Today’s Special Offer, January Workshop, Novel News, Poetry and More

Current and Forthcoming

For a day or so, our ebook Seven Wanders and Beyond is FREE to download. Get it on your Kindle, your pc, your Mac or your Android now.  Please do pass on to anyone you think might be interested and tell us what you think by reviewing on Amazon as we don’t have any up there yet and we’re wary of doing it ourselves!  Seven Wanders and Beyond

For those of you who were planning to come along to Pecha Kucha at The Hepworth Wakefield on the 6th December, DON’T as the date has been changed to the 20th December.  I am not available on that date so won’t be pecha kuchaing (is that the correct verb?) this time but do go along as it should be fun.   It’s on between 6.30-9 pm and speakers will be exploring the theme of ‘leftovers’.  Apologies to anyone who had hoped to see me that night

I’m running a workshop at The Hepworth Wakefield on 30th January for Burns Night between 6.30 and 9 pm open to all adults for £10. It will focus on the David Roberts Collection and Hepworth’s Hospital Drawings and, as part of the session, there will be an opportunity to read work produced during that evening’s Artwalk, organised by Andrew McMillan.   Do book on by emailing or calling 01924 247398.

Over The Last Month

puzzle hall 2The night at Puzzle Hall Inn was fun.  Puzzle Hall readThe pub is lovely and the crowd even lovelier.  If you like the open mic night with guest format, I recommend it; it’s held on the first Monday of every month.  They ask guests to bring in objects related to their poetry as a talking point.   There’s no set fee either – just whatever you want to put in the hat.  I’ve included a couple of photos from the night, taken by Gaia Holmes, one of the organisers of the night.  It is not great quality because of the light but I think it gives you a sense of the evening.


The poetry trip to London art galleries last week was amazing.  While I was there I visited Tate Britain, The National, The Royal Academy and Royal Festival Hall.  Since then I have worked up ten poems towards my collection which were inspired by the exhibitions I saw, the most interesting being The Koestler Trust Exhibition at Royal Festival Hall curated by Sarah Lucas from artworks by people in prison or secure psychiatric care.  Here is a poem that I wrote as a bit of fun.  It was inspired by a portrait of a woman in The National by Francisco de Goya, Isabel de Darcel, which was painted on a canvas over another portrait:

By the time she discovered
her portrait was painted over him
it was too late,
she wears his eyebrows on her chin.

There is something addictive about submitting work, I’m finding.  This month I’ve sent five poems to two competitions and twelve poems to two magazines.  I’ve also entered one pamphlet competition with poems on the theme of women’s relationships with their bodies and have an art-inspired manuscript ready to send to another.

Onto the novel – three chapters into this rewrite, I sent it to some respected novelist friends of mine just to check I was on the right track.  They gave me feedback, which was encouraging and helpful, and were particularly enthusiastic about my most recent, more poetic, material.  James Garside, Kath Powlesland, Nathan Ramsden – thank you!  The main advice that came out of the feedback was to trust myself and the idea, to lose the prologue and to ensure I keep the reader immersed in the world.   Despite my best intentions, I found six hours a day of writing is too much for my head at the moment.  However, I am now forty seven pages into the rewrite and the novel, with its new working title ‘Skybound’, will be my main focus from now on.

Aims for 25th November-25th December

  • Solidify the world of my story.
  • Complete six pages of the rewrite on every writing day i.e. seventy eight pages over thirteen days.
  • Send off the art-related poetry to a pamphlet competition.

A heron flew past my window as I was writing this.  I hope it brings you all good luck over the next few weeks.

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