Arts Derbyshire


Upcoming courses in Derby: QUAD courses to go on sale

Upcoming courses in Derby: QUAD courses to go on sale

Self-Publishing for Beginners – With Dawn Brookes

Mondays commencing 4th October to 22nd November (8-week course), 6.30pm-9pm | £115 or £105 for concessions at QUAD, Derby

Led by tutor and successful self-published author Dawn Brookes, this eight week course will cover key aspects of self-publishing including marketing, cover design, publishing e-books, book formatting. Perfect for anyone looking to get their work published in 2021 or 2022, or those authors who’ve considered self-publishing but aren’t sure where to start.

Course content:

  • Audience, Genre, Author Brand
  • Editing and Proofreading
  • Cover images and cover design
  • Writing blurbs and marketing copy
  • Pricing and royalties
  • Options and platforms for self-publishing
  • Ebook formatting and using Amazon KDP
  • Dealing with print books
  • Marketing and reviews

Tickets and information can be found at:


Writing for Children – With Lesley Parr

Monday commencing 11th October to 15th November (6-week course), 6:30pm-9:00pm | £85 or £75 for concessions at QUAD, Derby

This informal, fun six-week course offers the opportunity to develop your ideas using writing tips and practical activities to get your imagination flowing. Lesley explores topics such as how to write for your target age range, character development, imaginative planning, editing, children’s publishing today and how to build a community of writers. Suitable for writers of all levels of experience. This course does not cover picture books.

Lesley Parr is an author, teacher and graduate of the acclaimed MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. Her debut The Valley Of Lost Secrets (published January 2021) was selected as Waterstones Book of the Month and The Sunday Times Book of the Week.

Course content:

  • The children’s book world, what it is and how your writing fits in (age ranges, word counts, themes, content, trends, genres)
  • Premise, first lines, hooks, structure
  • Character development, POV, voice, dialogue
  • Finding inspiration, plotting, worldbuilding
  • Query package, improving your chances, synopsis, editing, beta readers
  • Building confidence, writing tips, finding a community of writers

Tickets and information can be found at:


Introduction to Creative Writing – With Alex Davis

Mondays commencing 11th October to 1st November (4-week course), 12:00pm-1:30pm | £45 or £40 concessions at QUAD, Derby

Join QUAD’s resident Literature Officer, Alex Davis, for this short course introducing you to the key facets of creative writing! Taking in plotting and structure, description, dialogue and more besides, this four week course is ideal for anyone looking to get their words down on paper for the first time, or coming back to writing after many years off.

Course content:

  • Planning and plotting
  • Story structure
  • Description
  • Dialogue
  • Types of writing – flash fiction, short stories, novellas and novels

Tickets and information can be found at:


Hallowe’en Horrors

Saturday 30th October, 10:30am-6:00pm | Tickets for full day of activities – including horror goodie bag – £32 at QUAD, Derby

Join us for the first part of a very special day of horror writing, with five workshop sessions looking at a wide range of aspects of the genre! QUAD’s Literature Officer Alex Davis will be your host throughout, and will be joined by acclaimed authors Sophie Draper, James Everington and Angeline Trevena for an exciting day of dark inspiration, imagination and information!

Full event schedule:

  • 10:30am-11:30am: Alex Davis – The Five Senses in Horror

While horror is doubtless a visual medium, the value of the other four senses in developing fear in your story cannot be underestimated. This workshop will explore how to feature smell, sound, taste and texture in your horror fiction to enhance its atmosphere and intensity.

  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: Angeline Trevena – Creating Monsters

From bloodthirsty mutants to the friendly man next door, monsters come in all guises. Learn how to weave them deeply into your stories, making them feel ancient, inevitable and, therefore, almost impossible to kill.

  • 1:00pm-2:00pm: Lunch Break (lunch not included)
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm: Sophie Draper – Building Atmosphere

Whether a passing reference here and there or full-on world-building, atmosphere is a key tool for hooking and holding a reader. And it’s not just in description. Dialogue, setting, backstory, the choices you make even down to a character’s name, all contribute to that unique sense of place and mood. It can be the most fun thing to write, but also the trickiest. Come along prepared to play with ideas that add those brooding touches to your manuscript. For more info on Sophie Draper, see

  • 3:30pm-4:30pm: James Everington – The uncanny: making the everyday seem strange in fiction

Anyone can make a werewolf or spectre sound scary, but how do writers approach more mundane horrors? This workshop will focus on picking out those details in apparently innocuous, everyday situations and making them seem just that little bit ‘off’. Perfect for making your readers uneasy without them knowing quite why….

  • 5:00pm-6:00pm: Alex Davis – Horror in Publishing

Horror has been through quite the journey within publishing, from the horror boom of the 70s and 80s to the slump of the 90s. But where is horror today? This session will take a look at publishing opportunities for dark fiction authors, taking in mainstream publishing, independent presses, anthologies and self-publishing.

Tickets and information can be found at:

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