Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
writer community and events

Inkpots & Acorns: The Writers’ Collective in Sevenoaks

A new chapter is unfolding in the literary landscape of Sevenoaks… a beacon of hope and inspiration for seasoned and budding writers alike.

Local writer, Toria Thompson, has created a haven for writing enthusiasts – from informative, upskilling workshops to informal meetups by creating a space for creatives to make time to write.

Whether you write for love or write for money, whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or already have a bestseller on the shelves, all are welcome under this canopy of community.

toria thompson writer personal logo

How Toria sees herself, “Still a young girl at heart daring to try to fly and reach those stars!”

 

About Toria Thompson

Toria had a long (25 years!), successful career in the finance world, even founding her own professional services company. Like many of us in 2020, a mindset shift took hold. Toria used this time to take a career break and pursue a long-held ambition of writing a novel. There was no returning to the corporate world for Toria after this and writing became her full-time profession.

Based on that alone, we think you’re starting to get a pretty good idea of what Toria is about – a self-starter who is not scared to take a leap of faith and pursue her passion, but also with a savvy head on her shoulders. There’s a lot to be respected.

 

writer community and events

 

In her personal life, Toria doesn’t mind us sharing that it’s been a far from easy journey. She says, “After losing two brothers by the age of 11 and then Mum at 28, grief and loss were a huge chunk of who I was, and any story I had to tell wasn’t going to be able to skirt around that.”

Toria shares this chapter of her story in more depth in her beautifully written and candid blog – ‘When Is The ‘Write’ Time?’ – we implore you to give it a read.

Writing became her outlet, a route to freedom, a release from grief and years spent supressing it.

Learn more about Toria here.

 

“Writing is such a powerful tool. With it we can not only create characters and worlds of our own, but also use it as a mechanism for communicating things that might be on our mind. By putting pen to paper, we can take our thoughts; happy or sad, good or bad, out of our frequently over-crowded heads, and look at them from a new perspective.” – Toria Thompson

The unseen challenges faced by writers

No job is without its hurdles and behind every hobby are infinite hours spent honing one’s craft. The same is true of writing. It’s not just a case of turn your imagination on and put pen to paper.

There are some very real challenges and if any of these resonate, Toria’s community is the place for you to flourish.

 

toria thompson writer

 

Here are a few of the common ones:

 

Writer’s block

The frustration of being a wordsmith who cannot find the words is maddening! Writer’s block is a predicament where the author struggles to put words on paper or come up with new ideas. It can last a few minutes, a few days or even a few months. This creative slowdown can be caused by lack of inspiration or motivation, indecision, stress, illness etc. It can cause worry and anxiety, especially when there is a deadline looming.

 

Maintaining discipline

Distractions are everywhere – online and offline. Avoiding them and managing your own time is a battle for anyone who works from home or works alone. Especially difficult if you’re struggling with a case of writer’s block, with a blank screen glaring back at you. Oh, and that work/life balance thing?

Creating a writing schedule or working in a dedicated environment can really help. This need for routine and discipline is what led Toria to develop her Wednesday writing meet up, more on that shortly…

 

Dealing with rejection

Writing feels like a pretty personal vocation. Often, writers draw from personal experience and sending your work to publisher after publisher, the rejection can feel personal too (it’s not!). A rejection doesn’t mean your work is lacking but it’s hard to not feel discouraged.

Rejection is an intrinsic human fear. We think it’s incredibly brave and takes a lot of gumption to put yourself out there over and over again!

 

Isolation

Writing as a career can feel pretty lonely at times. It’s solitary by nature. Whilst many writers enjoy the solo time, it can be tough day in and day out.

This is Toria’s personal Everest and what led her to create a face-to-face community – Inkpots & Acorns – through events. Having a robust community waiting in the wings makes all the difference. A place to soundboard your ideas, spark inspiration and keep you motivated along the way. You are not alone.

 

Lack of support

Sometimes is the case that writers receive less support from friends and family than other professions. The media doesn’t help when every writer in film/TV is portrayed as tortured or reclusive with an unhealthy habit or two. We know that is certainly NOT the case – time to break the stereotype!

