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There are no upcoming workshops planned but watch this space… And get in touch if you’d like us to run a workshop for your group/school…


Previous workshops include:

tythyCommunity, Conflict, Refuge and Heroes and Villains at Tytherington School (2016)

For Community, Conflict, Refuge, Ailsa ran a workshop jointly with Professor Barbara Evans of the School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds. They worked with a group of 30 Year 10s, exploring what our communities are and thinking about what might lead people to leave their communities. We read poems about water, conflict, the experience of a refugee. We looked at an example of what a refugee might pack in a small rucksack and wrote about what we would take with us to remind us of ‘home’ should we ever have to leave it.

For Heroes and Villains Ailsa worked with 20 Year 7s, thinking about the characteristics of heroes and villains. We read poems about people who are heroic in ‘small’ as well as ‘big’ ways, and about villains in everyday life as well as famous ones. The children did loads of brilliant writing about their own heroes and villains.


Odes to the Outdoors at Tegg’s Nose Country Park (2014 & 2015)


‘People in and around Macclesfield are lucky to have such wonderful countryside on their doorstep.’ Why are we lucky? Why do we love the outdoors (and do we sometimes hate it)?

In this two-session workshop we thought about what ‘outdoors’ means to us and read poems that describe pleasant and unpleasant experiences of being outdoors. Then we wrote with our senses to create poems that describe our own experiences. We also did some exercises to try out different poetry techniques and find our own unique metaphors to describe the landscape. In each session we went outside for a while…


Parkroyal Community School


Ailsa ran a workshop for Year 5 pupils at Parkroyal Community School in Macclesfield as part of their Arts Week, June 2013. Parkroyal is in its Centenary Year and to mark this the school took ‘Through the Decades’ as its Arts Week theme.

In the first half of the workshop the children produced writing in various exercises and then put together poems about their own memories. In the second half they produced visual artwork to complement the poem: either a picture of an object in the poem or a piece of abstract art to represent the poem’s mood. Finally the two pieces of work were mounted alongside each other.


The children were focused and engaged for the whole morning and made work that was astonishing and varied.




Just So Festival

wording jpg

Just So Festival is an annual family arts festival. In 2013 it was held at Rode Hall, Cheshire, 16-18 August. At the outdoor ‘Wording in the Woods’ workshops young people aged 9-15 wrote poems and stories about woods and forests. They considered whether such places are magical or scary or both…. and produced imaginative writing influenced by stories they had read and inspired by their own experiences of being in the woods…