Time

Mono photo of an old pocket watch without hands

Lately I’ve been writing about time and it seems the ideal topic for a creative writing workshop, so….

tomorrow I will be delivering a workshop for Number One Writing group at Rochdale Central Library.

All welcome to this session from 2pm to 4pm.

There is a small charge of £2 for each attendee to help cover the cost of running the group.

Latest Writing Projects

Over the next couple of months I’m excited to be involved in several writing projects in Rochdale borough.

Photo of Seamus with projection of Van Gogh painting


Firstly I will be working with Cartwheel Arts to deliver a project for Deeplish Community Centre as part of their 35th anniversary celebrations. I will be working alongside local artist Rahela Khan and am looking forward to seeing the work we can produce.

Secondly I will be delivering a workshop for a group of young people as part of the same project in Deeplish.

Thirdly I am starting prepations for some brand new creative writing sessions for young people aged 5 to 11 themed in the Paris Olympics taking place this summer. These will be delivered with Your Trust, and i will be bringing a completely new slant to the topic.

Finally I am working on a special commissioned poem for release in the summer – as yet I cannot divulge more, but it is Rochdale focused and I look forward to working with the commissioning organisation. Its a big one and I’m really excited to develop and share it when I can.

A busy few months but there will still be time to continue with my own writing projects and working with young people at Vibe Rochdale.

2023 was a year for….

Writing, Editing, Compiling, Drawing, Painting, Designing, Illustrating, Facilitating, Photographing and of course lots and lots of thinking.

Taking a New Year’s Eve look back at 2023, a productive year. Among the most memorable are the following:

  • Collating, editing and designing the anthology “Poetry in the Park” including illustration for the cover
  • Leading a series of workshops for “Poetry by the Canal”
  • collating, editing and designing the anthology “Poetry by the Canal”
  • Cover illustration and design for “As You Were” an anthology from Falinge Park Writing Group
  • Delivering 15 creative writing sessions, based around my story “My Wild Wolf Adventure” for children aged 5 to 11
  • Delivering a range of new creative writing workshops to local Creative Writing Groups
  • Selling art alongside my wife selling vintage at Hand and Treasure in Hebden Bridge Town Hall
  • working with young people to create new poetry at Deeplish Primary Academy
  • Creating graphics for use in an excellent short film by Harry Wheeler
  • Reviewing a range of events and performances for All Across the Arts
  • Writing and sometimes plenty of new poems
  • Working on a brand new personal project, a narrative book length piece regarding liminal spaces with poetry and illustrations – this may take some time….
  • Creating new artworks including, and sometimes combining, traditional and digital techniques
  • Supporting the creativity of young people with our recently registered charity Vibe Rochdale

Poetry by the Canal – progress update

A line drawn image of Rock Nook Mill on the Rochdale Canal

Six weeks in and the poets I’m our project have been producing some really good writing. Those new to writing poetry and the experienced poets in the group have found inspiration and have shown great enthusiasm, extending to supporting each other, testing out their poems and sharing them with us. It has been an honour to work with such a great group of poets.

We have also had excellent meetings with, and feedback from, the Canal Rivers Trust and with the Poetry Society and Roy MacFarlane, the Canal Laureate. Although it is too early to give details yet, I can say that we have exciting developments coming up.

With over 30 poems already submitted, and more to come, my work in editing and formatting is now underway and it is actually really quite good fun and inspiring.

There will be one final session before the work is compiled ready for production of a large print book which is likely to be launched early in 2024.

Poetry By The Canal

Having recovered from the Covid, that kept me away from the first session of this project, I was delighted to be back at Hare Hill House in Littleborough to lead today’s session face to face.

The project will run for 6 weeks to create poetry influenced by the area around the Rochdale Canal and Calderbrook from the former Rock Nook Mill to Summit in Littleborough.

Today we talked about thinking like a poet and among the props used for a writing exercise was my lovely compact Metronome (pictured here).

The poets then used information provided, about the famous Summit Tunnel and Rock Nook Mill, as inspiration to start crafting some new poetry.

At the end of the project we will publish a large print book containing selected poems produced by all of the participants.

Today it was great to meet some new writers and share inspiration and ideas. This is a very friendly and vibrant l group of writers and I’m very confident that there will be some excellent poetry to publish.

This project comes from an idea from Liz White who has worked on planning and secured funding so that we can bring poetry writing opportunities to Littleborough and produce work which is available to local people including those with visual impairments.

