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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

28 September - 3 October 2015

Life Writing: Suitcase Stories

Beaworthy, Devon, UK

Arvon look or book


23 - 30 October 2015

Tai Chi, Writing & Meditation

Dhanakosa Buddhist Retreat near Loch Lomond, Scotland, UK

fully booked


14 October 2015 - 13 April 2016

Creative Writing in the City
London SE1, UK

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

Look or book


15 & 22 November 2015

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

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!


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.

In June 2016 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.

details to follow


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

"In a plain statement, you can bury emotion."

Colm Tóibín



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


From 4 July - 27 September the artist, Joseph Cornell, will be having a long overdue exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. This shy, intriguing man . . .

Read more




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