Well, I had a nice day and it’s been a while. I was extremely nervous about leaving my daughter on her birthday, but we did have a small party yesterday squeezed into her hectic A Level revision timetable. And we have booked a restaurant for after the exam. So… I headed off to Pompey with my friend who offered to drive and we were both shocked to see that the parking in the city has jumped up from a fiver to £12 for the day. Reeling from the shock, we head to the Eldon business for the Star and Crescent Press and Social Media Masterclass for Writers.
The first session was from Tom Sykes; he is a university staff member, co-founder of the Star and Crescent and a journalist. I certainly picked up some great tips on pitching non-fiction ideas. The information on getting an angle was incredibly useful. I did a brainstorm during the session, and I have already made a list of places I want to pitch. If I were asked what I took away from Tom, I would say it was the emphasis of not rushing and polishing a pitch.
After lunch, it was Sarah Cheverton, a lovely lady with so much energy despite health problems that she just leaves me in awe! We had a fun look at successful writers Facebook and Twitter pages. I NEED to change mine, urgently. Sarah stressed the importance of enjoying what you do, and I realised that is something I need to make it a priority. The afternoon session left me with a pretty extensive to-do list, but I’m eager to get on and do it!
Today, gave me a real injection of passion, which is much needed, maybe it was just the fact that the room was filled with so many positive and upbeat characters.
I’ve popped the links to the Star and Crescent and also Portsmouth Writing Hub below, both sites are a hive of information and support to writers.
2017 has been a rough year in some ways, but in others, eventful. Perhaps, the universe has sent me a bit of support because this year it has been my privilege to be one of the writers on The Edward King Project.
The painter Edward King is connected to Portsmouth through his time as a patient at St James Hospital in Milton and is notable for painting scenes of the blitzed city. King moved to South Harting near Petersfield with his brother in 1884 where he eventually married. However, when in 1924 Edward’s wife Amelia died of consumption he suffered a breakdown as a result. King was committed to St James Hospital in 1925, where he lived until he died of a stroke in 1951.During his time at the hospital, King continued to paint and draw, encouraged by the staff to try and help alleviate his depression. He became a familiar figure in the area as he sat painting scenes of houseboats or the hospital farm. After the Blitz, Denis Daley Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, commissioned Edward King to paint the bomb damage to the city. King went out each day, with an attendant and painted a series of over 30 scenes that graphically show the war torn state of the city.
Local writer Annie Kirby, put together a team of fourteen writers who were challenged to write and performed stories based on his artwork in the hope of promoting the artist and mental health problems.
More information and the stories can be found here:
I have worked with many of the writers before, but still I was in awe of the level of work they produced. And I thought I would share some images of the event.
So proud of the members of ‘The Writers at Lovedean’ who are doing their bit to raise awareness about #mentalhealth #EdwardKing
Edward King Stories at The New Theatre Royal.
Saturday 27th May
Times: 11am, 1pm, 4pm, 6pm
Location: Minghella Studio, New Theatre Royal, 20-24 Guidhall Walk, Portsmouth PO1 2DD
Charlotte Comley with be running Children’s Story Writing Workshops at Portsmouth City Museum on the 31st May.
7- 12 year olds 10:30am – 12:30am
12-16 year olds 1:30pm – 3pm
Pop Up Readings
Sunday 28th May
9:30am Milton Piece Allotments, Locksway Road – next to produce shop
Tuesday 30th May
10:15 Denmead All Saints Coffee Morning Garden, Hambledon Road, Denmead PO7 6NN
Jackie Green & Charlotte Comley
Thursday 1st June
10:15 Denmead All Saints Coffee Morning Garden, Hambledon Road, Denmead PO7 6NN
Charlotte Comley & Christine Lawrence – please note this is for students only
Date to be confirmed, week starting 5th June
Havant Six Form College
New Road, PO9 1QL
Charlotte Comley will be interviewed on Express FM on Wednesday 31st of May 5:30.
Drop – In Gallery Readings Portsmouth Museum
Project writers will be dropping in throughout the day to read their Edward King stories. This event is free.
