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What people say...


We brought a camera to the June 2011 courses in Catalonia and captured some people's reactions on film.



"Thank you for your bracing, respectful teaching, tuning writing in to the stuff of life, and not something outside it. Giving us craft as well as inspiration. I liked the place too, and would be happy to go back to the Old Borough Arms. The meals out were smashing, and there was good heart and atmosphere between us all. I loved Rye. It moved the book forward." Jan Woolf

"It was so good to be with Anne on the Writers' Surgery in Rye. I find it amazing that when I study with her, suddenly my writing goes up a notch and comes alive in a truly creative way." Sue Ruben

"Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful couple of days at the Writers' Surgery. I found it to be constructive, inclusive, encouraging and incredibly friendly and I hope to meet you again in the future." Tim Hemmings

"I arrived feeling apprehensive, but need not have worried at all. Everyone was given encouragement, praise and constructive criticism. Anne worked hard throughout the course to ensure that everyone's work was valued. I would highly recommend Anne's courses. I now feel motivated to carry on writing." Carolyn Nash


"This is a perfect way to combine a holiday in a beautiful place with interesting people, amazing food and a fantastic workshop. Anne has a real love of writing and teaching. This course will challenge, encourage and is great fun. I write poems rather than a novel, but recommend this for anybody who wants to improve their approach to writing, in an environment of relaxed creativity." Sue Ruben

"You've been a goddess-send to my writing." Jan Woolf


"I come to La Torre every year—it is my annual pilgrimage in honour of the writing craft. If you are a professional dancer, you do not stop rehearsing. If you are a professional athlete, you do not stop training. Under Anne's guidance, I am mastering the art and it has paid off tenfold: I have finished a novel and won recognition for many short stories since I've studied with her." Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger

"If you want to be told you are a great writer, find another course. If you want to find a road map to improve your writing—do this one. After this course I am humbled and energised. I still fumble, but I fumble less, and now I have new friends to help me deal with my fumblings. Now I am in a good place to go on and, hopefully, up." Brendan Ward


"This course has expanded my creativity and helped me formulate ideas and turn them into writing. Anne is generous of spirit, a great teacher, and her expertise and guidance has helped shaped my writing. If you're wondering whether you will gain anything from this course, you will undoubtedly gain a lot more than you ever imagined." Tawnee Hill

"I have written more in the past few weeks than I have in years. Thanks so much for the inspiration to get going on the writing." Liz Puller

"A great place to meet people and have the creative juices flow. I enjoyed listening to the great stories and the various writing skills. Every ability is welcomed and encouraged, with great feedback to help you grow and develop. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would recommend it." Hema Moench


"An amazing course. If you come blocked, you'll go away open, full of ideas. It was a wonderful experience. You learn enough to last a lifetime." Anne Bolsover

"No matter how many times I join one of Anne's writing workshops, I never fail to be amazed at what I've written. Thank you for always drawing out the best in me, for giving me the courage to write my memoir." Carole Garley

"A very supportive and nurturing workshop. I haven't really written creatively for years. This was a great way to try to experiment. A great way to overcome one's fears." Matthew Powers

"I have had the urge to write for many years and thank God my fiancée granted me this opportunity. A spark has been fanned into a flame that is now burning bright enough to ignite something special." Mark Hutley


"The course was very inspirational. Anne helped get me going on my ideas! She helped map out the writing process from beginning to end, taking it one step at a time. Somehow that helped make it more manageable!" Liz Puller

"I took Anne's course to find out if I 'had' something—turns out I do, but not what I thought. A fascinating process in a welcoming environment. I loved the course and the chance to read and get reactions. Merci pour tout." Anna Taylor

"The course was inspiring and rigorous. Wonderful food for the imagination, as well as informative and insightful about the practice and the craft of writing. Very encouraging and confidence building." Caroline Lee

"This is a great, inspirational course which I really enjoyed. Anne is a great teacher and very approachable. We covered a variety of topics and wrote a fair bit in class so there was a nice mix." Herpreet Grewal

"A great way of fuelling your writing practice." Shalina Jinnah


"I had only written emails until I did Anne's course. It was an amazing weekend. She has a nurturing, sympathetic knack of cajoling stories out of beginners, and inspiring more advanced writers to greater things. She has a way of taking you out of your comfort zone in such a fun, adventurous way that you really look forward to the next exercise. A new experience for me was wanting to write more!!" Rachel Jones

"An inspirational weekend. Thank you, Anne, for motivating me to finish my first novel." Carole Hill


"This year is my fifth year at La Torre de Dalt—the first time as a complete novice in 2010, with no idea for a novel at all. Not for long. Anne's course is inspirational. My first novel came to me during the scene-setting exercise. I've used the week as a writing retreat ever since. Anne has a great gift in brining the group together. You may arrive a stranger, but you'll leave a friend." Cathy Snarey

"I love the flexibility of the course. Every morning I can decide if I want to join Anne's inspirational session, or find a quiet corner with a view to do some writing." Lezanne Clannachan

"A life-changing writing course that I would recommend to any writer, at whatever level. A great week with a good balance of learning and writing. Lovely, friendly atmosphere with gorgeous food and beautiful surroundings. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. The different styles of writers and feedback from them was really helpful and the tutorials indispensible." Kerry Ambler


"If you think you can't write, come on this course and amaze yourself. Anne knows where you've hidden those wonderful words." Keirion Carroll

"A great course for building confidence, learning new techniques and honing style. Highly recommended—I got a lot out of joining this group. It broadened my horizons. It was also good value which means that the course is accessible. I loved the drop-in option." Anastasia Hancock

"This is a great course to gently break-in your inner voice. Being in a carefully-managed, safe environment only served to enhance this process. I loved it; it teased out my best voice. Really inspired. I want to do more!" Guy Davies

"Great fun, very supportive, non-judgmental." David Manning

"Loved the format. It's amazing what people come up with in 10-minute exercises. All the group grew and opened up under Anne's guidance. Loved it. Anne is inspiring." Kim Martelle

