Join in celebrating and reinventing the handwritten letter. Relish the imperfections. Physical letters inform us in so many ways: they are about the trail we leave and the future we wish to shape.

See Elspeth's talk about Scent at TEDxSWPS 


Elspeth is running letter writing workshops for groups of all ages in houses, schools, support groups, charities, writing groups, cafes and festivals.

Scent started in May 2014 -  come and say hello.

Interested in attending or booking a Scent event? Let me know through the Contact page, or​

Letter writing celebrated and reinvented

Scent events



Summer 2019

This summer I'm presenting at The Storytelling For Health conference in Swansea, along with GP Dr Gene Feder and Dr Alice Malpass. Also - we're excited that one of 4 exhibition art works at the festival is a piece inspired by our Letter to The Breath Project, by artist Louise Jenkins. And in addition... we're having a paper published at the conference, in a special edition. Good stuff, looking forward to it.

It's not the first piece of art work to include my project - Toby Young's choral piece features one of the first letters to the breath I facilitated in the first minute...

Comics, superheroes and letters...  I’m part of “Community Connections”, a social prescribing programme in the South Ward area of Weston-super-Mare. A full-time social prescriber is taking referrals from health professionals working in the For All Healthy Living Centre, who will connect people to non-medical support within their local communities and beyond. Cooked up by the lovely Fiona Matthews at Theatre Orchard, and with Arts and Health South West support, the programme has a particular focus on working with and through creative and arts-based approaches. I’m running a series of workshops over two years to help towards the evaluation programme. This involves me leading a workshop called Letter to My Superhero, as well as working alongside K Scottish comedian and comic strip creator, Kev Sutherland, Scottish comedian and comic strip creator (including for the Beano and Marvel)…

Looking towards Spring 2019

Excited to be running 3 pilot workshops in primary schools, funded by Life of Breath Project. The workshops will involve creative letter writing, puppetry and dance.

Also, Dr Alice Malpass and Elspeth are delighted to announce that our first paper “Dear Breath: using story structure to understand the value of letter writing for those living with breathlessness – a qualitative study”, has been accepted for publication with Arts & Health journal and we're looking forward to presenting workshops and more at the letters at the Life of Breath final exhibition Catch Your Breath in Bristol in 2019 (currently on display in Palace Green Library, Durham).

Winter 2018

Two blog posts in 2018 on my Letter to the Breath project with Life of Breath Project, University of Bristol:

And a blog post on Art, mother and son, nature and transition....

Winter 2017

Proud of this fantastic workshop project called "Letter to My Grandchild in Nailsea."

Emotion Coaching Autumn 2017
Writing a letter to your breath 2017

November 24th: Being Human Festival. An afternoon of activities about the breath. Our breath in our hands.... great to see this new Life of Breath project blog post: Dr Alice Malpass writes about the @BeingHumanFestevent "Gasp!" with Elspeth Penny exploring how an installation artist, puppeteer, musician, writer, dancer & choreographer use breath/breathlessness in their work. .

Burnley: Thanks to Janet Janet Swan: Reading. Story. Voiceat the wonderful Burnley Singing For Lung Health Group. Dr Alice Malpass and I loved running a workshop there in November for our www.lifeofbreath.orgresearch project. Fifteen singers wrote letters to their breath, as well as started Christmas tree decoration letters.

December 2017

A hugely busy Autumn, we've been delivering workshops on letter writing for huge groups of teachers in Yeovil and small intimate groups in Burnley and along with an installation artist in Horfield for The Being Human Festival. Also I've delivered a set of workshops called Writing a Letter to My Grandchild in Photos, including photographs of hand written letters. Dr Alice Malpass and I have also created and delivered a rich evening of talks and performances for Being Human Festival at the Arnolfini. For more news see and my Facebook pages @2buproductions. 

Our breath in our hands.... great to see this new Life of Breath project blog post: Dr Alice Malpass writes about the @BeingHumanFest event "Gasp!" with Elspeth Penny exploring how an installation artist, puppeteer, musician, writer, dancer & choreographer use breath/breathlessness in their work.

Autumn 2017​ Lots of exciting events coming up! 

On November 21st 2017 I'm running a workshop on writing letters to your emotions for GP Dr Sarah Temple who runs the awesome Somerset Emotion Coaching Project. 109 delegates have booked onto the workshop! It will still be intimate though, as I've got lots of helpers to take small groups off into different areas. I can't wait to see all those letters...

For booking of other events at Somerset Emotion Coaching Project... go to

September 2017 Coming up: we are running an event for Being Human Festival, inspired by letters to the breath that we've collected.

Book now for Gasp! Exploring breathlessness through creative arts, part of #BeingHuman17!

Whilst many of us take our breath for granted, for those living with episodic or chronic breathlessness, it is the suffering of ‘air hunger’ that is invisible to others. Join us for a series of events including a creative writing workshop which explores how we think, feel and relate to our breath. Watch work in progress and join researchers from the Life of Breath Project for a panel discussion alongside an artist, puppeteer, performer and writer exploring breath and breathlessness in their work. You can even add your own ‘breath signature’ to the installation piece ‘Suspended Breath’.

November 19, 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm Workshop - Horfield Quaker Meeting House, 300 Gloucester Road 
Bristol, BS7 8PD United Kingdom 

November 24, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm 
Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay 
Bristol, South West BS1 4QA United Kingdom

August 2017

If you missed the podcast Alice and I did for Life of Breath, here is the link....

June 2017

Dr Alice Malpass and I presented our work on the Letters to the Breath at two conferences: Some fantastic feedback and follow up opportunities: we spoke in Swansea and Bristol about our innovative arts and health work using the letter writing workshops. 

