Writing Workshops near Ramsgate Harbour

Last Sunday, 22nd Jan, saw the first writing workshop in Ramsgate between myself and Jane Wenham-Jones, novelist, journalist, public speaker and now actress. (Jane is in Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables at The Sarah Thorne Theatre Club, Broadstairs, in February) Jane and I have worked together before, combining our talents and specific strengths to offer a previous workshop titled FOR LOVE or MONEY, WRITING FOR PLEASURE & PROFIT.

We're now offering a series of Sunday workshops over the next year at the wonderful CORBYS TEA ROOMS, (www.corbystearooms.co.uk ) within sight and sound of the Royal Harbour.

Ramsgate was my hometown through the seventies and early eighties before I moved to nearby Broadstairs, and during Sunday's lunch-break I took a stroll along the harbour to catch the breeze and indulge my pastime of courting memory and reflection. It had  been a successful morning, and my head was full of words. I needed images and sunlight, and found both along the water, where boats, families, coffee bars and sky fed the eye and mind. Memories surfaced, of my children when they were young, of lifting puschairs across the sand. Further back there were memories of Friday nights out, at The Royal Pub and Nero's nightclub, the latter sadly no more. Now Ramsgate has that continental, spritzed-up look, although locals will tell you that's on the surface and real people with real problems can tell you stories. But I love Ramsgate, and am reading up on its history which adds another element to my appreciation of it.

We had a full house for our workshop, twenty eager writers at different stages of their careers, from novices to the already published, an interested, friendly group who gelled with each other and were open to what we threw at them. Jane, with her background of commercial publication is a great example of writing success, and has a wealth of knowledge concerning the reality of the business. I, with a poetry background, just having published my first full-length book of prose, Kiskadee Girl, have had a different publishing background as a writer to Jane's. We are both committed to the craft of writing, and Jane's common-sense approach is a great balance to my navel-picking poetic soul. But perhaps I do myself a dis-service. I have over the past years spent much of my time organising literary events and teaching, and have a knowledge of what writers need to do to get ahead; committment to good writing and an awareness of the world outside being essential. The writers had equal time between Jane and I, nourished throughout the day by croissants, a buffet lunch and cream tea, a feast provided by the wonderful Corbys, who worked tirelessly all day to see we were comfortable.

Last Sunday, as the first session, offered advice on committment, publication, creativity and focus. Our next, on May 20th, will be honing in on particular aspects of the craft of writing, including time for particular concerns, as reflected in the feedback forms. Bookings, to include full lunch and refreshments, from 10 to 4.30, can be made for £35 through Mrs Corby, 18-20 York Street, Ramsgate, CT11 9DN. Tel 01843 586078. Cheques can be made payable to Jane Wenham-Jones, or through Pay Pal.  jane@janewenham-jones.com.