The Curious Cave

Updated June 2020

The Curious Cave….where I head on in with a cuppa, find a cosy corner and switch off from everyday life.

I’m inspired daily by these creative geniuses already out in the world – I hope they inspire you too.

This will be an ever-evolving list (newest updates listed first) and as I get through more and more books, and discover other creatives through social media and podcasts, I’ll be posting reviews too, so keep popping in now and again.

Update: for a review of my favourite resources in 2019, click here for the blog post all about it!

Update: Here is my Blog post all about my top podcast recommendations

And if you’ve found other great reads or listens out there, please do share either on @curiouscreativeclub Instagram page or email me via the contact form below – sharing is caring after all and the beauty of this page is for us all to learn together and discover the magic makers out there that can help or inspire us further.

Local Creative Groups (in the Huddersfield Area)

So lets begin with local creative workshops to really put some action into getting started!  These are the one’s I belong to or have tried and really enjoy.

Plus of course there are my own writing workshops that I deliver, click here for further details!

Yorkshire Writers Lunch – Meet once a week at The Cafe Society in Huddersfield, Tuesday lunchtime from 12pm onwards, upstairs in the cafe. Mixed abilities meet to discuss all things writing, do some collaborations and each member takes it in turns to contribute to their weekly Blog too – friendly and very supportive group – here is their website YWL Blog

Gale Barker’s Creative Writing Group – We meet weekly at Gale’s house (I go on a Tuesday (10am – 12pm) but other sessions are available –  Weds – 7-9pm and Thursday 10am-12. Gale is a retired creative writing teacher from Kirklees college and now delivers her expertise through tasks and prompts to get you thinking creatively – and her husband Andrew delivers the tea and biscuits! – £8 per session. Great for sparking new ideas in a small comfortable group.

Huddersfield Authors Circle
‘Huddersfield Authors’ Circle – meets the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, 7:30-9:30pm at Huddersfield Fire Station Community Room. They are a diverse and friendly group of writers (poets to horror novelists) who share work at reading meetings and inspire new writing at themed workshops. First two meetings are free to attend before £20 sub fee.
See website for further details
Writer’s League – Read Bookshop – centre of Holmfirth 
Not only are Read my favourite independent bookstore who supply me with endless creative books but they also do all kinds of events from author readings and signings to kids art sessions. Recently, they have just set up a new writing group that just started in July, anyone can go along and read some work of theirs; parts of novels, short stories, poems etc. The rest of the group offers feedback and then everyone votes for their favourite. The winner receives a £10 book voucher and all members receive a 10% discount on the night. Currently operating monthly on a Wednesday, next one is 16th October. Click here for further details


Shelley Art Group – Tuesday evenings, 8-10pm at Shelley Village Hall – £2.50 per session. Again another very supportive local group with a wide range of talents in all kinds of art work. They also have artists in to demo which is brilliant to learn new stles and skills, plus a yearly Exhibition at the Village Hall, usually in March and the opportunity to join in the prestigious Holmfirth Art Week too. Click here for further information.

Calder Graphics Art Supplies – Byram Arcade, Huddersfield Town Centre

Not only does this business provide top quality art supplies and great advice for novices like me, but they also do many artist events and demos, some of which are free – what better way to learn a new technique? Click here for more information

Sarah Mason Photography Retreats and classesHebden Bridge – several options available, here is the link to her website. Great for a treat to yourself or as a gift for anyone wanting to learn more about photography in the beautiful setting of just outside Hebden Bridge. I loved it!

Next, we go in to the library…In newest order first, the following books are well-worth your time.

IMG_5671        IMG_0387

The Source – Dr Tara Swart


This is my newest recommendation, following listening to Dr Tara on Dr Chattergee’s ‘Feel Better Live More’ podcast. It’s all about how the brain works and the power of visualisation, an absolutely fascinating read!

Hegarty on Creativity

I learned about John Hegarty via the Conversations of Inspiration podcast (see the podcast section further down) and his views on creativity are so interesting. At his agency BBH (one of the most awarded advertising agencies) him and his team devised the Levis Campaign for black jeans, featuring a black sheep going the opposite way in a herd of white sheep and a strap-line saying, ‘When the world zigs, zag’ i.e always seek to be unique and a message as creatives, I think we can all identify with.

