Writers’ Day at God’s House Tower

  • God’s House Tower
  • March 7
  • 11:00 - 22:00
Event Website

A day of workshops, panel talks, performance and discussion for writers at all stages and levels of ability, featuring award-winning authors.

Writers Day itinerary and workshop/panel summaries

11-12: PANEL – The Constructive Critique – Susmita, Claire, Judith (Free)

12.15-2pm – WORKSHOP #1 The Business of Writing – Claire Fuller (£12.50)

2.30-4.15pm – WORKSHOP #2 A Place for Flash Fiction – Susmita Bhattacharya (£12.50)

4.45-6.30pm – WORKSHOP #3 Writing Geographies – Judith Heneghan (£12.50)

6.45-8pm – Panel chaired by Rebecca, with a focus on place with brief readings (Free)

8.30-9.30pm – Open Mic (suggested donation £5)

9.30-10pm – guest spoken word artist to close (included with Open Mic)

Writers’ surgery appointments are available throughout the day but must be booked in advance by emailing artfulscribe@artfulscribe.co.uk.

Attendees may book a 15min appointment with Claire, Susmita, or Judith for some feedback on a page of their creative work (500 words max, prose only, work to be sent in advance) (£12.50)

Tickets can be purchased individually, or a day-ticket can be purchased with access to all events, including a surgery appointment. Day tickets are £35. A limited number of tickets are available to contain workshop numbers.

No refunds are offered.

Workshop #1: The Business of Writing – What does it take to be a professional writer? Claire will look at how you can carve out writing time, how to use Twitter and Instagram to your advantage, routes to publication, how to attract the eye of an agent, dealing with criticism, what might happen next if a publisher is interested in your novel, forming a writing group, and the many other challenges you might face if you want to take your writing career seriously. Using real-life examples this workshop will provide you with practical advice that you can put into use immediately across many aspects of the business of writing. Come armed with all your questions on the business of writing, and Claire will do her best to answer them.

Bio: Claire Fuller didn’t start writing until she was 40. Her first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction, as well as being a Richard & Judy, and Waterstones book club book. Her second novel, Swimming Lessons was shortlisted for the Encore prize, and her third, Bitter Orange is long listed for the International Dublin Literary Award. Claire also writes flash fiction and short stories. Many have been shortlisted in competitions and she has won BBC Opening Lines short story competition, and the Royal Academy / Pin Drop prize. Her fourth novel, Unsettled Ground will be published in 2021.

Workshop #2: A Place for Flash Fiction – “Place, to the writer at work, is seen in a frame. Not an empty frame, a brimming one.”- Eudora Welty

This workshop will focus on the sense of place and develop ideas to create flash and micro-fiction. Go on a sensory journey to explore your roots, find your emotional perspective and challenge yourself to write outside of your comfort zone. We will read and discuss examples from this genre that harness the emotive pull of a place, the power of brevity and the thrill of that surprise ending. There will be opportunity to write at least one piece of flash fiction and Susmita will share tips for submitting flash fiction to journals and competitions.

Bio: Susmita Bhattacharya is a writer and lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester and Arts University Bournemouth. She also facilitates writing workshops for ArtfulScribe’s Mayflower Young Writers’ project. Her novel, The Normal State of Mind (Parthian) was longlisted for the Word to Screen Prize at the Mumbai Film Festival, 2018 and her short story collection, Table Manners (Dahlia) won the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection, 2019 and has been dramatized for BBC Radio 4 Extra. Susmita sailed on oil tankers around the world and has a great passion for travelling and capturing the essence of place in her writing.

Workshop #3: Writing Geographies – Most stories take place within a defined geographical space – a village, a block of flats, a hospital or a school, a spaceship or a suburb. This space might be as small as a prison cell or as vast as a desert but it will almost always have private spaces and shared or public spaces. It might even have forbidden places. Judith will take participants through a series of guided prompts to discover the imaginative geography of a setting of their choosing. They will map an emotional landscape and write to the edges, the borders, the danger zones before returning ‘home’ – wherever that might be.

Bio: Dr Judith Heneghan is a writer and a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester. She has written numerous books for children and her first novel for adults, SNEGUROCHKA, was published by Salt in April 2019. Described as ‘a captivating story about foreigners in Ukraine in the 1990s’ (The Moscow Times) and ‘an unnerving and enthralling novel set in newly independent Ukraine’ (Hampshire Life), SNEGUROCHKA has recently been shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing ‘Fiction with a Sense of Place’ award. Judith is currently working on a novel set in upstate New York.

Panel #1: The Constructive Critique – Writing is a solitary habit. So how do we know when our work is ready to share with readers? Fellow writers can act as trusted ‘first readers’, bringing a clear eye to a first draft in order to pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. In this session, Claire, Susmita and Judith each share a page of draft prose with each other and members of the audience for active discussion and ‘live’ feedback. The aim is to produce work that is the best it can be, and to share ideas about how to approach the constructive critique.

Panel #2: A Sense of Place – Place, so often, is what draws us into a novel or a poem. It influences character, voice and even the course of events; we immerse ourselves in its particularities and its moods. So how might writers approach a particular setting and make it their own? Journalist and writer Rebecca Fletcher interviews Claire, Susmita and Judith to find out how they each set about creating an intrinsic and distinctive sense of place. Includes brief readings.

Bio: Rebecca Fletcher is a freelance journalist and writer based in Hampshire. She was first commissioned to pen a monthly column, Margot Tries the Good Life, for Hampshire Life about the ups and downs of living in the country six years ago and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her interviews and writing have featured in a wide range of publications including Hampshire Life, County Living UK, County and Town House, Period Living and The Sunday Times’ digital edition and she has also appeared on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Solent. Rebecca regularly hosts author interviews and panel events at the Winchester Discovery Centre and other local venues, indulging her love of books and getting to the nitty gritty of what inspires writers to pick up their pens.

Writers’ Surgery – Attendees may book a 15-minute appointment with either Claire, Susmita or Judith for some feedback on a page of their creative work (500 words max, prose only. Work to be sent in advance).