Subject Advice

Creative Writing

Contact the adviser

My aim is to help those setting up new groups and to encourage and support existing group leaders. Contact me if you encounter problems. Let me know too, when something has gone well. If you find a book, a method or a one-off exercise that works for you, it is likely to work for other groups too. So tell me about it please, so I can share your ideas with others, perhaps in a newsletter.

Marcia Humphries,

Subject Adviser for Creative Writing.

Starting a New Creative Writing Group.

1. Check with your U3A Committee that they agree to the starting of a new group. They may  be able to help with publicity for it, a venue & advise on timing to fit-in with other interest groups. They may already have a note of people who would like such a group.

2. Try to limit the group size to 10 or less. At this stage, you may be looking for members. Approach existing groups within your U3A like the book club, poetry, literature or storytelling for likely writers if this is the case.

3. The usual format for groups is that at the end of a session a topic/writing prompt is given to be written on by next time. Good not to lay down rules, especially at first, so a poem or story or an article are all acceptable. At the next session, people read out their work for comments from the others. Go easy on this until the group start to feel comfortable with each other, but say something or people feel their efforts have been wasted. Keeping numbers down allows time for everyone to read, but make clear it’s fine to come along if you haven’t been able to write this time. Try to allow time for a writing exercise during the meeting (lots of ideas in the Handbook...see point 5).

4. Download the current newsletter at the bottom of this page full of ideas, reports, competitions, news from other groups.

5. Download a copy of the Creative Writing Handbook, mentioned later on this page.

6. If you have questions about starting-up which are not answered by this page, e-mail me about them and I will try to help.

7. Let me know that you've set up a group so I can add you to the mailing list to receive future Newsletters This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Creative Writing Handbook  Creative Writing Handbook (365.87 KB)

NEW ** Creative Writing Newsletter September 2023

Creative Writing Newsletter Sept 2023 (398.64 KB)            

How to Get Published; Some Practical Advice with Alysoun Owen

Alysoun Owen, Editor of the bestselling Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, has commissioned several books on writing and publishing for Bloomsbury. She has worked in publishing and literature in the UK and overseas for over 30 years.

In this special talk exclusively for u3a members, Alysoun shares her experiences and knowledge of the publishing process by providing advice about the options available to authors. 

Your Unique Creative Writing

Writer Anne Ludlow, author of The Gentleness of Steel, outlines the basic tools needed for creative writing and how to use them, in a workshop for u3a members. 


u3a Across Scotland Poetry Group

It is a lovely example of how well Zoom can work for writers. The  members are comfortable with each other, despite the group never having met in  person. There is critique of the work read out, all given in a supportive way.


Your cookie settings
We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. These cookies allow the website to function, collect useful anonymised information about visitors and help to make your user experience better. You can choose which cookies to accept. Declining the use of cookies, may affect your experience of our website.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Google Analytics uses performance cookies to track user activity on our website. This information is anonymous and helps us to improve the website.
Google Analytics
Google YouTube
To view YouTube videos