I’m an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Reading. I’ve taught creative writing courses and workshops for Jericho Writers, The Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Guardian, Penguin Random House Writers’ Academy, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Writers’ Workshop, Literature Wales, Surrey International Writers’ Conference, Kingston University, and Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, among others.
I host online courses on Teachable. My School is called Novel Gazing, and there you’ll find practical, fun, accessible courses that you can do at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.
Novel Gazing with Julie Cohen
I do a variety of writing workshops for groups, and I’ve delivered them to professional writing groups, students of creative writing, aspiring authors and creative writing associations, teachers, secondary school pupils, and reading groups, in libraries, classrooms, conferences and universities, in Europe and North America, and even on television.
My most popular workshops are:
Using Post-its to Transform Your Writing. This is a practical, hands-on workshop about how to use Post-it notes at every stage of the writing process: brainstorming, planning, composing, and revising. By the end of this workshop you will have learned techniques you can immediately apply to your own writing.
You can access this course online here: Using Post-its to Transform Your Writing.
Make Shit Happen in Your Novel. Does your novel have too much plot? Does it not have enough? How can you tell what kind of stuff should happen in your novel? A fast-paced talk using examples from The Princess Bride. Contains swearing.
The Art of the Rewrite. Novels aren’t written; they’re rewritten. Practical techniques for how to tackle the dreaded revision.
Create a Character in Seven Easy Steps. This is a hands-on, practical, fun workshop on creating a character from scratch. Participants start with a blank piece of paper, and by the end of the workshop they have a fully-rounded character and have practised several techniques on how to best create character.
You can access this course online here: Create A Character In Seven Easy Steps.
Theme. Knowing the theme of your novel can unlock almost every other aspect of your story. I take you through how to identify the theme of your novel, and work through several techniques to use it to make your story satisfying, original, and well-shaped.
Learning Story Structure from Pixar Films. Yes, they’re kids’ films, but they can teach writers a lot about storytelling. I break down techniques in the films using examples and clips. (This is the workshop that reduced 80 romantic novelists to tears.)
Pacing. What gives your novel page-turnability? In this fast-paced workshop I look at several techniques to keep your reader hooked, using examples and exercises that you can apply to your work.
First Hundred Words Challenge. Editors, agents and readers say that the first few hundred words of a novel can make them decide whether to read on or not. Are your first hundred words as good as they can be?
Please contact me if you’d like to discuss my availability and fees.