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Why Writers in Southeast England Should Visit New Writing South


Perhaps contrary to the title of this article, there are plenty of reasons anyone – regardless of geographical location – should visit New Writing South. As their tagline reads we're here for anyone who loves to write.

As might be expected, New Writing South is a website and organization offering free and low-cost resources for writers. Located in Brighton a short walk from the English channel is The Writer's Space which is a room for hire offered by New Writing South. Locals, and interested writers who will be in the area, should take some time to stop by The Writer's Space and look into upcoming events, or book their own events by renting out the space. As rentals help to support New Writing South, the modest fee can be a good way to secure a place for a writing group or book club (with wi-fi, coffee, and tea) and also make sure that the content from New Writing South keeps coming.

New Writing South provides resources for writers in Southeast England and beyond.
New Writing South provides resources for writers in Southeast England and beyond.

Content for Brighton locals

The first thing that struck me as wonderful about New Writing South, was the layout of the NWS website. The first tab is What's On, and for locals this will be the place to check first. Offering several events each month, New Writing South represents the prose, poetry and LGBTQ+ community of Brighton. They host events that will appeal to a wide audience and which focus on inclusivity and artistic expression. Furthermore, a partnership with the Jublilee Library means that the workshop and events pages of the website allow an interested writer to keep their finger on the pulse of the Brighton writing scene. This means access to free writing workshops to help authors finish their book, polish a certain genre, or craft a novel that is marketable in the current literary climate. Further, monthly retreats to the Writer's Place will offer authors a quiet and constructive environment to plan, plot, and write their stories with like-minded writers.

If all of these programs have caught your attention, then looking into some of the courses offered by New Writing South may be a logical next step. Currently offered are creative writing programs in partnership with East Sussex College, novel development programs, and short fiction writing classes designed by respected, published authors. These classes range in price but the average cost to take a class will be about £130 or around £90 with a New Writing South membership. Memberships cost from £12-20 per year, and you'll usually make back that cost if you take only two writing classes.

Also offered are intensive 1:1 Writers' Surgeries intended to get your work under control, and heading in the direction you desire. Whether that be self- or traditional publication, or some other goal, the one-on-one lessons promise to tailor themselves to the needs of the author. These are a bit more expensive, coming in at around £150, but are also discounted for members of New South Writing. Further, on-going mentoring, free manuscript reading, poetry critiques for low-income local authors, script reading, and literary consultancies are offered by New Writing South.

Finally, New Writing South has a number of special projects on the go at any given time. These range from art shows, to festivals and theatre performances, to other community-driven endeavors. These are mostly free to attend, but sometimes have a small entrance fee, and can be a great source of entertainment and engagement for a family night out, a personal treat, or even a casual date night.

The creative writing programmes

Perhaps the most impressive offering from New Writing South are their creative writing programs. Offering classes on autobiography, creative writing, poetry workshops and life writing, these one- and two-year long classes are intended to equip a writer with the tools necessary for success. With lessons taught by PhDs in the field of literary study, these are the equivalent of a University crash-courses and run from 2-4 semesters (1-2 years). The cost for attending is around £995 yearly, but for those unable to pay the fee upfront, a £100 deposit is required, and payments can be made in installments.

The program features one-to-one tutoring, practical exercises, readings, discussion of published work, group discussions led by a qualified tutor, interactive learning sites where students can access seminar notes and exercises, a writer's forum to contact other writers in the group, and approximately 75 class-hours each year. In addition to regular classes the program includes tutorials and a 'weekend school' intended to offer a more intensive learning experience twice each year.

Spaces for each program are limited, and they fill up fast. If you are interested, don't hesitate to look into the course that catches your fancy right away.

For non-local writers

Though very much a community-driven organization, New Writing South is in the process of developing online writing courses that will be offered regardless of geographical location. Though these classes promise to be a hit, there are plenty of other useful resources available to the international audience while we wait for these to become available.

For those of us who are less local, the New Writing South website has plenty to offer. One of the best features available are the interviews with authors. Recently this has meant interviews with Elizabeth Ridout, author of the poetry collection Summon; Jacqueline Haskell, author of the poetry collection Stroking Cerberus; and Ana Tewson-Bozic, author of the short work Crumbs.

For those seeking to become involved in the writing community, or in other artistic endeavors, the News and Features section of the website often includes calls for performers, information on writers' collectives, and literary salon invites which include publisher access and agent workshops. These opportunities are supplemented further by the opportunities section which provides links to (and information regarding) writing prizes, special classes, university scholarships and other opportunities.

A bit more hidden away are some more significant resources. First, New Writing South offers specialized bursaries, specifically for "writers who face barriers to pursuing their writing careers." These bursaries come in the form of TLC Free Reads, workshops and courses, and free or discounted tickets to events.


The next useful chunk of writing help comes in the form of articles for writers. These resources vary from tips for Preparing Submissions for Publishers, Self Promotion, and general advice on How to Be a Writer. These articles are a bit of a 'how-to' for writers getting started, or for authors struggling with a particular portion of the writing/publishing process. The nice part of these documents is that they are given as PDFs and could be useful as teaching aids, or 'printables' for a writer's group, or a book club.

In addition to the host of unique resources described above, the articles on New Writing South offer some incredible advice, writing tips, and insight into the industry that will be valuable to any writer looking to improve themselves, or better understand how to find success in the literary world. If you haven't reached the point where you are ready to invest in New Writing South, or if you simply aren't local to the Brighton area, I encourage you to read some of the incredible pieces offered on their website.

The first I will suggest is this article on spotlight books. These are poets and authors who participated in New South Writing literary competitions, and were rewarded with services provided by the organization. Some of these writers have gone on to publish their work, either traditionally, or via self-publication.

The second article worth your time is titled News from our Writers and speaks to the success of New Writing South in supporting authors as they seek publication. This particular article centers on Rachel Burge, a member of New Writing South's "Write Process" group, whose debut novel The Twisted Tree was published by Hot Key Press.

New Writing South provides community and support for writers.
New Writing South provides community and support for writers, including free reads for low-income writers.

Take away

If you are a writer, actor, or poet living in Brighton or the surrounding area, you would be a fool to miss out on the resources provided by New Writing South and The Writer's Space. Absolutely make use of the community which this organization has built up to support its writers, and the free and plentiful opportunities that it provides. If you are a writer struggling with finances or some other burden, take a moment to apply to the New Writing South bursaries to help you support your craft. If you are a tourist in the area, take some time to check out The Writer's Space, or the event page on the website to check out what interesting thing is planned during your time in the city.

If you are unlucky enough to have a large distance between yourself and Brighton, or if you can't make it out to Brighton as often as you might like, make sure to check in on the progress of their online courses from time to time so that you can take advantage of that opportunity when it arises.

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