The writing course this weekend was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. I went back to my room and had a second attempt at one of the exercises I’d not been happy with in the workshop. I wrote two other pieces on the plane home too! I also wrote myself a note of all the things I could remember I had learned during the 2 days—I filled 3 pages! The way you managed the diverse group of people and gave everyone such help and encouragement was really excellent and I will be looking out for opportunities to attend a workshop with you again. The whole atmosphere of the weekend was exciting and calming at the same time—it was exhilarating to be able to get so much done and hear other people’s work and yet the whole mood was so supportive and relaxed. Excellent." Suzan Holder

"Thanks again for your usual inspiration on my second 'Write Now! in Portugal' weekend. I am amazed that you manage to take such diverse people who are all at different stages and get them, by the second day, to more or less the same place! In the on-line Short Story Club I used something from one of the exercises we did last year and the author who facilitates the Club said that one of the lines was 'one of those lines every writer aches to pinch'. So, you are correct when you say we never know what we might find when we look back at the things we have written.' Emma Shaw


“The 'Write Now! in New Mexico' course was so informative. I had never taken a writing class. What an eye opener! My imagination went wild and my thoughts got moving. I now believe I could very well write my life’s journey for my children. Thank you, Anne, you are amazing!” Pia Blanchard


"I must admit I had quite high expectations of Anne as a teacher. They were totally exceeded by the reality. Both days were so well-structured, so much thought had gone into each exercise. She provided inspiration and impetus for me to really find out what was inside me. Some of my work surprised me. I loved her notes on why we tell stories and the reasons people challenge themselves to take up a pen.” Clare O’Hagan

“This is my fourth course with Anne and I found it just as lovely and inspiring as the other three. Every time I come, I discover new things about myself and my writing style, which has really evolved since I started coming. I was able to complete my first novel (in Spanish) and finished as a semi-finalist in writing competitions in Canada and Mexico. I am working on my second novel during my course at Newcastle and started work on my third during this weekend “Storytelling” workshop.” Sandra Tena, originally from Mexico, doing a Masters in Creative Writing @ Newcastle University

"I would just like to say a very personal thank you for giving me an opportunity to write in a way that was both magical and personally profound. In two short days of 'Storytelling for Fact or Fiction' I experienced an aspect of creativity and imagination that has been like a fresh sea breeze in grandma's old attic and I love the feeling. Thank you. The way you facilitated the course was masterly and put together with so much care and love." David Friese-Greene


"Having done two of Anne's courses I am definitely qualified to say that they're great! The classes are a good

mix of learning about writing intellectually, like studying the structure of a novel, or analysing the beginning of a novel, and then more practical writing exercises that use techniques like continuous writing. Anne fosters a great atmophere, relaxed and supportive. I was really nervous when I first went, but I managed to read out my work in class and take part in the Open Mic night at the end. It's really rewarding to get feedback. Anne finds lots of ways to inspire you and give you way in to start writing, from playing songs to giving you a first line. Since I have been taking her classes, I've filled one whole notebook, half of the next, and I'm still going! I enjoyed the classes so much and feel like I have begun an exciting adventure." Alice Sanders


“The ‘Write Now! in Portugal’ course is exactly what I was looking for having written a memoir/ travelogue draft of 80,000 words that was submitted to two agents, only to be rejected. The comments and critiques from Anne and the course members on my work were inspirational and I am now set to edit the draft with a new set of editorial guidelines. The weekend was more than I could have ever hoped for. It built my confidence; it freed my imagination and made me re-look at the way I write and gave me understanding of where it can be improved. In two words—truly mind-blowing.” Cherry Puddicombe

“As soon as I read the article about the writing course on the Algarve, I immediately got online and made reservations, although I had never done anything like this before and didn’t have any idea of what to expect. It came at an opportune time for me to do something for myself and that I’m really quite interested in. It has proven to be a good decision.” Pamela Camps

“An inspirational two days. I moved on, I laughed, I cried, I ached, but mostly I wrote. Just brilliant.” Mary Jezzard

“This course will stretch you to the outer limits of your imagination. It is not an easy ride, but if you want to write, you definitely will follow Anne’s lead and write. Well worth the time and money. I plan to return.” Ann Lancaster

“A first-time experience for me and I never regretted a moment.” Emma Shaw

“I’m a novice writer so had no idea what to expect. The creative writing course was great. I was not disappointed. Mixing with people of all abilities, although initially a little daunting, proved to be really helpful and a great experience. I learnt a lot.” Carole Hill

“A stimulating and informative weekend.” Sue Castro


“Anne creates a safe, fun and adventurous space, lightly fragranced with sage. Over the course of two enjoyable and fairly intense days, gently and easily I fell into a writing spell. I amazed myself all the way with creative ideas that seemed to flow naturally from my pen. Altogether exciting, inspiring and highly recommended.” Tazeem M, Harrow

“I have come away from Anne’s Alternatives course feeling equipped to start writing and sharing my own work again.” Jess Hill

“Anne creates an interractive environment that makes the course very interesting and brings out the best in everyone. The exercises on different topics brings out the writer in you, because you realise you can write about anything.” Tola Bero

“Anne has a unique style of encouraging her students to unlock their creativity and write in ways one never would have thought of before this course. I thank her for supporting and encouraging me to develop my writing further.” Joanna Turner

“Loved the 'Release the Writer In You' workshop. Anne is a wonderful teacher. I will recommend her courses to other people who want to begin writing.” Graciela Ferreira Moreira


“Year 3 on this ‘So You Want to Write a Novel Intensive’. Without this anual pilgrimage to La Torre, I’d flounder with my novel. Instead, the course helps propel me forward. One week equals at least one month’s worth of work during my day-to-day routine. I'il be back next year.” Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger

“It’s been something big for me to be on the 'So You Want to Write a Novel Intensive'. I’ve written all my life, but never in English and now I can’t say that any more. I’ve learnt a lot for my book, Death's Rehearsal and my next, Life Performance.” Paulina Fariza


