Archive for September, 2015

Online Writing Course Survey


Can YOU help? We want to design fantastic online writing courses that offer the support you need to make your writing even better. The courses will be led by published authors who really understand what readers and publishers are looking for. Please answer the following questions – you can skip any that don’t apply. As a thank-you, you’ll receive an invitation to our first FREE online writing course as soon as it’s open! (more…)

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New: Beach Hut Writing Academy

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I love this time of year for making fresh starts – and if you love writing, now is the perfect time to devote some time to your passion.  Because I’ve joined some fab authors to create a brand new academy aimed at new and experienced writers! Welcome to…

The Beach Hut Writing Academy

It’s a new hub for high-quality, affordable creative writing courses in Brighton and beyond… I’m joining with fantastic professional authors including Richard & Judy Book Club Author Araminta Hall and Radio and TV scriptwriter Sue Teddern (whose credits include ITV’s Home Front and BBC Radio 4’s

Beach hut academy logoWe originally formed the Beach Hut Writers as a social & events group for published authors in Brighton: I was looking for this when I moved to Brighton and when I didn’t find it, I set it up with the very talented Su Quinn.

Now we’re using our knowledge, professional experience and enthusiasm to launch a series of courses focused on helping people at all levels. We’re unique because ALL our tutors are published working writers (not all writing courses are run by published authors) but we’re also passionate about learning and sharing. Click onto our lovely new posters to see what we’re offering (these were designed by another talented Beachie, illustrator Jules Miller).

BHWA A5 Flyer Front

BHWA A5 Flyer Back

Between us we cover almost every genre, from young adult to crime and short stories to children’s book, non-fiction and script writing. Tutors include Erinna Mettler, Hannah Vincent, Bridget Whelan and Laura Wilkinson, with exciting guests to be announced.  

Our first courses are below – I’m one of the tutors on the 4-week Are You Ready to be Published? course which starts on November 12 in Hove.

This information and inspiration-packed course will help you perfect your pitch, so your submission to agents and publishers really stands out. Covering self-editing, hooks, titles, synopses and how to handle the waiting game, these four connected workshops are led by authors who understand the market and what you need to succeed.

Sadly we’re not currently running courses in an ACTUAL beach hut – not during the winter – but in the Spring, well, watch this space (we’re also planning mentoring. ! Do you want to take your writing to the next level?Beach-hut-logo

To enrol or find out more, go to our Facebook Page  or email

PS: Beachies as Rock Stars!

PS: you can catch lots of the very talented Beachies at Together the People, the new and fabulous Brighton music & arts festival in Preston Park, I’m on at 6.15pm on the Saturday on the Soapbox stage! The festival also features Billy Bragg, Martha Reeves and the Vandelas, Super Furry Animals and Horrible Histories. And if you want more persuasion, my favourite brownie seller in the world, Becky from Honeycomb Cakes will be there with her most amazing bakes, along with other great street food makers.

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#firstdraftblues – the scary truth

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I’m currently working on my first novel since I was distracted by the joys of writing about 5:2 dieting… and oh, it’s been a rollercoaster! So I thought I’d share the truth about my first draft, which I’ve just finished. Writing tutors – including me – often urge you to ‘get the words down’ because then you can edit it and improve it, rather than keep tweaking the beginning and never actually finishing the story. The very technical term for this a ‘sh*tty first draft’…

sh-tty first drafts Twitter from

But you know what, despite the doubts, this moment feels GOOD. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in, to do the dirty work and hopefully come out the other end with something that lives up to the excitement and promise I felt when I had the spark of my idea, way way back.

Are your first drafts this bad? Do share your #firstdraftblues in the comments section!





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