The five essential affirmations, as developed by Pat Schneider founder of Amherst Writers & Artists, form the foundation for my workshops:

1. Everyone has a strong, unique voice.
2. Everyone is born with creative genius.
3. Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or education level.
4. The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer's original voice or artistic self-esteem.
5. A writer is someone who writes.

How it works:

Prompts and exercises are used to stimulate and trigger a flow of writing.

Then, if you choose to, you may read your work aloud in the group. However there is no obligation to do so. If you do read your work to the group we will only respond by telling you what is strong, vivid and memorable about your writing. By listening to this feedback you discover what is unique about your writing voice and gain confidence as a writer. There is no critical feedback at this stage because this is ‘newborn writing’ and we are providing the conditions to allow it to grow, as we would with anything newborn.

All stories consist of a mixture of memory and imagination, we will not presume to know which is which in your writing. All writing read aloud is regarded by the group as fiction, a story - this means, for example, in our responses we speak of 'the grandmother' not 'your grandmother'.

For dates and booking details, click here

Why I chose 'The Magic Pen: writing for everyone' as the name for my workshops:

  • By regarding whatever pen you have in your hand as a 'magic pen', a tool to discover what lies beneath your conscious awareness, you can effectively bypass the voice of that inner critic which so often hampers our attempts at writing first drafts.
  • I believe that writing is for everyone: a means of expression, personal development, exploration, discovery.

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"Creativity is not just for artists, but for all of us who wish to see the world in more than one way."
-Twyla Tharp, choreographer, from her book 'The Creative Habit'