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. (max 6 people per workshop)
Download our programmes below…
Click on the link below for a full list of dates, information and to book your workshop. www.ticketsource.co.uk/secret-garden-studios
We offer a wide range of workshops at the Stable Studios including; calligraphy, digital drawing, poetry, typesetting and writing. Click on the titles below for more information.
A beginners’ guide to writing your first poetry collection with Leanne Moden
Turn a folder full of poetry into a cohesive collection of work, suitable for submission for publication, or self-publishing! “A Beginner’s Guide to Building Your First Poetry Collection” is a collaborative, ideas-based workshop for poets who are thinking about taking their first steps towards publication.
Using your own poems as a template, you’ll learn how to identify theme and narrative in your work, how to place your poems in an order, how to critically assess poems for inclusion in a collection, and how to consider your writing as part of a wider narrative for production of a pamphlet or a short collection.
Please bring ten of your own poems to this session in order to take part in editing exercises. These ten poems need not be thematically linked, but you will benefit most if the poems you bring reflect the poetry you want to publish.
Adventures in poetic form with Leanne Moden
Baubles and Faux Calligraphy with Laney’s Lettering
Learn the art of faux calligraphy in this 3 hour festive inspired workshop. Use your new found skills to adorn a Christmas bauble with lettering of your choice. Select from a range of colours and take your very own faux calligraphy bauble home to hang in pride of place on the tree, or gift to someone special. Additional baubles may be purchased on the day if you would like to create another one to take home (time permitting).
Hosted by Bonnie from Laney’s Lettering, guests will be taught how to create the basic formations of faux calligraphy letters and practise some quotes before applying chosen lettering to the baubles. Groups will be small and intimate to ensure everyone has ample tuition time and a lovely experience.
Held at The Secret Garden in the Stable Studio, guests will be welcomed into a cosy festive environment overlooking the walled garden – look closely and you may spot a resident robin from the warmth of the cobbled Stable Studio.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts.
What’s included in the price?
A calligraphy toolkit and a bauble is supplied to each guest along with ample practise sheets and friendly guidance. The heating will be on and you can expect some twinkling lights and a very warm welcome.
Light refreshments, coffees and teas are also provided. There are many local cafes in the market town of Newark if lunch is required prior to/after the workshop. We highly recommend Gannets Cafe on Castle Gate (around the corner from the studios).
Various dates available. £45 Click here to book
Battling writers’ block with Leanne Moden
Book Marketing on a Budget with Kristina Adams
In this workshop, we’ll look at the different ways you can market your book on a budget. We’ll explore if you should bother with blogging, the right – and wrong – ways to use social media, and how to engage with your audience using an email list.
Clotheslines with Fiona Theokritoff
Consequences and Limitations – In Fantasy Writing and Beyond with Kristina Adams
When we do stupid or dangerous things in real life, there are consequences. Why should our characters’ lives be any different just because they don’t exist? Grounding characters’ actions with real-life consequences can make your characters more realistic and your stories more page-turning, whatever genre you’re in. On the other hand, when your characters don’t suffer the consequences of their actions…readers can put your book down faster than you can say ‘bad marketing’.
Limitations increase the stakes for your characters. Whether they exist from the start, or you add to them as you write, they can add a sense of claustrophobia and urgency to your story. If you use internal limitations like mental health conditions, they help to normalise the conversation around these conditions and make those going through said conditions feel less alone.
- How to increase the stakes in your writing
- The impact of external – and internal – triggers
- Ways to get unstuck on your plot
- Why we need to torture our characters
£30 Click here to book
Creating a fictional therapist: the how and why with Anne Goodwin
Creative Confidence Class with Kristina Adams*
Would you like to improve the confidence, resilience, and focus skills you need to succeed as a writer? In this workshop, we’ll cover the focus, mindset, and productivity techniques you need to achieve – and even surpass – your writing goals.
Whether your goal is to finally finish that book, publish it, or something else entirely, these transferable skills will help you in every aspect of your life. You’ll feel more confident in your skills, happier with your progress, and inspired to keep writing.
