[Image description: An open notebook showing a blank page. There is a pen lying on top of one of  the pages.]

About the workshops

What is ‘realism’? Who decides what is ‘realistic’ or not? From non-sequiturs about where you’re really from, to the blurring of binaries, going ‘above’ or ‘beyond’ realism is daily life for marginalised peoples. On top of that, the last eighteen months have been pretty surreal for everyone. So how can we use the surreal in our writing to convey our experiences, and to say things that we didn’t even know we wanted to say?

In this playful workshop series, we will explore classic surrealist techniques and how contemporary writers like Luke Kennard, Caroline Bird, Rachel Long, Jane Yeh and Daniel Mallory Ortberg are putting their own spin on them, using characters, dreamscapes, the non-sequitur and anachronism to create exciting and fun new work. There will also be a chance to give and receive feedback on your writing at the end of the series.

Who is it for?

Any underrepresented writer: people who face barriers to opportunities due to mental health issues, physical health/disability, sensory impairment, learning disabilities, neurodivergence, substance misuse, survivors, working-class backgrounds, and those from the LGBTQIA+, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities or traveller communities.


Wednesdays: October 13, 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17 – book for all six workshops


6.30 – 8.30 pm


£12 (£2 per session). As we have limited spaces available we are charging a small fee to ensure commitment to the course.

About the workshop facilitator

Helen Bowell is a poet and producer based in London, whose debut pamphlet is forthcoming from Bad Betty Press in 2022. She is a co-director of Dead [Women] Poets Society, an Arts Council England-funded collective that seeks to ‘resurrect’ women poets of the past through events and online, currently on an Arts Council England funded national tour. She co-guest-edited the Autumn 2020 Modern Poetry in Translation focus on dead women poets in Autumn 2020.

Helen is a Ledbury Poetry Critic, and an alumna of The Writing Squad, the London Library Emerging Writers Programme, London Writers Awards and the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. She was a commended Foyle Young Poet in 2010 and 2011. In 2020, she won the Bronze Creative Future Writers’ Award and was commended in the 2020 Mslexia Poetry Competition. She was Poetry Business’s first digital Poet in Residence in February 2021. Her poems are forthcoming from Under the Radar and 100 Poems To Save The Earth (Seren, 2021), and have appeared in bath magg, Poetry Birmingham, The Willowherb Review, harana poetry, Ambit, The Fenland Reed, Strix, Manchester Review, Introduction X: The Poetry Business Book of New Poets (2017) and elsewhere. She works at The Poetry Society. 

If the course is full, you can sign up for the waiting list by emailing us here.


13/10/2021 - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Deptford Lounge,
9 Giffin Street,
London ,
Loading Map....

How to book


Prefer not to say

Registration Criteria

Our workshops are for artists and writers who are underrepresented. We work with those who feel they lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, identity, or other social circumstances. Please select all from the list below that apply to you.

mental health issue
Black, Asian, traveller, mixed heritage, or other ethnic minority
working class background
physical disability/long-term limiting illness/sensory impairment
learning disability/ADHD/dyslexia/dyspraxia
substance misuse issue


wheelchair/disabled access
BSL interpretation
captioning/transcription (online sessions)
other access needs (please let us know how best we can support you in the box below)

Gift Aid

Boost any donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate.

Gift Aid is reclaimed by the charity from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer.

Read the full Gift Aid declaration

How to pay

If this activity has a fee or you have chosen to make a donation, when you select 'Make your booking', you will be redirected to Paypal (our payment gateway portal). You can either pay using your Payapl account (if you have one), OR select the option below the login details to pay via your credit or debit card. (you do not need a PayPal account).

Sign up to our Mailing List

Sign up to receive communications from Creative Future, including opportunities, updates on activities and more.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top