Courses, Workshops and Retreats

Our regular programme includes:

 Get Writing: Creative Writing for Beginners
If you’ve always had a secret hankering to write, but don’t know where to start, or if you’ve had a writing practice that has got a bit rusty, this course is for you. We’ll cover all the basics, from creating compelling characters to constructing a gripping plot. With writing exercises in class and ideas to try out at home, by the end of the course you will feel more confident in your abilities and you’ll be well on your way to creating a regular writing practice from which to further develop your writing skills.

 Into Darkness: Writing Crime, Thriller and Conflict
From best-selling novels to blockbuster movies and popular TV dramas, dark themes abound and it’s not surprising. If you think of your favourite stories, you will be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t feature some kind of adversity and the desire to overcome it. The greater the adversity the more we feel compelled to keep turning pages, to keep listening or watching. Into Darkness explores the dingiest recesses of your imagination to create compelling scenes, memorable characters and despicable antagonists. We’ll examine the art of writing drama, conflict and action. We’ll learn how to create exciting plots and how to bring human suffering to the page. Will good prevail in the end? That will be up to you.

 Writing a Short Story
Whether it’s a short-short, like a 50 word piece of micro-fiction, or you’re penning a 20,000 word longer short story, the principles are the same for this compact and, some argue, the most challenging of story forms. In this course we’ll look at the short story to understand more about what it’s doing, how it works and why. Through a combination of exercises, working on our own pieces and looking at some great examples of the craft, the aim is to have a completed draft short story by the end of the course, with clear ideas about next steps.

 Life Writing and Memoir
We all have a story to tell, but how do you take events from your own life and turn them into a compelling read for others? Maybe you don’t want to share your work in public, but you’re looking for a way to record important events for your descendants to read. In this course we’ll explore the genre of life writing and memoir, looking at some of the best examples in print and gaining an understanding of what makes them a good read. Through discussion and through exercises in class and at home, you’ll identify a story that you want to tell and learn how to do so in a way that really communicates and gets to the heart of what you want to say. The aim is to have a completed short draft by the end of the course with a clear idea about next steps.

 Workshops
Monthly one-off workshops focussing on a different topic in more detail. Upcoming topics include:

Writing A Crime Scene
Starting Your Memoir
Bringing Fictional Characters To Life
Writing for Wellbeing
Walking the Line: writing, nature and place

 Writing Retreats
An opportunity to take time out to write with a group of like minded people and with the support of nurturing tutors.

 Writers’ Room:
We continue to nurture our writers beyond the core courses through monthly workshops. These are an opportunity to share work, get feedback and, most importantly, get the encouragement you need to keep going. We know that writing can be a lonely business and it’s sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees. Sharing your writing with a trusted group of peers is an all important part of the process of honing your craft and polishing your work.

 Working with Partner Organisations
We bring our expertise to the table to create bespoke programmes focussing on specific techniques and genres. If you are an organisation interested in a talk, course or workshop, please get in touch!

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