What we're about

Fiction writers, hello! If you're in need of a writing group of like-minded individuals - congratulations, you've found it. Welcome.

At its heart, London Writers' Cafe gives emerging fiction writers a place to find constructive feedback on their work. Join us and learn more about finding the right agent or publishers, writing more frequently, editing your own work and becoming more confident through professional talks, critique and workshops.

We were founded in June 2006 in a lovely pub near Liverpool Street.

Our writers are at every stage of the writing process from first sentence to seeking an agent so it doesn't matter if you've been writing for years, or just a few months, we're here for everyone and we'd love to meet you. All membership requests are reviewed before approval so please answer the questions we've asked in a sentence or two.

Lastly, we don't believe in groups where everyone is forced to contribute/offer feedback *shudder* so we'll never pressure anyone to read before they're ready. Read more from Lisa on what makes a quality writing group (http://www.publishingtalk.eu/writing/thinking-of-joining-a-writing-group-ask-yourself-these-8-questions-first/).

Group feedback and writing advice sessions

In our regular writing workshops, members volunteer to read up to 3,500 words in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Reading spaces are 30 minutes long; time enough to read and hear feedback from the group. Feedback is moderated so it's practical, constructive and encouraging - we're not in the business of killing dreams but we are here to help each writer improve. We also have sessions of writing together where pieces are not shared and it's all about getting words on the page.

Talks, workshops & socials with publishing professionals

In addition to creative writing critiques and writing sessions, we host an array of professional seminars and technical writing workshops on elements of craft i.e. charchaterisation, pacing, plot, tension and much more that are taught by literary agents, editors, book doctors, script writers and publishers.

We're also know for our memorable social events and parties.

We hope to meet you very soon and happy writing!

Lisa & Liz

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Socialise with us

Tweets about writing, publishing and competitions: https://twitter.com/LDNwriterscafe

The place to find links to competitions, writing opportunities and invitations to submit on our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ldnwriterscafe/

Fun facts, advice articles and links on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/londonwriterscafe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/londonwriterscafe/ (https://www.instagram.com/londonwriterscafe/?hl=en)

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A note about advertising and promotional requests:

If you'd like to promote a competition, paid writing job or publishing opportunity to our writers, join our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ldnwriterscafe/) and post a link directly with our members and friends. NOTE: All posts are reviewed by Lisa on their suitability for our writers - and many are rejected because they don't match our needs - but posts we love are shared on with delight. Thank you.

Upcoming events (5)

Creative Writing Workshop (with Liz)

Online event

£7.50

Writers improve with quality peer feedback and exposure to a wide range of styles and genres. Join us to hear what other members are working on, get notes on your own work-in-progress (when you’re ready) or just be there to see how we work (it’s fine to come along and listen). Workshop sessions are open to writers of all forms of fiction - novels, short stories, scripts etc. Sessions are friendly and the format is simple; four writers volunteer to read their work for applause, discussion and feedback from the group. Make a comment below if you'd like to read at this meeting. Slots are assigned by first ask, first served. Only FOUR places per meeting. Please be sure to RSVP before requesting a reading spot. READERS PLEASE UPLOAD YOUR PIECE TO OUR GOOGLE DRIVE IN ADVANCE OF THE SESSION: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1CsgwS93LiIIUsalDkJmhLDVTfYu0yp1U?usp=sharing Please make the file name your name, and if you're a reserve reader, put Reserve1 or 2 as the file name. Thanks : ) ****A reading slot is up to 2,500 words, roughly 10-15 minutes of reading (practice reading aloud beforehand to make sure your piece fills the time slot) and then 10-15 minutes spent on feedback from the group. Feedback is moderated and is always constructive and respectful. PLEASE NOTE: Booking a reading slot but failing to show up will mean removal from the group. After you RSVP you'll see a link in the event location box. Just click on this at the time and date of the workshop. Zoom will then automatically connect your computer to the session. If you don't have the Zoom app, just copy and paste the link into your browser. Costs: £7.50, please follow the steps to pay via PayPal when you RSVP. Refunds will only be provided if the meetup is cancelled by admin, no exceptions. Also, we cannot accept cash payment on the door. Download the Meetup app to manage your RSVPs on the go: http://www.meetup.com/meetup_api/apps/ Instructions on how to change your RSVP: http://help.meetup.com/customer/portal/articles/615554 For help with PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/helpcenter/helphub/home/ Any questions, please post a comment below and an organiser will respond.