Writing Workshop – Protest and Conflict

A selection of protest placards for tomorrow’s workshop.

Tomorrow I will be bringing a new workshop on Protest and Conflict to the Falinge Park Writing Group in Rochdale. The group meets every Thursday morning from 10am to noon at the Community Hub in Falinge Park. Everyone is welcome regardless of prior writing experience.

In this workshop we will look at the role of writing in protest and conflict and look at examples from history and more recent work. There will be a focus on poetry but those attending will be supported to write in whatever for they prefer.

The park is just a 15 minute walk from Rochdale Interchange, and for those driving, parking is available in the park for these sessions, just drive in through the gate at the bottom of Sheriff Street and follow the drive to the tarmac area in front of the house.

For more information please contact me on seamus@onepoetsvision.co.uk or Eileen Earnshaw on eileen.earnshaw@yahoo.co.uk

Storytelling and Writing this week

My Pet T-Rex

Dinosaur picture coloured in by children using pencils.

This week I’ve had a great time running creative writing sessions for children as part of the excellent HAF (Health, Activity and Food) program with YourTrust Rochdale. The children in each group range from age 4 to age 12 and this week we’ve worked with my children’s story “My pet T-Rex”.

We talk about dinosaur facts, we look at my life sized dinosaur eggs and birds eggs for comparison before I tell them my story and then help them to create their own stories. The focus is firmly on creativity and fun and children are encouraged to use their imaginations.

Dinosaur picture coloured in by children using pencils.

some great examples this week have included;

“The dinosaur became sad because the people ran away. I gave him a flower to eat and it cheered him up.”

One girl told of an aquatic dinosaur that could take her under the water, “it was magical, I tell ya!”

A dinosaur as big as the the Leaning Tower of Pisa and another with square shaped eyes.

There were magical dinosaurs that could teleport, read minds, dance, sing and even one with an extendable neck. There were dinosaurs that went on picnics, went shopping or left a trail of squashed footprints through a forest.

Children at my sessions are encouraged to join in with actions and sounds but yesterday one group asked me if they could act out the story. At the end of the session I spent a few minutes working out how we could act out the story and we then had a performance with young people taking the roles of the dinosaur and the children in the story – they were fully engaged and had a great time.

Dinosaur picture coloured in by children using pencils.

When we’ve had our fill of talking, listening and writing there may be time for some artwork or creative colouring like the examples shown in this post. It has been an inspiring week of story telling, more dinosaurs, more imagination and more magic with children from some of the most deprived backgrounds.

if you’d like the children in your school or groups to experience this unique storytelling and writing session please email seamus@onepoetsvision.co.uk

I also offer storytelling and writing sessions based on my original children’s stories covering topics including, an ocean adventure, a space adventure, wolves, mini beasts and forest friends. All of the stories have plenty of reference to science and nature, echoing my own interests and my degree in Ecology.

Sessions run for one to two hours and up to three sessions can be delivered during a typical school day.

Poetry in the Park – FREE Writing Workshops – 22nd April 2023

Choose from three poetry workshops running from 10:00am to 12:00noon

Poetry in the park logo

To reserve your place on your chosen workshop please email lizwhitecreative@gmail.com


Introduction to Poetry – Eileen Earnshaw

Rochdale poet, writer and workshop facilitator, Eileen Earnshaw, runs the Falinge Park Writing Group and has led several writing projects in Bolton after completing her BA Honours Degree in Creative Writing at Bolton University. This workshop is suitable for anyone interested in starting to write poetry and those who are relatively new to writing.

Eileen’s track record in helping new writers to gain confidence will ensure and engaging and inclusive workshop where everyone will leave with new knowledge and some new poetry.

Freeform Poetry – Gaia Holmes

Calderdale poet, Gaia Holmes, has won several awards for her poetry and was recently awarded a fellowship by the Arts Foundation Futures, for her place writing. Gaia is an experienced workshop facilitator who always brings positivity and fresh viewpoints to her sessions.

This Freeform Poetry session is aimed at those who want to develop their writing and look at new approaches to their poetry. Participants are sure to enjoy the session and leave with some new writing.


Polish and Perfect – Seamus Kelly

Littleborough based poet and artist, Seamus Kelly, has led a number of successful writing projects including the 2022 Poetry in the Park project in Littleborough with a series of workshops culminating in the publication of a large print poetry book of the participants’ work.

This workshop is suitable for those who have written some poetry and would like to finds ways to polish it and prepare it for publication or performance. The workshop will include techniques for using a microphone while reading your polished words.


