Spread the Word’s summer 2021 season of workshops and events


Spread the Word is delighted to announce our summer programme, running from April – June 2021.

Our programme of accessible activities for writers is made up of 12 different opportunities designed to support writers of all levels to learn, be part of a community, and to create new work. Access and creativity is at the heart of our new programme; seven of  the opportunities are totally free to take part in, two have bursary places available, others are low-cost.

If you’re in a position to make a donation to our create-write-connect fundraising campaign whilst booking a free space on one of our activities, we welcome all donations to support our work and the invaluable work of the Trussell Trust: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/spreadthewordxtrusselltrust.

We’re offering bursary places for our life writing masterclass with Colin Grant and online writing course with Maame Blue as part of our create-write-connect campaign to ensure those who may not be able to afford to cover the cost of the programme have the opportunity to take part.

Come and be part of an online writing community with our free Write Together workshops led by Jessica J. Lee, for writers of all levels. These workshops will explore different aspects of writing with a focus on place and nature and are open to all.

Our free Developing Tutors workshop programme is back with Marta Bausells, Helen Bowell and Davina Tijani running workshops on developing your writing craft and practice. Please only book onto one of these events as these are limited capacity.

For life writers, we are thrilled to offer a Life Writing Masterclass with Colin Grant, with bursary places available.

Our writing course this season is It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to write about complicated relationships with Maame Blue, which has concessionary prices and five bursary places for writers.

Other free opportunities include a workshop exploring plot holes with Emma Grundy Haigh, writing speculative historical fiction with Sharlene Teo, and a free course by email on writing for children and young people with Elle McNicholl.

Our London Writers Network event is all about getting into creative nonfiction, with Molly and Sarah from Scribe UK publishers.

Writers will also have the opportunity to book onto our series of 1-2-1 sessions led by our Writer Development Manager, Eva Lewin, which includes three Fiction Surgeries and one Getting to Where You Want to Be coaching session.

Our full programme is listed below. Please go to each event page for more details on pricing and the bursary places available. Please note that all workshops will take place on Zoom, Maame Blue’s online course will be delivered via Slack and Elle McNicol’s writing course is sent to your email inbox via Mailchimp.


We are committed to equality and access, and all our writing workshops and event webpages share access notices, outlining what we offer as standard at our activities, and how to contact us if you require alternative access arrangements.

We know that the booking system on our website is not fully accessible to Blind writers and we are in the process of developing a new website which will be fully accessible. In the meantime, we recommend that Blind writers sign up to our Access List to receive priority booking of our seasonal programmes: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/access-policy/. If you would like to book on to one of our workshops, please contact us at [email protected] and we’ll make sure your booking is put through. Or you can request us to call you back if talking on the phone is easier for you.

Summer programme

Fiction Surgery with Eva Lewin
An opportunity for fiction writers to have a bespoke one-to-one session with Spread the Word’s Writer Development Manager, Eva Lewin.
Monday 26 April, 4-5pm: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/fiction-surgery-with-eva-lewin-26-april
Monday 10 May, 4-5pm: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/fiction-surgery-with-eva-lewin-10-may
Monday 21 June, 4-5pm: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/fiction-surgery-with-eva-lewin-21-june
£55 (standard), £49.50 (London Writers Network member), £44 (concessions)

Getting You To Where You Want To Be with Eva Lewin
A compact coaching programme led by Spread the Word’s Writer Development Manager, Eva Lewin. You’ll have two 60-minute coaching sessions to explore and map out your route and key steps to achieving your goals.
Monday 7 June, 4-5pm
£75 (standard), £67.50 (London Writers Network member), £60 (concessions)
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/getting-to-where-you-want-to-be-7-june

Finding the Centre – A Life Writing Masterclass with Colin Grant

Are you keen to write your life story but not sure how to go about it? Colin Grant will help you kickstart and shape your unique story for the page.
Tuesday 13 April 2021, 6.30 – 9.30pm
£20 (standard)
£18 (London Writers Network members)
£16 (concessions)
Bursary places available.

Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/finding-the-centre-a-life-writing-masterclass-with-colin-grant

London Writers Network: Getting into Creative Nonfiction with Scribe
Thinking about writing a creative nonfiction book? Join Sarah Braybrooke and Molly Slight from Scribe for an insight into nonfiction publishing from pitching through to publication.
Tuesday 20 April, 6.30 – 8.00pm
£6 (standard), free (London Writers Network members), £4.80 (concessions)
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/london-writers-network-getting-into-creative-nonfiction-with-scribe

Write Together with Jessica J. Lee
An opportunity for writers of all levels to be part of an online writing community, engaging in fortnightly sessions themed around an aspect of writing. You can sign up to any number of the sessions – all of them or just one.

Wednesday 28 April 6.30 – 8.00pm – Getting into Place: Creating Living Worlds on the Page: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/write-together-with-jessica-j-lee-session-one-28-april

Wednesday 12 May 6.30 – 8.00pm – The City and the Country: Writing Urban and Rural Nature: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/write-together-with-jessica-j-lee-session-two-12-may

Wednesday 26 May 6.30 – 8.00pm – The Figure in the Landscape: Memoir, Diary, and Voice: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/write-together-with-jessica-j-lee-session-three-26-may

Wednesday 9 June 6.30 – 8.00pm – A Hand Outstretched: On Inclusivity and Environment: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/write-together-with-jessica-j-lee-session-four-9-june

Wednesday 23 June 6.30 – 8.00pm – Textual Topographies: Weaving Journeys, Research, and Memories (with guest speaker, Nina Mingya Powles):

Your Life as Art with Marta Bausells 
This holistic workshop will inspire students to mine their lives as artistic material, offering generative techniques, permission to own their stories, and a look at the work of great writers
Tuesday 27 April, 6:30pm-8pm
FREE (part of our Developing Tutors series)
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/your-life-as-art-with-marta-bausells

Nature Poetry Without the Gannets with Helen Bowell 
In this workshop we’ll be deconstructing ‘eco-poetry’ and ‘nature poetry’, reading and discussing poets who look at nature from traditionally underrepresented perspectives.
Tuesday 11 May, 6.30 – 8.30pm
FREE (part of our Developing Tutors series)
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/nature-poetry-without-the-gannets-with-helen-bowell

Plot Holes: What they are and how to fix them with Emma Grundy Haigh 
Plot holes can derail an otherwise enjoyable novel and leave readers feeling short-changed. But what is a plot hole? How can they be avoided? And how can they be fixed?
Tuesday 20 May, 6.30 – 8.30pm
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/plot-holes-what-they-are-and-how-to-fix-them-with-emma-grundy-haigh

Writing Fantasy for Children and YA with Davina Tijani 
Learn techniques to help you write your fantasy story. We will start with defining the fantasy genre and its subgenres before branching out to topics including world building and characterisation.
Tuesday 8 June 6.30 – 8.30pm
FREE (part of our Developing Tutors series)
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/writing-fantasy-for-children-and-ya-with-davina-tijani

It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to write about complicated relationships with Maame Blue 
A six week online course via Slack. Learn how to break down character narratives and interactions to create realistic depictions of complicated relationships.
Thursday 13th May 2021 – Wednesday 23rd June 2021
£99 (standard), £89 (London Writers Network members) , £79 (concessions)
Bursary places available.
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/its-not-me-its-you-how-to-write-about-complicated-relationships-with-maame-blue

Writing Speculative Historical Fiction with Sharlene Teo
This experimental fiction writing workshop involves delving into the past and historical events to craft bold, inventive narratives that speak to the present moment and anticipate a better future.
Thursday 17 June 2021 6.30 – 8.30pm  
Book here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/writing-speculative-historical-fiction-with-sharlene-teo

Members of the London Writers Network scheme get 10% off our paid courses and a free space at our next London Writers Network event.

Published 4 March 2021