the Writing for Wellbeing organisation, and a Professional member of NAWE, the National Association of Writers in Education. She is also a qualified yoga and relaxation teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga.
“What I love about teaching creative writing is nurturing new talent, supporting writers as they develop a voice and watching them gain in confidence as they begin to express themselves fully on the page. I think writing has a huge role to play in developing creativity in the most general sense, plus (although some struggling writers might disagree) I think it’s good for your health! I’m particularly interested in writing for wellbeing and using this as a practice to support people at times of transition in their lives.”
Alongside her writing practice Fiona has worked in the arts since 1995 as a producer, fundraiser and arts consultant, collaborating with, producing and mentoring world-class national and international artists in contemporary dance, music and theatre, curating and programming contemporary music, and supporting organisations across art forms.
“I’m at my happiest between mountains and sea, moving through the wild places and mapping the human traces, on foot or by bike. This is when the best ideas bubble up and I can savour the taste of words landing on my tongue.”
Follow Fi on twitter @fi_mason
Andrew L Reynolds – Co-Director/Tutor
Andrew L Reynolds is a fiction writer. His most recent work, a speculative fiction thriller set in a near-future London, was written whilst completing a novel writing MA at City University.
Writing has always been his guilty pleasure, and Andrew has a life-long love of all things crime, thriller, sci-fi and fantasy. Everything from books to cinema to computer games and tabletop role-playing became lessons in storytelling.
“The power of fiction gets underestimated by many, yet in fiction we get to travel to unknowable places and have vicarious experiences we can’t have, or hope never to have, in the real world. We can uncover truths about human nature without attacking the dignity of real people. For me the best fiction goes beyond pure entertainment. It has the power to reach inside the darkest recesses of our minds and to challenge the way we think.”
For many years his primary work was as a singer, lyricist, top-line songwriter and voice coach. As a lyricist he discovered a passion for poetry, working as a voice coach fulfilled his desire to help others to develop their potential and his experience as performer has helped him to become an engaging speaker and teacher.
Since completing his MA Andrew has been working with poet and life-writer, Fiona Mason to create and deliver creative writing courses and retreats with Word after Word, both in England and in Spain.
“As with music, there is an established formula to storytelling. It offers no guarantee of greatness and may be dismissed as reductive by some, but with stories and songs alike, formula can turn an inspired idea into a masterpiece.”
Follow Andrew on twitter @andrewlreynolds