Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Writing Workshop Tour in the Lake District & Lancaster

Sean M. Madden
(click image to enlarge)
Photo © 2013 Mufidah Kassalias


Write from the Heart Writing Workshops with
Sean M. Madden  
 in the Lake District & Lancaster through 22 June

WITHERSLACK, Cumbria (5 June 2013) / /

Two writer-photographer-slow travelers are here in the Lake District through 22 June, having just arrived this past Saturday. Sean Madden and his partner Mufidah Kassalias have been slow traveling in Britain, France and Spain for over a year now. In May 2012, they left their quite comfortable householder existence in Lewes, East Sussex — where for years Sean had led a variety of creative writing and mindful living courses and workshops — to live nomadically, based out of their '98 Fiat Punto, complete with roofbox.

Well, at least that's how they get from A to B.

"I paid £150 for the car in 2009," Sean says, "and it carried us, without a glitch, over 5,000 miles last year — through England, Wales, France and Spain, and back — though the roofbox alone is worth more than the car."

Over the past year, Sean and Mufidah have been rained out of their campsite just outside Hay-on-Wye during last year's Hay Festival, run writing workshops at Richard Booth's famed bookshop in Hay, traveled through France — staying with various CouchSurfing hosts along the way, camping for two months just outside Vichy, as well as staying with a new-found friend living amidst the vineyards of Monbazillac, in the Dordogne, just a few minutes' walk from the Chateau — and, for seven-and-a-half months lived in Burgos, Spain, the ancient capital of Castile, where they wrote, took 1,500-plus Instagram photographs which got them profiled in the Diario de Burgos newspaper, and taught English privately out of their flat, rented on the cheap from a half-English, half-Spanish friend, though paid for by the skin of their teeth.

But while slow traveling on a shoestring, Sean and Mufidah work hard wherever they happen to be — sourcing venues for their writing workshops and promoting them, working on various creative projects (including a high-quality book of their Burgos Instagram photographs), and finding their next house- or pet-sit from which to base themselves while running their workshops, etc.

Mufidah also helps Apple Mac users to become more proficient with their computers and handheld devices, and can help her clients develop WordPress sites and improve their social media and newsletter marketing. She's only in a given place for a limited time, but is happy to work with local clients when in the area. More information is available via her website.

While in the Lake District, Sean will be leading five Write from the Heart writing workshops.

"That simple phrase perfectly sums up these workshops," he says. "For four hours, we write together and share our work, though the emphasis is always on writing the truth of our own experience, regardless of whether that truth is best expressed as fiction or nonfiction. So I encourage my students to be courageous on the page, and then, separately, decide whether they're comfortable sharing a particular piece of writing. The results are amazing. Also, something magical tends to happen around the table in the form of authentic conversations and connections forged between those of us in the workshop. And it makes no difference whether folk in the workshop are brand-new to writing or are seasoned professionals."

You can read what workshop participants, themselves, say about Sean's writing classes, as well as his one-to-one guidance, via the "Testimonials" page of his website. One such seasoned professional wrote the following on Twitter: "Took part in another writing workshop with @SeanMMadden yesterday. He rocks! So gentle, so encouraging, so real. Inspiring!".

Four of the five workshops will be in Cumbria, with the fifth in nearby Lancaster:

Detailed information, including times, venues, links to online maps, and workshop fees are available via Sean's website. Bookings — which must be made in advance, as places are limited in each workshop — can be made directly from the website.

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For further information or other media enquiries, please contact Sean or Mufidah, both of whom are available for in-person, telephone or email interviews. Initial contact is best made via email, as while in the Lake District, Sean and Mufidah's (O2) mobile telephones often lose signal. However, we'd be happy to telephone you back via a landline telephone.

Sean M. Madden 07925 244037 / /
Mufidah Kassalias 07512 927720 / /


  1. Hi, great to know about this. Do you have an online version of any of these sessions?

  2. Hello. It's a great question, which I appreciate your asking; however, the answer at present is no. But it's something I've been noodling on for quite some time. So if you haven't already done so, I'd suggest subscribing to the MLG Newsletter (see the top of the right-hand sidebar).

    With warm regards,