What are the Roomto Write Authors Up to?

Hello all! – Yes,  we know, it’s been very quiet here for a while but it doesn’t mean to say we haven’t been busy. We’ve also enjoyed summer breaks in France and Greece and we hope you’ve enjoyed yours too.

So what have we been up to? Here’s a snapshot of our latest news:

We’re very excited to announce that RoomtoWrite author Kitty Fitzgerald has just started her Writing Residency at the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg…
‘Red squirrels dashing about on the grass trying to avoid the dozens of Canada geese also loitering on this fabulous, hugely multi-racial campus. The weather is changeable but generally hot and with a good wind, perfect for walking…I’m looking forward to meeting up with students in a few days time, offering advice on their writing and then running a weekly fiction workshop.

You can follow Kitty’s adventures here

Wendy Robertson has launched her new novel The Pathfinder, to some great reviews: ‘The past has never felt so real as in the last days of Roman Britain and the uneasy peace between natives and conquerors portrayed in Wendy Robertson’s ‘Pathfinder’. Heroine Elen is a beautifully drawn character uniting natives with the conquerors…’

‘a delightful, thought provoking read.’

She is also preparing to lead two discussions at Belmont Library  Durham, on World War One fiction on October 21st and October 22nd. You can read more about this Durham Book Fest event HERE on Wendy’s Blog.

Avril Joy was longlisted (or in USA speak a semi-finalist) in the international Raymond Carver Short Story Contest – ‘ Now in its 15th year the contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges…the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world.’ You can read more about it on Avril’s blog HERE.

Avril’s newsletter for writers goes from strength to strength, with a number of writers gaining success following her recommendations for competitions and submissions. If you’d like to subscribe (it’s free) you can sign up HERE


Millie and Bird at Cullercoats


The RNLI Cullercoats

On Friday evening, as part of the Iron Eclectic Festival, Avril read from her short story collection Millie and Bird  in the RNLI at Cullercoats.

She read The Trouble with Holy Island which seemed appropriate with the North Coast stretching away at her back. If you’d like to know more about why she found the festival inspiring and read the poem she wrote in response to it CLICK HERE.

The Launch of Writing at the Maison Bleue

Title on Yellow Collage 2

For those of you who weren’t able to join us but we know were with us in spirit – here we are at the packed launch of Wendy Robertson’s Writing at the Maison Bleue.

Exceptional french wine as well as delicious food, a great reading from Wendy and of course a great crowd made for a wonderful evening

To all our followers – we hope you have a good bank holiday despite the rain.

The Launch of Wendy Robertson’s Writing at the Maison Bleue

Happy Easter to all our followers and below a special invitation from Wendy

A date for your Diary?


I wondered if you would like to join me for wine and a few French canapés to celebrate the launch of ‘Writing at the Maison Bleue’, my brand new novel about writing and writers.

At the Lafkaido Hearn Culture Centre in Durham City On May 1st .

Some of you are counties, cities, even oceans away, so I do realise you might not make it to my launch in person. But I am sending this invitation to all the people whose company, one way or another – in the flesh, at workshops, discussions or lectures, over wine or on line – I’ve so enjoyed in the last few years, during the process of moving from the capacious umbrella of a major publisher into the sunshine of independent publishing under the parasol of the RoomToWrite collective.

It goes without saying that I have loved writing this novel Writing at the Maison Bleue, reflecting as it does my love of France and my passion for writers, readers and the writing process.

If you can’t make it I really hope you will raise your glass, a coffee or a tea-cup on May 1st to Francine and her fellow writers at the Maison Bleue. You will then be there with me at the launch in spirit. If you manage to read the book perhaps you’ll let me know how it strikes you.

If you can make it (Hooray!) here are the details.
It takes place on Friday 1st May (7.30 – 9.30)
The Lafkaido Hearn Culture Centre* at the University of Japan
Mill Lane
Durham City
County Durham DH1 3YB
(Opposite the Oriental Museum)
Parking Available


Julia’s Cafe Workshop

Saturday’s workshop in celebration of the the life and work of Julia Darling was a very special event. The kind of event we’re sure Julia would have approved of: full of laughter and fun, comradely, democratic and inspiring, buzzing with ideas and some truly dazzling writing.

To all who participated –  in no particular order – Judy, Liz, Kris, Sue, Christine, Eleanor, Linda, Rachel, Amanda, Eileen, Rosie, Hilary, Rachel, (and to John and Eileen who couldn’t make due to illness) Thank you for coming, thank you for sharing precious memories of Julia, thank you for the writing and the wonderful read around and thank you for contributing to Marie Curie Cancer Care. And last but not least, a huge thank you to Anne for running the show and making it such a great day.

Julia collage Collage (2)

Photos by Gillian, Collage by Wendy – read more about the day here on Wendy’s Blog.

Do try and join us on March 20th for Avril’s book launch  – we’d love to see you there….

Writing at the Maison Bleue

51lhS5q2cOL._AA324_PIkin4,BottomRight,-58,22_AA346_SH20_OU02_STOP PRESS: Over at LIFE TWICE TASTED – Wendy Robertson reveals how she has taken the self-publishing bull by the horns..

Click HERE to read – A Writer’s Creative Leap Forward – in which a mid-list writer takes control of her professional life.

‘Like many writers who enjoyed a wide and responsive readership during two decades, I was more than crestfallen to discover that I was part of the great mid-list cull of the Noughties. It dawned on me that I had been abandoned for more sensational, genre-distinct and lucrative novelists…’

Coming soon from RoomtoWrite the launch of Wendy’s latest novel –  Writing at the Masion Bleue

Coming Soon – the Launch of Millie and Bird and Tales of Paradise

STOP PRESS: our Julia’s Cafe workshop is now FULL. We will be in touch with everyone before the day with arrangements for lunch. Look forward very much to seeing you all there on Sat march 7th.

Coming soon from RoomToWrite – the launch of Avril Joy’s short story collection from Iron PressMillie and Bird and Tales of ParadiseFriday March 20th at Teikyo 7.30 ALL welcome

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA‘This collection explores the world of the Costa Prize winning story Millie and Bird: a northern landscape of fragile lives bound by the invisible threads of place. The stories in this haunting collection have appeared in literary journals and on prize shortlists with Millie and Bird winning the 2012 Costa Short Story prize. A soldier flees the enemy, a woman buries a pig, a girl goes in search of her father – these are stories of northern lives, of what is lost and found, and of how we survive…these are the people who live in Paradise, their lives fragile, caught like sheep’s wool on wire, each with its own unique story and secret heart.’