Sunday, 4 September 2011

Mike Smith's short story workshop

I attended a wonderful workshop recently run by Mike Smith who writes as Brindley Hallam Dennis -

The wonderful surprise was that I was joined by a former member and Chairperson of Wrekin Writers and who is also the lady who inspired me to join the group and stay for over ten years - Sue Horder Mason. (

What an inspiring day! Not only the most lovely company but a stunning venue with beautiful scenery made up of of acres of pasture and hills beyond. Horses grazed, galloped and grabbed at the apple tree growing at the bottom of the garden. A gorgeous setting that was clearly on view like a wide screen TV as we sat and enjoyed great conversation and informative discussion.

We started by looking at the beginning of a story and how characters arrive in a situation that makes the reader want to know what happens next. Some of the examples were amazing and left no doubt as to where that character was in a particular place and time, which is so important in any story, whether its' a short story or a novel.

Next we went on to talk about location. Some writers may have the character or situation in their mind first, others like myself, may have a particular place where they want a story to happen. It was fascinating as we scribbled down ideas for places - I immediately put them with a person and from that began to build a story.

We also went on to look at individual style. It may be the tone and language a writer uses throughout a story or just the way they use grammar to get across what they want the reader to experience.

What was so wonderful about this workshop was how it was delivered. As we were a small group, we were able to have a real discussion around the table on every aspect of what makes a good story. The excercises we did gave me ideas that I would never of thought about if I had not been there and taken part. Now I want to progress those ideas and turn them into stories.

Brindley Hallam Dennis

aka Mike Smith

A truly inspirational writer and a wonderful host!


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful and informative time, Di. I so wanted to go to that but, alas, it wasn't to be. Never mind.

    Julie xx

  2. Hi Diane,
    Delighted you had such a great time at the workshop. I know how inspiring these workshops are for you. I know they enhance your passion for the magic of writing.
    Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
    In kindness, Gary

  3. It was a lovely day and so glad we did it together xx