"A fantastically creative workshop, filled with inspiring exercises for quietening even the fiercest inner critic. I can't believe what incredibly beautiful work every single person came up with in the course of the weekend ['Starting to Write']." Yvonne Worth

"What an incredibly stimulating and inspiring course. Anne's teaching style is so encouraging, always offering supportive and constructtive criticism, giving even the most reticent writers the confidence to share their work and the tools to improve it." Katheryn Rice

"I really enjoyed Anne's 'Starting to Write' course. Anne is a good facilitator and the workshop was paced well. I'm a kinesthetic learner and learn best by feeling what is being taught. Although I do 'listen', it can take me three days to 'hear' the message, so Anne's workshop with its experiential style of learning was perfect for me. I came away with new insights into my relationship with writing and also some very useful tips on how to find the inspiration to start writing a piece. A weekend well spent!" Alison Kuys

“I received a gift certificate for a one-to-one tutorial session with Anne. I found it so useful that I had another one-to-one and then decided to enrol on her 'So You Want to Write a Novel' course. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to write a novel, but feeling lost in the words. Apart from Anne’s great style, the course included brilliant exercises that provide tools to start and develop your novel. The exercises around Characterisation, Point of View and Editing were particularly excellent and have given me a greater awareness of where to focus my attention to bring my story alive. Thanks, Anne!” Shelley Bernard


"Thank you, Anne, for the 10-minute rule. 'Write,' you said. 'You have 10 minutes. Let it flow. No editing, just write.' Click, the timer went. And we wrote, and we wrote. No blockages and some surprisingly good bits of writing from all of us. An uplifting experience under your firm, yet gentle, supervision.' Marité Lege-Germain

"What an amazing, fun, focussed and creative weekend of self-discovery and creative ignition. Anne is a passionate writer and she manages to bring out your hidden sunshine. A truly delightful experience. Thank you for opening up my creativiity and imagination." Amanda Jane Dowsett

"This workshopshop has been really inspirational, encouraging and confidence boosting. I'm inspired to embark on the 'So You Want to Write a Novel' course.' Sarah Noble

"I approached the course with apprehension. Just a name off the website. Anne's weekend was inspirational as she facilitated with such warmth and encouraged us to let go of inhibitions and to trust our inner voices." Wendy Hewett

"Taking the course has been the best decision about my writing that I have made so far. I really benefited from the exercises. No pressure, friendly atmosphere. I would recommend it for all types of writers who need a little confidence boost in their work." Kelly Dyce


“I signed up to a 10-week course to finally kick-start writing my first novel. I was very nervous and apprehensive before the first lesson. Upon meeting Anne Aylor, I felt immediately relaxed and comfortable in her classes. There were ten other aspiring authors in my group and everyone was great fun to work with. The lessons were detailed, relevant and inspired you to write. I especially enjoyed the Open Mic Nights, where you have an opportunity to read—your work— to the rest of the groupl I loved every session, and felt more confident writing at home and in class every week. I would strongly recommend this course to anyone with a dream to write a book, that needs help and wants to make that dream a reality.” Luke Heaphy


“Anne Aylor is a wonderful facilitator. I developed confidence in genres I never dared to try before. I would strongly recommend her courses.” Emer Ward

“A wonderful weekend full of inspiration, confidence building and encouragement.” Trisha Quinlan


“Anne is an inspirational teacher, and La Torre Del Dalt an inspirational place.” Cathy Snarey

“The 'So You Want to Write a Novel Intensive' gave me an opportunity to learn, to apply my learnings and to be creative. it was well structured and delivered at a pace where contribution was encouraged, but not daunting.” Nasim Dedat

“Coming back to the La Torre writers' retreat this year, I thought I'd just write on, applying the stuff I'd learned last year on the "So You Want to Write a Novel Intensive". But I was wrong. I learned even more this time and have come to the happy concusion that I will always learn something here. The guidance, feedback and delight in, not just my own progress, but all of the particiants' achievement are absolutely priceless. Thank you!” Chrystyna K Lucyk

“Anne has a magical knack of attracting amazing people that all seem to bring out the best in each other, whether on a weekend workshop or a full week’s retreat. At the eleventh hour, my reluctant first chapter fell onto the page, thanks to Anne’s support and carefully-structured course. Loved the tutorials. Loved Open Mic (which was a new experience to me). Loved the constructive feedback. Loved the idea that every exercise can be put into our novels.” Niki Natarajan

“This wonderful course has helped me to realise that, not only can I write, but that I have something to write about. My novel found its shape while I was at La Torre. My walks in the forest alone and the creative conversations were nourishment to my writing soul. It’s been relevatory for me to have such informed feedback from the other writers on the course, as well as Anne’s honest, creative and encouraging feedback. I now feel excited about the prospect of writing the first draft of my first novel - before I just felt daunted.” Caroline Merry

“The most wonderful way to learn the basics of novel writing and get those creative juices flowing. Wonderful food, wonderful company and a wonderful teacher.” Cathy Snarey

“The course at La Torre de Dalt was the best course I’ve been on and the people I met were all so lovely which added to the thrill.” Sandra Tena

“I’d sampled one of Anne’s weekend creative writing courses in London, but a whole week in a beautiful setting with Anne at her best was sheer bliss.” Carole Goodley


“I was given the “Release the Writer in You” as a birthday present and I went with no preconceptions other than the recommendation of the present giver. I really enjoyed myself. I felt like a child again and excited by the re-discovery that I had so many stories hidden inside me. Thank you so much, Anne. I would (and will) recommend you to anyone.” Nicky Swain

“I have been trying to get the courage to write for years always saying next year. This course gave me not only the courage and drive to write, but also share my work with others.” Soroya Shamji

“Thank you for making creative writing so easy for a first timer. I skipped all the way home!” Boyana A.

