Fiona Mason – Co-Director/Facilitator
Fiona has been a compulsive scribbler since childhood. She has an MA in Creative & Life Writing from Goldsmiths where she was shortlisted for the Pat Kavanagh Prize. In 2018 she was awarded an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice grant to complete a work of life writing, which is moving towards publication. She co-founded Word After Word to share her love of writing and language with others.
Fiona is currently Director (Maternity Cover) of NAWE, the National Association of Writers in Education. She’s an RD1st/Culture At Work Accredited Coach and a member of Lapidus, the Writing for Wellbeing organisation.
“What I love about facilitating 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/Facilitator
Writing stories has always been Andrew’s guilty pleasure. 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 – have proved to be powerful lessons in storytelling. He’s currently deep in the edit of a speculative fiction thriller set in a near-future London, written whilst completing a novel writing MA at City University.
“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. Andrew is also a CELTA qualified teacher of English.
“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.”