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WORKSHOPS

Yaffle workshops are run by Mark and Gill Connors, successful, published writers and experienced workshops facilitators. From prompts to get a poem started, help with editing, or advice about submitting your work, to groups to keep you going while you finish that novel, we're sure to have something to fit your needs.

Email us at:yafflesnest@gmail.com for information. 

SUNDAY MORNING WORDSHIP

WORDSHIP is a unique poetry workshop. Each week we take a word, discuss it, look at its etymology and its use in 3 poems. Then, we send you off for half an hour to write your response. When you come back, you can share what you've written, or not, there's no pressure at all. It's a very relaxed and laid-back way to spend a couple of hours.

We are currently working on our first poetry workshop book which will feature prompts and poems written during our Wordship sessions. 'Wordship' will be published in 2023.

These sessions take place on Zoom and on two days:

Wednesday Morning Wordship is EVERY week 10am -- 12 noon
Sunday Morning Wordship is EVERY OTHER week 10am --12 noon
Both sessions are £10.00 and can be paid per session or in blocks of 4.

"I signed up for my first Friday workshop at the start of the pandemic. They gave me something to look forward to and I’ve been doing them ever since. The prompt poems are always good choices but I don’t always write from them. But joining the group every week has kept me writing. Highly recommend them. I’ve had poems accepted for publication from these lovely workshops." Rachel Davies

"Wordship gives you two hours to work with other poets using one word as a prompt. Together you analyse the word, its meanings and uses, then generate and share ideas. You look at examples of work by other poets which use or respond to the same word. Participants are given time to create their own work around the theme, and to share it as a live reading, a post to a private online group, or both. This is a great way to network with other poets and stimulate creativity." Su Ryder

FEEDBACK FRIDAYS

FEEDBACK FRIDAYS are Zoom editing workshops. In small groups, you'll bring a poem each week and receive constructive, valuable feedback on it to make it the best it can be. Each week you'll get a prompt to write to for the poem you bring the next week. 

Friday morning 10-30 -- 12-30

Friday Afternoon 2-4

£48-00 paid upfront in 4 week blocks.

"Gill and Mark’s Zoom workshops are a real treat and really help get your creative juices moving. The participants are a lovely, supportive group who encourage you to develop your poetry writing skills.” Tonnie Richmond

"Without Gill and Mark’s Zoom workshops I would not have had my debut poetry collection published. They are supportive and constructive editors and I’ve learnt such a lot from them, as well as fellow poets who attend. They helped me make my dream of being a published poet come true."

SUBS CLUB

Are you new to submitting poetry to magazines and entering competitions or are you a little out of practise and feeling out of the loop?

With over 400 published poems and 10 published poetry books between us, Mark and Gill are perfectly placed to share tips and dos and don'ts.

Come to this monthly submissions workshop and we will give you information on the latest open submissions windows, give advice on what they might be looking for and even try and find a place for you to send a poem.

Third Sunday of the month 2-4

£20.00

"Great afternoon, Gill and Mark. So much helpful information. Good to see what other people are doing, too." Frances Carleton

"What a brilliant afternoon. I’ve never known a couple of hours pass so quickly. Ram-jammed with information and advice, all laced with gentle humour encouragement and enthusiasm. Can’t wait for the next one." Gillian Scholey

THE EDIT HOUR

THE EDIT HOURS Mark has been running his edit hours for over three years. He's worked with poets, short story writers, novelists, even playwrites, to help hone and edit work for manuscripts for books and one-person shows.

 

He's worked with novelists on first drafts, second drafts and even final drafts for novelists with book deals with major publishers. He's even worked with novelists on synopses and covering letters to send to publishers and agents.

 

Whatever your writing project is, you can book edit hours with Mark on Zoom. If you prefer to meet up, he can come to you, meet you in the pub, or invite you to his home. If you come for the day, he'll even cook you lunch!

 

Mark's rates are competitive and he can be available day times or evenings. Email Mark for further details on connorsmark05@gmail.com or to arrange an initial conversation on the phone.

