5 Writing Opportunities in Early 2020

Happy new year to you all, and let’s hope 2020 is the year you reach your writing goals, whatever they may be. I’m optimistic, but then I always am at this time of year Emoji.
So, to kick 2020 firmly into gear, here are five writing activities I’m offering in the first quarter of the year.
1.    Critique Group:
I am setting up a new critique group to complement the ones I am currently running. This new group will run on a Thursday evening at The Boslowick Inn, Falmouth. These groups can be fluid, and they run for rounds of six weeks, so nobody has to commit to too long a stretch at a time. The sessions will run from 7.15pm to 9.45pm.
The dates for this round will be:
Thursday 30th Jan
Thursday 6th Feb
Thursday 13th Feb
Thursday 20th Feb
Thursday 27th Feb
Thursday 6th March
In each session, half of the group will bring work (enough copies for the whole group) and the group will read and critique that work for them, with guidance from me as tutor. This is an enjoyable (honest) and powerful process, which will not only improve the particular piece of writing you might be struggling with, but will also massively develop you as a writer and a master of your craft.
A round of six sessions costs £75, payable in advance, and you can book onto this by emailing me at (Do enquire if you’d like to join a group but can’t do these dates, as I run several groups at different times).
2.    Workshop – Finding a Publisher
I have a one-day workshop coming up at adult education in Falmouth – Submitting to Publishers – on Saturday 15th February, 10am to 3.30pm.  This course is about how to get a traditional publishing deal, which these days involves trying to land an agent first. The day will explain the processes involved, what agents are looking for, and how to compile a submissions package – what it is, why it is, and how to make sure yours gets you through to the next stage.
You can book this course via the adult education website or call 0300 1231 117.  Do bring a packed lunch and your own mug – there is a kettle in the room and I will provide tea and coffee.
3. Winter Sundays with The Writing Retreat
The Writing Retreat, which I run with my writing partner, Jane Moss, has a few places left on two Winter Sunday events coming up. These will take place in Devoran, and start at 10am and finish at 4pm. As these events are run by The Writing Retreat, they tend to be indulgently catered Emoji so just bring yourself, a notebook and a pen.
  • The first is on Sunday 9th February – When a writer isn’t writing: how to keep your writer’s larder well stocked.
  • The second is on Sunday 8th March – Choosing the form: when you know what to say but not how best to say it.
The cost for these retreat days is £45 each, payable via bank transfer to The Writing Retreat. Email us at to book your place and to let us know if you have any food allergies or intolerances that we should be aware of when preparing the snacks and lunch.
4. Retreat at The Old Sawmills – Crafting the Short Story
If you really want to treat yourself, we have spaces left on our 5 night retreat in March at this stunning location near Fowey. This retreat provides the time and space to write, far away from the distractions and demands of everyday life, while enjoying good food and wine in the company of other writers. You can find out more about this retreat here.
Email us at if you would like to book a place on this retreat. Don’t worry if you’re not a short story specialist; the skills you will learn are applicable to all creative writing, and you will have a fabulous time.
5. One-to-One: mentoring, editing, critiquing
I will be continuing to work one-to-one with a small number of clients on their novels, short stories, life writing, academic work, non-fiction books, articles or any other writing needs. Email me at if you would like some more individual support with your writing.
And in between all that, I’ll be getting on with my own writing, full of new year optimism as I am!
Happy scribbling all,
Kath Morgan


Philip Marsden will join our November 2017 writing retreat at Bosloe

philip_marsden_cr_gina_lundy2011__fullWe are delighted to announce that Philip Marsden will be our mid-week guest author for our retreat on Life Writing and Time to Write at Bosloe in early November. The retreat runs from Tuesday 31 October to Sunday 5 November and Philip will join us for dinner and an author’s talk on Wednesday, and return the next morning to run a workshop.

Philip is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction, including The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers, The Levelling Sea and, most recently, Rising Ground (Granta, 2014). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into fifteen languages. After years of travelling, he now lives on the tidal upper reaches of the River Fal in Cornwall with his wife, children and various boats.

The Levelling SeaWe’ve recently read and enjoyed The Levelling Sea, his dramatic account of the history of Falmouth, awash with pirates, sailors, politicians and maritime adventurers. This brilliant read taught us much that we didn’t know about our home town; a walk along Arwenack Street and around Pendennis headland will now be even more fascinating.

Philip brings the perfect set of writing skills to our retreat; an understanding of ‘life writing’ and its sub-genres of travel writing, memoir, and creative non-fiction, and knowledge of ways we can use real life events as a basis for fiction. You can find our more about his work and read some of his excellent reviews here.

Our retreat is booking now, and there are some lovely rooms available. Bosloe is a very special setting in the autumn, with its sweeping views across the Helford, and its own gorgeous gardens just next door to the National Trust’s spectacular Glendurgan. Don’t miss out – you can find out more and book here. We will be delighted to welcome you to The Writing Retreat.

A retreat (with optional epiphany…)

The Writing Retreat

Be prepared for things to change. Your writing will grow, your outlook will change, and you’ll be very glad you came.Sarah Fisher, March 2016 guest

Tanya 167When we look back over the past few years of running our retreats we see a pattern. On each retreat there seems to be at least one person for whom the experience turns out to be – potentially – life changing. When we started The Writing Retreat we didn’t set out to change lives, but for some people the experience of a complete week immersed in something they love – writing – seems to gives them permission to realise how central it is to them. You can read some of our guests’ comments from recent retreats here, to get a flavour of the difference a week away to write can make.

