Book Under the Bed
Writing Your First Novel
Fiction from Life
Write Your Novel
Adventures in Comedy Writing
This enjoyable course is suitable both for those new to writing and also for more experienced writers seeking to develop their skills. We will focus on the main building-blocks of writing fiction: character, narrative, point of view, voice and dialogue.
Along with stimulating exercises and helpful inspiration to get you going, there will be a chance to share your writing in a supportive environment. You will also receive constructive feedback on the work you produce in the sessions.
This course will leave you inspired and equipped to keep your writing momentum going once you have left.
Jane Harris is the author of bestselling novels The Observations and Gillespie and I. Her work has been translated into 18 languages. In the USA, The Observations won the First Fiction Prize for The Book of the Month Club. It was shortlisted for the UK National Book Awards, The Orange Prize for Fiction and The South Bank Show/Times Breakthrough Award. Gillespie and I was shortlisted for the UK National Book Awards and long-listed for The Orange Prize. Jane was a tutor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia for several years and she taught the most advanced Guardian Fiction Masterclass in 2014 to 2015.
Book Under the Bed
Have you always harboured a desire to write, even written a book but never taken it any further? This is an opportunity to dust off your ambition and find some new motivation and inspiration through a mixture of exercises and group workshops. Designed for people at all stages of the process from beginners to professionals seeking new ideas. This course will inspire, challenge and offer useful tips on crafting irresistible, engaging prose.
Julia Bell is a novelist and Course Director of the successful MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck in London. She is the editor of the bestselling Creative Writing Coursebook. Her latest novel, The Dark Light is published by Macmillan. She also writes poetry, short stories and is a keen street photographer. You can find out more at www.juliabell.net
Writing Your First Novel
Have you always believed you had a novel in you, but never had the knowledge or courage to begin? Have you made several attempts and then lost steam? Or perhaps you're a reluctant/nervous/lonely first-time novelist in need of a kick-start?
In a course that combines practical advice with discussion, exercises, and sympathetic feedback, Shelley Weiner demystifies the process of novel writing. She offers guidance on the tools of fiction, the pitfalls faced by new writers, and on how to sustain momentum from start to finish.
Participants will acquire a firm understanding of aspects of writing, such as character, narrative structure, setting and point of view. They will leave the Skyros Writers' Lab inspired with new motivation and a firm conviction that they have the right to write.
Shelley Weiner is an acclaimed novelist, short-story writer and journalist who has, over the years, established a reputation as an inspirational creative writing tutor and nurturer of new talent. Her novels include A Sisters’ Tale, The Last Honeymoon, The Joker, Arnost, and The Audacious Mendacity of Lily Green. She is the author of two Guardian Masterclass ebooks – ‘Writing your first novel’ and ‘Writing Short Stories’.
As well as being a regular facilitator for the Skyros Writers' Lab, Shelley teaches courses on fiction for the Faber Academy, Guardian Masterclasses, The Literary Consultancy and others. She is a mentor on the Gold Dust Scheme and a trusted Reader for The Literary Consultancy. Shelley’s website: Shelley Weiner Shelley Weiner - acclaimed novelist, writer and journalist.
Visit Shelley's website by clciking here: www.shelleyweiner.com
Fiction from Life
Our lives are full of stories, we tell each other stories every day. What makes a great story? How do we find our own unique way of writing it down? How can we make use of real life experiences in our writing? While learning to kickstart your creative writing life, this course will help you develop a reliable and practical tool kit to produce meaningful works of fiction.
Amanda Smyth is Irish Trinidadian. Her first novel Black Rock won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger, was shortlisted for NAACP award, McKitterick Prize, and selected as an Oprah Winfrey Summer Read. Her second novel A Kind of Eden was published in 2013, and was recently optioned by Smuggler Entertainment to develop a three part series with Prodigal. Her short stories have appeared in New Writing, London Magazine, The Times Literary Supplement and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She is writing her third novel, While They Danced, funded by Arts Council England.
Write Your Novel
It's easy to make excuses and let life get in the way of your writing. This course is designed to kickstart your creativity, whether you are just beginning or in the middle of your project. We will use various workshop exercises drawing on experience, memory, imagination and place for inspiration and there will be opportunities to share pieces of your writing in a relaxed and supportive setting. You will also receive plenty of constructive feedback on the work you produce in the sessions.
