Saturday, 10th November 2018



The Writer’s Path

with Alison Baverstock

This day-long course will be supported by both Alison’s detailed research into the motivations for, and processes of, writing and publishing, as well as her own first-hand experience as a writer and publisher.

There will be regular opportunities for attendees of both workshops  to explore how the ideas presented apply to individual writing practice through a series of exercises and through questions.

There will be an additional Q&A session at the end of the day.

Creative Ways In

with Louise O’Neill

Louise’s day is all about ideas: generating, expanding, building and exploring. Every concept will be discussed in theory and immediately put into practice. Louise will draw on her own experience as a writer of YA and adult novels to illustrate her examples.


To the day; to ourselves; to each other.

Assessing the status quo.

Objectives and priorities.

9.00 – 10.00

Themes and Concepts in Fiction

Aims of the day: to unlock and unblock our imaginations.

Working from big idea down to detail, we will play with practical approaches to freeing ideas.

Pathways and Stages

Options for writing, completing, submitting and publishing your work.

Stages of the process: writing; reviewing; rewriting; reviewing; representation; submission; publication.

10.00 – 11.00

Creative Ways In

Exercises on developing thematic concerns from the inside out; free writing around key ideas; using brainstorms and mind maps; distilling the central idea.

 Coffee chat

11.00 – 11:30

 Coffee chat

The Writing Life

What works in general and what works for you?

A presentation on extensive recent research into ‘What makes a writer?’

How does this fit with the experiences of the group?

What can be learned in the process?

11.30 – 12.30


Iceberg principle: reader sees only a fraction of what the author knows. Rooting your story in its time and place, evoking a credible environment and atmosphere.

Genre tropes: how to bend them to fit your concept. Practical techniques and ways in.


12.30 – 13.30


The Context

How the fast-changing digital environment is offering new opportunities to writers.

A research-based look at how writers can access and benefit from opportunities to share their work and communicate with their readers.

13.30 – 14.30


Central protagonist/antagonist; flipping and switching; expanding and contracting; likeability; creating a varying cast; character arc.

Theory into practice.

Sustaining yourself and your platform

How to access support—including your own objectivity—to make your work better.

How to build and keep an audience.

An important opportunity to explore personal comfort zones about how much to share—and how to keep a working life-private life balance.

14.30 – 15.30

Voice and Dialogue

Point of View, Exposition through Dialogue, Language (refer back to Themes and Concept exercises), Rhythm,

Literary Devices.

Group and individual creative time.

Coffee chat

15.30 – 16.00

Coffee chat

In Review … for You

Reviewing the options available, what is the best personal fit for you?

What will you do next?

16.00 – 16.30

Overcoming the Block

Silencing the inner editor; pen to paper games; altering thought patterns; employing tools from today; changing angles; psychology of storytelling.


16.30 – 17.00