There are many more quotes and advice in this book. It’s easily digestible and small enough to carry in your bag when you need to dip into some inspiration.

Collecting Conversations – 100 women sharing everyday thoughts – Sam Bunch


Read (my local bookshop) popped this book on their Insta page and I knew instantly that I’d love it, the illustrations alone are gorgeousI spent a Saturday evening getting stuck in and so far it’s a moving tale about Sam’s experience of losing both her parents quite close together. After her mother’s death, she finds 30 year’s worth of daily diaries in the loft, simple short sentences that together sum up life as a whole.

Sam then has an idea to interview 100 women, of all ages and backgrounds, about all kinds of common life topics in memory of her Mum; it’s an incredible insight into normal life, and I know I’m going to find it fascinating and also useful as a writer too, for examples of different dialogue and voices. Here’s a link to Sam’s Insta if you want to find out more

Hashtag Authetic – Sara Tasker (Of @me_and_orla on Instagram)

This is a brilliant much-needed book in the crazy creative world of Instagram. It draws on Sara’s experience of creating a huge account that has to date 213k followers and breaks it all down into the four simple sections of: Storytelling, Making Pictures, Archiving Your Life and Sharing Your World. A must for anyone who is captivated by creating those little squares.

Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is an absolute must for all creatives! I absolutely love it so far. You’ll find yourself nodding a lot as Elizabeth almost takes us on a spiritual journey to discover the myths, process and absolutely necessity of creativity in human’s lives – if we want to live a great one that is.

Write Yourself Happy – The art of Positive Journalling – Megan C Hayes PhD

This is looking at journaling not just as a cathartic way to download a bad week or experience but to actually help shift your mindset too to one of seeking out the positive moments, no matter how big or small, that do happen in every day life, even on a really rubbish day.

Conscious Creativity, Look, Connect, Create – Phillipa Stanton (of 5ftinf on Instagram)

This is such a beautiful book and will appeal to literally everyone, bursting with colour and inspirational prompts to encourage you to go and tap into that curiosity and create in a way you may have never thought of before. It’s been flying off the shelves and for good reason

The Joy of Watercolour – 40 happy lessons for Painting the World Around You – Emma Block

For those at the start of their painting with watercolour journey, this is such a simple, modern, step by step book that’s really easy to follow. This is what I used to create my cactus picture!

The Wild Remedy – How Nature Mends Us – A diary – Emma Mitchell

I’ve come across Emma in various magazines admiring her beautiful sketches capturing the seasons for Country Living and Breathe Magazine, among others. Here she delves deep into the seasons, explaining how nature can heal us and help our mental well-being – a woman after my own heart as that’s what I champion via my insta account @soothedbynature. Plus, as you’d expect, it is beautifully illustrated.

The Self-Care Revolution – Suzy Reading

This is more of a self-care book but important none the less for the likes of us creatives who work from home and often get so engrossed we forget that occasionally we need to look after ourselves! It’s a brilliantly written book, split into really good sections, using the vitality wheel as a focus so you can work out where your attention needs to be. It’s easy to get through and just makes total sense!

Now on to Magazines:


Psychologies – My favourite magazine, focuses on well-being and life in general but often has interesting articles around creativity. I’m also one of the 25 Real Eco panel members for the magazine, testing environmentally friendly products. They also have resource pages including a new recent one on podcasts. And from June 29th, I’ll be going LIVE on their Instgram, chatting about all things creative and setting small tasks, I’d love to see you there! Every Monday at 1.30pm! 

Writers News – a bible for all wannabe writers, so many good articles, tips, stories and competitions – they also provide the Writers Online website that gives you regular prompts and news about competitions etc

Breathe Magazine – still a relative newbie but looks at all areas of well-being, often including creative sections

Simple Things Magazine – similar to above but works with the seasons

Country Living – often showcases crafters, artists and people who work from home on country makes.

Podcasts – This is a really great time-saving way to learn whilst doing other things such as cleaning or walking the dog! Best of all, they are free! Just use your podcast provide on your phone, such as Apple podcast or download a free Ap such as Stitcher, Spotify etc.

