PORTSMOUTH – #WriteMentor Writing Weekend Workshops



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1st and 2nd February 2020
£200 for 2 full days (includes a 1-2-1 for free)
£100 for 1 full day
£25 per 1-2-1 session (note: you must buy a session ticket to do this)
Concession prices (CODE: WWW40) and payment plans available

Workshop details:

SAT AM: Workshop One: Finding inspiration – where to look for inspiration for stories and how to identify and develop potential content

SAT PM: Workshop Two: Developing characters – a drama-based workshop using costume and role play

SAT PM: 1-2-1s: Vashti Hardy

SUN AM: Workshop Three: Collaborating with illustrators – featuring Neal Layton – how to write leaving space for illustration and practical tips for effective collaboration.

SUN PM: Workshop Four: Editing, pitching and querying – an interactive workshop exploring how a text can develop during editing, preparing and delivering an effective pitch and perfecting a query letter.

SUN PM: 1-2-1s: Alice Williams


Inclusive of the following:

  • AM/PM Breaks
  • Restaurant Lunch
  • Unlimited Tea, Coffee and Biscuits
  • Conference Host
  • Sweet Station
  • High Speed Wifi

Workshop Leader(s)/Guest:

Fiona Barker: I write picture books and also longer texts up to middle grade. My picture book Danny and the Dream Dog (Tiny Tree Children’s Books) is out now with another one on the way in 2020. I run Picture Book Club, a club for grown-ups who love picture books and I’m a registered WI speaker, introducing members to the world of children’s publishing. I’m represented by Alice Williams Literary.

Author, illustrator and extreme skateboarder Neal Layton resides beside the seaside on the south coast with his wife and two daughters, working from a studio filled with pictures, drawings, scribbles, badges and collected photos.

With his books and illustrations sold in over 16 countries around the world and appearing in more than 60 books his instantly recognizable style has made him a hugely sought after talent for over 2 decades. Neal deftly combines a multitude of styles and techniques from pen and ink to collage and digital methods creating fresh and spontaneous illustrations for a variety of fiction, non fiction and novelty books.

Vashti Hardy is a writer of children’s books living near Brighton in Sussex with her family. She was a primary school teacher for several years, and has a special interest in children’s writing, especially free-writing and the use of journals and creating fantasy worlds. She has a first-class honours teaching degree with English specialism and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. After leaving teaching to focus more on her writing, she also became a digital marketing executive.

Vashti is an alumni member of The Golden Egg Academy and is represented by Kate Shaw of The Viney Shaw Agency. Her books BRIGHTSTORM and WILDSPARK are published in the UK by Scholastic. Brightstorm was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and The BAMB Reader’s Choice Award and also long listed for the Blue Peter Book Award.

Alice Williams: I set up my specialist children’s book agency last summer, having represented children’s writers and illustrators at David Higham Associates for over ten years. I’ve currently got about 25 clients, and I’m actively looking for inspiring, passionate writers for all ages, from picture book to YA.  I look to build a supportive, long-term professional relationship with my clients, and I tend to be quite hands-on as an agent. I enjoy working editorially with my clients almost as much as I love seeing their success with a great deal or glowing review!


Holiday Inn Portsmouth
Pembroke Road



Additional Info

Additional information


2 full days (includes 1-2-1 for free), 1 full day Saturday, 1 full day Sunday, 1-2-1

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