Quarterly Newsletter – Spring 2024


I hope 2024 has got off to a great start for you. Here are a few things I’d like to share…


The release of my debut novel, Fifty Minutes, is imminent (May 16th), and I’ll be arranging a celebration in Exeter. I’ll let you know the finer details soon. I hope you can make it!

Carla Jenkins Fifty Minutes Debut Novel

They told me to meet them at Café Banana…

Here’s a writing prompt for you. The focus is on using setting to convey mood.

Think about how you can describe the setting (Café Banana) so we have a clear sense of how the narrator is feeling. If the narrator is excited about the meeting, they may notice how the sun enhances the green of the plants and the pleasant aroma of freshly baked banana bread. If the narrator is feeling annoyed that whoever they’re meeting is late, they may be more likely to notice the peeling paint on the counter, a spelling mistake on one of the menu boards, the rat trap to the side of the shack…

Choose the emotion the narrator is feeling first, then have a go at conveying this through the description of the setting. Write for ten minutes.

Raw Writing Courses

My ‘Short Story Competition Ready’ courses start in March. Many short story competitions have deadlines in May (Bath, Bristol, Bridport), and the course will ensure your story is ready to submit. Due to high demand, I’ve added an extra date – Friday 14.00-15.30. Book your place here:

It was a delight to run the ‘Pick and Mix’ courses in January. Thank you for the great reviews. Raw Writing is a new business; the reviews let people know about what I do and start writing. If you’d like to leave a review, you can do so here:


Thank you.

The next set of ‘Pick and Mix’ courses start in April. Please feel free to spread the word.

Five Minute Wonders

I love hearing what people come up with when given a random prompt and five minutes to write. 

Here’s one I gave to a class recently:

‘He was holding a short baguette in one hand and a long leek in the other…’

And here is what one of my students came up with:

He was carrying a small baguette and a long leek, and he said we should have a picnic. I didn’t realise there was anything wrong at first — I thought maybe there was more food in his bag — but when we got to the park, he started to eat the leek, like Bugs Bunny with his carrot. I don’t think that’s normal, I thought, but then I wasn’t sure. Who am I to set myself up as the expert on how to eat leeks? He didn’t seem to be enjoying it. I thought maybe it was some sort of diet.

“Is that some sort of diet?” I asked.

“No”, he said glumly, “it’s allegorical”.

“Oh, allegorical”, I said, trying to remember which one that was.

“My therapist makes me do it. It symbolises my youth in the valleys.”

Thank you, Rebecca, for giving me permission to share!

Raw Writer’s Social

The next social event is on Friday 22nd March at 16.00 at Exeter Snooker Club. More details here:


Hope to see you there!

Wishing you a happy Spring and hope your writing is coming along well.


Raw Writing

Quarterly newsletter

Our quarterly newsletter is an easy way to stay up-to-date with news and upcoming courses, classes, and events.