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Feedback on writing course

on Feb25 2017

I’ve run two courses at New Theatre Royal over the last few weeks. One was a bad-ass editing one-day workshop,  the other three evenings of developing writing. Both courses went brilliantly – lovely participants who engaged thoroughly with the activities. I believe in making classes fun but challenging. People attending should – in my opinion – be able to take away exercises and techniques which they can apply to other work.


I was thrilled to read this feedback from a participant >>>>

Dear Zella

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your creative workshops entitled ‘Develop Your Writing’ over the last three weeks.
The workshops were so enlightening and made me think in an entirely different way about writing and planning my work.
How you managed to pack so many exercises into three sessions and still retain the fun element was impressive.
The speed dating ‘What If..’ story plotting session opened up lots of new ideas!
Please let me know if you are running any further courses at the theatre in future.
It was an affordable, informative and thoroughly enjoyable course.
Many thanks
Jackie Green

Thank you Jackie! You and your marshmellow tea-cakes are awesome!

Lovely lists

on Dec13 2016

I’m not talking about shopping . . .  I am talking about writerly things.

Long list – long wait.

I have been long listed for Theatre Fest West’s playwright award. I had to send in twenty pages, and then wait ages, and was then told I was long-listed. Yah! This meant I had to send in the remainder of the play for perusal. I don’t know how many plays are on the long list. When I entered I wanted to be long-listed, that was my objective. And now? I desperately want to be shortlisted. Those that do – a mere three – get to work with a director and actors for a day and prepare the piece for a rehearsed reading. How cool would that be? Then the winner gets their show staged at Salisbury Playhouse.  So now I want to be shortlisted – but am not holding out much hope. I used tonnes of swear words as it is about relational aggression and teenagers. After working at a senior school for a few years, I heard it all. It can be horrible. Really tough. And also rather wonderful. But the question is, will the audiences of Salisbury be ready for my language. Hmm. We’ll have to wait and see. But I hope so. And I really hope I find out soon (if it’s a yes!).

Select few – short wait

I applied for a writer in residency role recently. And, brilliantly, I received an email today inviting me, as one of a select few, to an interview next week. I have to prepare a proposal of what I’d do if I am successful. I’ve just written pages and pages of ideas down and realised that I’ve planned out a full-time role rather than a residency. I can’t help myself, I’m super excited.

Auditions – Ambition

Then there’s the list of the people auditioning for Ambition – that’s the musical I was commissioned to write for Hampshire Music Service. Those auditions are next week.

Christmas – Santa and more

We all know what those are!

To get back to my home page, all you need do is cross your fingers and toes that Zella Compton gets on even shorter lists!




Havant Literary Festival – writer in residence?

on Sep23 2014

Oh yes, that’s me!

I am super excited to be the writer in residence at a literary festival – even though I do struggle to spell literary (and to say it!).

As well as meeting some interesting people at my one-to-ones, I will be hosting a session on writing yourself out of a rut. Then there are school visits a plenty. But what I am really really looking forward to is meeting / attending other events.

I was involved in the festival last year and had a marvellous time learning about other writers, and watching plays in pub gardens (I particularly enjoyed that!).

If you’re in the area and fancy seeing what’s on, there’s loads of information to be had by sneaking a peak at facebook and searching for Havant Literary Festival.

If you do make it, please come and say ‘hello’.


What are you doing for D-Day?

on Jun1 2014

Just back from a few days in Normandy, I have been planning out what else to do over the coming weeks to commemorate the invasion of 70 years ago. So far I’ve seen one play, with another coming soon, toured all five beaches, visited lots of monuments in France and exhibitions / museums.

Next on the agenda is a whole lot of stuff in Portsmouth, including amphibious craft on the beaches and a Red Arrows display. Am very excited.

So, what are you doing to remember the courage and bravery of all those who fought?


Salisbury International Arts Festival

on May25 2014

Had a super time this weekend, saw some wonderful acts including Wet Picnic, who put me in a lift up to the seventh floor. Absolutely mad and ridiculous fun. A great time had by me to the awesome sound track of New Order’s Blue Monday. You can’t help but dance to that.