Thank you so much for all your help and support with 'MEOL', I really appreciate it! Rebecca Ryan, author of 'My (Extra) Ordinary Life' (Simon & Schuster)

"At his home, I spent a full day with Mark. We looked over a story I had written and through several poems I had drafted. Going over it together really helped me to see where I was repeating the same errors. Mark didn't discuss work as right or wrong, but managed to find the effects I was hoping to achieve, but was falling short of doing so. Everything was explained, and I was constantly assured that ultimately the choice was mine to make. Rather than a traditional editorial approach, which can feel cold and perhaps even intimidating, Mark offered tailored guidance. Every comment was measured and delivered with honesty, but sensitivity. Listening is definitely a strength needed for this type of role, Mark has that skill in abundance, and applies his ear sharply. I couldn't believe what can be done in a single day. The value for money is exceptional. I got more out of one day than I did some entire terms at university, in terms of getting my writing closer to a publishable standard. Mark also included further written feedback, for the re-drafts of work that will be the new versions of the originals I took along on the day. You could pay a great deal more for tutoring and mentoring of this standard. You'd struggle to get it in a warm, safe environment, with friendly teaching, and with a beautiful, home-made free lunch to boot!" Ben Cassidy

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WRITE THAT NOVEL

This online Zoom course will focus on working towards a first draft of a novel. With a mix of exercises, tutorials and tutor/participant led feedback, this course is designed to help budding novelists begin and keep on keeping on with their ambitious writing projects. We'll look at how other novelists do it and how not to do it as we work towards completing our first drafts. There will be a private Facebook group where writers can share ideas with other participants between classes. This tried and tested course will give you a great chance of realising your novel writing dreams.

 

This is a 10-week course, costing £125 on Saturday  mornings. The course will be ongoing for those wishing to continue from the initial 10-week courses.

On Wednesdays (6.45 - 9.00 pm) I run ongoing 8-week courses for £100 per block. Sign up now! They fill up fast!

One of Mark's course participants was recently offered a two book deal with a major publisher with a substantial advance for a novel worked on in one of these groups. Others on the course have attracted interest from agents.

Mark Connors is an award winning writer from Leeds. His debut novel, Stickleback was published by Armley Press in 2016. Stickleback was long listed for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize. His second novel, Tom Tit and the Maniacs was published by Armley Press in 2018. It was selected as one two of Culture Vulture's novels of the year, along with Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor.

Mark's award winning short fiction has won him prizes and commendations at North London Literature Festival, Dartmoor Literature Festival and Otley Word Feast. Mark also won the prestigious open mic competition at Ilkley Literature Festival both in 2014 and 2015 for both his fiction and his poetry.

"The book is definitely better for your careful guidance and feedback. Thank you for not mentioning the fact that I became starngley breathless every time it was my turn to read"

Rebecca Ryan - 'My (Extra) Ordinary Life' (Simon & Schuster)

"Mark Connors delivered an excellent workshop on 'Writing the Voice' in two of our Bradford libraries. The attendees found his session engaging, informative and inspiring. Mark really knows his stuff – he knows how to express the innermost thoughts and feelings of his characters in an authentic, fully rounded way and he was able to encourage others to do the same regardless of where they were on the writing journey. Mark is an intelligent, generous and encouraging tutor who is passionate about writing and the importance of being able to write and to express oneself." Dionne Hood, Development Officer - Reading and Stock Bradford Libraries - Publishers Publicity Circle 'Librarian of the Year'

"Mark is a miracle worker - he's given me faith that I might actually, one day, finish a novel. He provides a safe environment for honest feedback, and sets up groups of people who support each other in their collective story development, week after week. We all get invested in each other's books and the group starts to feel like home. Thank you Mark. Without this space, I don't think I'd have stuck with it. Worth every penny, and more!" Mandy Schiffrin

TUESDAY POETRY

These are Zoom editing workshops with Gill.

In small groups, you'll bring a poem each week and receive constructive, valuable feedback on it to make it the best it can be. Each week you'll get a prompt to write to for the poem you bring the next week. 

Tuesday afternoons 2pm - 4pm

Tuesday evenings  6-30 - 8-30

£48-00 paid upfront in 4 week blocks.

WHAT WE INHERIT FROM WATER

These monthly online poetry workshops are on the theme of water. Each month we write about various subjects through the filter of water. We use published poems, images and discussion to inform and inspire new writing. 

These workshops are on the last Monday evening of each month  6-9 pm and are £20.00 with some free and some PAYF places available each month.

"Gill's workshops wring a poem out of me even on those days I think I have nothing left to say. I always leave feeling energised and inspired." Abigail Wyatt 

"Thanks to these inspirational workshops I've written poems I didn't know I had in me and many of them have gone on to be published in journals or been placed in competitions. I would strongly recommend them!" Sue Burge

"Great community spirit and feedback constructive and honest. For me, the editing resulted in publication and a competition placing!" Maggie McKay

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