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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

24 October 2018

Finding the Inspiration to Write
Madrid, Spain

Free workshop at the Biblioteca Eugenio Trías, part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Retiro Park.

info to follow

19 - 21 November 2018

Writers' Surgery
Rye, Sussex

A bijoux mentoring workshop where writers can bring work they need help with.

info to follow

October 2019

Write Now! in Syros

Hermoupolis, Cyclades, Greece

A week-long intensive retreat, jointly taught by Anne Aylor and Faber author Elise Valmorbida.

Look or book


Special Gift Idea

Wondering what special gift you might give to someone who writes or wants to? Why not give a place on one of our upcoming writing courses? There are a wide variety of workshops for all levels of ability, from beginners to published authors.

Go to the Gift Certificates page to see what you need to do to delight that special writer in your life.


Student News

New River Press will be publishing an anthology of short stories with three of Jan Woolf's stories: "Navaswan", "Castro's Room" and "Eulogy for a Defiant Gardener". What an achievement! Watch this space for a publication date.

Sallie Rose's first novel, Doli Daze, has been longlisted in the Mslexia Novel Competition. Congrats, Sallie!

"The Doll's House" by Jennifer Pittam won a competition judged by Vanessa Feltz. Her short story was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in December 2017. Yay for Jennifer!

Paulina Fariza's new book, F de feminimos, was published in Spain in November 2017. Felicitaciones!

Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger's prizewinning short story, "Souvenirs from Kiev" was published in the Historical Novel Society's anthology, Distant Echoes in September 2017. Yay, Chrystyna!

Rachel Mann was the winner of of the 2016 National Jewish Book Awards in the Young Adult category for On Blackberry Hill. Congrats, Rachel!

For the second year in a row, Lezanne Clannachan was shortlisted for the 2016 Fish Short Story Prize for "Jokes in Lemon Juice". Congrats!



In Spain, on 24 October 2018 there will be a reading of Anne's prizing-winning story, "The House of Wild Beasts" in what had once been the old Madrid Zoo at the Biblioteca Pública Municipal Eugenio Trías, Paseo Fernán Nuñez 24, Madrid 28009.

In September 2017 two of Anne's short stories were published in the Historical Novel Society's short story anthology, Distant Echoes, including her prize-winning "The House of Wild Beasts" and "The Man With No Hands". This excellent collection of 19 stories is available from Amazon as a paperback or Kindle eBook.

You can read an in-depth interview by Cryssa Bazos about the inspiration for Anne's prizewinning story here.

Emma Healey

I am delighted to announce that former student Emma Healey won the coveted Costa First Novel Award 2014 with Elizabeth is Missing. Yay for Emma!!

Tansy Hoskins was reading from Stitched Up: The anti-capitalist book of fashion (the ICA bookshop's Book of the Year 2014) at Shakespeare and Co. in Paris.


Writing Tips

Elliot Perlmann offers this advice for aspiring writers: "There is a tendency in the middle of the writing of a novel for the writer to feel adrift, lost floating aimlessly in a rough, uncharted ocean of words. You are too far from the beginning to feel the enthusiasm that set you on your way all those words ago and too far from the end to see the land of your completed tale where you may rest finally.

There are so many obstacles between you and your completed manuscript. Do not let this sense of aimlessness stop you from finishing. From my own limited experience, and of the many writers to whom I have spoken, I am convinced that this feeling is normal. While feeling it is no guarantee that your novel will be artistically, critically or commercially successful, neither is it a sure sign of failure.

When this feeling is engulfing you, remember the novels that have had the biggest effect on you as a reader. Look at those novels. Take them from your shelves. Flick through their pages. Remember the characters, settings, plots. Remember how they have made you feel. Perhaps the manuscript on which you drift aimlessly now will come to be such a book for people you have never met. Dwell on this, that this could happen. Take a deep breath and go back to your page. Perhaps there is someone who needs you to tell this story."


Today's Quote

"Donald Barthelme has this great essay called 'Not Knowing', where he says that your job as a fiction writer is to keep yourself confused for as long as you can. And the text will actually have an energy that will start talking to you. If you can keep your own designs a little quiet."

George Saunders



Anne Aylor is a professional writer and teacher who has had short stories and poems published by the Arts Council of Great Britain, Oxford University Press, The Literary Review, London Magazine and Stand Magazine.

Her first novel, No Angel Hotel, was republished in 2012 in a new revised edition. Her second novel, The Double Happiness Company, was published in 2011. She is 90,000 words into her third and is working on a fourth.

A number of her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio. In 2008 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and in 2011 for the Fish Short Story Prize. In 2014 she was the winner of the Historical Novel Society Short Story Award.

Her stage play, Children of the Dust, won a playwrighting competition and was co-produced by the Soho Theatre and Theatre Warehouse, Croydon.

She worked in post-war Bosnia where she practised Chinese medicine and taught ballet. She taught ballet at Morley College in London and is a member of PEN and 26. In 2007 she was a shortlist judge for the story competition held by the Wimbledon Book Fest and in 2011 she was the judge in the Peter Barry Short Story Competition.

Anne received the Historical Novel Society International Short Story Award 2014. Her winning story, “The House of Wild Beasts", was adapted from her novel-in-progress about the Spanish Civil War.


Anne's Blog


My husband's first book, Left Field: the memoir of a life-long activist, was published in April 2016.

My involvement with it began at its inception when we were on holiday in Dalmatia and he began telling me stories about his ex father-in-law . . .

Read more




© 2005 Anne Aylor  
"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." A Chekhov