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Essex Writers House Workshops

As part of our Essex Writers House 2019 Pop-up at Chalkwell Hall, we’re offering the following workshops. Places limited, book soon to avoid disappointment.


Life’s a Pitch
Sat 9 March 1.30pm – 4.30pm
“So, tell me all about yourself…”
Does that sentence fill you with horror? Do you clam up? Or worse, do you start to ramble incoherently until the other person’s eyes glaze over?
Fear no more! This is a workshop that shows you how to use creative writing techniques in the everyday world. Movies and books are built around hooks, conflict and mystery – that’s how they keep us engaged, and you can use the same techniques when approaching anything from job interviews, to the dreaded UCAS form, to your bio on that dating site.
Led by Richard Kurti.
In 20 years as a professional writer, Richard Kurti has worked for a huge range of companies, from Hollywood majors like Warner Bros, Universal and Miramax, via the BBC, ITV and Sky, right through to indies who fly by the seat of their pants.
As a screenwriter he has put words into the mouths of everyone from Isaac Newton to Sherlock Holmes, and created actions sequences for everything from drug dealers to Boxtrolls.
On radio he has built plots for Dan Dare, Mowgli and Isaac Asimov’s robots; as a novelist he has imagined worlds for monkeys and genetic mutants.
And at each stage, he has sat opposite the ‘people with power’ and pitched his ideas.
“So, tell me all about the project…”
Armed with a few simple tools, you will no longer fear these words, but see them as a golden opportunity…
Tickets: £10
Box Office: Book Tickets Here

Writing the Short Film
Sat 16 March 11am – 2.30pm (with ½ hour lunch break)
The short film is often overlooked as a story telling medium, but it can be a great calling card for the new writer or those coming from other writing disciplines. This half day course run by Maria Solecki is designed to equip those new to writing short films. You’ll leave with an understanding of: the role of the short film; the role of the screenwriter; what makes a great short; and mistakes to avoid. We’ll explore why less is most definitely more- and why short form story telling can be just as powerful as other forms.
Maria Solecki holds an MA in Screenwriting (Fiction) from the Northern Film School. Her short film Moja Kochanna Anna (My Love Anna) screened at several festivals and won Audience Award at Hyde Park Picture house in 2010. Since then she has run
Tickets: £10 (limited places)
Box Office: Book Tickets Here

Ages 12 – 19 yrs
Sat 23 March 11am – 4pm (with an hour for lunch)
Author and screenwriter, Simon James Green gives you his top tips through a series of fast-paced exercises to create and develop character. Designed to allow students to really get to ‘know’ their fictional creations in a way that will bring them to life on the page. Includes guided writing exercises to develop attention grabbing opening lines and comedic scenes.
Whether its poetry, prose, a short story or your debut novel that you’ve ambitions to write – Simon will have some useful insights for you.
Simon James Green is an author and screenwriter. His debut novel for young adults, Noah Can’t Even, was published by Scholastic in May 2017, followed by the sequel, Noah Could Never, in June 2018. The books have also been optioned for TV by Urban Myth Films. Simon’s screen credits include co-writing feature-length rom-com Rules of Love (BBC), and a short stint directing Hollyoaks (C4).
Tickets: £5
Box Office: Book Tickets Here

Sun 24 March 11.30am – 3.30pm (with an hour for lunch)
Zoë Howe (‘one of the UK’s great biographers’ – Dr Simon Warner, Text & Drugs & Rock ’n’ Roll) joins us fresh from launching her latest book Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story here at Essex Writer’s House the night before to run an entertaining music writing workshop for all levels. Themes to be discussed include interview techniques, research, classic music writing and dissecting what works (and what doesn’t), general tips and guidance and the revelation that nailing good practice will not only improve your output but can enrich everyday life in unexpected ways, and, yes, can even make you sexier. Genuinely. Sign up and find out more…
Writer, artist and musician Zoë Howe is the acclaimed author of eleven books, including rock biographies of artists such as Poly Styrene, The Slits, Wilko Johnson, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Stevie Nicks, Lee Brilleaux and Florence + The Machine to name a few. Her debut rock ’n’ roll novel Shine On, Marquee Moon was shortlisted for the Virginia Prize for Fiction. Zoë is also working with Poly Styrene’s daughter Celeste (her Dayglo co-author) on the documentary film I Am A Cliché (release TBC). Musically, Zoë has worked with Viv Albertine, Mick Jones, Steve Beresford, Yumi Hara, Charli XCX, Helen McCookeryBook, The Raincoats, The Plan, Platypus, Wobbly Lamps and others. /
Tickets: £10
Box Office: Book Tickets Here

Situated Practice: a one day creative writing course relating to place
Sat 30 March 10am – 5pm (lunch included in ticket price)
Writing to evoke an unmistakable sense of place, paying attention to people, atmosphere, soundscape and landscape. With the celebrated author Lee Rourke (short-story collection Everyday, the novel The Canal (winner of the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2010) and the poetry collection Varroa Destructor. His latest novel Vulgar Things is published in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the US by 4th Estate, Harper Collins. His debut novel The Canal is being adapted to film by Storyhouse Productions, summer 2018).
Tickets: £25 (limited places)
Box Office: Book Tickets Here

More information about Essex Writers House at Metal this March is here.

Essex Writers House Workshops