John Gordon Davis - Fountain Pen



A really stimulating week – truly recommendable for anyone who would either like to write but doesn’t know where to start or those who have started and come to a halt. John has the extraordinary ability to teach and give personal advice simultaneously. In one short week he made characters that were pale in the back of my mind come alive and leap into action in a quite remarkable manner. In fact they were beginning to dictate the story to me as his ‘clock’ ticked on at its structured pace and so much advice was revealed.

Sadness….when the week was over, not only for the end of a memorable experience but also missing the post-learning lunches under the shade of an old walnut tree where John and Rosy’s adventure stories mingled with intellectual references, humorous anecdotes, home baked bread and a glass of Spanish red! Perfection!

Nikki Garcia, Mijas, Andalucia, Spain


Warmth, love, passion. This is what will greet you when you walk through the door of John and Rosemary's home. This is how you will feel at the end of the week when John has toiled to pass onto you his year's of wisdom and knowledge built as a master story teller, and Rosemary has held your hand throughout.

The glint is John's eye as he helps you build your story, as he turns his theoretical "clock" structure into reality around your plot, shows the reward he gets by sharing his lust for a good story ... one which will keep your reader ever keen to turn the page. No matter how thin or fragile your story may be, John's sharp and encouraging mind will climb into it with you, and help you flesh it out. If his teaching and guidance doesn't leaving you eager to bring to paper what may have been washing around in your imagination for years, probably nothing ever will.

Apart from being a best selling author, an adventurer, a Barrister, an historian, a sailor, a mischievous raconteur, he is a very kind man. To sit eye to eye with him, and have him engage in my story was an honour which I will savour for many a year. Thank you John for your teaching, your motivation, your commitment. I will ever be indebted.

Rosemary is host supreme. She bakes the bread, nurses any hangovers, produces sumptuous lunches and nurtures a warmth around the evening table which lingers well into the night. Thank you Rosemary for all you did for me, and your tireless caring for our group.

If you are looking not only for the kindling to light the bonfire, but how to build the bonfire, I would sincerely recommend you look no further.

Peter Pentz, Sydney, Australia


John Gordon Davis offered a fiction writing class to six enthusiastic storytellers. Even though each person had a very different idea for a story, John's help got each of us centered in on the best way to progress through the the telling in order to keep the reader interested. By using a coherent design in the form of a simple clock, we were able to see how the characters and the plot had to progress, literally taking on a life of its own.

John also separately worked with each student giving us ideas to enhance our story. That was a valuable contribution to us by an expert story teller. Staying in a old Spanish style farm house and eating delicious food added to the total experience.

Ruth Webb, Montana, USA.

"The course was inspirational. I had reached an unmotivated stage in my writing and lacked direction. But John gave it all structure and by helping us to break the writing process down into stages made it seem less daunting. He has endless patience and I couldnt wait to make a start on my second book. The atmosphere at their lovely home is relaxed and I thank you both for a truly memorable few days."

Jill Newman-Rogers, Alhaurin el Grande, Spain.

I arrived at the home of John Gordon Davis expecting to meet the "great man of Africa" and I did, but I found John to be much more. He immediately greeted me with "Hello, friend!" and over the next week he proved to be teacher, counselor, and friend. I had been intimidated at the thought of studying with a famous published author; my fears disappeared with the very first class. John was thoroughly encouraging and thoroughly organized. To anyone who really wants to write a novel, here’s your chance to study under a master of the craft.

Martin Reiter, Washington State, U.S.A.

John Gordon Davis' writing course, from the minute we assembled in the spacious, cosy living room that was our class room, was inspiring, thought provoking, challenging and very effective. We felt we were with an old friend teaching us all the elements to writing our stories.

John's method of teaching is through 'The Clock' - which incorporates all the stages you need to write your book. This is an excellent and fun way to learn.

There were six very different characters in our class and we all bounced off each other with constant guidance from John, and his tireless efforts to bring out our best. I believe that we all left at the end of the week, with the confidence and determination to realise our dream of writing our books. My week at John and Rosie´s magical home in the Spanish mountains was delightful.

Kate Glascoe, Devon, U.K.

Again, I must thank you both for making last week such a memorable and useful experience. So much packed into the time, and all of it stimulating. And as for the 'place' - your gorgeous finca is the ideal setting for inspiring creative energy: long may it last - both the urge and the setting.

With every best wish and renewed gratitude,

Heather Crawford, Grenada, Spain.


Exploring my ideas with an Author of such accomplishment was a thrilling experience. John's 'Clock' method is a brilliant aid in constructing story. I came to the course with only the germ of an idea, but left with a clear synopsis and renewed passion to write. Rosemary is a warm hostess and John unfailingly approachable, together creating a relaxed ambience in a beautiful environment, where aspiring Authors can explore their own ideas at their own pace - A writers' Paradise.

Josh Hannan, Granada, Spain.

When you first arrive at John and Rosie's finca in the famed Andalucian countryside, it appears as a wonderful oasis for both spirit and soul... Amid walled seclusion of vine draped pergola's, surrounded by quiet countryside, ploughed fields, olive citrus and grape, alongside lush palms, stucco plaster and hanging vines.

