Joanna's memoir piece Kalashnikov was shortlisted for the Wasafiri prize for 2018. The ceremony took place at Marlborough House in London.
David Will's novel 'Gemmano'. was published this month by Thunderpoint Publishing.
David's father, Jock, fought in the battle of Gemmano in Northern Italy in 1944. He kept a diary of the terrible events and armed with this David travelled to the village. He was struck by how such a peaceful hilltop town was destroyed by a wave of violence as the front passed over it, and was inspired to write the novel from an Italian point of view.
The novel can be ordered from Amazon, or from
Sue Russell - A Jar Full of Angel Feathers
Thanks to plucking up the courage to join one of Joanna’s writing classes a few years ago, I have recently (August 2017) had my first children’s novel released by Blossom Spring Publishing, an independent publishing house based in the UK. Set in the 1950s, A Jar Full of Angel Feathers follows a year in the life of seven-year-old Alex after the deaths of his mother and unborn sibling. While his father attempts to build a new future for the two of them, Alex is sent from his London home to stay with Great Aunt Mary in Cornwall. Scared of the countryside—especially the Gnarly Man, an ancient oak tree in Tappers Wood—and angry at the world, he is deeply unhappy. As the seasons pass, the love of down-to-earth Aunt Mary, the friendship of a mysterious young girl, and a little bit of magic, all combine to provide Alex with the lessons he needs to step happily into his future.
The beginnings of my book grew through attending the Black Dog writing-group in Lyme Regis. If I hadn’t plucked up the courage to go along to Joanna’s writing classes, I would never have rekindled the love of writing that I’d side-lined since childhood. An excellent teacher and group leader, Joanna was always encouraging and supportive while gently guiding her pupils to be objective in understanding and improving their work. At the beginning I was terrified of sharing anything I’d written (likening it to running naked into a room full of strangers), but in such a nurturing environment it soon became natural to participate fully in the sharing and discussion of each group member’s work. I unreservedly recommend Joanna’s groups and classes to anyone interested in discovering, or improving, their writing skills.
For more information about Sue and Blossom Spring Publishing, go to:
Joanna Cursely - A Note to Rabbi Loew
Much to my delight and amazement, my short story A Note to Rabbi Loew was recently accepted for publication by the quarterly short story magazine, Scribble. The writing group I am in with Joanna was immensely helpful in suggesting changes, all of which I took on board. I also sent the story to a couple of friends for suggestions. One of these friends is also one of Joanna’s a students. Members of my writing group feel they should be mentioned as authors of the story as well!
Scribble is published in Cheltenham and edited by David Howarth. Look it up online at www.parkpublications.co.uk/writing-for-scribble.html Anyone can submit a story on any subject, the maximum length being 3000 words. Readers choose their three favourite stories in each magazine, and the winners receive £75, £25 or £15. Otherwise you can just enjoy the pleasure of seeing your piece in print. I would advise anyone to try. I feel confident many of you would be successful, especially if you try your story out on your group first of all.
Kate Duncan – The Arsonist
In May 2017 Kate Duncan’s one-act play The Arsonist was performed to great applause at the Juno Theatre Female Comedy Night at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis. It also took second place in a monologue shoot-out at the Salisbury Fringe Festival of New Writing.
Julia Graves – Twenty-Nine
I was shortlisted for the February 2016 1000 Word Challenge competition on the theme of 'twenty-nine' and received a mention on the results page. The judges said, '[We] lived every anxious moment of a hospital visit in Julia Graves’ Twenty-Nine'.
The writing group is always very helpful in giving me suggestions on how to improve my work, including constant reminders to include more setting! I find it great to have the opportunity to gauge reactions - which aren't always quite what I'm expecting. Being part of the group also encourages me to keep writing on a regular basis and has helped build my confidence to enter competitions, which I'm now doing regularly.
For more information about the quarterly 1000 Word Challenge, go to www.1kwordchallenge.byethost16.com
Lesley Rigby and Julia Graves - Set at a Party
We were excited to hear that two members of the Lyme Regis group were commended in the most recent thousand word challenge for stories on the theme 'Set at a Party'.
Lesley Rigby was short-listed for her story 'The Party', and Julia Graves long-listed for 'The Dinner Party'.
Where to by the Black Dog Anthology Volume 10
- The Book Shop, Bridport
- Serendip, Lyme Regis.
- The Black dog Tea Room, Uplyme
- Archway Bookshop, Axminster.