Events & Writing Courses Testimonials

Events and Writing courses

Some of the testimonials you've left so far for our range of events and writing courses...


Writing Courses

Fiction Writing courses with William Ryan

'Taking Bill Ryan’s novel course was one of the best decisions I have made as a writer. His classes combined useful lessons on crafting a novel in all its component parts with the close reading of each writer’s text. His insightful critique of my prose cut to the heart of what did and did not work in the scene, and his kind encouragement left me motivated to keep pushing myself to grow as a writer. All this while creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere where students felt confident to share their work.' Tammye Huf, author of A More Perfect Union (Myriad Editions)

'I was very impressed with the amount of work Bill put in, and the overall standard of work was very high indeed. It was a good catalyst for getting people writing, and the criticism from other students was, in the main, helpful.' Liz Newman

'[T]his was superb. One of the best writing courses I've been on.'  Wassim

'Thank you for a useful and inspiring course. The weeks flew. I feel I’ve improved as a writer and also as a reader; I find I’m looking for the ‘strings’ when I’m reading published novels now, and marvelling when an author has hidden them well. The tutor was encouraging, as were the other writers on the course. Some of us are keeping in touch to give continued feedback on one another’s work.' Marie Kreft

'This was my first course on creative writing and I feel like a whole new world has opened up for me. I can now see so many more ways to improve my writing. Now I just need to put them into practice. Bill was patient and encouraging for those who needed support to boost their confidence. He created an environment that urged improvement in a comfortable way. Thank you!' Beth Rehman

'This was the first online course I’ve taken. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was delighted. I learned so much from Bill’s feedback in the workshops – not just with me but also with the other participants. And I gained a lot too from exchanging feedback with my fellow course participants. I don’t hesitate to recommend the course to anyone with a first novel in progress.' John Nixon

'Bill gently teases the story out, with the sort of questions readers would ask. He helps writers understand that every sentence is important, that every conversation must add to the overall narrative arc, and that there is no valid ‘filler’. His feedback plus the feedback of others on the course, was invaluable for getting outside the writer’s point of view and into the reader’s.' Michele Kirsch

'I have been on courses before, but haven’t experienced such a solid, useful mix of the tools of the trade and feedback. Inspiring, practical, enjoyable.' Clare Palmer

'Bill gave very detailed feedback, sometimes quite challenging. He made a real effort to balance criticism with encouragement – not easy […] There was a real sense of progress, especially in the last couple of weeks where everyone seemed to have raised their game. […] Insightful. Challenging. Encouraging.' Stuart Blake


Your Children's Book with Christopher Edge

'Christopher Edge shared his knowledge of writing and insights into the world of children’s books with great generosity and warmth. I feel inspired and encouraged to keep writing, reading and learning.' Martha Lightfoot

'The past 5 weeks have offered wonderful guidance on writing for children, understanding the market, novel editing, setting, plot & character development, and it just feels like a great bonus that 5k of my novel will be reviewed as well. Terrific value for money, would highly recommend.' Linda Byrne

'The W&A writing course with Christopher Edge was fantastic. The course material was all enriching for a developing writer and there was clearly a lot for more advanced seasoned writers too. The course was delivered in a fantastic engaging manner and the whole experience has left me feeling enriched and focussed.' Sam Gaskill

'Your Children’s Book was the first course I have attended online, however it was well put together and well thought out. I feel, as a young writer, if you need guidance and support, a course like this one, is a worthy investment. You will get the chance to workshop and develop your own work, however also, you will get the chance to really question your direction as a writer. It was this course, that allowed me to question my direction, and through it, I have found a new direction, and one I am confident in. Looking back, the course last five weeks, and it flies by! You really do end up doing a lot of work but you end up challenging yourself to do better.' Luke Joseph Emmett


How To Write A Page-Turner with Caroline Green

'I found the course both extremely enjoyable as well as thought provoking, whether it was dealing with the technical side of plotting or the writing process in general. Having Caroline read and comment on a 2,000-word piece of writing was especially valuable.' Simone Mondesir

'A timely and well run course that helped enormously with the joys of lockdown.' Richard

'A great course and tutor. I'm not a Crime Writer but it contained so many transferable skills that helped me kick-start my writing - hopefully to a more professional level.' Sharon Berry


