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Cambridge city centre by Emily Winslow
Logo by Alice Jago Illustration

Writing a novel can be like navigating an unknown landscape without a map. You're all alone and, after a while, supplies and morale are low. You know the destination you want to reach; you're consulting your compass and making progress, but it's proving harder than you thought. Landmarks are missing and instructions are vague - what you need now is a wise, kindly guide to show you the way.


Together we've helped hundreds of aspiring writers along the road to publication. Perhaps you're just at the beginning, with a good idea but no idea of how to spin it into a book. Perhaps you're in the middle but have stalled. Perhaps you're close to the end, looking for that next level of polish. Wherever you are in your journey to publication, we have the perfect tools to help you taking your writing to the next level!


What we offer:


We provide insightful, motivational, and interactive small-group dayschools to support you in honing your writing skills and to jump-start your next fiction or non-fiction project. Our classes are led by internationally published authors and University of Cambridge tutors in creative writing Menna van Praag and Emily Winslow. All are held in-person in Cambridge’s historic city centre. 

Scroll down to see our upcoming classes

or pause here to see reviews from inspired students:

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Cambridge from Varsity Hotel by Emily Winslow
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What are your creative strengths and struggles? Are you superb at characterisation, but struggle to make your dialogue sing? Or perhaps you write beautiful description, but find creating page-turning plots a bit of a challenge. Whatever aspect of the creative process you want to perfect, we’ve got a class just for you! Pick and mix from these five illuminating classes, or take them all for the full experience. You can register on our events page.

Want to try us out?


"Writing a Novel" is full-day class taught by Emily that will focus on writing engaging, active scenes from the your very first draft, and also help you target revisions for any project you may be working on. It was designed to be a helpful lead-in to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), during which participants from all over the world try to reach 50,000 words in their personal writing projects, but it's suitable for anyone writing fiction or personal stories.

Recently taught on Saturday October 28th 2023

Our Skills and Style series:

Skills and Style: Setting and Senses

How do you make the world of your story as vivid as the one you’re living in? Learn to use details strategically and employ the five senses to create a richly atmospheric and plot-relevant setting. 

Recently taught on Saturday 23rd September 2023

Skills and Style: Point of View and Characters

How do you write characters as complex and contradictory as the people you know, love, and loathe in your life? Learn to create characters that are vivid, fascinating, and active, and take control of the powerful effects of point of view.

Recently taught on Saturday 14th October 2023

Skills and Style: Critique and Editing

You have a good scene, good chapter, maybe even a good book—but how to make it great? Learn what to prioritise in improving your own work, and how to constructively receive critique and editing from others so that you’re able to polish your work to perfection.

Recently taught on Saturday 18th November 2023

Skills and Style: Plots and Beginnings

How do you ensure your readers won’t want to put your book down? A compelling plot not only urges readers to turn pages, it helps writers fill pages. If the blank page is frustrating you, a strong plot statement can kickstart your engine then keep your readers transfixed.

Next class: Saturday 13th January 2024 

Skills and Style: The Practicalities of Publishing and the Writing Life

What to do with your wonderful writing when it’s done? Let us help you sort through the many options and pitfalls of pursuing publication and support you in deciding the best path for you and your book. We’ll also address the challenges and joys of making room for writing in your daily life, and teach you our tips and tricks for keeping inspiration alive.

Next class: Saturday 9th March 2024  


Monthly meetup


We're also meeting once a month on a Friday evening for writing exercises and camaraderie, at Thrive on Norfolk Street in Cambridge. See the events page for dates and times.

A weekend manor-house retreat:


On the 11th & 12th May 2024 we're holding a retreat weekend at beautiful Madingley Hall just outside Cambridge. See the events page for more details.

Learn in your own home with Emily's new book Time to Write

Read what students have to say on our Reviews page

For more details and to register, visit our Events page.

To request further information:

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Downing Street Cambridge by Emily Winslow

© 2022 by Emily Winslow and Menna Van Praag. Proudly created with

Logo by Alice Jago Illustration

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