Thinking Across the Page (Online)

About the course

Why do we sometimes find filling an empty page with words of our own so daunting, so painful? In this workshop, we’ll look at ways to spark new and unexpected ideas, to re-shape them on the page with editing for creative pieces that can be as pain-free as thinking. These writing exercises will take examples of exciting techniques used by contemporary writers, experimenting with the frames they’ve created and reshaping those frames to suit our personal styles. While developing a useful toolbox of techniques we’ll play with form, write and un-write letters, and use Surrealist methods to challenge and enhance writerly practice.  

This session is for all writers, new or seasoned, whether you’re working on fiction, non-fiction, plays, essays, theses or poetry. 

Who is it for?

This workshop is for all underrepresented writers – creatives 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+ community, Black, Asian, traveller, mixed heritage or other global majority backgrounds.

About the tutor

Karen Downs-Barton is a working-class, neurodiverse poet from the Romani community. Her first pamphlet, Didicoy, won the 2022 International Book and Pamphlet Competition, was published in March 2023 by Smith|Doorstop and is the Poetry Book Society recommendation for 2023. Karen is a creative writing doctoral candidate and poetry tutor at King’s College, London where her thesis explores identity formation through experimental and multilingual poetics. This year Karen has been placed in the AUB poetry prize 2023, and is forthcoming is the winners Anthology ‘Chance’ and was shortlisted in the MSLEXIA Poison Competition. Karen has run workshops for Shakespeare and Race at The Globe Theatre (2023), was the Silver Award winner in the Creative Future Competition (2022), and winner of the Cosmo Davenport-Hines poetry competition (2021). Her writing has been translated into Russian, Spanish and Farsi and is widely anthologised. Karen’s poetry can be viewed in Wagtail: The Romani Women’s Anthology; The North; Rattle; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Tears in the Fence; Night Picnic Journal; The High Window; Alyss; The Otolith; The Fem Review; Riggwelter; The Goose; The Curly Mind; Persian Sugar in English Tea; amongst others.


Wednesday 18 October 2023.


6.30pm – 8 pm


£10 standard /£5 concessions

In order to make our resources stretch further, we have to subsidise some workshops with nominal fees well below most online courses. The more people who book at full price, the more we’ll be able to offer. Half-price places are available for those on benefits, unemployed/underemployed or on low wages. We do not ask for proof that you qualify. We have limited concessionary spaces available and can’t unfortunately offer additional ones. If concessionary spaces aren’t displayed below, they are fully booked, but we can add you to the waiting list if you e-mail [email protected].


Online via Zoom.

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