Courses

Course Overview At A Glance

All courses are available either Online, In-Person or as a Master Class. We also run special two day courses on some bank holiday weekends. All long courses start with a two hour MASTER CLASS then the ‘master’ students finish, leaving the rest to do the full-length course. If space is available the ‘master’ students can join the rest of the course [however it is highly recommended to book in advance to avoid disappointment].

Please note – we also offer private one-to-one courses at £585 a day, £295 1/2 day. These are intense and not for everyone! But if your time is limited, they can be an extremely effective use of that time.

In-Person Course Location

Most of our courses are run at the Didsbury Parsonage, close to Manchester. Nestled in the picturesque village of Didsbury in its own relaxing gardens, this is the perfect place to get away from it all and focus on your creativity alongside other like-minded people.

Online Courses

Take a course from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you want!

Typical course duration is five days of online workshops, discussion groups and tuition.

£485

In-Person Courses

Kickstart your writing project with an intensive in-person course from industry experts who have all had success in their field.

Typical course duration is five days of workshops, discussion groups and tuition.

£685

Upcoming Courses

First Ten Pages Writing Workshop – Free Webinar

Online

Price: FREE!

Every 1st Tuesday of the Month

Next Webinar: 19:00 – 20:30 1st Tuesday of next month

Fun introduction to starting your writing journey using workshops and play. If you are new to writing or just want to play with words, this session is all about experimentation and collaboration. This is all about dipping in and having a go.

Letting It Rip! – Renegade Writing Workshop – Fiction/Non-ficton online course

Price – One week Online Course £485

In person on site course coming this summer £685

Short Online Masterclass two hour course just £28 numbers limited pls contact for details

Five day online course Sat July 12th – 19th Fiction/Non-Fiction

[Masterclass is from 10am on 12th]

Fun high-energy course that gets stuck in, perfect for those used to creativity and those that like to break rules.

Award winning film maker, writer, poet and memoirist John L Matthews is ready to help you harness your inner superpowers! This is the time to forget everything you think you know about writing. This is the time to stop thinking and dive in!

John’s self-confidence developed in part from self-shooting four films, most of which ended up on national and international TV channels. He has self-published several books and many of his ideas have been developed into TV series and feature films. His non-fiction ‘Killer Years’ sold 13,000 copies in just a few months. You can tap into his knowledge and skill in how to get things made, finished, completed. And maybe even one day sold!

Many have discovered that writing is a way to explore the world and yourself. What if you had new ways of expressing yourself that fired you up? If this resonates with you, then this is the course for you!

Special Bank Holiday 2 day masterclass – available online and on site

Start Me Writing! Fiction/Non-fiction

** Bank Holiday Special! ** – Saturday May 25th – Sunday May 26th – Two days – cost only £198

Full five day course available – Saturday June of 29th to Friday the 5th July

Price – On site £685

Two hour Online masterclass only £28

Saturday 27th July – Friday August 2nd

Gentle introduction to writing using workshops, discussion and one-to-ones.

Do you love telling stories? Would you like to take stories from your own life, or from people you know? Maybe you are new to writing or are coming back to it? If so this is for you.

This life-changing Start to Write Week with award winning film maker, memoirist and writer John L Matthews will guide you to pulling your story together. It can be non-fiction or fiction, poetry, prose, anything! Using different ideas as launching pads we will explore place, character and structure. Before you know it, your idea will be flying!

With support from your tutor and new and back-to-it writers, you will begin this important journey of discovering your voice

Screenwriting

Available online and also on site

Also available as short two hour Masterclass

Price: Online five day course £485

In Person five day course £685

Two hour masterclass only £28

Saturday 27th July – Friday August 2nd

A dip into the complex world of screenwriting, looking at structure, character, world and theme, all in a safe, encouraging environment. You can be a beginner or have experience.

Screenwriting is by definition an exciting genre. It is also complex, and sometimes difficult to begin. Is there something burning inside of you that you can see on the big screen but you’ve no idea where to start? If so, this course is for you. Combined with other writing, we explore the potential of your idea for the silver screen. And start writing it!

