October is already upon us. Goose Fair has been and gone in a flutter of bright lights and candyfloss. Conker shells and soggy leaves litter the edges of the pavements. The night draws close. It’s the perfect time of year to get inspired and curl up in a cosy nook to get working on your writing. If you’re looking for some inspiration, motivation, or education, there’s plenty happening to get you ready for a winter of writing. Here’s what’s coming up at the studio in the months ahead. Not to forget Nottingham Festival of Literature which is taking over lots of venues including ours, this November. Full programme here plus look out for additional fringe events!
WORKSHOPS & COURSES
Thursday 20th October 4-6pm, The Venus Papers: Creative Writing Masterclass, NWS
The Venus Papers is a theatrical poetry show of arrivals, departures, landscapes and journeys, written and performed by Lydia Towsey. This masterclass offers insights on writing both for the page and for the stage, and developing a show for touring and widening your audiences. Develop new material and fresh approaches to writing, from working with the body to passing the Bechtel test. Explore what makes for a good performance; ways to develop your performance skills, resonate with an audience, and make a lasting impact. More details here
Cost: Pay what you feel, free to Mouthy Poets members, no booking required
October 21st 2-4pm, Polari writing workshop, NWS
Would you like a chance to perform your work on stage at a Polari event alongside LGBTQ+ published authors? If the answer is yes, then do take part in the Arts Council funded Polari Writing workshop. Karen McLeod, prize-winning author of ‘In Search of the Missing Eyelash’ and renowned performer of comedy character Barbara Brownskirt, will be facilitating the two hour workshop alongside Paul Burston, the creator of the fabulous and established LGBTQ+ literary salon Polari. The workshop will begin with a little warm up exercise so please bring along a pen and a notebook/paper. Then we shall be hearing your written work, so please pitch up with a maximum length of 300 edited words. Whether you are a writer of fiction, poetry, memoir or non-fiction (or something in between) you are all welcome.
Tickets £5. There are a maximum of ten spaces so please book now to secure a place.
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th November, Urban Writing Retreat: NaNoWriMo Special with Alex Davis
Weekend pass £10 NWS members/£15 non-members
Want to join in with National Novel Writing Month this November? We’ve got just the thing to get you inspired and motivated. For our November Urban Writing Retreat, we’ve invited Alex Davis to join us for the Saturday session. Alex Davis is an author, publisher, tutor and events organiser. His debut science-fiction novel, THE LAST WAR, is out now from Tickety Boo Press. He co-ordinates Edge-Lit and is part of the management committee for Derby Book Festival.
Saturday 12th November 10am-1pm, Finding the Words: Found Fiction & Poetry workshop with Giselle Leeb, Festival of Literature Fringe Event!
Words are everywhere if you know where to look for them. Water them and they’ll sprout in a hundred different directions. Join us on a word-discovery trip through the streets of Nottingham. Learn how to experiment and play with language to sow the seeds of your fantastic flash fiction and poetry.
This is a fringe event, running as part of Nottingham Festival of Literature. As part of the workshop and the festival, we will be creating a ‘Wall of Words’ in the studio with your collage of found poetry and prose.
Saturday 19th November 10am-5pm, Author Branding with Teika Bellamy, NWS
Two half-day workshops , attendees can join one or both of these workshops.
Morning: Design – A Key Element of Building Your Author Brand, 10am-1pm
Creating a strong author brand and platform is essential in the digital age, and design plays a huge role in creating a professional online ‘look’. Social media platforms, blogs, websites, flyers and business cards all require a coherent look to convey to the potential reader what your writing is all about. And in today’s image-conscious world, getting it right is even more important than ever.
Afternoon: Creating an Author Platform without Losing Your ‘Self’, 2-5pm
Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published an author platform is essential in the digital age. But how can an author succeed in doing this without spending every waking moment on social media? And what about blogging? How often should an author blog, and on what topics? And how should one conduct oneself online? This workshop will take you through the fundamentals of how to manage social media and grow your platform in an authentic manner, as well as helping you to set some short and long-term goals for your literary career.
Tickets: Half day £13 (NWS members) or £16 (non-members), Full day £20 (NWS members) or £27 (non-members). For full details and to book, click here
Saturday 26th November, 11am-5pm, Fact Stranger Than Fiction: Writing Memoirs & Narrative Non-fiction with Char March
Narrative non-fiction – be it Memoirs or other writing projects which draw from your personal experience – is all about finding interesting and engaging ways of telling your story… and deciding how far you’re happy to bend ‘the truth’ to make sure you write a gripping tale! Char March will help you discover all sorts of fun and practical ways to tackle your stories.So, come along with pen, paper and enthusiasm, and have a go. It would be great to have some photos (photocopies would be fine) of yourself and your family at different ages. And also have a quick look through some memoirs (at the library or in charity shops or wherever) and bring one you hate, and one you love. But please don’t worry if you forget, Char will have lots of materials to inspire you.
