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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

8 Jan - 12 Mar 2015
So You Want to Write a Novel
London WC1, UK

This 10-week course will help you get your ideas onto paper. Each session is a self-contained module on a different topic of how to approach writing a novel.

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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 manuscripts.

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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.

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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!


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.

Writing Tips

In Elmore Leonard’s essay on the “Ten Deadly Sins of Writing”, Rule No 5 is “Keep your exclamation marks under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.”

In my own writing, I’m scrupulous about them and only allow myself to use them when absolutely necessary. The only people who sprinkle them about liberally in real life are breathless school girls and Maoists. Just kidding, but that said, seriously limit their usage in your fiction unless you want your work to look juvenile.

F Scott Fitzgerald said, “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” There you have it. On much greater authority than mine.

Anne Aylor


Today's Quote

“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about.”

Auguste Rodin



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 . . .

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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