Writing Programmes in Cambridgeshire

Getting Ready

The year is just 4 days old.  A newborn, really.  Bald with a little bit of soft fuzz.  Eyes full of wonder at the offerings of the morning.  I like January; I like the chance to reset, pull out an empty notebook.  The relief of a blank page after the fullness of December merrymaking is as welcome as the lengthening days. This morning I began planning out the sessions for my next Writing Circle - Spilling the Ink.  When I book rooms, start putting up posters and open registration for these programmes, I never know who I'll reach and if enough people will come forward to write together.  Last fall I had two successful circles meeting for several weeks.  It was such a dream and I loved the challenge, the participants, the process, and the result. I felt incredibly lucky to work with these writers and I'm looking forward to sharing their anthology with you later this month. Part of me is still pinching myself that this all happened.

This isn't to say that every workshop I offered last autumn filled completely and easily. Although two programmes filled, I had offered five.  The other three didn't quite have enough people to take flight. I figure these are decent odds for starting a new venture.  It takes time to grow roots. Just as not every rough draft becomes a finished piece, not every offering will be taken up. The silver lining was that since I had just one group of writers at a time, I could tend the programme deeply.

Because I want to keep my groups small, the margin between 'not enough to run' and 'all spots are filled' is slim. A minimum of four participants gives us enough breadth to create community, a maximum of eight participants ensures that everyone is heard.  So it was with a whoop and a holler that I reached enough people this week to confirm that the Harston Writing Circle will definitely run on Friday mornings, 10.00 - 12.00, starting on 6 February.  We'll meet for 7 sessions at Harston Village Hall.*

As I mentioned above, I've started planning.  Full steam ahead, no holds barred, we're going to write!!

Planning for Spilling the Ink

Along with tracing out some new ideas, I enjoyed going back over my notes from the autumn, looking at photos, reflecting on what worked, making changes for this time around.  The planning piece is one of my favourite parts of creating these circles. (Truthfully, I like every single part - it's just the waiting on tenterhooks to get enough participants that keeps me in a bit of limbo).  Here's a little photo essay showcasing some of what we did last fall:

Writing from art

Creating our personal universe decks.


Teas, coffees, and snacks keep us going.

Sharing a space for weaving words into story.

If you're considering joining us, sign up soon!  For more details about Spilling the Ink, read here. Registrations received and paid for by 9 January get a early-bird rate of £87.50 for the programme. After that, the fee is £105 for the seven sessions.  Register or ask for more information here.

If you're on the fence, feel free to get in touch and ask any questions. Or look around the website to get a fuller picture of what we do.  You might find some of these links helpful:

*The Thursday morning Melbourn Writing Circle is looking less likely at this point.  I'll make a decision on that one in about a week.  If you're interested in that one, please contact me soon.


Spilling the Ink - Beginner's Writing Workshops

spilling the ink red border
spilling the ink red border

Curious about writing but not sure where to start? Full of ideas that somehow never make it to the page? In search of a bit of gentle prodding to keep your pen moving?

Join us at Spilling the Ink, a beginner's Writing Circle where each week we explore new ways of letting our creative cats out of their bags. Suitable for beginners and writers who love beginnings. Limited to 8 participants per group.

Want to test the waters?

Come to a free taster workshop for some writing and responding similar to what we will do during a Writing Circle session.  The taster session will be on 18 October, 14.00-15.30, Rock Road Library Community Room.  Register your interest in the taster session here and I'll get in touch with details. Map to Rock Road Libary, Cambridge. Stagecoach buses Citi 1 and Citi 3 have stops nearby.

Want to hear more about Writing Circles from me?

Here's an interview about Writing Circles that was on Cambridge 105 fm, where I talk with Leigh Chambers about why I created Writing Circles, how the programme works, and a little about my own writing.  We are the at the beginning of the podcast.

Want the details?  (Times, dates, and locations)

Thursdays, 19.30 - 21.30, 6 Nov - 11 Dec, Harlton Village Hall, Coach Drive, CB23 1EN. Map to Harlton Village HallTransport between Haslingfield and Harlton is available for a limited number of participants.  Enquire in registration email.

Fridays, 10.00 am - 12.00 pm, 7 Sept – 12 Dec, Community Room, Rock Road Library, 69 Rock Road, Cambridge, CB1 7UG . Map to Rock Road Libary, Cambridge. Stagecoach buses Citi 1 and Citi 3 have stops nearby.

Want to know the cost?

Early-bird pricing (register and pay by 16 October): £75.  Registrations after 16 October: £90. Partial bursaries may be available.  Please enquire for details via email.

Want to learn more about Writing Circles?

For an overview, read About Writing Circles. You might also want to check out these links:

I'm also very happy to chat with you - just drop me a line with your questions.

Registration for Writing Circles or Taster Session - Clickhere