Hothouse Project Student Testimonials

Charles Shaar Murray Hothouse Project Autumn 2013

Charles Shaar Murray’s Hothouse Project “Journalism as Craft and Art” writing masterclasses.

Autumn 2014 course starts Tuesday 30th September in West Hampstead, north London NW6. Bookings now open.


Have you heard of Charles Shaar Murray? Have you got a tale to tell? Well get yourself down to West Hampstead in St Emmanuel’s!

Time takes an e-cigarette, he pulls on a finger, then another finger, then get set, ‘five minutes are up’!

Yes fellow blocked heads, don’t endure creative stifling, this is the time, the time for action! I myself ummed, ah’d, thought ‘shall I?, shahnt I?’. And just as the generous early bird 50 quid off offer was over, I got advice from mates, ‘well he knows his shallots’ said one, ‘he’s great’ said another, ‘that arrogant (but good) writer in the NME’ quoth another. So methought ‘what the hell’ and paid the full whack! However, I am at the end of the eight week Hothouse Course and find I am very lucky to have such wise friends.

The aim of the course is to teach Journalism as ‘craft and art’ and it is structured so that I for one went from an overwritten first assignment to a final piece of writing that I feel confident enough to take my writing further. To try and sum Hothouse up, it’s like boarding a Bullet Train at the first stop and feeling you’ve really experienced the journey at the final destination, you’ve been on the Soul Train as opposed to delivered on a modern day soulless train.

It would be indulgent to divulge what I think should be a bit of a secret about all the goodies on the course, so just enrol and rock!

Never hurry a Murray mint tale, and at the end of each class we were treated to a rock and roll story that drew us in like we were there partying with Bowie, kicked out of a hotel room by Jagger, invited to jam with Marley!

He’ll leave you so creative, you can write!

It seems a distant memory now, that I took shelter outside the Black Lion in West Hampstead, despairing at my purchase of a rather large picture to traipse home in the rain, when lo, I spotted that bloke on the Bowie programme who said ‘yeah, I wrote that’!
Wendy Young

‘I recommend this short, sharp and good value course. The unfussy teaching, practical assignments and instant feedback show you how to report who did what to whom, where and when it happened, why and how it happened with greater accuracy and better grammar than I employ here.’
Ivor Dembina

Read the review of the Hothouse Project writing course by Spring 2014 student, Melissa Harman.


“This was a great course. Hosted by that eminence grise of rock writing Charles Shaar Murray who is both witty and wise. Good tips on writing to make it punchy and effective. And at the end of each session there’s always a great anecdote from CSM. What more do you want?”
Mark Hoffman

“For me this Journalism Creative Writing Course was very Local, Lucid and Lively, the Learning process was Fast and Furious under the brilliant tutelage of Charles Shaar Murray. I commend this Masterclass to all budding and professional writers.”
Ajit Patel BSc,MSc

“I’m sad that my Hothouse writing class is over. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to write.”
Danica Priest

Charles Shaar Murrary’s Hothouse Course is an intense, inspirational and informative writing experience. Learning not only a variety of techniques for improving your writing, you’ll also learn a tremendous amount about the writing industry, how to get the best out of interviews, journalism law, and much else besides. Despite being a writer involved in journalism for many years, I still came away thrilled with the new skills I’d acquired. This course is a must, not just for aspiring writers, but writers who might feel they are at the top of their game. Charles’ end of class tales from his lengthy career as a music journalist had us rapt — falling out of Soho dives with Bowie, getting high with The Stones, and jamming with Lennon. Phenomenal!
Oliver Shykles

Renounce the use of ‘I’! Revive your love of writing with the veracity of words. Hothouse will resurrect your dwindling romance with the art and imprint a sense of productivity from every session. I had to travel three hours each way which could be daunting at times, but once in the borough of West Hampstead these thoughts vanish. Take all you can get and leave no bottle un-opened.
Caty Macaulay

Charles Shaar Murray’s ‘Hothouse Project is an absolute must if you are serious about developing and honing your writing skills to a great standard. You would be learning from an absolute master of the art and together with his engaging character, wonderful anecdotes from his vast time in journalism and the fact that CSM is a great great teacher, you really need look no further than this course. Book early though as the courses fill up really quickly. Do yourself a favour and don’t miss out!
David Malf Palfreyman


“I attended Charles Shaar Murray’s initial pioneering Hothouse series of lessons in journalism (and life!) which was amazingly fun, challenging, thoroughly enjoyable and, essentially, useful on a very practical level; far, far more informative and inspirational, in my opinion, than the course I did with the London School of Journalism – Charles’ course is personal, packed with anecdote, caters to the individual and is so helpful for anyone brushing up their journalistic skills or branching out into different types of writing. 5 shiny gold stars from me – I’d do the course again just for fun to be honest!”
Juliet Rossetti

“I thought your course was ‘write on’! You polished and perfected everyone’s writing style. I felt privileged to have been coached by you. You imparted a lot of knowledge. The course was well structured and more importantly, good fun. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. PS: to date your advice still influences my writing. I now write about food (sustainability / local produce) and I approach it like it’s rock n’roll.”
Tessa Christian

“For anyone interested in the processes of writing and assessing creative journalism, Charles Shaar Murray‘s Hothouse Project courses are essential!”
David Hodson

Student coursework writing from the Hothouse Project “Journalism as Craft and Art” course 2010
The Hothouse Course
The Hothouse One-To-One