Story-telling is inherent to the human psyche. It's part of human nature to want to hear, tell, share stories. And it is my belief that we all hold many stories within us. We also all have access to wondrous imagination, although this may need sparking up at times.
It is my philosophy that it is easier to download a story than to think one up, and that a story is a 4-D space that lives and breathes. I therefore encourage my students to make full use of their senses to engage the reader with tangible and distinctive characters and environments. I teach about structure alongside creative exercises to stimulate dynamic story lines, and stretch students' linguistic ability through technical and inventive exercises to promote figurative language. Further study tackles the creation of atmosphere, tone, pace, comedy, suspense and drama.
I will often integrate into my teaching an element of getting to know the inner critic, in order for the writer to liberate and trust their unique, personal voice.
I offer short, termly and year-long courses and one-off workshops for adults at a variety of venues. Unless otherwise indicated, please see the venues for booking. All courses and workshops are adaptable for children of all ages. Please enquire for more information and to request a workshop.
I also offer a private story building and editing service for one-to-one sessions and small groups:
1 1/2 hours one-on-one: £45
3 hours for groups of 2 to 4: £80
"Inspiring and motivational. By the end of the course I felt like a more creative person." - Fiona "I have a book full of ideas, and plan to develop the seeds that Sam has encouraged me and the whole group to plant from our imaginations to paper." - Louise
Creative Writing - Beginners and Intermediates A fun and stimulating course to develop your writing skills, engage your imagination, and become familiar with your own particular voice. A variety of creative exercises and innovative techniques will encourage you to download ideas and explore the art of language to be evocative, in both prose and poetry. We will also cover characterisation, place, tone, action, dialogue and relationship within storytelling. Come together with others interested in writing in a supportive environment.
Writing Fiction - Intermediates and Advanced This course is for those with some knowledge and experience in writing, keen to take it further. Whilst providing an opportunity to explore ideas and imagination, we will also be looking at honing a piece of writing. Creative and technical exercises will stretch your language skills and bring flexibility to your approach, whilst we cover characterisation, dialogue, narration, perspective, event, relationship and story arc. We will also look at how to create drama and humour, and explore the editing process. When working over an academic year, it is expected to develop and complete one or more short stories, or begin to develop a longer piece of fiction. Be prepared to surprise yourself, and have fun within a supportive group.
Life Writing: Autobiography and Family History For all who are interested in putting their own or a loved one's life story down on paper for themselves, family, or for publication. We will look at diverse structural possibilities, tone and pace, and how to get down what you really want to say in the most evocative way. Creative and technical exercises will help develop language and narration, and we will explore the editing process. Come together with others and their stories in a supportive environment, and have some fun to boot.
Writing for Wellbeing A gentle and caring course to stimulate imagination, and encourage learners to release limitations and expand their personal expression through a wide range of inventive exercises. Learners will become aware of the role of our personal landscape in creative activities, whilst developing their use of language and the evocative nature of their writing. We will also explore character, place, relationship, emotion, and event in story-telling.
"Samantha is a wonderful tutor and is creative, inspiring and encouraging in her teaching - especially in helping us to find our own voice. We learnt so many useful tips and different methods of improving and deepening our writing skills." - Vicki
"I actually learnt something about myself and my identity by doing some of those exercises! ...How, why did this happen with you? By the second session I had discovered things about my tone of voice - I never knew existed!" - Kaj
"The idea of writing something on the spot and then reading it aloud was scary, but Sam is a very gentle and encouraging teacher who made everyone feel comfortable and free to share their work. I would recommend her courses to anyone who wants to stretch their creative muscles, improve their writing technique, and meet like-minded people." - Georgina