Sunday Sessions 2023

Welcome to a monthly work-out for your writing mind. A three-hour online class full of exercises, approaches, tools and techniques, inspiration, and an opportunity to ask all your burning questions. I will be aiming both to illuminate various elements of writing and to stimulate and encourage your most creative and playful self. You should leave full of ideas and with plenty of new material to develop.

My intention for these sessions is that we will limber up our writing minds, learn some new things, feel expanded, and have fun. I have designed them as the thing I would like for myself as I am, and for the me who exists in a parallel universe. Over there, I have not published five books. I have this huge desire and yearning in me to write, but I struggle with permission and perfectionism, and not knowing where to start, and getting stuck, and feeling hopeless, and what I really need – though I don’t know it – is to step out of all of that and just get writing, just start fiddling around with words on the page.

So, that is what we are going to do. The sessions work at all levels because I am designing them for both my present self and my past self. I’m also making them to be useful and enjoyable whether you want to use them to support you writing a book, or if this three-hour session is the only time you have for writing each month. I will often give optional homework and suggest ways you could build of what we’ve done in class, but this is entirely up to you. You could use these sessions as part of an accountability strategy; certainly I find that going having a regular yoga class in the diary with a teacher I like means I am much more likely to find time to do daily videos. But I want these sessions to be a treat rather than a stick. I love doing them and it give me great pleasure to be in your service for these three hours every month. I am deeply respectful of the time and attention and money you give me, and love to send you back out into the world feeling stimulated, educated, and excited about your own creative possibilities.

I can’t wait to see you there.

You can book onto individual sessions or book the whole year with a juicy discount. This isn’t a course; you can look at my six-week programme with Curtis Brown Creative if that’s what you are after. I have designed the sessions to stand alone but also to flow into each other. All booking details can be found below.

For more information you can get in touch at

Sunday sessions: the facts

When: July 2nd, July 30th, September 3rd, October 1st, November 5th and December 3rd. 

Where: On Zoom – these sessions are live but if you can’t attend live we will send the recording to everyone after the session so you can catch up

What time: 2-5pm

How much: £60 / Concessions: £30

Sunday 2nd July (2-5pm)


If you missed a live Sunday Session and want to purchase the recording you can do so below. If you are looking for recordings from 2022 then see here.

Noticing: June 4th 2023

This Sunday Session is called ‘Noticing’ because I think that the single thing you need to cultivate to be a writer is the art of observation. We’ll be exploring why it matters, how to encourage ourselves into it, and how to then use the results of our noticing in both memoir and fiction. It will be fun, I promise.

Writing in Scenes: May 7th 2023

One answer to how to show rather than tell is to get used to writing in scenes. Learning to dramatise also saves us – and our reader – from getting bogged down in explanations and background briefings. So this Sunday we’ll be exploring how it works and how to do it, and how to use this technique as a way to develop character and build towards a first draft.

Show AND Tell: April 2nd 2023

By request, I’m looking at that old chestnut of writing advice ‘Show Not Tell.’ But I’m calling it Show AND Tell, because we do need both and the key is how to move between them. So we’ll be exploring what it means, how to do it, and doing lots of exercises. We’ll be looking at and understanding the difference between dramatising, explaining, reflecting and soapboxing. It will useful for pretty anything you ever want to write, and also any form of story telling or speech writing.

First Person: March 5th 2023

I am calling this session ‘First Person’ and we will be exploring the ‘I.’ There will be lots of exercises which you can do as yourself or as a fictional character and we’ll also have a look and the pros and cons, what the first person offers and how it limits. And we will have fun and enjoy ourselves and feel good about the fact that we are spending three hours exploring ourselves whist in community and learning something new. What could be better than that?

LOVE: February 5th 2023

The theme of this session is LOVE. Fear not, I won’t be trying to get you to write a rom com as I would have no idea how. I always remember the horror of Valentine’s Day in a bookshop where I had to make all these displays of ‘romantic’ books while thinking it was all nonsense. We will look at how all types of love can act as an engine of narrative and inform character. As ever, we’ll be doing a bit of self-inventory, learning some new things and generally flexing our writing muscles in a loving atmosphere.

Intentions, beginnings and the friendly page: January 8th 2023

‘I like the New Year to begin with warm friendly feelings.’ Virginia Woolf said on 6th January 1925.

Welcome to January’s Sunday Session. We are looking at tools for self-inventory and creating a daily writing practice; the joys and benefits of diary writing; first lines in literature and how to write your own. Also things I think about writing, my intentions for this year’s Sunday Sessions and my current writing routine. 


Who is eligible for the concessionary rate?

You can self-define as being eligible for this rate as I have decided to operate on a basis of trust. I hope this model of payment should enable me both to earn my living and provide support to those who couldn’t otherwise access it.

I can’t afford the concessionary rate…

I don’t want money to be a barrier to writing and have created some pro bono places. Send me an email about yourself and why you would like to come.

Tell us more about the shape of the sessions:

The sessions will last three hours with two ten-minute comfort breaks and a generous allowance for questions at the end, which you’ll ask through the chat box. You’ll be doing a lot of writing so come ready for that. And, even if you use your computer to write, also have some paper and a pen handy as some of the exercises work better off the keyboard.

What if I am late or I miss something?