Saturday 3rd June 2017
10am – 5pm
Portsmouth Museum, Museum Road, PO1 2LJ
PLEASE CHECK OUT OTHER EDWARD KING EVENTS
In 2012 I was one of the Writers to Watch, a group who performed their work in Portsmouth and had their stories published in an anthology. It was a great experience, and I made some fabulous friends, including Joanne Mallory.
So I’m excited that Jo’s debut novel, Thunder Moon is going to be released on Amazon on Tuesday 17th January. I’ve already pre-ordered mine! I’ve heard a few chapters at The Writers at Lovedean, so it will be exciting to get a chance to read the full novel after all the editing advice Jo got from independent publisher Crooked Cat, and to see the work in its entirety.
Jo’s an incredibly talented writer when it comes to capturing a setting, and I know from the extracts I have read that she’s made the most of this skill and has used the local area as inspiration, especially Langstone.
I wish Jo luck, and I’m counting down the days until I can get my hands on this new magical romance!
Saturday 3rd of December was the book launch of Bridge House Publishing latest anthology. So few publishing houses are willing to invest in short stories, so I was especially delighted to be included in the ‘Baubles’ collection. The launch, held in London, and since I have just completed my Master’s degree, my lovely husband offered to take me to lunch in the city. We found a delightful pub called The Mudlarks near London Bridge and found a quiet corner. After a carb loaded meal to keep the cold out we ventured to a new part of London, Chalk Farm and off to the launch. Gill James is a fellow SCBWI member and is on the Words and Pictures team, so it was fantastic to meet a Facebook friend and colleague in the flesh.
It was a fun afternoon of networking with other authors, listening to readings and a surprising bit of marketing training from Gill’s daughter.
The Baubles anthology can be purchased:
Baubles via Amazon
If you are looking for a place to submit short stories, it is well worth taking a look at the Bridge House page: Brigde House Publishing
My writing group, The Writers at Lovedean, are excited to be part of this year’s line-up of DArk to DArker Shivering or Not. Together with my daughter’s audiovisual team, A14 Productions we have created a sound box where the audience can feel what it would be like to a medium.
The talented group of writers include; Lynne Stone, Barbara McMeekin, Jackie Green, Linda Rushby, Jules Garvey Welch, David Dunford, Keith Baker, Kate Rawding, Louise Crockford, Christine Lawrence, John Palmer and myself.
This is a free event, and I hope you can come along.
Saturday 26th November, 7 pm -1 am
DArk or DArker Shivering or Not!
Coastguard Studio, 91 Clarendon Road, Southsea, PO4 0SA
A night of audio-visual performance, installations, live artists and theatre makers, all exploring the DarkFest themes. Hosted by 1000 Plateaus.
FREE (donations welcome)
I’m pleased to announce that one of the members of The Writers at Lovedean, Kate Rawding first novel, The Unlikely Rescuers is now available for pre-order. Kate has attended my writing group for many years, and I have heard so many snippets from the novel that I am pretty excited to read the whole thing. It is interesting to be in a position where you witness a creative project from those first early days of a concept to a beautifully finished and polished version.
The main protagonist, Bravol, is a traveller boy, bullied in mainstream education. The Unlikely Rescuers is the first book in a trilogy and is out Christmas 2016.
You can contact Kate for more details via her website: http://kjrawding.com/home
Bridge House Publishing is an independent publishing house that specialises in fiction which is a little bit different. They focus mainly on short story collections. It is run by writers for writers they do it all for love but we like to give new writers a voice.
The challenge was to write a bauble of a story.
I submitted and was delighted to be included in the anthology. Baubles will be launched in London on 3rd of December. I am looking forward to meeting Gill James, Bridge House Editor, in person, she has worked so hard in getting the anthology together and even made a Youtube link.
Youtube video of the book : https://youtu.be/kfuaSO45P5k
If you are interested in submitting to Bridge House their website can be found here:
It’s that time of year I love. NaNoWriMo, National write a novel in a month. The freezer is full; the biscuits are bought, and I am ready.
For me, this is a fabulous time because it helps me focus on what I love, those delicious first drafts without the guilt of editing. If you are a writer and you haven’t tried NaNoWriMo yet do!
If you are looking for me, I’m:
Charlotte Comley (aka writerbizwoman)