Autumn Courses and Workshops

Autumn is a time for gathering story ideas and harvesting the fruits of your labour... 

WEDNESDAY WRITERS RETREAT

After a summer break, our weekly writers retreat is back!

These retreats are for all writers at any stage of their journey who want to work with a community of like-minded people to achieve their writing goals.

It is for those of us who feel we can't justify spending time on our writing... And for those of us who push our writing to the bottom of the to-do list. It is for all those procrastinators out there!

This retreat gives us the motivation and mental space to write all day without interruption. We start at nine each Wednesday morning on Zoom, set goals for the day, check in on each other at lunch, and reconvene at five to discuss our progress. 

DATES: from Wednesday 8th September

TIME: 9am - 5.15pm

DURATION:  Starting on 8th September and recurring most Wednesdays throughout the year. Come to one or come to all, it's up to you!
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: Pay per session £20. Paid in advance on a session-by-session basis.

TUTOR: Petra McQueen (Find out more about Petra here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Petra 

"Petra guides us in the right direction and lets us find our own flow."

WRITING THROUGH THE DARKNESS

Together we at Writers Company wrote our way through our first Covid winter and spring and summer. It has been a great success, sparking new relationships, new work, and new ways of looking at the world. Now you can join us again as we write our way through to the winter solstice 2021.
 
We provide a reading to inspire you, a prompt to direct you, or you can share your own writing goal. Then we will write together, with some social time at the end to debrief, and, if we wish, share our work. This course is suitable for anyone looking for regular, dedicated, quality, no-pressure time to write with optional prompts. For writers at all levels, from all backgrounds, anywhere in the world.

 

DATES: from Saturday 4th September

TIME:11am - 12.30pm

DURATION: monthly  4th September, 9th October, 12th November, 11th December
LOCATION:  online via ZOOM 
COSTS: DROP IN £19 when you pay per session you attend (session payments cannot be carried over). Or COMMIT Sign up for all 4 sessions and you access a further discount on the full fee if you play in advance:  £60. Keyworker 10% discount. One discounted place for disadvantaged writers (if you think this could be you, please email Kate). 10% of any profit to be split between Carers UK and Refuge.

TUTOR: Kate Worsley (Find out more about Kate here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Kate 

"Kate has taught me to be brave, to write outside, under and through the lines."

NOVEL WRITERS GROUP

This is a rare opportunity to join one of Petra's focused novel writing support groups. You must either be undertaking a long-term project or be working regularly on shorter fiction or poetry.

 

Each week members of the class send each other up to 1000 words to be reviewed by each other and the tutor. The workshop then takes the form of positive feedback and areas for improvement. Occasionally Petra will run a skills workshop where she feels the group as a whole will benefit.  

We are looking for committed writers only as the work is time-intensive for students and the teacher. We are also running this for six weeks in the Autumn Term in the first instance on a trial basis, although this may be extended at the teacher's discretion. 

DATES:  from Monday 13th September

TIME:  3pm - 5pm

DURATION:  6 weeks in the first instance
LOCATION:  Online via ZOOM 
COSTS:  £150

TUTOR:  Petra McQueen (Find out more about Petra here).

HOW TO BOOK:  Contact Petra 

"I started the creative writing process as a novice, the whole experience was a great one. Led by the deft, experienced hands of Petra McQueen it was a guided foray into the construction and creation of new territory. The group situation is great, sympathetic and a great sounding board."

THE ARTISTS WAY BOOK GROUP

Every year Petra revisits The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. This famous bestseller has, since 1992, been helping people to live a fulfilling creative life. Every September, Petra religiously does all the exercises: from Morning Pages, to Artist’s Dates, to even stopping reading for a week! This year she invites you to join her. Together we will commit to following Cameron’s programme, helping each other to set goals, and sharing our successes. We will discuss what works for us and what we absolutely hated. Most of all, we hope to have fun! This unusual book group is suitable for anyone. The only thing you need is a copy of the book.

DATES: from Monday 13th September

TIME: 7pm - 8.30pm

DURATION: 12 weeks 
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: £120 

TUTOR: Petra McQueen (Find out more about Petra here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Petra 

Petra McQueen is an extremely capable and knowledgeable team leader. 

I WANT TO WRITE, BUT...

You know you want to write, but…

What will it take to get you started, and to keep going? This inspirational six-week course enables you to feel the fear and do it anyway, wherever you get stuck, on the blank page or 10,000 words in. You will be encouraged to share your work and experiences, develop your skills and confidence and build a writing practice and community that enable you to continue your work independently.

