About this Event
Join us for a voyage of discovery aboard Bristol’s John Sebastian Lightship, moored in central Bristol, with plenty of time to write fuelled by tea, coffee and cake, plus an inspiration-gathering harbourside walk.
How do you write about water? Does it trickle? Surge? Roar?
Is it hungry? Foreboding? Volatile? Reflective? Tranquil?
Start the day gently with two readings from your hosts author Judy Darley and poet Helen Sheppard, before exploring different ways of using water to shine up themes in your writing, with generative exercises, poetry and prose readings from a variety of writers, and plenty of time to write.
Taking place on Bristol’s atmospheric, historic Lightship moored in John Sebastian Quay, this workshop encourages you to draw inspiration from the setting alongside creative exercises designed to help you find original, meaningful ways to use water in your writing.
Whether you write about a raindrop or an ocean, you can harness water as a powerful writing muse.
There will be no pressure to share.
"Judy and Helen led such a supportive and inspiring workshop, with the Lightship as a unique venue. I loved the walk, prompts and time to explore ideas. My story that began on the Lightship went on to win 2nd prize in the Retreat West Flash Fiction Competition!" Emma Phillips, participant in the first Writing on Water workshop in October 2022.
The day at a glance
10am – 12pm Judy Darley and Helen Sheppard introduce the day with two readings to ease you into the theme of water, followed by creative prompts, generative writing exercises, examples, time to write and the opportunity to share your writing if you wish. Hot drinks and biscuits are included in the ticket price.
12pm – 1pm Inspiration-gathering harbourside walk (less than a mile in total) with prompts to engage each of your senses, and time for lunch (not included, but lots of options around the venue in Bristol, or bring your own).
1pm – 3pm Generative writing exercises, hot drinks and homemade cake (included in the ticket price), plus the opportunity to work with other writers, and the option to share your writing from the workshop.
3pm – 3.30pm Your chance to ask questions about how to develop your writing, what to do with it next (such as performance or publication), and share feedback on the day’s experiences.
The group is being kept deliberately small with time for lunch and sharing your writing.
The ship has steep stairs, so please let us know on the email address below if you have access needs.
About your hosts
Judy Darley is a fiction writer and journalist from Bristol. Her fiction has been described as 'shimmeringly strange', possibly because she can't stop writing about the infinite fallibilities of the human mind. Judy’s words have been published and performed on BBC radio and harbour walls, as well as in bookshops, museums, cafés, caves, pubs, a disused church and an artist’s studio. Judy is the author of three fiction collections: The Stairs Are a Snowcapped Mountain (Reflex Press), Sky Light Rain (Valley Press) and Remember Me To The Bees (Tangent Books). Find Judy at SkyLightRain.com and on Twitter as @JudyDarley.
Helen Sheppard is a Bristol-based writer and worked as a midwife. Her poetry explores themes of birth, health loss, and those whose voices are often unheard. Helen has performed her poetry at Milk Poetry, RTB, Torriano Meeting House, Harvard Medical School and others. Helen’s work has been published widely, including These are the Hands and Under the Radar magazine. Her debut poetry collection Fontanelle was published in 2021 by Burning Eye Books. Helen interviews extraordinary poets for her podcast Health Beat Poets. You can find Helen on Twitter as HelenSheppard7 and on Instagram as helensheppard58.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
John Sebastian Lightship, John Sebastian Quay, Bristol, United Kingdom