writing courses in snowdonia

Creative Writing Courses in North Wales

cinnamon press publishers

Creative writing courses are held at Tyn-y-Coed in association with Cinnamon Press and have become a popular fixture.

Several participants in Cinnamon Press courses have gone on to have poetry collections or novels published and/or to win literary prizes – so why not join the course at Tyn-y-Coed and make this the year to take your writing seriously and move it to the next level?

  • courses in March & November
  • creative writing workshops
  • individual mentoring
  • tutors - editor Jan Fortune, and writer Pete Marshall

About the Writing Course

Join Cinnamon Press founder and editor, Jan Fortune and North Wales writer, Pete Marshall for an inspiring week of creative writing workshops, individual mentoring and inspiration from the stunning scenery of Snowdonia in the company of a small group of writers.

The courses are aimed at those who want to move their writing to the next level, want help with work in progress or who are looking for fresh inspiration in a supportive, stimulating environment. Places always go quickly so book soon.

The workshops will focus on making your writing come to life, whether you are working on fiction or poetry. The group will be limited in size to allow each writer two one to one mentoring sessions during the week.

In addition to opportunities to share work in progress, time to write and relax, there will be a visit from a local author and the chance to explore a beautiful area of Snowdonia, using walks (or car trips for those who would prefer not to walk too far) for writing inspiration.

The Cost

This is a residential course and includes accommodation at Tyn-y-Coed in the Conwy Valley in North Wales.

The cost is £500 or £520 for an en suite bedroom. This is for a single occupancy room. There are also shared rooms for £460, but no one has to share unless you prefer this.

The course is held every March and November.

How to Book

A booking form and full details can be obtained from Jan and booking by cheque with the deposit of £100 payable to ‘Cinnamon Press’ or by bank transfer (email Jan for a form).

Jan can be contacted at:
Tŷ Meirion, Glan yr Afon, Tanygrisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, LL41 3SU.
Tel: 01766 832112
E-mail: jan@cinnamonpress.com

The Tutors

Pete Marshall

Pete Marshall was born in Toxteth in 1958. He left school at 15 and has worked in various occupations ranging from soldier to social worker. His writing appears regularly in literary magazines at home and abroad. Pete has had five collections of poetry published and one novel. His first collection was published by the Frogmore Press in 1989. His second, 'In Loco Parentis', a collection about child abuse, was described by Peter Finch, poet and chairman of the Welsh Academi as, "Quite simply the best new collection of poetry I have seen in years." It was re-issued by Cinnamon Press in 2013. His collection 'The Vale', was written on a 6 month writing sabbatical in the Vale of Glamorgan and published in 1997. 'Agog', a collection of poetry set in Snowdonia was published in 2011 by Cinnamon Press. His novel, 'Little Smiles', published by Cinnamon Press, a book about working with children in care is available as an ebook from Amazon. His latest book, 'Oddfellows', a collection of poetry and prose was published by Cinnamon Press in 2018. Pete is married with three kids and lives on a farm in the Conwy Valley. He has an MA in creative writing from the University of Wales, Bangor. Pete is a member of the Welsh Academi's writers-on-tour scheme and currently divides his time between writing, running his holiday letting business, and running residential creative writing courses in partnership with Cinnamon Press at his smallholding.

Jan Fortune

Jan Fortune read theology at Cambridge and has a PhD in feminist theology and an MA in creative writing. She has taught creative writing for the Open College of Art, The Writer’s House, the Arvon Foundation Women on Tour, Ty’n y Coed and Abri, and does mentoring work as part of the co-operative, Triskele Writes and for Cinnamon Press. As founder and editor at Cinnamon Press, she has edited over 160 books and helped many writers toward publication. Her books include novels, A Good Life, Dear Ceridwen, The Standing Ground and Coming Home, and poetry collections, Particles of Life and Stale Bread and Miracles. She is currently working on a poetry sequence exploring emotions through the landscape and architecture of an abandoned slate mining village, in conjunction with poet Mavis Gulliver, who is writing about the Scottish slate islands, and a novel that ranges across three generations and two continents, exploring issues of metamorphosis and identity, I’m Still Here. Jan lives in North Wales.


Dear Pete and Jan,

Really I cannot thank you enough for such a superb course. I enjoyed every single minute of it and came away with such a bank of rich experiences that I am sure will sustain me for a very long time.

