Scribal Gathering

Thursday 01 October 2009
reading time: min, words

It can be crap and lonely being a poet, scriptwriter or author - but the Nottingham Writers’ Studio can help make it better


Writer: the term conjures images of malnourished bods in dusty garrets labouring over manuscripts with ink-stained fingers, waste bin overflowing with crumpled paper, pen chewed down to the nib. Of course, the 21st Century Nottingham writer is more likely to be blogging in the Broadway, with Mac Airs and skinny lattes replacing battered typewriters and chipped mugs of instant coffee, but one thing hasn’t changed - writing generally remains a solitary business.

Nottingham has developed a strong and diverse writing scene for a relatively small place, covering all genres from journalism to script, poetry to prose. It was novelist John McGregor (If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things) who first identified the need for some kind of hub and specialised workspace for writers; partly to create a friendly writing community and find a space to write but also to network and share professional advice and information which, outside of London (and probably even in London), is very hard to do.

Writing - like all artforms - takes hard work and dedication, and even if you do manage to squeeze out a decent manuscript or collection of poems, getting published is an even tougher battle. So back in 2006, Nottingham Writers’ Studio was formed and run by a small group of volunteers from rooms above an Indian restaurant in Heathcote Street. By 2008, membership had expanded to the extent that the studio needed to move to a larger location and is now based in the Lace Market overlooking St Mary’s Church, courtesy of an Arts Council grant.

So what does Nottingham Writers’ Studio offer the city’s scribblers? Being a resource started by writers for writers makes it unique, and besides providing a meeting space with wi-fi access, magazines, books and - most importantly! - comfortable chairs and coffee, the Studio offers writers a quiet place to write.

Talks from writing industry professionals and monthly socials are popular with members, and NWS also runs a regular spoken word event called Word of Mouth. Swish laptops and coffees are optional accessories, but enthusiasm for writing is a must!

Nottingham Writers’ Studio, Sutton Place, Business Centre, 49 Stoney Street, NG1 1LX.

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