Victoria, owner of the antiquarian bookshop Black Pug Books, has taken me on as writer in residence over the autumn and winter months! I will be at the bookshop on Fridays once a fortnight 10am-1pm, starting with this Friday, 21st September. The idea is that I will do some writing inspired by the atmospheric house, the wonderful books and the people who visit. I will also be available to talk to visitors about their own writing. This could be a great way to revive your writing skills and find inspiration! If you would like me to read and comment on a short piece you’ve written, prose or poetry, please bring it to the bookshop on Friday (if possible, bring 2 copies) and I will do my best to read it and give you my thoughts. Or you may need to talk about your creative writing in a more general way and, if there’s time, I will be happy to do that. If more than one person turns up I may ask you to return at an agreed time during the morning. While you wait, you will be able to browse the fabulous collection of books at Black Pug Books, 24 West Borough, Wimborne.
Thursday, 13 September, 2018 @ The Music Room, 49 Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3HZ. 7 p.m. The readers for the evening will be: Tamsin Hopkins, Jane McLaughlin, Omar Sabbagh, Jez Noond, Kate Mitchell, Isabelle Illasera, Sarah Barr, Diana Powell, and Mark Williams.
In late September, I’m hoping to go to The Poetry on the Lake festival , described by Carol Ann Duffy as: “…perhaps the smallest but possibly the most perfect poetry festival in the world”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZPLIg5tFI8
It sounds wonderful!
I’m delighted that my poem, ‘Dartmoor Snow’, has been placed 2nd in the open section of the Poetry on the Lake 2018 competition, and will be reading it along with some other poems during the festival weekend. I’m looking forward to meeting other poets.
I’ve never before visited Italy’s northern lakes and so I’m excited to be going and hope to explore the area around Lake Orta and perhaps also Lake Maggiore.
I had a great time yesterday at a Society of Authors lunch in Salisbury. I’m delighted to be a member of the SOA and plan to make full use of my membership. As another writer said to me, the society offers invaluable help, for example with authors’ contracts, and I can see that networking will also be a feature for me. The speaker yesterday was Helen Corner-Bryant of Cornerstones Literary Consultancy who gave a fascinating and amusing talk about what Cornerstones can offer authors and this is a huge range of services, including manuscript assessment, mentoring, editing, locating the right market for your manuscript, and how to present it to publishers and agents.
I’m thrilled that 3 of my short stories have been published this month in the latest Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction edited by Adam Craig and described as ‘a diverse, compelling collection — thought inspiring and gripping.’ The cover is dramatic and makes me want to open the book and read! Other writers in the collection include Diana Powell, Kate Mitchell, Maeve Henry, Tamsin Hopkins and David Mark Williams.
I’m delighted to see my poem, ‘Horses’, in the latest issue of The London Reader. What a vibrant cover, and inside an engaging collection of writing from all over the world. This issue ‘After Words: Animal Reflections’ is curated by Christina Claudia Galego and 10% of revenues will be donated to the charity Cool Earth.
The programme of Wimborne Literary Festival 2018 is now available. The festival runs from 12th to 22nd May: ten days of great talks and workshops – speakers include Billy Bragg, Timothy West, Minette Walters, Malcolm Angel and David Starkey. I’m very honoured to be included in this illustrious group as I’m running a writing workshop on May 16th. If it’s like previous years, tickets for the various events will sell very quickly so don’t delay!
I’m delighted to have one of my poems, ‘Trees on Lewesdon Hill’, in this season’s ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’ pamphlet. What a great charity PiTWR is: providing a practical way of using poems to uplift and entertain while patients are waiting for medical treatment. The pamphlet is attractive and appealing. This winter’s issue is light blue and contains poems by John Clare, Henry Longfellow, Rudyard Kipling, Sara Teasdale, as well as poems from more contemporary poets: me – Sarah Steele, Meg Peacocke, Elizabeth Clough and Jill Munro.
I had a great evening with Cattistock poets in the Oak Room at The Fox and Hounds this week – listening to poetry and reading. I felt honoured to be among a very special gathering including Annie Freud, Pam Zinneman-Hope, Elaine Beckett, Nick Morris, Maya Pieris, Chris Slade, Kate Hall, Peter Thorne, Geraldine Rennison, Sarah Solly and Gill Barr. And there was the audience as well, including writers from Exeter Writers.
Pam was the visiting poet and she read from her lovely new collection, ‘Foothold‘.
Annie organised the evening brilliantly with a poetry themed quiz and prizes.
A heart-warming way to start Christmas, thanks to all.