“A very inspiring workshop. Lots of food for thought—a warm, generous and heart-felt experience. I highly recommend it.” Neil Turner

“I have attended two of Anne’s Alternatives’ workshop. Each one has been a wonderful weekend. Pushing me out of my comfort zone and beyond. I admire her teaching style which is so engaging as well as her generous spirit.” Susan Bryceland


“If ‘Finding the Inspiration to Write’ has taught me one thing, it’s that I don’t need to have a complete idea before I put pen to paper—I should just write. It hasn’t just taught me one thing though, it has taught me many techniques for creative writing and it has taught me that I have some story-telling talent that i have now been able to tap into.” Sally Coffey

“Anne’s teaching style is fantastic—she instantly made everyone feel relaxed, welcome and at ease—which is important in a group trying to find inspiration. I would certainly recommend this course to those who want to start writing, but don’t ever sit down to give it a go. After the weekend, you’ll want to sit and write for hours.” Lauren Anderson

“Fantastic! I adore Anne’s calm, spiritual nature and approach. I feel so inspired after just a weekend course. The writer within has certainly been awakened.” Chiedza Chashe Preddie

“Anne is a generous and supportive teacher, whose approach does what it says on the tin—it is inspirational!” Lorraine Griffiths

“A wonderful, inspiring course that enables one to break down blocks and fears that their writing is not good enough or that they have nothing to write about.” Christine Mundy

“ ‘Finding the Inspiration to Write” has helped me to unlock my creative side by the use of simple exercises. As Anne says: Just write - and it will come. Over the two-day course I wrote so much and surprised myself at what arrived on the paper.” Helen Davies


"The 'Fiction Masterclass Intensive' was a step-by-step guide to editing. The most helpful on the subject that I have attended. If only I could have done this course sooner, it would have saved me hours of frustration and fistfuls of hair." Gill Drysdale


“ ‘Write Now! in Ireland” was a wonderful experience of creativity and sharing. A very positive writing experience in a scenic surroundings with gourmet food. What else could a writer want?” Eileen Sheridan

“My weekend in Ireland was lots of fun, more than I possibly thought I could have with pen, paper and fourteen strangers. I expected an intimidating environment, but I needn’t have worried—the best thing the course gives you is confidence.” A Lidder


" ’Write Now! in Catalonia‘ is conducive to the awakening of the writer within, no matter how much one writes, or has written. Anne makes herself accessible to every participant, and within a half an hour of private coaching, she will reveal the secrets of the craft so that you too can hear the voice within you and recognize the talents you have to make writing happen.” Chrystyna K Lucyk


“Anne talked about control and surrender as part of the creative process. When I arrived at “Starting to Write”, I was controlled. By the end of the two days I had surrendered—I know now I can write.” Geoff Coulson

“I arrived thinking I would not write a word. Anne’s exercises enabled me to write, write, write and her wonderful energy encouraged me every step of the way. I know now I can write that book I started 25 years ago!” Barbara Blake

“Whether you are a new writer or needing a refresher, Anne is a true professional, skilled and creative, and brings out more than you can imagine.” Merry Graham

“Having a science background, I didn’t know how I was going to tap into the “writer” in me. “Starting to Write” definitely helped to start my creative juices flowing. It was the best sacrifice I’ve made in a while. Well worth it!” Anne Marie Richardson

“Absolutely wonderful! Anne’s courses leave you feeling motivated, ready to put thoughts onto paper to begin to create a book of your very own.” Sandra Tena González


“I'm so relieved I saw your leaflet and registered on the ‘Creative Writing for Fact or Fiction’ course @ Helios. Your love for teaching writing and your love of writing come across so strongly. I enjoyed the preparation you did for each exercise and how easy the context you provided released the creative juices.” Michael Gabriel

"When I first met Anne I had a great story, but I didn't have a book. If it weren't for Anne's wisdom, insight, belief and patience, The Mango Orchard might never have been finished, and it certainly would not have been accepted for publication." Robin Bayley


“I just wanted to say how grateful I was to Anne for the excellent writing course she taught at Chambers and Partners. "Creative Writing in the City" was an absolute inspiration; I have become far more prolific since taking the course, and am now actually taking the time out to try to write each day. Of course, as I’m writing more, I’m getting better. The best thing the course provided was the confidence to just sit and write whatever came to mind; that lesson in particular has been hugely valuable.” Willard Foxton


"I am so happy I signed up for Anne's novel writing course on a whim a few months ago. It's been one of the best things I've ever done. Anne is a gifted and inspirational teacher. The class is non-pretentious, practical, fun, invigorating and, for me, it's been transformational. For years I've sat down to try and write and not been able to get any words out. In the last ten weeks I've written nearly 15,000 words. I've loved writing - even embracing and using the inevitable moments of frustration - and found it's given me energy and purpose. As the end of the course approached, I immediately signed up for the next one - it's just too good to pass up! Oh, and there's free tea, coffee and biscuits which is a lovely touch." Anna Silman


"Over the last couple of years, I have attended a fair few workshops and can honestly say that "You Don't Have to Be a Writer" surpassed all the others!" Marian Elias


"In the three weeks since starting Anne Aylor's course, I have gone from staring helplessly at a blank page to scribbling down the first seven chapters of the first draft of my novel. Thank you, Anne! You have opened a Pandora's box for me. Your inspirational coaching has given me the tools to start writing. The authors you chose as examples were among my favourites, and your love of great literature is infectious. The feedback from other members of the class was an eye-opener too. You have made writing fun, not a chore. A dream I've been nursing for years is turning into reality, and this is just the beginning!" Carol Repton

"Anne's course has helped me to believe that a heap of pages might one day become a novel." Jennifer Pittam

“I always learn something on Anne’s courses. If I had written a hundred novels, I’d still come back to learn something more.” Emma Healey

“The ‘Novel Intensive’ was a brilliant mixture of imaginative inspiration and hard-core technical stuff. Anne creates a safe place in which to talk and write and write and talk. Invaluable.” Jane Sebba

“The ‘So You Want to Write a Novel Intensive’ will set you on the path to having the courage to become a writer. You will pick up gems that will you serve you well.’ Bali Kochar


