Write & Shine runs a programme of morning writing workshops across London and online. Our next season of sessions across London runs from January to February 2020. We’ll host a series of bright & creative events during these cool, cosy days, including a winter writing retreat and a guest tutor workshop with poet Katrina Naomi!
Our Write & Shine seasonal memberships aim to motivate you to make the most of your mornings. Being a member allows you to enjoy everything Write & Shine has to offer for a fixed fee of £129 during the season (current season: 1 January to 29 February).
Think of it as a Write & Shine classpass, with added support, resources & inspiration offered during the season.
> Access to all our writing workshops including a guest tutor session with Cornwall-based poet Katrina Naomi and, the morning writing retreat
> Unlimited access to our new online library of courses, with new sessions added every week
> Free workshop invite for a friend
> Special treats along the way. We’ve hosted a private tour of the beautiful London Library, with cocktails to conclude the evening. We’ve also held events for members in unique venues such as Babka cafe in Bloomsbury, and attended author talks.
“Write & Shine writing workshops give me inspiration & structure as I start to make writing more than just a hobby. Each week I leave feeling excited about what I have scribbled down in my notebook & my best pieces of writing have without fail been from an early morning Write & Shine workshop. I am absolutely sure my membership is making me a better writer!” – Becca
Members will be sent an unique membership code, which can be entered at the checkout when booking each session. Purchase your membership here.
Each of our workshops is themed, allowing us to delve deeply into a subject. In the sessions, we offer a series of writing prompts related to the theme in its broadest sense. We’re excited about our next sessions:
Japan, Marylebone, (17 January, 9-10.45am)—This session will use the fox as a prompt for new writing! Wily, brave, wild. How can we bring foxes into our poems and stories. How can we give our work characteristics of the fox?
Trees, Leicester Square, (6 February, 7.15-9am)—We’re planning an early morning writing workshop all about trees, marking the Jewish new year for trees: Tu B’Shevat. We’ll think about trees, tree-climbing, leaves and buds as a prompt for new writing.
Winter retreat, Leicester Square, (13 February, 7.15-9.30am)—Bring your work in progress and write in the morning light – with the company of a friendly group of other writers.
Fashion, Leicester Square, (20 February, 7.15-9am)—This session is all about fashion, marking London Fashion Week. We’ll use fabrics, textiles, catwalks and clothes as prompts for new writing.
Japan, Marylebone, (21 February, 9-10.45am)—A chance to mark the new decade! The 1920s was an age of dramatic social and political change, with women gaining the right to vote and participate in the burgeoning consumer economy. We’ll use that era as a prompt for new writing, as well as consider what the 2020s will bring.
Fashion, Leicester Square, (27 February, 7.15-9am)—Did you know this year is a leap year? A chance to take a leap! This workshop closes our winter season, and will focus on leap year traditions and superstitions, using them as a starting point for new writing.
We invite artists, makers & thinkers along to Write & Shine to lead workshops on their particular areas of interest. In the past, we’ve welcomed graphic artists, poets & playwrights, a florist who guided the group through a session about the language of flowers & a photographer asking us all why we flinch when the camera points in our direction. Gemma is always present, with the guest tutor facilitating the workshop to offer a burst of creative stimulus.
This January, we invited inspiring Cornwall-based poet Katrina Naomi to lead a session for us.
For summer, we had a photographer Rachel Cherry host a workshop about proximity and closeness in photography and writing & a playwright Annette Brook ran a session looking at ways of creating ‘good’ women and non-binary characters – not good as in angelic – rather characters with layers, complexities and unique voices. We loved hearing their insights and ideas. In spring, we had two guests: non-fiction author Amber Massie-Blomfield on writing memoir & storytelling & puppeteer Bronia Evers.
We have a brand new library of online courses designed to bring out your creativity. Our Write & Shine online subscriptions give you unlimited access to our library of courses for just £3.99 a month. Each course is inspired by a theme and is made up of four timed exercises. All you need is a pen, a notebook and a quiet space to allow your creativity to flow.
Courses are self-guided and we recommend allowing a minimum of 30 minutes for each session. You should begin each session in the morning & earlier than you’d otherwise rise. Find out more here!
