The people Each workshops runs with 6–12 people at my home in Upper Wolvercote. All the workshops are multi-level: some people are complete beginners, others have been writing for a long time, are returning to an old love, or have decided they want to pursue it more. Small classes mean I can give more attention to everyone and help create a friendly, supportive atmosphere.
The teaching My teaching style is based around discussion, activities, and games designed to introduce the various ideas and principles, and allow you to try everything out. You'll do some activities on your own and others in pairs or small groups, depending on what's appropriate. I never put anyone on the spot and you don't have to read any of your writing aloud to the group. In some workshops, you do have the opportunity to share your writing in your small groups of 3-4, but this is always optional, and you can feed back on how you found the esperience instead.
The day structure I ask people to arrive 10-15 minutes early, so you can have time for a coffee or tea, and to meet the other students - you'll also get to know each other through the activities. The workshop is usually divided into four sections, each with its own focus and set of activities. We have a break mid-morning and mid-afternoon, for tea or coffee and biscuits, which I provide. We take an hour's break for lunch (usually 12:30-1:30) which we eat in the conservatory or the garden, weather depending. I suggest people bring a packed lunch; there's also an M&S garage nearby. I provide plates, cutlery, condiments, and napkins, as needed. You're welcome to bring something that needs heating, but do note that I don't have a microwave!
The handouts Because the workshop time is very active and hands-on, there isn't much time to take notes, so at the end of each workshop I give you a little booklet covering everything we've done, including the writing prompts. You'll also take home the assorted handouts you've used, as well as your own writing of course.
These reviews come from the Daily Info, where you can also read reviews of the other courses and workshops. You can also read reviews of the online teaching here. Scroll further down for reviews of the recent online Summer workshops.
Megan is a wonderful teacher who balances absolutely and thoroughly knows her stuff with a really supportive, nurturing approach to teaching that helps creativity to flourish, especially for those people who have suffered with a harsh style of teaching before or are habitually self-critical. The course was really well planned and structured, the materials were wonderful and it gave me a great sense of the enjoyment you can get from writing, as well as real progress. I'd wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone!
Enneaone 16 Sep 2019
I have been on almost all the courses and workshops that Megan from The Writer's Greenhouse offers and they are all of the highest calibre. The courses are for experienced and inexperienced writers alike and Megan's teaching is superb. It is process learning where you build in your understanding by doing activities there and then, and she gives you a booklet summing up what you have learnt at the end of the session, so you don't have the pressure of taking notes. She has a great sense of humour so the classes never get over-serious or precious, and there is a lot of interaction with the other students. She also understands the various different sensitivities aspiring writers can have so will never put anyone on the spot, and her feedback is always clear, full of information and encouraging, never damning or humiliating. They are probably some of the best courses and workshops of this type anywhere!
Charlotte 27 Aug 2019
Iíve never attended a writing course in my life. I wasnít even allowed to study English Literature at ĎOí level. It was with some trepidation therefore that I signed up for two (out of five) day-long Summer School workshops with Megan.
In the first 10 minutes I felt out of my depth. In the next 10 minutes Iíd pulled myself together and allowed common-sense to prevail over panic. By the end of the day, my grey matter had been well and truly stimulated and Iíd met some lovely people. Iíd published a non-fiction book earlier this year which had received very good reviews on Amazon. I was keen to see what transferable skills I could glean from a course principally aimed at writers of fiction.
Meganís workshops are impeccably planned, fast-paced and with excellent content. Concentrate or drown. After decades of being a passive reader, this workshop forced me to take an objective view of the written word, not in a navel-gazing way. Definitely more pragmatic and fascinating.
Mary 26 Aug 2019
Page Turners - Saturday workshop 3 Aug 2019
Another brand new and completely brilliant Saturday from Megan. As always a fun filled day with great activities and discussions with class mates (Megan provides sample stories for anyone who hasnít got a work in progress). I really made huge progress with my story in exactly the way I needed. I saw how to make it grip the readerís attention and keep them hooked, from the overall theme right down to each individual scene or page. I saw how quite often I was getting it right, and how at other times it was off the mark but I hadnít known why. Lots of inspired editing to do now! A great workshop for people starting out on their first story too, you will learn how to map out and structure the suspense! Get started on the right track!