"Many thanks for running a wonderful 'Release the Writer in You' weekend. It was the best present I have ever bought for myself! It was such an honour to hear the beautiful pieces written by the others. Thank you for providing a totally safe space and fun atmosphere for us all to be able to shine. You are a magical teacher and your support was greatly appreciated. I finally found my voice!" Caroline Shaw

"Anne creates such a relaxed atmosphere that you just can't help wanting to share your work, however nervous you may be." Rhonwen Parsons

"Inspiring! Amazing!" Patsy Way


" 'Workshop your Fiction' was one of the most useful and enjoyable ways of spending a Thursday evening I have ever found. I started the course having already completed two manuscripts, but seeking inspiration and motivation for beginning a third, and of course hoping that this might be what I needed to propel me into finally getting published! I don't know whether the publishing bit will happen, but as far as helping me to understand what good writing is, and having the pleasure of listening to other people reading their work, which is just as instructive as the critique received for my own, I couldn't recommend the course highly enough." Rachel Congdon


"As an member of Alternatives, I have been fortunate enough to assist and attend several workshops and I have to say Anne's was by far one of the best creative writing workshops I have ever been on. Her approach is fresh, relaxing and leaves you really believing that when you focus your mind, anyone, and I mean literally anyone, is capable of writing. Truly recommend it to anyone who is looking to boost their confidence and acquire hands on skills to get started writing their book." The Life Chef AKA Mary Daniels

“Inspiring. Gentle. Positive and transformational. Everybody in the room seemed to discover their creative potential. It was amazing to feel inspired and not judged. I look forward to do more workshops with you, Anne. Thank you.” Niki Natarajan

"Anne's course very quickly became my course, the group's course. We got to know one another, our stories and our passion for writing. If there is a little niggling voice inside you, pestering you to get writing and you are still trying to squash it down, you can now stop; attend the course, do the exercises, write." Danja Sanovic

“If you are serious about 'releasing the writer' in you, then you need to do Anne’s course. You will realize that there are stories within you that are more than ready to be captured on paper.” Monica Araya

"I just wanted to let you know that the fire you lit inside me in May 2009 has not been doused; I am still as

enthusiastic as when I left your "Starting to Write" workshop. I still find it difficult to believe what a seismic change your course has been for me and I now believe that with some hard work and dedication I can achieve my scarcely believed dream of producing some worthwhile writing." David Waites

“ ‘Release the Writer in You’ has been a fabulous opportunity explore my own writing style in a safe and supportive environment. The varied exercises greatly encouraged me to develop the confidence to put my thoughts and ideas down onto paper and helped to pull ideas from many avenues. Thank you for giving me so much inspiration to leave here and start to write.” Emma Jackson


"Your workshop was the best writing workshop I've ever been to. Every aspect of 'Write Now! in New Mexico' was helpful: the exercises, the feedback, the sharing. It made me realize that WRITING is the point, not writing a book or even getting published. Those can all come or not; writing is the goal. Your compassion for us, your joy at our offerings and your truly helpful suggestions made me realize that creating is the point of it all. Your teaching helped me remember that I don't want to die with my song unsung," Pat Conway

" 'Write Now! in New Mexico' was awesome, I feel it really helped me get in touch with my writing. I loved the fact that your feedback is precise and direct. I'm really glad that I took the course because it helped me make some choices that I didn't know how to make about my stories. All in all, I learned a lot and I would definitetly recomend your workshops to anybody who wishes to write." Sandra Tena


“Coming for the first time as a would-be writer, I found the “Write Now! in Ireland” stimulating. The format encouraged a flow of creativity which was unexpected. The comments and feedback from Anne and fellow participants will, hopefully, allow the creativity to continue and flourish.” Seán Keating

“A creative, enjoyable weekend. I have enjoyed the experience, the exercises and the other participants in “Write Now! in Ireland”. I feel it is the ‘kick-start’ to putting words on paper around my life experiences.” Joe Moran

“I had planned and looked forward to my trip to Ireland and joining the creative writing course for months. The reality far outweighed my projections. I felt cared for, nutured, respected and inspired.” Barbara Sealey-Bowers

“Thank you, Anne, for a splended weekend. The location was great, the food at delicious, the company agreeable, and your teaching most encouraging and helpful. I am sure it will be useful in the future. I hope to come on a future course. I have very much enjoyed this one at Tig Roy.” Dorothy Logie

“I really loved the writing workshop at Tig Roy. Anne was very encouraging and supportive and it gave me the confidence to continue.” Eileen Barry

"This course, and I'm sure any course with Anne, will be the same. It's not just about writing. It's about a spiritual journey from which writing is just one end product. Anne is empathetic, warm and wise and opened all sorts of possibilities to me." Caroline Walker


"I've really enjoyed this course and found the environment very relaxed and supportive. For anyone who's a little shy and self-conscious, this course will give you a chance to feel supported and encouraged. Completely non-judgmental and open. Loved 'Starting to Write'. Thanks!" Alia Gibson

"The 'Starting to Write' course had brilliant exercises for stimulating creativity and a warm, encouraging atmosphere - great for beginners and people who have some experience, but need focus. I am leaving with some much-needed inspiration." Charlotte Haigh

"An inspirational weekend. 'Starting to Write' has given me the confidence to chase dreams that I dared not imagine previously. The exercises were a perfect length and the analysis friendly and encouraging. The group dynamics worked excellently, leaving us all wanting more." David Waites


“The ‘Creative Writing Residential’ at the Abbey was magical, inspiring, stimulating. Anne was excellent, as ever, as a teacher: safe, brilliant, thought-provoking. She is also great at encouraging us to link the exercises she sets us, back to work we are doing outside the class. The venue was outstanding: incredibly peaceful and relaxing. and the food was amazing. I cannot recommend this course highly enough, whatever your writing experience.’ Alison Martin-Campbell

