I am a freelance writing tutor, working with writers of all ages and abilites.
Here are some comments following workshops:
UCS (University Campus, Ipswich)
“I highly recommend Vanessa’s writing sessions. My students found her style warm and engaging. Her approach is relaxed; creating confidence and encouraging experimentation.” Gill Lowe, Senior Lecturer
Claremont School, Bodiam East Sussex
“A massive thank you for a really fantastic day at Claremont. It was such success – everyone’s been buzzing about it since…” Rosie Flint, Director of Studies
Bloomsbury Institute, London: Psychologies Magazine/Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Workshop, with Jane Rusbridge
“Thank you so much for doing such a brilliant workshop…” Claire Daley, Blooomsbury.
Writing for Competitions, Brighton
“To prepare to enter The Bridport competition, I did a workshop with Vanessa as I thought someone who has written some wonderful short stories would have a lot to impart, and I wasn’t disappointed. She is a great teacher, bursting with enthusiasm and knowledge, and I found her supportive and generous, and perceptive and constructive in her feedback.” Alison Fisher (Winner of The Bridport Short Story Prize, November 2010)
Flash fiction workshop with Tania Hershman, Brighton
“Thank you so much for all your time, wisdom, encouragement and fun… I am still writing now – two more stories popped out later that night and my enthusiasm for writing in general has well and truly returned. Whichever bit of creative plumbing Tania and yourself tweaked, it worked!” Tim.
“Vanessa and Tania were brilliant, not just inspiring from their own experience but the workshop was very well facilitated with excellent pace and balance and sensitive inclusion of the whole group. It’s one thing to be good at writing, but it doesn’t always follow that good writers run effective workshops; these two make a great team. I’m not a local member so it was a three hour round trip drive, and worth it. Many thanks,” Michelle
Weekend Retreat for Women Writers, Tilton House, East Sussex
“Just wanted to send HUGE thanks to you for steering the weekend so brilliantly and inspiring us all. I’ve got new work to develop, learned how to approach my occasional ‘rabbit– in– the– headlight’ syndrome in workshops(!) and boy did I have fun too!” Jacky Taylor
Week-long short story course, Anam Cara Writers’ and Artists’ Retreat, West Cork, Ireland
“Vanessa provides all the tools a writer needs to progress… an inspirational week for me. I had been skeptical of writing exercises, but – I admit – – they worked, and Vanessa had plenty of other writing tools, too. Vanessa was an insightful, generous tutor who got down to the nitty gritty of short story writing. It plumbed the depths in a way my MA course did not and took my writing in a new direction. As a result, my writing improved, and I left with several stories and seeds of stories (that have since developed into works I am proud of).” Tracy Kelly, Kent
“Vanessa’s writing week [May 2011]…wow. Filled with wonderful ideas, challenging exercises, honest and useful critique, quirky prompts, personal insights and great laughs. Her creative methodology and honest sharing of personal experiences as a writer, was clearly aimed at making us cross boundaries, and feel that we can write. In that week, I created so many start ups to stories through writing prompts and exercises that have been developed afterwards and which I’ve shared publicly, that I’m confident this has contributed to my self-confidence as a writer. It was, combined with walking around the Beara coastline with Jack [the Anam Cara alpha dog] and taking in all its breathtaking beauty, one of the most inspirational weeks ever. And I am not exaggerating!” Melanie Veenstra (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
“I would definitely recommend Vanessa’s course to people writing short stories. She had a down-to-earth, relaxed teaching style and there was always room for humour and banter. The one to one session very helpful and inspirational also. Vanessa’s encouragement can coax the best out of writers. Fiona O’Rourke (Ireland)
(Re)Start that novel – 4 mornings at Vienna Writers’ Studio
“Because we were all such different writers at different stages in our work, Vanessa ended up giving three different workshops (simultaneously) that interacted seamlessly with the one advertised, giving individual attention to each of our projects and their needs. It all came together. We looked at characters, voice, voices, rhythm (Vanessa even catching the rhythm of texts read in German which were subsequently translated), beginnings, endings. We learnt how to give feedback that was caring and useful.
How did it end? Well, we were all happy if knackered, but in that exhilerating way of knowing where to go from here. ‘A’ found her story, and a super one it is. ‘B’ discovered another voice to enrichen her already intriguing story and unlocked more aspects of it. ‘C’ found a timeline on which to hang all the bits…Would I do it again? Yes. It was a terrific workshop” Sylvia Petter
“Thanks to Vanessa’s help my thoughts are clearer now and I have a better idea of what I want to write and how I’m going to do it. I enjoyed the workshop immensely as we all got the opportunity to share our ideas and doubts. Furthermore, we received precious feedback and advice from Vanessa and our fellow writers. Thanks a million for your encouragement and support, Vanessa, and for giving us such a wonderful time” Uli Redl