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?
If this sounds like you, not matter whether you’ve been writing for years or are an absolute beginner, please get in touch.
About Me (Mai Black)
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 had published a variety of material for primary age pupils.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can’t make Thursdays, there will be a new group starting in January 2018 so let me know which days and times best suit you.
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
One to One Support
Besides from running the writing groups, I can also offer one to one tuition for £20 per hour.
Here’s some lovely feedback I’ve received from someone I’ve been working with.
“I’ve really enjoyed working one to one on my novel. Mai’s helped me with plotting, characterisation, style and theme. Most of all she’s helped to give me the motivation to get the job done!” – Carl, Ipswich
Editing and Proofreading
If you’d like me to edit or proofread 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. Typically, I charge £20 per hour.
- Lesley won two hundred euros and had her travel piece published in The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-writing-competition/
- 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 www.familiesonline.co.uk
- 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?’
Examples of Recent Activities
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).
Sometimes we work together to discuss characterisation in successful books
Sometimes we try out the famous ‘cut up technique‘ as used by David Bowie and TS Eliot-
Sometimes we discuss ideas about writing in pairs and small groups.