“As a complete beginner, I am shocked by how quickly I have moved from ‘someday’ to ‘this day’. Anne ensures that you leave the workshop with the fundamental tools to explore the writer in you. All of this is done in a convivial atmosphere with likeminded strangers who are new friends.” Chris Bourke

"I find Anne's group a very safe to play with ideas and find the connection that allows imagination to flow. The weekend at the Abbey freed me up and inspired me to keep writing." Caroline Merry

“After having attended a weekend at the Abbey, I am enlightened by all I have learned and heard. I am now travelling on the journey I should have undertaken a long time ago.” Christine Clements

“Thank you for a very enjoyable weekend at the Abbey. Not a course, more a life experience, a signposting of a possible direction in the future.” Roger Khanna

"The 'So You Want to Write a Novel' workshop opened my eyes to knowing what makes a story work or not work. No more journalistic essay-writing lapses in a novel for me. Talking through practical examples of the power of "Point of View" was the best part for me. I learned more in a few weeks with less money than I got from spending hundreds of pounds for a manuscript appraisal which still didn't specify sufficiently how to edit my work. Anne's workshops gave me the tools to rework my novel." Beatrice Sudsbury

'In Anne's sessions you really find out what works and, more importantly, what doesn't. The 'Workshop Your Fiction' course gave me the confidence to let my writing out into the real world where real people can read it. Thank you for a fantastic seven weeks. I've really enjoyed the course and felt both nurtured and stretched " Emma Healey


“I want to say how much I have enjoyed the ‘Creative Writing for Fact or Fiction’. I think it is a wonderful way to realise one’s potential and also to discover there are similar people out there who are ready and willing to support and nurture each other's creativity. I have recommended this course to everyone I know.” Sophia Hough


"An unending supply of encouragement and wisdom." Emily Napier

"Anne Aylor is a wonderful teacher with an acute sense of what makes great writing and a talent for encouraging her students to produce it. Her classes are edifying, inspiring, and immensely enjoyable. I will be back for more." Jayne Buxton

"I have learned so much on the "So You Want to Write a Novel" course, not just about the technicalities of writing, like point of view and editing (which have been invaluable), but also about the point of writing. I am now faced with the very real possibility that I can tell my story – the Book of Mirrors – with love, care and integrity

You have been a huge inspiration. Thank you, thank you, thank you." Angus Ford-Robertson


" 'Creative Writing in the City' has been a lifesaver for me, and more fun than I could have possibly imagined. I also found it really useful to get the more detailed feedback that the Open Mic session allowed. It pointed up things I had not seen, or I knew weren't right, but I didn't know why. And that means I can do something about it.” Caroline Ross

"Anne Aylor has a talent for creating an atmosphere where people can unlock their imagination and feed their desire to write, at the same time as delivering insightful and constructive feedback. Her classes provided a sanctuary for me in the madness of my busy work life and inspired me to follow my dream of simply continuing to enjoy writing." John Bunting


“It was a privilege to attend the Alternatives weekend and unearth some buried material in such a creative environment.I took a lot away with me - physically and mentally - and it certainly did whet my appetite to keep writing.” Jo West


"Thank you for leading such a wonderfully dynamic class at Ernst & Young. I have attended a number of writing group classes in the past, but this was by far the best - even though I did not know any of the other participants, it felt very safe and I was astonished and stimulated by the quality of the output of my co-workers.
I am already looking forward to our November session!" Alison Martin-Campbell

“I can't speak highly enough of the writing course. I came out of the first session feeling energised, excited and inspired. Thank you bringing this course to Ernst & Young. Writing is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, but the fact that you brought it to my doorstep made it all so easy.” Rachael Newman

“I really enjoyed last night - I was feeling rather brain dead when I arrived, as I had been on an intensive course for the previous two days, but the atmosphere and passion in everyone's writing wiped all the feelings of tiredness away. I'm really looking forward to the next session!” Cathy Snarey

"Good exercises - put us under a bit of pressure. Some very impressive pieces and supportive comments."
Alan Flitcroft


"The 'So You Want to Write a Novel Intensive' was absolutely amazing. I am not sure what exactly I expected, but this exceeded every one of my hopes. Anne is wonderful, engaging, constructive, encouraging, knowledgeable. Just great. Thanks so much." Francesca Polini

"I had been working on my first book for a year when I signed up for Anne's "So You Want to Write a Novel" workshop. I was nervous that a writing course would rigidly dictate a certain style that I did not fit in with my voice, but with Anne nothing could be further from the truth. She has immense skill, knowledge and compassion making it a joy to learn from her.

    Whilst students are nurtured, they are not babied. The emphasis is on 'learning by doing' so that students have their own skills and knowledge to take away at the end. I had never shown anyone any of my writing but, with Anne's encouragement, I read out sections of my book in class. It was an enlightening experience that I recommend to everyone. Anne's teaching has given my writing the crispness that I have been searching for. Thank you for an excellent course. I now feel like creating a decent book is a very real possibility." Tansy Hoskins


"I want to thank you so very much for such a exquisite weekend. I feel as if I have been initiated! I always knew I had an imagination. I just didn't realise its breadth and depth. You are so beautifully present, so very graceful in the way you hold us and I am sure that much of what came up for expression is in no small way due to you being simply you. I look forward very much to the November Alternatives workshop." Lesley Robin

"As soon as I left Anne’s class all my senses were awakened. Suddenly everything was an interesting subject; everything could be written about. If I had to say one thing about Anne’s class, it would be that she opens your eyes to the world and your perception of it. Through her exercises, she makes you realise that you do not have to be inspired to write, but once you start writing, words flow and it all makes sense on the page before you yourself have made any sense of it. Go to her class, then write and write some more." Sara Mabger

"I found the "Starting to Write" workshop stimulating, socialable and fun! It was an enlivening experience." Alma Tumilowicz

"The "Starting to Write" course was a great way to unleash and unlock my creativity." Kasey Butler


"So precious and inspiring being with you and all who chose to learn with you." Herb Hahn

“I loved your positivity and friendliness / compassion, combined with running a course without an ounce of flab. It was inspiring to hear other people’s work as to have the opportunity to air mine.” David Ford

“An enormous, heart-felt thank you to you for facilitating such an incredible weekend of discovery. The way you so beautifully held the space, and with such generosity and compassion, provided us all with a safe forum to explore, share and take risks.You truly are a very gifted teacher.

