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Creative Writing courses

The next six week Creative Writing Course at the Bookseller Crow with Karen McLeod will be on Tuesday 20th February – 27th March 2024, 7.30-9.30pm.

Coming new to 2024 – Memoir Writing Course – a six week course developing and diving into your stories and ideas. Dates to be confirmed – email to register interest.

For full details read on below. If you wish to enrol or ask a question, email:


Designed to help you discover what you are interested in writing about – and in which form – on one hand the course introduces elements of craft, while equally encouraging experimentation. In this highly practical course (you will get writing from the off!) feedback, encouragement and writing tips gathered from my years as a writer are offered along the way. The instruction given is highly supportive, at times playful, and always encouraging to aid everyone in their creative pursuits.

Aside from time spent at the workshop with the group, you’ll need to write for a few hours within the week. Ahead of the course start date, students will receive a suggested reading list to inspire and invigorate. The sessions are delivered live in the events area of Bookseller Crow Bookshop with some course material and information sent via email. Places are offered on a first come first served basis and the total cost is £159.

The group is capped at twelve writers to maintain the personal bonding found within creative workshops. Classes are suitable for over 18’s, and aimed toward beginners or writers who wish to gain confidence and find motivation to write. This course is also suitable for those with a special interest in writing fiction or using autobiographical material.

Exercises will be set each week during class time as well as the explorative ‘creative assignments’ to be completed outside of class. During the six weeks these aspects will be explored:

  • ​Writing autobiography/memoir
  • How autobiography can inspire fiction
  • Building characters
  • Point of view
  • Story structure/shape
  • Using dialogue – necessary or an add-on?

In the final week there will be tips on how to keep writing and then the reading party where we celebrate your achievements so far.


Participant feedback (October 2022)

“The main thing I wanted to say was ‘thank you’. When I took your course, I had a real case of lost mojo. I found you properly inspiring and your approach to life writing really helped me reconnect. The novel I’m working on had its genesis in your class so you had a very real impact.”

“I got exactly what I wanted and needed on your course! I was looking for ways to access writing that felt all locked up inside of me and I didn’t want to ‘learn to write like everyone else’… Thank you for an absolutely fantastic course.”

“I loved the course – it knocked me off my normal pattern of thinking and got me to try new things! Also I got some really useful feedback.”

Karen McLeod
Karen McLeod is a prize-winning author (In Search Of The Missing Eyelash) and performer of comic poet Barbara Brownskirt. She holds an MA in Creative Life Writing from Goldsmiths University and is Bookseller Crow’s writer-in-residence and literary events co-ordinator. Her memoir on flying will be published in 2024.

For the last ten years she has run Creative Writing courses within the bookshop, and in lockdown delivered them online. These workshops have proved hugely popular, both creatively and for the community, linking together creatives from Crystal Palace, South-East London and beyond. She also works and tours with LGBTQ+ Literary Salon Polari (based at London’s Southbank).

Those attending the course have gone on to write successful TV dramas, radio plays, poetry, novels and performance. In 2019 Kate Davies had her debut novel published, In At The Deep End by Borough Press and in 2020 it won the Polari prize. Many writers attending the classes form strong friendships and continue to meet in their own writing groups. Karen also runs workshops for other organisations and recently has worked with The Shakespeare Archive Trust, Positive East and as a lecturer for University for the Creative Arts.

See Karen’s website

‘In Search of the Missing Eyelash’ by Karen McLeod

Karen’s debut novel ‘In Search of the Missing Eyelash’ was originally published by Jonathan Cape, won the Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Best First Novel Award. Since then she has been widely published in the milieus of fiction and non-fiction. Her memoir, ‘Lifting Off’ about flying as cabin crew and flailing will be published in 2024 by Muswell Press when they will also bring out a new edition of ‘In Search of the Missing Eyelash’.

Before you go