Life Writing

Over the next four weeks, the life writing workshops will use simple, friendly techniques to help you to explore your life story. The workshop is facilitated by a professional writer and skilled group leader – expect a warm welcome, accessible writing exercises, chat and laughter!

The sessions will be led by Mark Illis with James Friel from the Royal Literary Fund.

Mark has had five novels for adults published, most recently The Last Word, which was shortlisted for the Portico Prize. His first Young Adult novel, The Impossible, won a Northern Writers Award and was published by Quercus in 2017. The sequel came out in 2018. His new novel for teenagers Running Away For Beginners will be published by Quercus in 2024. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies and he has had three radio plays broadcast on Radio 4.

Mark has been writing for TV for the last twenty-five years. He has worked on The Bill, EastEnders, Peak Practice, Emmerdale and Jamie Johnson. He wrote the screenplay for Before Dawn, which won the Best Screenplay award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival.

James Friel is the author of The Posthumous AffairThe Higher RealmLeft of NorthTaking the Veil and Careless Talk.

He has dramatised works by Kazuo Ishiguro, Iris Murdoch, Balzac, David Hare, and Faulkner, as well as Charlotte Bronte’s Villette and Orhan Pamuk’s Snow for BBC Radio 3 and 4.

His shorter fiction has been published internationally, and his work has been awarded a Betty Trask prize, an Authors’ Foundation grant, arts council bursaries and shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys prize.

He has been the visiting writer at l’Université de Rouen, pioneering the teaching of creative writing in France and, since 1992, he has tutored many courses for the Arvon Foundation, Tŷ Newydd, and the Art of Writing courses in Italy.

To sign up, please use the form below. There are a maximum of 15 spaces per session, so please sign up early to guarantee your place.




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