Kickstart Your Imagination

Short fiction workshop with Jan Carson

Online Event
Sat 15 May
11:00 UK

Are you struggling to think creatively? Has Lockdown left you in an imaginative slump? Worry not. Help is at hand. In this interactive creative writing workshop, Belfast-based novelist and short story writer Jan Carson will help you explore and develop ideas for new short stories and hopefully get you writing again. Using fun writing exercises, prompts, discussion and hard-learnt wisdom from 15 years of wrestling ideas onto the page, Jan will help you rediscover your imagination, inspiring fresh ideas for stories to come. This workshop is suitable for emerging and mid-level prose fiction writers and requires nothing but a notebook, pen and the temporary suspension of disbelief. This session is perfect for those who need a little encouragement and a gentle reminder of how much you enjoy making things up.

This workshop will take place on Zoom and is limited to a maximum of 20 participants. It will last for two hours, including a short break. 

About the speaker: 

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the author of the novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, a short story collection, Children’s Children (Liberties Press), and two micro-fiction collections, Postcard Stories 1 and 2 (Emma Press). Her second novel, The Fire Starters (Doubleday), won the EU Prize for Literature for Ireland 2019, the Kitschies Prize for Speculative Fiction 2020 and was shortlisted for the Dalkey Book Prize 2020. Jan won the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition in 2016 and has been shortlisted for the BBC National Story Prize and Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize. Her latest short story collection, The Last Resort, has just been published by Doubleday (April 2021). Find out more about Jan on her website: or follow her on Twitter: @JanCarson7280.

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How do the Writers Gathering events work?


Once you have booked your workshop place using our online ticketing site, you will receive a confirmation email. 30 minutes before the start of the workshop, a reminder email will be sent out to you with the link to access the workshop on Zoom. Workshops will not be streamed live anywhere else. Each workshop is limited to a maximum of 20 participants, and will last for two hours, including a short break.

Panel discussion

The panel discussion will be streamed live on the Wigtown Book Festival website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, so you don’t need to register to access it. However, it’s still worth signing up as you will be sent a direct link to the event and a reminder 30 minutes beforehand.

Don’t forget to check your spam folder for the confirmation and reminder emails in case they end up in there.

WG21 Weekend Pass
Why not purchase our WG21 pass, which at £30 gives you a 100% discount on 1 ticket to each event. Please note that you will still need to book a place on the workshops you would like to attend. Click Here To Purchase WG21 Pass. Passes must be purchased separately before booking on to the individual workshops.

We appreciate that not everyone can afford the £8 workshop fee or £30 for a weekend pass. Making the Writers’ Gathering as accessible as possible is a priority of ours and so we are offering a number of bursaries for each workshop. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please complete this online form or email Isla on Live captioning will also be available on request.

Asking questions

During the workshops, you can ask a question verbally and by using the chat facility on Zoom. On live-streamed events, questions can be put into the live chat box on YouTube or in the comments box on Facebook and they will be forwarded to the speakers.

Catch up

The panel discussion will be available on catch-up. However, the workshops are not being recorded and will not be available anywhere else after they take place.

Buy the books

Browse our online bookshop, which will stock all our speakers’ latest titles.


If you have any queries about the Writers’ Gathering, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing