Create yourself a Summer of Writing: book a selection of workshops to inspire and develop your writing, and some time off for writing. It's the perfect time of year for writing in parks, gardens, pub gardens, and meadows - treat yourself and make it fun. If you can, I suggest you block off a full weekend for each workshop, so you can use the Sunday to write. If you can book a week or two off work, just for writing, all the better!
These full-day writing workshops are filled with creative, practical exercises. Each workshop can stand alone; the five workshops together also create a natural flow-through. All the workshops are multi-level – suitable for both beginners and experienced writers – and for most of the workshops you have the option to create new ideas or to develop a work in progress.
To book, use the booking form below the workshop descriptions. I'll send you a booking confirmation within a day or two, which will also have details of payment. Jump to booking form.
NB: There is NO overlap between the Summer of Writing workshops and the other courses I run - they cover different topics and use different materials.
How to keep the reader reading – whether you’re writing literary fiction or a pot-boiler thriller
What keeps the reader hungrily turning each page? Whether we’re writing quiet literary fiction or pot-boiler thrillers, we want to keep the reader reading – and the principles of how to do that work across genres. In this workshop, you’ll look at how to create and sustain high tension, from tricks of the trade and techniques to gripping the reader at a deeper level.
Explore how to balance the different ingredients of a scene and ways of approaching different kinds of dramatic scenes in your story
Scenes are the building blocks of storytelling, where the story comes alive in “real-time” action. This workshop will explore how to stay focused on writing in scenes, integrating action, description, and dialogue, while keeping the story flow and avoiding filler-material. We’ll also look at how to approach the “big” scenes: action scenes, high drama, turning points, and intense emotion.
Explore a range of ways to write characters unlike yourself and vary a story's cast, while you develop new characters to take home with you
It's an easy mistake to make all your characters too similar, especially the positive characters. When you're creating a "villain", you can gleefully invent all sorts of unusual traits. When you're writing a positive character, you can often end up making them just "normal" - ie not characterised, undifferentiated, or a cast of clones of yourself. This workshop uses a variety of approaches to help you invent characters who are most definitely NOT like you - and more than that, to sympathise with and understand them. You'll invent or develop multiple new characters in the workshop, and also gain insight into some of your own traits, to make sure those aren't replicated across all your future characters.
Explore what makes quality prose, from Angela Carter’s richness to Margaret Atwood’s restraint, and hone your own style
Quality prose comes in dozens of different flavours, but shares a surprising number of strengths across the sweep of styles. In this workshop, you’ll explore what you value in good prose and hone your own style. We’ll cover spotting clichés and collocations, using imagery, selecting telling details, improving word choice, and pruning unnecessary words.
How to submit your writing for publication: find where to send it, sort your layout, write synopses and cover letters, and get published
If you want to get published, don't let your writing live in your hard drive gathering virtual dust - send it out. The first short story I had published was one I'd written 10 years before. So why didn't I send it out? I didn't know if it was good enough - but that's the editor's call, not mine. I didn't know I was "allowed" - well, I'm here to tell you that you ARE allowed. And I didn't know how. So that's what we'll cover.
Getting your writing ready and submitting it for publication can feel scary, but it's really just a question of admin. Once your writing is polished, you need to give yourself the best chance and make the editor's or agent's life easy. We'll look at getting feedback from beta-readers (and how to cope with that!), professional layout, how to find places to send your writing (markets for short stories and poems; finding agents for novels), how to follow submission guidelines, and how to write a synopsis and a good cover letter.
If the form doesn't appear for you or doesn't seem to be working, you can email me at megan @ thewritersgreenhouse.co.uk to make your booking.
5 full-day creative writing workshops in August
Summer Saturdays, 10am – 4pm
Upper Wolvercote (North Oxford). There's free parking, a great bus route (#6), and beautiful canal-side walking routes.
The workshops start at £65 each; the more you book, the less you pay per workshop.
1 workshop £65 each
2 workshops £60 each
3+ workshops £55 each
Email me with any questions or use the form to book.
I won't share your email with anyone else. You'll get emails from me only, about upcoming courses, writing competitions, publishing opportunities, interesting articles about writing, new blog posts, and creative events in Oxford. All emails are sent via MailChimp and you can unsubscribe at any time. Add megan @ thewritersgreenhouse.co.uk to your address book if you want to keep the emails from vanishing into spam.