Our programme offers three enticing ways to start your day with a burst of creativity. Come along to a London workshop, sign up for an online course or join an early morning writing retreat for time and space to focus on your writing. Choose your inspiration!

London workshops

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London workshops

The workshops last 90 minutes and take place in central London. Writer Gemma Seltzer facilitates, setting morning-themed exercises and encouraging you to create pieces of poetry, fiction or life writing. Sessions use the stuff of life to prompt new writing. Some weeks, it’ll be old London maps; photographs; published articles, fiction, plays, poetry and memoir; Lego figures; strawberries; dice or that morning’s Metro for inspiration. Other times, the mood might be lifted with music, or by exploring the sight, sounds, and texture of the first part of the day.

The focus is on generating writing, so you won’t be expected to share your work-in-progress. This offers great freedom and encourages all kinds of unexpected ideas to emerge. Please bring a pen, and a notebook or paper. There’ll be quiet writing time, plus a light breakfast of hot drinks, fruit and pastries or muffins provided. Take a look at some pictures from a recent workshop on our Facebook page.

As with all Write & Shine workshops, the Charing Cross Library sessions will celebrate the creative power of the morning—but these sessions will also be inspired by the library, its history, archives, books, the huge collection of Chinese adult and children’s titles, architecture & the curiosities housed within the building. We’ll share our own stories of the libraries of our childhoods and travels, as well as visions for libraries of the future.

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Online courses

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Online course

The online courses are self-guided. Over four weeks you’ll be sent writing tasks to inspire your creativity to flow. You’ll receive a total of four dispatches delivered directly to your email inbox once a week at 6am (BST/GMT), ready for you to complete that morning. We suggest allowing at least 60 minutes to finish each session. These courses offer you a chance to carve out some private writing time, at home, at work, or on the move.

The next set of courses start at 6am on Tuesday 2 May. Choose from:

Kickstart your morning writing habit: A batch of morning-themed exercises, plus a set of powerful tips on establishing your personal morning writing routine and letting your creativity flow.

Light: Sunlight and water, moonlight and fire, flashlights and glitterballs, mirrors and metals. With this online course, you’ll find ways to brighten your morning with writing on the theme of light.

Colour: Think of a rainbow, then multiply a few times. From the darkest cherry red to a soft pale blue, colour is everywhere! We’ll use colour as a starting point for new poems, stories and life writing. 

You can select one course at a time, or commit to your morning writing practice and choose all three to experience our full, invigorating 12-week programme!

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Morning writing retreats

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Early morning writing retreats

These open sessions offer a peaceful and friendly environment for you to bring your work-in-progress or test ideas. Ideal for those of you who dream of time to write, but struggle to make space in your busy working life. Rather than a facilitated workshop, these sessions provide a short morning writing retreat in the supportive company of other writers. A basket filled with writing prompts, creativity books and props will be on hand for inspiration. A light breakfast of hot drinks, fruit and pastries will be available, too.

"There's something about starting your day with the sun streaming through the window and setting the paper on fire with your pen."