Judy 7 Aug 2019
Fantastic, engaging, interactive courses. I attend as many as I can. So much better than other courses I've been on and met fabulous, interesting people who I now meet with regularly.
Sophie 5 Sep 2018
Beyond First Draft: This is the hardest part of the writing process for me, and Megan's workshop was absolutely fantastic at providing ways to make it easier - lots of practical tips and processes were presented in a fun, invigorating and motivating way. I'm really enjoying getting to the second draft now, and I never thought I'd ever say that!
Sam S. 4 Sep 2018
Megan's Summer Saturdays are fun-filled, and packed with focussed activities, tailored to participants' special requests, so they are unique. I'd happily recommend these for beginner writers, or anyone who is looking to improve or fine tune their work. The 3 I attended were:
Writing in Scenes (Saturday 28 July 2018)
I'd written plenty of scenes in my story without really realising they were scenes, or how to get the best out of them. We learned the ingredients of a good scene; how to tweak it and make it special. The workshop also covered handling important scenes and constructing convincing action scenes. I now understand that there is a kind of underlying structure to a scene and can see why parts of my story sometimes weren't quite working. I'm now much better able to increase the tension, drama and excitement.
Honing Your Style (Saturday 25 Aug 2018)
We learned that there were different kinds of prose, all of which were great in their own way, but I could see how I could tweak my style in a slightly different direction. It was a choice, and I could be just as subtle or dramatic as I liked. We worked on imaginative ways of describing ordinary things, and creatively tackling the dreaded clichťs that tend to creep in all the time. I realised that my style was actually better than I thought, but now have a good sense of the some of the pitfalls and why some of my writing either felt really right, or really wrong!
Beyond the First Draft (Saturday 1 Sept 2018)
We learned about the levels and layers of editing, and what to tackle when. We tried out creative and colourful ways of organising content, tightening things up, cutting things down and expanding thin parts. Because we worked on our own stories (though Megan will supply material for anyone who hasn't got that far!) I was able to see how quickly and how dramatically I could improve my first draft. I'm delighted to say that pulling it together and working on the flow and the impact could now become addictive. This day is perfect for anyone who has written enough of a first draft that it begins to need editing - you certainly don't need to have completed a whole book.
You will not find another workshop like this anywhere!
Judy 3 Sep 2018
A fantastic day workshop on how to write characters not like yourself. It was full of interesting ways to help think through, develop and write other characters. It was also a great opportunity to meet other people who are writing and feel inspired. As always, Megan's teaching style is fun and informative without anything scary for us shy people :-)
Rhiannon 16 Aug 2018
I attended one of the summer Saturday workshops - on writing in scenes - and it was a revelation. There were twelve of us, some of whom had already worked with Meegan, and some - like me - first-timers, and the whole day was beautifully structured. It was also friendly and not at all scary, while also being full of new (to me) ways of thinking about what a scene is and what goes into it. It confirmed all my worst fears about what I have just been writing but in a way that is enabling me to enjoy re-drafting what I had thought was an impossibly knotty passage. I shall be back for the workshop on style at the end of the month.
Jessica O. 6 Aug 2018
I attended two of Megan's one-day summer-writing workshops and absolutely loved them. I desperately wanted to attend them all, frankly, because I knew just from one phone conversation that she is a rare gem of a teacher: the kind of person who imparts inspiration, wisdom, expertise and hard-headed advice in equal diplomatic measure. She brings out the very best in each student on the course, and we all benefited from the interactions with each other, the games and the brain-busting exercises that Megan had devised.
What a buzz in the room! So much creative energy! I think every one of us left with the impetus and resolve to write more and write better, and Megan's courses certainly delivered the tools for this in spades. I speak as a publishing professional - having been involved in fiction editorial for more than twenty years - and also as a published author. It was so humbling and fantastic and brilliant to discover how much more there is to the world I've inhabited for so long.
If I lived in Oxford, I'd be a regular student, and will certainly be keeping an eye out for more of Megan's weekend workshops. Her passion and vitality translate into the most innovative and informed writing programmes I've ever seen, and her generous spirit will leave you completely inspired to achieve whatever you drives you - whether it's just having fun with like-minded people, or completing the next bestseller.
