Write Around Town Workshops in London

sonia delaunayThree weekends in which we explore how art, objects and places inspire writing.

Whether it’s for you or your characters, we’ll walk, eat and write our way around London’s art galleries. Through story fragments, sketches, and experimental writing you’ll engage with some of this spring’s major exhibitions in London.

No writing or drawing experience is necessary, but a willingness to play and experiment is. The Write Around Town workshops are devised to suit writers and artists of all levels. All participants will be included in Writers in the Crowd II, an anthology of writing in the city.

The weekends are stand-alone workshops and can be booked to suit your needs and interests. The more you book, the cheaper they get! When booking, please let us know which weekends you’d like to attend. If you have any questions, please contact us through this link or at maps@writingmaps.com

limited to 8 participants per weekend

Cost: One weekend = £105, Two weekend = £195, Three weekends = £260

cost includes entrance to exhibitions and light refreshments

For more details and to book, click here.

Weekend #1, Painting and Politics: April 24, 25, 26 (Only 3 Places Left)

Weekend #2, Images and Things: June 5, 6, 7

Weekend #3, Drawing and Daring: July 3, 4, 5

The workshops are devised and led by Shaun Levin. He has been teaching creative writing since 1997 and has run workshops and given talks at The National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Ben Uri Gallery, and the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery in Leeds. He has recently published work on the artists Mark Gertler and Isaac Rosenberg, and is the author of Seven Sweet Things and A Year of Two Summers, amongst other books. Shaun is the creator of Writing Maps.

Turn Me On

By Julie Mayhew

It started off as an argument on a short story course.

Men tend to put sex into short stories when it isn’t relevant at all to the plot, characters or mood, I said.

It was a sexist line to take. I know.

Adam Marek our brilliant tutor at Berko Writers had urged us to read the latest Murakami story in The New Yorker.

I had and then I had scrolled through other stories in the archive, with The Berko Speakeasy in mind. Could we read this story aloud at a future event?

Often the answer would be ‘no’ because a story would be ticking along nicely, brilliantly, and then there would be a gratuitious and graphic sex scene.

There’s no rule to say we won’t read sex scenes aloud at the Speakeasy – we’re not prudes and neither are our audience – but there’s a certain dynamic in that room, with reader making eye contact with audience, that asks that if we are going to describe graphic sex it has to mean something. In a lot of these stories I felt it didn’t.

I brought this argument to the table at our next workshop.

It got heated.

Don’t female writers write bad sex in their own unique ways too? suggested one.


Is sex ever any good when it’s on the page? asked another.

Oh, it must be, sometimes, surely…


So that’s what led us to organising Turn Me On, a night to discuss the sex scene, good and bad, from Lady Chatterley to Christian Grey.

We’d love you to come and join the debate – and bring along your favourite sex scenes from literature.

Let’s put this argument to bed.

Turn Me On: A night of good (and very bad) literary sex
7pm, Tues 10th Feb, Upstairs at Here Cafe, Berkhamsted
For more information and to book go to the Berko Writers website.

Word Factory #30 & Masterclass – 14th February – London

wordfactory-logo-300x88Welcome back to an exciting year of readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers at the Word Factory.

Devil in the Detail with Tessa Hadley – 1-4pm

Big ideas and a broad sweep in storytelling are often anchored in the smallest details. Don’t miss an exclusive opportunity to learn from one of the few UK writers regularly published by The New Yorker.
Tessa Hadley, Professor at Bath Spa University, will focus this workshop on observation and detail in the short story form and how it can transform your own writing. Expect to write, be challenged, and to learn from Tessa’s craft and the authors who have inspired her. This workshop is suitable for any writer passionate about the form.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Limited to 12 places. SOLD OUT

Short Story Club – 4.30-5.30pm

Hilary Mantel: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

This month we will be reading the most controversial short story of 2014: Hilary Mantel’s ’The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’. The story springs from the two-time Man Booker prizewinner’s “boiling detestation” for the politician – Mantel recalls how she once spotted the former Prime Minister standing unguarded near her Windsor flat in 1983 and imagined shooting her. The action begins when a woman in her Windsor flat opens the door expecting a plumber… Have a read and make up your own mind – is this tale as damningly provocative as certain papers would have us believe?

Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #28 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Our Valentine’s salon with stories exploring the joys and perils of love with stories from Tessa Hadley (who will be leading our workshop during the day), Zoe Gilbert and exclusive new work from Jon McGregor. Cathy Galvin will lead a discussion on the craft of short story writing and you’ll have the chance to ask your questions too.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here.

FLASH FICTION workshop February 18th in London SE16

FLASH FICTION at the Brunel Museum

facilitated by Alison Clayburn, tutor in fiction, poetry and Writing for Self Discovery.

Rotherhithe London SE16 (near Rotherhithe Overground station)

Wednesday February 18th 2015 6.30 – 9.30pm

Fee: £12.00

A workshop on the increasingly popular genre of Flash Fiction, followed by a talk and question and answer session with Jay Merill, resident writer at Women in Publishing and short fiction specialist. She will read from her latest work and tell us about the trials and pleasures of both publishing on paper and submitting to e-publications, with an emphasis on how to succeed in this growing field.

You are invited to share your own experience too!

To book: email alisonboydclayburn@hotmail.co.uk

Facebook: CreativeWritingInRotherhithe

Booking deadline: Saturday Feb 14th 2015

Flash Fiction Workshop at Clevedon Community Bookshop

Are you a budding writer living in the North Somerset or Bristol area? Want to learn how to “keep it short”?

On Thursday 22nd January, Clevedon Community Bookshop will host a flash fiction workshop with Gail Aldin, whose “slim-line” stories have appeared both in print and online. The workshop will explore opportunities to incorporate flash fiction into your creative life, drawing upon examples of the genre at its best. You will also be able to share ideas and prompts for writing, and take away a number of links to websites and journals that publish flash fiction.

When? Thursday 22nd January, 10-4pm

Where? The Royal Oak pub, Copse Road, Clevedon (right next door to the bookshop!)

How much? £30 (£15 for those receiving benefit)

For more on Clevedon Community Bookshop, including details of our ongoing creative writing programme and how to enroll, go here: http://www.clevedoncommunitybookshop.coop/courses/

Visit Gail Aldwin’s blog here: https://gailaldwin.wordpress.com/about/

New National 5 Day Residential Writing Centre Co. Waterford

The Story House Ireland is a not-for-profit residential writing centre inspired by The Arvon Foundation. Set in tranquil woodlands near Colligan, Dungarvan, The Story House will run its first 5 day writing course (on Short Fiction), from Mon. 23rd to Sat. 28th March 2015. The course will be led by experienced and award-winning writers and tutors Julian Gough and Susie Maguire. Their mid-week guest writer will be Donal Ryan (The Spinning Heart, The Thing About December), winner of The Guardian First Book Award.

The Story House aims to provide real support for developing writers of all ages and backgrounds, complementing the work of existing writing centres. As it grows it will provide a focus for the development in Ireland of a community of writers, teaching opportunities for professional writers, and also work to “ensure anyone can benefit from the transformative power of writing”.

This inaugural course is being offered for the special fee of €595 which includes: 5 nights accommodation; full board; all workshops; one-to-one sessions with each writer to discuss your work; time and space to write; reading & discussion with guest writer. Please note that bookings are on a first come, first served basis with the full fee required by no later than Mon. 9th February 2015. There are only a small number of places remaining for this course. You might like to check with your local Arts Office as to what supports they may offer to help you attend a course at The Story House. We wish to sincerely thank the Arts offices of Waterford City and County Council, Kilkenny County Council and Tipperary County Council for offering bursaries for this course to date.

Co-founders of The Story House, Margaret O’Brien and Nollaig Brennan, intend that The Story House will be a home for writers and writing and will also welcome many new faces to the arts scene in the south-east and to the beauty of the Waterford coast and countryside.

The Story House Website

email: thestoryhouseireland@gmail.com

Twitter: @TSHIreland

That Killer First Page – Submitting to Competitions and Journals

You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. You’ll write a short piece and get feedback on that crucial story opening. In a form where every word counts, get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories. 

How to get the attention of competition judges and editors
Writing fiction with emotional impact 
Writing that killer first page 
How to edit your story 
Where to send your work 

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. His novel ‘The Good Son’ is out with Salt Publishing April 2015. He has read his work for BBC Radio 5, the International Conference on the Short Story in Vienna, 
Belfast Book Festival and Cork International Short Story Festival

PaulMcVeigh short story

Reviews for his writing:
“Absolutely loved it. The voice of that story so arresting.” Jackie Kay

“Beautiful and very moving.” Booker shortlisted Alison Moore

“How moving and stunning that story is. It’s so raw and incredibly human.” Costa shortlisted Jess Richards

“Its such a clever story, gentle, poignant, emotionally straight as a dart.” Vanessa Gebbie

“(one of) Ireland’s most exciting and talented writers. Incredibly moving; poignant but utterly real, funny and beautifully observant.” BBC Radio 4

“Paul McVeigh’s story stands out. Funny, moving, poignant. Brilliant.” Metro Newspaper

Paul’s short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice and gets 40,000 hits a month internationally. He’s interviewed short story masters like Kevin Barry, 
Cate Kennedy and George Saunders and upcoming Laura van den Berg and Elizabeth McCrackin.

Paul is Director of 
London Short Story Festival and Creative Director at Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story literary salon. He is also been a reader and judge for national and international short story competitions.

Venue: Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD.

Date: Jan 31st. 10am-4pm.

Places are limited to 20. Cost £60.

This event was first run in Melbourne for 
Writers Victoria and sold out in record time. 

Comments for this class:

“This was my fav course yet! Informative, entertaining, and engaging. Hard to beat!”

“Fantastic! Practical, targeted advice like this is wonderful!”


Focus on Fiction course at the Brunel Museum starts Jan 12

The next run of Focus on Fiction at the  Brunel Museum SE16 (near Rotherhithe Station) starts Jan 12, booking deadline is Jan 9th.

I’ve been running this course for several years now- 6 Monday evening sessions fortnightly – lovely setting and a small supportive group, covering the building blocks of fiction with plenty of time for feedback.

There is quite a lively writing community in Rotherhithe – I offer other courses and workshops there too: see my Facebook page



Word Factory #29 – Our FREE Christmas Party – 13th December, London


It’s been an outstanding year for the Word Factory. Readers in 2014 include AS Byatt, Toby Litt, David Almond, Tessa Hadley, Ben Okri, Evie Wylde – and our masterclasses have been led by truly great talent including David Constantine, Joe Dunthorne, Peter Stothard and David Vann. Join at Waterstones Piccadilly for our final event of the year – our free Christmas party!

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: John Burnside – Slut’s Hair

In December we are reading ‘Slut’s Hair’, by the Scottish writer John Burnside. As a short story writer, Burnside has published two collections Burning Elvis (2000) and Something Like Happy (2013), from which this story is taken. Burnside is unflinching in his bleak portrayal of “unpleasant” subjects – cruelty, domestic violence, outright loneliness – and this spotlight on the darker side of human nature has earned him a reputation as a Scottish Raymond Chandler. ‘Slut’s Hair’ is archetypal Burnside. In it, a woman in Dundee tenement is stuck in an unhappy and unforgiving relationship. Then she reveals she has toothache, and they can’t afford a dentist…

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #29 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Join us for an evening fizzing with  festive fun and celebration. We will be pulling names out of Santa’s hat to read on the night. If you want to take part, bring a story no more than ten minutes long and, as you arrive, give your name and the story’s title to Alexa on the door. We will be listening – and we will be filming!