 

A really competitive industry

The publishing industry is notoriously competitive and it’s overloaded, more manuscripts are being submitted than agents can review. With this comes an element of gatekeeping too as there are usually a few players you need to get behind your work. Building a supportive, well-connected network can help to navigate this.

 

“Toria has managed to curate a wonderful space for us writerly types that is such a welcome source of support for fellow travellers as well as a valuable resource for practical help along the infinitely wandering path of following one’s creativity!” Amy Enayat

 

Inkpots & Acorns: the power of community and events for writers

 

Inkpots & Acorns event

 

As we’ve discussed, writing can be a rather solitary endeavour.

When it comes to building a community, there really is nothing that delivers on this goal better than face-to-face events. An invaluable opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals (or ‘writerly colleagues’ as Toria lovingly calls them) in a way that’s hard to replicate online. Even just turning up to the same event is a shared experience!

Being part of a community is immensely fulfilling. Your community becomes your support system, the one that gets you through the peaks and troughs and validates your feelings and experiences because they understand what you are going through.

 

Here’s 10 fantastic perks to joining a writing community such as Inkpots & Acorns:

1] Feel a sense of belonging

2] Provides support and encouragement

3] Exchange ideas, advice and resources

4] A safe space to give and receive feedback

5] Accountability

6] Opportunities to learn and grow

7] Expand your professional network in the industry – referrals, collaborations, mentorships etc.

8] Create meaningful, life-long friendships

9] Boost morale, motivation and confidence

10] Celebrate your successes and achievements together

 

“It has been so lovely to connect with like-minded creative types to discuss writing and to keep me inspired to keep going. Toria does a wonderful job of keeping us all focused and to foster a sense of community. I’m thoroughly enjoying being part of Inkpots & Acorns” Karyn Palmer

 

Upcoming events

Get your diaries at the ready because you won’t want to miss out.

 

Tuesday Evening Writers’ Meet

A monthly writers’ networking event in the heart of Sevenoaks, Kent.

Whether starting out or a seasoned writer, join this monthly writer’s gathering that takes place on the second Tuesday of every month. A chance to meet other writers, to share, inspire & learn…or just write!

Next event:
Tuesday 11th June
7.00 – 9.30pm
Lime Tree Work Shop, 11 Lime Tree Walk, Sevenoaks, Kent. TN13 1YH

Learn more and book your space here.

 

Writerly Wednesdays

Kickstart your project or develop one already underway. Join a group of fellow writers for a mini writers’ retreat at Lime Tree Work Shop on the first Wednesday of the month
Book your hot-desk pass direct with Lime Tree Work Shop and drop Toria a note to let her know you’re coming.

Next event:
Wednesday 5th June
Morning session, from 8am
Lime Tree Work Shop, 11 Lime Tree Walk, Sevenoaks, Kent. TN13 1YH

Book your Half Day Hot Desk Pass here.

 

Introduction to Scrivener Workshop

Tuesday 18th June
10am-12pm

Get in touch for details of this introductory workshop to learn the basics on how the powerful writing tool that is Scrivener can help you plan, organise, edit and write more effectively.

Learn more and book your space here.

 

Writers’ Retreat

Coming Soon!

Treat yourself and your writerly muse to a full day of writing. With opportunites for mini break-out sessions, creative activities to tickle the imagination, and, most importantly, being able to make the time to write!

These retreats will be held in the creative space that is Lime Tree Work Shop, in the heart of Sevenoaks.

Contact Toria directly to register your interest.

 

Never miss the guestlist again – sign up to Toria’s newsletter via the website to be the first to hear about upcoming events and retreats… and even a few new stories to pore over!

 

Get in touch with Toria Thompson

Visit the website here.

Email: toria@toriathompson.co.uk

Join Toria’s online community by following on socials – Instagram, Facebook and X.

Connect with Toria directly on LinkedIn.

 

toria thompson writer

 

“As a newcomer to trying to write I find it is a lonely occupation, so the support, encouragement and fellowship I find at Inkpots & Acorns is very much valued by me. It is not unlike singing in the choir, or playing in a team game – it really encourages me to concentrate on what I am doing, while feeling part of a team. It is an excellent initiative” John Marsh

 

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