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.

My writing for children course is now starting on Tuesday 5th October and carrying on straight through to December 7th ring the Lit and Phil to book a place on 0191 232 0192.

I will also be down in Cornwall for the Porthleven Arts Festival where I am running a poetry workshop 3.30 – 5.30 Sunday 26th September in the Shipyard Market and then going to the Nick Hardcastle Celebration poetry event 6.30 in the Breageside Net Loft, where I shall join others reading some poetry. Do come along if you’re in the area.

I’m planning a ten week Writing For Children course starting Tuesday September 21st 10.30 – 12.30, at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle. We will look at examples of children’s literature from picture books up to Young Adult novels and I will set writing exercises during the class. I still have places left if anyone is interested. £100 payable in advance. Message me if you want to know more.

Creative Writing Course

9 weeks Monday nights 6 – 8 from 13th September to 8th November at Lit and Phil

£90 for the 9 weeks, payable in advance.

Tutors Kathleen Kenny and Ellen Phethean 

Join us for a wide ranging exploration of text, techniques and styles – poetry, prose, long or short fiction.

We will use inspiring examples from published writers and set writing tasks to be completed in class, and developed on your own.  We will give encouraging and helpful feedback on work.

We will finish with a public launch at the Lit and Phil on Monday 15th November of Kathleen Kenny’s two new pamphlets from Dreich titled:

I.D. and Forbidden-by-the-Sea.

Everyone is welcome to attend and, if they wish to, are invited to read work in progress, alongside Kathy.

Book  the course via Lit and Phil, telephone 0191 232 0192.

General Jane tells the story of real life Jane Bogey who inspired the original demonstrations by gathering women and children together to march down to Newcastle quayside to prevent grain being loaded on to ships to be exported elsewhere. I’ve written the script and the lyrics of the songs, and I’m performing as one of the women.

The two performances, 12 and 3pm in Heaton Park on 19th June, are free, but we’re asking for donations to the Trussell Trust. If you’re in the Heaton area, why not come along with the family, have a picnic and enjoy the show? It’s only 30 minutes or so long, and you’ll be entertained with music, dancing and an inspiring story.

Here are the details for the Creative Writing workshops – do drop in if you fancy trying writing something, no experience necessary:

Here’s a project I’m involved with and there will be opportunities for writing workshops that I’ll be running via zoom. Details for follow, but for now, here’s a taster:

Autumn Classes 2020

I’m delighted to say that I’ve secured the use of a large space in Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street (centre of town) from which to run a Writing for Children workshop this autumn. 
The room (Steve Cohen Lecture Room) is spacious enough to happily seat 10 – 15 writers, giving each enough table space to keep safely distanced from each other. Being on the 4th floor there are amazing views up Northumberland Street and out over town. And there are 2 modern lifts for those preferring not to take the stairs. 
I will run a 10 week course, starting at 10.30 till 12.30 to avoid travelling in rush hour times, from Tuesday 22nd September to Tuesday 1st December with a half term break on Tuesday 27th October.
The fee will be £55 per half term face to face or £60 per term via email including 2 reads and one crit. Please email me if you want to sign up at ellen.phethean@virgin.net. Or if you want further information. The Class is designed to accommodate all writers, new or experienced, and whatever age range you’re interested in writing for – picture books, middle grade or YA. We will use classic texts as examples, and I will offer stimulating starting points for your own writing, in class. There will be the opportunity to share work and get constructive feedback. What are you waiting for? why not give it a try!

I will also be running a class with experienced tutor Kathleen Kenny: 8 week creative writing course Mondays 6-8pm from 5th October – 30th November (half-term break 26th October). Fee £90. Workshops available via email for £50 (including 2 reads & 1 crit). 

Hello everyone! Before you slip into the oblivion of the festive season please note in your diaries that my Writing For Children course will be starting again on Tuesday 21st January 2020 at 10.15 at the Lit and Phil. Book now via Lit and Phil, 0191 232 0192. A 10 week course for £100. Happy Writing.

Keep 2nd December Free – special event – see below!

Here is the cover of my last book in the trilogy of Ren and the Blue Hands. I am launching both this and the second book Ren and the Blue Cloth together on Monday 2nd December 7pm at The Lit and Phil – all welcome, free entry. There will be refreshments, books to buy and I will be reading from the books. There will also be a reading by Tom Kelly (he tweets as @tomkelly60) who is launching a poetry collection. Both are being published by Red Squirrel Press, from whom you can buy the books if you can’t make it to the launch.

1st of September – the new school term starts here! There’s lots on: Poetry and Writing for Children – see below:

Reading and Writing Poetry at the Lit & Phil this Autumn 6pm – 8pm Monday 16th September to Monday 28th October 2019

Lead by experienced poets and tutors Ellen Phethean and Kathleen Kenny, this 7 week course will explore various examples of contemporary poetry, using these as a way of inspiring our own writing. The sessions are open to anyone with an interest in poetry and are tailored to suit both new and experienced writers. The course will offer writing exercises designed to build creative confidence by providing imaginative keys to unlock and ignite ideas. To reserve a place telephone the Lit & Phil on 0191 232 0192 Course cost is £70 payable at the first meeting.  

Writing for Children with tutor Ellen Phethean

Tuesdays 10.15 – 12.15 at the Lit and Phil Library, Newcastle. Starting Tuesday 24th September – 3rd December 10 weeks with a half term 29th October. Do you love reading books to your children or grandchildren? Do you have a story to tell? Why not try writing one down? 

This course will take you through the huge variety of literature for children from picture books, early readers and to 8 and nine year olds to young adult. Whatever age you’re interested in writing for, 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 – £100 in advance or, for those who wish to pay as they go, it’s £30 for 1st session then £10 per session.

Book via Lit and Phil Tel: 0191 232 0192  Contact me – ellen.phethean@virgin.net

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 ellen.phethean@virgin.net

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.