Workshops and Courses

Workshops & Courses

I offer workshops in novel and short story writing. Details of my upcoming workshops can be found below, or you can contact me to join my mailing list for advance notice of future sessions.

One Day & Half Day Courses

Writing Wonderful Dialogue – 11th November, 10am-1pm, Birmingham

Dialogue is a central part of any novel, and many short stories, but many writers struggle to get to grips with the rhythms, vocabulary and feel of real speech. This workshop will focus on finding what’s unique in each character’s voice, and look at niggly questions of punctuation, laying out dialogue, and what dialogue tags to use.

The Dreaded Synopsis – 11th November, 2pm-5pm, Birmingham

Writing a synopsis fills many writers with dread, but there is no need to be afraid. This workshop will focus on how to go about writing a synopsis – proving that you really can boil 100,000 words down into a single page – and will also look at ways make your synopsis a valuable creative tool to help you edit, revise and focus your novel.

Writing Wonderful Dialogue and The Dreaded Synopsis are £20 each, or £36 if you book both together. Download the booking form here. 






Download the retreats brochure           Download the retreats booking form

I also offer one off workshops for creative writing groups and classes on subjects including plot, character, setting, and editing & revising. If you would like to arrange a tailored workshop for your writing group please contact me.

Comments from past students

“The event was tailored to the needs of the group, well structured and expertly delivered. We managed to cover a great deal in the time and there were a few light bulb moments for all of us. Alison is very engaging as a tutor and brought the theory to life with some fairy-tale examples that everyone could relate to. However, I will never look at Snow White the same again! Thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you.”

“Alison’s courses are friendly, supportive, and constructive. The exercises were great… highly recommended!”

“Alison’s courses encourage creativity and build confidence. These skills continue long after the course is complete. An excellent start for any writer.’

About Alison – the tutor

I am a qualified teacher, specialising in teaching adults. I’ve been teaching creative writing since 2009, and have taught community groups, one-off workshops, adult education courses, and a University of Worcester undergraduate creative writing module. I have also led workshops for the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe.

I am a published novelist, novella writer, and short story writer, and a former winner of the Romantic Novelists’ Association Elizabeth Goudge Trophy. I completed a BA (Hons) degree in Creative Writing with the University of Birmingham in 2008. In addition to the Romantic Novelists’ Association, I am also a member of the Society of Authors.

12 thoughts on “Workshops and Courses

    Elizabeth Smith said:
    October 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    When you say “any stage” – does, I have had the idea for 2 years, recently attended a Guardian Masterclass with Lucy Coats (to find out the rules), and have the first para pretty much cracked count, please? If so I’ll definitely book a place. Thanks Lizzie


      Alison May responded:
      October 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm


      That sounds absolutely fine. There will probably be people on the course who are further down the writing path than you, but so long as you’ve got a strong idea there’ll be plenty that you should find useful.

      Alison x


    […] Workshops and Courses […]


    […] And now the workshop: Romantic novelist, Alison May, is running a ‘Developing Your Novel’ workshop on Sunday 15th November at The Hive in Worcester. It costs a reasonable £40 which includes lunch and refreshments. It is aimed at people who already have a novel-in-progress (at any stage). It will include intensive sessions on plot structure and characterisation, and will also look at skills such as writing a synopsis and editing and revising your novel. Full details on Alison’s website. […]


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    […] writer and you’d like help finding your personal right way to write a novel, then take a look here for details of upcoming courses. There are still places on the Spring Writing Retreat where you […]


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