Film maker and Master in Screenwriting John L Matthews will share tips and tricks to help get you on your way. This is a rare opportunity to tap into an experienced story tellers experience who has film making knowledge. You will break through red lights, begin thinking in pictures and sound: John will have you on your way before you know it!

Memoir/Life Writing

Online / In-Person / Master Class

Price: £485 / £685 / £28

Saturday August 10th – Friday 16th August

A course that uses your own experiences to understand yourself better and potentially share your learnings with others. Uses a mix of genres including non-fiction, poetry and dramatisation.

Has something happened to you that you just know will make a compelling book, film or play? If you have already jotted down ideas but don’t know where to start, then this course is for you. 

With award winning producer, film maker, memoirist and writer John L Matthews, you are in safe knowledgeable hands.

When writing memoir, it’s important to think of the drama in your story, the exciting characters, the pivot points that will have the reader or viewer on the edge of their seats. You need to ‘Think Like a Movie Maker!’ With exercises, tutorials and one-to-ones, we will teach you tools and approaches for digging inside your head for stories: how to turn vivid memories into well-honed narrative. How to turn real-life into compelling narratives. We want you to embrace writing and it to become a part of who you are, so when you leave, your writing can soar!

**Bank Holiday Special!**
Non-fiction/Dramatisation

Online/on site

Price: £485 / £685 / £28

** Bank Holiday Special! ** – two days August 24th – August 25th – Cost £198

Full length five day course – Saturday August 31st – Friday September 6th

A course that helps bring non-fiction/factual stories to vivid life using techniques from other genres so your story leaps off the page!

Non-fiction, factual, whatever you want to call it, should never be dull! When you start your non-fiction project, it’s important to think of all the areas it touches. But where to start? We will help you get on your way.

With the expert guidance of award-winning investigative documentary maker, memoirist, researcher and writer John L Matthews, you will explore the complexity of your story, the places, the people, working out whose voices are most important. Why are some more important than others? What to do with the lesser voices?

On this course you will work out how to bring your stories to life, and the moral issues which you inevitably will touch upon. It does not matter in which genre your story will end up, under close guidance of your tutor you will explore different ways of approaching your story. You will learn how to combine your own knowledge and learn what can be gleaned from research. Ultimately, we want the reader gripped by your narrative! This will be the start of a challenging and exciting journey for you. At the end of the course you will know exactly where you are and what to do next on your journey.

Typical Course Schedule

DAY 1

09:30 – Arrival of participants. We welcome you, offer tea and coffee, and do an ice breaker and a warm up exercise – the opportunity to introduce yourself to the other participants.

11:00 – The group meets for an introductory talk from a member of our team.  We will then discuss each others projects. You will have the chance to talk about what you hope to achieve and discuss your projects as a group.

12:30 – Lunch

13:30 – 16:00 The group is broken into two groups and we have 75 mins with each group being specific about each person’s project and what work to do that night. When one group is in session, the other are given a group task to do.

DAY 2

09:30 – Everyone meets in the workshop room for the first group session of the week. There will be a break mid-morning for refreshments.

12:30 – Lunch

13:30 – 16:00 – The group is broken into two groups and we have 75 mins with each group being specific about each person’s project and what work to do that night. When one group is in session, the other are given a group task to do.

DAY 3

09:30 – Everyone meets in the workshop room for a group session. There will be a break mid-morning for refreshments.

12:30 – Lunch

13:30 – 16:00 – The group is broken into two groups and we have 75 mins with each group being specific about each person’s project and what work to do that night. When one group is in session, the other are given a group task to do.

18:00 – we go for a drink and have a chat before heading off to do our homework

DAY 4

09:30 – 13:00 – Everyone meets in the workshop room for a group session of the week. There will be a break for refreshments. At 11:15 there is a guest speaker.

13:30 – Lunch

13:30 – 16:00 – 1-1 tutorials

18:00 – we have an option for going out for a meal together – some may want to work on their project which is fine.

DAY 5

09:30 – 11:00 – Morning workshop. Pitching.

11:30 – we start the reading and discussion session from the group

13:30 – Short Lunch

14:15 – The week ends with more readings or presentations. Everyone can share work they have developed during the week if they so desire.

16:30 – the course comes to a close