Do you want to write but somehow never get round to it? Do you have a story to tell but you don’t know where to begin? Have you started to write and ground to a halt? Do you love words and laugh out loud at the funny things people say and do? Do you wish you knew how to take all this and put it on the page? How do you begin?
Don’t wring your hands in frustration, the answers are right here. It could be the easiest thing in the world to pick up a pen and begin to write, yet somehow it seems the hardest. And most tantalising: anyone with an abandoned novel or short story gathering dust knows that writing unlocks the imagination and lets the spirit soar.
Help is at hand to reveal your potential.
In a two day workshop, best selling author Raffaella Barker will lead you through the labyrinth to find your voice. Using a combination of practical exercises and discussions, as well as excerpts from some great classic novels and short stories to illustrate the points covered, she will show you how to create characters, set up a story, devise a plot and give it the impetus to get to the end.
The workshop environment takes the sting out of the fear of the blank page and participants will emerge from their weekend with a set of skills they didn’t know they had and some pieces of writing they can be proud of.
Tea and cake and plenty of praise help make this weekend a lot of fun and fertile ground for the imagination.
The course will include a guest seminar on Sunday 22 September with a special guest star.
Raffaella Barker began writing novels at around the time she began having children, and is the author of 9 of the former and the mother of 3 of the latter. The ticking taxi meter of time when the children were asleep or occupied was a great disciplining force out of which her writing grew. Her novels include the autobiographical Come and Tell Me Some Lies, and the best selling Hens Dancing and Summertime, the fictional diaries of slightly loopy mother and Georgette Heyer enthusiast Venetia Summers.
Her more recent novels, A Perfect Life and Poppyland continue to reflect on the depths and indeed the shallows of family life. She has taught creative writing for a number of years, and on many levels including the highly acclaimed Arvon Foundation courses, and in workshops and one-to-one sessions. She also works as a newspaper columnist and feature writer.
We're very excited to be launching The Mumsnet Academy - a brand new enterprise which aims to curate a portfolio of fantastic courses to fit around family commitments and busy working lives.
A while back we asked you what courses you would like and the programme of masterclasses, workshops, and events we've come up with is a reflection of your responses.
To help us deliver the programme we have enlisted some fabulous experts in a range of fields as well as teaming up with some great partners who have a reputation for delivering high-quality, life-changing courses.
This collaborative approach allows us to offer a programme across a range of different subjects including entrepreneurship, business, technology, social media, blogging, history of art, creative writing, publishing, gardening, philosophy, finance, fashion as well as courses concerned with self-improvement and the concept of learning to live wisely and well. Some of these courses will be skill-based, while others will explore concepts, theory and ideas.
If we've missed something you think is a must, fear not, we will be adding classes to our portfolio all the time so please drop us a line or complete the suggestion box on our website.
One of the things that we felt was important was to ensure our Academy courses are available across the UK and we are pleased to announce that we will be running events in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester from day one. We are also keen to develop some online courses and hope to announce the first of these later this year.
While our courses are scheduled at times which are more convenient for those with young children, they are absolutely open to everyone. Ultimately, the overall aim of the Mumsnet Academy is to bring people together in a thought-provoking and fulfilling environment where there is a universal willingness to explore ideas, develop skills, and learn from experts as well from each other.