How To Read As A Writer

Join Spread the Word's Writer Development Manager, Eva Lewin for an evening workshop on how reading novels can support your own writing practice.

Hopefully, the fiction we read goes into a creative compost pile somewhere in our brains and when we come to write fiction ourselves we draw on it through a kind of creative osmosis. That’s all well and good until we get stuck, ‘Why can’t I change the narrative to the second person? What do I do with this backstory? How can I organize all this material I have drafted into a novel someone else will want to read? Help!’  This is when looking at how other writers have done it before you comes in handy. After all, why reinvent the wheel – haven’t you got enough to do creating the world of the story, riveting characters, and a compelling narrative voice?

In this workshop we’ll look at the impact two debut novels Orange Boy and The Dry have on us as readers. We’ll explore how the authors went about achieving this and what you can learn from them about handling voice, point of view, place and narrative structure. And we’ll come away with some questions and approaches for reading fiction in a ‘writerly’ way.

 Here are the details of the two novels, and we strongly recommend you read them beforehand to get the most from the workshop.

The Dry by Jane Harper, Abacus 2017.

Never loses momentum…. a remarkably assured debut.’ The Guardian.
Winner of the UK Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award 2017

Orange Boy by Patrice Lawrence, Hodder Children’s Books 2016

Pitch-perfect teen voices and a bruising, thrilling pace.’ Metro.
Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Older Children, Winner of the YA Book Prize.

This workshop would be particularly useful to writers who are new to writing novels.

Discounted rates

London Writers Network members receive a 10% discount on Spread the Word’s paid programme of activities, and access to two free specially programmed London Writers Network events a year. You can find out more about the London Writers Network scheme here.

To see if you are eligible for a concessionary rate, please take a look at our concessions policy.

Eva Lewin

Writer Development Manager at Spread the Word


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Eva is Spread the Word’s Writer Development Manager and runs the one to one fiction feedback surgeries.


Spread the Word