At the end of two weeks you will have a clear understanding of the technical aspects of novel writing as well as solid strategies to fuel your creative momentum well into the future.
Mez Packer studied Philosophy and Literature at Warwick University and afterwards spent time in Europe singing jazz in bars and nightclubs. She travelled widely in Asia, the Far East and the Caribbean before working for the BBC.
Mez is currently a visiting lecturer in Creative Writing at Coventry University and she has two published novels: Among Thieves (2009––nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) and The Game is Altered (2012). She is currently completing her PhD and working on an Arts Council funded song cycle as well as writing scripts and short stories, and working on a new novel, set in India.
Adventures in Comedy Writing
Comedy, like any other art, is a craft. There are tips and techniques to be learnt. Simply put, if you can understand comedy grammar then unlocking the funny ideas becomes easier. From finding your creative inspiration to learning the building blocks of humour, this workshop will help you discover your unique comic voice.
Although a writing course, there would be some non-writing exercises designed to encourage the participant’s creativity. There would also be writing games with group feedback and tutor led suggestions to help you hone your comedy writing skills. By the end of the course you will know how to write comedy and will have the confidence to stand up on your own and make a group of total strangers laugh.
Not only will you learn some tricks of the trade, you will also gain a greater awareness of the multitude of differing comic styles that the group manifest. These comedy skills aren’t only for the professional; they are also a fantastic way to think outside of the box, hone your communication skills and increase your confidence in everyday life.
More importantly, you will laugh loads over the entire course.
Logan Murray is a working comic and award winning director, author of ‘Teach Yourself Stand Up Comedy’, and script consultant for the BBC.
He has recently run a series of writing workshops for the Radio Four Comedy Department. He teaches all over the World the Art and Craft of Comedy as far West as Colorado and as far East as Shanghai.
Logan has taught many of the comedians, comedy actors and script writers who have appeared on TV and Radio over the past fifteen years, but is far too modest to boast about it here. There is, however, a list of past alumni on his website…
His courses offer a unique opportunity to find out what a comedian’s mindset is like and explore his belief that Comedy really is a life skill!
Run by experienced creative writing tutor Leigh Russell, the course presents techniques to engage readers' interest and keep them turning the pages. Offering plenty of scope for students to develop their own writing skills, the course will consider areas including character, plot, structure, pace and language.
Leigh teaches students ranging from bestselling authors, to complete beginners and is well known for her encouraging teaching methods. By the end of the course attendees will develop their own writing voice, and have the confidence to work on completing manuscripts suitable for submission to agents and publishers.
After many years teaching English in secondary school, internationally bestselling author Leigh Russell now writes crime fiction full time. Published in English and in translation throughout Europe, her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, including #1 on kindle. Leigh's work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are in development for television with Avalon Television Ltd..
Journey to Death is the first title in her Lucy Hall series published worldwide by Thomas and Mercer.
Leigh's extensive experience in teaching teenagers and adults, combined with her experience in writing many bestselling books, make her a popular tutor for The Writers Lab.
Mindlessness is a course for people who are interested in laughter, both doing it and making it happen. If you want to be a comic novelist, a playwright, a writer of screen plays, sketches, poetry and gags or, if you are really deranged and want to be a stand up comedian, then there will be something here for you. If, on the other hand you have no such ambition but just want to sit around laughing in the Aegean sun then you too are welcome.
There will be discussions about what is funny and exercises in how to make funny happen. You will be invited to write stories, poems and one-liners, and to recount anecdotes about your shameful past; you will learn about the rule of 3, the importance of the call back and how to cope with deranged hecklers. Most importantly, at the end everyone gets a certificate.
Some of my methods are old school e.g I will cane anyone who is more than ten minutes late and I must be addressed at all times as sir.
Arthur Smith is a comedian, writer, broadcaster and erstwhile Grumpy Old Man. As a stand up comic he has performed all over the world especially in Edinburgh where he has won the lifetime achievement award as ‘spirit of the fringe.’ He has written several stage plays, the most successful of which, An Evening with Gary Lineker, ran for several years in the West End. He recently performed Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen in Edinburgh, London and beyond. He appears regularly on the One Show, Radio 4 and presents The Comedy Club on Radio 4 Extra. He was also, briefly, the voice of the woman’s stomach in a Yakult ad.
His acclaimed autobiography My name is Daphne Fairfax was widely admired and if it turns out you have read it you will qualify for ‘teacher’s pet.’