I do very much appreciate it if people can be on time. If you arrive late or are interrupted and miss the instructions for a subsequent writing exercise, just sit tight. They usually last five minutes and I don’t want to repeat the instructions which can be lengthy as it is distracting for everyone else. You will all receive the recording afterwards so you can catch up with anything you may have missed.

Will I have to read my work out loud?

No. All your work is for you. Sometimes I might ask for contributions in the chat box but I will always give warning and it will never be a whole exercise. I might ask for a few words, or a sentence. And it is always voluntary. I never want people to feel under pressure to do anything other than fill their own notebook.

Are there opportunities for interaction or group discussion?

Not really. I have thought about this but have decided to go with a whole group model for these sessions. There will be a Q and A at the end, with questions asked via the chat box. If you’d like to try a smaller, interactive group then there are lots of wonderful on and offline courses at Arvon and at Curtis Brown Creative.

What is the Zoom etiquette?

I would suggest you use ‘speaker view’ so you see me. I will mute everyone. If you are happy to leave the camera on, then I like being able to see a few people, but this is up to you. We’ll use the chat box for questions and sometimes I will ask for some contributions but otherwise I’d prefer you didn’t use it as it is distracting if people start having sub-conversations; it feels like whispering in the back of the room. I will talk about this at the start of the session so we have clarity as I know some people love it and some find it very distracting. I think we can make it work for us.

What if I have technical problems?

My assistant Grace will be there to assist. You can message her within Zoom or email her at

Is there a maximum number of people in each session?

No. I’ve taught large groups this way and it works really well. There is a lovely energy in the writing exercises that comes from lots of people working together.

Anything else I can do to prepare?

If you can, I’d suggest trying to keep your mind clear before the session. Give yourself a day off the news cycle. Take some fresh air, do a bit of light exercise if that’s your thing, allow your mind to gently mull and then come ready to write.

Do I have to do all the sessions?

You can do any of them or all of them. I have designed them so that people who do the full year will have a satisfying experience with an overall ark, but you can also dip in and out.

Will you be recording the sessions?

Yes we will be recording the sessions. We will send out an email after the session with a link to the recording. If you would like to purchase a recording from a past session, you can do so here.

Can I do it if I am doing/have done one of your other courses?

Yes, I’ve designed them to accompany rather than replace. If you’ve done a course with me and miss me or having a routine and structure, this will give you a monthly injection of momentum.

Won’t it be repetitive?

Well, maybe. I think with writing we tend to need to circle and recircle the same things. Some sessions may cover things I’ve taught elsewhere but I am not reading out lecture notes and my teaching is organic and develops as I learn. I know that I would hugely benefit if I could experience these sessions as a participant as I often revisit these themes many times during a project and then start from scratch with my next project.

What if I am a complete beginner?

Yes, they are for all levels. Though you might also want to look at my CBC six week course if you haven’t done it yet as I’m very proud of that and have had lots of great feedback.

Can I do it anonymously?

Yes, of course. Everyone deserves a private space to learn. You can leave your camera off, change the name on your zoom box and I won’t call attention to your presence.

Does the price include VAT?

Yes, it does so if you are VAT registered you may be able to claim it back.

I am buying it as a gift. What do I have to do?

Proceed as if you were buying it for yourself and then drop us an email with the name and email address of the recipient and we will send you a gift email.

Will you offer other courses in the future?

Yes, I hope that this will be the start of something and you will inspire me to create more courses and experiences.

I would love to come on a retreat with you in Cornwall…

I know, and I’ve got lots of ideas. In the meantime, Arvon and Moniack Mhor have beautiful centres and run courses and tutored retreats.

Where else are you teaching?

Here is the link to everything coming up

Testimonials from previous Sunday Sessions

‘Interesting and informative and fulfilling.’

‘A wonderful session…I feel inspired to keep going and have been given some really invaluable things to think about in my own work.’

‘It was fantastic, a big help for me ; – and so enjoyable.’

‘Thanks very much again for organising such a positive, helpful session yesterday. Lots more good, realistic advice – and I love the writing exercises.’

‘Many thanks for a lovely session – I have learned a lot.’

‘It was really good, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. It’s so rare to get time to just write freely like that.’

‘Have never tried to write before or even wanted to but I’m going to have a play now…It was wonderful.’

‘A lovely afternoon thank you. Grateful for how much you give of yourself.’

‘Another brilliant session. Has reignited my purpose.’

‘Thank you so much. Encouraging, supportive and illuminating as always!’

‘Thank you so much for today – illuminating, engaging and so inspiring.’

‘Very generous of you to share the knowledge you’ve gained through sheer hard graft. This session has answered many questions I had about memoir, and some  I didn’t. So thank you – it’s been incredibly useful.’

‘Brilliant and woke my brain up on a lazy Sunday afternoon.’

‘Inspiring and supportive. Lots of great practical ideas.’

‘So much motivation, so many helpful ideas, and fun & fascinating too – looking forward to the next session already. Thank you!’

‘This has Given me the big kick that I needed!!! THANKS Cathy !!!!’

‘So helpful, honest and inspiring.’

‘This has been invaluable.’

‘Thank you. Wise & generous & straightforward as ever.’

‘This has been such an inspiration, and so very honest and practical.’

‘This has been the single most helpful workshop I have ever been on.  I can’t thank you enough.’

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