I have taught creative writing courses and workshops for the Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Guardian, Penguin Random House Writers’ Academy, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Writers’ Workshop, and Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, among others. I also run my own courses and retreats. This schedule is often updated as I book more courses.

Also check out my bi-weekly writing agony aunt column on Novelicious, ‘Dear Julie’!

2016 Courses and Workshops

Saturday 16 April, The Kent Festival of Writing, as part of the Whitstable Literary Festival. 8.45am-4.50 pm. £95 for the day.
A whole day of writing workshops with leading authors, including sessions on finding your writing voice, editing, and approaching agents and publishers.
I’ll be doing workshop on Learning Story Structure from Pixar Films, and Creating Character.
More details here:

Saturday 23 April, Chipping Norton Literary Festival. 15.30-17.00. £18.00
The Art of the Rewrite: You’ve finished your novel…now what do you do? Including 101 uses for a Post-It.
More details here:

And I’m excited to say that I’m leading another guided writing retreat at the fabulous Chez Castillon in the south of France, this June!

Wednesday 22 June to Tuesday 28th June, Castillon, France. £775.00
Want to finish your novel? Kick your writing up to the next level? Julie Cohen’s tutor-led writing retreat is perfect for those who want to improve their writing while having time to get some words on the page. The mornings are dedicated to group and one-to-one work with you on your story, targeting your specific goals and areas for improvement, and the afternoons are time for you to write, revise, think, before reporting on your progress from the day. Julie will tailor the retreat to your individual needs, with the focus on practical work on an ongoing project. This retreat is suitable for writers at any level, from a writer working on their first book to authors who have already completed several manuscripts.

Intense one-to-one work on your novel in progress, tailored to your needs, with time to write in the afternoons in the idyllic setting of Chez Castillon. An absolutely amazing week.
More details here:

9-11 September: Writers’ Workshop Festival of Writing, York. A weekend of workshops and meetings with publishing professionals. I’ll be giving workshops and one-to-one manuscript consultations.
More details and bookings


Here are some comments from writers who have taken my courses:

I found the content excellent and your methods have encouraged me to keep going.

You are a truly inspirational teacher!

A brilliant and informative day.

You’re very good at encouraging students to find their own conclusions rather than just telling them the answer. I had a couple of big revelations about my WIP during the day that came out of exercises or conversations you had set up, but felt as if I’d completely worked it out for myself.



I do a variety of writing workshops for groups, and I’ve delivered them to professional writing groups, students of creative writing, aspiring authors and creative writing associations, teachers, secondary school pupils, and reading groups, in libraries, classrooms, conferences and universities, in the UK and the US, and even on television.

My most popular workshops are:

Creating Character. This is a hands-on, practical, fun workshop on creating a character from scratch. Participants start with a blank piece of paper, and by the end of the workshop they have a fully-rounded character and have practised several techniques on how to best create character.

Theme. Knowing the theme of your novel can unlock almost every other aspect of your story. I take you through how to identify the theme of your novel, and work through several techniques to use it to make your story satisfying, original, and well-shaped.

Learning Story Structure from Pixar Films. Yes, they’re kids’ films, but they can teach writers a lot about storytelling. I break down techniques in the films using examples and clips. (This is the workshop that reduced 80 romantic novelists to tears.)

Pacing. What gives your novel page-turnability? In this fast-paced workshop I look at several techniques to keep your reader hooked, using examples and exercises that you can apply to your work.

Writing Sex Scenes. This is a fun, practical and slightly raunchy workshop on creating sensual sex scenes that have real emotional depth. It involves strawberries and chocolate and is by far my most popular workshop, having been delivered in two countries and featured in The Telegraph, The Times Educational Supplement, and on BBC2.

First Hundred Words Challenge. Editors, agents and readers say that the first few hundred words of a novel can make them decide whether to read on or not. Are your first hundred words as good as they can be?

In addition, I have already-prepared and well-received workshops on Getting Published, Self-Editing, Writing a Synopsis, and Creating Point of View (the latter specially designed to fit in with current A-level English Literature and Language and Literature curricula). And I can often adapt or create a new workshop according to a group’s needs.


Please contact me if you’d like to discuss my giving a workshop to your group.

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