Join us for workshops in The Wine Room, downstairs with its own private terrace, at the lovely refurbished gastro pub The Trafalgar Arms on the high street near Tooting Broadway tube.  Kickstart your creativity and start on a new idea. Limited places available – book now.

Writers’ Room meets 1 – 4 p.m first Saturday each month with guest tutors, hot topics, practical exercises and professional feedback for all kinds of writers at The Trafalgar Arms Tooting.

Writers’ Block? Stuck on 40,000 words? Try our monthly Novelists’ Survival Group with Ardella Jones  and sort out your plot 7 - 10.00 pm first Monday each month. By application only. One place available only. Submit your synopsis to

Chalk the Sun co-founder

Wins The Virginia Prize for Fiction 

Ardella Jones won the Virginia Prize for Fiction for new women novelists on 8th February for her thriller Rolling Calf. She receives £1,000 and is considering publication options  for 2019.

Ardella Jones celebrating winning the Virginia Prize

Ardella Jones celebrating winning the Virginia Prize

                May workshop with Simon Lewis

Crime writer Simon Lewis (Go, Bad Traffic, Border Run, Jet Trash) will be running our workshop on story and how it functions at the Saturday 5th May Trafalgar Arms. His creation Inspector Jian is soon to feature in a CBS crime series on US TV.

Simon is also available for a limited number of 1-2-1 consultations.

Simon Lewis, crime novelist and screenwriter

Simon Lewis, crime novelist and screenwriter


Children’s editor and publishing professional Simona Sideri will be joining Ardella Jones on Saturday 14th July for a special day on writing children’s fiction from picture books to YA novels. 

Simona Sideri

Simona Sideri

The all-day event will take place at lovely Birling House, West Malling, Kent and will include workshops, writing exercises, a Q&A on publishing plus yummy breakfast, lunch, cake and wine all for £75.00 (excluding travel). Email – w e’re taking bookings now.

Billing House, Kent

Billing House, Kent



Fliss Chester credit Capture It Ltd

Fliss Chester (photo by Capture It Ltd)

 Chalk the Sun alumnus Fliss Chester released her first romantic fiction novel Snowballs! Winter Fun On The Slopes  in January. Orion have signed Fliss up for a three-book deal with Corkscrew! Summer Fun In The Vineyard released in May 2018. Fliss attended evening classes with Ardella and Jo in Balham before moving out of London, getting married, joining her husband in his wine importing business and renovating an old cottage -– proving that you’re never too busy to get that manuscript finished! 

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This summer grab a glass and head for the South of France (or the back garden) for some fun in the vineyards!

Gaucin Writers New Story Collection Now on Amazon 

Jo Hepplewhite, Chalk’s programme organiser in Spain, has launched the Gaucin Writers third collection of short stories, mainly inspired by life in Andalusia. The collection, edited by Jo, features work by Chalk the Sun regulars Matthew Wolfman, Constanza Seijo, Ira Goldberg,  Lynne Morison, Jacqueline Cockburn, Will Haynes, Clare Copeman and novelist Alex Wyndham-Baker, all permanent or part-time residents of Gaucin, the pueblo blanco. In this new volume you’ll find intriguing stories about: an unlikely love-match, obscure events at the Castillo del Aguila, tribulations with a chandelier, a momentous motorbike ride in India, an insomniac’s intrepid trek, a debutante’s coming out party and enigmatic encounters in Granada, Tangier and Fez. It’s an inspiring read for spring.
 Buy your copy online here:

Check Chalk’s Creative Writing in Spain page for information on workshops, individual  tutorials and editing services with Jo Hepplewhite


 The perfect place to get creative.  Sunday 6 – 13 May 2018 SOLD OUT.

Ask us about Corfu in 2019

Dr Fiona hard at work on novel number two

Dr Fiona hard at work on novel number two

The terrace

The terrace

Jim and Alison teamed up in the library

Jim and Alison teamed up in the library


“The workshops were fun and stimulating; I shared a house with great people; the scenery, restaurants and beach trips were wonderful.” Jerilyn Bence, Clapham

“I learned a great deal.” Robin Destiche, San Diego, USA

“Thank you for a magical week.” Clare Copeman, Malaga

I really enjoyed our week in Gaucin! Very much appreciated your expertise, encouragement and advice, as well as the great company.” Will Haynes, Market Harborough, Leicestershire


Hard at work on the terrace

Hard at work on the terrace

We offer occasional 5-day courses in Andalusia, great for combining with sightseeing and beach-loving. Watch this space for details. Gaucin resident tutor Jo Hepplewhite  teaches regular fortnightly workshops and occasional children’s holiday courses in Andalusia. She can also be booked for one-to-one development tutorials, private tuition and editing services.  For more information  email:




Sunchalker Shortlisted for The Australian/Vogel Literary Award

David Allan Petale

Sunchalker David Allan-Petale was shortlisted for the prestigious Vogel award sponsored by The Australian and Allen & Unwin publishers for his second novel Locust Summer. The $20,000 prize, for an unpublished novel by a writer under 35, was finally awarded to Marija Pericic for The Lost Pages but David was philosophical about the result. “Marija was a worthy winner,” he says, ” but I’m hoping I meet an agent or something and I can always say I was shortlisted for the Vogel. I’m keeping my head down, working on my second draft of a new book and just ploughing ahead. The blank page remains. Couldn’t have done this without you. It started with you handing me a flyer for Chalk on that grey Balham street corner, and you and Jo and the Wolfman unlocked a world of colour. Thank you for your insights and guidance and patience with my appalling grammar over many years. I’m indebted to you.”

We wish David best of luck with his writing – the hard work will pay off!

Tales from The Two Puddings Wins Best Doco Award

Sunchalker Rob West’s documentary about East End pub and iconic music venue The Two Puddings in Stratford has won Unrestricted View Best Documentary 2017 award. The film, directed by Rob, was screened last year at selected PictureHouses. Look out for a cameo performance from Writers’ Room regular Jim!  Congratulations!