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Weekend Writing Course

Nothing comes of nothing …

It all begins with an idea, somewhere at the centre of which is a glimmer of something that makes us sit up and pay attention.

Perhaps it’s just a thought, a doodle, the makings of an anecdote. Perhaps it’s the beginning of a great work. But how do we know?

How can we unpack that first fumbling, that sudden glare, that lightning bolt? And how do we find it in the first place? In short, how do ideas happen? And when they do happen, how can we make the most of them?

This weekend is all about The Idea. Your Idea. Finding it. Exploring it. Writing it. You can come with material already bubbling in your head, or sketched on paper, or you can open yourself to something new. Either way, by the end of the long weekend you will have:

  • Developed strategies for generating ideas
  • Learned how to recognise an idea when it happens
  • Understood how to explore an idea for potential story
  • Become familiar with the elements of story
  • Learned to distinguish between different kinds of idea
  • Written a piece of work that is uniquely and identifiably yours, and of which you can be proud

What matters is that you leave Tall John’s House with new material and a clear strategy for generating more. Along the way, you will connect, or re-connect, with your creative spark, and in that spark discover, or enrich, your authentic voice. You will peel back the curtain on the million stories that surround you, and learn to let them speak to you, so that you can speak of them. Whether you are a beginner, or an experienced writer, this weekend will help you to become a stronger, more confident story-teller, richer in both inspiration and your art.

Areas to be explored will include:

Finding meaning in objects and events.
The Poetics of Space.
The Elements of Story.
Developing the Idea through theme and narrative.
Literary Structure.
Reflective Inspiration.
Writing Exercises.

Our work will take the shape of seminars, group workshops, one-to-one tutorials and reflection/writing time. We will also enjoy convivial company over meals and breaks, and in our informal evening gatherings. There are many indoor spaces in which to find quiet or conversation as you wish, along with gardens, woodlands and hills in which to walk or sit, muse or write.

Tall John’s House is a Georgian manor house situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It has all the character and quirks of a period property, but with the added warmth of a family home. We will be using the house and its grounds for our inspiration, and there are plenty of places where you can write and reflect. The price includes all meals, tea and coffee, and afternoon tea break. All rooms are for single or double occupancy, beautifully presented with high-quality bedding and furnishings, and all with en-suite facilities, both inside the main house and in the converted stables outside. The maximum number of students on this course will be 14. There is opportunity for a reduced price if you are willing to share a large double room, with twin beds.

The course will run from Thursday to Sunday, 5th to 8 th April, 2018.
Location: Tall John’s House, Llangasty, near Brecon, Powys, LD3 7PX
Cost: £550 (£480 if sharing in large twin rooms) per person for three nights, all rooms en-suite and all meals included.

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
To book a place please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Your tutors

Lily Dunn is an author, mentor, editor and creative writing teacher. She has written two novels (Portobello Books), a handful of short stories (Matter magazine) and creative nonfiction (Granta; Litro), and is currently working on a PhD in creative writing. She is a trained editor and journalist and has written for Time Out magazine, the Guardian, the Telegraph and numerous other publications. She is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, and Bath Spa University, and leads workshops under the banner of London Lit Lab https://www.londonlitlab.co.uk. Clients include The British Library, Google, RIBA, IPA, and she also has experience teaching marginalised groups, specifically those in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Robin Mukherjee has contributed extensively to television drama, both returning series ( The Bill, Eastenders, Casualty, Medics) and serials (including Grushko with Brian Cox and Andy Serkis, and Plastic Man with John Thaw and Frances Barber). He has also written for radio and theatre. His most recent film, Lore, was critically acclaimed worldwide, winning Best Adapted Screenplay at the Australian Writers Guild Awards, the Public Prize at Locarno, and many others. It was Australia’s official entry to the Oscars. His original three-part serial, Combat Kids, for CBBC/BBC1 was nominated for a BAFTA. Recent work includes Hetty Feather for CBBC, and Judge Dee for Endemol. He is currently adapting Paul Scott’s (Booker Prize winning) novel Staying On for cinema, supported by the BFI. His book, The Art of Screenplays – A Writer’s Guide, is published by Kamera Press, and his novel, Hillstation, by Oldcastle Books. He has much experience lecturing and teaching workshops for the Arvon Foundation, Oxford Continuing Education and The Temenos Academy. He currently teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.

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