Sam 31 Oct 2017
Expand Your Repertoire - Genuinely Inspirational!
I came to the Expand Your Repertoire one-day workshop having not written anything for 5 years. I left with a booklet full of ideas, renewed confidence in my writing, and some good friends to boot.
Megan is an excellent teacher, and every second of the full-day course was used to brainstorm, plan, introduce new ideas and angles, and then play around with them in our own writing.
I've been on a number of courses in London and Oxford, and this was certainly the best value-for-money of them all. So much so that, once I've finished this review, I'm going to carry on writing ;-)
I would heartily recommend Megan's courses to anyone considering creative writing; the mixture of people range from people who are new to the discipline, to people who have published several novels. Everyone got a lot out of the day. I can't wait for the next one.
Robin 21 Aug 2017
I've now been to three Writer's Greenhouse workshops and each turned out to be a really fun day, filled with playful, thought provoking and inspiring activities.
I'd not been on any writing workshops before, but after these I will definitely look to doing more in the future. As well as meeting new people from a whole mixture of backgrounds, each session left me with interesting ideas and new ways of working to take away.
I would say the summer of writing workshops are great whether you already write or are just thinking about beginning and want some fun exercises to give you food for thought or a gentle push.
On top of all this I've discovered some great new books and new writers through the extracts Megan uses - I'm looking forward to doing lots more reading and writing!
Katherine 17 Aug 2016
Megan is such a fabulous teacher and sheís so inspiring. Iíve done both the Meddling with Poetry course online with Megan and the ongoing Summer of Writing. I booked both courses because I wanted to re-energise my creativity and rediscover my love for poetry and writing. Iím enjoying the process so much and Megan runs incredibly organised and fun workshops online - so much so that I completely forgot they were online. These are a great, friendly way to meet like-minded people and explore writing. I can not recommend Megan and these courses enough.
RoseH 12 Aug 2020
Inspiring, fun, wise. I booked onto two Zoom group workshops with The Writers' Greenhouse about creativity and they were fantastic. The teacher organised the time into really fascinating activities that taught me a lot. I came away having practised some creative writing experiments and also having learn something about the science and practice of creativity (who knew!) (obviously not me). I didn't think it was possible to be so vivid and practical about creativity and I learnt a lot about my own processes and when and where I'm creative plus I got lots of new ideas too. I'll be going back for more!
Dee 18 Aug 2020
I booked six of the summer workshops as I was in a creative slump over lockdown and missed speaking to other people about things I love.
I'd already attended various of Megan's workshops in person, and knew how welcoming and practical they were, but have since moved away from Oxford and so pounced on this opportunity to participate from a distance. I didn't know any of the other students before the workshops started, but Megan creates a collaborative and relaxed environment online where everyone is supportive regardless of how advanced they are (or are not, in my case!), so that didn't matter at all. Can't wait for the next one!
Helen 18 Aug 2020
Another superb workshop with Megan at The Writers' Greenhouse! I booked this as I realised that my work needs place, and true to form this workshop weekend taught me everything I need to know... Now all I have to do is apply it! Megan runs these workshops so brilliantly, timed well, clearly thoroughly planned and thought out and they bring out the best in me (and everyone else judging from the discussions we had in our groups).
I find the positivity invaluable and I've never ever felt like someone who isn't a writer when I'm on these workshops. Super inclusive, Megan has created the best 'safe space' for writing I've ever encountered. I'm a fan as well as a repeat attender!
I have so many useful prompts, tools and ideas to work with coming out of this workshop that I can't help but feel newly invigorated and will be placing my work in progress this week!
Great work Megan!
MrsGammo 18 Aug 2020
I have been going to creative writing workshops for a while but I found Meghanís courses a mile apart from the others. She has a way of teaching which is unique and itís all about getting students to find their own feet. Students learn by discovering topics and techniques for themselves thatís why I think itís so successful. It also covers plenty of technical tips and exercises which are then summed up in a handy leave-behind.
After the summer workshops, I canít wait to join the courses she runs periodically throughout the year.
AC-K 19 Aug 2020
I took part in 2 writing courses given recently by Megan, on "Place is Story" and "Purposeful Description". They were both done via Zoom.
