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

Monday 15 May
Beginners’ Poetry Writing Workshop with Alison Chisholm

Spend the day steeped in poetry. We’ll look at the techniques for writing compelling poems, from idea-gathering and structure of traditional and free verse to the final polish and submission.

10am Welcome
10.30am Why poetry? What is your experience of poetry, and how will you take it further? Discussion
11am Group exercise: creating anaphora poems that use repetition at the start of each line or stanza
11.45am Finding ideas. Inspiration and perspiration. Thinking outside the box. Discussion and practical ideas-gathering session
12.20pm Exercise: follow the pattern to create a poem. We’ll use the template of a published poem to consider a pattern that’s worked, and then adapt the pattern to suit our own writing
1pm Break for lunch
2pm Rhyme, slant rhyme and metre workshop, looking at the building blocks of poetry
2.30pm Keep it fun. A poetry game to demonstrate the value of randomness. Group exercise and individual writing
3.15pm You’ve got it written – now get it right. A brief look at redrafting and revision. Group exercise
3.40pm Sharing your poetry – publication and readings, and how to achieve them
4.10pm Final discussion with questions and answers
4.30pm Workshop finishes

womans weekly writing workshops pencil notebook

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Tuesday 16 May
Develop Your Poetry Skills with Alison Chisholm

Take your knowledge of poetry a stage further and develop your techniques to produce more fascinating writing

10am Welcome
10.30am Where has your poetry carried you so far, and where do you want it to take you next? Discussion
11am Exercise. Explore a set form. Writing a triolet
11.45am Poetry’s ‘value added’ – pooling ideas for writing more vibrant poems
12.20pm Exercise. A poem that surprises. We’ll come at the subject from a new angle, produce a twist ending, or use the What If? principle to add interest for the reader
1pm Break for lunch
2pm Group work looking at the poem’s voice. A short poem will be reworked to see how much more or less effective it would be in a different tense or person
2.30pm The response poem. Having your say about works of art, topics for debate and news items. Discussion and exercise
3.15pm Poetry competitions. What can they do for you? Discussion
3.40pm Writing-on-the-spot exercise using a trigger and strict time limit
4.10pm Final discussion with questions and answers
4.30pm Workshop finishes

ideas learn to write with womans weekly

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Monday 22 May
Writing Short Stories for Woman’s Weekly with Della Galton

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.

10am Welcome, with tea and coffee
10.30am What is a short story?
11am 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?
1pm Break for lunch
2pm 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

womans weekly fiction writing workshops learn to write

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Friday 9 June
How To Create Believable Heroines & Villains with Suzanne Ahern

Everyone loves a nasty baddie and a victorious goodie, but what goes into constructing heroines (or heroes) and villains who are believable and memorable? Through interactive discussions, exercises and group work, you will develop your own heroine (or hero) and villain; learn how to avoid stereotypes; give them a past, and bring your characters to life so they jump from the page.

10am Welcome, with tea and coffee
10.30am Let’s begin! What is character? Where do they come from? How do you (as a writer) get beneath their skin?
11am Character exercise: First impressions count! Start from scratch with a heroine (or hero) and a villain
11.45am Putting on weight! How to build on the outline of your characters to make them realistic and believable.
12.15pm Character exercise: Build your heroine (or hero) and villain
12.40pm Character exercise: Interrogate your heroine (or hero) and villain (in pairs)
1pm Break for lunch
2pm Building on the past. How to give your heroine (or hero) and villain a whole life, but know when to stop!
2.30pm Character exercise: Fill in the gaps for your heroine (or hero) and villain
2.50pm Character exercise: Do the chop: Decide what’s important and what’s not
3.15pm Hate vs Love – Making the reader care about the outcome. How to raise the emotional stakes for your characters and take the reader with you
3.40pm Character exercise: Make your characters whole
3.55pm Character exercise: Re-interrogate your heroine (or hero) and villain (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 photos 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 12 June
Writing The Twist-ending Short Story with Della Galton

Do you like stories that end with a twist? What makes a good one? This course will show you how to avoid some of the pitfalls and to steer clear of the taboos. Suitable for beginners and experienced writers.

10am Welcome, with tea and coffee
10.30am What is a twist-ending story? Types of twist
11am Workshop. Write the opening paragraph of your twist
11.45am Constructive feedback
12.30pm Tips on twists. Dos and don’ts. It’s all in the ending
1pm Break for lunch
2pm Workshop on endings and constructive feedback
3.15pm Finding a title for your twist. What makes a good title?
3.30pm Workshop on titles and constructive feedback
4.15pm Final whole group discussion with time for questions and answers
4.30pm Workshop finishes

plot story wih a twist workshop womans weekly

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Tuesday 27 June
Your Life In Poetry With Alison Chisholm

Whether you are writing for the interest of your own family or for the world at large, learn the skills of turning your life experience into individual poems, sequences or mini memoirs.

10am Welcome with tea and coffee
10.30am Your interest in autobiographical writing. Selecting the limits to help find the focus for your writing. Discussion
11am Exercise. A narrative poem from childhood based on a specific event
11.45am Breaking down the experience to discover the angles from which to write a sequence, working in groups
12.20pm Exercise. A poem based on a series of linked cameos, tiny sound bites that add up to a clear picture
1pm Lunch
2pm Approaching the poetry mini-memoir. We’ll look at how to turn any event into a long poem or short collection of poems. Individual and group work
2.30pm Exercise. A poem fuelled by emotion, based in your teens
3.15pm How much do you want to share? Bringing other people into the equation that could be affected by your writing – and might even help with it. Discussion
3.40pm Writing-on-the-spot exercise using a trigger and strict time limit
4.10pm Final discussion with questions and answers
4.30pm Workshop finishes

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.

10am Welcome with tea and coffee
10.30am The Golden Rules of writing dialogue
11am Workshop. How do they sound?
11.45am Constructive feedback on workshop
12.30pm Tips and Tricks on how to make them sound different
1pm Lunch
2pm 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.

10am 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
11am 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
1pm Lunch
2pm 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!

10am Welcome with tea and coffee
10.30am Characterisation – what does it mean?
11.am Workshop. Create a character or two!
11.45am Constructive feedback on workshop
12.30pm Three ways to characterise
1pm Lunch
2pm 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.

10am Welcome with tea and coffee
10.30am What kind of novel am I writing? Who will read it?
11am The blurb and how it can help you write
11.45am Write your blurb workshop and constructive feedback
12.30pm Settings
1pm Lunch
2pm 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

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.

10am 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
11am 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)
1pm Lunch
2pm 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

 

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.

10am Welcome with tea and coffee
10.30am What is your experience of poetry competitions? Discussion
11am 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
1pm Lunch
2pm 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 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 10am. 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 1pm; 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, 10am-4pm, 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.