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Introduction To Writing Poetry Workshop

An Introduction To Writing Poetry

with Alison Chisholm

Six-session online workshop, 1 - 1.5 hour per session, live teaching, via Zoom.

The length of the sessions varies depending on the session topic and the questions and discussions that arise.
Sessions will be a minimum of one hour.

To enrol please click on the link for the time you want from the two options below

SOLD OUT: Monday 6th September 2021, 7pm for six consecutive weeks, ending on 11th October 2021

All times shown are BST

Workshop fee: £149

(the meeting invite will be emailed to you the day before your workshop is due to start)

Join us in our virtual classroom for a six-session poetry writing workshop from the comfort of your own home, via Zoom. With numbers strictly limited to ten, this six-session workshop will guide you through a variety techniques that will develop your poetry writing skills.

This is a great opportunity to explore poetry and make friends with others on the same journey. It’s an exciting programme where you’ll try out a variety of poetry techniques in a safe and trusting environment.

This workshop is suitable for those who want to develop their poetry writing skills, including beginners.

Workshop Outline:

Each session will start with some writing chat to help the group get to know each other, relax and settle into a creative mind set. There'll be room for discussion and (on topic) chat throughout the sessions, and questions will be welcomed at any time. You’ll also have an opportunity to share the work you have created in the session, should you want to. This six-session workshop has been designed to offer you plenty of technical information alongside practical ideas and approaches to expand the themes and patterns in your writing repertoire.

Week 1: Preparation for writing a poem and using imagery – This session will kick off with a discussion on where you've all come from in poetry terms, as writers, readers – or neither. Alison will explain why she feels all writers should write poetry then get you to think about how a poem defines itself for you? You’ll then look at the three stages of preparing to write a poem and how to use imagery to help readers identify with your poem. Throughout the session you’ll be working on an image-based poem in unrhymed couplets (a poetic unit of two lines)

Week 2: Rhyme and rhythm – This week you’ll be thinking about what makes a poem memorable, the effective use of rhyme and rhythm and the connection between the two. Plus, you’ll find out how to avoid the five rhyme crimes. Throughout the session you’ll be writing a limerick or two.

Week 3: Free verse – Here you’ll look at the development of free verse and how it sits alongside more traditional patterns of poetry. Then you’ll find out the answer to the big question of: when is it a poem and when is it prose printed on separate lines? You'll look at an example of a free verse poem in order to illustrate these points and discuss whether they have been used effectively. Throughout the meeting you'll be working on a free verse persona poem (dramatic monologue).

Week 4: Poetry by numbers – Learn how mathematical you need to be when writing your poems. You’ll explore metre and the reasons for it and why the syllable count is not enough in metred poetry. You’ll go on to have fun with numbers, and be introduced to using the template technique for poetry. Throughout the meeting we'll be working on a number poem, using a template if desired.

Week 5: Get it written, get it right – Alison will explain the value of redrafting and revision and show you when and how to revise your writing in any genre? You'll explore one possible route for revision, and look at the need to know when to stop. Throughout the session you'll be working on a meta poem (a poem about poetry).

Week 6: Autobiographical poems – They say write about what you know, but … why write about yourself? Alison will guide you though the process of deciding: how much you want to share, how much truth you want to tell, and how far you let your writing impinge on the lives of others who've shared your story. You’ll be pinpointing the content, considering common and unique experiences, then using memory devices to strengthen your material. Throughout the session you'll be working on an autobiographical poem in tercets (a poetic unit of three lines).

Workshop fee: £149


Alison Chisholm Poet

Workshop Leader – Alison Chisholm

Alison Chisholm was born in Liverpool and has lived in Southport most of her life, with a brief foray in the North East to collect a career, a husband and the first of her two daughters. She has three grandchildren, a marmalade cat and a mildly dysfunctional tortoise. She has written twelve collections of poetry and various textbooks on the craft of writing, and co-written books on public speaking, competitions and autobiography. She wrote the poetry distance learning course for The Writers Bureau, and is a columnist on Writing Magazine. She gives talks, readings, workshops and courses, and adjudicates competitions.


By taking part in this workshop you will:

  • meet other writers and poets

  • have time to ask questions as there are only ten participants per group

  • develop an understanding of how to construct a poem in a variety of ways

  • learn how to use your personal experiences to write poems

  • have chance to practice a variety of poetry techniques

  • learn how to edit and revise your poems

  • gain increased self-confidence to take your writing forward on your own.


This workshop is run by Budding Writers in partnership with The Writers Bureau

We’re operating as normal in these unusual times.

So don’t worry about your studies. All our tutors work from home and we’re set up for HQ staff to work remotely.  You’ll still be able to contact us if you need to. All you have to do is stay healthy and keep your brain active by studying your course.

Annemarie Munro Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2022

"I have seen my writing journey as an adventure: What can I write? What am I best at? What new aspects of writing can I discover and contribute towards? I have welcomed the wide range of modules covering different types of writing, challenging me to try new aspects in style and content, pushing me gently outside my comfort zone with encouragement.

"I signed up for the course in December 2020 as a Christmas present to myself and I started the first module in January 2021. I have had eight pieces published: three paid earning £1080 and a star letter where I won a £250 hotel voucher."

Annemarie Munro - Writers Bureau Student of the Year 2022

Read Annemarie's full story

Free Creative Writing Course Prospectus

Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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