Fantastic Fiction with Zoe Gilbert

'Zoe is an empathetic and experienced tutor who immediately makes course members feel at ease. Her materials for Writing Magical Worlds were expertly selected to illustrate ideas and prompt creativity, and distributed efficiently to give plenty of time to read them in advance as preparation. I found each session interesting and informative, with the added bonus that the Zoom sessions were recorded and shared so that they could be revisited later. Participants were encouraged to join in discussions, but there was no pressure to do so. The option of feedback on a piece of writing at the end of the course from Zoe herself is another plus point. I have found her feedback to be encouraging, clear and above all constructive.' Janet O’Donnell

'This course with is without a doubt the best distance learning course, or actual course, I’ve ever attended. Zoe is knowledgeable, kind, encouraging and intelligent as a tutor [...] Be prepared to go on a magical adventure into some fantasy greats, and some lesser known gems, and explore your own writing life!.Truly excellent, basically!' Sian Hughes

'It was brilliant, really inspirational. Zoe Gilbert's enthusiasm for her subject is infectious!' Lisa

'I've been interested in working on short stories for a while and Zoe has given me the confidence to start. She shared tools to help us find new ideas, and explored our work with us as we experimented to find the best way to tell our stories.' Michelle Garrett

'Zoe is an incredibly insightful and imaginative teacher. Her knowledge on the craft is extensive and my own writing was improved by virtue of this class.' Kiran

'This was an informative and engaging course, which looked at many different styles of literature and ways in which to approach our own writing of magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. Zoe was a welcoming and skilful facilitator, who delivered each lesson in concise and informative chunks that were easy to absorb. This was my first time attending a virtual writing course and I was very pleased at how well the sessions progressed under Zoe’s expert guidance.' Fiona Williams


Writing Non-Fiction with Lara Feigel

'This was a very informative and helpful course that has certainly made me think about where to place the emphasis when completing the proposal for my book.' Jonathan Leader

'This course offered a very helpful, practical dialogue; it’s greatest strength being Lara’s insight and hearing directly from commissioning editors.' John Drummond


Writing Short Stories with Chris Power

'I wanted to openly share my gratitude with you on this group for giving so much enthusiasm and commitment to this course, not to mention the wisdom you've bestowed upon us. I particularly like that you laid a lot of theory out before us, yet encouraged us not to be hemmed in by convention.' Christian Crowther

'Thank you so much Chris, et al, for a really helpful and interesting course despite unprecedented challenges.' Cathy Hutson




Single-Day Events

How to Hook an Agent

'The approachability of the agents - they offered advice in a friendly, un-intimidating manner. The organization was also impeccable.' Luna Chatterjee

'A really useful event - it was nice to put a human face to the agents and hear what they had to say. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to practice pitching my story to a real agent who specializes in my chosen area and obtain feedback on my idea. Incredibly useful - it's given me lots of food for thought and will hopefully help me improve.' Sarah Leavesley

'The greatest strength of the event is – talks and meetings with the agents apart – the chance to be with other writers, bearing in mind that we are often in a vacuum working by ourselves.' Maggie Wyllie

'[The greatest strength of the event?] The agents and their voices, which replaced the intimidation and fear with hope and understanding.' Susan Coulson

'The chance to meet agents face to face and demystify the publication process.' Louise Mangos

'This was my second How to Hook an Agent. The first revolutionized the direction of my manuscript and provided me with a set goal. This second event has crystalized this direction. Getting to pitch to an agent face to face is priceless and has resulted in a direct request to see my completed manuscript. Thank you Writers & Artists, you guys rock!' Tim Harris

'What was genuinely invaluable was hearing about the submission process directly from agents, being able to put questions, and discovering how the "nitty gritty! of an agent's business life works. That latter was an important insight. Over the years I've research and attended several workshops/seminars. I don't think I am alone when I say that for the first time I understand exactly what needs to go in the submission letter and the synopsis. And just why the two-sentence summary and the first paragraph are so important.' Geoffrey Arnold

'I found the agents extremely helpful and the time spent discussing the process of submission with them was invaluable. Actually getting to meet and pitch to them was priceless (and my primary reason for attending).' Writer from Saturday 13th April 2013 event

