The Writing Retreat –  bookings open for 5-11 March 2018 at Rosemerryn

The Writing Retreat is a collaboration between me and Kath Morgan, a writing tutor and mentor from South Cornwall. Here is what guests at our recent retreats have said about their time with us.

We run retreats several times a year on topics such as the Craft of Writing, Narrative Structure, Life Writing and Time to Write. We provide an all-inclusive residential week in which you can write in peace and quiet, with delicious food, good company, a mid-week guest author and the support of me and Kath as resident tutors. Places fill up quickly and many of our guests return regularly. Our Crafting the Short Story week is booking now, with a choice of double and twin rooms. Find out more and book your place here.

Creative writing in Mylor Bridge – dates for winter and spring 2018

I run a monthly Saturday morning writing session in Mylor Bridge, on the south coast between Falmouth and Truro. If you’re in the area and would like to join this friendly, informal ‘drop in’ group, our next meetings are from 10.00am-12 noon on 27 January, 24 February and 24 March. We meet in Tremayne Hall, in the centre of Mylor Bridge, with free parking available across the road in the village car park.

There is no critiquing, but lots of stimulus for new writing and the chance to share and compare responses to prompts and triggers that get the creative juices flowing. If you want to make more time for your own creativity this year, these relaxed monthly get-togethers are the perfect way to make writing part of your regular routine. The fee is £7.00 per person, which includes coffee, tea and biscuits. Just bring your pen and notebook – new faces are always welcome.

If you’d like to receive regular alerts about these sessions, contact me here.

Writing a community novel

In October 2017 I embarked on a three year research programme to create a community novel. My question is ‘what would happen if a village wrote a novel?’ Or, to put it another, more academic way, ‘What is the potential role for digital media in co-authorship of a community novel?’ I’m based at Falmouth University, where everything is digital and new media has become the norm in terms of how people write and share their learning. Yet out here in the community, I work with people for whom the pen is still the most commonly used technology. Computers tend not to make it into the writing workshop; they are perceived as part of work, not creativity. The Arts and Humanities Research Council has granted me funding to 2020 to test whether digital media and traditional writing methods can work together in a way that is inclusive and accessible for everyone, to make a piece of extended fiction. The Victorians wrote long novels in instalments and readers would often have a say in the way the plot developed over time; could that work now as a way of involving people in a community? Digital story making uses a mix of text, pictures, audio and animation to make a story that hangs together and interacts with its readers; could that work? What about the way gamers take on a role and create stories together in virtual and real spaces? And what about using apps such as Pinterest to create visual material that builds characters and settings? I intend to have fun finding out. Watch this space…

Writing for health and wellbeing

One of my passions as a writer is the way the pen can help people as part of general health and wellbeing, and as part of counselling. I’m involved with the Cornwall branch of Lapidus UK, which runs events to raise awareness of this sort of writing, encouraging more people to try it. We have regular get togethers in Truro, with workshops led by Lapidus members, and a chance to swap information and inspiration about expressive writing. I am not a counsellor myself but I am trained in bereavement support, through Cruse UK. U run training sessions for counselling teams and organisations providing support to bereaved people, and those with a general interest in writing for wellbeing. Find out more here.