Pow-Wow Writing Workshops

Andrew Killeen is running a ten week course called “Writing Fiction” at the Midland Arts Centre, starting in May 2014. This course is for anybody interested in the art and craft of fiction: novels or short stories, literary or commercial. Andrew will take you through all aspects of the craft, from plot, characterisation and dialogue to beating writer’s block and getting published. Suitable for writers at all stages of their journey, from beginner to experienced author.

Book your place here:


Pow-Wow’s full day and half day workshops will resume in summer 2014.

 See below for details of the workshops we ran in conjunction with Birmingham Museums Trust during summer 2013. If you would like to participate in a similar workshop next year, please email us: info [ at ] pow-wow.org.uk

What’s the Story?

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

20th April/ 4th May/ 18th May, each session 12.30-4pm

£10/ session (£30 total)

This is a fun, inspiring series of three workshops for anybody who wants to discover the city’s treasures, brush up their writing skills and produce a great story. We will explore Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and develop story ideas based on its collections. We will then as a group develop and revise these stories, learning how professional writers polish their work. No experience needed, just enthusiasm and an open mind! (but you must be able to commit to all three workshops.)

Getting your novel off the ground

Museum Collections Centre

8th June, 10-4pm, £30

If you have always wanted to write a novel, but can’t get started, or have tried but ground to a halt, then this is the workshop for you. We will be startled and stimulated by the extraordinary Aladdin’s Cave which is the Museum Collections Centre. Then we will study the process of novel writing: its different stages, how to find the time, how to keep going when it gets difficult, how to avoid the traps where novels sink and die. You will leave with a personalised project plan for writing your own novel, and a head full of ideas and enthusiasm.

Plot and Structure

Weoley Castle

22nd June, 12.30-4pm, £20

Do you have great story ideas, but struggle to pull them together into a coherent narrative? See how archaeologists use imagination and observation to transform the ruins of Weoley Castle into a lively mediaeval home, then learn how to build on your own foundations, and create a sturdy, watertight narrative structure.

Writing historical fiction

Blakesley Hall

6th July, 12.30-4pm, £20

Historical fiction has never been more popular, but writing it well brings unique challenges. A Tudor family home will be our time machine as we look at characterisation across eras and cultures, the pleasures and perils of research, and the sometimes conflicting demands of authenticity and narrative.

Revision and editing

Aston Hall

Date 20th July, 12.30-4pm, £20

“Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten.” For writers who have finished, or are close to finishing, a first draft, and want to learn the critical skills that will raise their work to the next level. We will look at how Aston Hall has been built and rebuilt over the years, and discuss the principles, challenges and rewards of perfecting your work.

Getting Published

Soho House

Date 3rd August, 12.30-4pm, £20

How do you submit your work for publication? What mistakes will earn instant rejection? What are publishers and agents looking for? Do you need an agent, or even a publisher? In the home of an entrepreneur who changed the world, we will consider how writers engage with the business of publishing in the 21st century, and what they can do for themselves to reach readers.

Writing Fantasy Fiction (guest speaker: Stan Nicholls)

Sarehole Mill

17th August, 12.30-4pm, £25

In the setting which inspired Tolkien, we will look at the importance of world building, the fine line between genre expectation and cliche, and how fantasy fiction relates to and comments on the real world. With guest speaker Stan Nicholls, award winning, million selling author of the Orcs series.

2 thoughts on “Pow-Wow Writing Workshops

  1. Julia says:

    Just spent a day at the Birmingham Museum Collections Centre on the course “Getting your novel off the ground. What a great day that was! I learned many things but mainly …… you have to write to be a writer!! Just signed up for plot and structure – bring it on…….

    • Julia says:

      Just taken part in a workshop called Plot and Structure at Weoley Castle in Birmingham. Firstly, looking around the ruins was great and the guide was a great storyteller!
      Learned a lot in this session and I was particularly taken with the arc and where subplots fit into the main plot. This has given me the confidence to look again at my unfinished draft and really – to just start again and structure the plot. I am also a fan of beginnings, middles and ends so that made sense. I also appreciate following a character through a novel and hopefully know when the plot is “dead in the water!” If the plot hasn’t moved on – then time for a look at why not! Very good course.

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