Friday, 15 October 2010

NaNoWriMo starts 1st November

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

I've signed up already at the risk of humiliating myself if I don't reach my goal! Go on, you can do it too.

Further advice and a kick up the bum can be found on:

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Creative Writing Group in Bridgwater

For Writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction or plays. This group tutored by Genista Wheatley, offers a supportive environment in which to generate new work.

Feedback and views exchanged on various aspects of writing. Suitable for all levels of writing experience.

Held at Bridgwater Arts Centre - ffi contact Box office on 01278 422700 or

Friday, 3 September 2010


6pm Thursday 10th March to Sunday 13th March 1pm at

The Arvon Foundation-Totleigh Barton-Sheepwash-Devon-EX21 5NS

Who’s it for? We are very keen to welcome newcomers. You need to enjoy the writing process and be prepared to share your efforts and those of others, but you certainly don’t need to be an expert writer or literary clever-clogs. A sense of humour is always an advantage. Seasoned Totleigh participants, who are coming for their annual fix, are always welcome of course.

Dixie Darch is one of the founding tutors of this residential weekend, which has been a popular fixture since the early 1990's. An experienced teacher of English to degree level, she is an inspirational facilitator who plays close attention to participants’ creative contributions, ensuring all feel comfortable enough to let go and take risks, as well as moving writers on in terms of skills and writerly self awareness. She is a keen writer of prose and remains in awe of anyone who can write poetry.

Polly Hall has been a keen participant, organiser and ideas factory within the group, as well as being a qualified teacher. Winning a box of maltesers, aged 9, for her story 'The Granny's Gang' set her on a path of chocolate addiction and a passion for creative writing. Since then she has had articles published in various national magazines and websites. She worked for six years as Editor of Reflexions for The Association of Reflexologists and published The Art of Foot Reading in 2009. Polly created and its linked blog for writers to share their work and interact.

The Place: Totleigh Barton is an ancient thatched farmhouse that is used for writing courses taught by professional writers for most of the year and is the ideal place to switch off and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The house is warm and comfortable and very special in terms of atmosphere. This year we hope to co-ordinate a volunteer rota of food provision and preparation so that good food is shared with the minimum of labour and we avoid sixteen people heating up their ready meals for one in the microwave.

What we'll be doing:
The writing weekend consists of mornings devoted to writing exercises and allows you time and space to develop your own writing uninterrupted over the weekend. Dixie and Polly will be on hand to give feedback and tutorials if you would like them during the three days.

You are requested to bring along a piece of your own writing and a piece by a published author, any genre, (writers' names omitted). These will be read out on the first and second evenings and it is always a revelation to find such high quality writing from amongst our group when the authors are disclosed. One side A4 maximum please, so we have time to hear and discuss all pieces.

Further details about what else to bring for the weekend will be forthcoming in mid December. Feel free to phone or email if you have a query.

There are 18 places available, and a few people will have to share, due to the character of the building. However there are plenty of quiet corners where you can tuck yourself away to write, even if you do have to share. It would be most helpful if you are okay about sharing, if you could let us know in advance who you'd like as a room mate.

Cost: £90 in total (a deposit of £25 will secure your place). Please send this as soon as possible to Dixie, or you can give it to Polly.

This year we will have to pay the full amount by the end of December as new more formal letting arrangements have been put in place. The fee has gone up this year for the first time, hence the slightly increased price from 2010 but still great value. The fee does not include food.

Address for deposits: Send your name, address and phone number with deposit to: Dixie Darch, The Old Wellhouse, Nailsbourne, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8AG (cheques payable to D Darch)

Any enquiries:
Dixie tel: 01823 451399 or
Polly tel: 07811 447213 or

We hope you can join us this year

Monday, 2 August 2010

Poetry on the Quantocks

... bringing great performers into Quantock villages to give everyone the chance to hear the finest words and music on the Quantocks

ROGER McGOUGH That Awkward Age
Always on TV, BBC Radio 4 and ClassicFM. A member of the 1960s Liverpool group The Scaffold who had a Top Ten hit with Lily the Pink. Now one of Britain's favourite poets and performers, Roger is loved by all ages because of his witty and moving writing. Tickets £15/£18
Friday, 24th September 7.30pm
Cheddon Fitzpaine Village Hall
JOHN MOLE Best-selling poet and writer of children's books as well as books for grown-ups presents an entertaining evening of his work. Tickets £12 6pm Casserole supper before the show
Sunday, 14 November 2010: Broomfield Village Hall

For more info & events join the mailing list to get the latest concert news: ... 01823 451162

Support Sinead's Production

From Within
Written & Performed by Sinead Gillespie

One woman’s journey of coming to terms with her son’s autism;
one boy’s journey of coming to terms with his world.

“brave and highly personal… as educational as it is touching,
‘From Within’ left the whole audience stunned”

Three Weeks in Brighton

Friday 24 September 2010 8pm
Bridgwater Arts Centre, 11-13 Castle St, Bridgwater TA6 3DD
Tickets £8 / £7 members & concessions
Box Office: 01278 422700 Online:

Fire River Poets in September

Continuing their series of poetry events at The Brewhouse, Fire River Poets are pleased to announce that the guest poet for their reading on 2 September at 8.00pm will be the Cornwall-based poet and National Poetry Prize winner, Caroline Carver. Chairman of Fire River Poets, John Stuart, said “Caroline is well known to poetry lovers particularly in the South West and we are more than delighted to have someone of her stature to read for us.”

Members of Fire River Poets will also be reading during the evening and, as John is always at pains to point out “We always provide a platform for poets of all ages and levels of experience, so there will as usual be an open mic session during the evening for any poet who would like to come along and read. Poets who would like to take advantage of this should contact me to book a place and for further details either on 01823 252486 or by email:”

The reading begins at 8.00 pm, takes place in the Studio and costs £5.00. Tickets may be purchased from the Brewhouse box office. Enquiries and bookings on 01823 283244 or

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Poetry café at The Brewhouse

Poetry lovers and, in particular, poets, whether they belong to a writers’ group or not, whether they have published any poems or not, whether they write seriously or not, are invited to come along to The Brewhouse to join us in a poetry café run by Fire River Poets. Cafes are open meetings at which members of the audience are invited to read their own work and to enter into discussion and debate with the guest poet and the chairman for the evening.

These are not ‘showcase evenings’ in which audiences are expected to listen in rapt silence, but participatory evenings for poets and poetry lovers to exchange views with published poets with a view to developing more confidence in writing, a better understanding of the world of modern poetry, both in terms of approaches to writing and of the publication ‘merry-go-round’. It is also an opportunity to get to know other lovers of poetry.

The chairman of the evening, John Stuart, who is also chairman of Fire River Poets, said “The important thing about a poetry café is that it is informal, friendly and unfussy. Anybody who feels uncertain about reading their work in public will soon realise that their audience is on their side. It is a great opportunity to see what it’s like and to learn how to read your work aloud.”

The guest poet for this freewheeling evening will be the popular local poet Genista Lewes who will talk about her own experience of poetry and learning how to express her own intimate thoughts. She will answer questions and will be happy to debate issues that arise as well as sharing experiences of when and how to seek publication.

The café begins at 8.00 pm on 1st April 2010, takes place in the Studio and tickets cost £5.00 - obtainable from the Brewhouse box office (01823 283244).