Sophie Austin

Welcome to Look Up, Write Down!

Online, creative writing workshops hosted by Sophie Austin and Dr Gina Maffey

This October our theme will be:


Join us for a lunar cycle of online creative writing workshops where we explore our relationship with the night sky.

In each session you will be taken on a journey steered by stories, research and reflection, which will inspire new ways of thinking about the night-time realm.

There will be an invitation to creatively respond to these ideas in your own writing during the session and we will leave you with some prompts to explore in your own time.

Over the course of three workshops you will get to experiment with different styles of writing, consider a range of perspectives and expand your relationship with the dark.

These workshops are for anyone interested in creatively engaging with the wild world. This space will be a safe and welcoming environment to develop your work.
There is no obligation to share what you create.

Sessions will take place online on the following dates:

Thursday 3rd October 7.30pm - 9pm GMT

Thursday 10th October 7.30pm - 9pm GMT

Thursday 17th October 7.30pm - 9pm GMT

Each session will last 1.5 hours.

Look Up, Write Down is a new initiative and Moonrise will be our pilot trio of workshops. We invite you to commit to attending all three sessions and to sharing feedback on the experience once the workshops are completed.

There are eight spaces available.


About your hosts:

Sophie Austin and Gina Maffey will guide you through the night. The workshops are inspired by a pen project that Sophie and Gina embarked on in 2023. Together they investigated their relationship with the night in a series of letters between the busy, twinkling nightscape of London (where Sophie was based) and the long, starry nights of North Norway (where Gina was based). It was an exercise that brought fulfilment, and one they want to share with others.

Sophie Austin is a storyteller working across theatre, film and audio.Based in the UK, she founded and led critically acclaimed site-specific theatre company Teatro Vivo for 15 years before working on film and theatre projects internationally. She is Creative Director at environmental arts organisation, CHANGE Festival, where she creates projects and holds space for artists and audiences seeking inspiration for a regenerative future.

Sophie is Writer in Residence at Lesnes Abbey Woods and a 2022 Bio-Leadership Fellow working with the Bio-leadership Project to explore how we tell new stories about our relationship with the more-than-human world.

Dr Gina Maffey is a weaver of words, willow and wildness.

Born on a farm in Warwickshire, England, she has worked as an environmental researcher and science communicator in the Scottish highlands, the Brazilian wetlands and the Dutch lowlands, where she currently resides. Gina has woven her career across disciplines, including Astronomy, Anthropology and Ecology, to gather a deep, theoretical understanding of the natural world and our relationship with it. She applies this theory through personal experiments, such as living outside for a year.

Gina works as a public speaker and writer, creating interactive workshops and presentations that weave together poetic narratives, scientific insight and personal experience. She is represented by the agency ‘Speakers for Good’. | @words.and.weaves