Discover the secret to writing great stories in Stow-on-the-Wold

 In Creative Writing Courses

Explore the mysteries and the craft of creating story in that most charming of Cotswold market towns, Stow-on-the-Wold. Join a group of eight or ten like-minded souls for the weekend of 21 to 23 September.

Far from our everyday preoccupations and responsibilities, we’ll talk, brainstorm and write – furiously – with just one aim in mind: to hone our writing skills.

After all, what is the secret to writing great stories? Well, we’d put it down to

  • The sort of characters that drive them…
  • The stakes that keep your readers on the edge of their seats…
  • The suspense that keeps them speculating…
  • And the structure that leads them from the idea that kicks the story off, to the climax that crowns it.

Stories drive us. They’re what help us make meaning – and so, sense, of our world. They help us make decisions about our own existence.

Stories of one sort or another power the world. They’re the spine of the fantasies (and policies) politicians spin. History is the stories we make up to decipher the past.

And, of course, story is what writing’s all about. It’s where inspiration begins. A good story-teller can make us believe in anything. They can make us care about real-world issues, or about people that exist only in their imaginations.

All About Writing has been in the business of helping writers tell their stories for twelve years now. Here’s what Clare Fermont, in London, said about her experience on one of our courses: “If you want to be let into the best secrets about the art of writing and share time with the loveliest people imaginable, then All About Writing is for you.”

Susan Bentley joined us at Stow last year. She said, “My memory of Stow is of beauty, warmth, comfort and hard work. I stepped into the beautiful Benfield, received a pack with my name on it – notes, pen, bright yellow journal – and started growing my writing skills. Richard, your talks and notes, and the interesting discussions taught me a great deal about the living craft of writing.”

“The camaraderie of being with a group of like-minded people, and the knowledge that with Richard mentoring you, you’re not alone in your endeavours,” said Tracy Fox, who was present with her husband Howard. “All About Writing is a phenomenal resource for writers looking to hone their craft. I have come away with new insights and knowledge from every workshop or course I’ve attended.”

Amanda Okill came to have a keener edge put on her writing – and left sharper than ever. “Richard said he pushed us hard but that is why I came, to be challenged and I was challenged but left feeling more empowered to write.”

And finally, when we asked Ralph Carr what he’d enjoyed most about the 2017 weekend, he said, “The wonderful friendly attitude of everyone involved. It was obvious that I was a rank amateur among very seasoned writers. Despite that, I never once felt talked down to or intimidated. On the contrary, I felt respected and supported. It was a delight to be taken out of my comfort zone and made to consider things I never have before.”

The weekend

We’ll occupy two townhouses on Sheep Street in Stow, Benfield and Number Ten, offering single or double rooms. The weekend will be co-hosted by All About writing and Lindy Price, owner of Benfield.

The idea is that you book from 4:30pm on the afternoon of Friday 21 September. We’ll meet at 6:00pm for a drink and supper (with an introductory chat about story and a writing exercise thrown in).

Saturday will be a little bit of “theory”, a dash of brainstorming – and writing (with feedback) all the way, with a break for lunch in the town which offers an opportunity for a writing exercise on the hoof. In the evening, we’ll repair to a local hostelry for a festive writers’ dinner.

For Sunday, rinse and repeat, with lunch and a final exercise before we cast off our writers’ mantles (if that’s possible after 48 hours of creative excitement) and scatter.

The cost

Well, it all depends. If you’re a local and don’t need accommodation and breakfast, then it’ll cost you £190. If you take a single room, it’ll be either £370 (shared bathroom) or £450 (en suite bathroom). And if you share with a writing partner, it’ll be £330 each and you’ll have an en suite bathroom. Non-writing partners are welcome too. Please contact us to discuss cost. That includes two nights accommodation (in the most comfortable beds in Stow), both breakfasts, and one dinner and one lunch.

See you in Stow.

Places are limited. To book, please email


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