Autumn 2020 Writing Classes

In October I will be teaching three classes, including a Crime Writing class and a Grammar Class. Please check out the courses below.

Creative Writing – All Levels
Organiser: Guildford Book Festival
Dates: Mon. 5th October – Fri. 9th October
Times: 10am – Noon each day
Cost: £40 for the week

This creative writing class is aimed at all levels. You’re welcome to use this course as an opportunity to try something new, or you can use the time to brush-up on a long-standing project. We’ll be discussing character, plotting, setting, voice and language.

Creative Writing – Crime Fiction
Organiser: Guildford Book Festival
Dates: Sun. 11th Oct
Time: 10am – 5pm.Cost: £28 for the day

The workshop will be a mixture of lecture, discussion, and applied writing, and it will be highly interactive. The class will start with writing the detective, and then move through to the villain, the victim, and plotting. The day will round out with discussions of setting and readerships. All levels welcome.

Perfecting Your Grammar
Organiser: Lifelong Learning Dundee
Dates: Starts 7th Oct and runs for 5 weeks
Time: 6.30pm-8.30pmCost: £40 for the whole course (£35 concession)

This course is aimed at native English speakers who would like to brush up their grammar and spelling and develop their confidence in writing for work or pleasure. 

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Braemarnia: A Village’s Story of Nature and Myth

As a part of the Breamarnia Project, my buddy Annie Marie and I put together a film that will debut at the Women’s Library ‘Open the Door’ Festival. Supported by the Open University, this short documentary tells of how this community-written novel came about, and how much of the village’s history is attached to its surroundings. A focal point of the story is about how the mountains, the river Dee, and the ever-changing environment acts as a character in the novel

Join us on 18 May at 2pm:

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Lockdown Classes and A Writing Opportunity

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Open Studio at the Fife Arms

If you’re in Braemar for the Creative Arts Festival, pop by the Fife Arms and say ‘hello’. I’ll be in residence working on Braemarnia, and I’m inviting the public to participate in the project. Write a scene, edit a draft, or just have a natter.

October 23 & 24, 2-4pm

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A Few Days with the Brontës


The Old School House in Haworth

On Friday I had the unforgettable privilege of teaching in the same room as the Brontës. The Old School House is to one side of the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The school was built by Patrick Brontë, and he and two of his daughters taught there. Despite the florescent lights and projector, the room still holds an echoey ambiance surely bound up in nearly 200 years of educational use. Curved arched windows look out to rustling tree leaves. It was not difficult to imagine Patrick Brontë commanding a room of local children.
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The Question of Gender and Violence in Crime Fiction

I’ve taught a few crime fiction classes (as both creative writing and as literature courses), and often the majority of my students (which are predominately women) state that when reading crime fiction they either skip pages with graphic violence* or stop reading.

This leads us to the following question…

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New Post with the Open U

A quick update on some exciting news. As of 1 October, I will be teaching on the Open University’s ‘Advanced Creative Writing’ course as an Associate Lecturer. Looking forward to getting stuck in!

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2019 Autumn and Winter Classes

IMG_6407It’s autumn, which means I’ve got a batch of new classes coming up. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like more info, or click on the corresponding link.

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A stack of Braemar stories

My experience in facilitating a community written novel has hit a few stumbling blocks, but I see these set-backs as part of the development and learning process. Braemarnia is an experiment after all.

Read about how the project is going Braemarnia stack of stories.

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Gender and Crime Fiction – Q&A

Leave your questions for the discussion session of this 12 March talk in the comments below.

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