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Talks, Classes and Workshops by Matt Wingett

Life Is Amazing’s Editor and publisher Matt Wingett offers a series of talks on Portsmouth, local history and other subjects. From writing for television through to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s belief in ghosts, his talks are informative, entertaining and engaging – and designed to get you thinking!

After dinner talks, societies and clubs

Matt is great for after dinner speaking; his talks are designed to be fun as well as impart uplifting and fascinating information. He is able to talk without notes for up to an hour on many of his subjects, and is also comfortable using a projector to enhance the talks if preferred.

Big hits with the general public include Portsmouth, The Home of Great Writing which he has delivered for Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth on a number of occasions. Also popular is Conan Doyle and the Mysterious World of Light, which traces Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s belief in the paranormal from its early beginnings in Southsea in the 1880s through to his missionary phase in the 1920s.

Of interest in Portsmouth and the surrounding area are the people who shaped some of the history of the town and beyond. Local names include John Pounds, whose influence on education was profound and the lesser-known Robert Dolling, whose missionary zeal in Landport transformed lives in the slum areas of Portsmouth during the late Victorian Period.

Of course, the great writers of Portsmouth deserve their mentions. As well as Conan Doyle, Matt also gives a talk and series of readings from the works of Rudyard Kipling, which illustrate how powerful was the influence of his life in Southsea on his later work. Kipling, H G Wells, Dickens and Conan Doyle are also dealt with in The Portsmouth the Home of Great Writing talk.

Educational Classes and Workshops

The talks above are adaptable to an educational environment, and can easily be tailored to different age groups. Matt has the skill of easily adapting information for different age groups and academic levels, and is sensitive to the needs of students in the classroom.

Also, specifically aimed at schools and colleges are his creative writing workshops, which have proven popular at St John’s College, Portsmouth. Having experience of writing episodes of ITV’s The Bill, Matt also gives talks on tv scriptwriting, short story writing and novel writing.

Radio and Television

Over the years, Matt has made several appearances on local television, talking about subjects close to his heart, including Conan Doyle, Portsmouth history and even circuses and Punch and Judy.

He has guested on US Radio stations talking about his Conan Doyle book, and is very comfortable talking live on air.


Matt can be contacted through the contact form on this website, or you can telephone on 07985 053777

Call now, to check availability!


Here are some of the comments given on his talks:

Creative writing workshop, with children age 11-15:

“Our pupils have thoroughly enjoyed working with Matt as he is highly engaging, interesting and he made them feel like legitimate writers.  He has been very accommodating in offering workshops that fit the needs and interests of our writers, covering character and plot and using examples from his own work, as well as discussing pupil work in a positive and constructive way.  Whatever the experience of your pupils, Matt will provide valuable enrichment and approaches writing (and reading) from a different angle from that of an English teacher. I would highly recommend organising a workshop or a talk with him; they’re really good fun!” – Emma Courtney, Teacher, St John’s College, Portsmouth.

School classes on Portsmouth hero, John Pounds, with pupils age 7-10:

“Matt came on a visit to our school and presented to a group of children, information on John Pounds. He was very well informed and kept the children involved, checking their prior knowledge and getting them to help him when appropriate. He answered all of their questions and made them laugh- when pulling a potato out of his pocket! Thank you so much for coming in, the children really learnt from your presentation.” – Jolene Parker, Fernhurst Junior School, Portsmouth.

Lecture on Portsmouth, the Home of Great Writing, University of Portsmouth

“Matt is a witty, charismatic and articulate lecturer who has inspired my students with his technical knowledge of the craft of writing and his encyclopaedic knowledge of local literary history. He also possesses what, in my view, is a vital pedagogical skill: the ability to explain complex ideas in straightforward language. I have read and heard some of the feedback he has given to students and been delighted with the depth and detail of his commentary. After his interactions with my students, their positive reactions demonstrated that he had successfully motivated them and opened their eyes to new ideas highly relevant to their studies.” – Tom Sykes, Lecturer in Creative Writing, CCi Faculty, University of Portsmouth

Lecture on TV script writing, Southampton Solent University

I invited Matt in to talk to my level 5 (second year) screenwriting students, due to his experience as a screenwriter on The Bill. Matt is a very confident, knowledgeable and engaging speaker. He started the session by getting the students to tell him about their backgrounds and scripts, then gave them an insight into his role as a writer.

This was followed by a practical session where Matt deconstructed the first ever episode he was commissioned to write, with the students. This was done in the form of Q and A, where Matt would get the students to look at sections of the episode and discuss the conflicts, story hooks and emotional pulls of the scenes.

This method really engaged the students and prompted a lot of discussion form them. This was followed by a Q and A, in which Matt imparted valuable information to the students. I would thoroughly recommend Matt as a guest speaker, his knowledge of the craft and business side of screenwriting is excellent and he approaches his audience warmly, and engages them throughout. – David Burden, Senior Lecturer Film and TV Production Southampton Solent University

Public Talks on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Spiritualism  and on Portsmouth literary history for Hampshire Libraries

“Matt is a wonderfully engaging public speaker, with real insight and depth of knowledge on his chosen subjects.  We have always received extremely positive feedback from the audiences he has entertained and it is always a pleasure to work with such a friendly and professional speaker” – Lian Sills, Library Events Officer, Hampshire Library Service.

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