Julia’s Cafe – A Playwriting Workshop

We are delighted to bring you details of Julia’s Cafe – a playwriting workshop on Saturday March 7th –
The workshop, led by novelist and playwright Anne Ousby, will be a celebration of the life and work of the brilliant poet, playwright and novelist Julia Darling  – who could never resist a cafe.


Anne says :  Our Mum used to meet us from Junior school and we’d go to the afternoon pictures, sit in the front row, eat jam sandwiches and drink tea out of our thermos. We saw some great films and actors and some very inappropriate B films, like ‘The Monkey’s Paw.’ – I have only just stopped having nightmares about this. This whole experience began my love affair with dialogue and actors. As a writer I’ve had more thrills out of the plays I’ve written than anything else I’ve attempted and that’s how I first met Julia…

Anne has written plays for stage and radio as well as TV and film scripts, so why not come along to her workshop and join us in celebrating Julia’s extraordinay life . No previous experience necessary. Let’s just have a fun day in Julia’s Cafe…

Sat March 7th – 10am for 10.30 start at Teikyo University of Japan, University of Durham (opposite the Oriental Museum) –  finishing around 3.30pm

The workshop is FREE – we just ask you make a donation of £10.00 to Marie Curie Cancer Care (this will be collected on the day)

Places will be limted please e mail:  amjoy@hotmail.co.uk     to book your place – please use Julia’s Cafe in your subject line


Our Spring Programme

daffsHere at RoomtoWrite, we’re doing our best to shrug off that post Christmas gloom and those icy, January winds  by planning our Spring programme. This, as well as news of new working partnerships and projects, reminds us that the best is yet to come; there will be an end to cold and snow. There will be daffodils.

So what have we been up to and what’s on the programme? Firstly our planned events include:

A playwriting workshop at Teikyo on Saturday March 7th (a fun day) – details have still to be finalised but the workshop will be  a celebration of the life and work of the late, poet, playwright and novelist extraordinaire, Julia Darling.  The workshop fee will be modest and all proceeds will go to  Marie Curie Cancer Care. Further details and signing up in the next week or so.

For more about celebrations of Julia’s life, read Avril’s blog post HERE.

Friday March 20th – 7.30-9.00 pm – at Teikyo, the launch of Avril Joy’s short story collection Millie and Bird and Tales of Paradise from Iron Press – entry FREE – all are welcome. Please do come and share in our celebrations.

Friday May 1st  – in the evening at Teikyo, the launch of Wendy Robertson’s, (apologies for previous error)

Francine – At the Maison Bleu ~ Veteran romance writer Francine Costigan travels with new energy to Ruthie Dancing’s writing retreat on the Canal du Midi,determined at last to embark on a memoir of her extraordinary experiences as a messenger girl for the Resistance in World War Two. And the other writers at the Maison Bleu  have their own stories to tell…

Entry FREE – all are welcome. We very much hope to see you there.


In the coming year we are also intending to work more closely with North East writer Rachel Cochrane on community projects involving local writers. Ideas  are still in the discussion stage but we feel that a fruitful partnership lies ahead.

We have also – just last week – agreed a very special writing project with Forward Assist a charity working with war veterans of all ages in the North East – you can find out more about Forward Assist and our intended project HERE on Wendy’s blog


As always we apreciate your support in all our ventures and we will keep you updated just as soon as we have full details of the playwriting workshop –

Avril also has a FREE newsletter for writers and if you’d like to receive it every week just email her at  amjoy@hotmail.co.uk

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



Christmas for Writers

As the festive season draws near, at RoomtoWrite we’ve been out celebrating with delicious italian food and plenty of red wine. We’ve also been DSCN8572discussing our programme for 2015 which in March will include two events (dates to be confirmed) : the evening launch of Avril Joy’s short story collection – Millie and Bird, Tales of Paradise from Iron Press and a  workshop come open mic event to celebrate the life and work of the late Julia Darling. Both events will be free, watch this space for futher details.

In the meantime what better gift can you give a writer this Xmas than an Amazon review? But how to do it? For more on this and for a free offer to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas read Wendy Robertson over at LifeTwiceTasted

Happy Christmas and a Great Writing Year ahead   – from  all at RoomToWrite


BENCHMARK: A Very Intriguing Writing Competition

RoomtoWrite’s, Wendy Robertson has been asked by Rachel Cochrane of Listen Up North  to judge a unique writing competition with the theme BENCHMARK. Other judges are Dr Philip Le Dune and Writer Sue Spencer,
You can find out more about the competition and details of how to enter HERE: on WENDY’S BLOG



Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas and 2 Special Offers

‘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.

Listen to Our Winning Story

Rachel Cochrane – ‘A writer with a passion for helping you to get your words out’


It has been a great honour to be part of the prestigious ‘Room to Write’ short story competition ...  My part was to record the winning entries and I also recorded interviews and sound bites from the Winners’ Presentation Evening which was hosted by the Teikyo University of Japan at Durham University.

The first place in the competition went to short story Diagonal Flight and this was read by its author, Christine Powell and recorded by me in the library of the wonderfully tranquil building of the Teikyo University.   I hope to bring you further stories from the runners up over the next few weeks.

The great thing about the ‘Room to Write’ competition is that it provides much needed recognition for the work of aspiring writers and as a result I am able to bring you some fantastic audio!’

You can hear soundbites from the evening and the winning story HERE