DATES:  from Tuesday 14th September

TIME: 10am - 12 noon

DURATION: 6 weeks 
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: £150 discounted rate if full course fee paid in advance, or £30 per session. Keyworker 10% discount. One discounted place for disadvantaged writers. 10% of any profit to be split between Carers UK and Refuge.

TUTOR: Kate Worsley (Find out more about Kate here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Kate 

@KHWorsley makes you feel like anything is possible with your writing - do this!

STARTING OUT IN FICTION

This introductory six-week course aims to get you started as a writer whatever your experience. Learn how to read and think and work like a writer; and identify and understand the basic techniques and elements of good writing. Receive expert feedback on your writing and build community, skills and confidence by sharing your work with your peers. By the end of the course you will have a portfolio of new short pieces for you to develop further.

DATES: from Tuesday 14th September

TIME: 6pm - 8pm

DURATION: 6 weeks 
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: £150 discounted rate if full course fee paid in advance, or £30 per session. Keyworker 10% discount. One discounted place for disadvantaged writers. 10% of any profit to be split between Carers UK and Refuge.

TUTOR: Kate Worsley (Find out more about Kate here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Kate 

"May I take this opportunity to say how very much I enjoyed the first course. Katie did this brilliantly making it interesting, fun to do, thought provoking, engaging the whole group excellently."

COACHING CIRCLE

Do you have a writing project that you would like to develop or finish this autumn? Would you welcome some gentle support and accountability to make it happen? If so, Arlene is running a small group coaching circle for 5 writers.

We’ll meet bi-weekly for 6 sessions. You’ll create your overall goal for 3 months and break it down into stepping stone goals. Each session we’ll recap on progress and set realistic actions for the next two weeks. Along the way we’ll cover prioritisation, setting your day up to honour your writing, motivation, and dealing with limiting beliefs. 

This is for you if you’re ready to take action, start knowing yourself as a writer who can and does, and believe it would be more fun doing so with others!

DATES:   16th September, 30th September, 14th October, 4th November, 18th November, 2nd December

TIME:   Thursdays 10am -12pm bi-weekly for 6 sessions

DURATION: 6 weeks
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: £250 per writer. You can pay in 3 instalments: £100 at time of booking, then £75 by 1st October & 1st November.

TUTOR: Arlene Francey Lyne (Find out more about Arlene here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Arlene

“Arlene Lyne is an outstanding coach... I feel that I understand myself better and am in a better position to realise my potential as a result of having worked with Arlene.”

EXPLORING FICTION #4

These workshop-format sessions aim to deepen your understanding of how fiction works through the traditional method of close reading– a.k.a. learning from the best. They also provide regular feedback on your own work, as well as the encouragement, support and stimulation of a varied group of writers from around the world. You are encouraged to share your work, its influences, and aims, develop your skills and confidence and push your writing to its limits. EXPLORING FICTION is suitable for anyone who is already motivated to write, but keen to stretch their writing muscles. The close-reading element will be accessible to writers at all levels of ability as well as those with English as a second language.

Numbers are capped at ten, to ensure all writers’ work receives regular attention. Every other week, you submit 700-1,000 words over the weekend before a session. Kate then guides the non-submitting writers in giving their feedback on your work in the first part of the session. 

 

The second part focuses on an aspect of writing technique such as point of view, voice, character etc. Kate guides you in the analysis of a relevant text which will be provided in advance. You are encouraged to explore this in your own work, whether or not you are submitting it to the group (although you can opt to receive written feedback from Kate). The aim is to show you what is possible, and to motivate and inspire you to do your best work.

DATES: from Wednesday 15th September 

TIME: 6pm - 8pm  

DURATION: 6 weeks
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: £150 discounted rate if full course fee paid in advance, or £30 per session. PLUS opt in at any point for written feedback from Kate (approx.150-200 words) on your response to a task (up to 700 words) for an additional £15. Keyworker 10% discount. One discounted place for disadvantaged writers, please contact Kate for details. 10% of any profit to be split between Carers UK and Women’s Aid.

TUTOR: Kate Worsley (Find out more about Kate here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Kate

Kate is an excellent teacher and has facilitated some fascinating discussions. She is clearly very knowledgeable but also allows the students to discuss their own understanding, interpretations and opinions, before sharing the conventional wisdom. This has made for some really enjoyable classes.

THE PLOT THICKENS
- PREP FOR NANOWRIMO

Nanowrimo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is coming soon! In this month you commit to writing 50,000 words of a novel. The idea is that you fly by the seat of your pants. But you don’t have to! In The Plot Thickens we explore what your book will really be about; how to structure it; crystalise your unique authentic voice; and strengthen your characters. This intensive six-week course will give you the confidence, skills and community to complete Nanowrimo with flair.

