We’re introducing brand-new writing workshops this year, which we’re sure you’ll love. Learn how to write in a fun, friendly and supportive atmosphere – with our tutors you’ll be in good hands.

There are lots of dates to choose from and, with our even wider selection of workshops, you won’t want to miss out, so book now.

It’s quick and easy to book – call 0800 024 1212*

Tickets price: £79 per person

Click here to download a booking form if you rather book by post. Please send the form and your cheque to:

Woman’s Weekly Workshops Time Inc, Customer Care, 5 Churchill Place, 2nd Floor, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HU

Here’s a map of how to find us.

About Our Tutors

Fiction workshops with our four experts

Della Galton is a novelist, short-story writer and journalist with over 30 years’ experience. She is the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum magazine and is a qualified Adult Education tutor. Her ‘How to Write’ Books are available from Amazon.

Suzanne Ahern is one of Woman Weekly’s best-loved serial writers and is known for her dramatic plots, vivid background settings and memorable characters. With almost 40 published serials beneath her belt, she’s well placed to share her writing experience and to encourage new writers to develop their own voices.

Alison Chisholm has had over 800 poems published in small press magazines, anthologies and nine collections, or broadcast on radio and TV. She’s published textbooks on poetry and has taught poetry for over 25 years.

Anita Loughrey has over 80 books published in the UK and many more worldwide. She writes teacher resources, children’s fiction and non-fiction for a wide range of publishers

 

womans weekly fiction writing workshops learn to write

© iStock

Monday 3 July

Writing Sparkling Dialogue with Della Galton

Writing dialogue is great fun, but can also be hard to get right if you’re a new writer. Or even if you’re not. How do you write dialogue that sounds believable? How do you stop your characters all sounding like you? Are there are any tips and tricks? Indeed there are. Come along and find out more.

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am The Golden Rules of writing dialogue
11:00am Workshop. How do they sound?
11:45am Constructive feedback on workshop
12:30pm Tips and Tricks on how to make them sound different
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm Different voices workshop
3:15pm Dialogue and plot. Making it sound natural.
3:30pm Workshop with constructive feedback
4:15pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

Friday 18 August
Taking The Leap From Short Stories To Serials with Suzanne Ahern

If you think of serials as extra-long short stories, then why not have a go at writing one? Through interactive discussions, exercises and group work, this workshop will show you how to plot and plan a serial; the key elements to include; and how to write really good cliffhangers.

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am From cereal to serial! How to get the bare bones of a serial down on paper in less than one day, beginning with characters
11:00am Character exercise and group discussion: Who needs to be there, and why?
11:45am Let’s climb the mountain together. What is plot? How do you create one? How do you build your story mountain?
12:20pm Plot exercise and group discussion: Start to climb by building your own story mountain
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm What are cliffhangers? What makes a successful one? Or not? How do you know when you have it right?
2:30pm Cliffhanger and group discussion: How to keep your readers hooked
3:15pm Knowing when you’ve reached the end. How to make the final important decision of your story. What does your ending need?
3:40pm Ending exercise and group discussion: Tying up the loose ends
4:10pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes
Note: Delegates should please bring with them photographs from magazines or the internet, etc, of people! All shapes and sizes, the more, the merrier. These will be pooled by the group and used collectively.

Monday 4 September
How To Make Your Characters Come Alive with Della Galton

Characters are the lifeblood of fiction. But how do you create strong believable characters? How do you make the reader care about your characters? Learn to create great characters who will enchant and surprise both your reader and you!

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am Characterisation – what does it mean?
11:00am Workshop. Create a character or two!
11:45am Constructive feedback on workshop
12:30pm Three ways to characterise
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm All the world’s a stage: workshop and feedback
3:15pm How do they speak?
3:30pm Workshop with constructive feedback
4:15pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

Monday 2 October
How To Write A Novel with Della Galton

Do you have a novel in you? Have you begun a novel and run out of steam? Or do you just need a bit more knowhow and inspiration? Come along and find out how to start or progress your novel. Della publishes novels under the name Della Galton and novellas under the name Della Parker. This course is suitable for beginners or more experienced writers.