     'Finding the Inspiration to Write' was the most challenging and magical two days I can remember, and I feel very privileged to have taken part. As a result, I feel incredibly inspired and expansive. And so excited! A humbling experience also, hearing everyone's extraordinary contributions. What great souls in our group. I still have a huge smile on my face.” Gina Baksa

“I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the "Finding the Inspiration to Write" workshops at the weekend. They were so instructive and engaging. I really do feel more encouraged to explore my creativity in writing.” Sue Rose

“I knew the moment I stepped into your website that I was in good company. I so enjoyed hearing the BBC interview with you. About 11 years ago the idea of writing emerged and at that point (having been told that I tell wonderful stories) I remember thinking: I don't really have anything to say! Well, I'm ready and I look forward to the process of writing a novel.” Lesley Robin 


“A big thank you for a great weekend at the Abbey – I so enjoyed this great venue. It was the first writing course I have ever done and I’m already looking forward to another one. I appreciated the safe environment you created, with no pressure for people to share their work, but a great deal of support and encouragement when they did. It was just what I was looking for in terms of kick starting my creative juices after years of procrastination.” Sophie Dodgeon

“On the practical side, the Abbey is an idyllic location. Although it feels a million miles from London, it is extremely easy to get there. The vegetarian food is delicious, who knew a nut roast could taste so amazing? And the rooms in the guest house were extremely comfortable, not in the least like a monk's cell! I felt totally relaxed and revitalized at the end of the weekend.
     On the writing side, the atmosphere Anne creates in her classes is warm, inclusive and even a wee bit magical. The exercises will find stories in you that you had no idea were there. And you will cry, so bring a hanky. I have been to several different writing classes and I find Anne's lessons excellent for producing material to advance my works-in-progress, as well as nurturing new ideas and thoughts I felt uncomfortable about putting into words.” Amy Wilson

"Thanks again for being a wonderful tutor and a positive influence. I can’t thank you enough for the amazing experience and re-opening my world of writing." Roshni Jacob


“Thank you for a wonderful “So You Want to Write a Novel” course. I never thought I would be brave enough to read out loud, but the group was supportive and constructive in their comments. There was such energy in the room and I think our group really gelled and encouraged each other. You’ve given me the tools and confidence to write more.” Belinda Duckworth

"Thank you so much for the “So You Want to Write a Novel” workshops. The feedback was insightful and of tremendous help. The whole course has been an invaluable ten weeks of learning and growing." Suzanne Graham

"The novel course was just the kick up the backside I needed. Lots of encouragement in the company of other (good) writers and always with Anne's wisdom to comment constructively. I look forward to more workshops." Judy Greengrass


"I want to thank you for being such a gentle and inspiring guide this weekend at the "Release The Writer in You" course. You brought out the best in all of us, I think, and you are a very special teacher." Anna Nagle


"Since starting your courses, I feel like I'm finally on the path to fulfilling my childhood dream of being published one day . . . and you can quote me on that!" Joanna Thomas

“I'd never been on a writing course before I took your “Creative Writing for Fact or Fiction” and the “Workshop your Fiction” courses. I found them both really inspirational and encouraging and, above all, confidence building. The supportive atmosphere created by you is key to all of this. Keep up the good work and keep doing what your doing, sista!” Beverley Woodburn

"I found the "Workshop Your Fiction" course extremely useful. I've been working on my book for the last three years. After having had no instant feedback during that time and then to be involved in a group like yours, with interested and bright people making constructive comments, was invaluable." Robin Bayley  

'These sessions have enabled me to form the plot of the novel I didn’t know I was going to write. Anne is my muse, my catalyst - without her I would not be writing.' Caroline Swain


In the “Workshop Your Fiction” course, I have learnt an incredible amount, so much more than during the lonely struggle I have had writing my book these past five years. It's as if I've been labouring in a Hades-like place on a solitary, almost pointless quest, with no end in sight. Then suddenly, I've stepped blinking into a brightly-lit room filled with a welcoming group of people who are enthusiastic about writing. I’ve found the whole experience inspiring and uplifting and I have you to thank for making it happen.” Nicholas Mackey


'Fantastic structure - every moment of the “So You Want to Write a Novel” course was filled with worthwhile advice and direction. Because of your inspirational and non-judgemental approach, you managed to bring the writer (and public orator) out of the most self-conscious and timid of souls.' Kate Bohdanowicz


'Thank you for the course at the Abbey which exceeded all my expectations. You reminded me that there are two sides to every brain. You inspired me to allow my right side to emerge from the shadow of the left.'
Graeme Rose

“I would like to say thank you for being the inspiration I needed. I have no idea what happened to me (and all of us) in that ever so cosy sitting room at the Abbey, but the atmosphere was so welcoming and inspiring. I'm sure it was the way you taught us, motivated us and encouraged us to be free with expressing ourselves.
      I've looked back at my written work from the course and am extremely proud of it and more thankful than ever that I joined. I'll remember forever how giddy I felt upon my drive home. I sang my heart out!
      With your help, I hope to have unlocked a talent, gift and, more importantly, a desire for writing that had been suppressed for too long.” Sarah White

'Anne is a maieutic genius. Writing is a sensitive labour. Budding authors need all the encouragement they can get and we get plenty from Anne. I'm glad I've got her skill, experience, personality and magic calling my work into being.' Naznene Sparrow


'Anne’s classes helped me find the place where my own voice was waiting. With heartfelt thanks for what has been a life-changing experience.' Alice Hiller

'Thanks for a great course. I learnt so much. It was exactly what I was looking for: stimulating, creative, invigorating. A breath of fresh air. As a newcomer to novel writing, it's given me even more focus to finish my manuscript and work on other ideas I have swirling around in my head. The collection of people was also amazing. I don't think I've been surrounded by so much talent for a long time.' Peter Lambrou

