Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Noticing Nature

Along with my fellow Hello Hub compadres, I've been helping to run Derby Writers' Hub, and since last Autumn, we've been working with the wonderful Derby Museums on a collaborative project for their new Nature Gallery. The commission was to create stories and poems from a series of exhibits, with a view to these new writings becoming part of the Nature Gallery.

First off, we were given photographs of the animals that would feature in the Gallery. These included birds, a pangolin, and a sun bear amongst others. Next, we got to meet the actual specimens when Co-Production Curator Louise brought them to one of our Hub sessions. Sadly, the bear was too big to fit in her car (what, no sunroof?), but we did get to handle fossils from between 33-56 MILLION years ago. Which was nice.

And so over the following months we imagined, and scribbled, and edited, and chewed pens, and typed, and finally, we had ourselves a set of stories and poems all inspired by the nature exhibits. These were originally going to be displayed on cards, but after gathering them all together, Derby Museums decided on a booklet format, and then wondered if it could become an actual book that would be available for sale in the Museum shop. And yes, it could.

And so the project grew and grew and now this weekend, the Nature Gallery opens to the public, and from what I've seen and heard so far (esteemed pal Richard Birkin has created a soundscape for the Gallery using nature recordings and birdsong), it's going to be a real treat. And if you've been lucky enough to bag an invite to the launch event on the Friday eve, then you'll get to hear us reading our stories in the flesh, too.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Hey 2015!

Hello. A lot of things have happened since my last post. It's been a silly amount of time. I'm working on a new, proper website, which I'll be updating a bit more frequently than this poor blog. I'll post the details on here once it's up and running.

Upcoming things and events in the near-future are:

Tomorrow evening at Rough Trade in Nottingham, I'll be doing a reading of a couple of Lach's poems and a story of my own. I'm pretty excited about it.

And then in March, I'll be reading a specially commissioned piece at the opening of the new Nature Gallery at Derby Museum. More details to follow. Hey, I might even have my new website ready by then, and fill that full of the details too!


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Happy World Book Night!

Tonight's the night that volunteers up and down the country will be giving away hundreds of thousands of books, all to share the love of reading. As well as this book-gifting, the Reading Agency help to organize and promote hundreds of events to celebrate and encourage a love of books and reading.

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the East Midlands' flagship event at Worksop Library tonight, with author Kerry Young. The event is called 'Girls' Night Out', and will feature myself and Kerry reading our work and talking about our favourite writers. I believe there will also be wine. It starts at 7pm and is free! Come along!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Behind a Wardrobe in Atlantis

So, it's real. I have a book! It's a collection of short stories called Behind a Wardrobe in Atlantis, and the beautiful cover was designed by Sam Pash. It's available to buy from Mantle Lane Press right now.

There will be a launch on Saturday 22nd February at the Bean Caffe in Friar Gate Studios, York Street, Derby, from 7pm. All are welcome.

I will be reading stories from the book, and Richard Birkin (Emphemetry/Crash of Rhinos) will be playing his haunting, melodic songs. There will also be fairy lights and cake, and of course, books!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Die Procrastination Die

It's just after midnight on a Friday evening and I've completely fallen back in love with words. How silly I feel for all that procrastination. How angry. I love words! I love putting them together and moving them around and feeling the shape of them in my mouth. I love the rhythm of a piece of writing, and having all those possible words swirling around your head until the right one just edges itself forward, smirking, knowing you're going to keep it. 

It's been a while, but I'm feeling like my mojo is back. Or tonight it is, anyway. Thanks words. You rock. 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Pinch Punch, come to a Book Launch

the things I will be carrying

I'm not sure how it got to be March. But today is March 1st, and that means it's also the day of the East Midlands launch of Overheard:Stories to Read Aloud. It's taking place at De Montfort University, Leicester, and is part of the Cultural Exchanges Festival.

There's a host of writers reading their stories from the book, including Jonathan Taylor, Deborah Tyler-Bennett, Joel Lane, Aimee Wilkinson, Catherine Rogers, Simon Perril, Will Buckingham, Alexandros Plasatis(it's worth your bus fare just to hear this story alone!), Kathleen Bell, Judith Allnatt, Felicity Skelton, and me!

The launch is free to attend, all are welcome, and will be in the Clephan Building from 6pm - 8pm. So, if you fancy a bit of storytelling to kick the weekend off nicely, put on your listening cardigan or your fancy pants and come along.

There are more details about the event here.

See you there!


Here are some things people wrote about the London launch...

I overheard it on the grapevine

Overheard - 8th January, 2013

and here are some videos from the event.

Thursday, 28 February 2013


A few months ago, Red Lightbulbs put out a 24-hour call for submissions for what would be the tenth and final issue. I wrote something with just a few hours left to go, edited it, read over it a few more times, then sent it off on a wing and a prayer. And it got in. (Thanks Russ and Jeannette!) And I'm thrilled to be in such amazing company. This issue is bigger than previous ones, and it's packed with great writers and great writing. You can read it here.