Good stories change everything


I'm Philip Cowell and I've got 20 years' experience in the arts (Arvon, English PEN, Good Chance, The Walk) and sustainability (Abel & Cole, Here Design, Futerra, FixIts), working with the power of stories for personal and social transformation!I lead on creative development for Good Chance, the Theatre of Hope, famous for such BIG stories as The Walk with Little Amal. I'm also poet-in-residence for the wonder-sparking creative walking practice, Street Wisdom, which gets people sharing their stories on street corners.I'm the author of award-winning This Is Me, Full Stop (Penguin), Keeping A Journal (Sheldon Press) and Stress (with Lorraine Millard, Sheldon Press) and I lead creative writing workshops. Don't forget, The Universe Is A Smile


My offer:


FUL-PHIL YOUR DREAMS!
Creating theatre & arts projects
From idea generation to project management and fundraising, I help arts charities, artists and social projects come to life. For example, I helped make The Walk and Fly With Me happen for Good Chance, and the World Wide Wander for Street Wisdom.
PHIL THE PAGE!
Creative copywriting & writing commissions
I can write! Most people can! I've got experience! I've worked as a sustainability storyteller and senior copywriter, as well as written poems, essays and books. I wrote a playful book about punctuation, This Is Me, Full Stop (Penguin), co-authored a book about Stress (Sheldon Press), and wrote another one about Keeping a Journal (Sheldon Press). I researched and ghost-wrote three books for Thames & Hudson: Herbarium, The Grammar of Spice and An Anarchy of Chillies. I've written for FixIts, Abel & Cole, Futerra, Here, London Business Forum, Glenfiddich, Balvenie Stories, McKinsey & Company and Pearl Group, amongst others. My writing has appeared in Poetry Review, The Guardian, BBC Culture, Wanderful, POEM, Ambit, Butcher's Dog and others.
PHIL-CILITATE THIS!
Hosting creative workshops & meetings
I lead fun, playful, embodiment-focused workshops in creative writing to help people enjoy their unique way with words, effortlessly. I've created sessions on topics including Friendship, Disappointment (with Retta Bowen), Laughter and Not Knowing. I've led workshops for Write & Shine, Street Wisdom, Normal? Festival of the Brain, Southbank Centre, Wilderness Festival, Free Word as well as many schools, refugee centres and prisons. I also Phil-cilitate meetings that count with a light touch that celebrates presence, allows for emergence and encourages joy, everything from strategy sessions to weddings!


New workshops:


Words Into Songs
I'm pairing up with star composer and songmaker Helen Chadwick for some fun writing exercises leading to creating sung phrases and songs. You are welcome to come whether you joined us before or if this course is new to you. Words Into Songs is equally for people who don’t write songs or words and for those who do. Find out more
The Blank Page Prevention Society
Don't let the blank page get in the way of your writing! Join me for some fun writing inspiration with a focus on starting afresh each time and not worrying a single sausage what comes out of your amazing brain! Find out more



Project highlights:


Fly With Me
Helped fundraise and develop the largest Afghan kite flying festival across UK and Europe, reaching 300 million people globally.
The Walk
Helped fundraise £2.7m for The Walk, a major international puppetry project in support of refugees, created by Good Chance.
Write & Shine
Led writing workshops for Gemma Seltzer's incredible early-morning writers, focusing on Friendship and Laughter.
Words Into Song
Co-devised and led a series of 'creative writing for songs' workshops with awesome singer/songwriter/composer Helen Chadwick.
Wild Goose Writing
Led a series of embodied writing workshops, using the 'soft animal' of our bodies to explore and write.
Advanced Disappointment for Beginners
Co-created with Retta Bowen a fun workshop investigating this undersung hero of the emotional cabinet.
This Is Me, Full Stop
Co-created and wrote a book for all ages for Penguin about the secret lives of punctuation marks with epic designer Caz Hildebrand.


Keeping A Journal
Wrote a book about mindful journal writing for Sheldon Press.
Balvenie Stories
Researched, interviewed, named and wrote the first stories for the new range of highly-well crafted whiskies.
Herbs, Spices & Chillies
Researched and wrote for three books published by Thames & Hudson: Herbarium, The Grammar of Spice and An Anarchy of Chillies.


In Spite of Asteroids
Wrote a collection of poems, awarded in the Pighog Press/Poetry School prize.
Walking Piece
Performed in Matthias Sperling's Walking Piece, commissioned by Siobhan Davies Dance, exploring community, connection and the dance of walking.
Punctuate Your Life!
Developed a creative punctuation workshop to get people playing with the tiny marks we use everyday but rarely think of – including making up new ones! Produced as part of Folkestone Triennial.
Creative Writing for Yogis
Ran a yearlong series of creative writing workshops for people who regularly attend a yoga centre near me. Included creating new poses, imagining animals, and the art of relaxing.
A Little Larger Than The Entire Universe
Co-devised and performed dance piece inspired by Fernando Pessoa and Felix Baumgartner with dancer and teacher Timothy Taylor at Conway Hall, London.


Life Writing (with Nude)
Devised and hosted a creative writing workshop at the Southbank Centre with a nude life model.
Returning To Writing / Poetry in Detention
Devised and managed projects bringing creative writers together with returning soldiers in Andover and people in detention centres in London and Dover to help create new stories for the future.
Rain of Poems
Wrote a commission for Casagrande's Rain of Poems event in London. My poem, When Sheep Turn Their Backs To The Wind, was translated into Spanish and bombed out of a helicopter with 99 other poems.


Memories Group
Ran a yearlong series of memory making and art workshops for older patients of a local NHS clinic. Involved singing a song from the good old days each week!
Staying: Dream, Bin, Soft Stud and Other Stories
Co-created a sound event (in the dark) with Oreet Ashery and Artangel at Free Word, London, exploring alter egos, love, and the asylum process.
Free Speech: The Night Class
Created a partnership between PEN and Bishopsgate Institute resulting in a long-term adult education class exploring free speech issues.


Keep Me Posted
Devised and hosted Keep Me Posted letter writing workshops and Letter Writing Club Night at Free Word, London.
Speak For Yourself!
Devised and fundraised for a free speech project-based learning programme for young people.
Big Writing For A Small World
Created and fundraised for a major creative writing project in 10 refugee centres across the UK led by leading writers.