About J

I have done many blogs on my account and so have my children so please check them out!

Book now for online courses

cwonlineUpdate: the first online course has been completed and courses are now suspended while your tutor works on writing projects with previous students, but enquiries are always welcome.

Trapped in the house?  That need not stop you learning the art of creative writing!  Courses in Bute Park, Cardiff may be temporarily suspended, but the workshops are simply shifting online, which means that anyone, anywhere can now take advantage of top-quality tuition at a bargain basement price: just £85 for six weeks.  It is possible to take a general creative writing course, or a writing for children course, or even propose a course of your own choosing, and if enough people are interested, I will set up an online class. Virtual workshops normally take place on Sundays at 1.30pm, but with so  many people off work or working at home, other times may be arranged to everybody’s convenience.

Check out the reviews and the other information available on this website, and if you’re interested, simply email me telling me what you want to study. When there are at least half a dozen people ready to study the same course, I’ll set it up and you can book here. You’ll get the same tuition as hundreds have received over eight years at Bute Park.

Writers of any experience, including beginners, are welcome. Numbers are inevitably limited, so if you fancy having a go, don’t delay!

Writing Stories for Children starts March 1

wfcmar20The first course of the year is fully booked now, but never fear, here comes another. The ever-popular Writing Stories for Children (adult course) starts March 1st for six weeks, once again taught by the author of the 250,000-selling You’re A Hero Daley B, Children’s Book Award runner-up Little Stupendo, and 2017 Laugh Out Loud awards shortlisted Thimble Monkey Superstar.  Experience is not necessary: wherever you are in terms of writing experience and confidence, the course will take you forward. As usual there will be six Sunday afternoon workshops, starting March 1st and ending April 5th, all for the modest price of £95, with two concessionary places for the unwaged. There are no lectures, just the opportunity to write and then get feedback on how to take that writing to the next level.  You can hear a recording of part of a workshop hereEmail me if you have any questions, or ring 07599 203480. Numbers are limited and early booking is always advised.

Creative Writing for All starts Nov 3

cwforallnov19The next course at Bute Park will be Creative Writing for All, a general creative writing course which as always will be tailored to the interests of the participants. The course starts on Nov 3,  the price as usual will be £95 for six Sunday afternoon workshops and as usual you will have the services of a highly experienced tutor who also happens to be a prize-winning author and playwright!  No experience is necessary: the course will build your know-how and confidence from whatever level you are presently at.  Check out the reviews of past courses and email me if you have any questions, or call 07599 203480.

Numbers are limited so early booking is advised to guarantee a place.  Some concessionary places are available for the unwaged.

 

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Courses take place in the Bute Park Education Centre, by the Secret Garden Cafe.

 

Writing Stories for Children (adult course) starts Sept 15

wfcsept19The next Writing Stories for Children course starts on 15th September for 6 weeks.

The course had been scheduled to start on 8th Sept but has been put back owing to a number of students being unable to make the first workshop.

Workshops take place on Sunday afternoons in the beautiful setting of Bute Park, require no previous experience, and cost £95, with concessions for the unwaged if there are spaces available.  You will have the services of Cardiff’s most widely published children’s author, a teacher of over forty years’ experience (read reviews of previous courses here).  Call me on 07599 203480 if you want more info on the courses or simply need reassurance that creative writing is for you – people of any level of experience are welcome.

Creative writing courses in Bute Park have run successfully for over six years and are generally fully booked, so early booking is advised.  Listen to a workshop here.  Follow us on facebook here.

Children’s masterclass at Insole Court, 23 July

This summradnor launcher I am bowing to numerous requests and organising writing masterclasses for children.  These will be held at Insole Court, Llandaff, where I recently hosted a number of workshops for the Brilliant Books event.  The first class will be on Tuesday 23 July, from 10.30am to 12 noon. It is aimed at young writers from 9 to 12 years old and  costs £15. As with all of my workshops there will be a strict numbers limit, so early booking is advised.

It is not necessary for your child to be a genius to take the workshop, merely keen to write.  I’ve been a qualified teacher for forty years and a published author for thirty-five: my successes include the picture book You’re A Hero Daley B (worldwide sales of over 250,000) and the junior comic novel Thimble Monkey Superstar, recently shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Awards (Lollies).  I am a regular visitor to schools and libraries and hold a disclosure certificate.

Please feel free to email me or ring 07599 203480 if you have any questions, or if you’re interested in workshops for children of other ages.

For adult courses this autumn, see below.

Book now for autumn courses

autumn 19It’s now possible to book for this autumn’s writing courses in Bute Park.  Writing Stories for Children begins 8 September for 6 weeks; Creative Writing for All begins 3 November, also for 6 weeks.  Workshops take place on Sunday afternoons in the beautiful setting of Bute Park, require no previous experience, and cost £95, with concessions for the unwaged if there are spaces available.  You will have the services of a highly experienced tutor with over thirty-five years of experience as a professional author and scriptwriter.  Call me on 07599 203480 if you want more info on the courses or simply need reassurance that creative writing is for you!

Creative writing courses in Bute Park have run successfully for over six years and are generally fully booked, so early booking is advised.  Read reviews here.  Listen to a workshop here.  Follow us on facebook here.

2 June: Writing Monologues workshop

mono3By popular demand there’s been a rejigging of courses this summer.  The Writing Short Fiction course has been postponed to the autumn so as not to take up so many June weekends, and in its place will be a number of one-off workshops.  The first will be a taster workshop  for the Short Fiction course: Writing Monologues will take place on Sunday June 2, 1.30-3pm and cost just £12.  Anyone who then books onto the autumn course will get a £10 discount from this.

Your tutor is a BBC Talent award winner for radio comedy and a Writers Guild award shortlisted television scriptwriter, besides being the author of over sixty titles. Feel free to email me or ring 07599 203480 if you have any questions about the workshop, which will be suitable for writers of any experience or none.

To book onto the course go here.                                             .

January course full: plenty more to come

Creative Writing for All, the 22nd course to be be held at Bute Park, is now full – but fear not, there will be plenty more courses to come this year to satisfy the demand for top quality creative writing tuition at a reasonable price.  Follow this blog to hear of courses as soon as they are announced, or click on the links to Facebook and Twitter.

The Night Fogs – first post-Brexit novel?

night fogs launch Octavos Bookshop in Cardiff Bay was packed to the rafters yesterday for the launch of The Night Fogs, Dale Frances Hay’s dystopian fantasy of a future Cardiff attacked by mysterious fogs.  The first draft of the novel was written before the Brexit vote but thr story attained a new relevance after the referendum, one reason why publishers Holland House were keen to sign up this previously unpublished author.  It’s a highly original work, touching on paganism, militarism and psychotherapy, and anchored in the relationship of two very different sisters.

Like many novels, The Night Fogs went through various revisions before reaching a publishable form, and it was a course at Bute Park which played an important role in this.  Carry On Writing, run in the spring of 2016, was aimed at writers who already had works in progress. It attracted a fascinating mixture of writers, all very different yet equally interested in each other’s work, and the discussion and development of Dale’s novel was a demanding yet thoroughly rewarding aspect of the course.

I’ve not yet decided whether to run another Carry on Writing course, but if there is sufficient demand I shall certainly consider it.  In the meantime I shall be running more of the other courses which have proved popular:  Creative Writing for All, Writing Short Stories and Writing for Children.  The next one will be in September.  You do not have to be an aspiring novelist to take part.  The aim of all courses is to take you forward as a writer: to motivate you and to increase your understanding of the art of writing.  But if you do really want to get published, I shall certainly do my best to help you.

The Night Fogs is available at various outlets including Amazon.