CREATIVE WRITING COURSES IN FARNHAM, SURREY.
(New for 2019 Greek Retreat: details here)
You can read a review of my one day workshops here
(Gift vouchers are available for all my workshops. I also run personalised workshops for groups of five or more, and offer one-to-one tuition at £40ph)
Saturday Aug 3rd: Writing for Radio
Saturday October 5th: Short Story Masterclass
Saturday October 19th: Inspiration from Myth and Legend
Saturday Nov 9th: Rewriting the Self
Saturday January 18th: Banish the Blank Page
Saturday Feb 1st: Short Story Masterclass
To book or for more information, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enjoy discussing fiction as much as writing it, come along to the book club at the Bel and the Dragon pub in Churt. We meet every six weeks for delicious food, a glass of wine and some bookish talk. You just need to reserve your place with the Bel and the Dragon Pub.
Next date Wednesday November 20th, 7.30pm. Details here
NEW FOR OCT 2019
I've teamed up with Sky Blue tours and will be running a writing retreat in a tiny village up in the Greek hills outside Athens. It's an inspirational location and will provide the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in writing for a few days. It's ideal if you're part way through a novel or memoir and feel a little stuck, or if you're a beginner and you'd like some inspiration and guidance to tackle some short stories or a longer project. Details here
‘Melanie is a fantastic teacher. She has tons of energy and enthusiasm and makes every session really fun, but is also really insightful in her analysis of storytelling. I have learned so much from her classes, and with her help and encouragement, my stories have won a number of literary competitions.’
I keep signing up for Mel's workshops as the atmosphere is always friendly, where everyone feels safe and happy to share their writing. I always come away with something to work on; one flash fiction that came from nowhere during one of Mel's writing exercises went on to be shortlisted in the Bridport Prize.
Melanie is an inspirational teacher. Her knowledge is impressive and she is the most perceptive of readers. She can pin-point exactly why a story isn’t working and with a few gentle suggestions she helps me to see how my writing can be improved. Melanie creates a warm, relaxed atmosphere where everyone feels confident airing their thoughts. The exercises we do in class are fun and fresh- they never feel repetitive- and sometimes the results are unexpected. I love her classes and look forward to Thursdays.
"With all the Creative Writing teachers around, I feel lucky that I found Melanie's classes - interesting and valuable course content, well taught, well documented, delivered with an entertaining, easy manner that gets everyone involved. Plus, people tell me I'm now a better writer."
Melanie has the elusive quality of charisma without intimidation. She enables writers to unearth their talent and is uniquely positive and encouraging. She brings out the absolute best from her students. All this - but most importantly she has the most wonderful sense of humour, I always come away from the classes buzzing!
"Melanie's classes are so inspiring. I have attended her day courses and regular termly courses, but whichever, Melanie creates a great environment for writing and her analysis and critiquing is so insightful and beneficial, my writing has improved immensely as a result. I cannot recommend Melanie's classes more strongly."
Melanie creates a safe and supportive space in which to learn the technical aspects of writing and bare your soul sharing your work. She has really helped me to analyse and self-edit, too, as she is great at teasing out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. My writing, and my confidence in it, has developed beyond expectations after just a couple of terms. Highly recommend her as a tutor.
Forget those dreary sessions at school about misplaced commas and ‘serious’ writing. Mel’s classes are a constant delight, full of helpful encouragement and useful advice. She always finds something to praise in even the dullest of stories. And we really learn most from the feedback sessions on other people’s work.
Mel creates a really friendly and comfortable environment and since I’ve been coming to her workshops I’ve been shortlisted for three competitions and won one! She’s given me real confidence and has (amongst other things!) helped me understand how to create a story arc.
Melanie is truly inspirational and fun. Her teaching style is engrossing and she has a knack of making creative writing ideas spring to life in your mind - I've been amazed at some of the stories that have appeared in my head during her courses (I've been on a few). The rest of the building knows when Melanie's class is taking place because of all the laughter coming from the room. If you want to learn the craft of writing then Melanie will teach you all you need to know.
Day and Weekly Writing Courses
I'm an Associate Lecturer at the University of Chichester; I run workshops at sixth form colleges and literary festivals, and I taught for many years at Surrey Adult Learning. I have an MA and a PhD in English and Creative Writing and I write both commercial and literary fiction. My creative writing classes in Farnham and Churt are open to everyone. Through a series of writing exercises we explore all aspects of creative writing including plot, setting, characterisation, voice, viewpoint, dialogue, genre etc.
The courses are suitable for all abilities, whether you're a total beginner or a more experienced writer. In a friendly, comfortable environment you can share your work (if you wish to) and receive and offer constructive feedback. I offer advice on getting published and encourage you to submit to competitions, magazines and anthologies. A number of my students have had publishing and competition success.
