Wednesday, 28 October 2015

And now, back to the Writing! #NaNoWriMo 2015

Oh yes, the time has come! We are fast approaching that marvellous month of madness and mayhem…it is time for National Novel Writing Month, 2015. And this year I am ready and raring to go. There is one slight problem: I don’t have a clue what I am going to write! But that’s never stopped me before… and this year I have a team of writing buddies on hand to assist, which is fabulous. We are forming our own little NaNoWriMo group, just the three of us for now, although we may persuade a few more to join us as we progress.

Part of the joy of NaNoWriMo is the sense of community and comradeship that we find. Although I have not yet managed to attend local write-in sessions for our regional writing groups, I now have people in my home town that will participate this year, and we have a central venue in which to work together. Amazing! And then, of course, I will have all of my lovely supporters via Twitter and the NaNoWriMo forums. We are always there to console and cajole at odd hours of the day or night, such is the all-consuming madness of the month.

So, for the next couple of days, I must prepare my home and my family for the abandonment that is to come. Fortunately, my elder daughter is now in school, so she is happy to relax when she gets home in the evenings. My younger daughter attends preschool, so I do have at least two days in the week for solid writing sessions. And the rest, well, I will do what I can around the domestic responsibilities. November will be a month for ready meals (sorry kids!), a dusty house (nothing new there, then), and even less sleep than usual for me. But it is totally worth it! See you on the other side… with my brand new manuscript!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

And My Next Event is… A Dose of Dark Fiction!

Phew! We have survived the madness of #ScribeFest 2015. The week was a huge success, with our events well attended and very well received. Huge thanks to our audience and supporting visitors for your participation and feedback. We are now already planning the festivities for #ScribeFest 2016. Well, these things take a lot of preparation, don’t you know! I thoroughly enjoyed all of it, from the planning through to the events and finally to the after-show party, such that it was. A jolly good time was had by all, and if you missed SCRIBE, well then you had better get it in your diary for next year, once we release the official dates…

And now for my next event. Oh yes, I am well and truly back on the bandwagon after a lengthy absence through maternity leave. The 21st century author does not have the luxury of hiding behind their books. We have to be out there, in the public eye, being seen and heard and acknowledged. It is a double-edged sword, and one that I have battled with during my exploration in the industry. But, I have to say, I do enjoy getting out and meeting people. And I am very honoured to be invited as a guest with acclaimed horror writer and playwright Dan Weatherer. See you in Hanley Library, Stoke-on-Trent this Halloween, for A Dose of Dark Fiction. These tales are not for the faint hearted!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Workshops and Talks at SCRIBE (Middlewich Literary Festival) 2015 #ScribeFest

We are just one week away from the start of our fabulous SCRIBE festival in Middlewich, Cheshire. You may have heard about Middlewich recently, as the town hosted the Loyal Company of Town Criers Championship competition. Well, just as the dust settles from the party of the criers, we are about to kick it up again as we celebrate SCRIBE.

Are you a writer? Do you enjoy books and reading? Well then, this is the festival for you. We have a wonderful selection of guest authors for you to meet and talk with, all appearing on Saturday, October 17th. You can find them on our Writers in the Real World panel over in the Boatyard Artspace, and at Book Bites in Middlewich Civic Hall. Our authors write a bit of everything, from romance to horror, true stories about ship wrecks, to local myth and magic. You are sure to have an enchanting time!

And that’s not all. For the children, we have the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party hosted by professional storyteller John Kirk. Fancy dress is optional but highly recommended… Following the tea party, you and your children can join in with an illustration workshop. Our resident artist Ian Hill-Smith teams up with children’s writer Philip Latham for a blind drawing exercise that will be very entertaining and offer lots of interactive fun.

Then there are the wonderful workshops on offer. All day Saturday you can try your hand at writing poetry, writing for radio and writing non-fiction. All workshops are available on a booking basis, and you are advised to book your tickets as soon as possible, since we have chosen small, intimate venues to enhance your writing experience. Throughout the week we have a variety of events happening during the evening, including “Jane Austen, Money and Marriage” hosted by Elizabeth Williams, and Read Dating at Middlewich Library. There are events at local pubs featuring Miles Hunt from the Wonderstuff, and John Lindley with “Reel to Real.”

SCRIBE begins on Monday 12th October with a launch party at Drinks and Bites café, and it will be broadcast live on Red Shift Radio. On Thursday, 15th October, you are invited to our Short Story Awards Evening at Middlewich Town Hall, where you can read the best of our story entries, and cheer on our talented young writers as they receive their prizes. Come along and join us, and bring your friends!