Register for your FREE tickets here

Word Factory #28 & Masterclass – 22nd November, London


Welcome to winter at the Word Factory: celebrating a second year of brilliant short story readings, classes and the short story club. This month join us for our last salon of the year, back in our home at Waterstone Piccadilly:

It’s All Greek To Me – Masterclass with David Vann – 1.30-4.30pm

We are delighted to welcome the internationally renowned novelist and short story writer David Vann to lead our final masterclass of the year. In this three hour session, David will take a close look at the classical structures that underpin all great writing and ask: why we are still reading and writing according to the ancient Greeks? He will examine dramatic unities, the roles of the protagonist and antagonist; of the chorus; of crisis and catharsis. Drawing on developments in his own work, stories he describes as neo-classical, he will discuss his own inspiration and offer a helpful insight into your own practice.

This masterclass is  for anyone serious about writing short fiction, whether new to the form or published. David will suggest texts to read in advance. No exercises will be set in the class.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Limited to 20 places. Buy your tickets here.

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: Angela Carter – Peter and the Wolf

At November’s Short Story Club we will be discussing Angela Carter’s Peter and the Wolf. This autumnal story is one of Carter’s many retellings of folk and fairy tales, in which she twists away from the original, riffing on the familiar to satirical and baroque effect. This swiftly told tale is simple in content but rich in language, a style less fashionable in 2014 (it was first published in 1982) but no less powerful for it. Desire, freedom, nature and chaos abide here – an apt story for the turning of the seasons.

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #28 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Join us for our final salon of the year in November with Ben Okri, David Vann (who will be leading our Saturday masterclass), Lisa Blower and Deirdre Shanahan. After their readings they will join in conversation with Cathy Galvin.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here.

Writing From Art Workshop, Wed 12th November, Bristol

Girl-with-Wings-cr-Carol-PeaceImmerse yourself in art for an afternoon of creative writing. In the intimate space of a working artist’s studio, you’ll have the opportunity to think about how art can fuel your own writing, discuss what art and writing mean to you, and take away practical tips to help your writing glow.

Short story writer, arts journalist and writing tutor Judy Darley says: “I’ve been drawing inspiration from art all my writing life, and believe it can provide a stepping stone between the page and your imagination.”

Surrounded by the sculptures of Carol Peace, we’ll take a brief look at the history of art’s influence of writing before carrying out writing exercises designed to connect you with your senses and the artwork, and help your words to flow.

CAROL PEACE is an internationally recognised sculptor based at the Paintworks in Bristol, with work in private collections across the UK, Europe and America. Carol studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art and has had solo shows in London, Cambridge, Athens, Zurich, France, Spain and Holland. Find her at www.carolpeace.com and @CarolPeace_art.

JUDY DARLEY has had short stories published by magazines and anthologies including The Simple Things, Litro, Riptide Journal, and The View From Here. Her debut collection ‘Remember Me To The Bees’ is out now. She’s currently working on a collection of short stories, poems and flashes based around the theme of journeys. Find her at www.skylightrain.com and @JudyDarley.

The Writing From Art workshop takes place from 2-5pm on Wednesday 12th November 2014 at Studio 5.3, at Paintworks, Bristol.

Cost: £12 per person. Limited to 8 places. Book your place at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/writing-from-art-with-judy-darley-and-carol-peace-tickets-12953996753.

We will also be hosting a night of literary readings inspired by art, also at Carol’s Paintworks studio, on Friday 7th November. Find details here.

Carol Peace sculptures


Word Factory #27 & Masterclass – 25th October, London


Join us in the shadow of Nelson’s Column for our inspiring October salon. Join us for Word Factory on 25th October at Waterstones Trafalgar Square:

Masterclass with David Constantine – 1.30-4.30pm

VS Pritchett said that a short story is ‘something glimpsed from the corner of the eye’ but what does that mean – what really defines a short story and how can we write better in a form that demands precision and strong narrative?

We are delighted to explore these questions in an exclusive masterclass with Frank O’Connor International short story award winner David Constantine. The author of four collections of short stories and a renowned poet and translator, David will discuss the art of short story writing with reference to his own writing life and inspiration he has drawn from the works of DH Lawrence and others.

