Writing on Water workshop aboard The John Sebastian Lightship

  • The John Sebastian Lightship, John Sebastian Quay, Bathurst Basin, Bristol, BS1 6SG
  • September 30
  • 10:00 - 15:30
Event Website

How do you write about water? Does it trickle? Surge? Roar? Is it hungry? Foreboding? Volatile? Reflective? Tranquil? Join prose author Judy Darley and poet Helen Sheppard for a voyage of discovery aboard Bristol’s John Sebastian Lightship, moored in central Bristol. With plenty of time to write and an inspiration-gathering harbourside walk plus generative writing exercises, this retreat and workshop offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in writing for a day.
Taking place on Bristol’s atmospheric, historic lightship moored in John Sebastian Quay not far from the Ostrich Pub, this workshop encourages you to draw inspiration from the setting alongside creative exercises designed to help you find original, meaningful ways to use water in your writing. Whether you write about a raindrop or an ocean, you can harness water as a powerful writing muse. You’ll start the day gently with readings from your hosts author Judy Darley and poet Helen Sheppard before exploring different ways of using water to shine up themes in your writing, with generative exercises, poetry and prose examples from a variety of writers, and plenty of time to write. There will be time to share but no pressure to do so.
“Judy and Helen led such a supportive and inspiring workshop, with the Lightship as a unique venue. I loved the walk, prompts and time to explore ideas. My story that began on the Lightship went on to win 2nd prize in the Retreat West Flash Fiction Competition!” Emma Phillips, participant in the first Writing on Water workshop in October 2022.
The day at a glance: 10am – 12pm Judy Darley and Helen Sheppard introduce the day with two readings to ease you into the theme of water, followed by creative prompts, generative writing exercises, examples, time to write and the opportunity to share your writing if you wish. Hot drinks and biscuits are included in the ticket price.
12pm – 1pm Inspiration-gathering harbourside walk (less than a mile in total) with prompts to engage each of your senses, and time for lunch (not included, but there are lots of options around the venue in Bristol, or bring your own).
1pm – 3pm Generative writing exercises, hot drinks and homemade cake (included in the ticket price), plus the opportunity to work with other writers, and the option to share your writing from the workshop.
3pm – 3.30pm Your chance to ask questions about how to develop your writing, what to do with it next (such as performance or publication), and share feedback on the day’s experiences.