Poetry performance – 12:00 to 1:00pm

Following the workshops there will be a performance session in Hare Hill House where participants, and perhaps workshop leaders, will share some of their words.


To reserve your place on your chosen workshop please email lizwhitecreative@gmail.com

Kodachrome to Monochrome – Writers on Tap – 2nd February 2023

Kodachrome to Monochrome – Writers on Tap – 2nd February 2023

On Thursday I will be delivering a brand new creative writing workshop, Kodachrome to Monochrome, for Writers on Tap. Formerly the Touchstones Creative Writing Group, the group now meet at The Medicine Tap in Rochdale on the first Thursday of the month from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

A monochrome image taken inside chethams library in Manchester.

The workshop will look at tone, colour and details in creative writing with prompts and exercises to encourage some new writing. All are welcome and all genres of writing are encouraged. The picture above is one of a selection to be used as prompts.

Poetry in the Park Launches – Tomorrow 2nd Dec

Hare Hill House, Littleborough

11:00am to 12:00noon, Friday 2nd December

A photo of the open box with a copy of the anthology at the top

A quick glance inside one of the boxes of books ready for tomorrow’s launch.

It is always exciting opening that box and holding a copy of a brand new book in your hand. This one is a special one being produced as it is a large print anthology helping to make poetry accessible to older people and those with some visual impairment.

The work has been inspired by the workshops that the writers attended at Hare Hill House in Littleborough. I’m really looking forward to the participating poets receiving their copies, seeing their words in print and sharing some of their poems at the launch.

if you can get along to the launch you’ll be very welcome and you will be able to collect a free copy of Poetry in the Park and enjoy light refreshment and drinks.

Touchstones Creative Writing Group – an Anniversary

Photography of the entrance to Touchstones, Rochdale

Seven years ago my friend and fellow poet and writer, Norman Warwick, retired to Lanzarote. Norm, part of All Cross the Arts in Rochdale, had facilitated the Touchstones Creative Writing Group every month for some years and the group was going well.

I received an email from the group secretary asking me if i would be able to facilitate their next session in October 2015 as Norm wouldn’t be around. of course I said yes and created a workshop for the group.

Since then TCWG have called in a number of writers to facilitate their sessions and I’ve delivered brand new workshops every few months for the group.

Yesterday I walked through those doors and delivered a workshop about Time and Place in writing.

Seven years and over 20 workshops where I’ve seen members come and go. We used technology during the pandemic, we’ve met in various rooms including the galleries whilst open to the public. I can honestly say that its been a privilege to work with the members and to see how they’ve developed over the years.

So as Norm celebrates 7 years of retirement in Lanzarote, where he is embedded in the local writing and cultural scenes, I celebrate my own 7 years of working with TCWG.

Norm writes about arts and culture, in Lanzarote, Rochdale, and around the world, on his blog ”All Across the Arts, Sidetracks and Detours” at https://aata.dev

All Across the Arts continues to deliver arts and cultural stories, inspiration and events in Rochdale, curated by Steve Cooke with a twice weekly column in the local papers and online at www.allacrossthearts.com

Summer Holiday Workshops

I’ve had an amazing Summer running workshops as part of the HAF (Health Activity and Food) working with young people from age 5 to 11. Your Trust Rochdale, the borough’s cultural and leisure trust, had asked me to deliver sessions following feedback from sessions I had previously delivered for HAF last Summer and at Easter.

I delivered a total of 13 sessions at schools and libraries in Darnhill, Heywood, Middleton, Smallbridge and Kirkholt in Rochdale, and were attended by between 12 and 22 young people at each.

Each workshop involved storytelling, with a new series of children’s stories I have been developing, learning about a topic, creative writing and drawing and colouring matching the themes of each topic. in some sessions we also shared some poetry and children produced some of their own.

The workshops were titled:

My Ocean Adventure, My Space Adventure, My Minibeast Adventure, My Dinosaur Adventure and Endangered – Creatures at Risk.

All of the workshops were very well received and when a 7 year old on my final session (one of My Ocean Adventure sessions) said ”That was a really good story” I couldn’t have been happier.

The workshops are all now available for schools, and other groups, and are suitable for anyone from 5 to 11, including children with special needs. Each session can be run over one hour or two hours depending on ages and needs of the group.

I’m always happy to discuss the sessions I offer and availability and can also prepare bespoke sessions as required for all age groups for age 5 upwards.