Whatever you write, these skills will arm you with everything you need to succeed.
*includes free writing gift £65 Click here to book
Designing a Book Cover for Self-Publishers with The Book Typesetters
Dialogue and Description: How to Make Them Work Together to Bring Your Book to Life with Kristina Adams
Many of us love writing dialogue…or description. Some genres are heavy on one or the other. But what if it didn’t need to be an either/or thing? What if we could look at the relationship between them and how they can bring each other – and your book – to life?
- How to add world building to your story without overwhelming your reader
- How to bring your character’s voice to life
- The different types of description and how to use them
- Ways to balance description and dialogue in your story
£30 Click here to book
Editing 101 with Alex Davis
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.
Fundamentals of scriptwriting with Alex Davis
Getting short stories published with Alex Davis
Short stories present a great way for authors to get their first publication, and many well-established writers found their first break in the field.
This workshop will explore the key elements to getting your work accepted, including the research process, submission guidelines, response tracking and much more.
How I wrote my novel with Maria Dziedzan
How to get an agent with Alex Davis
In most cases, getting a literary agent is a pivotal part of landing that publishing deal with the mainstream presses – but how do you make the approach and maximise your chances?
This session will explore the key elements of the cover letter, synopsis and sample text, as well as looking at what you need to research to make the right approach to the right person! We’ll also explore what happens when an agent takes you on and what to expect from the partnership.
How to write a novel with Alex Davis
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.
• Creating characters
• Establishing a setting
• Developing voice
• Choosing a point of view
• Building tension
• Use of dialogue
• Beginnings and endings
Whether you’re a first-time novelist with an idea for story or a more experienced author looking for ways to bring your fiction to life ‘How to write a novel’ is the course for you. (various dates available)
£65 *Includes free writing gift.
Clare Stevens is an author, journalist, and Creative Writing tutor living in Nottingham. Her first novel, Blue Tide Rising, was published in 2019 by Inspired Quill. She is currently working on her second novel.
How to Write Amazing Blog Posts with Kristina Adams
How to Write Realistic Characters with Kristina Adams
Are you struggling to write realistic characters?
Do you want to know your characters better than you know your best friend?
Would you like to craft characters so realistic, your readers remember them – long after they’ve turned the final page?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this workshop is exactly what you need.
- How psychological techniques can bring your characters to life (without using tropes or archetypes)
- How to connect with your character (even if you have nothing in common with them)
- How dialogue brings characters to life
- Techniques to develop your character’s personality
- Ways description can make characters more realistic, believable, and relatable
- Methods to get inside your character’s head
- Your character’s fatal flaw
£65 Includes free writing gift Click here to book
Introduction to digital painting with Herb Wiersma– 4 week evening course.
Introduction to fiction writing with Clare Stevens
Ever fancied writing fiction but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you have an idea for story but are unsure what form it should take, or you may have written some opening lines and become stuck.
From creating convincing characters and setting to building up tension in your story, this short taster session will take you through some of the basics you need to develop your idea and craft your narrative. You’ll have an opportunity to practice techniques through a series of fun, guided exercises.
Reading as a writer with Anne Goodwin
The art of the 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.
Typesetting (formatting your text) for Self-Publishers with The Book Typesetters – Nat and Rachael Ravenlock
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.
Writing a novella with Alex Davis
Writing about diversity from the outside in with Anne Goodwin
Many writers want to reflect a diversity of identities among our characters but causing offence if we get 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.
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.
£30 Click here to book
Writing for wellbeing with Clare Stevens
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.
Why how you remember it might not be the best way to write it and how to cherry pick for interesting angles and focus.
Suitable for beginners.
Writing sensitively about mental health matters in fiction with Anne Goodwin
Writing short stories with Alex Davis
Short stories have provided meaningful first publication for many successful authors, and are an exciting form in their own right as well as being a potentially exciting launchpad into publication.
This workshop will explore the essentials of short story writing, taking in story structure, characterisation, the ‘hook’ and the ‘twist’, and more besides!
Ideal for writers looking to start out in the form.
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