Ten Week Courses Tuesdays and Thursdays
(I'm now taking bookings for next term beginning January 2020)
Tuesday morning 10 - 12 @ Farnham Pottery
Thursday morning 10 -12 @ Lingwood, Churt
Thursday afternoon 2 - 4 @ Lingwood, Churt
Thurs evening 7 - 9 @ Lingwood, Churt
Price: £120 for ten weeks
(The Churt courses are at my home.and include tea, coffee and biscuits and are limited to eleven students)
One Day Workshops
10am - 3pm
£60 including tea, coffee, biscuits and home-cooked two course lunch
(max 9 students)
Venue: Lingwood, Thursley Rd, Churt
These workshops offer the perfect opportunity to devote an entire day to your writing. There will be tutor-led exercises, group discussion and individual feedback. This is a friendly, inclusive learning environment suitable for writers of all ages and abilities:
SHORT STORY MASTERCLASS
You’ll have the opportunity to spend the day experimenting with the short story form. We’ll be looking at what makes a story come to life, how to create structure and narrative tension, and the art of developing complex characters in this compressed form.
RE-WRITING THE SELF
Have you ever considered writing a blog or a memoir? Or perhaps you’d simply like to pull on some of your personal experiences and turn them into fiction. In this one day course we’ll be experimenting with using real life events and personal history as inspiration for writing. You’ll learn how to collate, edit and transform your memories into engaging prose.
INSPIRATION FROM MYTH AND LEGEND
This is a day of inspiration and subversion. Think of Angela Carter’s dark gothic stories, Carol Ann Duffy’s 'World’s Wife' poems, and the numerous re-workings of biblical tales, from writers as diverse as Shakespeare and Jeffrey Archer! We’ll be looking at myths, legends and folk tales and learning how to rework and subvert them into edgy, contemporary stories with modern settings.This is an ideal opportunity to experiment with some 'speculative' fiction
BANISHING THE BLANK PAGE
A day to stimulate creativity. Suitable for novelists, short story writers and total beginners. If you've lost the muse, or don't know where to start, this is for you. We'll be doing exercises that inspire you, and cover key aspects of fiction, including plot, characterisation and voice.
WRITING FOR RADIO
What type of fiction and drama works for radio? What style of short stories? How do you structure a radio play? We'll examine key elements of radio drama including plot, character and genre, and will review the market and explore the opportunities available.
I am into my second term of the writing course with Melanie, and really enjoying it. We have covered many aspects of writing prose and poetry, and several genres. I have found I need to have some homework to give me the self discipline to write regularly, and can honestly say that the exercises are fun and inspiring. The students are encouraged to share their work, and the environment that Melanie creates is positive and encouraging.
Mel has a brilliant knowledge of the mechanics of writing and a real a flare for freeing the creativity in others. Great fun with lots to learn, she’s a diamond, loved it.
I've been attending Melanie's writing course for the last three years and her weekly class is something I look forward to as it covers many different writing genres. Her engagement with us all is infectious and never fails to inspire me and the rest of my classmates to write and 'put it out there', with encouragement to enter writing competitions and/or send stories or poems to weekly or online magazines.
'I've attended Melanie’s courses at her home and also engaged her, several times, to run workshops for the West Sussex Writers with classes of up to forty or more. One of the defining characteristics or her teaching style is just how much unforced energy she brings with her into the room. The fact that she's able to combine this with a deep and wide knowledge of her craft, as well draw on her own successful career, makes for an intense and entertaining learning experience.
Richard Buxton (multi award winning author of Whirligig)
I have never dabbled in fiction writing till I attended Melanie's creative writing classes. She is a fantastic teacher with a skill to ignite the ability to write stories within you. She is lots of fun to learn from and so enthusiastic in her delivery and I absolutely look forward to each class.
Mel is a lively, perceptive and inspiring teacher/leader whose experience, clear delivery and appropriate use of humour promote effective learning, much enjoyment and group cohesion.
Melanie is not only enthusiastic about all forms of writing but also passionate about eliciting the optimum creative response from her students. But the best part of all is that we have great fun doing it! Highly recommended!
Melanie is a stimulating teacher of creative writing. She goes about the business of creative writing in a professional way but has a lively personality and a great sense of humour.
“ I’ve been to a Saturday morning class and an eight week evening course, both fun, stimulating and interesting, with a reasonable chance I will be able to write something by the end of it”
Melanie runs a lively, interesting class and is an expert at pinpointing the positive aspects of her students' work.She has a great sense of humour and puts everyone at ease. Enjoy.
Melanie’s classes create an engaging and lively atmosphere through which to explore, discuss and tackle a wide range of genres and writing techniques. There is a reassuring balance between feeling challenged and being encouraged to put pen to paper and celebrate whatever the outcome may be!