* indicates required

Gilly Smith


flyer Sept 2013DreamWriters is a community of writers who support each other in producing the writing they’ve always wanted to do. Using a  technique called DreamWriting, I facilitate the sessions, with my network of visiting authors, publishers, editors and agents offering advice along the way. Think Weightwatchers with pens.

DreamWriting is based on Automatic Writing and Free Writing but involves a secondary stage of sharing the random thoughts and fragments of dreams which appear on the page. We use it to get through blocks, develop character and locations and share our dreams with each other. It is a safe space to explore ideas you didn’t know you had, a world away from the ‘reading out’ favoured by most writers’ groups.

Here are some lovely words from some of the Dreamwriters who come to retreats at my house in Sussex.

Gilly, you are an inspiration. You have encouraged us, listened, and
felt our very cores, and brought us an impossible distance from where we were.
 I feel so fortunate to have met you, and I know the others feel the same.  I just wanted you to know how grateful I am for all you put into our evenings. Very special. Thank you for an amazing evening – as always.

The Dream Writers course has been very important for me in my writing journey. To begin with, the course had just the right balance between input from very carefully chosen professionals and time for the group to work on their own. Even more importantly Gilly is a brilliant facilitator. She combines real enthusiasm for each person’s work, very genuine support and also a clear structure for progress. This combination created a situation where we became critical friends within a non competitive context. The result was that all of us, whatever stage of writing or non-writing we were at, ended up with results which surprised us all. It was so good when the course ended to find that we all not only wanted to go on writing but also wanted to go on meeting and sharing our work.  

Thank you for sparking off the flame. As I have said before this is a tribute to your gentle nudging and the fact that the amateur writer in me was encouraged to flourish among the other writers. I learnt that writing was a craft to be practiced and perfected and  was helped to find  my voice as a writer ( your incredible  facilitation!) The dream writing and sharing it at the beginning of each session helped me bond with the group  and gave me the courage  to read out what I had written. Having a buddy was also critical. The format of having guest appearances by writers and publishers was priceless as it gave me an insight into how the writing world works.  In ten weeks, there is a more confident thinking writer with around 5000 words written -characters and chapter structure almost in place. It’s amazing how my characters have become real and each day they come up with new things they want to do! Your help with polishing the 60 words pitch worked! Whether I publish or become famous is entirely a different matter, but I plan to finish writing what I have started.

Sulu prepares pitch

Sulu pitch

DreamWriters pitch to our panel of professionals on their final day. With authors Vanessa Gebbie and Tom Connolly and Candida Lacey of Myriad Editions.

Click here to hear the recordings DreamWriting graduate Jacquie Roffe and I make each week on Audioboo which are broadcast on BBC Sussex’s Allison Ferns’ show every Tuesday between 2 and 3pm.

Can't see the woods

 Gorgeous photograph of The Face by Guy Feldman.


  1. Ben Gribbin
    October 1, 2015 / 2:15 pm

    I’m currently looking for a friendly community – well, we all are. I could tell you a bit of my life, but I fear it painfully looks like a CV! I long ago took an M.Phil in creative writing & publishing. Poetry was my strength, but me being so damnably disorganised I never actually promoted my poetry. I put off my vague intention to promote my work. Then, I got some of my books published – you can look up some of my books on Amazon. I worked as a blurb writer for Penguin Classics. Never being the kind of person who promotes their own work, I never quite got around to meeting at the poetry society in London. Eventually, I moved to Lewes with an intention to focus on my own writing. Unfortunately, it all stopped for me when I suffered a stroke at 29 – Thankfully, I am not disabled and am able to speak!My life changed & I wound up in Rodmell at 29 & on a pension. I live at home, happily married, with three kids, living in Rodmell. Right now, I am keen to make friends. If you are holding meetings where we might meet and chat do tell me, thanks, Ben

    • admin
      October 4, 2015 / 10:03 am

      Hi Ben, you’re welcome to come and meet our Dreamwriters. Email me for details and to see which group would suit you best. Thanks for getting in touch and welcome!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.