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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

24 - 26 October 2014

Finding Inspiration to Write
Armaçao de Përa, Portugal

See Trevor Baker's two-page review of this course published in Writing Magazine.

Look or book

15 Oct 2014 - 11 March 2015

Creative Writing in the City
London SE1, UK

This monthly course is open only to employees of Ernst & Young.

Look or book

9 & 16 November 2014

Fiction Masterclass Intensive

London, WC1, UK

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


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!


I am thrilled to say that Emma Healey's new book, Elizabeth Is Missing, was published on 5 June 2014. This wonderful novel will be 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 . . .


I am hugely pleased to announce the publication of Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy Hoskins. This book that delves into the underbelly of fasion was published by Pluto Press in February 2014. Congrats, Tansy!




On 6 August Anne was presented with the Historical Novel Society Short Story Award at the HNS Conference in London. Her winning story, “The House of Wild Beasts", was adapted from a novel-in-progress about the Spanish Civil War.

Finding the Inspiration to Write will held in Portugal @ the Holiday Inn Algarve. Join us for the weekend of 24 - 26 October for an autumn break in the sun and a chance to discover the stories, poems and memoirs that you are carrying inside. Residential and non-residential rates are available. Full details

Writing Tips

IErnest Hemingway said, "The first draft of anything is shit." Of course, that’s not always the case. Sometimes parts of a story, or chapter, that push through in the initial raw first draft require little or no editing. But in my experience this is the exception rather than the rule.

For novels particularly, rough your book out before you begin to polish the manuscript. This doesn’t mean you can’t write a synopsis or plan what you want to do. Give yourself the freedom to write anything in your first draft. The important thing is to get the story down on paper so you can let the characters reveal themselves, discover the story’s narrative arc. During the writing of your first draft, don’t straitjacket yourself with the expectation of perfection because you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Anne Aylor


Today's Quote

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

George Eliot



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's Blog


Kurt Vonnegut is one of my literary heroes. His masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-5, is one of my favourite books . . .

Read more


AngelCasaCaminoAugust 2012 marked the US launch of Anne's No Angel Hotel, sponsored by the Border Book Festival.


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