LGBT+ Creative Writing Course

27 March 2024 to 17 April 2024 - 5.45 to 7.45 p.m.

Dr Hastie Salih

Westminster Reference Library, 35 St Martin's Street, London WC2H 7HP

Unlock your creative potential in a friendly LGBT environment at this free workshop held on a Wednesday each week during the above dates.

A series of four workshops promoted by Paradise Press and Gay Authors Workshop to stimulate your imagination and creativity and share your experiences with other LGBT+ people. Over four weeks discover your storytelling ability in a friendly and non-judgemental environment.

The workshops will be led by Stephanie Dickinson, editor of We Want to Tell You How and Flash Fiction writer, and Peter Scott-Presland, author of Amiable Warriors and A Gay Century.

Peter has been creative director of Homo Promos Theatre for 35 years, and given many workshops in drama, and in songwriting. His motto is 'Short is Sweet'.

What to Expect

This is to let you know what you can expect from us, and what we will offer you, should you sign up on Eventbrite for the series:

First and foremost is commitment. Signing for the first workshop on 27 March is great, but we hope that you’ll also attend the four sessions, because the effect we aim for is cumulative, if you want to get the full benefit.

Along with commitment goes enthusiasm, and a willingness to try a bit of writing between the sessions. We’ll be asking people to bring along something each week after the first, maybe 500 to 600 words, and share it with their colleagues; though you’re also welcome to bring something the first week.

You should also bring something to write on, either paper and a pen, or a computer/tablet.

This series is aimed at two kinds of writers:

  1. People who do not have much experience of writing, or confidence in their own abilities. Or maybe they are suffering from a writer’s block. We aim to kick-start the creative process through exercises based on observation, experience, word stimulation and ideas.
  2. We aim to channel that exercise and your subsequent writing towards the form of Flash Fiction. We are working towards an anthology of Flash Fiction, that is complete stories of less than 1000 words, 600 words or 300 words. There are three categories offering prizes, to appear in late summer. See Flash Dances 
  3. The secrets of Flash Fiction are two-fold:
    a) to find a story with an arc that can come to a ‘punchline’ in a short space of words. 
    b) to pare away any words which aren’t essential to the story.

To give you an example, Ernest Hemingway is famously credited with inventing the form of Flash Fiction with For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn. This becomes a story because the reader fills in the gaps, with their imagination speaking the unsaid. Another skill to learn is how to trust the reader to do some of your work for you.

We look forward to meeting you.
Peter and Steph

Reserve your place on Eventbrite. Early booking is advisable as space is limited.

Lost Places: GAW at South London Group

14 May 2024 at 8.00 p.m.

Bread & Roses

Bread and Roses, 68 Clapham Manor Street, London SW4 6DZ

Nearest Tube Clapham North & Overground Clapham High Street.

A bitter-sweet evening of reminiscence.

We all have places which hold special significance in our lives, places which often have disappeared, remaining only in our memories.

Lost Places is a collection of memories of such places by LGBT authors, published by Paradise Press. Poems, celebrations of collective endeavours, toilets, cinemas, bars ranging from Oxford to Paris.

Authors reading at this free event, include Ian Towson, Peter Scott-Presland, John Dixon (health permitting) and Jeff Doorn. We also encourage the audience to share their memories of places which were special to them.

Writing Proud

25 June 2024 - 6.00 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Pride month

Hammersmith Library, Shepherd's Bush Road, Hammersmith, London W6 7AT

We are running a series of readings in boroughs as part of Pride 2024, including Wandsworth and Lewisham. This is the first.

Various members of Gay Authors' Workshop will be reading from stories, poems and essays around the themes of Pride, self-respect and discovery. This ties in with a new anthology, now in preparation, called SHI_FT, about moments of change.

Please feel free to bring along a short piece of your own writing to share. Light refreshments will be provided.

Reserve your place on Eventbrite.

Past Events
Poetry Evening

March 2024 at Camberwell Library

Founded in 1978, Gay Authors Workshop is a cooperative of LGBT+ creative writers who meet regularly to discuss and develop their work.

Members presented a variety of their published and unpublished poems as well as examples by other members. Budding LGBT+ poets attending were also be invited to share their original work.

Writing on Health And Mental Health
Dr Hastie Salih

March 2024 at Westminster Reference Library

An evening of readings about LGBT+ health and mental health, headed up by Hastie Salih's presentation. Hastie is a semi-retired doctor who has specialised in this area.

She's also a member of GAW, a poet and author of the romantic lesbian thriller, Dahlia and Carys. Other GAW members read related stories and poems. Members of the audience were also invited to bring along their work and read short extracts from it.

Launch of Lost Places: An LGBT Anthology
Biograph Cinema

February 2024 at Carnegie Library

We all have places which hold special significance in our lives, places which often have disappeared, remaining only in our memories. Lost Places is a collection of bitter-sweet recollections of such places by LGBT authors, published by Paradise Press.

Reading from the collection were writers Ian Townson on Railton Road, John Dixon on public conveniences, Jeffrey Doorn on The Biograph, Peter Scott-Presland on The Cape of Good Hope, Oxford, and poems by Beth Lister and Stephanie Dickinson.

This was the first airing of this haunting collection.

Readings and Promotion of Paradise Press
Jeffery Dorne

February 2024 at Hornsey Library

Jeffrey Doorn has been involved in the gay community for over fifty years. He was a regular at the Stonewall Inn before it became a world-wide symbol of resistance. He's edited several PP anthologies.

Attendees were encouraged to bring along a short sample of their own work to share with everyone.

Photos from Event

Lost Places
V.G Lee

February 2024 at Shoe Lane Library

A Lost Places presentation evening with V G Lee, Stephanie Dickinson, Jeffrey Doorn and Micky Silver.

Photos from Event