A writing course in the Lake District

LinthwaiteAs the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth approaches, authors are invited to take a break in the spectacular wilderness she called home. Couple with her love of writing and creating iconic whimsical characters, Potter was ardent about the Lake District’s rural splendour, and left 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust when she died in 1943.

Fancy tapping into the energy of that scenery?

Designed to unlock a writer’s creativity, the residential course at 4-star country hotel Linthwaite is designed for every level of writer, from beginners to published authors. It will run from 29th February, concluding on 3rd March 2016, just before the region’s annual Words by the Water literary festival in Keswick on 4th-13th March 2016.

The three-day Creative Writing Course will be run by Angela Locke, author of six internationally published novels and non-fiction/travel books, as well as being a prize-winning poet with five published collections. The course aims to help participants “find their creative voice, expand their minds and encourage them to write poetry, stories and prose in a supportive environment.”

Linthwaite private tarn

The real draw here is the location. Linthwaite is situated only a few minutes from the famous Bowness-on-Windermere, and is set within 14 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens including its own tarn. Its picturesque location, with panoramic views over Lake Windermere.

The course fee of £462 per person covers the course itself, three nights’ accommodation, and three evening meals, one of which will take place at William Wordsworth’s family home, Rydal Mount, and will include a private viewing of the property and recital.

For full details and to book your place, visit www.linthwaite.com or call 015394 88600.
Find the full programme of Words on the Water at www.wayswithwords.co.uk

A creative writing course inspired by art

From the Oneself As Another exhibition (7 Feb – 26 March): Paisley Boys, Cathy Lewis

From the Oneself As Another exhibition (7 Feb – 26 March): Paisley Boys, Cathy Lewis

Seeking a writing workshop with a difference? This spring the RWA gallery invite you to take part in a creative writing course run by Amy Spencer, which will encourage you to explore the exhibitions on show in “new and interesting ways.”

Drawing on themes of portraiture and identity, the course will take place in the actual gallery spaces and will involve writing exercises and group discussions aimed at helping you to develop your written work.

Amy has a PhD in cultural studies, for which she explored collaboration in new forms of digital literature.

From Actors and Artifice exhibition (5 February – 23 March) Sarah Siddons as Isabella from ‘The Tragedy of Isabella’ or ‘The Fatal Marriage’, William Hamilton, c 1785, oil on canvas, University of Bristol Theatre Collection

From Actors and Artifice exhibition (5 Feb – 23 March) Sarah Siddons as Isabella, William Hamilton.

“I’ve spent several years working within galleries to engage writers with art exhibitions,” Amy says. “I feel that there is something unique about the cross-pollination of ideas possible between visual art and creative writing. I love collaboration and this is an extension of that interest.”

She adds: “I find galleries brilliant places to go to develop ideas for my own work. Something about gallery spaces really gets my brain whirring.”

I experience something similar when attending art exhibitions, and think this sounds like it will be an incredibly inspiring and very fruitful writing course.

Amy Spencer Photo“A visit to an art gallery can give you a fresh perspective, stir up new ideas and give you space to think and daydream,” Amy says. “This course aims to give you the time and space to imagine and write.”

The creative writing course begins on Wednesday 12 February 2014. To book your place, phone 0117 973 5129 or head to the RWA and ask at the front desk.

Follow Amy @alspencer.