The renowned Skyros Writers' Lab on the Greek island of Skyros is the place to learn the craft of novel writing, scriptwriting, memoire and more under the guidance of distinguished writers. And there's no need to sacrifice your holiday experience, because Skyros offers the perfect environment in which to combine exploration and relaxation with a stunning location and the chance to try something new.
During a selection of friendly, informative and engaging workshops, you will absorb tips and techniques from your experienced tutor, and share the joys and struggles of the creative process with like-minded people. In the afternoons enjoy a splash of Skyrian lifestyle - taste local Greek delicacies, walk on the long sandy beach, swim in the Aegean sea and explore the many bars and tavernas on Skyros island.
Best of all, you can write, write, write until your heart is content. Emerge from the holiday with works of which to feel proud.
A wide range of in-depth writing courses are available at the Writers' Lab, covering everything from comedy to the first novel. Read on below to find out what's on next this summer 2014...
Writing Comedy - Logan Murray
Sat 7 - Sat 14 Jun 2014
Nurture your sense of humour, develop your comedy technique and uncover your unique comic voice to make people laugh. The group will explore different forms of humour writing and technique to help ignite your inner comic genius, formulate new ideas and to execute these ideas in novel and dynamic ways. You will learn some tricks of the trade and gain a great awareness of a multitude of comic styles.
About Logan Murray
Logan is a working comic, author of Teach Yourself Stand Up Comedy, and a script consultant for BBC. He has run a series of workshops for the Radio 4 Comedy Department and his former students have won major comedy awards, including the Perrier Award and Channel 4's So You Think You're Funny.
A Life Full of Stories - Amanda Smyth
Sat 14 - Fri 27 Jun 2014
Our lives are full of stories; we tell each other stories every day. What makes a great story? How do we find our own unique way of writing it down? While learning to unlock your creative writing life, and immersing yourself in the tantalizing world of words, this course will help you develop a reliable and practical tool kit to produce meaningful works of fiction.
About Amanda Smyth
Her first novel, Black Rock (Serpent’s Tail), won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger 2010, and was selected for Waterstones New Voices in 2009. It was also chosen for Oprah's Summer Reads 2009. Amanda’s second novel, A Kind of Eden (Serpent’s Tail) was published in July 2013.
Life Writing - Monique Roffey
Sat 5 - Fri 18 Jul 2014
This will be a taster course in writing from life. It will cover a diverse range of subjects such as the form and options available to tell your story, how to craft stories on the page, the ethics of writing about living people, how to write about childhood, and there will be meditations too, involving earth and water. We will write about real life and this might take the form of poetry or prose or creative non fiction
About Monique Roffey:
Monique Roffey's latest novel Archipelago was awarded the OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature in April 2013. Her book, White Woman on a Green Bicycle, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Encore Award. It was hailed as the new wave of fiction from the Caribbean.
The First Novel - Shelley Weiner
Sat 19 - Sat 26 Jul 2014
Have you always believed you had a novel in you, but never had the knowledge or courage to begin? Have you made several attempts and then lost steam? In a course that combines practical advice with discussion, exercises, and sympathetic feedback, Shelley offers guidance on the tools of fiction, the pitfalls faced by new writers, and on how to sustain momentum from start to finish.
About Shelley Weiner
Shelley Weiner's novels include A Sisters Tale, The Last Honeymoon, The Joker, Arnost, and, most recently, The Audacious Mendacity of Lily Green. She is an Advisory Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and has taught fiction for many institutions as well as the Guardian Masterclasses.
Aspects of Novel Writing - Mez Packer
Sat 26 Jul - Fri 8 Aug 2014
Whether you are just beginning to organise your ideas or working on your next ‘opus’, this course is aimed at giving you a clear understanding of the technical and creative aspects of novel writing. Along with exercises and inspiration to get you going there will be opportunities to share pieces of your writing in a relaxed and supportive setting. You will receive constructive feedback on your work.
About Mez Packer
Mez's most recent novel is The Game is Altered. She is also the author of Among Thieves. She has been shortlisted for the People's Book Prize 2010 and won the Coventry Inspiration Award in the same year. She was previously a broadcast journalist with the BBC.
Writing Successful Fiction - Leigh Russell
Sat 9 Aug - Fri 22 Aug 2014
Learn techniques to engage readers’ interest and keep them turning the pages. Offering plenty of scope for students to develop their own writing skills, the course will consider areas including character, plot, structure, pace and language. Leigh teaches students ranging from bestselling authors to complete beginners and is known for her encouraging teaching methods. Attendees will develop their own writing voice.
About Leigh Russell
Author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series of psychological crime thrillers, Geraldine is currently writing a spin off series featuring Geraldine's popular colleague Ian Peterson. Her debut, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Dagger Award for Best First Novel in 2010.
Screenwriting - Phil Gladwin
Sat 23 Aug - Sat 30 Aug 2014
This is an exciting glimpse into the world of the professional storyteller. Learn how to create the kind of story that grips an audience, to guide that audience through ever bigger emotional highs and lows, to build to a dramatic climax, and how to leave them desperate for more. Arrive with a blank piece of paper and leave with a dramatic, well thought-through story that will form the basis of an exciting new script.
About Phil Gladwin
Phil's TV credits include The Sarah Jane Adventures, Grange Hill, Holby, Trial & Retribution, The Bill, Casualty, Murder City, Bugs, Red Cap, Crossroads, and Berkeley Square. He has been nominated twice for the Dennis Potter Award for his TV work.
Your Writer's Voice - Crysse Morrison
Sat 30 Aug - Fri 12 Sep 2014
This course is for any writer, beginner or more experienced, wanting to develop their authentic personal ‘voice’. We’ll look at finding ideas through memory and imagination and use a range of shared exercises to explore techniques such as characterisation, dialogue, description, style and pace. The focus will be on enjoyment – and finding ways to overcome the writer’s inevitable internal critic too.
About Crysse Morrison
Crysse's two novels Frozen Summer and Sleeping in Sand were published by Hodder & Stoughton. She also writes short fiction and has won poetry slams and appeared at festival and theatre venues internationally. Crysse has also had several stage plays performed.
Creating Comedy - Arthur Smith
Sat 13 - Sat 20 Sep 2014
There are three rules of comedy. Unfortunately no one can remember what they are. In these sessions we shall do our best to recover them and to bring out the funny in every student. Whether you wish to write gags, sitcoms or plays you will find something here to stimulate you. Present a comedy night to the other students that will demonstrate that laughter is the one true metaphysical.
About Arthur Smith
Comedian, writer and broadcaster, Arthur has performed comedy all over the world and has written every form of comedy from stand-up one liners to full length plays and screenplays. His play An Evening with Gary Lineker ran for several years in the West End. He is well known for the BBC show Grumpy Old Men.
Morning yoga, twin-share accommodation and half-board meals are included on all the Writers' Lab holidays listed above. All abilities are catered for - arrive with work in progress or an empty page.
More Information ...
The Writers’ Lab were described as "Number 1 of the World's Best 5 Writing Holidays" The Guardian. Writers such as Rachel Billington, Margaret Drabble, Hanif Kureishi, D M Thomas, Marina Warner as well as the sadly missed late Sue Townsend, to name but a few, have all shared their wisdom and experience at Skyros over the years.
Can't choose which course is right for you? Get in touch and let Skyros team know what you're working on (or not), so they can help you decide.
Phone: +44 (0)1983 865 566 Email: email@example.com