Writing to challenge and change your world with Louise Tickle

We are delighted to be able to offer this course for the first time, hosted by the award-winning social affairs journalist and commentator Louise Tickle. Lasting three full days, this course is for anyone with a desire to transform their world and an urge to write with a purpose.

Is there a burning issue you want to explore?

An injustice you want to campaign against?

A problem you want other people to care about?

Louise has written extensively on domestic abuse, failures of safeguarding in the state school sector and the effects of poverty on children’s education, as well as international development and the environment. She has a particular interest in family courts and the care system, and is a member of The Transparency Project which aims to promote greater understanding of family law.

Her features, long-reads and opinion pieces are published in a wide variety of national news outlets. She is a regular Guardian contributor, a columnist for Family Law Journal, runs media training courses, and is frequently invited to speak at public events and debates. In lighter moments she writes on activity travel including, most recently, an open water swimming trip to the Arctic Circle for BBC Wildlife magazine.

She recently took up the role of the first ever “journalist at large” to be appointed by the charity Local Trust, and is the recipient of a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Ideas and Pioneers Fund award enabling her to spend nine months on her Open Family Court project, through which she is exploring how to effect greater transparency across the family law system.

Louise has considerable experience of designing and delivering bespoke media training courses, and co-founded a popular series of conferences called What Journalists Want that ran over three years, aimed at communications teams from the voluntary, public and education sectors.

In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils for her work on the BBC One film Behind Closed Doors and her Guardian reporting on domestic abuse. In 2016 she was also shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism, and was joint winner of the Bar Council’s Legal Reporting Award. She has won a number of CIPR Awards for outstanding education journalism, and has twice been winner of the Rosemary Goodchild Award for Sexual Health Journalism run by Brook and the Family Planning Association.

Drawing on over 15 years’ experience of reporting and campaigning journalism, Louise will guide participants through the process of:

  • tightly defining the issue at hand
  • identifying a selection of story strands within it
  • sourcing and deploying evidence within your writing
  • using lively and illuminating quotes
  • providing balance / being fair
  • structuring a short news article or blogpost
  • researching and sustaining a compelling piece of longer writing

It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced writer or not, but please come with at least one firm idea for an issue you are keen to explore.

Essential items to bring:

A laptop that is wifi enabled

A notebook

Any reports or other research materials that you would like to draw on

Dawn breaks over the former slate-quarrying island of Easdale in Argyll, on Scotland's west coast.

This is a unique opportunity to ‘get away from it all’ and benefit from the peaceful environment offered by Easdale island and work with one of the UK’s leading journalists. The date of the course is:

Saturday 16th until Wednesday 20th November, 2019. (Arrival should be timed for the afternoon of 16th November. There will be three full days of tuition, before participants depart on the morning of the 20th November.)

What is included in the course fee:

  • All teaching, guidance and encouragement!
  • Your accommodation. We have six bedrooms for participants, in two separate cottages, Chattan and An Rubha. (Louise will stay in separate nearby accommodation on the island). Each cottage has its own well-equipped kitchen, generously-sized bathroom and communal area for socialising. Both cottages have gardens, with Chattan also having a patio to the rear.
  • Meals. The following will be offered as part of the course fee: continental breakfasts on the four mornings of your stay, including day of departure. A light lunch, consisting of soup, sandwiches and salad on each of three full days of the course. Three simple evening meals, which will be eaten communally. Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be provided.  On the last evening, we recommend the short trip to the island’s award-winning Puffer restaurant to sample some of the finest local seafood and other produce from Argyll. This will be at your discretion but it’s well worth it and we encourage all the participants to join us for the meal.
  • We can arrange free travel to-and-from Oban, the nearest major town to Easdale island (15 miles by road). Oban has railway and bus stations and is a two-and-a-half hours drive from Glasgow airport.
What is not included:
  • Travel to and from Easdale island. You will be asked to make your own way to either Oban or down to the island and to time your arrival for the late afternoon before the day the course commences.
  • Personal equipment for your use.
  • Your personal insurance. Easdale Experiences, who are facilitating the courses, have all the necessary insurance policies in place for your protection, however, we recommend you have your own travel and personal insurance in the event that you are unable to attend the course after booking, are delayed in your arrival/departure or that your equipment becomes faulty or damaged.

Places are limited to six participants and the course costs £425.00. There is an early bird offer of a £30.00 discount if you reserve your place before 1st March, 2019. To secure your place,  we require a £50.00 non-refundable deposit, which will be subtracted from your final balance, which will be due to be paid in full by 23rd September, 2019. To find out more information about what is on offer, please email colinmcpherson@mac.com in the first instance.

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