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Stories at an Exhibition: Art and Writing (6 April - 18 May)

Stories at an Exhibition: Art and Writing (6 April - 18 May)


art can boost your writing

6 April - 18 May 2018, £130

This course is full. If you'd like to be added to the waiting list, please send us a message to

Art teaches us to look closely and broadens the scope of our writing practice. This 8-week course will prompt you to engage with art exhibitions in galleries and museums near you, and share stories, sketches, and experimental writing with other writers around the world.

Every two weeks, you'll receive writing prompts and suggested activities to write your way around four different art exhibitions. Explore photographs, paintings, video installations, and abstract art as a rich resource for both fiction and creative non-fiction writing.

No writing or drawing experience is necessary, but a willingness to play and experiment is.

Your own writing will be the focus of the course, though we will also look at examples of art-inspired writing by well-known poets and fiction writers. Stories at an Exhibition is for you if you're interested in alternative approaches to writing, or want to shake up your way of writing, or you're feeling blocked and want to kickstart your creative practice.

The course is also devised to suit artists with an interest in a text-based practice, or who'd like to explore ways to write creatively about their work.

If you're unable to visit exhibitions during the course - say, for example, your writing time is late at night, or you live in a remote area - the assignments will be just as useful if you work with art and photograpy books or online images.

Participants will receive regular and detailed feedback from the tutor, as well as from fellow participants. A dedicated and password-protected blog will be set up for the course and all participants will be invited to share their work. The course is aimed at writers of all levels who love the craft and mystery of writing, and are looking for thoughtful and challenging feedback on their work.

“I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.” Frida Kahlo

These are the themes we'll be covering throughout the course, though depending on the exhibitions near you, we might alter the focus. 

  • Week 1 Painting: Posing for the Writer (Characters)
  • Week 2 Photography: A Moment in Time (Settings)
  • Week 3 Abstract Art: Translating the Inside (Emotions)
  • Week 4 Video and Installation: Other Ways to Tell a Story (Structure)

All participants will:

  • get fortnightly exercises and prompts
  • share art-inspired writing on the course's dedicated blog with other writers around the world
  • receive ongoing feedback from the tutor and fellow participants throughout the 8 weeks of the course
  • receive 3 copies of the Writing Art Writing Map to share with friends and writing buddies.
If you have any questions, please contact the tutor, Shaun Levin, at
limited to 10 participants


Dates: 6 April - 18 May 2018 (8 weeks total with fortnightly assignments)

Venue: Online

Fee: £130

What participants like about the course:

  • “The prompts are wonderful. So different from those I've experienced at other writing groups. Very inspirational. They have certainly got me writing.”
  • "The tasks are encouraging a different perspective on writing which means I can move out of my 'default' mode allowing for a certain amount of risk taking."
  • "Your feedback is insightful and helpful in showing me how to further develop a piece. I enjoy reading the works of other writers in the class and reading your comments on their work too as I can extrapolate to my own."

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” Pablo Picasso

The course is devised and led by Shaun Levin. He has been teaching creative writing since 1997 and has run workshops and given talks at The National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Ben Uri Gallery, and the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery in Leeds. He has published work on the artists Mark Gertler and Isaac Rosenberg, and is the author of Seven Sweet Things, Snapshots of The Boy and A Year of Two Summers, amongst other books. He is the creator of Writing Maps and the editor of The A3 Review.