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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

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

These Monday classes are geared to creating new work. For complete beginners or students wishing to create stories or flash fiction, or to add to their novel or non-fiction manuscripts. Drop-in students are welcome.

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9 - 10 May 2015

Starting to Write

London, WC1, UK

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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

Emma Healey's Costa-winning first novel is to be turned into a TV series. Read more . . .

Lezanne Clannachan's short story, "Lessons in a Foreign Language " was shortlisted in the 2015 Fish Short Story Prize.


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!

On 18 April Dr Michael Nicholson will be giving a lecture at Stonehill House: "Solzhenitsyn before and after Ivan Denisovich". This day workshop explores the life and work of the Russian writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Click here for more information.



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 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 on 9 March.


Writing Tips

Don’t be afraid of writing bad first drafts. It took me a long time to realise that even the worst first draft in the world can be shaped into something better. Surrender to whatever imperfect words want to come out. Even though it might not be what you want to say, there is a certain energy in a first draft that can be lost in rewriting. This is the reason I always keep the first draft of anything and why I value my writer’s journal when I am jotting down things for myself; it crackles with thoughts I wouldn’t have at my computer.

Give thanks that you are a writer, not a sculptor where one slip of the chisel can spell disaster. You can play with words to your heart's content. You can tease and tug them until they catch the illusive truth and feeling of what you want to say.

Anne Aylor


Today's Quote

"I'm astounded by people who take eighteen years to write something. That's how long it took that guy to write Madame Bovary, and was that ever on the best-seller list?"

Sylvester Stallone



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. In 2015 she was longlisted for the Fish Short story Prize.

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