I’ll come clean and confess that I had my own…

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The Making of Her: Review

An insightful interview with the very talented Susie Nott-Bower.

CSP Archives

I’ve been reading Susie Nott-Bower’s first novel, The Making of Her, and I’m impressed. Too often one looks at the small and independent press as a second choice for publication, but The Making of Her shows that there’s nothing second rate about working with independent publishers. The book examines being a woman in the twenty first century where looks are valued over experience. It asks questions about how we regard ourselves, how we see our flesh and skin as it changes over the years. Nott-Bower uses her experience in the world of television, the medium that puts a magnifying glass to our lives, and writes the story of Clara, a TV producer who has just reached 50 and denies her birthdays. She can’t combat other peoples’ perceptions as she wrangles with her young assistant Alix who is after her job. Clara’s best friend Josephine is married to a successful…

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The Making of a Writer

A fabulous book from a fabulous writer. If you haven’ read The Making of Her, all I can is, do.

CSP Archives

On February 20th we’ll be at the British Library for our reading, writing and publishing event: Reading and Being Read.  To get you in the mood, we’ll be presenting a series of features throughout the month focusing on the great work of some of the writers and small presses who’ll be joining us on the day.

Here, Susie Nott-Bower, writer of The Making of Her, talks to us about the magic of writing…

Susie, you said that writing is magic, and ‘Like all creative acts, it has the potential to transform both the writer and the reader’ – can you elaborate on this a little bit?  In what ways do you see the potential for the writer and reader to be brought into a magical/transformative relationship through the text?

If creativity is the act of bringing the new into being, then fear is the ogre barring the way. …

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Passionate Publishing from Linen Press

Small presses are wonderful, and small presses like Linen Press are even more so.

CSP Archives

On February 20th we’ll be at the British Library for our reading, writing and publishing event: Reading and Being Read.  To get you in the mood, we’ll be presenting a series of features throughout the month focusing on the great work of some of the writers and small presses who’ll be joining us on the day.

Here, Lynn Michell, founder of Linen Press, talks to us about her passion for publishing great women’s writing…

Lynn, the first book you published was Childhood’s Hilla turn of the century memoir by 93-year-old Marjorie Wilson – what did you spot in it that other publishers had missed?

I saw in Marjorie’s prose a rare lyricism and was astonished by her sensibility. Marjorie paints in poignant, vivid vignettes a portrait of Edinburgh at the turn of the century, giving back to us a time and place long gone. There is…

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Ten Things Writing a Memoir Taught Me About Writing A Memoir.

Some sound advice on writing a memoir.


As you know, I published my memoir, Gullible Travels, in November. This book is my first memoir, but not my first published work by a long shot. Memoir writing, however, is very different to the other types of writing – academic writing, screenwriting, playwriting, and writing for a variety of magazines from financial to parenting – that I had previously done.

So, while writing Gullible Travels, I learnt a few things about writing in this genre, which I am delighted to share with you here:

Do your therapy first!

I have very strong feelings on this one – it’s a complete non-negotiable, as far as I’m concerned. If you are going to write about something that’s upsetting or difficult, don’t use writing your memoir as therapy. Do your therapy first, work through your stuff, and then write your book. Your reader’s job is not to work through your…

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The First Artist’s Date: Shall I join in?

It energises me to know others are also taking up the ‘offer’ and enjoying creative play on a weekly basis. I am being very loose in my own interpretation of the challenge. I’m certainly not committing to two hours, being quite sure 15 minutes will sometimes do the job. I’m also determined to make this fun, not a job of work. Here’s hoping for lots of relaxing and enjoyable weeks ahead of aimless writing / playing.


The thing about having friends who write is that they are wont to encourage you along when they have committed to doing some jolly practice to help their own creativity. ‘Do come and join me’, they cajole and do it on Twitter, so publicly, so that others can join in. I want to say, ‘no, not just now. Actually I’m beetling along quite nicely revising the second draft of the novel and I don’t think I can take two hours out to do this thing.’ But because it is Alan and I like the piece he has written in his response to the challenge I give the invitation a little more thought.
The activity comes from Julia Cameron’s well-known cheer book, The Artist’s Way. I know it is much loved as a bible of the creative spirit movement but I find her tone loud and her assumptions about me…

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Fighting it: why not writing makes no sense

The Writing Retreat

Not everybody will share my view that for a writer, writing is not a hobby, it is almost an addiction; a compulsion that can drive us to entertain inappropriate and often criminal fantasies. I very much doubt the condition will ever be officially recognised, and I’m pretty certain there will never be any NHS funding for treatment (other than to advise us to keep doing it). But still, I would argue my case that writing can be addictive. If you can go with me on this for a moment you might understand why, given writing’s addictive qualities, I am constantly bemused by the fact that every writer I know (including myself) is so fantastically talented at avoiding doing it. Why do we find a million and one reasons not to write? Focused on voice When writers are writing, our social lives suffer. Many of us grow pale and sickly. All too often, our…

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