We do! Write & Shine gift vouchers make ideal presents for a loved one, friend, or colleague. We send these as printed or e-vouchers, so wherever they are in the world, you can offer your special someone invaluable space to reflect, craft & create. With a voucher, they can choose an inspiring writing workshops or a peaceful morning retreat. Our lovely gift vouchers are available for the seasonal membership (£129), a one-year subscription to our online library (£50), or for a workshop or retreat (£19).
Give the gift of creativity! Terms & conditions: Each gift voucher contains an unique code to be entered at the checkout when booking. Vouchers are valid for 12 months from date of purchase. Gift vouchers are sent by email or UK post within 5 working days (free P&P). Buy vouchers now!
Yes! Write & Shine offers an ideal space for both new & experienced writers to explore ideas in a safe environment. Write & Shine workshops last 90 minutes and encourage writing freely. This allows all kinds of unexpected ideas to emerge.
Rather than share the work we produce, we focus on generating new material & tapping into our imaginations in the morning. The chance for feedback from the tutor and other writers can help improve writing, but for some writers it can damage confidence or hinder creativity. After each workshop, participants leave with a few pieces to develop in their own time.
We offer around 12 places per session as we think Write & Shine sessions are suited to smaller groups. This allows us to create a stimulating and supportive atmosphere that benefits everyone who attends. Our workshops are open to all and we pride ourselves on being LGBTQI-friendly. Most of our venues are wheelchair accessible. Due to the format & content, we recommend workshop participants are over 16 years old. Book now.
We suggest you join us fifteen minutes before the workshop starts. Arriving early will ensure you get the most from the session, can enjoy our calm, relaxing atmosphere, and still have plenty of time to choose your coffee and pastries. Some venues open especially for our workshop, so late arrivals may have to wait for entry. We know it’s early, but please arrive on time.
Leicester Square workshops are held at Westminster Quaker Meeting House, 8 Hop Gardens, off St. Martin’s Lane (between Côte Brasserie and Gymbox), London, WC2N 4EH. Please arrive at 7.15am for a 7.30-9am session. Press the ‘Kitchen’ or ‘Library’ intercom buzzer and someone will open the door. Map here.
Tottenham Court Road workshops take place in the Cafe at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road 19-20 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 1BJ. Please arrive at 9am for a 9.15-10.45am session. Please head downstairs (or lift) to the cosy basement area when you arrive. Map here.
Marylebone workshops are held at the Rooftop Kitchen, Alfies Antiques Market, 13-25 Church St, Marylebone, London NW8 8DT. (nearest tubes: Baker Street, Edgware Road or Marylebone). It’s a lovely spot with views over London’s rooftops from the terrace. The cafe sits on top of Alfies Antiques Market, which is a treasure trove of delights. Please arrive at 9am for a 9.15-10.45am session. Head to Alfie’s Antiques and head up to the rooftop cafe by stairs or lift. We’ll be in the cafe. Map here.
Westminster Quaker Meeting House and Waterstones Tottenham Court Road are fully accessible for wheelchair users. Quaker Meeting House has a step-free entrance. Waterstones has a step-free entrance and a lift down to the cafe.
However, while Rooftop Kitchen has step-free entrance and there is a lift available, the building is not fully accessible for wheelchair users due to steps leading to the cafe.
We will endeavour to ensure future venues are fully accessible. Please just get in touch to let us know about your access requirements & with any questions.
We will provide breakfast to power you through the session, so all you need is a pen or pencil and something to write on. Perhaps treat yourself to a special notebook to incentivise you to write? We encourage you to write by hand, as we think this helps create a calm & creative environment for all. But if you prefer, you’re welcome to bring a laptop, although make sure it’s fully charged as there is limited access to plug sockets.
The ticket price of £19 is for your place at the writing workshop itself: a burst of morning creativity before your busy day begins. We also offer a complimentary light breakfast, which varies according to the venue. Usually this is a hot drink or juice, and a pastry or slice of cake. Gluten free & vegan options are often available, but please let us know your dietary requirements when you book & allow 48 hours notice.
We’ll sit together in one room, writing independently. Write & Shine will provide a comfortable, peaceful setting, with tables & chairs, and a basket of inspiring writing books, objects & materials. Breakfast will be available from 7.15am and throughout the retreat, so you can join any time from then. There’ll be quick introductions at 7.30am, and the session will be concluded at 9.30am. Bring your work-in-progress or a blank notebook ready to fill.
