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Sat, Feb 15


Packfords Hotel

Writing with Passion

Romance novels allow you to fall in love again and again, all without leaving your home, changing out of your PJs or cheating on your partner! But what makes a good romance novel, and how do you go about writing one?

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Writing with Passion
Writing with Passion

Time & Location

Feb 15, 2020, 9:30 a.m. – Feb 16, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

Packfords Hotel, 16 Snakes Ln W, Woodford, Woodford Green IG8 0BS, UK

About the event

A Romance Writing Workshop Weekend with Editorial Coach, Joanne Grant

@ Packfords Hotel, Woodford Green

Saturday 15th February & Sunday 16th February, 2020


(Book before the end of January to get our early bird rate of £255)

Registration includes: 

  • A full day & a half immersive writing workshop with Joanne Grant
  • Refreshments throughout the weekend as well as a hot catered lunch in the Hardy Room at Packfords Hotel on Saturday 15th February

The registration fee does not include accommodation. Room bookings can be made directly through the hotel itself. For a discounted rate please call the hotel and use the code ‘Romance’ to book. 


Saturday 15th February 

08:00 – 9.30am Breakfast at the Hotel (for residential guests only)

09:30am  Tea/coffee & pastries in the Hardy Room

10:00am  Workshop begins

12:30pm  Lunch 

13:30pm  Workshop resumes 

15:00pm  Break (30 mins)

17:00pm  Workshop ends

Sunday 16th February 

08:00 – 09:30am Breakfast at the Hotel (for residential guests only)

9:30am    Tea/coffee 

10:00am  Workshop begins in the Hardy Room 

12.30am   Workshop ends

The Workshop

Romance novels allow you to fall in love again and again, all without leaving your home, changing out of your PJs or cheating on your partner! But what makes a good romance novel, and how do you go about writing one?

Join former Mills & Boon Editorial Director, Joanne Grant, as she shares her expertise and insights into romance writing. Whether you are a budding novelist, an avid reader or just want to indulge yourself by developing a new skill, this writing romance workshop may be just the thing to add some va-va voom into your Valentine’s Day weekend!

Joanne’s enthusiastic approach combines practical writing advice with interactive exercises with the aim to motivate and encourage you to create your own story. No previous writing experience is necessary. Topics covered include: creating characters to fall in love with, writing with all five senses and avoiding common pitfalls of writing romance. 

So why not make a date with yourself this Valentine’s weekend and explore your passion for writing!

Introducing your Editorial Coach, Joanne Grant 

Joanne believes deeply in the power of love. Whether in real life, or through the stories of fictional characters – the language of love is universal and gives hope and happiness. Which is why romance novels remain ever-popular. 

Joanne has over 16 years of experience working for the global bestselling publisher Harlequin, who you will know best for their iconic Mills & Boon Romances. Joanne has edited hundreds of romance novels over the years and enjoys working closely with authors to bring their stories to fruition. She understands what makes a seemingly simple story compelling and knows how to coach authors to deliver their best work. 

Her combination of editorial expertise, true passion for the power of romance novels and motivational skills, make for a truly enjoyable and inspiring workshop experience! 

You can find Joanne on Twitter @JoanneMGrant 

The Venue - Packfords Hotel 

With over 60 years of experience hosting weddings, Packfords is the perfect place to get romantically inspired. Come and enjoy a cosy stay at this beautifully appointed period house with original features, open fires and well-established gardens.

First opened by Harry and Margaret Packford in the early 1960s, the hotel has stayed in the same family ever since. Their granddaughter Sarah Packford has now set up her own writing workshop business, TrueElk, which combines her passion for storytelling with her years of hospitality experience to deliver unforgettable writing workshops.

Local Area & History - Woodford Green

The hotel itself is just a short walk from Woodford Underground Station providing fast access via the Central line to the heart of central London’s buzziest neighbourhoods, including Brick Lane, Spitalfields, the historic City and London's Theatre Land. The Olympic Park and Westfield City Shopping Centre are just 15 minutes by tube or car. Once back at the hotel you are within walking distance of shops, restaurants, Woodford Golf Club, the village green and leafy Epping Forest, which offers some of the most beautiful walking, cycling and picnicking spots in the region.

A few minutes walk from the hotel you will find a commemorative statue of Winston Churchill, who was the MP for Woodford Green and also (according to Harry Packford) famously visited the hotel when it first opened. 

Suffragette campaigner, Sylvia Pankhurst, lived in Charteris Road (a 5 minute walk from the hotel) for over 30 years with her lover, Silvio Corio, an exiled Italian anarchist. A blue plaque commemorates the home, and a small green near Woodford station, opposite the local library, has been named Pankhurst Green.

What should I bring to the event?

Writing Materials; laptop or pen and paper, whatever you feel comfortable and most inspired using. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to buy yourself a new notebook. 

What are my transportation options for getting to and from the event?

By Train

Packfords Hotel is just a short walk from Woodford Underground Station which is on the Central line providing easy access to the heart of central London. 

By Car

Leave the M25 at junction 26. Take the 3rd exit signed A121 Loughton, Epping, Woodford. At the first roundabout take the 4th exit signposted to Woodford. Travel through the forest and straight over at the next roundabout.

After a few miles and going straight over two sets of lights, you will see Hills Garage of Woodford on your left. Carry on. At the next set of lights turn left into Broadmead Road. Take the next left into Broomhill Road then right at the mini roundabout into Snakes Lane West. We are a short way down the road on the left hand side.

How can I contact the organizer with any other questions?

Organised by Sarah Packford via her company TrueElk Creative 

Workshop led by Joanne Grant. You can find Joanne on Twitter @JoanneMGrant 

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