The Lightning Lab

Live stream Novel-Editing Bootcamp

Noelle Harrison and Sandra Ireland

1st February – 27th February

£297 / 3 payments of £99


£268 / 3 payments of £90

To book your place email:

Rewrite, refine and release your novel into the world!

Following the success of The Lightning Draft 2020, Noelle Harrison and Sandra Ireland are pleased to announce The Lightning Lab, a month- long online novel editing course.

Let us help you work a little magic on your work in progress and polish it to perfection for submission to the industry.

You do not have to be a Lightning Draft alumnae to sign up – all you need is to be working on a novel and the drive to want to finish it!

Through live-stream writing labs, resilience and self care classes, group writing practice, and a module on the business of being a writer, including how to get into print and marketing, we will guide you through the whole month.

Most of all you will feel supported and motivated as part of our virtual writing community.


The course runs from Monday 1st February to Saturday 27th February.

Numbers are limited.

Any Questions?

Or want to book your place email:


The Lightning Lab

Course Contents


On Sunday evening, beginning 31st January you will be sent a recorded meditation by Noelle designed to unlock your creativity and boost your confidence. Each week is focused on a particular mantra which ties in with our course content.

Week 1: I change my inner landscape.

Week 2: I sharpen my focus.

Week 3: I build resilience.

Week 4: I listen to my story.

Beginning Monday 1st February: 4 x weekly  SELF CARE FOR AUTHORS

Our first session on Monday 1st February will be from 6 – 7.30 p.m. with Noelle & Sandra

The following three weeks will be from 6 – 7 p.m. with Sandra every Monday evening connecting with our self-development themes for each week.

4 x weekly Wednesday evening live stream WRITING LABS 7 – 8.30 p.m. 

Our writing labs provide you with the skills to rewrite, refine and polish your novel ready for submission to publishers or to prepare for self-publication. Each week we draw upon on our own extensive experience as published authors.

3rd FebruaryStructure Lab: including pacing, narrative position and storyline with Noelle. 

10th February: Wordsmithing Lab: Polishing your manuscript with Sandra

17th February: Authenticity Lab I: World Building and research with Noelle

24th February: Authenticity Lab II: Characters and emotional authenticity with Sandra.


Our four week course is designed to empower you to take your writing forward, approach agents and publishers, build your profile and acquire tools to help you not only promote your writing but also administrate your writing life.

4th February – Submitting to agents and publishers, cover letter and synopsis with Sandra

11th February –Build your own author brand with guest teacher Dawn Geddes

All authors have a story – and not just the one that they write down on the page. Dawn’shour-long class will show you how to utilise your own story and use it to promote yourself both on and offline. 

18th February – contracts, advances, translation rights and all the nitty gritty stuff with Noelle  

25th February – building a platform as a professional writer, funding opportunities, residencies with Sandra and Noelle   


4 x weekly Saturday morning live stream writing practice via Zoom. 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Beginning Saturday 6th February and ending Saturday 27th February

60 minutes of unlocking creativity. We begin with guided meditation and writing practice together. We end with a closing circle and observations on our own creative practice.

Optional Extras

4 x Restorative Yoga, Meditation and Creative Writing with Noelle on Fridays 7 – 8.30 p.m.

4 x The Morning Pages with Noelle on Thursdays 7.30 a.m. – 8.15 am. – gentle awakening yoga, meditation and writing practice.

All of our participants will receive pdf downloadable Lightning Lab planner plus weekly course notes.

Plus if you are not already a member of www.spacetobeonline will can gift you membership for free for the duration of the course. On offer are a library of pre-recorded yoga, and meditation classes plus live stream classes by a host of fabulous yoga teachers.


