It’s lovely to see some sunshine today although it’s still cold. Recently, I said that visiting museums and art galleries can be inspirational for our writing. This reminded me of a visit I made to Chawton House, for a writing workshop.

It was February 2009 and snow was on the ground creating a beautiful scene, although I remember it was an icy walk from car to house. Inside the house, all was cosy, and we were encouraged to start some writing. My attention was taken by a painting of Fanny Kemble, a 19th century actress, which hangs in Chawton House. That day, I started to write a fictional story about Fanny which I completed a couple of weeks later.

I sent my story, ‘Freedom to Fish’, to the Jane Austen short story competition run by Chawton House Library. In 2009, the competition was for stories inspired by the novels and characters of Jane Austen or Chawton House. My story didn’t get placed in that competition. But, later that year, it was short-listed in the Yellow Room short story competition.

My visit to Chawton House that snowy day also inspired me to write a story for their 2nd anthology, ‘Wooing Mr Wickham’, which came out at the end of 2011, and in which I do have a story.

I will post my Fanny Kemble story, ‘Freedom to Fish’, here soon.

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