Magical transformation for writers: an online group course for creative writers led by Jill Dawson

Where? Online – via Zoom in a group

When?  Friday afternoon 2-4pm, once a month, May to December 2023, seven exclusive zoom webinars, including one guest writer and a live question- and-answer submissions session with an agent. Plus, one unique ‘Tarot for writers’ session to really add a dose of magic, with Litwitchure, the world’s first Literary Tarot Cabaret.

Who is it for? Anyone who writes, either memoir poetry or fiction and needs an uplift, or to deepen their writing voice.

How much?   £1497 for the course.

Apply by emailing here.

Described by Louise Doughty as ‘Basically the best creative writing tutor in the world’ , Jill Dawson is a multi-award-winning novelist, poet and writing mentor.  She has taught on all the major writing courses (UEA, Faber Academy, Cambridge and Birkbeck MAs, the Arvon Foundation) but now you can only find her here, doing what she loves best: inspiring and challenging writers to grow.  Her latest novel, about witches in the Cambridgeshire Fens, is The Bewitching, nominated for two major prizes, described by Sadie Jones as ‘breathtaking’ and Paula Hawkins as ‘brilliant’.

Jill Dawson – founder of Gold Dust

A word from Jill: Writers want to visit new places in their work. We hope to surprise ourselves, and long for writing moments where we feel transported, the novel flows with ease and seems to write itself. While these magical times might be rare, there are playful techniques that all writers can use to make them happen.

Do you long to find a voice to express those difficult, long-hidden, inchoate things you want to say?  Do you wish writing was more central to your life, and felt easier, more productive – dare I say, even joyous, magical and nourishing at times?  Do you want to think of yourself as a writer, as a creative person, and don’t know how to bring this part of yourself to the fore?  Some ‘magic’ might be needed to remind you of the ways you loved writing as a child, when it was all play, without the pressure. Paradoxically, playing, imagining, and enjoying our writing again can unlock writers’ block and elevate our writing to the next level, helping us grow in confidence and commitment.

The course will draw on nature, magic, seasons, stories, elements, folklore, dreamwork, reading and rituals, memory and desire to explore our writing desires and to stretch ourselves to develop our best, most powerful writing voices. Jill Dawson will lead four generative Friday webinars, designed to use guided visualisation and discussion to find your best writing. In between the webinars you will have a writing group to inspire you, plus occasional writing prompts and inspirations from Jill. The webinars include a session with a professional literary agent, a guest writer, and an extraordinary ‘Tarot for writers’ session from Litwitchure (a modern, secular tarot helping writers deepen their characters and solve dilemmas – not fortune telling!).

Dates, webinars:

1. Friday, 2-4pm May 19th 2023 Beltane – the magic of beginnings, fire. We will be looking at how to start, how to really perk up the energy of our novels, how to bring movement and ‘aliveness’ into our work, and how to develop a good writing practice.

2. Friday, 2-4pm June 23rd 2023 The Summer Solstice (celebrated on 21st June in the Northern hemisphere). We will look at the balance of light and dark in our work. Are we being brave enough? Where are the unconscious moments, the liminal ones in our writing? Is there something special that we’re avoiding or blocking?

3. Friday 2-4pm. July 21st 2023 (Guest) Going deeper.  How can myths and folklore help us? What classic mythical journey does our character go on? Which voices from stories or the past can aid us?

4Friday 2-4pm September 22nd 2023 Agent.  Am I ready to be a published professional author or are their other routes to success? Your chance to put your questions to a top literary agent.

5. Friday 2-4pm October 27th 2023 Samhain – also known as Halloween – takes place on 31st October. The divide between the living world and the Otherworld is said to be at its weakest. Is there a death in your novel? Are you writing honestly and with originality about death or drawing on the usual cliches? Can you be braver – as Irvin Yalom memorably expressed it, ‘staring at the sun’ without being dazzled or blinded?

6. Friday 2-4pm November 24th 2023 (Guest Fiona or Jen from Litwitchure) lead an amazing, unique session helping you to find the deepest truth about your protagonist, using the Tarot

7. Friday 2-4pm December 15th 2023  Winter Solstice usually occurs on 21st December, designating the shortest day of the year. Are you celebrating your achievements? What about renewal, birth, sex, new starts – all huge themes in literature.  How are you tackling these? How are you keeping on track with your work in progress and what do you need to bring this creative project to fruition?

How to apply:  Magical Transformation for Writers is a selective course.  Please contact and send a writing sample of up to 5,000 words.

Full payment of £1497 secures your place – please note these are limited to ensure an intimate, well-functioning group.

‘Jill Dawson is our most consummate historical novelist.  She crafts magic out of darkness and light.’ Philip Hoare, author of Albert and the Whale.