Numbers on the course will be limited so book your place EARLY 

£297 / 3 payments of £99 – last payment due 1st February 2021

The Lightning Lab Alumnae: £268

Any Questions? Or want to book your place email:


Standard Fee after 5th January: £297 or 3 payments of £99 – balance due 1st February

Alumnae of The Lightning Draft: £268

Upgrade with our exclusive critiquing service:

The Lightning Lab Course, plus Critique report of first 15k words: £597

The Lightning Draft Course, plus Critique report of whole novel: £797

To book your place or if you’ve any questions please email us on




Sandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, grew up in Northumberland and lived for many years in the Irish Republic before relocating to Scotland in 1995.Returning to education as a mature student, she gained a First-Class Honours degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of Dundee in 2013. While there, she was awarded a Carnegie-Cameron Scholarship to study for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study, graduating with a Distinction the following year.


She is currently an associate creative writing tutor at the University of Dundee and teaches leisure courses as part of the Lifelong Learning programme. From 2017-20, she was Chief Judge of the Edinburgh International Flash Fiction Awards and has been invited to adjudicate writing competitions for the Scottish Association of Writers and various writing groups. She facilitates workshops and retreats for writers on a freelance basis, and has a special interest in writing for wellbeing.

Her poetry has appeared in various publications, such as New Writing ScotlandSeagate III and ‘Furies’, published by For Book’s Sake. She won the Scottish Association of Writers’ Dorothy Dunbar Rose Bowl for Poetry in 2017 and 2018.

Sandra is the author of three psychological thrillers, all published by Polygon. Beneath the Skin (2016), shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book Award, 2017; Bone Deep (2018), also published in the USA, Germany and India and The Unmaking of Ellie Rook, released last year. Sight Unseen, the first book in her new Sarah Sutherland series is out now.

She is represented by Jenny Brown, of Jenny Brown Associates. In addition to her novels, she has written a non-fiction work Grist: The Life, Lore and Landscape of the Scottish Watermill which is currently out on submission.

She has a particular interest in folklore and its relevance to current issues and concerns.

Check out Sandra’s website to know more about her writing and books here.

Follow Sandra on Twitter @22_ireland and on instagram @sireland22



Noelle Harrison is a fiction writer and extensively published author. Her novels and short stories have been translated and published in thirteen different countries. She has taught creative writing in Ireland, UK & Norway for both adults, teenagers and children in schools, and for organisations such as The Inkwell Writers Group in Dublin, Meath County Council in Ireland, The Big Smoke Writers’ Factory in Dublin, and Litteraturhuset in Bergen, Norway. Noelle has a Masters in Creative Writing with Distinction & an Associate Fellowship in Higher Education both attained at Edinburgh Napier University. She has lived and written in Ireland, Italy, Norway, and Scotland, and brings an array of cross-cultural skills to our retreats. Noelle’s most recent novels The Gravity of Love was published by Black and White Publishing in May 2018 and The Island Girls was published by Bookouture in April 2020. Her forthcoming novel The Boatman’s Wife will be published by Bookouture in January 2021.

Noelle is also a qualified Yoga Teacher specialising in Restorative Yoga & Journaling. You can check out her classes on

Check out Noelle’s website to read more about her writing & books here.

You can follow Noelle on Instagram@noelle.harrison5

Twitter: @NoelleHarrison Facebook: @NoelleCBHarrison


Dawn Geddes is a freelance journalist and lecturer, based in Scotland. She specialises in literary journalism and contributes to a variety of publications including The Scots Magazine as their Book Correspondent. With a background in PR and Marketing, Dawn teaches writers about the business side of being an author, showing them how to create their own brand and the best ways to promote themselves both on and offline. Her four week online course – Be Your Own Book Publicist can be found here – Teaching – Dawn Geddes  She also offers private consultations. 

You can follow Dawn on Twitter: @DawnSGeddes


Any Questions? Or want to book your place email:


‘This has been a fantastic month. I’ve learned so much from you both and I was at a stage where I knew I needed focus. I got that. Targets were set, never in stone, so there was no pressure which was an enormous help. I learned not just to write the story, but to write more free flow which not only helped that, it made me look at different ways of expression.

