Circle of Misse

Elizabeth Diamond

On This Page: Spark to Flame (August 4-8) | Novel Boot Camp (August 9-15) | Biography | Print

Elizabeth Diamond

Spark to Flame: Triggering Our Imaginations, Setting it on Paper

August 4-8, 2010 (Wed-Sun)

Readers often ask their favourite writers “where do your ideas come from?” Not always an easy one to answer. They come from life, family, friends, history, other books: everywhere and everything, really.  But whatever fuels the idea, it catches fire in the imagination. The writer then forges that raw material into story.

In this four-day course, novelist Elizabeth Diamond will guide you through that exciting process, sharing her experiences and the exercises that work for her. Using artefacts, object words, old photographs, music, your memories and your experiences during course outings around the countryside, farmer’s markets, chateaus, and vineyards, she will help you trigger the imagination and turn your ideas into prose.

Each morning you’ll start with an exercise to spark your creativity, followed by some writing time to develop that idea and then receive advice from the course leader and other participants.

In the afternoons, you can write, relax, or explore the area sites.

Elizabeth will also schedule times in the afternoon to offer one-to-one feedback on your writing.

Course cancelled (due to a scheduling conflict)

Diamond's remarkable talent lies in the engaging immediacy of her characters' voices: we find ourselves compelled by the mundane details of people pulling their lives together.

- Library Journal 

Novel Boot Camp: Tightening, Firming, Conquering

August 9-15, 2010 (Mon-Sun)

We’re probably the only boot camp that ends the day with wine and cheese (an army marches on its stomach after all), but that doesn’t mean that we won’t whip those novels into shape. Bring what you have of your novel-in-progress, even if it's just notes, and novelist Elizabeth Diamond will show you how to run it through the paces in a helpful, supportive atmosphere.

Each morning will focus on a different aspect of developing a solid, successful novel. These theme-based sessions will include: creating believable characters, developing plot and tension, achieving a strong voice, the challenges of "beginnings, middles, and endings", the use of tense, retrospective narrative, and whatever other structural concerns might surface. You’ll do exercises related to these themes, develop strategies and apply them to your work.

Whatever kind of novel you are writing, whether strictly "genre" or mainstream fiction, the basic elements of what makes a good novel still apply.

Afternoons will be dedicated to writing, with time set-aside to ask questions and seek advice, share work and ideas with the group and the option of a one-on-one tutorial with Elizabeth.

Towards the end of the week, Elizabeth will hold a special session about her experience of finding an agent and publisher and offer advice on attracting the attention of agents when your novel is ready.

We gear the entire week toward helping you accomplish your writing goals, so you leave with some polished work and a clear path toward completing your novel. There are numerous relaxing and inspiring spots on the property to write and we’ll also build-in free time to relax, amble through the countryside, tour chateaus, visit vineyards or stroll through farmer’s markets.

Course cancelled (due to a scheduling conflict)

…matter-of-fact, precise prose and edgy characterizations…

- Kirkus Reviews 


After a difficult childhood, then a marriage that left her penniless and divorced in her early twenties with two small children, Elizabeth Diamond worked in a variety of jobs, including as a cleaner, a home help, a shop assistant, a typist, and a social work assistant. After returning to college as a mature student she worked for twenty years as a special needs teacher.

Finally, she achieved in her middle years a long held dream from childhood of being a published author. She had spent many years writing poetry, and did a creative writing course at Glamorgan University, working under the tutelage of Welsh poet Gillian Clarke. But after completing the MA she felt she needed a fresh challenge. She decided to explore her skills as a prose writer and began working, on and off, on a memoir of her childhood that took her the greater part of four years to complete. An extract from the last chapter, entered at the last minute with little expectation, won her a place on a writers’ development award scheme, organised by the Writers’ Trust in Norwich.

This was followed by a successful application for Arts Council Funding to allow her time to write a novel. The result, a year later, was An Accidental Light, which was sold almost immediately to Picador for a six figure sum as part of a two-book deal.

Elizabeth then started writing full-time, finishing her second novel Underwater a year later. Since then, An Accidental Light has sold in the US and in Germany, and an option on the novel has been sold for film rights. She is now working on her third novel and teaches creative writing part-time.


An Accidental Light book cover available from amazon in:
Underwater book cover available from amazon in:


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