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Workshopping at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

It has been a majorly busy week! I’ve signed on for a further two novels with my publisher, I got to see my new cover design for my soon-to-be-released Christmas novel (Driving Home for Christmas) and I was teaching creative writing workshops for children at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

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There are a few moments in life where you really feel like you’ve ‘Made It’ in the field. Obviously, I just wrote about how there are no big breaks, and what I love about this opportunity, like all of the other really awesome exciting things I have coming up in the next few months, have happened really organically. Sometime last year, after working a few summer festivals near Cheltenham, I enquired about workshops, and got a reply saying that the person I’d emailed wasn’t really in charge of that, and she’d pass it on.

I didn’t think it would go anywhere. And yet this week I was running workshops for four different schools, inside canopies and tents and a Waterstones Hideaway. It felt amazing to be part of something so literary! We created dragons with powers, mystical island settings, animal superheroes and crazy characters! It was so much fun, and it felt brilliant to be in the midst of such creative talent! Plus, Cheltenham is absolutely beautiful.

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Just goes to show, that gradually working your way up, you can get somewhere. So let’s aim big: next year, I’ll be giving a talk, or reading from my book!

I’ll be sharing some awesome news about different lectures I’m giving, residencies I’m taking part in, and workshops I’m running too, but expect there to be an overwhelming amount of details and competitions about Driving Home for Christmas soon enough!

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Get Creative? Get 50% OFF!

Who doesn’t love a bargain? For this week- we’re doing 50% off our Creative Writing for Wellbeing Workshop on 26th April 2014 in Barnet, North London. A whole day (10am-4pm) which includes all materials, drinks, snacks and a gorgeous lunch! 

We’ll be using creative writing exercises and tasks to work on ideas of containment, history, and learning a little more about ourselves through our stories. Wondering if it’s for you? Do you have some things you’d like to approach creatively? Maybe things that are a little uncomfortable to deal with head on? Feeling down on yourself? Missing someone? Feeling a bit stuck? Maybe there’s nothing going on with you, but you’re looking to get a little creative, or think a bit deeper?

It’s fun, we promise! And at the 50% off price of £32.50, you can’t really lose!

 

Go HERE to book tickets, and put the code FACEBOOK50 in the promo code box! It’s a season of renewal- the seasons are changing, the world is waking up- why not join it?

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Writing for Wellbeing Workshop- this April!

 This workshop will use fun techniques to improve confidence, self esteem, and help us access our memories and stories! You don’t have to be a writer, you just have to be open to it!

 

When: Saturday 26th April – 10am-4pm

Where: The Amber Lounge, Underhill Stadium, Barnet, EN5 2DN

Cost: £65 – includes all handouts and writing tools, plus tea/coffee, snacks and a delicious lunch!

Where can I book? 

Right here!

As we like to keep this very intimate, we have very limited places, so please book early. If we don’t have space this time, please email and we’ll book you on the next!

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We’re Half Way There..Oh! Oh! Living on a Prayer!

Sometimes, looking at your life from the outside can appear a bit deceptive. For example, in the last week I gave an interview to The Times about how great my creative life is since graduating from the MA in Creative Entrepreneurship, I then took part in the advert for said course, and went back to talk to the current class about my achievements.

This, surely, should mean that I’ve ‘Made It’, whatever and wherever ‘It’ is, right?

So how come some things (like panicking about whether the kids you’re teaching are going to hate you and think you’re a washed up writer with nothing to say, or you know, spending a considerable amount of time ‘Arranging your Social Media Pathways’ in your pyjamas) never change?

When will we actually know that we’ve achieved what we want to achieve? When we see our names in print? When our books are on shelves, or we’ve got a steady income?

I think perhaps it’s all about spin. As creative entrepreneurs we need to be our own spin doctors. Especially when we direct it towards people who doubt us. Those who judge the writer/artist/actor/musician and sees that they’ve got multiple income streams, that they’re not just an actor, but an actor/writer/teacher can sometimes snigger and make pointed comments about our lifestyle. So I use my talent for telling a story, and make my life wonderful. Of course, the writing workshops are doing well, of course I’m having absolutely no problem banging out the second novel. Everything’s amazing, and my life is how I want it, thank you very much. 

For the most part, this isn’t spin, it’s reality. Possibly with a little bit of sparkle dust thrown in for good measure. But the danger is when we start to believe our own good publicity. Sure, we need a good bit of advertising now and then, but when we look at the media version of ourselves, conquering all they touch, achieving everything they need to achieve, it appears effortless. It’s when we get out of print, and look down at our pyjamas, see the pile of laundry that needs doing, those two-hundred words that need editing, the reading that needs to be done, the unfinished press releases, or worse, the rejection letters strewn across the table that you just can’t bear to throw away….it’s then that we realise we may be doing pretty well, but we’re just making it look a hell of a lot easier than it is.

So, seeing as The Times doesn’t really like publishing it’s content online for free, I thought I’d take a picture of this tiny snippet of an article I feature in. I’m hoping this doesn’t make me liable for something. I bought two copies of the paper to try and even out the monetary issue! See, I’m nice! I recognise that journalists work hard for their money and deserved to be paid for content! I would just prefer that it’s content I can refer to online.

Probably too small. But it says I'm a professional writer lady. And stuff.

 

Also, to give a note to my creative writing workshops The DumbSaint Project, which was mentioned in this article. We’re running classes for ‘Scribblers’ (Aged 7-10) at Copthall School this February Half Term. It’ll be from 9.30am-11.30am every day that week, and costs £12 per session, or a reduced price of £50 for the whole week. Bargain for a bit of peace and quiet whilst the kids learn something, right?

Get in touch with my admin assistant Dinah at dumbsaintproject@aol.com or go to the website for more info.