girl writing in the woods

A six-week story writing course led by novelist, Julie Corbin and freelance writer, Mel Parks. They will take you step-by-step through the whole process of writing a story from generating ideas to editing your first draft then sending it out into the world.

This course is for you if you have: 

– a story burning to be told but you don’t know how to channel the fire 
– an itch to write and you are ready to have a good old scratch
– lots of beginnings but endings are distant dreams.

What you will get: 

– plenty of gentle encouragement and guidance as you gain confidence in your ideas and words
– written feedback on up to 2000 words of a story draft by Julie Corbin
– a toolkit of ideas, resources and exercises that you can return to after the course ends
– as much tea and coffee as you need to keep those words flowing.

What to bring

Paper, pens and a willingness to try new things.

We’re planning to run this course again in autumn 2017 – to be first on the list to get the new dates, email

1. Begin at the beginning
We will generate lots of ideas using techniques practiced by professional writers. 

2. Ideas with legs 
How to tell if your idea has story potential and which one to pick if you have ideas coming out of your ears.

3. Developing character 
Using practical exercises we will explore developing fully rounded characters. 

4. The mechanics of plotting 
Using outlining and story structure techniques, we will begin to give our stories a shape.

There will be a break for a week (school half term) to give you time and space to work on your stories, ready for some feedback.

5. Editing 
Bring your first draft stories to share and find out what’s working, what isn’t and what you can do to rectify the problem.

6. Whew, you wrote a story, now what? 
Celebration of completing a story draft together with discussion on the next steps – how to send a story out into the world, submit to a magazine (literary or otherwise) or competition. 

Julie Corbin is Scottish and grew up just outside Edinburgh. She has lived in East Sussex for the last twenty-five years and raised her three sons in a village close to the Ashdown Forest. She is trained as a nurse and combines running the medical department in a boarding school with writing novels, short stories and currently a radio play.

Her psychological thrillers are published by Hodder: four to date, with a fifth, What Goes Around, to be published in July this year. Her novels have been translated into ten languages and have been described as ‘creepy and gripping’ (Closer) and ‘remarkably assured… suspenseful narrative’ (Daily Mail)

She speaks at writing events, book groups and libraries, and delivers writing workshops for beginners and more experienced writers. 

She frequently returns to Edinburgh – in person and in her writing – and hopes to retire there one day. 

Mel Parks has been writing, editing and producing publications for almost 20 years. Inspired by a desire to share what she’s learnt over the years, Mel recently started up HoneyLeaf Writing – a business aimed at taking the stress out of the blank page with workshops, coaching and copywriting services. She has successfully developed and delivered Saturday morning creative writing workshops at East Grinstead bookshop since January and spent last year running a creative writing after school club for children, Inky Writers. Mel firmly believes that we can all feel emotional benefits from regular writing and she also works for Lapidus, the writing for wellbeing organisation.

Where: Forest Row Sports Memorial Pavilion – Shalesbrook Lane, Forest Row, RH18 5LS – View Map

To be the first to know when the next course runs, email Call Mel Parks on 07507070564 with any questions.