And when you finish all the analogies...drinking hole for the thirsty spirit, lapping hungrily at the feet of the master etc, there remains the unassailable fact that the course, an established author running it, the creative fusion of shared inspiration - here you are in the presence of the man who wrote all your favorite books. Who freed your passion, unlocked your earthbound style and, with any luck at all, gave it wings! John's is no less generous with his time, boundless wisdom, and deep kindness. And the boisterous irrepressible bonhomie of a highly entertaining after dinner story-teller, with booming laugh and highly engaging wit.

Roger Whale, London.

This being the second time around I've noticed I actually really enjoy verbally constructing a story over a few days, and in such lovely company, as an end in itself..

Josh Hannan, Devon. ------

Having recently stayed and studied at the delightful home of John and Rosemary Gordon Davis I can only echo the remarks of others on this page. John has an uncanny - bordering on unnerving - ability to keep all of our plots at his fingertips and to make suggestions on how to write them. The trouble is that his ideas are always better than yours.

Always incisive always caring ("I was thinking about your story overnight") always inspiring, John is someone whose words must be listened to with care, not just because they are pithy, not just because they are profound, but because you know they are coming from a person who has not just talked the talk but who has walked the walk with terrific success. And the best thing of all, which I have saved for last, is the warm welcome and the unstinting generosity you will encounter at their home.

Tim Coakley, Marbella, Spain


What a week! I’m not quite sure where to I’ll dive right in. Many thanks for the opportunity to spend so much time at your charming finca. I felt completely at ease from the get-go. You present the potentially thorny subject of writing in a completely accessible format. It’s enough of an achievement to be a successful novelist, but to be able to project your literary knowledge and prowess so succinctly to our group was a triumph. I leave the group with my mind buzzing! I feel inspired, entertained and much better equipped to face my laptop and the solitary task of completing my story.

Rosie? You complete the partnership by being the perfect hostess. Sitting around the table, in your garden, enjoying home-baked bread and great cooking, leaves a lasting happy impression.

Tony (Merrington), Marbella, Spain


Thank you so much for a magical time spent at your delightful villa, with yourselves and with the writing group of characters. I have come away with memorable impressions and my mind is racing with ideas and I am on fire raring to get writing. (after class report) I am dazzled by your greatness and in awe of your marvelous story telling talent and teaching. It has been one of the best experiences of my life to meet you and to have been taken under your wing. Now to receive such an indepth report of our activities and meanderings through the written word is unexpected and treasured. I value your input and appreciate how much time you have spent on each of our ideas. I am excited and impatient and my mind rumbles constantly with thoughts, twists and turns, never forgetting The Clock. Shirley Wald, Torremolinos, Spain

On behalf of Jacqui and myself thank you so much for all that you both contributed towards a truly wonderful, inspiring week in your lovely home. By ‘all’, I mean:
Ø Your generous hospitality;
Ø Rosie’s super catering;
Ø A liberal flow of wine;
Ø Great company;
Ø Sound sleeps in your lovely bedroom;
Ø Lifts to and from the Airport and, last but not least
Ø An excellent writing course.

John, your writing course was both enjoyable and very illuminating – you certainly know what it’s all about when it comes to writing.

David and Jacqui Baker, South Africa.

'I first read the novels of John Gordon Davis during my formative 1970's years, and his deep feelings for the plight of endangered species, and predjudice towards peoples' on the grounds of colour or position, left a deep and abiding mark, which helped give expression to the formation of my own ideas and feelings, and bore deeply on me in the eventful life that followed. He quite literally switched on a part of my heart that I was then too busy to have discovered without him. Imagine then the joy, when I was not only able to meet the master of the highly original, thought provoking thriller but also learn from him in his Andalucian home. Not only as to how to plan a work of faction/fiction, but also a biography, my own desire. To marshall memories, set out events, dramatise where necessary, and do all of this in a clear, reader- friendly manner. Although his wonderful personal, and totally thorough guidance was so vivid and alive, by the end of the sojourn, love it as I did, I couldn't wait to get back to my writing niche and begin!
Though hoping so much, we meet again.
Do not hesitate. 'Seize the Day-vis!'

Lan Whale, Bristol


Writing is such a solitary occupation that the opportunity to be taught by John and looked after by Rosemary in an atmospheric Spanish farmhouse with other writers, proved to be irresistible. John gave a fascinating account of plot construction based on extensive research and his own experience as a best selling author. This was backed up with extensive hand outs. He had the gift of bringing out the best in each of us and was unfailingly supportive and generous with his time whether in the group or in a one-to-one. Rosemary’s contribution was not only her excellent cooking but also sharing her own experiences and interests, and her wide knowledge of modern literature. When I started this course I had only a hazy idea of a plot for my novel : when I left, I had a detailed story. Something magical had happened. The whole experience I would highly recommend.

Marguerite Anonymous, psychotherapist, Bristol

Do it!
This is my advice to writers thinking about attending the John Gordon Davis Fiction Writing Course. I have attended numerous fiction writing workshops – each providing me with valuable lessons – but John’s is first, first rate.

