Holmeside Writers

Holmeside Writers is a busy and supportive creative writing group based in Sunderland, founded by Iain Rowan in February 2014, thanks to the generosity of our much-missed but wonderful hosts at Holmeside Coffee.

New members are always welcome. We have novelists and short story writers, poets, screenwriters and filmmakers and people who aren’t yet sure, but just enjoy writing. So whether you’re an experienced writer, or brand new and want to give it a try, you’ll find a supportive and encouraging community of writers with us.

We run two sessions a month. The first Wednesday of the month is our main session.  If we have any external speakers, it’s at that one. We explore themes, do writing exercises, and approach it in a reasonably structured way – and also build in time for feedback on work.  The third Weds of the month we call Second Draft, and it’s totally unstructured and freeform. We sit around and write, chat about writing, and we eat cake.

Or at least we did…until the pandemic made face to face meetings impossible. But we carried the group on via Zoom, and as of October 2021 were thrilled to get back to face to face meetings which are now (thanks to the generosity of our hosts there) held at the wonderful Ship Isis pub at Silksworth Row in Sunderland. If you’re thinking of coming along, please get in touch first.

We do lots of interesting things:  we’ve run sessions in which we’ve developed radio drama and short plays; we’ve had guest workshops from novelists, playwrights, an award-winning US writer/actor/director, a performance poet, acclaimed graphic novelists; and we ran an experimental workshop at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art with an internationally recognised contemporary fine artist.

Our members do lots of interesting things outside the group too: some have achieved their first ever publications, won places on an Arts Council funded mentoring scheme, delivered major funded writing projects, made films of stories workshopped within the group, sold film scripts, and much more.

Drop me a line and say hi or ask any questions.