This masterclass is for you if you are already writing short stories as well as for those practiced in other forms of writing but keen to explore the short story form. The class will involve discussion and careful examination of a few texts which will be provided in advance with the aim of encouraging reflection and insight. If possible, we would advise writers to read Morphologies. Short story writers on short story writers from Comma Press in advance. David will not be setting exercises but will be encouraging you to discuss concerns and ideas in your own work with him and other writers in the class.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Limited to 20 places. Buy your tickets here.

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: Colin Barrett – The Clancy Kid

At October’s Short Story Club, we’ll be discussing ‘The Clancy Kid’ by Colin Barrett. This is the opening story from Barrett’s new collection Young Skins. Hungover Jimmy is in the pub in his Irish home town, in which all the stories are set, listening to his unstable friend Tug talking about a small boy who has gone missing – the Clancy kid. The story evokes the place and the characters Jimmy encounters in confident strokes, blending warmth with the sinister, the modern with the mythic, and hooking the reader whilst leaving us wondering.

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #23 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

After David Constantine has led his masterclass on the art of writing the short story, he will be reading alongside Tessa Hadley and Adam Marek. These three award-winning authors will join Cathy Galvin in conversation about their writing lives. Book early to secure your place and a free glass of wine at Waterstones’ flagship store in Piccadilly.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here – Bring a friend for free on all salon tickets.

Story Fridays Call for Submissions NOIR


Story Fridays are looking for submissions of short stories for our NOIR night on 7th November. Think Maltese Falcon, Dial M for Murder, The Big Sleep. Think Chandler, Spillane, Hammett. Think, well, Humphrey Bogart. We’re looking for suspense and thrillers, for crimes and passion in our stories this month. So roll up your sleeves, pour yourself a whisky and load up your gun…or your laptop, if you must…

We are teaming up with B&NES Library Services and the Bath Chronicle for this one, and we can offer PRIZES!! Two newcomers to Story Fridays will receive £20 book tokens. The other writers, who might have had their work read at Story Fridays before, will receive £10 book tokens. All stories will be read by Clare Reddaway for A Word In Your Ear, June Wentland for B&NES, Kilter Theatre and a representative of the Bath Chronicle, none of whom will be eligible to submit stories this time.

FREE WORKSHOP!! B&NES Libraries are offering a free workshop to writers who want to get in the mood for Noir. Acclaimed screenwriter Jeff Dowson  and June Wentland will be running the workshop on Saturday October 11th from 1-3pm at Bath Central Library. June says: ‘the workshop will get writers in a ‘noir’ frame of mind. It will inspire them, get them writing an opening paragraph, and develop ideas of setting, mood and characters.’ Places are limited – to sign up please email June at June_Wentland@BATHNES.GOV.UK.

We are screening a classic film noir after the stories in November: The Third Man. Orson Welles in war-devastated Vienna, screenplay by Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed. A wonderful film, with a zither score to die for, the best chase in a sewer ever and a speech on a ferris wheel by Welles about the Borgias and cuckoo clocks which I wish I could memorize and quote. Well worth watching.

We are looking for short stories or monologues, fact or fiction (but mainly fiction), maximum 2,000 words. 2,000 is a maximum though – we’ve had some lovely flash fiction in the past. No poetry please.

The event will be held on Friday 7th November at Burdall’s Yard in Bath. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday 22nd October. PLEASE check that you are available to come along on the 7th November before you submit. We like the writers to be in the audience for these events.

Two wonderful professional actors, Olly Langdon and Caroline Garland of Kilter Theatre, are very happy to read your story if performance gives you the jitters. Let me know in your email when you submit if you’d like someone else to read your piece.

Submit your stories via the website here:


Word Factory #26 & Workshop – 27th September, London

wordfactory-logo-300x88Welcome back to an autumn of intimate salons and inspiring workshops. After our summer holiday, Word Factory is back on the 27th September at Waterstones Piccadilly:

What did they say? – Workshop with Jonathan Taylor – 1.30-4.30pm

An exclusive workshop with Jonathan Taylor on how to make the maximum impact reading your work aloud.