Update – Here is my recent Blog post all about my top podcast recommendations

There are lots of podcasts out there for creatives, I’ve yet to find them all but here are the ones I’ve been enjoying so far:

Clockwise from left top: Dream and Do, Conversations of inspiration, Dreaming and Doing and soon to be launched @eleanorsnare s podcast – just some of the ones I really love!

Two Northern Lasses – This is a new podcast put together by 2 of my WOW Wednesday ladies – Michelle Cowan and Jayne Adamson

The Midlife Manifesto – Lesley Ellis – a friend of mine who has just launched this and I know I’m biased but t’s brilliant!

Conversations of Inspiration – Holly Tucker (co-founder of Not on the Highstreet)

Dreaming and Doing – Nicky Raby

Dream and Do – Nicole Rae-Wickman

Rachel Hollis – Rise

Ctrl Alt Delete – Emma Gannon (Writer of the Multi-Hyphen Method)

The One Girl Band Podcast – Lola Hoad

Creatively Human – Ruth Poundwhite

Grow with Soul – Kayte Ferris

The Creative Introvert – Cat Rose

Hashtag Authentic – Sarah Tasker

Magic Lessons – Elizabeth Gilbert

Make it happen – Jen Carrington

Letters from a hopeful creative – Jen Carrington and Sarah Tasker

On the Make – Josephine Brooks

The Creative Leap – Cat Byrne

What she said – Lucy Lucraft

And the more well-being or entertaining ones:


Feel Better, Live More – Dr Chatterjee

Pressing Pause – Gabrielle Treanor


Happy Place – Fearne Cotton

Psychologies Podcast Channel

Table Manners – Jessie Ware

Oprah’s Super soul Conversations

The Great Indoors – Sophie Robinson and Mad about the House


The High Low – Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes

Happier – Gretchin Rubin


Oh and a new absolutely hilarious one from Chris and Rosie Ramsey! – Shagged, Married, and annoyed!

And finally….on to Social Media! There are so many creatives and interesting people I follow it’s ridiculous so it’s impossible to list them all, so here are a few of my favourites:

Creative Instagram accounts:

My own accounts of course:




hollytucker;; cornucopia_clay; josephinepbrooks; happinessauthor;

me_and_orla; hollytucker; justacard; thestepupclub; lolahoad_; alifemoreinspired

thesimplicitystrategist; asocialnature; adelewatercolours; read.holmfirth;

arnoldandbird; nickyraby; creativeintro; onegirlband_; happinessauthor;

simpleandseason; graceandflora ; lucyludreams; seaside_kate;

covingtoncollections; kentandwillow; holmemadewithlove; littlebirdyhere:

lucylucraft; karen.j.tickner; emilybrooksuk; k.louiseart; herinternest

hillandhedgerows; makewalkread; hbontoftart; connectedcreativity

sam.jackman.textiles; kirstiemallsopp; 5ftinf; silverpebble2; simpleandseason

ciderwithrosie; laurenastondesigns; snapdragonstudiouk; jennifercockcroft

Author Accounts: There are my top 3 fiction writers that I love so depends if you like that kind of thing!

lucyclarke_author; claremackwrites; lisajeweluk

Plus the wellbeing authors I like too:

gabrielletreanor; elizabeth_gilbert_writer; megan.c.hayes; fearnecotton: drchatterjee: han_bullivant

Women Power accounts (as I like to call them)

womenreadyblog; therebelwomansclub; allison_sadler_

a_yorkshire_girl; davinagetsmindful; sheflourished_; bryonygordon; suzyreading

onegirlband_ ; nickyraby; thesimplicitystrategist; lizwinden; alifemoreinspired


myhousecandy; mad_about_the_house; sophierobinsoninteriors

sophie_allport; countrylivinguk: han_bullivant: rosegarthcreations

Useful Facebook Groups

Psychologies Connected Community

Exciting Emails

Quietly Ambitious Business Owners – Ruth Poundwhite

Worry Less and Enjoy Life More – Gabrielle Treanor

Shelley Art Group

30 Day Sketchbook Challenge

Huddersfield Creative Workshops

And of course My own Facebook – The Curious Creative Club

Finally, if you’re a creative and want to expand your Social Media presence but are not sure how, I have a friend who may be able to help, her business is called A Social Nature and you can find her at

If you would like any further information on anything from this page or just a general query, please fill in the contact form below.

Thank you,

Juliet, The Curious Creative x


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