Writing Workshops & Other Stuff

my_inkpot_from_www-rosiesarmoire-co-uk1Update: I will be delivering FREE creative writing workshops for the Lytham Festival of Stories and there will be opportunities to be published in the Lytham Festival of Stories anthology too. Click the link for more details.

I have been delivering creative writing workshops and longer courses for several years across Lancashire and the North West, from Taster sessions to Introductory through to Advanced writing techniques.

I also offer individual mentoring and support to writers, from young writers through to those aiming for publication, offer writing critiques, and am involved in a number of writing and storytelling projects and events.

I am a qualified tutor to University level and taught creative writing at the University of Central Lancashire, alongside English Literature and critical reading and writing courses, before moving outside academia to deliver a range of creative writing courses (amongst other writerly things) as co-ordinator of the Lancashire Writing Hub project from March 2010 until May 2012.  

I deliver individual workshops or courses in Getting Started with your Writing (prose only, eg short story and novel writing), addressing the essential basics of generating and developing ideas, character and plot development, and looking at both overall structure and the intricacies of using language to create and enhance your individual narrative technique.

The intermediate and Advanced Writing workshops and courses develop creative skills, including enhancing language use, developing your character, plot and narrative to a deeper level, and enhancing your self-critical & professional editing skills, & project management skills.

I also deliver specific courses in areas such as Writing for Children, Flash Fiction, Short Story Writing, Getting Started, Character and Plot Development, Self-Editing Techniques, and the business end of writing such as Synopsis Writing, Approaching a Publisher, and Managing your Social Media Profile

In all workshops and courses, my central aim is to enable and encourage the writer to develop and enhance their own style and intentions.  All writers are individuals, and I am passionate about enabling each writer to find, develop and enhance their own voice.

I can organise a venue and administrate the delivery of the workshop or course in the area of your choosing, or can come in and deliver the workshop or course for you in your venue. Fees are variable, depending on the project – and always far too reasonable.

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Feedback on creative writing workshops:

writingworkshops_webTaster Creative Writing workshops:

“Excellent content, thought provoking and extremely useful.”

“Really good introduction. Definitely got me thinking and feeling creative.”

Good range of stimuli for writing and informative background commentary – assured, logical approach.”

“Great. Thoroughly enjoyable and informative.”

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Beginners Course (4 week course):

“I want to thank you for helping me to get so close to finishing a piece of work. I’m not generally a “starter, finisher” so it’s been quite a big progression to get this close! […] I do feel confident that I will finish […]  The course was really well structured for people like me – it’s a great idea to have a clear goal of having a substantial piece of finished work at the end. And the idea of looking at that same idea from so many different angles throughout the course was truly inspirational!”

“Very helpful. Enabled me to focus better and inspired me to get going. Good ideas and creative promptings.”

“Jane is lovely – very friendly and encouraging. I would love to attend another round of w/shops as then I will have developed more as a writer.”

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Intermediate Level (4 week course):

“Good, thought-provoking, with practical techniques.”

“Thanks for a really interesting course. I feel like I learned a lot but it was also good fun experimenting with different ideas and styles, and learning about different techniques.”

Nice friendly atmosphere and very useful advice and guidance from Jane.”

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Advanced (4 week course):

“It was great. I like it – helped me a lot to consider things I need to look [at] when I’m editing.”

“Jane Brunning has been a splendid tutor. I have attended many cw classes but the exercises Jane set for us were all new to me and exceedingly valuable. The writers booked on this series of workshops varied in confidence and experience but Jane is scrupulously fair about making sure everyone gets time and attention and she is very good at making students feel comfortable. Jane always provides constructive and thoughtful feedback.”  

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Feedback on critiques of writing projects:  workshopping

I asked Jane to Critique a first draft of a collection of short stories and was delighted with the depth and rigour of her appraisal. There was real insight in the way she could pick out the things that I repeatedly did wrong at the same time as pointing out positive themes or techniques that I used well (even though I wasn’t even aware of them).

I was left with a real confidence about how to take the work to the next stage. I had much more clarity about which were the strongest and weakest stories and how to improve each of them.

In terms of value for money I can only say that the work done was far more extensive than I had expected for the small fee. When one considers how difficult it is to present a polished work to a publisher and how long it takes to write a book, the cost of a really good professional critique is absurdly small.

I have had feedback from teachers and friends and relatives but they haven’t really improved my writing because they tend to be vague and complimentary. Jane is happy to write ‘Great!’ Or ‘Like this’ where something works well but has no hesitation to say ‘…lacking in plot, focus and clarity’ where that is true or to point out technical issues about theme and structure. 

She even made specific suggestions about endings that have real creative insight.  Perhaps that is the difference between a teacher, and writer who also teaches.”

John D. R., short story writer, Lancashire.

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“The critical feedback received for my PhD was extremely useful. It was very detailed, clear, concise and honest.  It also offered ideas and perspectives that allowed my work to develop. In fact, the feedback proved invaluable in helping me successfully transfer my PhD to one of the UK’s top universities. Thank you Jane.”

M.G.P.   PhD thesis in progress.

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“Jane gave me feedback on the manuscript of my children’s book. As well as being remarkably keen-eyed at picking up on mistakes and grammatical errors she was also very insightful in terms of larger structural issues. After redrafting the manuscript using her advice I sent it out and recently got interest from an agent. I’m delighted.”

C.B., artist and childrens’ book writer. 

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