I do feel made up from it and as if I'm on a new track now after feeling very low about where I was going with my writing beforehand - on the point almost of giving up at times. Thank you for restoring my confidence and self belief.

I think you've designed the course very well with plenty of time for writing but also providing a range of stimulating input: the writing exercises, the guided walks with poems from Pete, the reading from Ian, the readings you both gave yourselves (wonderful & inspiring), and the array of great books (and that was so generous, Jan, to let us help ourselves to the Cinnamon titles). It was so valuable too to get feedback from both the individual and group sessions - not to mention the encouragement given. It definitely helped as well to be with such a lovely and talented group of people. Great chemistry between us all I thought.

I know I speak for other members of our group as well as myself when I say that the course was such a powerful emotional experience that we were all a little sad at leaving but knowing too that we came away fortified and ready to crack on.

Anyway, thanks again and all best wishes to you both


'Odd Fellows' - the latest publication from Pete Marshall

odd fellows

Brilliantly observed, wry, witty and brimming with energy, the latest collection from Pete Marshall ranges from short lyric pieces to prose poems to text conversations to draw astute word-portraits of its array of 'odd fellows'. Inventive, scalpel-sharp, yet humane and affectionate, Marshall's characters engage, entertain and enlighten, revealing the human condition with all its foibles, flaws and attachments. Oddfellows is an accessible, compelling and distinctive collection from a remarkable voice.

It costs £8.99 from the Cinnamon Press website or contact jan@cinnamonpress.com

'Little Smiles' - available on Amazon Kindle

Little Smiles is a short novel set in a fictional childrens' home somewhere in England. Based on the author's own 25 years experience of working as a social worker with children in care the story gives a frank, honest and often harrowing and disturbing insight into the lives of vulnerable children in residential care and of the staff who struggle to look after them.

The book is available in Kindle format on Amazon. You can buy or preview the book through amazon.co.uk on the right.



Agog is a book about Wales. More precisely it’s about North Wales. Snowdonia. Eryri in Welsh. It’s about water. Welsh water. Which is unlike any other water anywhere else in the world. Welsh water is magic. It’s clever. Welsh water can rain in any direction it wants to, including upwards. It’s about wizards and witches and warlocks. Agog is a book about three brothers in the back of a mini traveller on single track roads with no passing places. It’s about a childhood in Wales. It’s about learning to swim. This book is about Welsh stone and castles and burial chambers and hill forts and Roman roads. Agog is a book about the conflict between an indigenous people and the incomers who choose to settle in their land. It’s about beautiful Gwenno. It’s about a gang of pikey Essex boys and what happens to them when they go on holiday to Snowdonia and spend an evening in Llanrwst. Agog is about holding your trousers up with bailing twine.

If you want to know what North Wales is really like you should read this book. It costs £8.99 from the Cinnamon Press website or contact jan@cinnamonpress.com

'In Loco Parentis' - now re-issued in a revised form due to demand


Using found material and personal experience In Loco Parentis is poetry at it’s most hard-hitting and affective.

Pete Marshall is a poet who has spent much of his life working with children in care. This book brings into the daylight our darkest, most shameful secrets. Through his unblinking eye we look into the lives of abused children. He tells us what we least want to hear about their terror, pain and rage. He also makes us hear what it is like to work with betrayed and damaged children: they put the adults who try to care for them at risk.

Pete Marshall aims to make his readers uncomfortable; he provokes revulsion and resistance. He aims for a relentless truth that refuses to accept our habitual defences against these children’s experiences. He strips away the legal, bureaucratic, custodial and caring language with which we protect ourselves from this truth, and tells it with a terrible, forceful directness. The poems are neither easy to read nor to forget.

A number of authors have tried to link social work with literature and art, but mainly via literary and artistic criticism. Far fewer have dared to express the extremities of cruelty and sexual abuse in an artistic form, and fewer still in a form that puts no veil of delicacy between viewer and victim. These poems are shocking: they are meant to be..

The book costs £8.99 from the Cinnamon Press website or contact jan@cinnamonpress.com

Contact Information

For more information about the course, or to make a booking, please contact Jan at:

Mail: Tŷ Meirion, Glan yr Afon, Tanygrisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, LL41 3SU
Phone: 01766 832112

home | tŷ john | tŷ nansi rhiannon | deri llewelyn | llys y wennol | cottage availability | location | contact us