Miracle in a Matchbox: the art of short story writing with Adam Marek

We had a wonderful salon earlier this month with guest author and short story supremo Adam Marek. Adam covered everything you need to know about writing short fiction and shared lots of inspiring ideas to take away and experiment with. Adam’s the award-winning author of two short story collections: The Stone Thrower and Instruction Manual for Swallowing. His stories have appeared on BBC Radio 4, and in many magazines and anthologies, including The Penguin Book of the British Short Story.

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Voice: the Writer’s Palette with Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

“They told him everything. He told everybody else…” so goes the gossipy and joyous tagline of Swan Song, the prizewinning debut by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott. We were delighted to welcome Kelleigh to Words Away last month to discuss Voice: the Writers Palette. And what a glorious salon it was, complete with Truman Capote inspired cocktails…mine’s an 'In Cold Blood Orange’ with ice please!

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Writing For Children with Candy Gourlay

We welcomed author Candy Gourlay to Words Away last week for our May salon, Writing for Children. Candy’s been busy travelling the globe, visiting schools, literary festivals and launching her latest novel Bone Talk in the Philippines. We felt very lucky to lure her to the Tea House to talk to us about her writing. We had a fab audience, including a friendly contingent from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, many of whom stayed on for a drink and chat after the discussion.

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The Art of Failure: Resilience and the Writer with Emma Darwin

So, how do you pick yourself up when it’s all gone catastrophically wrong? What can a writer do to survive disaster and develop resilience for whatever might happen next? When Words Away regular and historical novelist Emma Darwin spent three years trying to write fiction about her famous ancestors she found herself hitting a wall time and again before finally admitting defeat. She drew on that experience for her new creative non-fiction, This Is Not A Book About Charles Darwin: a writer’s journey through my family. We had a full house for the salon and writer Caroline Green joined me as guest co-chair. We talked about the evolution (see what I did there) of This Is Not a Book as well as exploring ways to navigate the peaks and troughs of a writing life.

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Recovering Voices and Stories Lost From History with Alice Jolly

Novelist and playwright Alice Jolly believes that writing fiction set in history can offer tremendous opportunities for the writer and the reader, but it’s important to ask what historical fiction can do that non-fiction doesn’t or can’t do. Fiction can show a historical event from a different perspective and take us behind the scenes. For the writer this means finding the back door into the novel…

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How Agents and Writers Work Together with Jenny Savill

Earlier this week Words Away returned to the Tea House Theatre for the first in our series of salons for 2019. We were joined by literary agent Jenny Savill, a Director of Andrew Nurnberg Associates, to discuss How Agents and Writers Work Together. We covered much terrain, from the submission process to the creative challenges and rewards of maintaining an author’s career in the long term.

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How Memory and the Past Drive a Narrative with Claire Fuller

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” wrote F. Scott. Fitzgerald closing The Great Gatsby. The depiction of the past and the processing of memory appears to be catnip to writers. The topic drew a full house to the Tea House Theatre recently to discuss, All Is Not What It Seems: How Memory and the Past Drive a Narrative, with the short story writer and novelist, Claire Fuller.

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New Salons and Masterclasses: Autumn '18

We have a new lineup of events arranged for the Autumn! As the weather mellows and we head toward the cooler months, join us at the Tea House Theatre Cafe in Vauxhall for one of our monthly writing salons. I’m also collaborating once again with writing teacher and experienced editor, Andrew Wille, to run some new masterclasses on craft at the London Bridge Hive. 

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Writing Ghosts with Jenn Ashworth

Last Monday evening, in the midst of a heatwave to rival the fabled summer of '76, we held our final salon of the season at The Teahouse Theatre Cafe. The tropical temperature didn’t deter our intrepid audience and they arrived in droves to talk, Writing Ghosts, with our guest, the novelist Jenn Ashworth.

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The Craft of Revising Workshop with Andrew Wille

Last Saturday we ran a new workshop, The Craft of Revising, led by Andrew Wille at the London Bridge Hive. Andrew put together an inspired program exploring various aspects of the revision process.  A vibrant and enthusiastic group of writers took part and the day was further livened up by the arrival of the author Michelle Lovric and later, Virago Press Chair, Lennie Goodings. 

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The Power of Place with Courttia Newland

Following the recent royal wedding the Teahouse Theatre Cafe was still in a celebratory mood last Monday with red, white and blue bunting strung across the ceiling. Early evening sunshine streamed through the windows. The cafe hummed with a house full of expectant writers ready to explore The Power of Place with our guest, novelist, short story writer and playwright, Courttia Newland.

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The Craft of Revising with Andrew Wille

We have an exciting new workshop, The Craft of Revising, all planned and ready for Saturday, 23rd June. I'm teaming up once again with experienced editor and writing teacher, Andrew Wille, who'll be leading the workshop. There's also a Q & A session arranged for the afternoon with Virago Press chair, Lennie Goodings. Our venue, the London Bridge Hive, is a recently renovated space located three minutes walk from London Bridge Station - close to Borough Market and the cafes of Bermondsey Street.

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New Season Workshops & Salons

Spring is inching its way forward at last! I've been deep in dog-training mode with our retriever pup Alfie, who's now five months old. So I’m loving the longer days with the promise of summer ahead. It's also been a busy couple of weeks behind the scenes arranging new workshops and salons for Words Away and I'm really excited about what we have planned.

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