Testimonials - Events & Writing Courses

Events and Writing courses

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


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Writing Courses

Fiction Writing courses with William Ryan

"I went back for a second W&A course with William Ryan because I wanted to hear and learn more […]I had ‘Aha” moments, and that voice on my shoulder was both a comfort and a taskmaster!" – Gaye Poole, author of Edges of Me (publishing with Cranthorpe Millner in June 2024)  Read From Plays to Fiction by Gaye Poole

"Joining the W&A course with Bill Ryan was a real turning point for a floundering writer! The combination of teaching, talks and workshopping gave me the skills to structure, critique and edit my novel properly. Bill is both kind and exacting - the perfect combination for guiding writers to improve and go forward to submission to agents and publishers. He is extremely generous with his time and feedback, creating a supportive and constructive space to examine your own and fellow students' work. This has extended beyond the course: several of us still meet monthly to share and discuss our writing. I highly recommend Bill's course and teaching - it was a fantastic investment and a lot of fun." – Heather Critchlow, author of Unsolved (publishing with Canelo Crime in May 2023)  Read The Feedback Loop by Heather Critchlow

"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)

"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, author of Clean (Short Books), winner of the RSL Christopher Bland Prize

"I’m finishing this course in a completely different place to where I started it and I’m SO glad I made the investment to sign up for it!" – Julie Chipo

"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

"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

"Utterly brilliant. Really specific, practical, considered advice delivered very clearly. The sessions were packed full of information - I really appreciated that they weren't simply saying 'this is what you're aiming for', but actually talked in detail about how to achieve this. Christopher is such a highly skilled writer, so it was always going to be brilliant listening to him, but what really came across in the sessions was how much he thinks about and values writing for children specifically - that was wonderful. There was ample opportunity to ask questions, and the homework set each week really helped to motivate me to put what we'd talked about straight into practice. I've finished with greater clarity about my writing and what I'm doing with it, and best of all, I've got my enthusiasm back!" – Debbie Cannon

"I loved every minute of the course. It was so well put together. Christopher was such a generous tutor, and made it as fun as it was interesting, with loads of useful information and insight."  Gill Wood

"This is the best writing course I have ever been on. It is packed with amazing tips and exercises on how to write a book for children. I would recommend this course to anyone who is serious about writing for children. I have learned so much in this course and I can't stop writing. Thank you Chris for the inspiration." – Kylie Holmes

"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 focused." – 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

"Enthralling and completely immersive, Caroline Green's knowledge about how to write a page turner was an informative experience for me. She had tremendous insight on what elements are necessary to writing a good story, and I feel more confident about completing my work in progress." – Pamela Downs

"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 2k word piece of writing was especially valuable." – Simone Mondesir 

"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

"Caroline was a wonderful teacher; warm, approachable and patient." – Raili


Fantastic Fiction: Writing Magical Worlds with Zoe Gilbert

"A stimulating and motivating course packed with useful material and ideas. Zoe is an excellent tutor who is approachable, encouraging and supportive. Her materials 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

"Very well structured. It provided a space for writers, experienced and otherwise, to make a statement of intent ("I want to write") and commit to following things up, even if only for the brief duration of the course. I found the  session with Lara Feigel about my project particularly useful, not only for the advice but because it forced me to focus."  Isabel

"Informative, helpful, practical, somewhat experiential. Particularly valuable to hear the stories of others, of Lara , and of any impediments and how they were overcome. Editors/agents joining in week 4 and 5 also very useful and informative." – Jonathan D Smith

"Lara certainly knows what she's talking about and conveys it clearly. I felt it was very generous to share her book proposals." – Mark Blackburn


Find Your Voice with Natalie Young and Alex Hammond

"I loved FYV. Alex and Natalie were a great team [...] They made me feel like I could do this. I have come away feeling encouraged as a writer."  Diane Woodrow

"Very useful. The exercises have driven a number of new pieces and the expertise and experience of the tutors was invaluable."  Tony Black

"I absolutely loved it. I felt heard and respected and loved the feedback and seeing how it improved my work."  Fiona Houston


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




Events with Leading UK Literary Agents 

How to Hook an Agent

"At a W&A How to Hook an Agent event I was paired with Nicola Williams, who'd published her first legal thriller in 1997 before being distracted from writing by a highly successful legal career. She's a gifted storyteller, but I was most interested in how she was exploring the changing Black community in which her belated follow-up was set. A little under two years  later, we were able to announce a two-book deal with Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton and a TV series based on the original book in development." – Jonathan Ruppin, Ruppin Agency & Writers' Studio

"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

"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

Manuscript Submission Masterclasses

"The two agents that attended the event were such positive and honest voices, which was so reassuring. I've often found there's a doom and gloom aspect when approaching writing as a career, so it was great to hear from professional voices that it's achievable if you're smart about it. I came away feeling hopeful and positive about writing a children's book - which is the best feeling you could hope for when approaching a mammoth project." – Grace Ball

"Really fantastic speakers who shared some very useful nuggets of information […] It made me feel less alone, and it was incredibly useful to get the covering letter feedback as well!" – Brittany Golob

"Both speakers were engaging and informative, managing to be both frank and friendly. It was so useful to have the review of the query letter too - that kind of feedback you'd never get when you start submitting, so better to get it before!"– Nick Martlew