Live readings and literature events are hugely popular and writers need to know how to read out loud and make the maximum impact with their work. It’s vital to understand exactly what’s involved in creating a good group experience while allowing space for listeners to have their own personal response.

In this lively workshop led by an acclaimed teacher and writer, you will explore the characteristics that make a story readable and the keys to good performance. Group and pair work will allow you to maximise your own performance and share with others. The workshop will suit you whether you are already published and wanting to improve your performance and writing skills or have experience as a writer but are not yet published.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Buy your tickets here.

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: Lucy Wood – Lights in Other People’s Houses

In September we will be exploring the work of the young British writer, Lucy Wood. Diving Belles, her debut collection, was recorded as a series for BBC radio. All the stories are inspired by Cornish folklore, and in ‘Lights in Other People’s Houses’ the ghost of a wrecker appears in Maddy’s house amidst the moving boxes she is refusing to unpack. Gradually the house fills with sand, and shells, and an atmosphere is created that is both dreamlike and unsettling.

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #23 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

We begin our autumn season with three very different but brilliant short story writers: Alexei Sayle, Mahesh Rao, and Jonathan Taylor. They will entertain with their stories and join Cathy Galvin in conversation about their writing lives. We will also announce the winners of our 2014 Word Factory Apprentice scheme. Book early to secure your place and a free glass of wine at Waterstones’ flagship store in Piccadilly.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here – Bring a friend for free on all salon tickets.

Berko Writers: Learn The Art Of The Short Story With Adam Marek

The Berko Writers’ Workshop has announced its next course – a six week programme getting to grips with the art of the short story.

It will be led by Adam Marek, author of the collections Instruction Manual For Swallowing and The Stone Thrower.


Adam won the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship, and was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. His stories have appeared on BBC Radio 4 Extra, and in many magazines and anthologies, including Prospect and The Sunday Times Magazine, and The Best British Short Stories 2011 and 2013.

The course runs every Tuesday evening 8pm-10pm from October 7 to November 18 (not October 28 for half-term), upstairs at Here Cafe, Berkhamsted.

Berkhamsted is 35 minutes from Euston and there are four trains an hour, returning late to London.

The course fee is £150 and includes tea and cake at each workshop.


Two free workshops, a fund raiser and a Christmas present

Two free workshops, a fund raiser and a Christmas present

Tavistock Heritage Festival

October 25th, 26th and 27th 2014

http: tavistockheritagefestival.org.uk

Twitter: Tavistock Heritage@TavistockH2014

 Free Historical Fiction Writing Workshops

Workshop 1

“Tavistock and the Tamar Valley’s 19th century mining heritage”

       “Tavistock and the Tamar Valley’s 19th century mining heritage” is an historical fiction writing workshop run by Myfanwy Cook features editor of the Historical Novels Review (www.historicalnovelsociety.org) and author of ‘Historical Fiction Writing a practical guide and tool-kit’. She has carried out extensive research on the Tamar Valley on behalf of the Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project and the workshop will include original research and recordings

This workshop is aimed at providing aspiring writers with the opportunity to experiment with the skills needed to write engaging historical fiction based on local historical facts. (Saturday 25th October. Tavistock Library, Plymouth Rd, at 2pm. A free event for over 18s including a work pack. Booking is essential as there are only limited places, contact 01822 612218 or email tavistock.library@devon.gov.uk.

Workshop 2

“Medieval mayhem and murder at

Tavistock’s Benedictine Abbey”

       This workshop is aimed at introducing aspiring writers of historical crime fiction to the delights of combining local heritage and history with murder most foul! (Sunday 26th October. Bedford Hotel at 10.00am. A free event for over 18s including a work pack. Booking is essential as there are only a limited number of places contact 01822 612218 or email tavistock.library@devon.gov.uk.


