Friday 26 April 1100 - Sunday 28 April 1700

The submissions window to be part of this year’s Hothouse has now closed. Applicants will be notified if they have been allocated a place by Thursday 21st March. To see Claire Fuller and some of the selected writers reading their work, book a ticket for Quay Voices (Saturday 27th April).

26th, 27th and 28th April, 11am-5pm daily

A three-day course for writers of fiction

Do you have a big idea that you are looking for time and support to nurture? Have you started writing your novel but are looking for inspiration to develop your characters? This selected, intensive weekend of workshopping is designed for you.

Award-winning novelist Claire Fuller will explain how she creates the characters in her novels, as well as getting you to look at and discuss other published authors’ techniques. Claire will facilitate group workshops to read and discuss your own writing and there will be opportunities for short one-to-one discussions with Claire about your work. She will also set exercises and prompts to get you writing and considering how to bring your own fictional characters to life. On the Saturday evening you’ll have the chance to read your work to a live audience alongside Claire at a Quay Voices event.

Hothouse is a selected workshop programme, we select participants in order to make best use of the limited places. See below for how to apply.

About the author

Claire Fuller is the author of five novels. Her latest, The Memory of Animals was published in April 2023. Her previous, Unsettled Ground won the Costa Novel Award 2021 and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her first, Our Endless Numbered Days won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize, her second, Swimming Lessons was shortlisted for the Encore prize, and her third, Bitter Orange was on the International Dublin Literary Award longlist. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages. Claire also writes flash fiction and short stories. Many have been published, and she has won the BBC Opening Lines short story competition, and the Royal Academy / Pin Drop prize.

Instagram: @writerclairefuller

How to apply

If you would like to apply for a place, please submit an expression of interest as follows:

– 1,000-word sample of your current prose writing

– 200-word statement outlining why you think the course would be of particular benefit to your writing journey.

The above should be emailed to no later than midnight on Sunday 10th March. Your submission will then be reviewed by a panel and you will be notified if you have been allocated a place by Thursday 21st March, at which point you will be invited to book a place.

Costs for all three days: 

£200 full price

£100 concessions. You can read more about our concessionary categories here.

We have a limited number of bursary places available for this course. Bursary places are by application only (to They are awarded on the basis of financial need not writing ability. You can find out how to apply, here.

Please note:

  • Hothouse is not a residential course. Participants will arrive for 11am each day and sessions will end at approximately 5pm each day.
  • A hot drink will be provided upon arrival and at the start of the afternoon session. Participants are welcome to bring lunch and eat lunch in the building, but we won’t provide a meal. There is a wide range of lunch options around Exeter’s Quayside.
  • On the Saturday evening (27th March) participants are encouraged to join Claire Fuller in reading from their work at the Quay Voices evening event (from 6.30pm), and to invite friends and family to be part of the audience.