Sharpen your story skills writing for two blissful days in the Cotswolds with a group of like-minded writers.
Away from our everyday responsibilities, we’ll talk, brainstorm and write – furiously – with just one aim in mind: to hone our writing skills. (Not that we won’t have a lot of fun at the same time.)
2020 Dates: 26 to 28 June
COST: FROM £290 sharing
Includes tuition, two nights accommodation and two breakfasts, teas, one lunch and one supper.
Local residents welcome
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 like-minded souls for the weekend. 2020 Dates TBC
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.
Your days will be devoted to the use of character and dialogue to drive your story forward.
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 weekend 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.”
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. – Susan Bentley
I enjoyed 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 – Ralph Carr
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. 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. – Tracy Fox
How will the weekend work?
Our accommodation will be in rooms in three gorgeous townhouses on Sheep and Park Streets in Stow, 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 in from 4:30pm on the afternoon of Friday 7 June. 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.
Writers coming to Stow can either follow a route mapped out for them, or can choose to work with a seasoned story consultant on their own projects.
He is Richard Beynon, a story consultant and scriptwriter with more than a thousand television daily drama scripts to his credit. “I’ve been passionate about story since I read The Castle of Adventure as an eight-year-old,” he says, “and have spent much of the last thirty years devising, shaping and reshaping story, and helping others tell their stories.”
He is available to work with writers in Stow as they assess existing and brainstorm future narrative.
Who should attend?
- Anyone who would like to hone their writing craft with intensive discussion, writing exercises and feedback.
- Writers of fiction and non-fiction, whether for the page or for the screen, looking to sharpen their story skills.
- Writers working on existing projects who need words of encouragement or help in untangling a snag they’ve encountered.
- Those who would like to develop their creativity in beautiful surroundings in the company of a like-minded group.
- Those who would like to kickstart their writing or get back into it with a bang.
On top of lessons literary, you’ll have the delights of Stow-on-the-Wold literally on your doorstep.
So join our small group of like-minded writers, all passionate about writing – and all determined to have a thoroughly Stow weekend.
COST: From £290 sharing
Includes tuition, two nights accommodation and two simple breakfasts, morning and afternoon teas, one lunch and one dinner.
For the other dinner we plan to go to a local pub and lunch on Saturday will be in the village at a place of your choice.
These two meals will be for your own account.
These are some of the gorgeously decorated bedrooms, spread over the three townhouses we’ll be using. A number of the rooms suitable for sharing.
Who are we?
All About Writing was founded in 2007 by novelist Jo-Anne Richards, scriptwriter Richard Beynon and Trish Urquhart. We are passionate about writing and have devised our courses to help communicate that passion – plus the skills that make it all much more than an academic exercise – to others with a similar calling.
Richard Beynon is a story consultant and an award-winning film and television scriptwriter with a long and accomplished career. He has written for – or headed the storytelling teams of – many of South Africa’s most popular soaps, dramas and comedies. These include S’gudi snaysi, Going Up, Soul City, Isidingo, Scandal, Rhythm City and Isibaya. He has lectured on writing for film and television at Wits.
Jo-Anne Richards is an internationally published novelist with a PhD in Creative Writing from Wits University. Her first novel, The Innocence of Roast Chicken, was originally published by Headline Review in the UK, and has recently been rereleased as one of the prestigious Picador Africa Classics collection. She ran the Honours programme in Journalism & Media Studies at Wits University for fifteen years.