Frequently asked questions

Scroll down to read about Write & Shine workshops, online courses, retreats & the seasonal membership scheme.

When does the Write & Shine winter season begin?

Our winter programme of workshops across London runs from December 2018 to February 2019. We’ll run a series of 14 bright & creative sessions during the cold days of winter, including a writing retreat and a workshop led by an inspiring guest tutor.

 

Tell me more about the membership scheme.

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 during the season (current season: 11 December to 28 February 2019, next season: 1 March to 31 May).

Here’s what you’ll get as a member:
* Access to all 13 morning writing workshops and the winter writing retreat
* All our self-guided online courses, full of creative prompts and tips on building confidence as a writer
* Members-only session & the opportunity to meet other writers
* Special offers, events & treats along the way!

“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. Buy your membership here.

 

Are the workshops suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! 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 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.

 

Tell me about the workshop themes.

Each workshop 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. This season, we’ll run workshops about the autumn equinox, time & clocks, and mark National Poetry Day with a special poetic session. The upcoming themes will be:

Brief Encounter (20 November, Bloomsbury)—The anniversary of Brief Encounter is this month. Perfect prompt for a writing workshop! We’ll watch a clip from the film, think about chance meetings & try to write in black and white…

Season Finale (22 November, Leicester Square)—Join us for a workshop to close the season. A morning filled with inspiration, good coffee & joyful writing time. We have some treats planned…

For the winter season, we’ll run workshops about snow and the festive season, the bright new year & Random Acts of Kindness day.

Book your place here

 

What time should I arrive for the workshops?

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.

 

Where exactly are the venues?

Bloomsbury workshops are held at Syrup of Soot, 38 Museum Street, London WC1A 1LP. (nearest tubes: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road). This is an amazing 19th century building, near the British Museum, that has been restored to its Victorian origins. Please arrive at 7.45am for a 8-9.30am session. Sessions are held in the downstairs lounge. Map here.

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.

Paperchase workshops are held at Paperchase, 213-215 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PS. (nearest tube: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road). This is Paperchase’s flagship store. Please arrive at 7.45am for a 8-9.30am session. Sessions are held in the Project Craft area. Map here.

 

Are the venues wheelchair accessible?

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. Syrup of Soot is not wheelchair accessible, unfortunately.

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.

 

What should I bring to the workshop?

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. You’re welcome to bring your laptop, although make sure it’s fully charged as there is limited access to plug sockets.

 

What are the guest tutor sessions?

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 autumn, we welcomed inspiring poet Karen McCarthy Woolf as our guest tutor. Karen ran a workshop about poetry & water, and shared some of her experiences and tips.

Karen McCarthy Woolf came to prominence in 2014 with the publication of her first full poetry collection An Aviary of Small Birds, an elegy for her stillborn son. Selecting the book as a Guardian book of the month, Kate Kellaway said it was “a beautiful, painful, pitch-perfect debut.” It went on to be a finalist for both the Forward & Aldeburgh Best First Collection prizes in 2015, and was a Poetry Book Society Choice.

 

Can you let me know about the breakfast?

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.

 

What happens during the morning writing retreat?

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.

 

Tell me more about the online courses.

We have five online courses that starts at 6am on the morning after you book. Choose from ‘Kickstart Your Morning Writing Habit,’ ‘Colour,’ ‘Light’ & ‘Sound.’

For ‘Kickstart Your Morning Writing Habit,’ expect a series of creative tasks along with ideas to help you formulate a strong writing routine for the first part of the day.

With ‘Colour,’ you’ll be invited to consider the world in all its glorious shades, uncovering new ways to invigorate your writing with all the colours of the rainbow.

‘Light’ will encourage you to brighten your morning with words, offering writing prompts on sunrises, lightbulbs, firelight & photography.

The course on ‘Sound,’ will provide time & space to consider the noises & silence of the morning, from birdsong to car alarms!

‘Motivate’ is a four-week course to inspire & support you in your writing. You’ll be provided with a set of weekly writing prompts, along with the tools to revitalise your writing habits to & refresh your ideas.

Online courses contain four email dispatches. Each offers a set of vibrant writing prompts which will appear in your inbox at 6am on the same day each week. Courses are self-guided and we recommend allowing a minimum of 60 minutes for each session. You should begin each session at 6am, or at least in the morning & earlier than you’d otherwise rise. Some people print a copy of the email, others refer to the message on their computer, tablet or mobile phone screen. Some write in bed, some from their desk, others on their morning commute. Book your course here!

 

Can we book a Write & Shine workshop for our organisation?

Absolutely. Write & Shine runs single workshops for organisations across London. We’ve shared our love of mornings 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.

 

What are the advantages of creative writing?

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 absolutely sets you up for the rest of the day.

 

Which creative writing resources do you recommend?

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.

 

How do the vouchers work?

When you purchase a gift voucher, we’ll ask you for the recipient’s name, email address and a message you’d like to include. We can send a lovely e-voucher directly to the recipient. Alternatively, we can email the voucher to you, and you can share with your loved one or friend. We’ll soon be able to post vouchers too & will update the website when this opportunity is available.

 

What about refunds and cancellations?

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 hello@write-and-shine.com to discuss changing your booking.

 

Which online payment method do you use?

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.

 

Privacy Policy

The General Data Protection Regulation comes 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. 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 hello@write-and-shine.com. 

We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. By joining the mailing list, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.

We use Stripe and Paypal to process payments. We do not hold your information anywhere other than Stripe and Paypal after an payment has been made. You’ll receive a confirmation email from Stripe or Paypal when you make a booking, but you will not be placed on our mailing lists without your consent, nor will data collected in the booking process be used. Here is Stripe’s Privacy Policy & Paypal’s User Agreements and Privacy Policy.

We promote our courses on the social platform Meetup. You’ll receive an initial confirmation email from Meetup and a welcome email specially about the event from Write & Shine when you make a booking, but you will not be placed on the Write & Shine mailing list without your consent, nor will data collected in the booking process be used. Meetup’s Privacy Policy is here.

Google Analytics uses cookies (small pieces of text saved to your hard disk) in order to collect information about how visitors use write-and-shine.com. Write & Shine uses the information to help improve the website. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from & the pages they visited. Google will store this information. Google’s Privacy Policy is here. Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. It is possible to configure your browser to refuse cookies or to raise an alert when they are sent.

If you have any concerns regarding privacy issues, please contact us on hello@write-and-shine.com.