You're invited: Creative Writing Weekend

Learn from some of the UK’s most distinguished writers on the essential components of novel writing, over the course of an intensive weekend in central London (22–23 October 2016)

Creative Writing Weekend
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

Learn from some of the UK’s most distinguished writers on the essential components of novel writing, over the course of an intensive weekend in central London (22–23 October 2016)


It’s been said that ‘everyone has a book in them’. But nearly all writers and, in particular, writers who are starting out, need practical advice, technical guidance, and a healthy dose of encouragement. Marie Claire has designed an intensive creative writing weekend, with some of our favourite authors, to help aspiring fiction writers make their dreams a reality. Blending an intoxicating combination of inspiration, technical appreciation and practical advice, this weekend course will equip you with the essential ingredients to take your novel writing to the next stage.

Day One (Saturday 22nd October) will begin with an inspiring keynote panel on the writing process featuring acclaimed novelists Lionel Shriver (author of the global bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin) and David Nicholls (author of the international bestsellers One Day and Us), before breaking down into smaller groups for a series of practical workshops. These sessions will cover everything from plot, voice, point of view, characterisation, and dialogue - and be taught by award-winning novelists. Each group will have the opportunity to attend every workshop over the course of the weekend.

On Day Two (Sunday 23rd October), the workshops will continue during the morning before the groups re-convene for a final session on the practicalities of getting published in the digital world and the current state of the publishing eco-system. There will be formal opportunities for question and answer throughout the weekend, and informal lunches to mingle with like-minded individuals and pick the brains of the tutors.

Contributing tutors include celebrated authors, Louise Doughty, Sarah Hall, Ross Raisin, Jill Dawson and Lionel Shriver plus agents and leading figures from the publishing industry including top literary agent, Clare Conville.


Galaxy Book Award-winner (One Day), Richard & Judy bestseller (Starter for Ten), BAFTA Award nominee (Great Expectations) and now Man Booker Longlisted (Us) author David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. As well as his multimillion-copy bestselling novels Starter for Ten, The Understudy, One Day and Us, David is a scriptwriter whose credits include the TV series Cold Feet, Rescue Me, I Saw You, the TV movies The 7:39 and Aftersun, and screenplays for Far From the Madding Crowd, Great Expectations, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and When Did You Last See Your Father? He has also written the screenplays for the film adaptations of his own novels, Starter for Ten (2006) which starred James McAvoy, and One Day (2010), starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway.

David Nicholls

(Image credit: Hal Shinnie)

Widely published journalist, Lionel Shriver is the author of twelve novels, the New York Times bestsellers So Much for That (a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize) and The Post-Birthday World (Entertainment Weekly’s 2007 Book of the Year). Winner of the 2005 Orange prize, the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin was adapted for a feature film starring Tilda Swinton in 2011. She won the BBC National Short Story Award in 2014. Her work has been translated into thirty languages. A Sunday Times top-ten bestseller, The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047, a near-future family saga about the collapse of the dollar in the United States, was released this spring.

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Jill Dawson is the award-winning author of nine novels. Her latest is The Crime Writer, about the novelist Patricia Highsmith. Her novels have been nominated for the Orange Prize (twice), Folio and Whitbread and been a Richard and Judy book club choice. She is a popular writing tutor and mentor and is pleased to have helped many new writers publish for the first time. Jill founded Gold Dust, which pairs new writers with established ones:

(Image credit: ©Yves Salmon)

Sarah Hall was born in Cumbria in 1974 and has been shortlisted for nearly every major literary prize including the Booker. She is the prize-winning author of five novels - Haweswater, The Electric Michelangelo, The Carhullan Army, How to Paint a Dead Man and The Wolf Border - as well as The Beautiful Indifference, a collection of short stories. The first story in the collection, 'Butchers Perfume', was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, a prize she won in 2013 with 'Mrs Fox'. She recently edited Sex & Death, a collection of short stories, alongside her friend and fellow writer, Peter Hobbs.

Ross Raisin is the author of two novels: Waterline (2011) and God’s Own Country (2008), for which he won several awards, including the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and a Betty Trask Award, and was shortlisted for various others, including the IMPAC Dublin literary award and the Guardian First Book Award. In 2013 he was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. A new novel, A Natural, is due for publication in 2017, and he is currently writing a book on creative writing, Read This If You Want to be a Great Writer, as part of series on the creative arts.

(Image credit: © Angus Muir 2011)

Louise Doughty is the author of eight novels including the bestseller Apple Tree Yard, which has been translated into twenty-eight languages worldwide and adapted into a BBC1 four-part series starring Emily Watson. Her most recent novel is Black Water, out now from Faber & Faber.

(Image credit: Yves Salmon)

Clare Conville previously worked as an editor at Random House, before co-founding literary agency Conville & Walsh in 2000. She is the author of Dangerous Women: The Guide to Modern Life and is a co-director of the Curious Arts Festival. Clare was listed by the Observer as one of “Our top 50 players in the world of books” and as one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Powerful People in London in 2013.

Anna James is a freelance writer, journalist and literary scout. She's the Literary Editor for ELLE UK as well as a contributor to The Pool, and is a regular literary event chair at bookshops and festivals around the UK.

Anna James

Xander Cansell is Head of Digital for Unbound, a crowdfunded publisher which offers a new way for authors and readers to connect. Having previously run a bookshop, worked as a researcher for QI and the BBC, and tinkered as a web developer. Xander has been with Unbound since 2010 and launched their 'digital first' imprint earlier this year.

Xander Cansell

The details

22–23 October 2016 | 10am - 6pm | 30 Euston Square, London NW1 Tickets are £299 (includes a two course lunch on both days and all refreshments)

Click here to book your ticket

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