Creative writing classes

June: Course update

Hello! We got off to a flying start in May (despite the current strange circumstances)  with the Writing Summer School. Met a fantastic bunch of aspiring writers, and it was a privilege to read their work.

Finding Inspiration Through Folklore. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing  the participants engage with the materials and run with them, producing some fantastic new work. The good news is that I’ll soon be starting work on FITF 2, so we can all continue this creative journey in 2021.

In November, I’ll be running a 4-week block about the customs and stories associated with Yule and the winter season, so look out for more news on that coming soon! Perhaps you’ll be inspired to give the gift of a poem or story this Christmas to those you love.

Beginning July 28th. I’ve teamed with some super-talented writing tutors and we’ll be offering a ‘taster’ course for Lifelong Learning Dundee. Click HERE for booking details. Now fully-booked.

October: Editing Your Novel for Lifelong Learning Dundee. A five-week programme devoted to shaping YOUR novel. Starts Oct 5th, Eventbrite details coming soon.

I will also be reprising my four-week First Steps in Fiction course (£50) so let me know if you fancy being part of this.

All of the above will be a blend of home-based learning and online interactive sessions.


I have just enjoyed a five week course with Sandra Ireland – ‘Finding Inspiration through Folklore’, and it did exactly what it says on the tin ; I found inspiration in the material presented and discussed, but not only in my writing as I’d planned, but in other creative areas.  With five lessons complete with slide show presentations, accompanying notes and a weekly live online Zoom meeting, where Sandra and our small group were able to interact and share ideas and information to fuel our imagination, I was spurred to complete sewing and craft projects as well as life writing pieces and short stories.  Sandra gave excellent feedback to enable me to develop my ideas further.  I certainly would recommend Sandra’s courses with her gentle and encouraging style.  Lots of fun and met some wonderful like minded creators and writers.”

~   Lynn R.S. Genevieve

“Sandra’s Folklore course is a wonderful way to take your mind of the daily pressures of everyday life. Delving into fantastical stories and exploring the mythical legends and creatures that fascinate and excite us, is a super way to connect with our landscape and Scottish heritage. Aside from being interesting and educational, learning about local Folklore is simply great fun!”

~ Victoria Lothian

“Sandra’s course was really engaging and had the perfect balance of course content and discussion. It was a small and friendly group and I learned lots about Scottish folklore, particularly how to employ ideas in storytelling. I came away with a few snippets of stories and would definitely attend another one.”

~  Lyndsey Croal

“Sandra’s generous, welcoming spirit has me returning to workshops, both in person and online, again and again. Sharing her extensive knowledge on a wide range of writing styles – novel, short story, folklore, poetry – in a calm, encouraging manner, means participants blossom and share too, leading to rich, informative classes. If you are offered the opportunity to learn from Sandra, please grasp it firmly with both hands!”

~ Rae Cowie



Beginning something new can be daunting, and the wealth of writing courses, opportunities and advice on offer may seem confusing and perhaps even intimidating for fledgling writers keen to dip their toes in the creative pool. What you really need is a safe, supportive space in which to try out your ideas.

That’s where I come in. I am an associate tutor of creative writing at the University of Dundee, and run courses for Lifelong Learning Dundee. I’ve also worked in the field of writing for wellbeing in various healthcare settings. I like to think I’m a safe pair of hands!

Each week, you will receive all the materials you need for each part of the course, plus feedback via email and a midweek class via Zoom to get together and discuss ideas and issues.

Starting with First Steps in Fiction and Finding Inspiration Through Folklore week beginning May 18th, 2020


First Steps in Fiction     

pile of books

4-week block 

*generating ideas




Poetry for Pleasure

4-week block 

*rhyme or reason?                                        IMG_3952

*finding form

*metaphorically speaking

*nature poetry


Creative Non-Fiction

4-week block 

*Journals, letters and blogs

*A tale to tell: life writing and memoir

*Travel writing

*Creativity and wellbeing


Each four-week block is £50 (payable in advance), and can be taken separately. However, sign up for all three blocks and enjoy a £30 discount, that’s 12 classes for £120

All we need is enthusiasm and the wonders of modern technology. Supply your own coffee and cake! Contact me for details at

Gift vouchers available.


NOW ONLINE! Coming in June

Finding Inspiration through Folklore

‘There’s no such thing as an original idea.’ (Mark Twain)

For as long as humans have been able to tell stories they have been finding ways to re-imagine them. This series of five workshops is a must for everyone with an interest in the creative arts. We’ll look at the various themes and ideas associated with our storytelling heritage and discover what they can bring to our own practice, whether that’s writing, drawing, poetry, music, needlework, craft, etc.

WEEK 1 An introduction- Scottish folklore and how to be a ‘story keeper.’

WEEK 2 If you go down to the woods today –the forest and the folklore of trees

WEEK 3 Sink or swim – the mythology of water

WEEK 4 If stones could speak – from pebbles to mountain. Why we’re drawn to rock

WEEK 5 Recurring characters from folklore; witches and wizards, millers and blacksmiths


This course is £60. Please email



















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