£30 for NWS members, £45 for non-members click here to book.
Saturdays 7, 14, 21, 28 January 10am-12noon, How to get Published: A step-by-step approach with Alex Davis, NWS
Finishing a novel means facing a whole new world of queries, agents, synopses, rejections, etc. that can be daunting even for those expecting it. This series of workshops is designed to demystify the process of submitting your work to agents and editors. It will cover how to find the right ones to approach, how to write a query letter that will stand out from the slush pile, how to write a synopsis, and what makes compelling sample chapters that will have agents and editors scrambling to ask for more.This is a re-run of the course held at the beginning of 2016.
Tickets £40 for NWS members, £60 for non-members. Click to book
Starting Saturdays 11th February 9:30am-12:30pm, 16 Weeks to Draft your Novel with Deborah Bailey, NWS
This course is designed to walk you through the process of writing your novel, with an aim to you having a complete rough draft by the end of two eight-week terms. Each class centres on the specific plot and character elements you should be considering at each particular stage of writing. With feedback on your work-in-progress, class discussions, and craft exercises designed to hone your skills, you will come out of these workshops a stronger writer with a draft under your belt. Given the ambitious scope, this course will require a time commitment of around 10 hours per week, minimum, to enable you to have enough time for your own writing as well as critiquing classmates’ work. Please ensure your schedule can accommodate this pace.
Cost £140 for NWS members, £210 for non-members. For more info and to book, please click here
EVENTS AND INSPIRATION
Tuesday 18th October 7:30pm, Nottingham Does Comics, NWS
Our third meeting comes ten days before Nottingham Comicon, so it seems an appropriate time to look at zines, indie publishing, exactly what a comicon is and why folk are so keen to parade around as Star Troppers. Once again we have three fascinating speakers; Kevin Brett, Steve Larder and Adrian Reynolds. Each will talk (with illustrations) for 15 mins, followed by a Q&A and chat. Evening introduced by Brick.
Free event, more info here
Thursday 20th October 7-9pm, The Venus Papers Performance, NWS
A theatrical poetry show of arrivals, departures, landscapes and journeys. Performances by local writers from Mouthy Poets, followed by the theatrical poetry show written and performed by Lydia Towsey. What if Venus, the Roman Goddess of love and beauty, washed up on a beach at this moment in time? Experience tales of 21st century women – every-woman, immigrant, traveler, outsider – in a time of social, cultural and political turmoil and change. Plus performances from Andrew ‘Mulletproof’ Graves, Panya Banjoko, and Mouthy Poets including Ioney Smallhorne, Bridie Squires and Milla Tebbs.More info here
Tickets £5, £3 conc and Mouthy Poets participants. Click here to book. Doors open 7pm, performance starts 7:30pm
Friday 21st October 7:30-9pm, Polari Literary Salon, NWS
London‘s award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari returns to Nottingham Writers’ Studio as part of a national tour funded by Arts Council England. Curated and hosted by author Paul Burston with guest performers representing the best in established and emerging LGBT literary talent. Tonight’s featured performers are Paul Burston (‘The Black Path’), Anne Goodwin (‘Sugar and Snails’), Gerry Potter (‘The Vacant Chair’), Karen Mcleod (‘In Search of the Missing Eyelash’), Sophie Sparham (‘Snow in Hell’) and Gregory Woods (‘Homintern’). The performance will be BSL interpreted.
This event is in association with Five Leaves Bookshop.
Tickets are £8, £6 conc. Click here to book
Friday 29th October, 7.30pm-midnight A David Lynch Halloween Cabaret at Nottingham Writers Studio
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There’s always music in the air. There’s always a cold drink with your name on it. There’s always damn fine coffee and that cherry pie is worth a stop.
But, just forget you ever saw it. It’s better that way.
Free entry, Lynchian fancy dress encouraged FB event page here.
8-13th November, Festival of Literature, Nottingham (various venues)
This year will be the first time that Nottingham will have a Festival of Literature (taking over from the Festival of Words held previously) since we became a UNESCO City of Literature in December 2015. NWS is a venue for the festival, so expect exciting things to come. You can follow the Festival’s Facebook or Twitter pages for updates, look out for brochures at the studio or look at listings online here.
Saturday 12th November, Open House Social, NWS
As a fringe event to the Festival of Literature, we’re thrilled to host an Open House Social, with doors opening at 7:30pm. We’ll have a Member’s Showcase open-mic from after 8pm(roster TBA), as well as tours of the studio for non-members throughout the evening, with staff on hand to answer any questions about joining the studio, and to give you a peek behind the scenes. There’ll also be a pop-up Bookshop of Member’s writing. This is a free event, open to members and non-members. BYOB. There’s no need to book, but if you have any questions you can contact us at admin@nottinghamwritersstudio.