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Activities at The Skyros Centre, Greece

The Arts & Crafts of Fiction with Margie Orford

Sun 21 - Sun 28 Jul 2024


Margie Orford’s writing workshop in the summer of 2024 will set out the tools needed for writing fiction. The workshop will guide participants through the steps needed to conceptualise and outline a project, create characters with depth and integrity, write convincing dialogue, create setting, and get a handle on that trickster, time, as well as the specifics of place. The programme allows for plenty of time for your own writing, for useful ways of assessing your own material and learning from the work of other participants. In addition, you will have guided reading and hands-on teaching so that at the end of the course you will have the outline of a way forward, plenty of material written, and a writer’s toolkit as a guide and companion for your writing project.


All writing – narrative non-fiction, memoir, fiction – has storytelling at its heart. There are two keys to that heart. The first key is finding the story. The second key is opening your ear to your own writing rhythm – your voice, so that you can write your story – your fiction –  in the way it can be best and truly told. 

Writing is both an art and a craft. It is both inspiration and perspiration. In this workshop we will experience both, with a particular focus on how inspiration emerges from the practical craft of writing.

We will explore which story you wish to tell and in which form by examining different ideas of truth and truth-telling. We will look at the best ways to structure narrative and the practical ways of crafting a clear and vivid narrative voice. We will discuss how to tell the time of the past and the present.  

There will be informal presentations at the beginning of each session. We will read some texts about writing – novels, non-fiction, short stories, and memoir – and look at how these stories are made, crafted, put together, so that you can use these for your writing practice.


Each day will begin with a guided writing session – so that your own writing comes first and so that the blank page becomes our friend rather than something that makes us hesitant and afraid. 

What's included?

Margie's masterclass is held at the Skyros Centre on Skyros island in Greece. The holiday includes half board, twin shared accommodation in the village. Single upgrades are available. Chat through the website, call +44 (0)1983 86 55 66 or email to discuss your requirements. Find out more about this holiday here.

About Margie Orford

Margie Orford’s most recent novel is The Eye of the Beholder (Canongate, 2022) and the sequel, Common Purpose, will be published in 2025. Love and Fury, a memoir, is out in March 2024. She has published non-fiction and memoir in Granta Magazine and Aeon. Her memoir, Undefended, will be published in 2024.  She is the author of a series of five literary crime novels, Like Clockwork, Blood Rose, Daddy’s Girl, Gallows Hill and Water Music. These have been translated into more than 10 languages. A Fulbright Scholar, she has an MA in Comparative literature from the city University of New York, and a PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of East Anglia, where she has given master classes in writing fiction. She has conducted creative writing workshops at Cove Park in Scotland, York University, in a maximum security prison in South Africa, twice at the Summer School in Tallinn, Estonia   She is an award-winning journalist, an honorary fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford, the president emerita of PEN South Africa. She has lived and worked in Namibia, South Africa, New York City and she now lives in London.

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