Courses and Events

Here you will find out about readings I am giving, courses I am running and other projects I am taking part in.

Celebrate National Writing Day! Birtley Library Wednesday 26th June 2 – 4 I’m running a creative writing workshop, free and no experience necessary. This is part of Art Diamonds, creative activities for those of retirement age, happening in 7 Gateshead Libraries. Check them out.

I’m reading at the next New Art Social on 10th June at 7pm at Ernest in the Ouseburn, all welcome and it’s only a few quid to get in. There’s always an inspiring mix of prose, non-fiction and poetry, and sometimes discussions on cultural events. If you’re a writer why not come along and talk to Guy Mankowski about reading yourself at a future Social?

Writing for Children with tutor Ellen Phethean

Tuesdays 10.15 – 12.15 at the Lit and Phil Library, NewcastleStarting Tuesday 23rd April – 2nd July 10 weeks with a half term 28th May.

Every fancied writing a book for children? Then this is the course for you: from picture books, early readers and to 8 and nine year olds to young adult, there’s a huge and varied world of literature for children to explore. I welcome new writers or those with ideas and books already in progress. I use a variety of texts, classic and modern, to explore technique and subject matter, then offer stimulating exercises to kickstart your writing. There’s an opportunity to learn how to critique texts, and get helpful feedback on your own, including advice about getting published.

Book a place via the Lit and Phil Library. £80 in advance or £27 for 1st session then £7 per session. Book via Lit and Phil Tel: 0191 232 0192  or contact

Poetry: form, layout and line breaks – 30th March NCLA Creative Writing course. “Edges,” writes former US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, “are the most powerful part of a poem. The more edges you have, the more power you have.” I will be exploring the differences made to sound, rhythm and sense by line breaks, and how manipulating white space adds meaning – and power – to poetry. 10am to 4pm Newcastle University. Follow the link to sign up.

Free Flowing Words – Hexham Library Thursday 7th February 2019 at 7pm with fellow poet Joan Johnston

Reading and Writing Poetry at the Lit & Phil

6pm – 8pm Mondays 25th February to 15th April 2019 

In this 8 week course we will look at and discuss various examples of contemporary poetry, using this as a way of inspiring our own writing. The course will be led by Ellen Phethean and Kathleen Kenny, two experienced writers and poetry tutors who will offer writing exercises designed to break through creative barriers and ignite fresh ideas. These sessions are open to anyone with an interest in poetic form are tailored to suit both new and more experienced writers. 

To reserve a place telephone the Lit & Phil on 0191 232 0192

Course cost is £80 payable at the first meeting.