Sarah Barr

Writer, poet and teacher

Wimborne Writing Group

I’ve been leading a Creative Writing class in Wimborne for 15 years and it is a wonderful group of dedicated and talented writers many of whom have succeeded in being published during their time in the group. Members of Wimborne Writing Group have published poetry, plays (which have also been performed), short fiction and various forms of non-fiction. Two members have gone on to study for and achieve MAs, and one member has recently completed her PhD – all in Creative Writing.

I tutor Creative Writing courses for The Open University.
I am experienced and qualified  at leading groups and writing workshops and giving readings. I offer mentoring to writers and poets.

My academic qualifications include: BA (English Language and Literature); MA (Creative Writing); MSc (Sociology & Social Policy) PGCE (post-16 & adult education); Fellow of HEA.


Here are some short profiles of some WWG members:

Ruth Blaug  enjoys writing poetry and short, often very short, stories.  She  writes about the birds and other animals that people her life, and likes to experiment with ideas and forms. She enters a few competitions every year and ‘very occasionally’ (Sarah says: ‘often’!) gains a prize.

Mary Bevan  always promised herself she would write when she finally retired from a long career, first in academia, then in business communications consultancy. She writes flash fiction, short stories and the occasional poem and enjoys taking part in story slams. She has won or been placed in a number of competitions and was shortlisted for the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize in 2017.  Her pieces have been published in anthologies including Momaya, This Little World, Flash Fiction Festival 1, South, Best of Cafe Lit and A Thousand Words or Less.

Carole Smith  Shortly after joining Wimborne Writers group, Carole had poems and articles published in one or two magazines. Then, in order to learn more about writing fiction, she applied to study creative writing at the University of Southampton, where she remained for six years, studying, teaching, gaining a PhD, and, among other work, has written a novella and laboured over a full-length novel.

Penny Rogers writes mainly short stories and flash fiction, although she is also working on a play. She has had a short story published in Writers’ Forum and been a prize winner in the Henshaw Competition. She had a piece of flash fiction shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2013, this will be published in Bare Fiction in November 2014. In 2014 she was a prize winner in the Wimborne in Bloom poetry competition. When she is not writing, Penny can be found knitting, cooking or Nordic Walking, depending on the weather.

Julie Sharpe started writing rather late in life having become interested in producing – not a family history as such – but short biographies of members of her family. These became longer and longer as she found so much enjoyment in the exercise. She then joined a writing group in Devon and began to experiment with more creative writing, including poetry. She won a prize in a local poetry competition and on moving to Dorset came third in a short story competition. She is an avid and eclectic reader which she finds helps enormously in her writing.

Pauline Howard With many years of writing groups and a correspondence course in creative writing behind her, so far Pauline has had no hits and five misses. Fiction of the adventurous sort detracts from the mundaneness of working with figures on a daily basis, so in her limited spare time if she is not reading, she is writing. She has four children and nine grandchildren.

Gail Aldwin  Gail’s novel How to be Brave was long listed in the 2015 Flash 500 novel competition. A collection of her short fiction titled Four Buses is available in paperback due to a competition win with the Winchester Writers’ Festival. In 2015, Gail was runner up in Elle Magazine’s search for the next writing superstar. Her short fiction can be found in print anthologies including What I Remember (EVB Press, 2015) Dorset Voices (Roving Press, 2012), The Last Word (Unbound Press, 2012) and The Best of CaféLit 3 (Chapeltown Books, 2014). Gail has taught creative writing at the University of South Wales and continues to develop her writing skills through PhD studies. You can find Gail @gailaldwin and

Jill Kell has enjoyed the inspiration and friendship of creative writing groups for over 20 years. These days she uses the skills learned mainly to write up her family history researches, only occasionally venturing into the world of competitive writing.

Christopher Beck has a background in music and has had poems published in South magazine. He was 2007 winner of the Somerset Fellowship of Drama competition and his entry, ‘The Lesson’, was performed at the Little Theatre, Wells. He has an MA in creative writing from Southampton University. He won first prize for poetry in the Christchurch Literary Festival, 2012. He has just completed and published a novel, ‘The Summertime Blues’.

In 2008, Wimborne Writing Group published an anthology of prose, poetry and drama: ‘Crumbs on the Table’ (ISBN 978-0-9559503-0-8).

In December 2013, we published our 2nd anthology, ‘Grapes on the Vine’, (ISBN 978-0-9559503-1-5) which is proving very popular and selling well.

Currently we meet at Clarcs which is the Community Learning & Resource Centre in King Street, Wimborne. If you are interested in joining please contact me, Sarah Steele, at Clarcs.


16 thoughts on “Wimborne Writing Group

  1. Mary Bevan on said:

    As a new member of Wimborne Writers Group, and someone who’s only just begun to write seriously, I find Sarah’s sessions helpful and stimulating. Highly recommended. MB

  2. Jane Fraser on said:

    Hi, I have recently moved to Wimborne and I’m really interested in writing, I have just finished studying English as level and I am hoping to enrol in a English literature and creative writing course through the open university, I was wondering if this group still runs? Thank you 🙂

  3. Rachel Orman on said:

    Hi Sarah my names Rachel and im really interested in writting please could you give me more details about how I become involved in wimborne writing group? 🙂

  4. Chris york on said:

    I am looking for a regular creative writing course in a group…can you help

  5. Sue Dawson on said:

    Hi, please let me know when the group meets
    Thank you

    • Hi Sue, Thanks for your enquiry. We meet monthly on Wednesdays. At the moment I think both groups are full but places do become available and so it’s worth going on our waiting-list. I will email you privately. Sarah

  6. Emma richards on said:

    Do you ever run one day sessions for beginners. I am interested in a course in Oct next year

  7. Charlotte Quirk on said:

    Hello Sarah,
    I hope this message finds you well?
    I’m very interested in attending your writing group is this something you still run?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Charlotte, Thanks for your message and your interest in Wimborne Writing Group which I’m pleased to say is flourishing. I will send you a private email with more details.

  8. Hi Sarah, I am new to the area and I’m looking for a writing group to join. I’m about to do an Arvon course on memoir and I’m also working on a novel. I have not had any work published. If you are still accepting members it would be good know when the group meets.
    Many thanks,

  9. Hi Maggie, Good to hear from you. We meet monthly on a Wednesday. Sarah

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