Re-connecting with Words

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20-470 Reconnecting with words Hawkwood college
Event Postponed
Fri 20Nov
Sun 22Nov

A Dark Angels workshop

Facilitator: John Simmons and Neil Baker

This practical workshop is a special opportunity to boost your creative energy as we head into the winter months. We’ll share some simple tools and exercises to help you connect with words in new ways. The weekend will be suitable for anyone interested in exploring the power of language – from experienced writers to complete beginners.

Event time: Fri 20th Nov 2020 at 4:00pm - Sun 22nd Nov 2020 at 4:00pm

At a Glance

  • Writing exercises that stretch and inspire, whatever your writing genre
  • New techniques to become a better writer
  • Learn lessons from fiction that apply to you personally

What Participants will Gain

  • Go away with a clearer sense of your purpose as a writer
  • Build confidence in your writing ability
  • Gain new techniques and inspiration in a sage, supportive space.

Taking John Simmons’ novel The Good Messenger as its starting point and thread, this workshop helps writers find or rediscover their purpose as a writer. ‘Why do you write?’ is an essential question for every writer, personally and professionally. This workshop helps you answer that question. Two leading writers in fiction and business writing, guide you encouragingly through the weekend.

Where does our name come from?

Dark Angels takes its name from the book of the same title by John Simmons, with its nod to Milton’s Paradise Lost. John writes that as Dark Angels, we are neither those who have fallen, nor those who have ascended, but we occupy the fertile, if broken ground in between. We find our creativity in our flawed human nature.

Hawkwood‘s serenity, surrounding grounds and historic house is a perfecting container for this literary creativity.

Price Options

£195 Non-Residential
£335 Residential Shared
£375 Residential Single


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Practical Information

Bring writing materials.

Please note that prices are listed per person.

Residential options are fully inclusive with all meals provided. Non-residential options include suppers, lunches and all refreshments and exclude B&B.

John Simmons

John is an independent writer and brand consultant, formerly a director of Interbrand and Newell and Sorrell. His many books include We, Me, Them & It, The Invisible Grail and Dark Angels (the Dark Angels trilogy) as well as books on Starbucks and Innocent. With Jamie Jauncey, he co-wrote Room 121: a masterclass in writing and communication in business. His fiction includes The Angel of the Stories, Keeping Mum (the Dark Angels collective novel) and Leaves, his novel published in 2015. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Falmouth University for services to the creative industries. He is a founder director of 26, a writer's collective. This is his third visit to Hawkwood.

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Neil Baker

Neil is a writer and communications consultant with 25 years’ experience of helping people tell their stories, share ideas and make connections. A D&AD pencil holder, he has won numerous other awards for his work with brands. His clients range from global consulting firms to small, grassroots charities. He is an Associate Poet with Canterbury’s Wise Words Festival and a board member of writers’ organisation 26. Neil also runs workshops in creativity and wellbeing through writing.

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"We are humbled by those who've told us Dark Angels changed their life. They have changed ours immeasurably."

- John Simmons

"I am once again craving an injection of inspiration that only at Dark Angels workshop can give."

- Robert England, Up For Life

"The course has reignited a proper passion in me... it’s as if I’ve peeled on a new pair of eyes."

- Ceri Tallett, Innocent

"Once you‘re bitten by a Dark Angel you get a taste for words of the human kind."

- Claire Wilson, Writer