Creative Writing Courses

Click here for details on our next Residential Writing Course, which will run from 8th-15th November 2024 at Rushay, a lovely country house in Wootton Fitzpaine, Dorset.

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I tend – as is the way with those who are paid by the word – to earn my living under various hats: as writer, reviewer, journalist, guide and speaker, but also as teacher of creative writing for organisations such as the Arvon Foundation and the Institute of Continuous Education, Cambridge.

I take enormous pleasure from exploring the wondrous ways in which writing works, especially with like-minded types.  Which is why I have lately teamed up with Jason Goodwin, fellow writer and Turcophile, whose company I’ve often enjoyed on forays into Anatolia.

Jason has written some wonderful books but is perhaps best known for his brilliant Yashim novels, which tell of an eunuch detective in 19th-century Istanbul.  Between the two of us, we have published some 15 or so books, many of them about Turkey, which cover fiction, travelogue, history, biography, memoir and cookery.  We have been writing for the best part of forty years.

Last November we joined forces to run a residential writing course in Dorset.   From the off we were both clear that we would have nothing to do with, well, prescribed modules and joyless Powerpoint presentations delivered in over-lit office spaces at icky blonde wood tables furnished with bottles of Highland Spring.

We wanted something closer in spirit to a house party where we might explore writing in an informal but cosy and inspirational setting, exchanging opinions, convictions and insights before log fires, on long walks and over excellent meals (Jason, it turned out, having every qualification to publish that cookery book).  So we based ourselves at Rushay, a lovely Arts and Crafts house within walking distance of the Jurassic Coast.

Not that the course was entirely unscripted.  We devoted each day to a different aspect of writing, among them Character, Story, Dialogue, Setting and Voice, and illustrated points with excerpts from favourite writers.  We got guests to do things strange and wonderful with writers as diverse as PG Wodehouse and Cormac McCarthy, Beatrix Potter and Thomas Hardy.

Our guests were working on a range of projects, with novelists and memoirists among them while others were yet to settle on particular projects.  We made time for private writing and for Jason and I to address specific issues arising from guests’ ongoing work.  We enjoyed the week enormously, as it seems our guests did:

‘The writing workshops were invaluable, inspirational and motivating.  It was also tremendous fun with two great hosts who were not only willing to generously share their time with helpful feedback but kept us entertained with charm, wit and warm hospitality.’  – Jane

‘‘Thanks go to Jason and Jeremy, who meticulously planned all the mind-stretching exercises and for their patience and encouragement and the delicious food combined with laughter and fun around the dining table.’  – Katya

‘The Rushay Writing Week was the perfect place to take my writing to the next level.  There was fantastic teaching from the guest authors as well as Jason whose love of writing and story-telling infused the whole week.  I enjoyed the company of everyone and there was much laughter at the end of the day.  The superb food was an added bonus.  I will never forget my happy and productive week at Rushay and can’t wait to do it again.’  – Angie

We are repeating the course between Friday 8 and Friday 15 November 2024.  We’d love you to join us.  For more information on facilities and prices, click here.  Or email me.