Do you want to having fun writing alongside other creative people whilst improving your craft?
Would you like to receive constructive feedback in a informal, supportive environment?
If so, you might like to join one of my creative writing groups which take place in Ipswich each Wednesday and Thursday evening from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
Or maybe you’d prefer to attend a creative writing course.
Previous courses have featured creating characters, dialogue and diary writing. The next course runs in September 2020 with a focus on planning your work.
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 from Kent University, am a trained teacher and have been running writing groups in Ipswich for the past ten years. I’ve won competitions for short stories, travel writing and poetry with my work appearing in Best Magazine, Let’s Talk, Suffolk Magazine, The Telegraph and The Fens. (Examples of my work can be found at the bottom of ‘group achievements’ lower down the page).
I have also been a guest on Radio Suffolk’s Creative Corner and regularly produce educational resources for CGP Publications.
My evening creative writing sessions take the form of one off workshops, covering topics such as ‘How to Write a Great First Line’ or ‘What Makes a Well-Rounded Character?’ They give participants the opportunity to write alongside other people, learn new techniques, try out new ideas and become a more active part of the local writing community. The sessions are held weekly at my home in Ipswich, Suffolk.
Having a home setting helps to create a cosy, welcoming environment. Tea, coffee and cakes or biscuits are available free of charge.
The address is:
23 Damselfly Rd, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 9TS.
Note for visitors and new members. Please click here to read through the group guidelines before you come for a session.
Each session costs £10. Courses cost either £40 or £50 depending on the number of weeks.
If you’re interested in coming along to a session or have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s some of the feedback I’ve recieved:-
I have only recently started to attend Mai’s writing groups. After my first session, I felt confident enough to write my first short story and enter this into a competition.
I had written on-and-off for years but always in isolation. Having a talented bunch of people to bounce ideas off is great and the feedback is incredibly helpful.
I joined the Writer’s Group as way to improve my writing skills. I stayed because the encouragement is fantastic, it has inspired a lot of new ideas and the people are just lovely.
The combination of a friendly group of like-minded people and expert, supportive tuition is just what I needed.
I think it can be quite daunting going to a group like this for the first time, but everyone is so friendly and supportive. The group has inspired me to finish my first novel.
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.)
You also have the option of working one to one. I’m often available during week days so this option may suit people who’d rather not travel in the evenings. You can use the time however you wish. Maybe you’d like to talk through ideas for new stories, discuss plotting techniques or receive detailed, honest feedback on your work.
Each session costs £25.
Here are some lovely comments 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 your work via email, send me a short extract of approximately one thousand words and we can discuss a fee. I typically charge £25 per 1000 words for this service. If, after working together for a while, your work improves in terms of grammar, plot and characterisation, I will lower the rate significantly.
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/’
- Cat Franklin has gained a literary agent and secured a three book deal with a major publishing house.
- Caroline Goldsworthy’s first novel Tangent was nominated for the 2019 Selfies Award.
- 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 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
- 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 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
- 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?’
- Mike, Barry, Georgia, Ian, Charli, Simon and Karyll all had work published on The Tourist Trail website.
Here are two examples of my own work:
Short Story in the Fens Magazine.
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.
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.
Three times a year I run short creative writing courses for beginners and intermediate-level writers.
Here are a few writing links that might interest you.
The first is a good way to chat to other writers across Suffolk, ask questions and share information.