Swansea’s Storytelling for Health Conference: Title of session... Creative Writing Workshop. We looked at narrative in our project Letter to my Breath, and ran practical workshops. We presented alongside two other creative writing workshops - Sarah Goodey from Healing Words and Vicky Field from The Poetry Practice... both excellent. Here is Alice and I with my friend GP Dr Malcolm Rigler.

We also spoke at the Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference 
on June 2017, a session chaired by Jane Willis, in a panel we shared with Clare Williamson. 

Brilliant to be part of the conference and to see some old friends there, such as Arts and Health veteran Professor Paul Dieppe, and some valued colleagues such as Professor Justine Schneider.

May 2017 A fab lettery few days: presented our progress of our Writing a Letter to my Breath workshops with Dr Alice Malpass @lifeofbreath at a meeting for both the Durham and Bristol teams.  Great reactions, comments and suggestions from everyone. Then Alice and I took part in a Podcast, at the request of Dr Sarah McLusky, Project Manager, Durham Life of Breath. We also had a project meal at River Cottage Canteen, where I met the Durham team. It's rewarding being part of Life of Breath.

​February 2018

Dr Alice Malpass and myself have run three workshops in 10 days for - they've got better and richer and more satisfying as we've gone on. See Feedback section. Wonderful letters from the participants (all confidential for the time being). Here's a news item from English teacher Rachel Lowrie:

January 2017

Delighted to be corresponding with an Australian psychologist about using my workshops for the benefit of Australian groups. More to come about that.

Talks: I'm so pleased to have been invited to talk at The Storytelling For Health conference 2017 in Swansea,  June 16th and 17th

I'm also having discussions with some of the summer outdoor festivals about running letter writing workshops - yay... fun.

Research at Bristol University:

This winter Dr Alice Malpass of Bristol University and I are running ‘Writing a letter to my breath’ workshops, which encourage participants to engage with and explore their own stories and breath experiences in the form of a letter.
This is part of the Welcome Trust funded study at Bristol and Durham University, on a research study about our relationship with the breath. Workshops are underway in a variety of locations in Bristol. The workshops selling out, but there may be spaces via Eventbrite : look up Letter to Breath events or Meetup -

Looking forward to hearing from you.

September 2016 Exciting developments with arts and health project 'Letters to my health'. I have been asked to join an exciting research project with Bristol and Durham University. 

I am also running workshops - open to everyone - at Bristol's Healthy City Week:
1. Creative Writing and Art .... Letter to my Bones (or other body parts!) at 1.30 - 2.30 pm on Saturday 15th Oct, WellSpring Healthy Living centre.
2. Buzz Lockleaze, Gainsborough Square on Friday 21st at 11-12.
3. Letter to my Pain, Hours venue 4-5.30 Friday 21st Oct

Spring 2016 See my blog post

February 2016 Creative Sparkle 2016 course on offer... see About page!

I was honoured to be invited to give a talk this February about the benefits letter writing at The Life of Breath Project research group

January 2016 Caving and writing: a blog post

December 2015 Blagdon Time Capsule ceremony: it's been exciting to gather all the letters the children have written to themselves in 2040... it's going to be even more exciting for the people in the future to find them.

November 2015 Blagdon school: I have been working with all of the classes, inviting the children to write and draw letters to themselves in 25 years time. The letters are funny, touching and beautiful, and are going into a time capsule, (donated by Kym Russell), along with other letters (from workshops with Scouts, Guides etc), school photos, poems and the names of all the children and staff in the school. We are going to have a ceremony in school on Friday 4th December before putting the capsule up in the school attic. A pottery plaque will be placed near the office, saying that the capsule is to be opened in 2040.

October 2105 Time Capsule to be put in Blagdon school attic, for the Letters To The Future! 

​I am also exploring a PhD idea, involving letter writing and have some great supervisors on board. Got to find the right funding.

June 17th  Cave poems written by year 5 and 6 after an expedition to Goatschurch Cavern, to go into the Time Capsule along with letters.


Read my blog about May's exhibition

May 9th, Blagdon, North Somerset, Village Hall 2-5pm Exhibition of children's Letters To The Future, and Shipham through the Ages exhibition in St Leonard’s Church, Shipham, the following weekend - 16th & 17th May

April 6th, Just started exploring the idea of basing a much larger research project around Scent. All thanks to Theatre Orchard, GP Malcolm Rigler, Professor David Radstone and the encouragement of my many friends, academic and otherwise (blimey you're a bright lot). I've added a Book Page on this web-site, and started to put up a few of the texts I've been enjoying.

March 2015: Happily got more funding from Discovering Blackdown Project, so that Rainbows and Brownies could also made letters to the future in a workshop. The workshops have now finished with all the scouting groups, there has been a lot of beetroot and elderberry ink used up, vast amounts of paper experimented over, and I have a beautiful pile of letters which are going to be exhibited on May 9th, Blagdon, North Somerset, Village Hall 2-5pm.

February 2015: Discussions in place about letter writing in a medical context... more soon. 

January 2015: Elspeth ran a letter writing workshop at Penny Brohn Cancer Care. Participants said the workshop "Wakes something up in you." (see other comments on "Scent Eventers said" page.

Autumn 2014 - 2015: Elspeth's "Letter to The Future" workshops have been going excellently. They are for Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Guides, looking at the Mendips in the stone age, and creating letters about our landscape for future Mendip dwellers, using interesting local materials, from ocre to charcoal. The workshops are funded by the Discovering Blackdown project.

Summer 2014 Letter writing workshops

in the forest at Candlefest.

This is a                                   pproject