All posts by martynb

Creative Writing for Beginners

Research tells us that writing expressively is therapeutic, relaxing and good for you. It enhances well-being and boosts self-confidence. Together we’ll explore routes to creative writing with music, location, colours, language essential oils and the seasons. Whether you’ve never written anything but shopping lists, or whether you’ve been a secret scribbler for years, escape to … Read more

Winter Writing Retreat

Thanks to the writers who joined me on the Winter Writing Retreat. What a productive time we had. Prolific descriptive nostalgic writing (four complete tales plus a sketch script) from a writer who confessed to arriving with absolutely no idea of what she was going to write! Others who disappeared for hours at a time, … Read more

Stories in Victoria Park

Erewash Borough Council are delighted to have been awarded Heritage Lottery funding to restore and renovate the town’s Victoria Park and a great programme of work is underway. Stories in Victoria Park is part of it . To mark the centenary of the Park Chrissie Hall has been commissioned to write a short story about … Read more

Derbyshire F.W.I. Centenary Celebration Anthology

To celebrate 100 years of the Women’s Institute in Derbyshire the Federation will publish an anthology of stories and poems edited by Chrissie Hall, written by members of Derbyshire Federation and submitted for judging as part of the Derbyshire Eisteddfod in 2015 The brief consisted of:- Category 1 – Poetry Writing – an original poem … Read more

One to One Life Story Writing Retreats

Day course fee £150.00 Come to rural Derbyshire and treat yourself, or a member of your family, to a special day or half-day Life Story Retreat created to suit you and your own unique writing project. Beginners are welcome and you don’t need any previous experience of writing to be able to write your life … Read more

Have You Ever Thought About Writing Your Life Story?

Thank you to all the Life Story Writers who travelled to Denman to begin writing their life stories. We learned that there is no such thing as an ‘ordinary’ life as we wrote stories about ‘rags’ to riches – amazing women of the 20th century who survived and prospered against all the odds. Tales of … Read more

Have You Ever Thought About Writing Your Life Story?

Thank you to all the ladies and the gentleman students who worked so hard on this intensive two night residential course and began writing their life stories. What a wealth of different experiences we were privileged to have in the room. We heard and wrote about our amazingly diverse lives. Working and/or growing up in … Read more

Winter Writing Retreat

Thank you to the group of talented and enthusiastic writers and poets for their contributions to the Winter Retreat. With writers from Norfolk Federation and elsewhere we enjoyed working on short stories, sketches, a novel, a first journalistic project for a W.I. President, and some memoir writing. Several students were inspired to write after discovering … Read more

Creative Writing for Well-being

Thank you to all the talented students who produced some fascinating pieces of creative writing, including the gentle art of letter writing, memoir, and a performance piece during this course and were so generous to each other when sharing and commenting on work. It was great to meet you all. Keep writing! — Research tells … Read more

Summer Writing Retreat

Thank you to all the Writers who made this such a wonderful creative experience. What a diverse and talented group – a real privilege to work with you all. The creative writing talents ranged from scripts, memoirs, stories and songs. Congratulations to everyone on this memorable Writing Retreat. — Escape to Denman – it’s the … Read more

Have You Ever Thought About Writing Your Life Story?

Thank you to all the life story writers who worked so hard on this course and generously shared their stories with each other. What a diverse group we were, but everyone had fascinating tales to tell, and we enjoyed hearing each others unforgettable tales . Well done to everyone – it was a privilege to … Read more

Winter Writing Retreat

Thank you to all the talented writers who worked so hard on their novels, short stories, memoir, family history, poems and sketches, and supported each other with thoughtful intuitive critiques. The group also happily volunteered to be cast, and to take direction from the experienced sketch writer, bringing her writing from ‘page to stage’. Delighted … Read more

Creative Writing for Articles

Thank you to all the talented and enthusiastic students who worked so hard and became such a supportive and inspirational ‘team’ sharing ideas, knowledge and comments as we developed our articles. — In this practical writing workshop we’ll enjoy applying our creativity to writing light-hearted easy-reading features/ articles. We’ll look at popular local and national … Read more

Arts and Heritage Creative Writing Workshop

To celebrate a decade of arts and creativity Erewash Borough Council are offering an exciting programme of creative arts activities at a variety of venues throughout the Borough. Join us at Erewash Museum for a relaxed friendly and informal half day creative writing workshop led by local writer Chrissie Hall. We will be finding inspiration … Read more

Have You Ever Thought About Writing Your Life Story?

Thank you to all the talented students on this course. What an amazing diversity of life stories. From an East End childhood during the London Blitz, to a Cyprus village of the 1960, tiger spotting in India, homes, hobbies, gardens, holidays, colourful grandparents, schools, teachers, friendships, adventures, disasters, washdays in Scottish tennemants, and visits to … Read more


A Community History Project. 20th Century Lives in a Derbyshire Village Chrissie is delighted to be part of the team involved in this innovative ongoing Heritage Lottery funded project studying 20th century life from the perspective of ordinary people connected to the Derbyshire village of Borrowash. The project, is partnered by local arts organisation ‘Wash … Read more

Performance – ‘The Women from Number 17′

The Woman from Number 17 (pdf) A superb evening, thank you to all the guests and VIP’s for being such an appreciative audience, and thanks to the actors for their amazing performances. The ‘Unexamined Lives’ local history project, funded by the Heritage Lottery, will be celebrating an amazing three years of community engagement with an … Read more

Unexamined Lives – There’s no Such Thing as an ‘Ordinary’ Life.

Thank you to all the visitors to Erewash Museum who added their stories to those featured in the exhibition. Special thanks to SJ for sharing her story. SJ visited the Unexamined Lives exhibition with S her young son and baby daughter. She lives locally and is a regular visitor to the Museum. I had brought … Read more

All Write Erewash ‘Art in an Empty Shop’ Free workshops

Thank you to all the participants who came to the rEvive shop to ‘Write Something – Make Something’ as part of All Write Erewash. We had a great time talking, writing and trying out new arty things – and we all surprised ourselves with what we achieved. The project reached so many people with the … Read more