"It was great. Really insightful and informative […] The opportunity for cover letter feedback from an agent is invaluable." – Joely

"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

"Insightful, helpful and enjoyable and incredibly affordable too. The feedback I received from an agent on my query was gold dust."  FJ Morris

"This was such a valuable experience in the lead up to submitting my manuscript [...] I now feel like I am armed with all the tools needed to take the next steps in my journey." – Bean Sawyer

"Gave me a much clearer view of the agents' job - as well as our job as writers, in terms of what they need from us [...] As a first-time novelist, the pitching process is mysterious and intimidating; this class made it much less so."  Gail Haslam Loose

"Informative and energising. It reminded me that agents are people who love books and that they want authors to succeed." – Amanda Huskiss

"So much information packed into 2 hours. Like a behind the scenes peek at the industry with two very enthusiastic speakers." – Angela Philomena Watson

"Both literary agents were frank about their role and focused on what we can do when hoping to gain representation. The session was full of good practical advice and gave an illuminating insight into the agent-client relationship. Invaluable." – Suzy Powling

"I didn’t stop taking notes for two hours. Writing can be a lonely pursuit, so it was nice to hang out with others on the same journey." – Steve Hennessy

"A really useful session and a wonderful opportunity to ask the ‘obvious’ questions that everyone wonders about!" – Ian Huntley

"As a complete novice to this process, I now feel more confident to be able to send my work to an agent." – Susan M

"An excellent and comprehensive view into how agents think and what they're looking for from a submission.The opportunity to hear directly from literary agents, and know exactly what they want to see in a submission, was invaluable knowledge when it came to me hammering together a really good pitch for my novel [...] Being able to distil specifically how writers like me can engage with agents is a vital first step on the ladder of getting published." – Ben Britworth

"Very informative and will save me a lot of time and heartache." – Adio-Adet Dinika

"Perfectly judged for people with a manuscript ready to go but lacking an understanding of how to approach agents. Before the masterclass, I wasn't sure whether an agent was the way forward. Now I definitely know it is!"  Amanda Murphy

Evening Masterclasses on the Writing Process

"Excellent speakers, and all so different. It made for a perfect package. A good combination of theory, practical examples and personal tips. The authors were all extremely generous in sharing their insights and knowledge." – Louise Morriss, attendee of The Writing Process masterclass series

"The speaker was very well prepared but the event still felt conversational and in no way prescriptive. The event maintained a great 'tone' of inclusivity and focus. I also appreciated the chance to listen to the talk again after having had time to think through my initial reactions." – Cathy Joyce, attendee of The Writing Process: Voice masterclass with Abi Dare

"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

"Thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage in the exercises 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

"Provided me with an excellent opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience of a successful writer in a way I would not otherwise have had access to." – Bursary Recipient, Writing Weird Fiction masterclass with Kirsty Logan

"Really entertaining and practical, covering a wide range of topics and giving us the opportunity to do an activity [...] Inspired me to go back and look at my current YA ghost story and rack up the tension way more!" – Patsy Quinn, bursary recipient for Writing Spooky Stories for Children with Kenneth Oppel



How To Write For Children & Young Adults: Online Festivals and One-Day Conferences

"I thought the festival was wonderful - so upbeat and positive which is exactly what you want to hear when there's such a strong stigma of 'the chances of you getting published are about as high as you winning the lottery'." – Grace Ball

"What a pleasure to hear from professionals in the field. Each of the workshops have given me some valuable 'take away' advice to work with." – Lindsey Franklin

"Encouraging, informative, confident-boosting, enjoyable, very helpful." – Carrie Steer

"Excellent. Full of insightful and practical information, giving inspiration to get plotting, writing and submitting."  Lou Graham

"Professional, inspiring and totally engrossing. So much information packed into such a small time frame." – Bedina

"Excellent. Very informative events with practical advice and encouragement." – Sarah Giordano

"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 Conferences

"Interesting sessions with a variety of speakers from the publishing world; from literary agents to independent publishers [...] I had heard previously that when you finish a book the process is really only starting, and that is so true. There is a lot involved in the publishing process for newcomers to appreciate and the event really opened my eyes to the world of publishing and also to independent publishing and competitions out there which I hadn't heard about." – Rachel Gordon

"Enlightening. Chock full of insider knowledge and practical advice. Both aspects: novel writing and getting yourself published were incredibly well thought out and inspiring." – Valerie French

"Informative author workshops and enjoyed the writing exercises - gave me a new perspective on my WIP and has improved the quality of my writing. I also picked up a few new pointers from the agents and editors." – Alison Piotrowicz

"Inspired me to write 1000 words the next morning"  Yvonne Dalziel

"A wonderful selection of speakers - so eye-opening and inspirational!" – Meg

"Very interesting and enjoyable, with plenty of useful information for the first time writer seeking a publishing deal." – Suzanne de Kort

"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." – Monika Spyczak

"The whole set up was excellent. The speakers were generous with their information and took a really facilitative approach."  Brid Connolly

"Very useful and informative, great to be able to ask questions of agents and editors and get an understanding of how they work together. The author talks were also very good." – Ruth Bradshaw

"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


"All speakers were high calibre, informative and interesting." – Melanie Hancox

"A super variety of speakers." Bridget Walsh

"Very enjoyable and informative. Offered insights into parts of the process I knew very little about."  Diane Amphlett

"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