Winter Courses and Workshops

Winter is a time for reflection, creativity and renewal... 



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 of each session 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 will be submitting it to the group (although you can opt to receive written feedback from Kate at any point). The aim is to show you what is possible, and to motivate and inspire you to do your best work.

These workshops will run in an initial sequence of six, with the option to continue. 

DATES:                   from Wednesday 5th January to 9th February 202

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

"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."



After a winter 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 5th January

TIME:                     9am - 5.15pm

DURATION:            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."


This introductory four-week bite-sized course aims to teach the basic skills in constructing a tiny story - a whole world in 100 words or fewer! Learn how to make every single word work hard to earn its place in your pieces. Learn how to edit, streamline and improve your ideas and receive expert feedback and build community, skills and confidence by sharing your work with your peers. After four weeks you’ll have a neat selection of ‘little’ stories with big impact, which you can develop further.

DATES:  Friday 7th January 2022

TIME: 4.30 - 5pm

DURATION: 4 weeks


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. 



This is a rare opportunity to join one of Petra's focused book writing support groups. You must either be undertaking a long-term project or be working regularly on shorter fiction, creative nonfiction, 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. There will be a maximum of eight students.


DATES:                  from Monday 10th January

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 

"Petra McQueen is an extremely capable and knowledgeable team leader."


A new series of four short, snappy sessions designed to inspire the creation of new flash and micro pieces, to improve the form and style of your writing, and to polish your technical and editing skills. For students who have taken at least one of Helen’s previous Micro courses.

DATES: Wednesday 12th January

TIME: 11.30am - midday

DURATION: 4 weeks


COSTS: £50

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

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Helen

"You certainly got my brain ticking"


Have you always wanted to write but don't know where to start? Are you a secret writer and haven't dared show anyone your work?

Petra can save you from the inner critic! This small, friendly class will give you the skills and confidence to tackle the blank page. We will be looking at techniques such as 'show not tell', plot, theme, dialogue, setting and character. You will be encouraged to share your work and will gain insights into what makes your writing unique and how to improve.