Historical fiction workshops that aren’t part of the Tavistock Festival

Workshop 3

The Museum of Dartmoor Life

Fund raiser for the http://www.museumofdartmoorlife.org.uk/


Okehampton’s forgotten voices – A tribute to those who took part in WW1 – A Practical Historical Fiction Workshop’. 

Workshop 4 –Christmas present


E: orchardstudio@yahoo.co.uk

The Tamar Valley’s Klondike – A practical Historical Fiction Writing 2 day Course

An intensive weekend (2 day course) for aspiring historical writers – January 31st/Feb 1st, 2015. If you have a friend or family member who is interested in Historical Fiction Writing buying a voucher as a Christmas present might make an ideal and unusual gift.



Hello- this is Alison Clayburn:  alisonboydclayburn@hotmail.co.uk.  I’m a poet, short fiction writer and tutor in both plus Writing for Self Discovery. Having worked for quite a few London colleges (latest Birkbeck for ten years) I now run my own programme of courses and workshops, with small group sizes and an emphasis on mutual support. I live in a lovely part of London by the Thames and focus on developing courses locally. So – my Facebook page is CreativeWritingInRotherhithe

The new focus on fiction course at the Brunel Museum, London SE16, starts on September 22nd and continues fortnightly to Dec 1st. The time is 7-9.30pm, the cost is £95 (concessions negotiable) and the booking deadline is Sept 15th. It’s suitable for both beginners and those with some experience.

I have been running these courses for four years at the museum, a great venue near Rotherhithe Overground, and, as a short fiction specialist, have refined the format to cover all the basics in 6 fortnightly sessions. The purpose of fortnightly is to allow time for producing work to bring to the next session, when there’s plenty of time for feedback and for exploration of a new topic.

I have found that, because the groups are small, people appreciate both the attention their writing gets and the opportunity to get to know other writers.  I always offer  the opportunity to do a follow on course called ‘further skills’, tailored to participants’ needs.

If you’d like to know more have a look at the Brunel Museum website . My Facebook page gives more information too. If you have any questions, would like a course description and/or want to book, do email me on alisonboydclayburn@hotmail.co.uk.


Hello- this is Alison Clayburn:  alisonboydclayburn@hotmail.co.uk.  I’m a poet, short fiction writer and tutor in both plus Writing for Self Discovery. Having worked for quite a few London colleges (latest Birkbeck for ten years) I now run my own programme of courses and workshops, with small group sizes and an emphasis on mutual support. I live in a lovely part of London by the Thames and focus on developing courses locally. So – my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/CreativeWritingInRotherhithe I studied writing for personal development as part of my Sussex MA and am particularly interested in the crossover between self exploratory writing and powerful, effective poetry or prose. Many of my ongoing writers attend a variety of the workshops and courses I offer- fiction, poetry, self discovery.

I sometimes organise one-off workshops so – if you are within easy travelling distance of Rotherhithe Overground Station (East London line) you are invited to a Flash Fiction workshop on the evening of Monday Sept 8th, 6.30-9.30pm at the.  iconic Brunel Museum by the River Thames: the location of my short fiction courses. This workshop is open to all, with an appropriately short Flash Fiction writing activity, discussion and an information and advice session with Jay Merill, Flash Fiction specialist, resident writer at Women in Publishing and winner of the Salt Prize for fiction. If you’d like to know more about this growing field, including online publishing opportunities, do contact me by email to book. Cost is £12.00, booking deadline Sept 1st. You’ll also find information on the Brunel Museum website.

If you are interested in Writing for Self Discovery I’ll be running a fresh set of three monthly Saturday afternoon workshops at Canada Water library  (right by Canada Water station) on Sept 13, Oct 11 and Nov 8. These have been running for quite a while- with a core group and new faces always welcome. This series’ theme is SHAPES. The cost is £75 for three, if booked together, £60 for two or £30 for one. The group is small, confidential and supportive. If you’d like to know more do contact me alisonboydclayburn@hotmail.co.uk and/or check out  https://www.facebook.com/CreativeWritingInRotherhithe And for poets – there’s a poetry workshop suitable for both beginners and those with some experience on Saturday Nov 22nd. These workshops offer the chance to do one free verse poem and one using form. The November theme is SURVIVAL  AND SYLLABICS.

