Usually our workshops take place somewhere comfy with a glass in hand, but during the pandemic we’ve been meeting on Zoom, sharing work online and feeding back via email. It’s still fun though you have to provide your own wine!

Keep up your spirits and your creativity in 2021 with our Writers’ Room workshops 1 – 4 pm first Saturday in the month. We have guest tutors, hot topics, practical exercises and professional feedback for all kinds of writers. There’s also a new Reading Hour 8pm Tuesdays mid-month to catch up and share work.

Writers’ Block? Stuck on 40,000 words? Try our monthly Novelists’ Survival Group with Ardella Jones and sort out your plot problems, working practice, synopsis and much more 7 – 10.00 pm first Monday each month. By application only. One place available only. Submit a chapter and a synopsis to

Ardella & Jo finally get to do lunch after 18 months

Writers’ Room in Spain takes place 7 – 9pm every Thursday in a centrally-located apartment with sofas and spectacular views in Gaucin, but, of course, when there are lockdown restrictions, we’ll be doing ‘safe writing’ on Zoom. Ask tutor Jo Hepplewhite for details:


David Allan-Petale, iournalist, was one of our first students many moons ago when he lived in Balham, south-west London. Since then he’s married, travelled the world and had two daughters with wife Carmen, also an ex-Sunchalker. David has worked consistently hard at his fiction writing and we’ve had the joy of watching his work develop until his most recent novel Locust Summer was accepted by Freemantle Press in his native Australia where he now lives. Locust Summer is to be published later in 2021.


On the cusp of summer, 1986, Rowan Brockman’s mother asks if he can come home to Septimus in the Western Australian Wheatbelt to help with the harvest. Rowan’s brother Albert, the natural heir to the farm, has died, and Rowan’s dad’s health is failing. Although he longs to, there is no way that Rowan can refuse his mother’s request as she prepares the farm for sale.

This is the story of the final harvest – the story of a young man in a place he doesn’t want to be, being given one last chance to make peace before the past, and those he has loved, disappear.


‘Locust Summer is about a final harvest, but it’s so much more. Few novels have such quiet authority and insight into pasts and futures, nostalgia and grief.’ Toni Jordan

‘Authentic, true, and moving – this book made me want to hug my kids, my wife, my parents, and never let them go. This writer will break your heart and fix it again, all within a paragraph. A real talent.’ Benjamin Hobson


Fliss Chester (photo by Capture It Ltd)

Chalk the Sun alumnus Fliss Chester launched her cosy crime series Fen Churche Murders this year. Set in post-war Europe they feature a cross-word loving heroine with an interesting love-life. The second in the series Night Train to Paris is out now. Fliss attended evening classes with Ardella and Jo in Balham before moving out of London, getting married, joining her husband in his wine importing business and renovating an old cottage -– proving that you’re never too busy to get that manuscript finished!

A perfect lockdown read accompanied by a glass of French wine!

Tales from The Two Puddings Wins Best Doco Award

Sunchalker Rob West’s documentary about East End pub and iconic music venue The Two Puddings in Stratford has won Unrestricted View Best Documentary 2017 award. The film, directed by Rob, was screened last year at selected PictureHouses. Look out for a cameo performance from Writers’ Room regular Jim! Congratulations!



Living in Interesting Times…

December 18th, 2020|Comments Off on Living in Interesting Times…

  Merry Safe Christmas... To say that 2020 has been an unusual year is an understatement of similar magnitude to saying Trump’s not the most statesman-like president nor Boris the most truthful prime [...]