Don't Give Up: The long road to publication with Liz and Lisa

Online event

£15.00

***DATE CHANGED*** It's a fact that there are now so many ways new writing and writers are discovered that it can be daunting to decide on the best path for publishing your work. Over the many years of organising events for writers and hosting guest talks from the UK's best agents, publishers, authors and book doctors, we've learned so much about how the industry works and witnessed the ever increasing menu of opportunities for writers to see their book published then and now. We want to share what we've learned and help you see the best way forward for you and your writing. In this session, we will be discussing Liz's long and winding road to the publication of her first novel for children, and I'll be there to ask her questions and add my hard-won insider knowledge of the publishing process along the way. Liz's path is a great example of a writer who faced many ups and downs but she persevered and never gave up when others would have. Her decisions along the way may surprise you - like paying for an editorial critique at the right time, or finding and parting ways with her agent - but I think they reveal so much about today's paths to publishing and I know you'll be cheered as we hear exactly how she reached her goal. We want this session to give you new hope, ideas and inspiration in your approach to your own writing career, and show you that there's more than one way to publish in this day and age. If you're only submitting to agents and praying they'll find you a deal, you're lagging; there's so much more you can be doing to see your book make it into readers' hearts and minds. Intrigued? You should be... We're braced and ready to take your questions (we'll be as candid as Jonathan Pie on truth serum) so do come along and ask us anything about getting your novel or short stories published. We are here to help. Costs: £15.00 per session. Follow the steps to pay via PayPal when you RSVP and refunds will only be offered if the meetup is cancelled. After you RSVP you'll see a link in the event location box. About us: Elizabeth C. Waight is a Londoner currently battling for sofa space with her grumpy cat Ziggy. Her jobs have ranged from door-to-door saleswoman to shark chaser, but her passion has always been for telling stories, and her photojournalism regularly blends fact with folklore. Liz has been a member of London Writers' Cafe since 2013 and Co-Organiser of events since 2015. Her chilling children's mystery for 9-12yr olds, The Unfortunate Archibald Marble, was published by boutique US publisher, Bollweevil Press in November 2020. Follow Liz on Twitter @ElizabethWaight Lisa Goll has been Chair of London Writers' Cafe since 2010 and has worked in publishing, mostly in books, but also in news media, since 2004. Her current role is at Bloomsbury Publishing in events & partnerships. Beyond Bloomsbury and London Writers' Cafe, Lisa teaches short courses about the publishing process and audience development for the City Literary Institute (CityLit) in London. She is yet unpublished but reads avidly and is a qualified writing coach. Follow her @LisasShare on Twitter.

Creative Writing Workshop (with Lisa)

Online event

£7.50

Hello, writers! I'm coming back to doing writing feedback sessions after leaving them to Liz for the past few months. In this brave new world of online creative writing workshops, I'll be offering four reading slots to those who want input on their work-in-progress but others are welcome to come along to listen and give feedback as always. Part of what I love about our face-to-face sessions is hearing the work fresh, and for the first time, when it is read aloud by the writer, so I'll be asking all the four readers to share their writing with us on screen via the BlueJeans platform that I'll be using to host these sessions. I will guide anyone reading as to how to share their screen - it's super easy - but I will need anyone reading to login ten minutes before the event begins so we can check it all works. Others attending will need to make notes as the piece is read aloud and we will see how we go with giving feedback. It might not work, I admit, because normally everyone would have a printed version to follow, but we can only try this way and see what happens. Hope to see you there! Best, Lisa *NOTE* You do not need to email your piece to me in advance. That's something Liz is doing in her sessions but I'm not. ****A reading slot is roughly 15-20 minutes of reading and then 5-10 minutes spent on feedback from the group. Feedback will be moderated by me so it's constructive and respectful. Please keep pieces to 3,500 words max. Make a comment below if you'd like to read at this meeting and I'll confirm readers the day before the event. Slots are assigned on a first ask, first served basis. Please book and pay for this event before requesting a reading spot. After you RSVP you'll see a link in the event location box. Just click on this at the time and date of the workshop. Costs: £7.50, please follow the steps to pay via PayPal when you RSVP. Refunds will only be provided if the meetup is cancelled by admin, no exceptions. Download the Meetup app to manage your RSVPs on the go: http://www.meetup.com/meetup_api/apps/ Instructions on how to change your RSVP: http://help.meetup.com/customer/portal/articles/615554 For help with PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/helpcenter/helphub/home/

Writing as a form of advocacy with Yvonne Battle-Felton

Online event

£20.00

In these times of growing political upheaval and social change, how can we use writing as a form of advocacy and write stories, topics, and characters that keep our readers wanting more? Through discussion, reflection, and practical writing exercises, like character interviews and deconstructing stereotypes, Yvonne Battle-Felton will help you to identify topics, places and characters you want to write more about. In this workshop, Yvonne will guide us to explore how your writing can be a form of advocacy, and develop techniques to bring complex characters to life. If you're writing a novel or stories that draw on themes of social change, issues of class and justice, or you just want to write a story that says something meaningful about the state of things, this session is for you! Yvonne Battle-Felton's writing has been published in literary journals and anthologies. Her novel, Remembered, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (2019) and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize (2020). Winner of a Northern Writers Award in fiction (2017), Yvonne was shortlisted for the Words and Women Competition (2017), the Sunderland University Waterstones SunStory Award in 2018, and awarded a Society of Author’s Foundation Grant for Remembered in 2018. She was commended for children’s writing in the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize (2017) and has three titles with Penguin Random House. Yvonne has a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is a 2019 British Library Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow. Co-host of an award-winning open mic night, and host of numerous storytelling events, Yvonne’s advocacy is through stories. She aims to develop communities through stories and to support writers in writing stories that show the world as it is and as it could be—and bring those stories to life. www.yvonnebattle-felton.com @YBattleFelton Costs: £20.00 per session. Follow the steps to pay via PayPal when you RSVP and refunds will only be offered if the meetup is cancelled. Location: After you RSVP you'll see a link in the event location box. Simply click that link at the time and date of the session to enter the event and you'll be connected to our virtual room for this workshop. If you don't have the Zoom app you may need to cut and paste the meeting link into your browser. Please log on a wee bit in advance. I won't be able to help with any technical issues once the session has started. Many thanks. Download the Meetup app to manage your RSVPs on the go: http://www.meetup.com/meetup_api/apps/ and PLEASE DO CHANGE YOUR RSVP BY CLICKING THE CROSS IF YOU FIND YOU CAN NO LONGER ATTEND ONCE BOOKED. Many thanks : )

Past events (533)

Creative Writing Workshop (with Lisa)

Online event

£7.50

Photos (121)

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