Before you arrive, you might like to set some specific goals for the retreat. Then you won’t spend the first moments deciding what to do! Remember that in the morning, you’re more sensitive to the sights and sounds of the world. So it can be the best time to think & imagine, with afternoons more suitable for editing & researching. You are welcome to bring your laptop, as there are plenty of plug sockets. Wifi is available, but it can be temperamental! Please print, download or save any materials you need. Check the booking page for future dates.
Absolutely. Write & Shine runs single workshops for organisations across London. We’ve shared our love of mornings at Charing Cross Library, Gunnersbury Museum and in Paperchase’s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road. We’ve also hosted sessions at Morning Gloryville’s dawn dance party; in a circus tent for Canary Wharf Arts & Events; and after a Pilates class at the Adidas Studio London for women on Brick Lane.
Our host at Better Bankside, Daisy Lindlar, said of the workshop: “It was so popular we had to start a waiting list! The content was dynamic & interesting, with attendees scribbling away for the full hour & a half. I would definitely recommend Write & Shine to businesses looking to offer a unique professional development experience to their employees.”
Our rates are reasonable & we’re able to adapt the concept to suit your requirements. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how your company or venue could benefit from a Write & Shine session.
We believe that writing regularly boosts your wellbeing, productivity & working life, including by:
* increasing your self-awareness & capacity for innovative thinking
* improving your ability to persuade & motivate with words
* developing your creative, descriptive & analytical skills through reviewing different pieces of published writing
* feeling energised by writing rapidly & continuously, letting go of doubts & self-criticism
* exploring new ways to express yourself, to have faith in your own voice & enhance your ability to judge your own writing.
If you do all this in the morning, it will set you up for the rest of the day.
Oh there are so many inspiring titles we’ve enjoyed & used in Write & Shine sessions! We like:
* Stephen King’s On Writing offers a great perspective on the tools needed to create fiction.
* Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones is all about writing swiftly and freely to learn to write well.
* The Writer’s Voice by Al Alvarez is a fascinating set of essays analysing how authors such as Sylvia Plath and Jean Rhys uncover and develop their distinct style.
* The Paris Review interviews with writers give thrilling insights into the craft of writing. Check out early-riser Toni Morrison’s piece!
* Finally, the New Yorker’s fiction podcasts are tremendous.
Of course! We’ve had plenty of publicity for our morning writing programme in UK & international press. You can read more about the beginnings of Write & Shine, and how we spend our time in the early hours, here:
* Tips for Tapping into Morning Creativity (The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, 2019)
* Write & Shine for Better Mental Health (Paperchase, 2018)
* It’s Time to Write (Writers’ Bloc, 2018)
* Things to Do: Write & Shine (Time Out, 2018)
* Inspire: Gemma Seltzer of Write & Shine (Less Stress London, 2017)
* Q&A with Gemma Seltzer of Write & Shine (whitefox, 2016)
* Discover your Creative Skills (Psychologies magazines, 2016)
* Write & Shine (A Little Bird, 2015)
* Where London Looks Best in the Morning (Londonist, 2015)
We’re sorry but no refunds are available. Transfers to future workshops or courses may be possible with more than 48 hours notice. This allows us to offer a place to someone else on the waiting list or promote the slot to our community. We’re a small organisation & while we’ll try to accommodate any changes in your circumstances, we do need this notice to ensure we can cover costs including venue hire & paying guest tutors. Please contact Gemma at email@example.com to discuss changing your booking.
We use Stripe for our online payment system, which is a fast, safe and reliable service. You won’t need to set up an account or leave the Write & Shine website to pay. We won’t have access to your card details, and can’t obtain the details of your bank account. All payments are made over a secure connection.
The General Data Protection Regulation came into effect on 25 May. We’ve reviewed all our data and privacy policies to ensure we adhere to the new law.
The only data we collect is the information you submit when you sign up to the newsletter (name and email address). You will receive emails from Write & Shine about your booking, but you will not be added to the mailing list unless you have first consented by signing up through our website. Similarly, if you purchase a gift voucher to be sent by email or post, the recipient’s details will not be added to our mailing list. We are committed to ensuring that all your personal information is kept private & protected, and promise never to pass on your details to third parties. You can unsubscribe from our newsletter at any time by clicking the link in the newsletter footer or by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any concerns regarding privacy issues, please contact us on email@example.com.