Suffolk Writers Group

damselfly group Nov 2017 (2).jpg

Do you like writing stories?

Would you like to discuss ideas and work on improving your craft?

Do you dream of having your work read and loved by others?


About Me (Mai Black)

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I love helping people to improve the quality of their writing as well as making the whole experience of being a writer more enjoyable, sociable and creative.

I have a degree in English Literature, am a trained teacher and have been studying creative writing on a formal basis for five years. I’ve won competitions for short stories, travel writing and poetry with my work appearing in ‘Best’ Magazine, ‘Let’s Talk’, ‘Suffolk Magazine’ and ‘The Telegraph’.

I’ve also written a variety of material for primary age pupils which was published by CGP and widely available in Waterstones and other high street book shops.

Near the bottom of the page, you’ll see some of the many achievements group members and individual participants have had. It’s always exciting to hear about people having their work published in print or online for the first time. I’ve also been lucky enough to see some of the group members stand up to perform their work publicly for the first time.

Damselfly Writing Group (Every Thursday 7.30 – 9.30pm)

Sessions are held at my home in Ipswich which has a large enough dining table to comfortably seat up to twelve members per evening. Having a home setting also adds to the cosy, friendly environment.


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Each workshop session costs £10 for two hours (including refreshments) or you can pay £35 per month if you pay in advance by direct debit.

If you would like to discuss coming along to a session, email me at

Damselfly Group Picture

Current Topic

For the next few weeks we will be looking at good ways to start stories, thinking about how to get readers want to go beyond the first sentence.

The focus for our weekly sessions changes every few weeks depending on members’ interests and writing needs. If there’s something that you’re particularly interested in, eg. poetry or writing for the theatre, let me know.

Our Meetup Group

Meetup is free to join and besides us you’ll also find local groups for a range of other activities. It’s well worth a look. (Please ignore the attendance figures for our sessions as shown below. We usually get about eight people, it’s just that not many are members of Meetup).

Mai Black

Ipswich, GB
32 writers

This group is for anyone interested in creative writing who lives in Suffolk. Everyone is welcome, whether you are semi-professional or just starting out. You can book to come…

Next Meetup

Have you got an opening paragraph to edit?

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017, 7:30 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →


A typical evening’s format

  • Ten minute discussion of what everyone has read or written in the week
  • Free writing task
  • Discussion of a piece of writing – either from a group member or a professional piece
  • Input on a chosen subject e.g. characterisation, settings or similes
  • A break for drinks, biscuits and general chatting
  • A time to write individually based on the input provided
  • A time to share work and get feedback from myself and the group

(It’s lovely when people read their work aloud but it’s OK if you choose not to.)

Other Learning Options

Besides from running the groups, I can also offer one to one tuition for £20 per hour.

If you’d like me to edit your work via email, send me a short extract of two hundred words and we can discuss a fee based on the style, content and accuracy of your work.

If you’re into social media, you might want to join ‘Suffolk Writers Group’ on Facebook where you can chat to local writers and keep up to date with local events.


(Above: Ruth Dugdall, author of Humber Boy B, visits to talk about her new book and life as a professional writer)             

Group Achievements

  • Lesley won two hundred euros and had her travel piece published in The Telegraph.
  • Adam and Kelly wrote ‘Highly Commended’ pieces of Flash Fiction for the weekly Microbookends Competition.
  • Gem and Kelly from Thursday’s Damselfly group launched a hugely successful reading blog The Book Eaters.
  • Kelly achieved joint runner up in Felixstowe Short Story Competition.
  • Kelly won our concept competition and received very encouraging feedback from agent Meg Davis.
  • Anna had an article about Montessori education published on
  • Gem was a runner up in a competition for Dystopian World stories
  • Aaron won our synopsis competition to receive feedback on his work from literary agent Meg Davis
  • Teresa had a story published in Your Cat magazine.
  • Elliot had his story published in Fiction Vortex Magazine
  • Graham has written a variety of interviews and record and theatre reviews. He says there’s a lot more to come so watch this space.
  • Megan has had a romantic novel published on Kindle at Amazon
  • Tim has published two novels on Amazon: The Buried Man and Clockwork Hearts
  • William won a competition to be one of Suffolk’s Young Poets of the year and read his work alongside Allan Ahlberg
  • Ipswich Writing Group published ‘Four Word Stories’ on Amazon
  • Teresa, Jay, Carl, Ann and Samantha have had work published on the Ipswich Town and Waterfront website.
  • Kes has had an article published on the Ipswich Town Talk website entitled ‘Town’s Last Premiership XI – Where Are They Now?’

Activity Examples

Each week we have a dedicated silent time to write by ourselves. Everyone is then given the opportunity to share their pieces. (It’s fine if you choose not to).

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Sometimes we work together to discuss characterisation in successful books

Harry Potter Character Map


Sometimes we try out the famous ‘cut up technique‘ as used by David Bowie and TS Eliot-

A mini poem/story based on the Ipswich Waterfront


Sometimes we discuss ideas about writing in pairs and small groups.

Kes and Harry
Poet Kes with me and Harry, the resident writing group cat.


2 thoughts on “Suffolk Writers Group”

  1. Hello Mai,

    My name is Rhys Moffat- I am a 26 year old history teacher who has recently moved to the area.I would like to use my summer to get into writing and in the long term attempt to write a novel. I was wondering whether the Suffolk writers group would be a good opportunity to meet like minded people. I am a complete novice though, so may well be out of my depth early on.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kind Regards,


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