Digital Writer in Residence: Commemorating World War I

Banner-unknown-soldier-624x254Writing East Midlands has commissioned poet and polar explorer Siobhan Logan to be our Digital Writer in Residence as part of the 14-18 Now commemorations of the centenary of the declaration of WWI.

On the 14-18 Now.  website, acclaimed writer Kate Pullinger and writer/director Neil Bartlett introduces the national project Letter to an Unknown Soldier:  “On Platform One of Paddington Station in London, there is a statue of an unknown soldier; he’s reading a letter. On the hundredth anniversary of the declaration of war – in this year crowded with official remembrance and ceremony – we’re inviting everyone in the country to pause, take a moment or two, and write that letter. All the letters the soldier receives will be published here, creating a new kind of war memorial – one made only of words.”

Every week, Siobhan, whose first book, Firebridge to Skyshore: A Northern Lights Journey is a collection of prose and poetry exploring the myths and science of the aurora borealis, will provide inspiration, answer questions or help you polish your writing as you add your voice to this exciting national project.pinkrim

This unique, week-long residency will take the form of an online forum, where you will find resources to inspire your writing, links to valuable research material and hints and tips from Siobhan,who will be available to read your work and offer you advice every day from Mon 28th July to Sun 3rd Aug.

To be a part of this exciting national project all you need to do is SIGN UP to the Writing East Midlands Forum and start writing!

14-18logoWhen you’ve written something you’re happy with, you can submit it to the Letters to an Unknown Soldier project at the 14-18 Now website. When you do submit your work, please let them know that we sent you by putting Writing East Midlands in the ‘Organisation’ box on the submission form.

There have already been 16,000 letters so far – read the letters and add your voice to this inspiring and exciting project.

Word Factory #25 & Masterclass – 26th July, London


A warm welcome awaits you at Word Factory on the 26th July, a day packed with literary wonder at Waterstones Piccadilly:

Social Media for Writers – Masterclass with Paul McVeigh – 1.30-4.30pm

Social media has transformed the way writers communicate with the industry and has become an essential tool for gaining readers and even getting published . As more and more voices battle for attention on-line, how do we make sure that we stand out from the crowd? Paul McVeigh, writer and Word Factory’s social media guru, will explore how to improve your social media profile, plan more effective strategies and better connect with our audience. Paul will review blogging, translating followers to book buyers and how to best utilise Facebook and Twitter. He will advise on writing an author profile and the etiquette of on-line conversations.

This class is for you if you are looking to improve your social media profile, enhance the effectiveness of your current activity, grow your online audience or are new to social media and looking to get started.

Cost: £40 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included.
Buy your tickets here.

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: George Saunders – In The End of Firpo in the World

In July, we’re reading a short story by the award-winning George Saunders, a “savage satirist” who critics have praised for his “demented black comic view of modern American culture”. In The End of Firpo in the World, selected from Saunders’ 2001 collection Pastoralia, an overweight, bullied boy rides round his neighbourhood on his bicycle, reflecting on his unpopularity. This story has been described as the perfect example of the short story as a form, and is full of irony and pathos.

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #23 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Bring a friend for free and enjoy a memorable summer salon in the heart of Soho with the Word Factory team in association with Fiction Uncovered and three brilliant Jerwood Fiction Uncovered 2014 winners – Evie Wyld, Cynan Jones and Naomi Wood. They will be joined by our own Paul McVeigh, after her has shared his knowledge on how writers can make the most impact on social media in this month’s Saturday masterclass. All will join Cathy Galvin in conversation about their writing lives. Book early to secure your place and a free glass of wine at Waterstones’ flagship store in Piccadilly.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15
Buy your tickets here – Bring a friend for free on all salon tickets.