The self care was not something I’d ever looked at in tandem with writing. I didn’t realise how much it’s necessary to be able to nurture yourself, take the time to say I matter. It has taught me so much and the group was amazing in its support of each other. It is a writing tribe and we all need our tribes. Thanks for your help, advice and support throughout. You have both been fantastic and are not only lovely people but are amazing teachers. I consider you both fantastic mentors.’ Angi, Scotland.


‘Noelle’s Pure Fiction writer’s workshop turned into Pure Inspiration. Spending the weekend with an incredible author who freely shared her vast knowledge was simply amazing and by Sunday evening I felt like a completely new person. New doors of wisdom had been opened to me. I learned concrete techniques I could implement straight away, got loads of invigorating encouragement, and have been busy writing ever since. You’ll know where to find me the next time Noelle’s in town.’

Hilde Fossen, Bergen, Norway.


Noelle with Pure Fiction Retreat Group March 2018 in Bergen, Norway.

“I have just enjoyed a five week course with Sandra Ireland – ‘Finding Inspiration through Folklore’, and it did exactly what it says on the tin ; I found inspiration in the material presented and discussed, but not only in my writing as I’d planned, but in other creative areas.  With five lessons complete with slide show presentations, accompanying notes and a weekly live online Zoom meeting, where Sandra and our small group were able to interact and share ideas and information to fuel our imagination, I was spurred to complete sewing and craft projects as well as life writing pieces and short stories.  Sandra gave excellent feedback to enable me to develop my ideas further.  I certainly would recommend Sandra’s courses with her gentle and encouraging style.  Lots of fun and met some wonderful like minded creators and writers.” Lynn R.S. Genevieve


Sandra reading at Murder One International Festival 2019

‘I took part in Aurora Writers’ two-day writer’s retreat in Lauder, Scotland in February 2017 with Noelle Harrison and Melody Nixon.  Their approach was clear, practical and inspiring.  Whether you’re a beginner or advanced writer,
the teaching catered to every level.  Noelle and Melody’s experience, knowledge and know-how leaves you roaring to write.  If you get the chance to attend one of Aurora Writers’ Retreats don’t pass it up!’

Ila Moldenhauer, Bergen, Norway


MELODY with our Scottish Writing Retreat group Spring 2017

“My experience with Noelle, both working with her and attending PICTURE THIS!, is that she is a devoted and charismatic teacher. She connects with participants in a very special way so that the creative work is focused. Noelle has built very structured yet dynamic and enriching courses. The fact that she guides you step-by-step make her courses particularly attractive. The result is that you get to experience what she is teaching rather than hear about it. Creative blocks and fear of writing melt away and creativity kicks in. By taking one of Noelle’s writing courses, I believe you get a deeper understanding of what the craft of writing is and what your role should be in wanting to master it.”

Karen Rosenstock, Litteraturhuset Bergen & Skrivekunstkollektivet

Last year I did a short story course with Noelle Harrison at Aurora Writers. I wrote The Spirit of the Lake, an idea that I had been tolling with for a while. But Noelle managed to make me focused and together we turned the story into something that I am really proud of! If you have time and chance to do a course with Noelle, don’t hesitate!!

Nina Rolland, Bergen, Norway.


NOELLE with our PICTURE THIS! group in Norway 2017

‘A wonderfully nurturing and creative day. I found the pairing of yoga and writing very evocative. Thank you!’

Claire Wingfield, Dunfermline, U.K.

‘Such an enriching experience with a great bunch of women.’

Lynne Dickson, U.K.

‘After a day at Aurora Writers Into The Light Yoga & Creative retreat in Edinburgh, I am adorned with the armour of my intrepid warrior self, the peaceful warrior and the creative warrior. No longer shall I walk this journey of literary and creative discovery on my own. No longer shall I be the lackey of self-doubt and trepidation. With my new literary companions from Aurora’s Writers’ Retreats forever by my side, fuelling me with the memories of an unforgettable and powerful session and a connectivity that stretches from Harrogate to Scotland, across to Norway and around the world, bringing together all women who have a bloody good story to tell.’

Francesca Hepton, Harrogate, U.K.


VANESSA at our Yoga & Creative Writing Retreat in Edinburgh