How To Write A Novel In 60 Minutes Pizza Express Writing Workshop

World Book Day 2018 was memorable for the all the wrong reasons, mainly for the fact the UK was blanketed in snow and most schools were closed for the day! Schools take part by allowing children to dress up as their favourite literary characters, unless you attend Liv’s school. They have only ever done this once however this year they did arrange a book swap – swapping books with friends in order to read new books once the snow had washed away. This was a lovely idea and worked well as Liv came home with several new books to add to her collection.

With new books to read, an email landed in my account about a Writing Workshop for 7-11 year olds at a local Pizza Express restaurant in Manchester. Children would be encouraged and learn how to write a novel in 60 minutes and enjoy a pizza afterwards. I love events like this, especially as it was in aid of World Book Day and who knew, I could have had a budding writer on my hands!

Pizza Express

On the day, we easily found the Pizza Express at the Corn Exchange in Manchester. It was the first time we had visited this particular restaurant and we were impressed with how lovely it was as we stepped downstairs into the restaurant.

It seems we were somewhat early though, as Ian the restaurant manager and Lorna heading up the workshop on behalf of Writers’ HQ/Scribblers’ HQ were expecting us all an hour later. However, it was not a problem at all and after digging in and helping to set up, children and adults had writing implements to get cracking with their novel.

Pizza Express

Clearly a coffee was needed in order to fuel the creativity and Ian looked after us all wonderfully!

Pizza Express

Lorna was fantastic and so enthusiastic about creative writing and it totally spurred me on! I manage 4 blogs in total, including Sim’s Life, Travel Guide Blog and SFR, alongside Manchester Mummy, so it was nice to write with a creative purpose for once, something I never seem to find the time to do!

We learned that every story is pretty much based on the same premise as we dissected the Star Wars story opening and changed character names and circumstances and realised how easy it was to change!

Pizza Express

However at the Pizza Express World Book Day event I wrote… and wrote… and wrote… and before I knew it I had written 15 pages of a potential novel, featuring a Super Gran named Mavis. After a quick brainstorm session of the character fundamentals, it seems that I was inspired to quickly write a sketchy first four chapters of a novel! Liv, who deems Saturday a no work day and wasn’t as creative with her novel even wanted to take mine into school, however I brought my starter novel home to hide in a safe place for a time when I can take it further!

It really was lovely to take a break from blog writing and write from a creative perspective and the area set aside in the Corn Exchange Pizza Express was perfect for this event and I hope there will be a lot more events featured there!

A little lunch after the Writing Workshop event was the perfect opportunity to get to know the families who had also attended and I got to meet fellow bloggers and non bloggers who had all enjoyed the event. I had been slightly nervous about the event due to following the Keto lifestyle – this doesn’t work well in a Pizza and Pasta restaurant but Ian was amazing and arranged for a fantastic protein packed chicken salad for me… he is a superstar and reassured me that it is possible to eat out whilst on Keto!

Pizza Express

A huge thank you to Lorna for a fantastic creative writing session and also to Ian who looked after us all and ensured everything ran smoothly, always with a smile! It was a wonderful Saturday event and I do hope that there will be more to come!


Pizza Express

I am very confused as World Book Day has two events this year, one on March 1st and one on April 23rd… I am not complaining, however it certainly makes writing a post about World Book Day harder! Pizza Express totally got in the spirit of the earlier World Book Day though and their activity packs given to children when dining were all very relevant and also included a token for a free WBD book. I always find Pizza Express to be family friendly, however now think that the Corn Exchange Pizza Express will be my preferred restaurant to visit. Easy to travel to, spacious inside and extremely friendly staff who prepare super, yummy food… what’s not to like?

Pizza Express


Pizza Express



  1. Kate says:

    What a wonderful thing to do! I love the idea of this and that it’s in a relaxed atmosphere at the restaurant – which must help creativity!

  2. Bryanna skye says:

    Wow what an amazing experience that sounds! It’s great Pizza Express offered something like this, and that you found the challenge fun and productive!

  3. Bethany says:

    I never knew they did this, there’s one near us and never heard of this workshop. I’d love to take my little cousins here, it sounds so amazing and great to get their creative juices going.

  4. Yaya says:

    This is a really good workshop location! I can’t believe that they can’t dress up at her school. This looks like a fun event though.

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