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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

3 - 10 June 2017
Novel Intensive & Writing Retreat
Camós (Catalonia), Spain

Look or book

April 2017

Art, Literature and the Brigades

Albacete, Spain

An International Brigades workshop under the auspices of the University of Castilla-La Mancha.

To be confirmed

30 September - 7 October 2017

Write Now! in Syros

Hermoupolis, Greece

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

Details to follow

24 - 26 November 2017

Writing Surgery

Ship Inn, Rye, Sussex, UK

A weekend for those who would like help with their novel-, story or memoir-in-progress.

Details to follow


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

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

Paulina Fariza's children's book, Les sospites de la Mònica, has been republished in Catalan in its 5th edition by Cruilla.

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 November 2015 Jennifer Pittam won a Flash Fiction contest (with prize money!). Congrats to you!

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 for 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!


From 3 - 10 June 2017 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.

Read more


After many years of teaching, I am taking a sabbatical from teaching courses from January to May 2017 to research and complete a draft of my fourth novel.

Anne presented an introduction to For Whom the Bell Tolls on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 @ Filmoteca de Albacete, Spain, as part of the celebration of the arrival of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. Sponsored by CEDOBI (Centre for Research and Documentation of the International Brigades) in affiliation with the University of Castilla La Mancha. Photo: Hari Geninazza

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

If you are going to become a good writer, you must offer your work to others to see if it is working. When you decide to share what you have written, seek criticism rather than praise. The following is in the book, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be:

“It is quite easy to get approval if we ask enough people, or if we ask those who are unlikely to tell us what we want to hear.

The likelihood is that they will say nice things rather than be too critical. Also, we tend to edit out the bad so that we hear only what we want to hear.

So if you have produced a pleasantly acceptable piece of work, you will have proved to yourself that it’s good simply because other have said so. It is probably ok. But then it’s probably not great either.

If, instead of seeking approval, you ask, ‘What’s wrong with it? How can I make it better?’, you are more likely to get a truthful, critical answer. You may even get an improvement on your idea. And you are still in a position to reject the criticism if you think it is wrong.”

Paul Arden


Today's Quote

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Pablo Picasso



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 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