If you see Wet Picnic near you, I think it’d be ace to take in one of their shows.

mad lift drama act

in the lift with the bus boys

mad lift drama

joining in with the grand finale

mad lift shennanigans

this man was more than a little scary

terrified that the end of the journey is nigh

Well, that was one heck of an experience


teamhonk – moving a baton on sunday morning

on Jan15 2014

When opportunity comes along, it’s best to grab it with both hands.

So that’s what I did when I was asked to be part of a baton relay between John O Groats and Lands End – though why the part I am taking it is heading east along the south coast has passed me by – am I geographically challenged or have I missed something strategic? But who cares as it’s all to raise money for Sport Relief and consists of a person to person relay with a route of nearly 3,000 miles involving nearly 200 bloggers, plus their family and friends.

I know I’m not that great at blogging  . . .  too busy writing plays and drinking wine  . . . but I wanted to take part in something worthwhile. This is my blog about it, so please support the cause and come and throw money at me this Sunday morning (19 Jan 14), at 8.30am at the Gosport Ferry. Well, that’s where I start before travelling to the Portsmouth Guildhall and handing over to other souls who are going to actually run with it – they’re more about the sport I guess.

You want to find out more? Well then, you can. More about TeamHonk and the South Coast route is available, or to get back to my homepage, you simply have to press Zella Compton (which sounds a bit odd, but you know what I mean).


Alver Arts Festival presents: Gosport Ever After

on May11 2013

Am very excited to be involved in setting up Gosport Ever After, an evening of crackling firelight, real ale and spell-binding stories.

All coming to Grange Farm on 12 July.

Find out more by using this link into facebook: Alver Arts Festival

Hope it works, don’t have time to check now as cooking up a storming plate of chicken, leek and bacon something or other!


Opening a new library

on Oct10 2012

I was very honoured to be invited to open a new library this week. I’ve opened an art exhibition before, so I felt okay about giving a small speech, and waving at the crowds.

This is the head librarian waiting for me:

the head librarian waiting with the ribbon and scissors


When I arrived, and after cutting the ribbon, the head librarian gave me a quick tour. This library hasn’t used the Dewey decimal system, and has instead opted for one chosen by the book cataloguer. The book cataloguer’s job is to write down the name of every single book. When I met her she was considering going digital, but a final decision needed to be taken.

the book cataloguer


The library also has a special shelf for comics and dvds and games. These are kept under a towel. Perhaps that has something to do with humidity? I must go back and ask.

the secret resting place of comics: under the towel!


I was issued with my own library card by the assistant librarian, and then I got to choose a book. I chose Skulduggery as I have wanted to read it for such a long time.

the assistant librarian

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, and will be going back soon. Well, I have too, as my book needs to be returned.

me and my loaned book

What an excellent library, and what a privilege to open it in front of such a discerning crowd.

the discerning crowd (banned from upstairs)

To get back to my website, click on Zella’s kids’ library opening looked fabulous! But, before you do, leave a comment and let me know what you think! Could you open a library in your bedroom? Who would you like to open it? Would you let ‘death breath’ dogs come in for a visit? What would you keep behind the towel?


Cobblestones and William

on Oct10 2012

I was really lucky to be see William Sutton’s show at Portsmouth library this week.

He took a room full of people on a Victorian adventure where we joined a gang, solved problems (some better than others!) and even staged a (very small) performance.

It was excellent fun, and I know all those in my gang (The Rozzers) enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

Who knew that William was such a good singer as well?

To find out more about Will, and his book The Worms of Euston Square, click on this link: Tell me about the lovely William . . .

And to get back to my website, click on this one: Take me back to Zella Compton’s website asap

blown away . . .

on Sep24 2012

by the wind out there today! Wow.

Got soaked while walking the dog this morning, and have only just dried out. Spent the morning in three cardigans – yes, that’s three!

And now the sun is shining quite nicely, but I’m hoping for more rain. The darn dog has eaten something that has disagreed with him and it is spattered around the lawn.

To get back to my website and away from this tale of woe, click onto my name: Zella



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