Do you like writing stories?

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

Would you like to have fun discussing ideas and improving your craft?

If so, you might like to join my friendly creative writing group which takes place in Ipswich every Thursday evening from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Alternatively, you could book a place on my four week skills course which takes place on Tuesday evenings (7.30pm to 9.30pm) in March 2019.

If you think you might be interested, email

Alternatively, you can text me or ring me for a chat on 07943 068033

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My Qualifications and Experience

My name’s 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 running creative writing groups in Ipswich for the last seven 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 English and History materials for primary age pupils and am part of the BBC Radio New Comedy Writing Project.


Sessions are held weekly at my home in Ipswich. (email me for the IP3 address).  Having a home setting helps to create a cosy, friendly environment. Tea, coffee and homemade cakes or biscuits are available free of charge.

Each individual session costs £10 or you can pay £30 monthly in advance.

writing group

Here is some of the feedback I’ve had:-

‘A creative and inspirational session.’

‘Ideas streamed with ferocity – a fun productive evening.’

‘Having arrived with doubts and worries, am leaving feeling motivated to write.’

‘Mai is lovely. Very personable and puts you at ease. First session has been very clearly structured and delivered.’

‘I feel I’ve really grown as a writer.’

Rosy's visit

.A typical evening’s format 

  • Everyone briefly tells the group what they have written or read during the week
  • Paired discussion of a piece of writing – either from a group member or a professional piece
  • A practical writing activity
  • Input on a chosen subject e.g. characterisation, settings or similes
  • A break for refreshments 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.)


Individual Sessions

Some people prefer to work one to one. You can talk through ideas for new stories, discuss plotting techniques or receive detailed, honest feedback on your work.

Each session costs £20.

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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 approximately one thousand words and we can discuss a fee. I typically charge £20 per 1000 words for this service.


Individual Achievements of Group Members

  • Gem and Kelly from Thursday’s Damselfly group launched a reading blog The Book Eaters.
  • Kelly was a joint runner up in the Felixstowe Short Story Competition one year and on another occasion had a story shortlisted
  • Kelly won our concept competition and received very encouraging feedback from agent Meg Davis.
  • 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
  • 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 Musgrove has had a number of novels published. Click here to take a look.
  • William won a competition to be one of Suffolk’s Young Poets of the year and read his work alongside Allan Ahlberg

Examples of Recent Activities

Sometimes we have a competition to see who can write the most words in a week. Here’s a recent winner with his well-earned prize.

tony winner

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

We always make time for a silent writing activity.

damselfly group

Here are a few creative links that might interest you.

The first is a good way to chat to other writers across Suffolk, ask questions and share information.

Suffolk Writers Group Facebook Site 

Writing Competitions

Study for a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing (University of Suffolk).


4 thoughts on “Do you like writing stories?”

  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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Free the writer within.