The writer is a lonely hunter


Blogs to follow

I have been doing a little work for the Dorset Writers’ Network in compiling a list of blogs to support flash fiction writers. You can find the link by clicking here. In the process, I reflected on the blogs which I find helpful and came up with the following. This is not an exhaustive list, just a taster of what’s out there. If you have any blogs you’d like to recommend, please let me know by clicking here to contact me. Enjoy!

I first became interested in writers’ blogs after attending a social media workshop delivered by Emma Newman. I wanted to gain ideas for promoting my writing and reporting on writing progress through a blog. Emma suggested following a few blogs before launching myself onto the web and I duly took her advice. I still find Emma’s blog worth reading and it’s especially pertinent for writers working in the genre of young adult fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction and the science fiction and fantasy genre.

Em’s place

A particularly useful blog which promotes free to enter writing competitions is offered by Patsy Collins. She has an established reputation for writing short stories published in women’s magazines.

Patsy Collins – words about writing and writing about words

Patsy has also taken over the popular womag writer’s blog so you can learn more here:

Emma Darwin attended the same part-time, distance learning MPhil studies in creative writing that I’m currently undertaking with the University of South Wales. She now has two well-received historical novels published and offers an erudite blog to support others.

This Itch of Writing

In terms of poetry, Josephine Corcoran’s blog has a substantial following. Her recently published pamphlet, The Misplaced House, is now available and she writes regular posts about the process of writing.

Josephine Corcoran

Joanne Philips is a prolific indie writer. She has self-published romantic fiction, a collection of short stories and the Flora Lively Mystery series. To find out how she achieved this success, see:

A writer’s journey

I always look forward to reading posts on Helen Yendall’s blog. She writes about the trials of trying to make progress as a writer within the context of a busy life. Her posts are funny and informative.

Blog about Writing


From page to stage workshop and performance


I’ve been attending workshop facilitation training with the Lit Up Writers’ Pool since the beginning of 2015. It’s provided a fascinating opportunity to share practice and receive training on working with a range of groups in a variety of settings. The participants are hugely talented and come from many different writing backgrounds including novelists, poets, playwrights, performance poets and more. Please find below information about an event that is being hosted by members of the Lit Up Writers’ Pool. There are workshops for adults and children aged 7-15 years and the opportunity to showcase your work at an event in the evening. Do go along – I’m sure it will be lots of fun.




Write, develop and refine a poem, rap, story, song, short play and perform it in The Talent Showcase that same evening.

Price: £7-50

Where: At the Twisted Teapot, 16 Sea Road, BH5 1DB

When: 30th of May 2015 workshop from 13-30pm to 15-30pm and Talent Showcase from 18-30pm to 22-30pm

Also workshop for  7 to 15 years old

Write, develop and refine a poem, rap, story, song, short play and perform it in The Talent Showcase that same evening.

Price: £5

Where: At the Twisted Teapot, 16 Sea Road, BH5 1DB

When: 30th of May 2015 workshop from 13-30pm to 15-30pm and Talent Showcase from 18-30pm to 22-30pm

For further information contact: and Facebook Myriam Word Maker

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Daft place for a nest

While I’m relieved that the jackdaws haven’t built a nest in the chimney pot this year and the blackbird hasn’t gone for one in the honeysuckle where Killer Kat’s been lurking, only a daft pigeon would have plumped for a nest beside the footpath!




We intended to walk to Hardy’s Cottage today but abandoned the attempt. David said he need to wear a hat and when my ears began to sing, I had to agree. Instead we followed Ratty’s walk through the fields and saw Red 99 and her lamb.



Now the rain has arrived an I’m pleased to be inside a reading a book. This time it’s Bad Blood by Lorna Sage.


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I’m back!

After three and a half weeks in Australia, it’s taken some determination to get back into the swing of writing. Jet-lag, the election campaign and the volume of tasks and activities I’ve undertaken since January have all played a part. In order to sort myself out, I’ve written a progress report which I share with you below. Here’s hoping I can get my act together and reach those deadlines.