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am What kind of novel am I writing? Who will read it?
11:00am The blurb and how it can help you write
11:45am Write your blurb workshop and constructive feedback
12:30pm Settings
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm Protagonists and Antagonists. Whose story is it? How well do you know them?
3:15pm The First Page. What should be on it? Working on your first page
3:30 pm Workshop with constructive feedback
4:15pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

Glue a length of french knitting around an old container for a colourful pen pot

Monday 9 October
Creating Characters: The Good, The Bad And Everyone In-Between! with Suzanne Ahern

Think of the characters in fiction that you really remember. What it is about them that you love or hate? Have they made you cry, or laugh, or shout? Have you carried them inside your head and heart for years? Through interactive discussions, exercises and group work, this workshop will show you how to create characters with intensity and power.

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am What is character? Who needs to be in your story? Who doesn’t? How to get tough with the people inside your head
11:00am Character exercise: First impressions count! Start building your characters
11:45am Adding meat to the bones. How to build on the outline of your characters to make them realistic and believable
12:15pm Character exercise: Build your protagonist
12:40pm Character exercise: Interrogate your protagonist (in pairs)
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm What’s missing? How to give your characters a whole life
2:30pm Character exercise: Fill in the gaps for your characters
2:50pm Character exercise: Do the chop – decide what’s important and what’s not
3:15pm Raising the stakes. How to make the reader care about the outcome and remember your characters
3:40pm Character exercise: Make your characters whole
3:55pm Character exercise: Reinterrogate your characters (in the same pair)
4:15pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes
Note: Delegates should please bring with them photographs from magazines or the internet etc. of people! The more, the merrier. These will be pooled by the group and used collectively.

womans weekly workshop book pencil

© iStock

Monday 16 October  
Writing For Children with Anita Loughrey

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am Writing for different age ranges from PB to YA
11:00am Exercise: Analyse children’s books
11:45am You are your own best resource
12:20pm Exercise: Drawing on your own childhood
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm Exploring characters in children’s book
2:30pm Exercise: Develop your own children’s book character
3:15pm Creating conflict in children’s book
3:40pm Exercise: Throw your character in at the deep end
4:10pm Final whole group discussion with time for question and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

NB: Delegates should bring with them two or three children’s books they admire. These can be picture books, early readers, mid-grade or young adult. The books will go home with their owners at the end of the workshop.

Monday 23 October  
Writing Picture Books with Anita Loughrey

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am Picture book structure and layout
11:00am Exercise: Looking at theme
11:45am The power of three
12:20pm Exercise: Examine picture books
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm Show don’t tell
2:30pm Exercise: Plot your own picture book
3:15pm Sharing and developing your picture book stories
3:40pm Exercise: Picture book checklist
4:10pm Final whole group discussion with time for question and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

Friday 3 November

Writing Short Stories for Woman’s Weekly with Della Galton

Della Galton is a novelist, short-story writer and journalist with over 30 years’ experience. She is the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum magazine and is a qualified Adult Education tutor. Her ‘How to Write’ Books are available from Amazon.

Have you ever wanted to write stories for Woman’s Weekly? Come along to learn how and get feedback on your work from one of our top writers. Suitable for beginners and experienced writers.

10:15am Arrive and welcome
10:30am What is a short story?
11:00am Workshop. Opening Paragraphs. What makes a good one? Write yours
11:45am Constructive feedback
12:30pm What is a blurb? How can it help you to plot?
1:00pm Break for lunch
2:00pm Workshop on blurbs and constructive feedback
3:15pm Workshop. Endings. What makes a good one? Write yours
3:30pm Constructive feedback
4:15pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

How to get there:

The workshop will be held at the NEC in Birmingham, there will be clear signposts to the work room which will be by Hall 17.

By rail:

Birmingham International Station is within the NEC complex and gives easy access to the show.

By car:

The NEC is situated 8 miles east of Birmingham city centre, just off junction 6 of the M42 and is clearly signposted.

Please feel free to bring your own food and drink, however, there are a number of food and drink outlets at the NEC.  You will be advised of exactly where the class room is within the NEC on arrival.

Monday 6 November
How To Write A Novel with Della Galton

Do you have a novel in you? Have you begun a novel and run out of steam? Or do you just need a bit more know-how and inspiration? Come along and find out how to start or progress your novel. Della publishes novels under the name Della Galton and novellas under the name Della Parker. This course is suitable for beginners or more experienced writers.

