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 so, you might like to join one of my weekly creative writing groups which take place in Ipswich on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
My Qualifications and Experience
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.
Damselfly Writing Group – Every Thursday in Ipswich 7.30-9.30pm
The group caters to people of differing experience who are interested in improving their writing craft. Sessions are held at my home in Ipswich which has a large enough dining table to comfortably sit approximately ten members per evening. I’ll give you my address, once you confirm a booking. Having a home setting helps to create a cosy, friendly environment. Tea, coffee and homemade cakes or biscuits are available free of charge.
Ravenswood Writing Group – Tuesday evenings 7.30pm – 9.30pm
This is a new group starting on Tuesday 19th June 2018. These are the themes for the first five sessions:-
19th June – Writing intriguing characters
26th June – Deciding how to structure your work
3rd July – Working on your writing voice
10th July – Learning from your favourite writers
17th July – Creating engaging scenes and settings
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.)
Costs for Group Sessions
You can either pay £30 a month via direct debit or £10 per session you attend.
Some people prefer to work one to one. I can offer support with formulating new ideas, help with grammar and layout and overall feedback on your work.
Each session costs £30.
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. I particularly enjoy assisting with stories for children and young adults but will consider other genres.
Individual Achievements of Group Members
- 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 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.
- 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.
Sometimes experienced writers may use unfamiliar literary terms. It may help your writing and your ability to give constructive feedback if you have a look at this list and learn a few each week.
Author Visit – Ian Andrew 19th April 2018
This successful crime/thriller author is the creator of the Wright & Tran series of detective novels, the first of which, Face Value, was awarded the 2017 Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Ian joined the Royal Air Force at eighteen as an aircraft technician and subsequently served as an Intelligence Officer. Having been a long term resident of East Anglia, he now lives in the rural south west of Western Australia.
During his visit, Ian told us about his writing journey from putting those first few words onto paper up to the present day, delivering his story with great humour and warmth.
As part of the session, we all wrote character sketches based on extracts taken from his novel.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening. I highly recommend Ian as both a speaker and a writer.
Following this success, I am planning to have more author events in the Autumn.