Writing Workshops

ONLINE: Building Believable Worlds

Sunday 27 September, 2pm British Summer Time
Tickets: #WriteMentor Online Writing Conference
Whether you write fantasy, sci fi, historical or even contemporary fiction, it’s crucial you immerse your readers in the world your characters inhabit. But where do you even start? This workshop offers tips, tricks and tools to build a believable world that enhances your story, challenges your characters and transports your reader. We’ll focus on worldbuilding for MG and YA, but this will also be relevant if you’re writing for adults.

EDINBURGH, UK: #WriteMentor Writing Weekend

29 February and March 1, 2020
Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre
Tickets: #WriteMentor Writing Weekend
Join me, and Executive Editor at Scholastic, Genevieve Herr, for a wonderful weekend of workshops and 1-2-1 sessions for MG and YA writers. (chose one or two or come to all of them!).

These workshops are designed to be most useful for writers who are working towards getting their MG or YA novel published. You might be just starting a first draft, revising a manuscript, or getting ready to query agents. Or you could have already had some experience querying and want to sharpen up your story and submissions package to try again. Perhaps you have an agent, and want to put your best foot forward as you embark on a new project. Whatever stage you’re at, you’ll be motivated to extend and deepen your knowledge while adding new resources to your writer’s toolkit.

Workshops will be kept to a small number of attendees to ensure a supportive environment with lots of time for questions. Though we’ll be working hard, the vibe will be relaxed, fun and inclusive for all identities.

The workshop fee includes tea, coffee, snacks, and a fully catered lunch. Workshop fees can be paid in installments to spread them out over time. There will be two 50% fee-reduction places for writers from underrepresented groups who wish to attend the whole weekend, as well as a very limited number of full scholarships available across all the UK-wide #WriteMentor Writing Weekends (more info on how to apply for discounted places or full scholarships here).


Saturday 29 February: 9:00-17:00

Morning Workshop:
Heart of the story – Develop ideas your readers will love

Lunch (included)

Afternoon workshop:
Unforgettable characters – Build a cast your readers will want to follow

Afternoon 1-2-1s:
Genevieve Herr, Executive Editor at Scholastic UK

Genevieve’s role as Executive Editor at Scholastic involves commissioning fiction for children across all ages and genres, with a particular interest in YA fiction and middle grade. Her authors have been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the Waterstones Prize, the Branford Boase Award and the YA Book Prize.

Please note that there is a strict limit of ten 1-2-1 sessions available. If you’d like a 1-2-1 with Genevieve, you’ll need to indicate how you want to use it when you sign up. You can either:

  • use the time to chat about your work/writing in general
  • discuss specific craft areas
  • practice your pitching
  • send in 2 pages (double-spaced, size 12 font) of your work to discuss

Sunday 1 March: 9:00-17:00

Morning Workshop:
First pages – Craft an irresistible start

Lunch (included)

Afternoon workshop:
Road to (re)publication – Pitches, queries and maintaining motivation

Why #WriteMentor Weekend Workshops?

WriteMentor Writing Weekends are the brainchild of Stuart White, founder of the #WriteMentor free mentoring programme for aspiring childrens’ and YA writers. In Stuart’s words:

We know that sometimes a number of factors prevent writers from traveling very far to take part in creative writing courses/workshops. Health, mobility, finance and family responsibilities are all high on that list. I know getting to London where so many courses/workshops are located is difficult for me personally, due to health/family and also work responsibilities. So, we are bringing our workshops to you. Whole weekends, packed with 4 workshops, time for free writing, sharing work, practicing your pitching, and an expert workshop leader who will be on hand to guide you through the weekend. No need to buy expensive train tickets (hopefully) or book accommodation. You can have breakfast and dinner at home, and we’ll provide you with a delicious lunch (I promise I won’t cook it!). I hope you’ll agree that these writing weekends will provide you with great value, with less travel and time away from home/the family.

Why take one of my workshops?

I’m an internationally published author of YA and MG fiction. My YA fantasy novel, the first in the Shadowscent duology, is out from Scholastic in the UK, US and Australia in 2019 and is set to be translated into eight languages, while my short stories for children and teens have been published in print anthologies (Penguin) and taught in schools. I’m a Clarion Writers’ Workshop (University of California) graduate, a 2016 Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award winner, and was one of the SCBWI UK and Europe’s 2018 Undiscovered Voices. I’m represented by super-agent Josh Adams of US-based Adams Literary, and my UK agent is Caroline Walsh at David Higham Associates.

A self-confessed nerd, I hold degrees in archaeology and religious history and a PhD in the sociology of infectious diseases. This varied academic background led me to the things I love to do most: writing and helping others with their writing. Since 2012, I’ve been working all over the world designing and delivering award-winning university and creative writing workshops. I was the founder and editor of the award-winning Dangerous Women Project, which championed the voices of many previously unpublished writers who have now gone onto publication. I also serve regularly as a writing mentor, and volunteer my time running professional development events for agented and published members of SCBWI Scotland.

What people say about my workshops

Peta’s workshop, with its insights and practical tips for higher productivity transformed both my attitude to my writing and the amount I was able to write. Strongly recommended for any writer, even those who are happy with their current output.

Sheila Averbuch, agented writer and former SCBWI Scotland coordinator

Peta’s Time To Write workshop encouraged me to create writing time in my busy schedule, and, more importantly, gave me the confidence to protect it from other demands on my time. Peta also shared inspired techniques to make the best use of these precious hours – techniques which I’ve been using successfully ever since.

Justin Davies, MG Author of Help! I Smell a Monster and others

That was one of the most informative events on professional development I’ve ever been on. Peta exudes credibility and supportiveness as she leads you through well researched advice and practical solutions.

Louise Kelly, agented writer and former SCBWI Scotland coordinator

To register for either #WOW-CON or #WriteMentor Writing Weekend Workshops, please visit the #WriteMentor website.

Still have questions?

Feel free to get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.