To make this the best experience possible for our students, we are limiting the class to six.  This will be an intense experience, similar to doing an MA module. It is not necessary that you have signed up to Nanowrimo – simply that you want to write the best book you possibly can. You can be working on fiction or creative nonfiction.

DATES: from Tuesday 12th September

TIME: 3pm - 5pm

DURATION: 6 weeks 
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: £150

TUTOR: Petra McQueen (Find out more about Petra here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Petra 

I did a recent course, The Plot Thickens, with Petra McQueen. What an excellent and engaging teacher. We looked at many aspects of novel writing, from penning the first paragraph, to a detailed look at plot, character and theme, to considerations of how to get published.

FLASH MOB WORKSHOP

A one-off 30 minute event for students who've already completed at least one microfiction course and for confident writers who enjoy/would like to experiment with writing short form. This intensive session will contain a writing exercise to stimulate ideas, information on technique and editing and finally a prompt with writing time and the chance to get a new piece started. Detailed feedback and editing services will be available during the fortnight following the session to help edit and develop your short-form piece (up to a maximum of 500 words in length).

DATES: On Friday 24th September

TIME:  4pm - 4.30pm

DURATION: one-off
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: £25

TUTOR: Helen Chambers (Find out more about Helen here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Helen

"You certainly got my brain ticking"

MICROFICTION

A great opportunity to write, edit and polish the shortest of short fiction - tiny stories of up to 100 words in length. This four-week intensive course, in a small and supportive group, will engage your wordplay skills, encourage you to take creative risks and help you improve your technique, whatever your preferred writing style. You’ll start pieces which you can work on beyond the confines of the course, and detailed feedback will be provided as part of the fees.

DATES: from Wednesday 29th September

TIME: 11.30am - 12pm

DURATION:  4 weeks 
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS:  £50

TUTOR: Helen Chambers (Find out more about Helen here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Helen

The set up of the microfiction course was efficient, the timing prompt and well managed. Homework was potentially demanding but the comments that came back from Helen were invaluable. Her responses were considerate, thoughtful and instructive. 

RESEARCHING FICTION
- with Kate Worsley

This hands-on, exhilarating one-day workshop will give you a solid grounding in how to turn your research into compelling fiction and avoid the dreaded ‘infodump’. You will explore research approaches, world building, character, dialogue and letting go. Complete practical exercises, discuss and share your work with peers, and build community, skills and confidence.
Guest author to be confirmed.
 
In her years as a feature writer for national newspapers and magazines, your tutor KATE WORSLEY researched everything from roller-coasters and animal rights to genetics and brick laying. For her award-winning novel SHE RISES (Bloomsbury UK & US) she climbed the mast of a tall sailing ship, interviewed nervous Filipino seamen under their captain’s beady eye and spent most of one happy year sitting in bed surrounded by library books.


She studied English at UCL, has an MA in Creative Writing from City, University of London and was RLF Writing Fellow at the University of Essex for three years. Currently a visiting lecturer in creative writing at City, she also teaches and mentors for the National Centre for Writing, the Writing Project and privately. You can find out more about her here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATES: on Saturday 16th October

TIME: 10am - 4pm

DURATION:  6 hr (two breaks and one hour for lunch)
LOCATION: online via ZOOM 
COSTS:  £125. Keyworker 10% discount. One discounted place for disadvantaged writers. 10% of any profit to be split between Carers UK and Refuge.

TUTOR: Kate Worsley (Find out more about Kate here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Kate

'Kate has taught me to be brave, to write outside, under and through the lines.'

WRITING YOUR FAMILY TREE WORKSHOP

It's taken you months, years and possibly decades. Your notebooks are full of fascinating facts about your ancesors. But what next? How can you turn this research into a book? How can you create stories from real life. This morning workshops shows you possiblities and helps you plan a new future for your research. 

DATES: on Saturday 30th October

TIME: 9.30am - 12.30pm

DURATION: morning only
LOCATION: online via ZOOM 
COSTS:  £30

TUTOR: Petra McQueen (Find out more about Petra here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Petra 

"Led by the deft, experienced hands of Petra McQueen it was a guided foray into the construction and creation of new territory." 

That's all for now but don't forget to check back as we add courses all the time!  We will also be repeating many of the same courses next autumn, so let us know if you want to be ahead of the game and book early. Our Winter page is coming soon for our next set of courses, followed swiftly by our Spring and Summer pages. Also, don't forget about our one-to-ones and manuscript assessment. We are here for every stage of your writing journey.