Clearly, the guy knows how to write a best-selling novel! John’s novels are full of meaningful story lines, unique characters and always enthralling plots…and John is equally as brilliant a teacher as he is a novelist. I am a published writer with more than twenty years of professional writing experience and I have never learned so much so quickly from a single course. In fact, I learned many practical and svelte fiction writing cues that I never learned in university, private study or in multi-week workshops. John’s approach is proven, thoughtful and extremely results-oriented.

And the setting – can’t find a better piece of fiction! Amazing house, location, food and fellowship. John and Rosemary have so naturally architected a creative, intellectual, intensive and inspiring environment for writers.

Do it! You’ll be very, very glad you did. And feel free to contact me if you have specific questions about workshop content, methodology, etc. I’m happy to share my experience with you.

Ruby Faulk, scriptwriter, Madrid.

Just wanted to thank you for another incredible experience.

It was so much help for me yet another time around the clock. And for the first-timers and those new to writing (all three of the other students) - I really cannot imagine how huge it must be for them. They will really value you and the experience even more once they get deep into the writing process and must begin making decisions with their characters and stories. It really is something to get a hundred pages in and realize oh oh I'm still in the ordinary world and haven't crossed any threshold or met any mentor - I've just been sitting here bitching or droning on for too long. Be able to look at the clock and check the time in your story is priceless.

Rosemary, the food was better than ever and as a guest I would swear there was a whole staff of kitchen and house helpers you hid in the cupboard so that it would appear you were doing it all. Of course, I know it was only you. You were brilliant.

I should remain lucky enough to have the resources to come back to your place for more workshops, visits and celebrations.

Meeting the two of you has changed and enriched my life. John, you have no idea how perfect a teacher you have been to me. I know I have a lot to learn with the writing, but I know I'll keep at it and not lower my expectations.

With all my heart,

Rosie and John

Just a quick note to thank you for a truly exceptional course. During my career I have attended numerous courses on a variety of topics and I cannot think of one that I have enjoyed more or which has taught me anything nearly as relevant to my needs. The group you managed to assemble was interesting and also great fun to spend time with.

Thank you for the experience

Nigel Seed – Alicante Spain.

Dear John,

Following my attendance at your recent course in May I felt I must write to thank you most profoundly for a wonderful and stimulating week with you and the other participants in the course. Your attention to detail and your probing of plot, characters, and place brought to life, in a way far superior to anything I could have achieved on my own, the novel I am working on and enabled me to see various flaws and issues I had not thought through fully. The one to one session with yourself was an enormous help in this regard and the overall way you demonstrated the various steps to construct a novel will remain as my guideline going forward. I should also mention I found the participants willingness to explore and make constructive suggestions on the planned novels of others also particularly helpful.

Lastly I must thank Rosie your lovely wife for looking after all of us as if we were family and making us feel so at home in your lovely house. Kind regards,

Martin and Delany – Dublin, Ireland.

I have often been tempted to participate in a writing course and when I saw that John Gordon Davis, a much loved author in Africa, held two courses per year in Spain, I didn’t hesitate.

John’s unique approach to writing (the clock method) was the template of all the classes and inspirational in its simplicity. The class consisted of people from South Africa, Ireland, Spain, Zimbabwe and Britain. Initially we were busy checking each other out unsure of how it all worked; some had written books, some halfway through, some with only an idea etc. But within hours there was a wonderful atmosphere as we talked to John about our hopes and dreams of becoming successful authors. What was immediately apparent was that John cared very much about the aspirations of his students.

What I particularly liked about the course was that there was no “homework” no exercises to complete and no standing up and reading out loud; something I was dreading! After each session John would hand out the “daily lesson” for us to think about. It was perfect.

The highlight of the course for me, was the unique opportunity of sitting with this legendary author and having a “one on one” about my manuscript. John’s extraordinary ability to remember each character and the entire storyline was impressive to say the least.

I have come away from this course full of new ideas and confidence. I may never be as successful as John Gordon Davis but I know I have had the opportunity to be taught and coached by one of the best in the business.

John’s wife, the lovely Rosie, was the perfect hostess, ensuring we were more than well fed and watered. The laughter and stories around the dinner table, the anecdotes, the jokes, the great food and the never ending supply of wine is something which will stay with me for years.

Thank you John. It was a privilege to be taught by you. An experience I will never forget.

Samantha Ford - South Africa.

I have just been on a wonderful one week course with the renowned John Gordon Davis and it has been invaluable to further my development of the book we all have inside us. We have all been given notes that are very important to the way you structure the books. I met very interesting people from all over the world on the same course as me, Rosie was an amazing host throughout the week providing us with yummy meals

Dont think about it do it!!!! John is a very special person and imparts all his secrets to you and your further development of writing.

Lynda Woodin – Guadalmina, Spain.

John’s writing course was most stimulating. His guidelines on plotting, characterisation and creating suspense were spot on. The environment was relaxed and casual, and the interchange with the other participants was an added benefit. I wholeheartedly endorse this programme.

David Hilton-Barber, Author and Publisher.

Tzaneen, South Africa