The courses were very informative and entertaining. Megan provided a lot of information and tips, with opportunities to write on one's own and in small groups. She handled the Zoom sessions with great competence. She provided humour and insight into the course and a number of colourful examples and suggestions.
Brian 24 Aug 2020
I recently participated in two weekend writing workshops with The Writer's Greenhouse, moved from in-person to Zoom because of social distancing requirements. From start to finish, they were a 5 star experience!
Megan is a fantastic teacher - warm, friendly, inclusive. The workshops, being held on Zoom, could have been very intense, but Megan presented a varied programme, which was very enjoyable and balanced. The sessions were brilliantly planned, with bang-on timekeeping, and included small group discussions, preparation exercises, writing, a bit of whole group work and reminders to stretch - very important!
The workshops all sounded interesting, but, after much deliberation, I chose workshops about setting and description. I was hoping that these workshops would teach me some skills while giving me a gentle push towards actually starting on a writing project. Though some of the participants mentioned current writing projects, at least one was like me, looking at the workshops as a launchpad. I did find them very inspiring - the other participants were friendly and supportive, the technical writing exercises really stretched me, the different approaches Megan used for settings and description were illuminating and taking the time to really analyse the purpose of description was extremely helpful. To be honest, I hadn't expected I'd learn so much in such a short time!
Megan is a very generous teacher. She organised an introduction to Zoom before the workshops, for anyone who lacked experience. I had a question about resources which she promptly answered via email. Indeed, once you get involved with The Writers' Greenhouse, you have access to frequent writing prompts and ideas from Megan and a wealth of writing resources. At the end of the workshops, Megan emailed a booklet with all the relevant information so that we wouldn't have to take notes. She will also post it out to the participants. I haven't yet had the privilege of an in-person workshop with Megan, but she obviously put a lot of effort into adapting her workshops to go online. During the late spring/early summer, she also canvassed those interested about subject choices and how people would like the workshops to run, ie timings and cost, and kept us all informed about her decisions and how she had made them.
I can't recommend Megan and The Writers' Greenhouse highly enough and look forward to my next workshop!
Adele 24 Aug 2020
I booked on the one of the one off Summer workshops, orientating the reader, an afternoon online course. I was struggling with focusing on consistency and making sure the reader knew where they were physically and plot wise. I was hoping to rectify these issues with this course.
Megan was very personable and explained the concepts needed via a series of tasks that made them easy to understand and apply. Splitting us into groups and trying ideas out before reviewing them as a whole group again. The discussions were informative and well paced. We were not only given support with our writing and applying the concepts but feedback via peers and by her on what could work for us as individuals and more generally.
Resources were provided during the course, sent via email and posted out afterwards.
I cannot recommend Megan highly enough. I have attended many courses both online and in person, none of which have had the pace and quality that Megan provides. Donít miss out - book before she fills up!
Red Carolyne 1 Sep 2020
This summer, as usual, I attended two Writers' Greenhouse Saturday workshops. It was sad not to be cycling over to Wolvercote for the day, but instead we had afternoon workshops on Zoom. Although I'm quite experienced with Zoom, I was seriously impressed with Megan's Zoom skills: she made us all feel as much at home as she always does, and it was easy to forget that we were not actually meeting in person.
As always the workshops - one on dialogue and the other on exposition (how do you help your readers absorb the recondite information that is essential to your plot without them noticing you are doing it?) - were rich both in content and in sharing with other writers. For me there was much to ponder in relation to what I am writing at the moment.
Thank you Megan!
Jessica Osborne 7 Sep 2020
What a wonderful teacher Megan is. It's not easy to transfer from face to face teaching to the magic of Zoom almost instantly, but Megan managed it with ease. I enjoyed three of the Summer of Writing courses this August and I wished I could have done the others too. What a lovely way to spend a summer weekend afternoon in the company of people all over the world doing wonderful writing exercises. Megan is encouraging, extremely knowledgeable and she has organised fun enjoyable lessons that I thoroughly enjoyed.
susan 8 Sep 2020
Summer Saturdays in August, 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 £60 each; the more you book, the less you pay per workshop.
1 workshop £70 each
2 workshops £65 each
3+ workshops £60 each
Email me with any questions.
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