'The day brought out, as no other way could have, the degree of subjectivity amongst agents and publishers. A lesson to be learned - and straight from the "horses' mouths".' Alan Hamilton


Evening Masterclasses

Manuscript Submission (with leading UK literary agents)

‘It was so informative and it was good to hear two different voices.  There was no repetition, it stuck to time and, for me, I got a lot of useful information plus ideas about how to decide who to send my manuscript to.’ Karen S

‘A fantastic interactive event that is a must for anyone working on current manuscripts or who want begin their writing journey. It provides a great interactive platform with clear guidelines on how improve the craft.’ Nysha

‘Very good value for money. Two bona fide agents spilling the beans for 50 pounds.’ Narinder Kasi

“This online session was truly inclusive in that location and travel were no longer a barrier. […] packed full of tips and insights that both educated and inspired.’ Alison Mitchell

‘It was very enjoyable, and a useful mixture of anecdotes, advice and cautions […] I get very restless during most Zoom presentations, but this one held my attention until the very end.’ Shiva, attendee at How to Get an Agent for TV and Screen masterclass with Cynthia Okoye


Author Masterclasses

‘Loved it. Really enjoyed the writing activities enabling you to take part instead of just sitting and listening.’ Lucy Smallbone, attendee at How To Write Villains masterclass with Caroline Green

‘This was a highly engaging talk with practicable advice and insight.” Eve Bolt, attendee at How To Write Villains masterclass with Caroline Green

'The greatest strength was hearing how an established writer develops his characters and his writing process.' Aarthi Sambasivan

'The greatest strength? The personal insights from the author… were very well structured and the exercises were great!' Amy Harvey'

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage in the exercise and to hear other writers work and to share my own. I would definitely attend more Masterclass sessions.' Helen Fisher

'Good examples, very well structured, very informative and impressive.' Maria Teresa Dangerfield



How To Get Published Conferences

How To Write For Children & Young Adults Conference

'Excellent course with so much to think about. Can't wait to get back to my writing.' Zita O'Rourke

'Thoroughly enjoyed, very inspirational. Thank you so much for a great day with the right sized crowd and perfectly picked experts to share their knowledge.' Charlotte Scarborough

'A lovely day! Very informative for someone new to the game! I'm super inspired to get cracking and get out there!' Rhiannon Holland

'Loved the day, loved the speakers – thank you! Also thought that Alysoun was a perfect host for the day.' Kerensa Jennings

'This was an extremely helpful day, thank you! It was very well organised and informative - just what we needed. I was struck by how incredibly friendly everyone attending and running the workshop was. Being creative seems to bring out the best in people!' Astrid Weber

'Very well organised. Length of sessions was good, lots of variety and chance to ask questions.' Chelle Parker

'The conference offered a well-judged mix of practical advice and inspirational personal stories. The range of speakers – from literary agents, to publishers, to authors – meant that all aspects of the business were covered… [It] has certainly given me the tools to return to my own work not just with renewed enthusiasm but with a sharper editor's eye, too.' Becky Brewis

'Very professional and friendly, inspiring and realistic. Heading home now to start the search for an agent!' Nikie Forster


How To Get Published, Online - with the Open University

'I thought the whole set up was excellent. The speakers were generous with their information and took a really facilitative approach.' Mel Eldridge

'In terms of content and speakers, it was excellent. The level of experience and skill of the 4 panelists was outstanding. I am so thankful.'Brid Conolly

'The balance of authors, agents and publishers was just right. The authors provided good tips for writers and I found the agents very encouraging for the, as yet, unpublished authors.' – Yvonne Dalziel


How To Get Published, Plymouth - with Literature Works

'So much practical advice from established writers who've experienced the good, the bad and the demoralising was so helpful. Everybody speaking was engaging and so honest about their own journey.' Gino Andreoli

'Absolutely fantastic - brilliant talks and I learnt so much. Now I need to get cracking!.' AJ De Montjoie

'Crammed with information. It was so rewarding to meet authors and publishers, and gain valuable tips and inside information.' Eleanor Knowles

'Being in a warm community of other writers helped me take my writing seriously.' Caroline Lodge

'Friendly atmosphere, engaging speakers, plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to network.' Ffion Edwards