Workshops – Creative Writing

Write for Growth

Write for Growth Workshops are 3-hour workshops for anyone wanting to explore the potential of writing for themselves. Activities are designed to stimulate creativity and enhance well-being. Each workshop takes a different theme, making it accessible for the first-timer and fresh for the regular returner.

No previous experience is needed, just a desire to write and discover where words might take you. We enjoy discussing our responses to the activities, but you do not have to share what you have written unless you wish.

Write for Growth has been based at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden since it began in 2014, where it runs every other month on a Saturday morning, 10am-1pm.

The atmosphere of Gladstone’s is inspirational in itself. It also offers great dining facilities for our mid-morning coffee break. Participants often choose to stay on to enjoy lunch together there afterwards as well.

Upcoming Write for Growth events are listed below.

Places are limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

Cost is £25 per workshop.

To book, call 07787 116603 or e-mail  or follow the Eventbrite links for each event.

Booking is confirmed by payment by at least one week before. No refund for cancellation at less than 7 days’ notice unless the place can be filled.

Write for Growth can and has been run at other locations. Please get in touch if you have a group or venue that you would like to host such an event, and we will arrange to come to you. Write for Growth is currently run at Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, CH5 3DF.

On: Saturday 14th September, 10am-1pm

Theme: The Four Temperaments

The concept of four underlying elements of personality – sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic and melancholic – goes back to the Ancients, and has influenced psychological theory in our own time. 

In this workshop, we will explore how we relate to these personality types, and to what extent who we are is how we write.

Book with Eventbrite here

On: Saturday 23rd November, 10am-1pm

Theme: Island Views

Islands can excite our imagination: self-contained and boundaried by the sea, they are places where different ways of being may apply. 

In this workshop, we will venture into these separate worlds and write about what we find.

Book with Eventbrite here 

From Write for Growth Participants..

Two Special Autumn Workshops at Chester Cathedral

As Chester Cathedral's Poet-in-Residence from August 2019, I'm delighted to invite you to two writing workshops hosted at the Cathedral.

Write for Growth at Chester Cathedral: From Stone to Story

On: Saturday, 5th October from 10am-1pm in the Library at Chester Cathedral

A building becomes imprinted with the lives of those who have spent time within its walls: have contributed to its creation or care; are commemorated or come to celebrate, worship, remember or reflect; whose personal events, experiences and encounters become linked to its surroundings. 

At this special Write for Growth we will explore how this long-standing landmark of worship and sanctuary intersects with human stories past and present - including our own.  

Cost: £20 

Book with Eventbrite here  or via Chester Cathedral Box Office on 01244-500959 

Poetry Workshop at Chester Cathedral: Writing Spaces

On: Saturday, 16th November from 10.30am-1pm in the Library at Chester Cathedral.

Co-led by Cathedral Poets-in-Residence Julia McGuinness (Chester) and Andrew Rudd (Manchester)

A building; a page; a period of time: Each can become a space rich with creative possibilities. In this workshop we will explore spaces around us and put words on the page in front of us, venturing into that poetic territory between ‘the known world and the gravitational pull of what lies beyond knowing.’ 

Whatever your experience in writing poetry, you are invited to come and enjoy shaping something new in a morning of writing in this unique space of sanctuary at the City’s centre.

Cost £15 

Book with Eventbrite here or via Chester Cathedral Box Office on 01244-500959

WAY WITH WORDS  - A Journalling Group


'The unexamined life is not worth living,' asserted the philosopher Socrates. Journalling is one way of taking time for such reflection to enrich our daily living.

Way With Words is a monthly group for those wanting to join others for encouragement, resources and experience in using journalling to foster personal development. It is a group that offers mutual support in sustaining well-being. It is not a formal therapy group or a substitute for one-to-one counselling.

We explore a variety of approaches to journalling through different topics and issues. We also look at the practical aspects of journal-keeping. Writing activities have a more  therapeutic focus than in a Write for Growth workshop. There is also more more space given for discussion and feedback. Your personal writing still remains as confidential as you wish.

Way With Words meets at the Quaker Meeting House, Chester CH1 3LF. - just off Frodsham Street, from 7-9pm on every second Thursday of the month.

Numbers are limited to 8. The current group has 6 members.

Cost is £20 per session (£70 for four booked together). This includes refreshments during our evening.

To find out more or enquire about joining, call 07787 116603 or e-mail

If interest exceeds the number of places currently available, a new group can be set up, so get in touch if you feel a journaling group could be helpful to you.

I can also run a short course of six 2-hour sessions over several weeks, or as day workshops, to help get people started in journalling for themselves. If you have a group that would like to do this, please make contact and we will arrange a course to suit your needs.

From Way With Words Members...


Pathways Through the Page - CPD for Health Professionals

Pathways Through the Page is a Full Day Workshop designed to support counsellors and other health professionals seeking to develop therapeutic writing in their work with others and for their own benefit. It is suitable for those who are new to the practice, and provides further resources and encouragement too those for whom the territory is more familiar.

Our next date is Saturday, October 19th, from 10am-4pm at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden.

We will look at how therapeutic writing works, explore a range of approaches and look at practical tips for facilitating writing that will help, not harm, the writer. We try out different writing exercises, and discuss the process with no pressure to share the content.

CPD Certificates will be issued.

Cost is £80 (lunch not included though available at Gladstone's)

Early Bird booking is £65 booked before September 19th.

To book, call 07787 or e-mail

  • About Julia


    From writing stories for my younger brother, to penning poems for the School Magazine and filling a growing pile of personal journals, the written word has always been part of my life’s journey.

    I started out as an English Teacher and subsequently retrained as a Counsellor. I have counselled in a GP Surgery and worked with various Employee Assistance Schemes and Charitable Trusts alongside seeing private clients.

    Although I have done some freelance journalism and written four non-fiction books, creative writing has become my main focus in recent years.

    My poems have appeared online on sites including Amaryllis, Silver Birch Press, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Riggwelter and Ink,Sweat and Tears. I have been published in Curlew and Bucks Mill Magazine, and anthologised in Our Hearts Still Sing. My first poetry collection, Chester City Walls, came out in 2015.

    Read more about Julia
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