Write, daydream – and make the world a better place

 In Newsletters

Write, daydream – and make the world a better place

What we do – you and I – is not a luxury. No matter what state the world is in, don’t cut back on your creative work. It’s essential for your health, physical, emotional and spiritual.

And it’s important for the world beyond us. It’s been proven that those who use their creative selves have more empathy and are better able to deal with their communities around them.

So, here’s to the end of a year that’s been more than a little shaky, globally, and let’s look forward to a better 2019. We may not be able to influence the whole world, but we can make it a better place one person at a time.

So don’t feel guilty about the time you spend writing, or thinking and day-dreaming. It’s good for you and it’s good for society. We truly believe that. It’s why we exist.

Here’s how we can help you make 2019 a creative year. We would like to unveil our dates for next year. Whatever you need, we’ll be there to make it easier, to walk beside you and help you on your creative path.


2019 dates

Here are our dates for 2019 – the twelfth year we’ve invited writers, from novices to masters, to join us on this exhilarating ride of creative discovery.

Every one of our courses gives participants hard skills, challenges them with searching assignments and provides them with detailed and useful feedback. From every one of our courses, writers emerge with greater self-confidence, inspired to write their stories with greater fluency and skill.

Creative writing:

Writing for film and television:

Other writing adventures:

Writing retreats and weekends:

Discover them all, and choose the one best suited to you, here.

Community News

Trish and Richard spent just short of two weeks running a bookshop – The Open Book – in Wigtown, Scotland’s official Booktown. Here’s what Richard has to say:

‘Wigtown has hosted a book festival for the last twenty years, and although we weren’t there for that (it happens in September), we were witness to the extraordinary effects that the festival has achieved in the town.
There are, for instance, eleven bookshops in town (bear in mind that the population tops out at under 1 000). There are a number of coffee shops. There is an air of great purpose. The town is full of eccentrics. The owner of the largest bookshop, for instance, has a framed kindle on his wall that he destroyed with a shotgun blast.
Over the course of our stewardship, we took in about a hundred and twenty pounds, gave free writing advice to a number of scribblers (who were, I have to say, very good), and held a small writing workshop.
Thanks to Pan Macmillan and Modjaji Books, and a number of individual authors, we went to Wigtown with a wide sample of what South African writers have to offer – and had them on prominent and ever-changing display.
(And we’re determined to go to the festival next year, after our Venice Retreat, so there.)
P.S. The Open Book (and the cosy flat above it) is available on airbnb – theoretically. It’s proved so popular that it’s currently booked up till 2022 – and a list that now numbers 700 has been opened for cancellations. We booked our stint in April 2016.
Our blog on our stay is available at on The Open Book blog.’

October/November Writing Challenge winners

There were loads of entries for the October-November writing challenge. What separated the winners and the runners up from the others was really that issue of complexity. You can read the winning entries on our blog.

Two writing challenges for the fictive season

To celebrate this festive season, we’re offering two challenges – and two prizes.

The first, the Wigtown Writing Challenge, requires that you whip out your pens at once and engage your imaginations, and offers a free writing course from us as a prize.

The second, our December/January writing challenge, asks for a slightly more leisurely approach, and you could win a literary assessment from us. Both should test your writerly skills and imagination.

Happy writing,


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