Regional Activity

The West Midlands is a hive of activity for writers from writing workshops, courses, groups, publishers, festivals and services for writers.

Writing Groups

A list of writing groups that meet throughout the region. If you know of any more groups, please email olivia[at] with details of where and when the group meets and a relevant contact for questions and queries.

Workshops and Courses
A list of those offering writing workshops and courses in the West Midlands.

Literature & Spoken Word Festivals and Events
A list of festivals running in the West Midlands with details of when they take place.

Independent Publishers
There are several independent publishers in the region, some of which are part of the Independent Publishers Network who meet regularly to discuss latest news, share information and work together at events such as the Birmingham Independent Book Fair. Publishers include Offa’s Press and Nine Arches- for a full list of publishers, please click here.

Here you will find a list of creative writing courses from the universities in the West Midlands.

Writing in the Region
Useful information for writers living in the region about the writing scene – past and present, festivals and other organisations.  

Other Links
A list of useful organisations based in the West Midlands and beyond for writers.

Featured in our West Midlands Writers’ Map

Meera Syal (1961 – )
Grew up just outside Wolverhampton in Essington, which she once described as ‘a cross between Twin Peaks and Crossroads’.

Carol-Ann Duffy (1955 – )
Born in Glasgow, the Poet Laureate spent her youth in Stafford where two English teachers encouraged her writing ambitions.

Arnold Bennett (1867 – 1931)
Hanley-born chronicler of the Potteries.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.” – Hamlet

George Eliot (1819 – 1880)
Rural Warwickshire locations are recognisable in a number of Eliot’s novels including Middlemarch and The Mill on the Floss.

Susan Hill (1942 – )
The author of The Woman in Black started out as a journalist in Coventry, and now lives in Stratford-on-Avon.

Mary Webb (1881 – 1927)
Author of novels including Gone to Earth and Precious Bane.

John Osborne (1929 – 1994)
The playwright spent his last years in the Clun Valley, in a house that now serves as Arvon’s Shropshire HQ.

William Langland (1332 – 1386)
Widely thought to be the author of dream-vision Piers Plowman, which opens on the Malverns.

Benjamin Zephaniah (1958 – )
Rastafarian, Villa fan, poet. Has described Handsworth as ‘the Jamaican capital of Europe.’

Roy Fisher (1930 – 2017)
Handsworth-raised poet and jazz pianist. “Birmingham’s what I think with. It’s not made for that sort of job, but it’s what they gave me.”

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 – 1973)
His childhood adventures around Sarehole Mill inspired the world of the Shire in The Lord of the Rings.

Allan Ahlberg (1938 – )
Children’s author who used his war-time Oldbury childhood as inspiration for Peepo!

Jonathan Coe (1961 – )
The Rotter’s Club conjures up a 70s prog-fuelled Birmingham adolescence.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859 – 1927)
Walsall-born author of Three Men in a Boat.

Washington Irving (1783 – 1859)
A number of Irving’s short stories, including Rip van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, were written while he lived in Birmingham.

Catherine O’Flynn (1970 – )
Debut novel What Was Lost drew on her sweetshop childhood and an early job at HMV Merry Hill.

Sathnam Sanghera (1976 – )
Has written both memoir, The Boy with the Topknot, and fiction, Marriage Material, about his Wolverhampton Punjabi upbringing.

John Wyndham (1903 – 1969)
English science-fiction writer. Many of his works were set in post-apocalyptic landscapes.

If you’d like to buy our West Midlands Writers Map tea towel featuring the above print, please visit our online shop. 

Map by Kerry Leslie