Running Writing Workshops

Discover how to design, launch and run your own writing groups and workshops with Anne Taylor and Victoria Field

Do you want to start a writing group or run a workshop — whether for creative writers focused on the craft of writing, for professionals using writing as a tool for well-being, or for recreation? This six-week practical online course will provide writers, academics and counsellors with the skills and confidence to run writing workshops – either face-to-face or online. As you work through each weekly session, you’ll explore what makes an effective writing group environment, gain the tools and resources for designing a writing group of your own, and devise a strategy for running workshops.


Start date: 26 September 2022
Duration: 6 weeks
Skill level: Intermediate
Session length: Weekly
Sessions: 6

Special early bird price
(Ends 25 August 2022)
Price: £399 £339 (inc. VAT where applicable)

Course Director
Course Director

ALLi Partner Member

We’ve designed this course for writers, academics and counsellors who want to gain a range of workshop management skills for use in their own creative, academic, professional, or recreational practice.

This is a professional development course and so you may be able to get funding from your employer to do it. All participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion evidencing their learning (15 hours didactic learning, 15 hours peer learning).

It’s suitable if you:

  • Want to learn the principles of running a writing workshop
  • Are keen to explore and identify your role as a writing group facilitator
  • Need help identifying what kind of workshop you would like to run
  • Want to develop an action plan for getting your workshop off the ground
  • Are a counsellor and want to run writing groups as part of your practice
  • Are a writer planning to run groups in a professional setting for reflective practice
  • Are an academic or teacher who would like to use writing workshops as a learning tool
  • Are a creative writer looking to set up an informal local group
  • Are looking for a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of learners from a range of disciplines
  • Can dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course
This course will introduce you to the dynamics of writing groups and equip you with the skills to plan and set up a group.

Session 1: Introducing writing groups
What is a writing workshop? We’ll begin by considering the history of writing groups and the variety of settings and people that they might include. We’ll look at what you want to gain personally from the course and start thinking about the sort of group you’d like to run.









Outcome: Draft description of group

Session 2: How do groups work?
We’ll consider the psychology of groups and what makes them tick, with reference to existing principles including transference and projection. You’ll consider your own experience of group dynamics and how this will affect your practice and workshop plan.

Outcome: Identify the people you want to attract to your group

Session 3: Being a facilitator
What kind of facilitator will you be and what skills will you need? We’ll discuss facilitation styles and using writing and reflection, and will start to explore the style in which you will run your group.

Outcome: A plan for how you’ll run your group

Session 4: Planning and managing
We’ll look at how to structure a session or group series, how to establish goals and evaluate outcomes. You’ll think about goals for your own writing group and content for the sessions.

Outcome: Teaching plan for one session and outline of workshop series (if appropriate)

Session 5: Staying safe
We’ll consider the important issues of ethics and legalities of running groups and of keeping ourselves safe through mentoring and supervision. You’ll put your own ideas forward on how to deal with these challenges.

Outcome: Risk assessment and management plan

Session 6: Putting it all together

You’ll complete the course by writing a mission statement based on your learning so far. With the support of your tutors and fellow learners, you’ll put the finishing touches to your writing group project proposal and outline your plans for the future.

Outcome: Launch plan and promotional materials

We teach this course in our online classroom, which is open 24/7 so you can fit learning around your work, family and friends. There is no set time that you have to be online, so you can work at a time to suit you. We don’t have live Zoom or pre-recorded classes – all the course materials are provided in our online classroom, with interaction via the online forums.

You’ll work in a small group of learners so you can discuss ideas, ask questions and share your writing as you progress through the weekly sessions. We recommend you put in at least 5-7 hours each week to make the most out of the course.

In each session, you’ll be asked to complete reading and writing assignments to share with the group in return for feedback. The assignments on this course focus on planning and running writing groups to facilitate other people’s writing, and the different ways you can use a workshop to achieve this.

You’ll learn from:

  • Podcast lectures
  • Written guidance from Anne and Victoria
  • Reading and viewing lists from Anne and Victoria
  • Practical writing exercises, designed to help you think about, practise, and discuss the topics covered in each session
  • Online discussions with writers and practitioners in your group
  • The opportunity to share the ideas you have for your own writing group, and discuss with your fellow learners

You’ll need:

  • 5-7 hours per week to work through the course
  • A notebook and pen or pencil, if you like to make notes by hand
  • A laptop or computer* with:
    • A reliable broadband internet connection
    • Speakers or headphones
    • The latest version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari
    • Microsoft Word. If you don’t have this you can download Open Office free
    • Adobe Reader, latest version. Download free
    • QuickTime Player, latest version. Download free

*You can access the course from a tablet or smartphone, but we recommend using a laptop or computer, as this makes it easier to share your work files with your writing group.

Join our alumni

After your course, you can join our online alumni where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. The alumni is a friendly group of writers who support each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing.

Within our online alumni area you can:

  • Rejoin your classmates on a private forum and access an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other courses and groups and share your work for feedback on our alumni critiquing forum
  • Join in on discussions about reading, writing, editing and ideas on our general discussion forum. This is also where we share news and useful info
  • Retain access to our resources area, which has interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people online using the alumni area live chatroom. We also host live chats with guests here

Taking things further

If you’d like to continue on to another Professional Writing Academy course, we’ll give you a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

What our students say...

My first response to the end of course tutor feedback — wow, so many pearls with all our names reflecting in the light. Something precious to take away. Thank you.


What our students say...

The Introduction to Therapeutic and Reflective Writing and Running Writing Workshops courses not only reconnected me with dormant creativity but also fostered a tangible sense of motivation and movement, ultimately leading me to a defined workshop plan and a renewed engagement with writing for personal pleasure.

As a psychotherapist, I also found many of the exercises useful as potential tools to work with clients who are inclined towards reflection through the written word. These are well designed and clearly structured courses, bolstered by thoughtful contributions from its tutors. I found them highly enjoyable and rewarding both personally and professionally.


What our students say...

I loved the diverse reading materials, and varied assignments on offer, and the practical applications of what we learned through doing workshop plans, action plans etc. I feel it has greatly advanced where I am at in terms of running my own writing group. Vicky and Anne were incredibly inspiring and engaged, what a team! Having the input of guest facilitators was a masterstroke, and I feel we got so much input and insight over the few weeks. How lucky we were with the group too, I got so much from the other participants. The format of the course is wonderful, I want to thank everyone involved, and would highly recommend this course to others!

Running Writing Groups student feedback

What our students say...

I’ve loved being in this group and I’m sad to see it close. I’ve really enjoyed this course – I have found it stretching at times – in a good way – but thoroughly enjoyed it.

Stefanie Ladley, UK, qualified nurse and hypnotherapist

What our students say...

Even for people like me with lots of experience running writing groups, there’s lots to learn here. Fantastic value.

Running Writing Workshops student

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