Author: invigorwriters

Join the Club!

Jan and Phil are delighted to offer a new after school club for keen writers, aged 9-12. The Writing Club will run on Tuesdays throughout the academic year in an attic room in the creative heart of Lyme Regis, the Town Mill. The first series starts on October 31st (spooky!).


Invigorwrite workshops are tried and tested with school children from all over the Jurassic Coast area, and we can’t wait to get started on this new creative endeavour with like-minded young people. Please click on this link for more information including details of how to book: Young Writers’ Soc full final



Short Cuts

Dispatches from the Invigorwrite team:

Phil Whitehead has enjoyed a busy year in between our many schools’ workshops, travelling all over the world to lend his creative writing and educational expertise in schools in Venezuela, Spain, France and India. Phil is fast becoming a ‘go to’ for the international education community, to help teachers and leaders research and change their creative practice. His vast experience as a headteacher, OFSTED inspector, university lecturer/teaching fellow, poet, author and parent (!) is an invaluable resource for teachers and students – not to mention the Invigorwrite team.

In amongst all the jetsetting and jetlag, Phil has also found time to pen some new poetry and is close to completing his memoir: a poignant and personal work, which has a gripping narrative. Watch this space …

Away from workshops, Jan Lane has enjoyed a fruitful time over the past year. One of her short stories was long listed for the Bath Short Story Award, and her essays on short story have been published on Thresholds, the international short story forum. She examines tragedy in Rose Tremain’s short stories here, and her latest piece looks at an intriguing magic realism story by Marcel Aymé. That essay will be published in October 2017.

June 24th saw this year’s National Flash Fiction Day, and Jan’s short piece ‘La Grande Boucle’ was published as part of the Flash Flood journal. You can read it here.

Jan was also invited to be a Reader for the prestigious Notting Hill Editions 2017 Essay Prize at the start of year. After longlisting a selection of essays, this culminated in her attending a wonderful prize-giving event at the University Women’s Club in Mayfair in June (pictured below).

This autumn sees Jan wrestling with her novel rewrite as well as putting together an ambitious pitch for a narrative non-fiction book.

All this alongside Jan and Phil’s exciting plans for workshops in and out of schools, for children and adults alike. More on this in future posts … exciting times ahead.

A new writing year

We’re very excited to be working with so many schools in 2016.

January sees the continuation of our series of creative writing workshops with five schools from the Honiton Learning Community. Our most recent session saw children writing fabulous Haiku at the wonderful Thelma Hulbert Gallery, taking inspiration from the new exhibition. They really took to the form and we look forward to sharing some of their words on this blog. We also tasked the students with writing a short story, the title of which was taken from their favourite piece of artwork. What an exciting and varied body of work they produced! Look out for pictures from this vibrant and productive session, coming soon.

We’re also looking forward to starting a new series of workshops with the Acorn Multi-Academy Trust. Three schools are taking part, and with venues such as Lyme Regis beachfront, local cafés and an art gallery lined up we’re sure it will be a fun-filled and productive few months.

There are plenty of opportunities for young writers in the first quarter of 2016: The BBC Radio Two 500 Words story competition launches in January. The closing date is February 25th so plenty of time to write, edit and polish those stories! INVIGORWRITE’s Phil Whitehead has been asked to be one of the judges again this year, so we’ll be following the competition with great interest.

In addition, young poets should look no further than the Young Poets Network for details of a competition asking for poems about the Battle of Agincourt.

So much going on already, two weeks into the new year. We’ll be back soon with more news of half term workshops in our local area, and updates on the schools’ progress.

Keep Writing!


Jurassic Coast creative success

No doubt Year 6 teachers are heaving a sigh of relief as SATs week draws to a close. We hope our series of Creative Writing Workshops – working with students from nine different schools across the Jurassic Coast Teaching Alliance – has given them a boost to take into their final weeks of primary school life, not to mention feeding into their Portfolios and beyond. Our work with the Honiton Learning Community is ongoing, with short story workshops to come on Lyme Regis beach, and we’re looking forward to working with new groups in the autumn term, with a whole new wave of inspiring pupils.

In the meantime keep checking this blog to hear readings of stories & poems from all of our participating students, and some exciting performance poetry, which formed part of a current installation at the Drop Me a Line exhibition at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton.

BBC 500 words judging

I’m sure you all know about this brilliant writing competition set up by Chris Evans and the BBC. We know that some of our writers have submitted entries.

Phil Whitehead has been asked to judge a selection of the entries – none from this region! It’s been a fascinating experience with stories marked out of 10 on: originality, plot, language, characterisation and enjoyment. Not sure he has read any that look like winners so far – or any that match the best of our writers!

The competition has closed for this year with winners announced at the end of May. Shouldn’t stop you writing though and there’s always next year.

Quick as… for Honiton Learning Community Schools

INVIGORWRITE has been commissioned to work with 19 Y5 and Y6 children from schools in the Honiton Learning Community between March and June 2015.

It was great to start this course of six sessions with a teachers’ meeting at Littletown Primary Academy. We were able to talk through with teachers some of the ideas and activities we were planning to present to kids in the sessions and even get the teachers writing with their 3 WORD WEDNESDAYS!

Another innovation for this course is the opportunity to work from different inspirational venues. We are based for 4 of the sessions at the wonderful Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton – using the exhibitions as starting points and by our final session using the writers’  work as a contribution to the exhibition. We are also working from The Boston Tea Party Cafe in Honiton and the Langmoor Room overlooking the beach in Lyme Regis.

Important outcomes of the course will be the development of a personal writing journal, filled with ideas and first draft pieces, and the completion of a portfolio of work including flash fiction, short stories and poems created by the young writers.

Teachers are interested to see what impact this small scale intervention has on not just the quality and quantity of writing produced but also aspects such as motivation and interest, excitement and enjoyment, and general attitude to writing. We want participants to have the opportunity to behave like writers and to see themselves as young writers.

Watch this space for photos and examples of writing.

Year 6 students flourish

This course has now finished with some great results – we are in the process of compiling stories, poems and audio readings of the children’s work.

Our new series of creative writing workshops for Year 6 students are going from strength to strength, with 18 pupils from four local schools coming together once a month in a unique beachfront location.

This particular course enables students to release their creativity by encouraging them to develop a writing habit, and giving them the tools to shape and craft their writing. Workshops in journal-keeping, flash fiction, poetry and the short story give them access to a variety of creative writing mediums, which are explored freely outside of the classroom environment, with the added benefit of sharing ideas with peers from other schools.

At the end of the course students will have a body of work across all the mediums, as well as audio files to share online. They will have renewed confidence to take their creative writing skills into KS3 and beyond.