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am What kind of novel am I writing? Who will read it?
11:00am The blurb and how it can help you write
11:30am Tea break
11:45am Write your blurb workshop and constructive feedback
12:30pm Settings
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm Protagonists and antagonists. Whose story is it? How well do you know them?
3:00pm Tea break
3:15pm The First Page. What should be on it? Your first page
3:30 pm Workshop with constructive feedback
4:15pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

Tuesday 7 November
How to write features for Woman’s Weekly with Sue Pilkington

Sue Pilkington, after a career in newspapers, switched to women’s magazines, during which time she became a senior writer and finally features editor on Woman’s Weekly. She also won awards for commissioning editor of the year.

Do you ever read a feature in a magazine and think ‘I could write like that’? This course will show you how.

10:00am Welcome
10:30am What does ‘feature’ mean?
11:00am Workshop: How to know the kind of feature a weekly magazine wants – and choose the best magazine for you. Write down and tell us what it was that made WW your choice and how you got to know the kind of feature you would be best at trying
11:45am Constructive feedback
12:30pm How to research and interview. Part One. Using the tools, polishing up your skills
1:00pm Break for lunch
2:00pm How to research and interview. Part Two. Be a little more confident: listen to what people say when you talk to them. Less questions – more depth, more intriguing
2:30pm Workshop: Now  have a  go at writing a feature bearing in mind  that  we are all  different, and have different aptitudes and  skills. Perhaps you’d like to interview one of the group you’ve met on the course? If not, pick one of the following. Whatever you choose, see how much you can write before you leave us:

• Your beloved dog
• A friend  you’ve known for years and couldn’t  live without
• You and your mum
• The baby I thought I’d never have
• My  bucket list
• Why I’m glad my husband doesn’t suffer anymore
• My daughter was once my son – but  a gender change makes no difference to how much I love her
• The history of fish and chips – and why we all love then
• Or you may have an idea of your own! Maybe you know something fascinating about scrabble, or a stately home where you twice met a ghost …

3:15pm Constructive feedback from the tutor and the whole group
4:15pm Final discussion, with questions and answers, dos and don’ts.
4:30pm Workshop finishes

Sue Pilkington

Thursday 23 November
Writing Poetry For Competitions with Alison Chisholm

Winning a poetry competition is a shortcut to establishing yourself in the poetry world. We’ll look at the scope of competitions, at what wins and why, and attempt to compose an irresistible entry.

10:00am Welcome with tea and coffee
10:30am What is your experience of poetry competitions? Discussion
11:00am What’s the adjudicator looking for? Analysing a winner to see how theme, content and form have been applied. Group work
11:45am Exercise. The stunning idea and how to find it
12:20pm The search for perfection. Everyone is entering the best poem possible for consideration. How can you make yours better? Discussion
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm Exercise. Exploring the initial idea, trying out various ways into the poem
2:30pm Reasons why poems don’t reach the shortlist. Which elements of the poem are likely to leave the adjudicator unmoved? Discussion
3:15pm Exercise. Developing the draft from your preferred opening
3:40pm Revising the competition poem. Group work and discussion
4:10pm Final discussion with questions and answers
4:30pm Workshop finishes

Course Information

Where: All our workshops (excluding the one with Della Galton in Birmingham on 3 November) will be held in the Learning Zone at 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. We are close to Canary Wharf, which is on the Jubilee line and Heron Quays, which is on the DLR. Once you’ve booked your place, we’ll help you with directions should you need them.
When: Workshops start at 10:00am. There will be two 15-minute tea breaks at around 11:30am and 3:15pm, where you can help yourselves to tea, coffee and water from the kitchen area. We’ll buy the biscuits. There will also be an hour for lunch from 1:00pm; please do bring lunch with you –we have microwaves and there is a small supermarket nearby if you want to buy something.

Terms and conditions

Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Woman’s Weekly has the right to change the itinerary of the day. Please note, tickets to this event are non-refundable, unless it is cancelled or postponed. A guest-list policy will be in operation at the event. Shortly after purchasing tickets, you will receive confirmation: this is your ticket to the event, so please retain it for future reference. Should your chosen date already be sold out, you will if possible be offered details of alternative dates. *Phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 10:00am-4:00pm, but closed bank holidays. Call charges from mobiles and non-BT landlines may vary.

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  • Starlady

    I’d like to book the workshops on the 27th to fit with the family holiday, but I can’t call an 800 number from Spain and the post is rather slow. Could somebody please drop me an email? crosby.sheila@gmail.com. Thanks.