Words Away aims to bring writers together in a creative environment to explore the writing process. We hold monthly salons at the Tea House Theatre Cafe, in London and host creative writing retreats at Rathfinny Wine Estate, East Sussex. Through our Salons we offer a focused exploration on a particular topic with a chance to exchange ideas and ask questions in a friendly setting.
Be inspired. Develop and nurture your craft. Meet other writers. Please join us, all welcome.
Words Away creative writing salons concentrate on the writing process. Run by writers Kellie and Emma, every month we will invite a guest author to join you, the audience, in discussing a particular topic in writing, a genre, or a question of craft.
Over tea, cake and a glass of wine, we’ll explore the challenges and opportunities, the difficulties and joys of writing, and the reality of being a writer. We hope you’ll come and join us. The Salons are held once a month on a Monday evening, 7.30pm at the Tea House Theatre, 139 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11 5HL.
I am really excited to be embarking on a new collaboration with book doctor and writing teacher, Andrew Wille. Andrew was our guest in the first Words Away salon: Make Your Novel Shine. I love Andrew's take on how to self-edit and polish writing and enjoy his unique blog posts on aspects of writing and craft. The first workshop is on the 18th November and focuses on creativity.
Words Away is arranging a tutored creative writing retreat with award-winning author and teacher, Emma Darwin, staying at the Flint Barns on the Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, Sussex in 2018
However much you love writing, and whatever your goals are, it can be so hard to clear the time, not to mention the mental and physical space, to get down to it. Words Away at Rathfinny offers you the chance to write in peace and to explore and develop your skills, in a supportive group of like-minded people. You should leave with new skills and understanding, renewed energy and enthusiasm, and maybe even the seeds of a new story or two.
Words Away has been up and running for a year now and so I was delighted to begin our new autumn season on Monday night with a sell-out salon: Imagining and Developing Characters with guest writer, Monica Ali.
I am really excited to be embarking on a new collaboration with book doctor and writing teacher, Andrew Wille. On the 18th November we have a workshop planned: Everyday Magic: The Four Elements of Creativity, We've found a great venue too, London Bridge Hive, right in the heart of SE1, two minutes walk from London Bridge Station. With a date and a venue arranged, I decided to interview Andrew about the workshop and how to add a spark of magic to your writing.
I'm writing this in Devon. The sun is shining, today anyhow, and the sea is a glittering backdrop. Sailing boats are arriving for a regatta and we are surrounded by friends. I'm the last person to wish away August but I'm very excited about our new Autumn salons, now live on the website and taking bookings. Over the next few months Emma and I will be chatting about a variety of writing topics with Monica Ali, Jill Dawson, Tessa Hadley and Maura Dooley.
How do you work out if your idea is a short story or a novel? You begin writing in one form only to discover that your work has mutated into something else entirely. I attended an excellent masterclass recently, Where The Narrative Leads, with Louise Doughty, run by the Word Factory. Who better to help you work out if your idea can go the distance or is destined to crystallise into a short story than with an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and short story writer?
What a lovely evening for the last of our first year of salons. I'd been thinking about the languid days looming and how there might be some time at last to do lots of writing. I arrived at the Tea House keen to meet our guest, novelist and professional life coach, Jaqui Lofthouse, and to hear what she might say about how to get going and keep going!
Last Monday was one of those days...Worried about being on time for our salon with Claire Scobie, I'd barrelled home after a drawn out appointment, gathered up my stuff and slapped on some lipstick without the aid of a mirror (always a mistake). Rain coat on, I cantered to the bus stop and flagged down a bus just as the heavens cracked open. Half way to Vauxhall I realised I'd left behind my laptop, brolly and current read...
Summer finally arrived in London last Monday evening, just in time for our salon with Francis Spufford. My inner Australian felt quite at home, stewing alongside fellow travellers in the tropical micro-climate of the 176 upper deck, bound for Vauxhall. Everyone seemed to be smiling for a change. I felt very smiley too. The night ahead bulged with writerly promise...
I always feel a little nervous and excited before a Words Away salon. Striding through Vauxhall Gardens the other night, en route to our recent event with Sara Grant, I saw a group of men with big muscles engaged in a tug-o-war. They even had a coach shouting instructions on the sidelines. I stopped to watch for a minute and wondered if I could wrangle a useful metaphor out of the encounter for the blog. A few minutes later I arrived at our venue, the Tea House Cafe, to find a Cornish Crabber beached beside the outdoor furniture. Metaphors were popping up all over the place! Or perhaps they were omens. Would tonight be a struggle or smooth sailing?
Thinking ahead to our Writing for Children and Young Adults salon with Sara Grant, I had a chat this morning with my eighteen year old daughter. She’s child number three, the baby of the family - still in the nest but only just. Knee deep in revision for A2 exams later this summer, she was only too glad to take a break and talk about the books she loved at various stages of her life and why.
I had a moment of confusion last Monday night, wondering if it’s too soon to ditch my heavy winter jacket and scarf. So what a pleasure it was, to step out in the early evening with the sun shining. I cut through Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to find Tea House customers once again enjoying afternoon tea outside. What difference a month makes! Maybe I imagined it, but I’m sure everyone arrived smiling for our Writing Historical Fiction salon. Then again, maybe that was all down to our guest writer, Essie Fox.