Writing Workshops

Join us in our stunning studios where you can take time to explore your creative flair, develop new skills or enhance your skills whilst meeting new friends in our bespoke small classes.

Our studios are Covid secure with a maximum of five attendees – all safety measures will be in place.

Please sign up below to receive our newsletter. Don’t forget to click on our classes page.

Writing Workshops

To celebrate the sunshine, we have a special offer running throughout June…

Book any workshop and you can bring a friend along for free!

(When booking via Ticketsource, please add two tickets for the same workshop to your basket and apply the code Secret6
any problems, please email us. )

A selection of our writing workshops are now available to book. Please download the programme below for full details. Click here to book.

How to write a novel with Clare Stevens -Do you have an idea for a novel but don’t know where to start? Have you got part way into your manuscript and become stuck? Or have you completed a first draft but don’t feel it’s quite there yet? From nailing your idea to getting that first draft down on paper, this course will equip you with tools and techniques to help you bring your project to fruition. Through a series of fun, practical exercises, Clare Stevens will take you through the steps you’ll need to develop your story. Topics include:

·         Developing a writing routine
·         Planning your story
·         Establishing a setting
·         Creating characters
·         Developing voice
·         Choosing a point of view
·         Building tension
·         Use of dialogue
·         Plotline/story arc
·         Structure
·         Beginnings and endings
·         Preparing your manuscript for publication

Whether you’re a first-time novelist with an idea for story or an experienced author looking for ways to bring your fiction to life ‘How to write a Novel’ is the course for you. £65 Click here to book (various dates available)

Using prompts with Janey Harvey – Exploring the use of photos, objects, food, quotations etc to inspire and motivate a piece of writing. You can bring in an object you wish to form a piece of writing around or use the inspiration within the studio and garden. £30 Click here to book

Clotheslines with Fiona Theokritoff  – Have fun using clothes (and shoes) as your inspiration for writing and sharing poems. With prompts and images to get you started, Fiona will guide you through a series of light-hearted writing activities to create sartorially-inspired works. Everyone is welcome: beginners and those who write already.  £65 Click here to book

99-word story with Anne Goodwin – Do you have a story to tell but fear you lack the skill, stamina or patience to fill a page? Perhaps it would feel less daunting if you had to find only 99 words. Are you an experienced writer so in love with language you struggle to cut your stories down to size? The discipline of the 99-word story will hone the editing skills you need. Suitable for writers at all levels of experience or none. £30 Click here to book

Writing from memory with Janey Harvey – During this workshop we will explore how an object or memory can be used to as a stimulus for a piece of writing. Suitable for beginners. £30 Click here to book

Transforming your novel from typescript to typeset with The Book Typesetters – Nat and Rachael of The Book Typesetters will provide a workshop on the aspects of typesetting print-ready books and ebooks. This will include setting margins, styles and leading, choosing fonts, adding flare, incorporating images, footnotes and endnotes, and fixing visual distractions like widows and orphans.
The workshop will include time for Q&A. The Book Typesetters are a family team who create books you love again and again. They work closely with self-publishers and presses to typeset books, design covers and provide other publishing services. You can find them at www.thebooktypesetters.com or email Price tbc

Creating a fictional therapist: the how and why with Anne Goodwin – Have you ever wondered how realistic the therapists you encounter in fiction really are? Have you ever wondered about creating one of your own but been unsure how to go about it?  Through presentations, discussion and analysis of extracts from novels, Anne Goodwin will introduce you to the pleasures and pitfalls of fictional therapists and therapy. She will guide you through the various roles a therapist character can play in a story and steer you away from the errors authors most commonly make. She will share some of her own 99-word therapy stories and offer you the opportunity to compose one yourself.  £30 Click here to book

Writing about diversity from the outside in with Anne Goodwin – Many writers want to reflect a diversity of identities and experience among our characters but fear accusations of cultural appropriation or offending people for getting it wrong. Drawing on her background in psychology and experience of publishing a novel about a woman with a marginalised identity, Anne Goodwin’s workshop provides the building blocks to write empathically about “the other” from the outside in. Through presentations, writing exercises and discussion, the workshop explores concepts of difference and offers a framework of empathy, curiosity and humility to reduce stereotyping and create diverse characters who live and breathe on the page. Saturday session £65 – free writing gift and refreshments provided. (bring your own packed lunch) Click here to book

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and highly praised by readers with a similar lived experience to the main character.

Free writing with Janey Harvey – We will explore how unconscious thoughts can give rise to story ideas. Taking the form of free writing to kick start longer writing pieces which we will focus on during the workshop. We will swap and share ideas – it’s amazing how someone else’s random thoughts can inspire your writing. Suitable for beginners. £30 Click here to book

Writing sensitively about mental health matters in fiction with Anne Goodwin – How can writers capture the reality of mental disturbance without perpetuating negative stereotypes such as “the mad woman in the attic” in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre? Through discussions of texts, experiential exercises, a myths and facts quiz and, of course, some time to write, this workshop assists participants to approach mental health issues with empathy and sensitivity. Suitable for those with some experience of writing. Saturday session £65 – free writing gift and refreshments provided. (bring your own packed lunch) Click here to book

Reading as a writer with Anne Goodwin – Every writer is a reader first, learning our craft through indulging in what we enjoy. With a little more focus on the building blocks of a strong story, we can get more from our reading without turning it into a chore. In this workshop, we’ll explore some of the questions we can ask ourselves as we turn the pages in order to help us write the kind of books we ourselves would want to read. £30 Click here to book