On our most recent WW1 Writers’ Trip to the Somme, I tried to deal with the overwhelming grief of seeing gravestone after gravestone by concentrating on the individual scripts written on each headstone. It was heartbreaking how much personality can come across just from a few words, and how much thought must have gone into…Continue Reading

Snapshots from the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival

Given that I’ve finally managed to immerse myself into writing my fourth novel, it could have been a strange time to experience my first ever Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. But so many people have raved about it over the years and as I value every minute I can spend with my host, Pamela Johnson and fellow…Continue Reading

Rhinos, Submissions and Picnics…

Put seven writers together with a list of literary magazines and journals, lots of inspiration, chocolate biscuits and a delicious home-made cake, and – voila! – I’m pleased to have hosted the first Submissions Picnic yesterday as part of my writing classes… As one of the exercises, we split into two groups for workshopping, and…Continue Reading

Round and about….

It’s a busy time at the moment so here are some dates of readings and workshops for you… Tonight – 20th October – I’m at Tonbridge Writers Hub, 7.30, Tonbridge Adult Education Centre, Avebury Road, talking about ideas and writing. Tickets on the door £5. Thursday 23rd October, I’m speaking at a Sussex Philanthropy event…Continue Reading

Wondrous things, revolting things, writing things….

I run two writing groups on a Tuesday, and, like most people who do any kind of writing teaching will tell you, the particular joy of this work is that a) I get to share the work of writers I love and b) I get to write new things myself. So yesterday, I’m still buzzing…Continue Reading

Let Life Do It…

I’m reading May Sarton’s Plant Dreaming Deep at the moment, an account of her renovation of a New Hampshire farmhouse, but with lots of reflections about writing too. This one hit home: “It became more necessary than ever to eliminate waste. ‘I wasted time and now doth time waste me.’ was no longer a beautiful…Continue Reading

Getting out the diary…

Some dates coming up for the diary… Saturday 13th September 2014 – Poetry in the Park Workshop at Westgate Gardens, Canterbury for the Wise Words Festival, 11-1pm. Find out more and bring a poem to hang up on a tree here Monday 13th October 2014 – a four week inspiration for writing course run through…Continue Reading