Our classes

Melanie Spencer and Jon Barton

Melanie Spencer and Jon Barton
Melanie Spencer

Melanie is a freelance writer and theatre director. Her play Responsible Other was staged at Hampstead Theatre in June 2013 and received four star reviews from The Times, The Independent, The Evening Standard, Time Out and What’s On Stage.

Whilst her own background is writing for performance, she works across all disciplines including prose and poetry. Melanie studied at UEA – which has a long-established international reputation in literary studies – before completing a master’s degree in Text and Performance at RADA. She then refined her skills on the Young Playwright’s Scheme at Chichester Festival Theatre and is a graduate of the Channel Four Screenwriter’s Initiative. 

Melanie is currently developing three major new projects to be staged in 2017, with the support of the National Theatre Studio, Royal Court, Wellcome Trust and Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

Melanie’s classes are fun and very interactive – made up of a mixture of writing, talking and listening. She encourages students to look at their writing and consider what is working and what is not, and to help them recognise their own individual taste and reflect that in their work.

Jon Barton

Jon is a freelance writer who has worked across film, television and radio. He holds an MA in Writing and Script Development from Exeter University and has also studied at the Royal Court Theatre as part of their writers group.

Jon has written plays for the Old Vic Theatre (performing to an industry audience of twelve hundred people), Almeida Theatre, The Bush Theatre and HighTide Festival Theatre. His real passion is writing for screen and he has worked with BBC and Kudos, and received funding from the BFI to work with a script editor to develop his screenplay.

 Jon really enjoys learning from other writers – particularly new ones – and sees his courses as a space to share ideas with like-minded people. His classes focus on the art of storytelling, and are fun and informative with plenty of feedback along the way.

“I’m passionate about writing and I want it to be infectious. I think people have this idea that doing a writing class is three hours of silence in an empty room, writing metaphors. Nope! I like to move fast and keep it fun. It’s all to do with teaching writers about storytelling form and structure, and how to use their instincts”