Tasks undertaken Progress to date Next steps
Novel: How to be Brave Full draft with reader from Romantic Novelists’ Association for feedback Final draft, proof read and ready to send out
Screenplay: The Hostel First full draft completed Second draft ready for final training day on 17 May 2015
PhD: Transfer paper Full draft submitted to academic supervisor for feedback Final draft for submission in September
Material for 4 one-to-one sessions with publishers and agents at the Winchester Writers’ Conference Covering letters and sample material drafted Finalise and send submissions by 28 May
Entries for Winchester Writers’ Conference competitions Drafted entries for the following categories: short story, flash fiction, first 3 pages of a novel, one page outline of screenplay. Finalise and submit before 15 May
Toastmasters Public Speaking First speech prepared and delivered Second speech to prepare and deliver  20 May
Gain fluency in Spanish Some knowledge of tenses On-going practice


As a reminder that my holiday only ended a week ago, here are some photographs:IMG_0311

Rainforest walks

Rainforest walks

Sunset at Uluru

Sunset at Uluru


Weaving it Real

See Jayne’s Skellett’s wonderful display currently at Bournemouth Library. Weaving it Real brings together ideas around identity through the work of local writers (including me!). There is a huge wall display, images and biographies lining the staircase and bookcases with mounted work. Here are a couple of photographs:




There is also a table of prompts to help get you started with your own ideas. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a look.

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FREE creative writing workshop in Bournemouth

James Cole attends the Lit-Up workshops with me and is running the event below. I’m not able to attend as it’s my final MPhil weekend residency at the University of South Wales. I have masses of reading to do as three fellow students submitted full manuscripts for feedback. I better get on… If you’re free on Saturday, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the input.



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Recently published on Paragraph Planet: take my advice

Please find below a 75-word story that was recently published on Paragraph Planet.  This is a great way for your work to reach a wider audience.The website’s been running since November 2008 and each day there’s a new 75-word story to enjoy.  Famous authors, aspiring writers and occasional dabblers have all been involved by making a range of submissions. Here’s one of mine:

Take my advice and see if it helps: (1) stay strong; (2) listen to your reflective voice; (3) treat yourself kindly; (4) tell the circling thoughts to piss off; (5) go out with friends: you’ve chosen them wisely; (6) eat well, drink a little wine; (7) work hard: there’s intrinsic satisfaction to be had; (8) you’re allowed to feel sad at times; (9) you’re special, remember that; (10) give it time, you’ll meet someone new.

Why don’t you give it a go?

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Spring Story Slam in Bridport

Bridport_Arts_Centre_As a fund raiser for the Bridport Arts Centre , Frances Colville is organising a spring story slam. This is in addition to the annual story slam that features as part of the Open Book Festival in October each year. Held in the Arts Centre Cafe, the story slam will take place on Thursday 23rd April from 7.30 pm. All entrants are required to read a story of no more than 250 words (the same length as required for the Bridport Prize flash fiction competition). There will be three judges (chosen by the BAC)  and prizes for the top three entrants. It is hoped that twenty people will read, but  if there are more wanting to do so,  names will be drawn from a hat. (This method will also be used to decide the order of those reading.) The charge is £5 entry on the door for both readers and listeners alike. You can register in advance by emailing or just turn up on the night. Prose only, please.
























Visual to support the framing of ideas for story writing





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New bio

I’ve taken some advice and rewritten my writer’s bio in the form of a poem. Here it is – see what you think!

Gail Aldwin:

hardworking between episodes of musing, driven and reflective.

Daughter of a man whose dreams withered,

lover of long horizons.

Who feels alive when the sun drenches,

who needs quiet spaces,

who gives ribbons of guidance,

who fears she’ll be unmasked as a fraud,

who would like the bearable lightness of being.

Resident of an eternal spring.



Writing autobiography: prompts for prose and poetry

9558910During the latest Lit Up professional development training for facilitators, activities to develop autobiographical prose and poetry were presented. Participants responded to the very structured tasks in a deeply imaginative way and this impressed me so much, that I thought I’d share the activities here.   To create a 10-line poem, respond to the prompts in the centre column by recording your ideas in the third column.

Line 1 Your given name
Line 2 List 4 of your traits
Line 3 Complete the line Daughter of/Son of…
Line 4 Lover of…
Line 5 Who feels…
Line 6 Who needs…
Line 7 Who gives…
Line 8 Who fears…
Line 9 Who would like…
Line 10 Resident of…

Another idea uses free writing where every sentence begins with the words I am…   Have a go with these activities and let me know how you get on!      

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