Space To Write - by Nichola Charalambou of Creative Writes

Space To Write


I hope you are enjoying the London sunshine,

Time has flown since the last blog post, which was written just after the sparkly 10th Creative Writes Birthday Words & Wine celebration. It’s been a busy time. Essentially, I have been busy creating space to write both for myself and the groups and individuals I work with. Why? Because we are all busy and carving out space to do whatever makes us feel better & nourishes us, is important. It’s always been writing for me. The notebook is my space to go wherever I wish. Where do you find your space?

Space To Write Workshop with Creative Writes

We offer Space to Write Workshops fortnightly. It’s a quiet and supportive space. I bring resources and ideas. We work together for the warm up exercise and then you can choose whether you want to stay working together or focus on your individual project:

Space to Write at the retreat

In May, I was taken by a friend who was brilliant at ignoring my resistance, to a Convent near Hampton where we wrote for the day. This photo is through the window of the room I had to myself for writing. My friend and I sat in the beautiful, peaceful gardens at lunchtime. It was the first time in a long time that I had such a quiet space in which to write. No excuses. When my writers look slightly guilty and tell me they haven’t had a chance to write since I last saw them – I mean it when I say I totally understand! Life is busy and noisy and unpredictable. At workshops and at the writing retreat that day – we shut out the noise and slow down the pace. I was able to make progress on a piece of poetic prose that I started to write about 5 years ago. When I first sat at the desk by that window, I took some of my trusty writing resource books from my bag and picked random pages from these worn and much loved treasures. The free flow writing exercises centred me. It felt wonderful to be moving the pen across the page. Then I was ready to focus on my project again. It was the perfect space to write.

Wellcome Trust Creative Writing Workshop

There was a new type of Space to Write last month, when I facilitated a creative writing workshop in the Gallery at the Wellcome Trust for their Beyond The Perfect Image – Misbehaving Bodies exhibition. It was the first time I had worked in the middle of a gallery space and it was new to the Wellcome too. The exhibition raises difficult issues around our bodies, illness, identity and mortality. The participants spent time in the exhibition before joining me in our tented writing area. There was brave, candid discussion and writing as a result of this. We also read the poems that I had brought along, which included ‘To My Nine Year Old Self’ by Helen Dunmore and wrote from free flow topics. It was a humbling and inspiring day and I look forward to returning to the exhibition for another writing workshop in the Autumn. These are free workshops and anyone aged 18 & over can join us. I will keep you posted.

Ally Pally Theatre tour, Creative Writes Workshops

My affection for historic buildings and their stories has grown even stronger recently, as I was fortunate enough to deliver a series of six workshops at Ally Pally, around the Palace and newly restored Victorian Theatre. The photos here are from our Theatre tour. What an incredible space to write it has been. I really enjoyed the research for this project and the group and I were fascinated by the building’s secrets.

Richmond Theatre Writing Group

On the other side of town stands Richmond Theatre. This is also a stunning Victorian Theatre that I am lucky enough to work in! I have been facilitating creative writing workshops here for around a year & a half and the groups have continued to grow. The photo shows some of our writers reading their work. It has become a tradition for us to invite the Theatre staff to be our audience at the end of each term, which everybody really enjoys. The writing is inspired by spending time in the different spaces of the Theatre, which we often have all to ourselves. I work with the Creative Learning team, to access the archives, focus on themes around particular productions past & present. We hope to have guest speakers from the National Theatre in the Autumn.

We look forward to returning on 1 October 2019 to Richmond Theatre for a longer term of 8 weeks on Tuesday mornings. Here’s the booking link:

Theatres are magical spaces aren’t they?

I would love to hear about your favourite spaces to write and what else you do that helps clear your head. Comment here or send an email:

Words & Wine Workshop, June 2019

July & August 2019 Creative Writes Workshops, Muswell Hill, N10

Space To Write Wednesdays: 17 July, 7 August & 28 August 2019, 7.30pm .Book:

Words & Wine: 31 July & 21 August 2019 (Wednesdays), 8pm. Book:

The Creative Writes Words & Wine Workshops have become one of my personal highlights each month and remain a popular space to write, hidden away in the wonderful Green Shed, N10:

I will say goodbye for now and leave you with some words from a Lorca poem that we have been reading & responding to in some of my writing groups this term, in workshops themed around music memories:

From ‘The Guitar’ by Frederico Garcia Lorca

The weeping of the guitar
It weeps for distant
Hot southern sands
yearning for white camellias.

Take care,

Nichola x

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