Running Writing Groups

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. 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: 23 April 2018
Duration: 6 weeks
Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate
Session length: Weekly
Sessions: 6
Price: £399 (inc. VAT)

Course Director
Course Director

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.

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
Session 2: How do groups work?
Session 3: Being a facilitator
Session 4: Planning and managing
Session 5: Staying safe
Session 6: Putting it all together



We teach this course in our online classroom, which is open 24/7 so you can fit learning around your work, family and friends. You’ll work in a small group of learners so you can discuss ideas, ask questions and share your thoughts as you progress through the weekly sessions.

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
  • Optional feedback report on your final project (for a fee) from a tutor at the end of the course

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, together with access to an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other courses and groups and share your writing for feedback
  • Join discussions about reading, writing and ideas
  • Retain access to our online resources area, which we constantly update with interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people in our online alumni chatroom. We also host live chats with guest tutors here

Taking things further

If you would like to continue on to another Professional Writing Academy course, you'll receive a 15% discount.

What our students say...

I have my prototype writing group] leaflet on the fridge and look at it regularly. I am slowly believing in it and going out to try and make it happen.

Running Writing Groups student

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...

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 course really took me leaps forward in my planning and I know I will refer back to all the skills and knowledge I have learned over the course as I begin to run groups on my own, it has been an invaluable resource!

Student feedback

What our students say...

I’ve loved everything about this course: the required reading, the writing exercises, the added challenge of having to reflect on my own and others’ work, and the privilege of being a learner again. I found the level was about right – not too easy, not too difficult. The format for giving feedback worked well for me as I sometimes get a little bored with ‘live’ online forums. I valued reading others’ work and being able to post my comments on them online in my own time.


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Price: £399 (inc. VAT)
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