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Course Dates   What's New?   About Anne

Courses are suspended during the pandemic.

6 - 13 June 2020

Novel Intensive & Writing Retreat

Camós (Catalonia), Spain

A 7-day writing retreat near the Pyrenees with workshops, tutorials and evening sessions to showcase your work.

Postponed due to Covid

14 - 18 October 2020

Creative Writing & Yoga Retreat

Algarve, Portugal

I'm devising a new course in conjunction with Tarik Dervish. Tarik is an experienced yoga teacher and Ayurveda practitioner. We will run a combination writing and yoga workshop at the Holiday Inn Algarve.

Postponed due to Covid

16 - 19 November 2020

Writers' Surgery Retreat • Fall

Rye, Sussex, UK

In this bijoux workshop you can receive mentoring on your manuscript. Depending on your needs (or pocketbook), choose a 2.5 or 3.5-day course. Both offer 1-to-1 tutorials and Open Mic nights to share work.

Postponed due to Covid

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

Congrats are due to Caroline Ross on the podcast of her short story, “A 1001 Nights” for the Teddington Theatre Club's Audiotorium podcast series. In April 2021 the Runnymede Drama Group is planning to do her play, Madonna della Media. Yay for you, Caroline!

Jan Woolf's new story collection, Stormlight, has been praised by A L Kennedy: "Jan Woolf writes from the heart, bringing voices from the edge . . ."

Elizabeth_Is_Missing Emma Healey's first book, Elizabeth Is Missing, has been made into a BBC drama starring Glenda Jackson, broadcast in November 2019. I had the honour of seeing its metamorphosis from a manuscript into a brilliant book!

The Colour of Lies Lezanne Clannachan's second novel, The Colour of Lies, came out in August 2018. Congrats to the author!




In May 2021 Anne received news that her short story, "The House of Wild Beasts" was shortlisted for The Society of Authors' prestigious ALCA Tom-Gallon Trust Award. It was a great honour that, hopefully, bodes well for her novel-in-progress, The Witness from Salamanca, from which the story was excerpted. Congratulations to all writers on the shortlist!

Anne read at an evening of short story telling on 26 April 2019 @ Pentameters Theatre (above The Horseshoe Pub), 28 Heath Street, London NW3. There were six readers sharing 10-minute long stories.

On 18 February 2019 Anne gave a London reading of her award-winning story, "The House of Wild Beasts" at the Marx Memorial Library. The story is set in the Madrid Zoo during the Spanish Civil War. The reading was followed by a lively Q&A.

In September 2017 two of Anne's short stories were published in the Historical Novel Society's short story anthology, Distant Echoes, including her prize-winning "The House of Wild Beasts" and "The Man With No Hands". You can read an in-depth interview by Cryssa Bazos about the inspiration for the stories here.


Writing Tips

To write well, you will need to decide which words earn their keep and are deserving of remaining and which ones are to be cut.

When I was a student of acupuncture, one of my teachers said that we should try to accomplish as much as possible with the fewest number of needles. As practitioners, we were told, we should strive to be elegant in our treatment.

The same applies to writing. A reader expects elegance and by that I mean they want to feel the power of the prose. Look at each word. If it doesn’t move the story on, if its existence can’t be justified, then it has to go. As Colette said, “Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”

Anne Aylor

Today's Quote

"Sometimes people ask me what piece of advice I would give to an aspiring author. I'd tell them that you should only become a writer if the possibility of not becoming one would kill you. Otherwise, you'd be better off doing something else. I became a writer, a teller of tales, because otherwise I would have died, or worse."

Carlos Ruiz Zafón



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 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 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