Words Away, run by writer Kellie Jackson, 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 workshops at The Hive, London Bridge. 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. Every month I invite a guest author to join you, the audience, in discussing a particular topic in writing, a genre, or a question of craft. Joining us on the platform to co-host is the writer, Emma Darwin.
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.
Workshops & Masterclasses
I'm really excited to be continuing my collaboration with writing teacher and experienced editor, Andrew Wille. On November 9th we’ll be introducing Finding Your Fire: A Four Elements workshop on writing and creativity. This is one of four new workshops expanding upon the popular Everyday Magic workshop. Fire will be followed by Water (January), Earth (March), and Air (May). Each workshop can be taken alone, and will be of use to beginning or experienced writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Each day will also include a session with a special guest as well as chance to network and meet other writers. Then on November 30th I’ll be running Creating a Scene: a masterclass with Alice Jolly. We’ll end the day with a Q&A with John Mitchinson, writer, publisher and the co-founder of Unbound. We'll be holding the classes at our lovely venue, the London Bridge Hive, a newly renovated space two minutes walk from London Bridge Station, situated between Borough Market and New Bermondsey St.
When Paul Burston joined us at Words Away to discuss Writing Psychological Thrillers we found the Tea House Theatre Cafe surrounded by Extinction Rebellion protesters and almost as many police officers. The protesters had been moved on from Leister Square to establish a tent city outside the Teahouse Theatre complete with a kitchen and a bank of portaloos. The Pleasure Gardens were so transformed that my co-host, crime-writer Caroline Green, temporarily lost her bearings on route. Paul, like a true crime writer, said it had crossed his mind that the portaloos would make the perfect setting for a murder…I’m fairly sure he was joking.
The autumn season of Words Away launched last month with a sell-out salon, Identity and Belonging: Writing Character and Place, with guest Diana Evans, author of the award-winning novel, Ordinary People. It was a thrill to welcome everybody and begin a new year of events not least because it also happened to be our third birthday! Diana talked about her process as a novelist, what inspires her to write and also shared some ideas to apply to our own writing practice.
I hope you’ve had a lovely summer. I watched a flock of house martins feasting over a meadow this morning - a sure sign that autumn is on its way and time to stock up on paper and pencils for the new term…
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.
“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!
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.
We had a wonderful literary salon last week with our guest, the best-selling writer and former publisher, Antonia Hodgson. Book doctor Andrew Wille joined me as co-chair along with a fab room of writers all fired up to discuss the intricacies of Plotting, Process and Page-turners.
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.
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…
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.