Joining NWS is the most productive thing I’ve ever done. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people is incredibly satisfying, not just because you learn that even successfully published authors have the same generic rejection letters as you but because you gain knowledge of funding, agents, and calls for submission from people at various levels of their career.
Use of space and facilities
Members have 24/7 access to the Studio, including use of the library, wi-fi, computer, printer, comfortable armchairs and tea and coffee.
A quiet place to sit and write – somewhere to focus and concentrate on my work.
On the sixth of each month, members gather at the Studio for our socials. The evening typically begins with a talk from one of our members or an external literature professional, and ends with a glass or two of wine.
It’s the one place I can talk about writing and the people around me will listen and respond!
We currently have writing groups in fiction (several genres), poetry, scriptwriting, YA and children’s writing, and non-fiction, where writers meet regularly to give each other feedback on their work and share opportunities.
The opportunity to improve my writing through constructive criticism offered by brilliant workshop groups of fellow writers who have a high level of expertise has been invaluable.
Discounts for Workshops and Courses
NWS runs a programme of one-day intensive writing workshops and short evening courses, led by established writers from within and outside Nottingham Writers’ Studio. NWS members receive a discount (usually 33%) on the fees for these events.
Working with other writers in workshops to improve my skills provides a co-operative creative environment I miss from my days in education. NWS brings experts to me, via classes and tutoring, meaning I can meet them and gain valuable insight – and question them.
Word of Mouth
A (roughly) quarterly live literature event open to the public, where we invite guests and members to read or perform their work. This often features readings from the NWS Journal, which is a showcase of members’ writing issued three times a year.
I have gained so much since joining NWS. Networking opportunities, work recommendations, and the support of like-minded people. I have had work published in the NWS Crime Sampler and given readings at Word of Mouth events at Antenna and Broadway.
We send this regularly (via email) to members. It includes members’ news and achievements, and information about NWS activities and literary events in the wider Nottingham community. If you would like to submit an item to the members newsletter, please use the form provided in the news section. A cut-down version of the newsletter is sent to our external email list (sign up here).
The newsletter gives me awareness of the local writing scene and opportunities to get involved in local events and projects e.g. Festival of Words, Short Story Night, Dawn of the Unread…
Being part of a community
As NWS patron Jon McGregor said at the 2014 Writers’ Conference (run by Writing East Midlands at Nottingham University), “Ask not what the writing industry can do for you, ask what you can do for your writing community.” At NWS we pride ourselves on our mutual support – we don’t join the Studio for what we can get out of it, we join to help each other. As a whole, we are much more than the sum of our parts.
The age range of writers means that I learn from people who are at least forty years younger than me. I love that. My eyes are opened wider and I’m made more aware of what’s going on in the world of writing and publishing… I realise that all my insecurities are just common ones experienced by many others so I feel less of a gauche alien wondering around confused. I am part of a community that is on my planet.
…the feeling of being supported and championed as an creative entrepreneur by an established organisation and the world of opportunities that open up when you start to get to know a great group of people. NWS has been key in helping me develop on personal and professional levels.