The Practicalities

Workshop format

Our basic day format is a one-day event beginning at 10/10.30am and finishing at 2.30/3pm. The day is a carefully devised pattern of tasks and personal and individual writing time.

We are evolving different structures in response to proposals that we receive from our organisational partners. For example, we have recently developed multi-day integrated (field-work and in-school), and residency formats.

Read more about our workshop content here. 

Read some of the feedback from previous participants here.

Group make-up

We work with groups of young people aged between 11 and 19 years (secondary school-age students) from schools and who are home-educated. We have often offered workshops to coincide with the age-categories of The Young Walter Scott Prize (11-15 yrs, 16-19yrs), but we are more and more open to a more vertical idea of age-group mixing.

We have worked with specific categories of students – including pupil premium, gifted and talented, home-educated – and we are committed to exploring ways to extend the diversity and accessibility of workshops.

Our workshops are often spent entirely outdoors

Our workshop days are immersive and experiential, and can often be entirely conducted outdoors. Wherever we can, we negotiate special access to areas of venues often not seen by members of the general public.

We work with young people who are developing a passion for writing. Our group-size is set at 15, plus or minus one or two. This allows our participants to feel that their creative needs are being met during their immersion in the historical environment.


All of our workshops are free to participants.

Participating schools, parents and responsible adults provide transport to and from our venues. Food and refreshments are not provided.

Tutors and Facilitators

During the workshops, young writers work with writer-educators, arts-educators and wherever possible ‘experts’ associated with the particular venue or theme.


All workshop-leaders are fully DBS-checked (PVG-checked in Scotland) for the activities that we offer. Associated adult ‘experts’ are fully accredited by participating venues.

Our tutors have had adequate and up-to-date safeguarding training before they lead one of our workshops. We carefully assess a tutor’s skill and record, during a training period, before allowing them to co-lead workshops.

Unless specially commissioned, tutors work in teams of a minimum of two, and with the participation of teachers and teaching assistants. At no point during a workshop will our tutors be in one-to-one unsupervised contact with students. From the moment that our tutors or associated staff find themselves without the presence of a member of staff they will suspend the workshops, leave the room or area and wait until a member of staff returns.

Each workshop is carefully risk-assessed in association with the partner-venues and schools.

Ongoing development of workshops

We do not operate in all areas of the UK, but we are committed to following up possibilities as they arise, either through contact with a school, a heritage venue or other organisation wishing to explore the methodology we offer.

For more information please use the contact form on this website, or email Alan Caig Wilson at

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