Novelist Clara Challoner Walker and poet Janet Dean created Awakening the Writer Within six years ago, to share their passion for creative writing and literature with like-minded people.


Now in their seventh year, the retreats, courses and workshops in Yorkshire and in South West France have received outstanding participant feedback, from both novice and established writers. As a result, Clara and Janet are delighted to be offering further workshops, courses and retreats in both locations throughout 2020, including a new series of virtual workshops and online retreats which will be launching very soon.

We have recently compiled our first anthology including outstanding submissions from previous participants and members of the  Awakening the Writer Within network. The anthology will be available from May 2020. 


Clara’s first novel 'A Tapestry of Vice and Virtue' was published in 2015, has sold well in print and e-book formats and has received positive feedback both in the UK and abroad. 

Clara’s poems and short stories have been published in both the UK and the USA and her short story ‘The Mexican’ was selected for and published in the prestigious Lampeter Review.

Previously an IBM executive working in the Middle East, Far East and Africa, Clara now shares her time between Yorkshire in the UK and The Charente in France and works full time running her company Cosy Cottage, writing  and in arts project management.

Janet’s first novel, The Peacemaker was published in 2019. Her poems have been published in magazines, anthologies and online for more than 20 years.

She has been shortlisted and commended in major national competitions, such as The Bridport Prize and The Stanza Poetry Competition and her poetry has recently been selected for publication in the York Literary Review and the Yorkshire Anthology alongside several major poets including the poet laureate. 


Her work is in many print and online anthologies, including those published by Templar Poetry, Fantastic Books, Paper Swans Press, Poetic Republic and Clear Poetry.