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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

8 January - 12 March 2015
So You Want to Write a Novel
London WC1, UK

This week\s class is the first of two Open Mic Nights when students read from their novels-in-progress.

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16 March - 18 May 2015
Creative Writing: Fact or Fiction
London, WC1, UK

This course is geared to create new work. For complete beginners or students wishing to create stories, flash fiction or adding to their novel or non-fiction manuscripts.

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6 - 13 June 2015

Novel Intensive & Writing Retreat
Camós (Catalonia), Spain

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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


I am thrilled to report that Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger is one of the winners in the Historical Novel Society Short Story Award 2014 with her story, "Souvenirs from Kiev”. Richard Lee, the founder of the HNS said that this year's competition “was a very strong field”. This award can only be good news for the amazing novel that Chrystyna is working on. Congratulations!


Emma Healey's book, Elizabeth Is Missing, was published simultaneously in the Nederlands, Italy, Canada, France, Germany and the US. I had the honour of seeing its metamorphosis from a manuscript into a brilliant book! May it sell like hotcakes . . .


In June Anne will be leading a 7-day writing retreat in Spain in the countryside outside Gerona. The course has morning workshops, afternoon 1-2-1 tutorials and evening sessions to showcase your work and receive constructive criticism on your writing.

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In September Anne will be guest tutor for one day of a week-long Non-Fiction and Life Writing workshop in Devon. The course is run by Arvon who have offered residential writing courses for 47 years.


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 will be 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 on 9 March. Félicitations, ma chère!!


Writing Tips

Repetition is the purposeful re-use of a word or phrase. This is something you may have been marked down on while you were in school as being slapdash and sloppy, but repetition is not a sin.

As Ursula Le Guin says in Steering the Craft, "Repetition when it is done consciously can be powerful. To make a rule, 'Never use the same word twice in one paragraph,' or to state flatly that repetition is to be avoided is to throw away one of the most valuable tools of narrative prose. Repetition of words, of phrases, of images; near repetition of events; echoes, reflections, variations: from the grandmother telling a folk tale to the most sophisticated novelist, all narrators use these devices, and the skillful use of them is a very great part of the power of prose.”

Anne Aylor


Today's Quote

"Life is only given us once, and one wants to live it boldly, with full consciousness and beauty."

Anton Chekhov



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 a novel-in-progress about the Spanish Civil War.


Anne's Blog

Much of what is considered "fiction" is rooted in experience. Ernest Hemingway is no exception: Frederick Henry's war experiences in A Farewell to Arms . . .

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