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
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.
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.
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
County Durham DH1 3YB
(Opposite the Oriental Museum)
Stop Press: LIFE AND BOOKS
Wendy has been busy re-creating her blog Life Twice Tasted into two inter-connected sites. Take a look at – –
WRITINGLIFETWICETASTED – about her life , views and the writing processes
LIFETWICETASTEDBOOKS – all about her novels – in each case, the story of the story and how it was written – alongside an extracted chapter for you to read
‘Ideas will settle into a special pocket in my mind and stay almost unnoticed, lying there like pieces of coral slowly accreting further ideas...’
It’s the old chestnut, the question that always comes up for writers: where do you get your ideas? Over on her blog at lifetwicetasted Wendy tells us where her ideas come from and how they eventually ‘blossom into a whole thing.’ A must read, for readers and writers alike.
Also you have until Wednesday to take advantage of Wendy’s SPECIAL OFFER – Journey to Moscow, The Adventures of Olivia Ozanne for just 99p
‘Once again Wendy Robertson has produced a novel with a difference.
Its diverse and fascinating characters are dealt with in her own inimitable way,producing a story that is not be missed.’ Bookworm
‘Olivia Ozanne is my hero – totally honest about who she is warts and all…’ Anne Amarilli
Also on offer, FREE this week Avril’s book on writing – From Writing With Love
Here’s what one reviewer said:
‘This book gives an honest insight into the ups and downs of a writers world. It gives practical tips on finding your voice and keeping the writing sprit and habit alive. Its easy to see why this author won a Costa Award. I would recommend this book to both aspiring writers and published authors. I absolutely loved it!’ Mrs E Francis
On Avril’s Blog this week YOUR writing rooms – send me a photo and some text and I will publish you.
Wendy Robertson’s RoomtoWrite novel about prison life, Paulie’s Web, is on special offer– take a look here at Wendy’s fascinating blog post, The Evolution of Paulie’s Web