I give talks and readings, and I run workshops.
I’ll focus a talk on a particular book, but I’ll also include writing tips, little instant writing exercises, a bit of autobiography and readings.
I love running creative writing workshops. In my workshops, we’ll discuss, for instance, Character. We’ll use a watch or a pair of trainers or a shopping list as a stimulus, and in no time students will be developing characters alone or in groups. They’ll read stuff out, they’ll have fun and they’ll learn a lot. I’ve been running workshops for over 25 years at Arvon writing centres, in universities and schools, in prisons and in Broadmoor Secure Hospital.
Type of Artist:
DetailsPreferred age range:
11 – 15 year olds in schools for talks, readings and workshops. 11 – 18 year olds for workshops.
11 – 15 year olds in libraries for talks readings and workshops, 11 - adult for writing workshops or surgeries.
Maximum number in any one session:
Up to 30 in a workshop (although 15 – 20 is ideal.) Up to 100 for a talk.
No of sessions per day:
Maximum of 3.
Around 45 – 60 minutes for a talk. A workshop can last anything from an hour to a full morning or afternoon – with a break! I’m flexible.
Plus time for signing.
Areas prepared to travel to:
I live in Hebden Bridge, which is between Manchester and Leeds. I’ll travel anywhere I can get to and from by train or car in a day. Besides that, if it’s London, I can usually stay over with family or friends. And I’ll go anywhere else if overnight expenses are met.
Car - 30p per mile.
Rail – 2nd class fare with a railcard.
Please email us for details
Hold PLI (public liability insurance):
I have a current DBS check and also Public Liability Insurance
The Impossible – On the Run, due 2018
The Impossible - Quercus 2017
Tender - Salt publications 2009
From the outset, Mark conveyed his passion for the creative writing process and demonstrated his incredible knowledge and experience at doing so. The range of activities that he provided for our students was immense and their love of writing as well as their creative writing abilities blossomed during this week. He is certainly one of the most motivational writers that I have ever come across in my 20 years of full time English teaching.
Dom Roy, Head of A Level English at Watford Grammar School for Boys.
I was really impressed with Mark's planning of the workshops - they were always well structured with the stimulus material being really interesting. Mark's relationship with the students was always professional. He was able to inspire the students to produce some fantastic writing - and spent a lot of time discussing the writing process with the students - providing them with clear constructive feedback.
Working with young people is always a bit of a challenge - but Mark was able to enthuse the students he worked with - who truly appreciated the end result.
Farhat Alam, English Teacher at University Academy Keighley
Mark worked with students from my school, delivering exciting and engaging workshops to stimulate their creative writing. The students thoroughly enjoyed the sessions, particularly commenting on the use of a watch as a starting point for their writing. We loved working with Mark and hope to do so again soon.
Miss M Callow, English Teacher at Royal Masonic School for Girls, Herts
Mark Illis' Amazon page
I lost a leg to cancer when I was a teenager. I don’t wear a prosthesis, I use crutches, so I’m a good role model to students for what someone with a disability can do. I like to think I write as well with one leg as most writers do with two! (Don’t worry about access. Stairs are no problem. (Do worry about access, obviously, just not on my account.))