Events

Events in 2018

I’m running two further masterclasses in collaboration with Kellie Jackson of Words Away:

* Saturday 26 January 2019: Crafting Character and Setting, plus Q&A with industry speaker Christina Macphail of Agatha Christie Limited. More info below.

* Saturday 30 March 2019: Crafting Your Prose: A Masterclass on Literary Style, plus Q&A with industry speaker tbc. More info below.

Both one-day classes are held at London Bridge Hive, 1 Melior Place, London SE1 3SZ. 

I have plans for further workshops and masterclasses in the near future: contact me to be added to my mailing list.

Crafting Character and Setting: A Masterclass
26 January 2018

In this masterclass we’ll look at intuitive ways to bring characters and settings to life in our stories. We’ll use selections of readings from a variety of genres, and put some of our ideas into practice with writing exercises. We’ll end the day with an informal Q&A with industry speaker Christina Macphail, International Business Development Manager at Agatha Christie Limited, who has extensive experience in sales and rights for both adult and children’s books (and many of the best-known characters in the literary world). Book your place here.

  • 10.00–10.45: Playing Parts: Bringing characters to life with types and telling details
  • 10.45-11.30: Inner Landscapes: Digging deeper with character: desires, conflicts, and secrets
  • 11.30–11.45: Break
  • 11.45–12.45: Building Worlds: Creating foundations for our stories with settings in time and place
  • 12.45–14:00: Lunch (we can give recommendations for places nearby at London Bridge and Borough Market)
  • 14.00–15.15: Mapping Our Journeys: Combining character and setting with point of view to find focus for our storytelling
  • 15.15–15.30: Break
  • 15.30–16.45: Industry speaker: Q&A with Christina Macphail of Agatha Christie Limited
  • 16.45–17.00: Final wrap-up

You don’t need to read all of the books below to take part in the class, but I may be using examples taken from them during the course of the day. Dip into samples from at least the openings and continue with any that capture your interest. Further guidelines and reading suggestions will be emailed to you a few weeks before the class itself.

Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr Ripley
Tove Jansson, Finn Family Moomintroll
Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City
Annie Proulx, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (in her collection Close Range)
Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge
JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

Crafting Your Prose: A Masterclass on Literary Style
30 March 2019

This masterclass, led by a veteran editor, will look at ways to adapt your voice in writing for different purposes and different styles. In the morning we’ll cover a writer-friendly overview of grammar and syntax, and in the afternoon we’ll discuss specific close readings from a variety of genres, including contributions from your own reading and writing. Throughout the day there will be writing experiments and editing exercises to put some of these ideas into practice. We’ll end the day with an informal Q&A with a publishing professional (to be confirmed). Book your place here.

  • 10.00–10.45: Words: Understanding parts of speech
  • 10.45-11.30: Sentences: How syntax and sentence variety add mood and shift pace
  • 11.30–11.45: Break
  • 11.45–12.45: Space: How punctuation, paragraphs, breaks, and empty space can transform our words. We’ll also consider the idea of ‘rules’ in writing, and look at recommendations for useful guides on usage and style
  • 12.45–14:00: Lunch (we can give recommendations for places nearby at London Bridge and Borough Market)
  • 14.00–15.15: Style: Technique meets Taste as we examine examples from writers who’ve made their styles distinctive: minimalist, plain, classic, maximalist, baroque (and more).
  • 15.15–15.30: Break
  • 15.30–16.45: Industry speaker: Q&A – speaker to be confirmed.
  • 16.45–17.00: Final wrap-up

Recommended reading: Constance Hale, Sin and Syntax. Further guidelines and reading suggestions will be emailed to you a few weeks before the class itself.