'The “So You Want to Write a Novel” course was highly important for my writing. I came to the workshop with a limited idea and structure for my book and walked out with a clear direction and many ideas on how to go about it. I highly recommend the course for developing your creativity and ways of thinking outside the box.' Mariah Olsson


'Thank you so much for releasing the writer in me. I've been trying to do that for years! In the past, I was being too logical about it all which blocked my creativity. Until the Alternatives workshop, it baffled me how anyone could sit and write for hours a day. I used to write the first, second and third drafts of a paragraph and edit it in one go. I understand now that writing is about constant flow and that I should allow myself to relax and free my mind. A psychic once told me, "You have a fantastic brain; you just need the tools to use it." I'm pleased to say, I do now. And it's thanks to you.' Suad Ali  


'It was only eight weeks ago that we sat at the Helios Centre, pens and paper poised, waiting like sprinters on a track. I captured Anne’s first words to us in a scribbled note: “The aim of these workshops is to help you access the dream-world that lives within you. The exercises you’ll be given are geared to help trigger memories, sensations and feelings so you can transform them into words.” The first one was “Making a List”. As an example, she read a poem by Raymond Carver. It flowed so well, yet contained a huge amount of information. How easy I thought. What a tool. I can use that. Great! Then the bomb dropped when she said, “I want you to write about what is, or was, in your parents’ bedroom.”
     Eyes and mouth wide open, heart racing, I sat squirming in the seat. Oh shit, I thought. Not again. Not now. Here I was faced with the same old problem. I haven’t got any parents. I never knew their house so I can’t write about it. Others were furiously writing away when Anne suggested, “Or you could write about your house.” Had she witnessed my terror? Happily, I skipped across the pages, but even then it was harder than I thought. Her short, sharp timed exercises lit the way for us to open up and delve into that part of ourselves that is rarely exposed.
     The weeks slipped by as she coaxed and encouraged us to write. The characters “Trim”, “Fin”, “Mack”, “Sheila” and “Happy Bollocks” came alive. We lost ourselves in that place called the imagination. Far better than Las Vegas: brighter lights, more dialogue, more prose, more humour, more past, more present, more tears, more humaneness. Often, I sat stunned in that place of listening and heard from those who chose to share their stories, their poems, their writings. Words that filled my soul.' Suzanne Williams


'Just a quick email to thank you for saving me from post-Christmas blues with your fantastic writing course. Thursday nights at Housman's completely brightened up the cold, grey Jan/Feb weeks for me. I found the whole experience totally amazing and am determined to keep writing, thanks to the inspiration you and the group have given me.' Hannorah Lee


'The course you ran was a very pleasant surprise to me. I never imagined I would enjoy writing to order. But I did and it has given me further confidence to express myself more fully. It gave me an insight into what motivates other people to write. I can see that I have no ambition to have my name on a book, but write in order to clarify what is there. Your degree of self awareness and trust in what life brings allowed the group to feel safe going to places that frighten many. I thoroughly enjoyed your whole heartedness. A heart that works fully and freely is a joy to behold. So, all in all, a great couple of days.’ Robert Gilson


'Looking away from my notebook and gazing across the blue waters and mountains on Mjlet: it was the most beautiful, inspiring place I have ever sat down to write. The flowers, cool breeze and total peace was perfect. Then to sip a rose or elderflower drink - hand-pressed at the restaurant - whilst hearing readings of each other's work was a productive way to round off the afternoon. Feedback from the group was a helpful way to get tips on how to improve. We got to know one another's style and that helped us support and criticise each other constructively. Anne Aylor is a truly inspirational person. She was very approachable and supportive and managed to always give me helpful advice and guidance. Her instinctive way of working and her openness allowed me to experience a special creative time. It was more than just a writer's retreat.’ Azra Kayani

'The entire Croatian trip was magical. The course work was flexible and challenging, and Anne was incre dibly dedicated to inspiring the best work from us. There was a nice balance between writing and free time, between sight-seeing and lying by the sea at the harbour one minute away. I came back relaxed and motivated, considering myself lucky to have met so many talented people. I'd recommend it to anyone that has any interest in writing. You will love it.’ Aimee Hansen

'The writing course in Croatia was both inspirational, educational and  thoroughly enjoyable.  Anne provided a range of activities which stimulated one’s creative ideas and an envirorment in which to work upon them. There was plenty of time for individual feedback on work in progress as well as an opportunity to share in the excitement and enthusiasm of others' writing.’ Gary Scott-Lloyd

'The Mljet experience was totally amazing. I loved it - all of it. I’ve been writing for twenty years and I came up with material I have never been in touch with before.’ Margaret Walsh

'I had a wonderful time at the course - the setting alone is amazing, and the classes made me write from the heart. Listening to other people's work was a joy. Anne is a great teacher!’ Nicki Gilmour


'I found Anne's workshops friendly, fascinating & productive. Friendly cos Anne is very warm & supportive. Fascinating cos of a comprehensivity of approach: a wide range of styles, forms & themes was embraced, as was an awareness of the differing roots of creativity, theconscious & unconscious. Also fascinating was watching the precision of her on-the-spot-evaluations of participants' pieces generated by her writing exercises. Productive cos one of the exercises got me in touch with a feeling/memory very familiar, but never previously written down. I was able to use this to finish a larger piece that had been dormant for 20 years.’

Neil Devlin

'Just a note to say how very much I enjoyed the workshop. Such a different style to any others I've been to and very, very successful. It's rare for me to say this, but I actually produced something at every exercise that I feel could be turned into a finished product. I also really admired your sympathetic and helpful approach: and you had some extraordinary people there, with extraordinary stories!’ Anne Ballard

'You created a wonderful atmosphere and then filled it full of inspiring ideas.’ Jane Sebba


© 2005 Anne Aylor  
"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas." Linus Pauling