Courses

All our courses are listed below. Grants are available on all courses.

Can’t find a space? Sign up to our mailing list or join the literary collective to hear about next year’s courses first.

Date/Time Course
Mon 24th Jul - Sat 29th Jul
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Writing for Children: Melvin Burgess & Jenny Valentine, Guest: Gillian Cross

If you are serious about writing original fiction for young people aged from six to sixteen and up, this is the course for you. The week will include individual tutorials and workshops covering such topics as story, character, and voice for children of all ages.

Thu 3rd Aug - Sun 6th Aug
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Short Course - Comic Writing: Jon Canter & Marina Lewycka

British culture is rich in humour: irony, satire, farce, wordplay, wit, silliness, absurdity, teasing. The first rule of comedy is, there is no rule. So, this course won’t tell you what’s funny and what’s not – that’s up to you. Instead, you’ll discover the techniques writers use to fulfil the comic potential of their characters and plots. No longer will you strive to make every line funny, which soon becomes tiresome (and tired).

Mon 14th Aug - Sat 19th Aug
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Poetry: Peter Sansom & Ann Sansom, Guest: Michael Longley

An intensive but very enjoyable course of writing and reading with ‘the best poetry teachers in the world’ (The Guardian). Taking classic and contemporary poems as model and stimulus, we will create our own new pieces throughout the week.

Mon 21st Aug - Sat 26th Aug
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Fiction: Joanne Harris & Naomi Alderman, Guest: James Runcie

Writing convincing fiction is not unlike building a house. You need a solid foundation, good craftsmanship and the finishing skills to make it feel like yours. This course will outline the elements of fiction with sessions on plot, characterisation, dialogue, creating atmosphere and a session on how to edit once you have put it all together.

Mon 28th Aug - Sat 2nd Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Nature Writing: Sara Maitland & Mark Cocker, Guest: Gavin Francis

Mark and Sara are both nature writers (though of rather different kinds) who believe that seeing and first-hand knowledge are the first essentials. They will offer outdoor activities to help you develop those “forensic” skills as well as a series of workshops on memory, language and narrative.

Mon 4th Sep - Sat 9th Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Only Twin Rooms Available
Tutored Fiction Retreat: Amanda Smyth & Paul Murray Guest: Jane Harris

This course will suit writers with a work in progress. If you need an intensive period to focus on something which is nearing completion, this is your chance. Paul and Amanda will be on hand to offer constructive advice in one-to-one tutorials on finishing and those final tweaks to plot and character to help make your work the best it can be.

Mon 11th Sep - Sat 16th Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Playwriting: Chris Thorpe & Nicola McCartney, Guest: David Greig

Plays come in many different shapes, but to deviate from the norm, you have to understand what you’re deviating from. The week will provide a grounding in classical dramatic structure, and then encourage participants to test their own ideas against it.

Mon 18th Sep - Sat 23rd Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Travel: Michelle Jana Chan & Sara Wheeler, Guest: Hugh Thomson

Beginning with classic techniques and examples of the most evocative travel writing, this course will bring participants bang up to date with the latest developments in the genre and explore ways and means of working as a travel writer now.

Mon 25th Sep - Sat 30th Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Only Twin Rooms Available
Performance Poetry: Lemn Sissay & Hollie McNish, Guest: Caroline Bird

The stage can be a frightening place. It needn’t be. The nature of expression through the poems which you have carefully written are what this course is all about. We will show you how to give the words the respect they deserve by exalting them through your voice and physical presence.

Sun 15th Oct
10:00am - 4:00pm
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fiction Day: The Art of Omission with James Robertson

In fiction, we are always being reminded that ‘less is more’, but what does this mean? How do you decide what to leave out, and what is essential?

Mon 30th Oct - Sat 4th Nov
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Short Story: Michèle Roberts & Romesh Gunesekera, Guest: David Constantine

This course for fiction writers will concentrate on how to re-draft short stories. Re-drafting is a crucial art, indispensably part of writing well. It involves recognising and building on your strengths as a writer, and takes time and practice.

Thu 16th Nov - Sun 19th Nov
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Limited Places Available
Short Course - Fiction: Louis de Bernières & Tim Pears, Guest: The Bookshop Band

Although writers tend to work holistically, it can be helpful to isolate and examine some of the elements of our writing. In this course, novelists Louis de Bernières and Tim Pears will foreground the writing of character, emphasising the importance of such matters as dialogue and silence, action and inaction as means of revealing the inward workings of our characters’ minds.

Mon 20th Nov - Sat 25th Nov
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Winter Retreat

Tis the season to be writing! Come on our Winter Retreat and cosy up next to a burning stove while you work. Be inspired by the snow-filled landscapes and starry night.

Mon 4th Dec - Sat 9th Dec
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Songwriting: Boo Hewerdine & Edwina Hayes Guest: Findlay Napier

On this course Edwina and Boo will guide you as you work on your songwriting skills. Learn about meter, melody, lyrics, chords…. every aspect of song. Edwina and Boo will teach you the tools to allow your inspiration to be realised. On recent courses attendees have gone on to wonderful things.Songs have been recorded and […]

Mon 11th Dec - Sat 16th Dec
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Christmas Retreat

Desperate to get that manuscript redrafted? Or that poetry collection polished off? Our recently-released Christmas Retreat is the perfect occasion to do so.

 

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