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Creative Writing for Autistic Adults / Spring 2020 / Manchester

Hello! Thank you for taking an interest in this Creative Writing workshop series designed for autistic adults. This page will give you further information about the workshops. If you have any questions, please send me an email on That's also how you can book your place on the workshop series. This page breaks down the information by five categories:

Aims, Content, Practicalities, How to Sign Up, Workshop Leaders


  • To create a friendly, accessible space for autistic adults to 'have a go' at creative writing, or to develop skills they already practice

  • To foster a small community of neurodiverse creatives who write brilliant tales and poems in each other's company

  • To help break down barriers that prevent autistic people from accessing and practicing creative arts

  • To have fun and enjoy the mindful benefits of creative writing


A series of four workshops that cover different ways of writing creatively. Each workshop will be led by a different practitioner, two of whom are successful autistic writers. These are the themes and leaders:

  • 19th April, 2020: Short Fiction with David Hartley

  • 26th April, 2020: Poetry with Kate Fox

  • 3rd May, 2020: Creative Non-Fiction (workshop leader TBC)

  • 10th May, 2020: Zine-making with Camille Smithwick

During the workshops you will read some examples of published writing and follow some simple exercises to create new writing of your own. We will use the artworks and surroundings of the Whitworth Art Gallery to help with inspiration. You don't have to be an experienced or published writer to sign-up; all abilities are welcome.

You will not be put under any pressure to read anything out loud or to share any of your writing. You can also opt out of any exercises you don't want to do.


  • Location: Meeting Room A, Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER

  • Timings: All workshops will start at 2pm and end at 4pm

  • Cost: £20 for the full series. Lower rates available for low income individuals - just email me on (I will not ask you to prove anything.)

  • Booking your place: You will need to book your place in advance. See 'How to Sign Up' below.

  • Participants: Over 18 years old only. There will be a maximum class size of 15 people.   

  • Accessibility: There will be a separate quiet room in the gallery. The workshop space is wheelchair accessible. You are welcome to bring sensory toys and sensory dampening gear (ie; sunglasses, noise cancelling headphones, etc) as long as they will not disrupt the rest of the class.

  • Resources: Please bring your own notebook and a pen or pencil. I will also have spares available. There will be some refreshments including tea, coffee and water. There is a cafe in the gallery where you can buy food and drink before or after the workshops.

How to Sign Up

Email to sign up. I will send you reply asking you to pay the course fee via bank transfer or PayPal. Once you have paid it, your place on the workshop series will be booked. The course fee is for all four workshops so you will be expected to attend each workshop in the series. If this is a problem, just let me know via email.

Workshop Leaders

David Hartley, Short Fiction, 19th April - that's me! I am the founder and leader of NeuroCuriosity and the director of the workshop series. I'm also a successful short fiction writer with publications in lots of magazines and anthologies (explore the rest of my website to find some of the best ones!). For the last four years I have been studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at The University of Manchester. I research the crossovers between autism and science fiction. My older sister is autistic and I am 'neurocurious'! I see autism as a different and wonderful way of seeing the world and I'm passionate about autistic expression in the arts.

I will lead the first workshop, attend all the others and answer all the emails.

Kate Fox, Poetry, 26th April 


Poet, comedian, and broadcaster Kate Fox has published numerous collections of poetry including Fox Populii (Smokestack Books) and Chronotopia (Burning Eye Books).


She is a regular guest on Radio 3's The Verb, has presented Radio 4's Pick of the Day and was Poet in Residence at Glastonbury Festival. Her touring show Where There's Muck, There's Bras has been a roaring success and she's currently writing a new show about autism and Doctor Who. She is proudly neurodiverse and a great champion of Northern voices!

Workshop leader for Creative Non-Fiction, 3rd May: To Be Confirmed



Camille Smithwick, Zine-making, 10th May

Manchester-based artist Camille Smithwick has had her work exhibited at HOME theatre and cinema, The Portico Library and in the 2020 Manchester Open Exhibition. Her illustrations regularly appeared in The Skinny and currently adorns the beer labels of SQUAWK brewing company. She facilitates creative art classes for the over-50s in Rusholme and Fallowfield and, for three years, ran the Colouring Club at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter. Her HOME exhibition 'Ode to the Untruth' explored the life, times and fantastical stories of Kasper Hauser. Camille and David Hartley will lead the final workshop together to help you create a take-home art 'zine' (small magazine) of your new writing.



Curious about creativity in the age of neurodiversity

Curious about new expressions, new narratives, new styles

Curious about inclusivity, creative daring, and making new truths

Curious about minds, mentality and mental health

Curious about arts across divergence

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