Skyros review

Posted: August 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: courses, diary | Tags: , | No Comments »

the-writersThis July/August I taught a two-week creative writing course at The Writers’ Lab on the beautiful Greek island of Skyros. It was my fourth year teaching on the island and I had eleven participants from France, US and UK (not all in the photo unfortunately).

You can read a review of the holiday (and a bit about the course)  from one of the participants, Chrissy Nason –  freelance travel writer.

Isle of Wight idyll

Posted: April 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: courses | No Comments »

First, let me say, what a pleasure it was to meet you all. I came away with a head full of stories and longing to hear more about men who keep dolls and great aunts in India, Jamaican crime fiction and incarcerated refugees overcoming adversity. I thought some of the free writing was superb – fully formed stories, some of them, and slices of deeply felt emotion, others. Thank you.


Here is the link to the Raymond Carver short storyCathedral

Editorial services
I know several writers who have used the following consultancies for editorial services and mentoring. I know one or two of the mentors personally and they are superb!

  1. The Literary Consultancy
  2. Cornerstones

Independent (and professional) proofreaders are harder to find (and costly). But the Society of Proofreaders and Editors is a good place to start. There are a number of links if you google “freelance, literary, proofreaders”.  But the consultancies (under editorial services, above) also offer proofreading services.


Writer and workshop leader, Fiona Joseph, got back to me and said she’d converted her book to e-book herself! However Amazon do a fine job  (though you can’t choose the pricing structure). Fiona may be releasing an online course on e-books and marketing later this year – so I’ll keep you posted.

However Fiona did say that she uses an excellent print on demand company that she would highly recommend.

Thank you again and I look forward to seeing some of you in the summer. Happy writing!

Beautiful Bath

Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: courses, diary, writing | Tags: , , | No Comments »
2013-03-05 15.56.07

Holbourne Museum

Today I was at The Holbourne Museum giving a talk about Online Writing at the Bath Literature Festival. The museum is a beautiful venue and I spent an hour and half with the good writers and bloggers of the South West discussing social media, online profiles and getting your work noticed. As promised I have uploaded the slides as a pdf  (5mb)… online-writing

I also mentioned various platforms that students, teachers and writers can use when creating online projects. Here’s a list:

  1. Googlemaps. Here’s an example of how Penguin Books commissioned authors to use Googlemaps  to tell a story
  2. Storify – aggregate social media projects into a coherent narrative
  3. Xtranormal – create characters and get them to speak the dialogue you write for them
  4. Google story builder – simple fun text-based character builder
  5. Memoryminer – this costs to use but you can use the trial version initially
  6. Storybird – aimed more at children’s writing
  7. And here’s a list of free sites to inspire younger writers

Thanks to everyone at the festival for a wonderful day.

Workshops 2013

Posted: November 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: courses, diary, events, writing | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s been a busy autumn of engagements but now I’ve got my head down and I’m totally consumed, writing the new novel. However, thought I should post a few dates for next week (!) and next year.

On December 1st  2012 I’ll be in Birmingham delivering a workshop thanks to Kate Cooper, creative force behind The New Optimists. If you’re aged between 18 and 30 and live in Birmingham and you’d like to attend this facilitated workshop on 1st December, co-hosted with the Birmingham Leadership Foundation, then sign up here. It’s free.

We’ll be making ‘narrativium’, multi-media stories from the future, all based on on info from regional scientists, people who have useful info and perspectives on what it takes to feed a city. You’ll be joining lively young Brummies, including a theatre guy, a musician and composer, a film-maker, a novelist and on-line author  . . . to list just a few.

On March 5th, 2013 I’ll be at Bath Literature Festival delivering a workshop called ‘Writing Online’ from 4.30 – 6pm at the Holburne Museum. It’s for age 13+ and costs £10

Here’s the blurb

Learn everything you need to know about how to get people reading your writing. Mez Packer, author of The Game is Altered, will explore with you the ins and outs of blogging, interactive storytelling and how to use social media to develop your work and get it noticed.

In April (5th-7th) 2013 I’ll be on the Isle of Wight with the Skyros team delivering a weekend of creative writing at The Grange. It’ll be my first time on the island and I’m looking forward to a bit of spring sightseeing and meeting the Skyros ‘home team’.

In July 6th-19th, 2013 I’ll be back on the wonderful island of Skyros – again with Skyros Holidays, delivering a full two-week creative writing  course entitled Aspects of Novel Writing. This will be my third year and I can’t wait for some serious sun, sea and scribbling.

That’s it. I’m determined not to accept any more invitations until the novel is written. But knowing me I probably will.


On the Edge…

Posted: August 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, courses, writing | No Comments »

This autumn I’ll be On the Edge of the Warwick Words – Festival of Literature and Spoken Word. There’s a discussion on ‘How to Get Published‘ (Tuesday October 2nd at 7.30pm, Leamington Waterstones) with fellow Tindal Street Press author Alan Beard and senior editor, Luke Brown.

I’ll also be delivering a 3 hour workshop on ‘How to Write Contemporary Fiction‘ at a local hostelry;) There are 15 places available for the workshop and the cost is £22.50. Details below.


Wednesday 3 October
Sozzled Sausage, Regent Street, Leamington Spa
10.00am – 1.00pm

This workshop led by award winning author, Mez Packer, is aimed at giving participants a clear understanding of the technical and creative aspects of writing contemporary fiction. Along with exercises to get you going (drawing on experience, memory and place) the workshop will focus on plot, character and voice as well as other elements that drive a narrative forward and keep the reader wanting more. Using examples we won’t forget prose-style and dialogue either. Finally, there will be opportunities for sharing work and receiving feedback on the day.

Tickets: £22.50
There are only 15 places available for this workshop. Please book in advance.

Free workshop at Coventry Book Festival

Posted: May 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, courses, The Game is Altered, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I’m running a FREE writing workshop at Coventry Book Festival on June 16th at 11am. The workshop, ‘Finding Your Voice’, is two hours long and is being held in Coventry Central Library. Bring pens, paper and an open mind. For ages 16 and above. Use the link to book your place:

I’ll also be taking part in a panel discussion with other local authors on June 14th at Sidney Stringer Academy Theatre. You can book for this on the same link.

Skyros Writers’ Lab

Posted: July 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: courses, diary, events, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Thursday 21 July – Sunday 31 July: Aspects of Novel-writing

Skyros Centre, Greece

The beautiful Greek island of Skyros is home to the world-famous Writers’ Lab (rated as one of the very best creative writing holiday destinations). Nestling on the hillside at the edge of Skyros village the Writers’ Lab is a stone’s throw from the village’s cobbled streets and restaurants and ten minutes walk from the long, sandy beach. Later this month I’ll be running a ten-day course at the centre aimed at developing writers – from beginners to those with a finished novel under their belt. We will cover aspects of novel-writing such as plot, structure, character, voice, as well as the nitty-gritty of prose-style. I will be offering feedback on individual projects and advice on how to find representation and getting published.

The cost is £945 (not including transport). Booking is made through the Skyros website.