Of course the most important people at A Word In Your Ear are the writers and musicians who make Story Fridays a success. We’d like to thank very very much all of the many writers who have contributed, for their creativity and work.
Susan Barrett spent her childhood in Devon and at school in Bath. She worked as a copywriter in London before leaving to live in Greece where she began writing fiction. Her first novel was published by Michael Joseph in 1969. This was followed by six more, published in hardback and paperback in the UK and USA. Other work includes travel writing, television drama, and wildlife and children’s books illustrated by her husband Peter. She has mentored new writers, held creative writing workshops at home, and in 2010 established a website for quality fiction, WritersReadersDirect, which is now part of Magus Digital. Her early novels can be found in print and in Kindle editions here and her latest novel Take Care, Dear is distributed here.
Richard Bond lives, works and plays in Bristol and enjoys a double life as a University research manage and a writer of plays, poems and short (often very short) fiction. He studied Creative Writing at Bristol University and his work has been published in various anthologies including the Fish Prize Anthology 2011. He is currently looking for a publisher for a solo collection provisionally entitled ‘Lives on the Winds: 50 short tales for a fast world’.
Diana Cambridge is an award winning journalist. A Society of Authors prize-winner, she began her career at 16 on the Clevedon Mercury and has written for most nationals including a column on office life for The Guardian. Author of three how-to books on writing, she is ‘Agony Aunt’ for Writing Magazine. Former Editor of five niche glossy magazines – including Greece travel magazine and Iceland Freezer Centre customer magazine – she has also presented 60 one-hour shows for Glastonbury Radio. She gives writing workshops and one-to-one sessions – see here. Diana will once again be Writer in Residence to Sherborne Literary Festival October 15-19 2014.
Lee Combes is a legend in his own living room. He has published stories in such exotic magazines as New York based cult magazine Exquisite Corpse, Newcastle’s Bullet Magazine and the French Literary Review. His plays have been performed at the Stuttgart Theatre Festival and Bristol Old Vic. He is available to perform at weddings and funerals and barmitzvas.
Anne is originally from the north-east, but sort of slid down the map and landed in the south-west. Despite a firm intention of working in a writing-related field, and a linguistics background, she somehow got distracted and became a criminal lawyer. She returned to writing two years ago, and her first novel, Telemachus, has been taken on by the Richford Becklow agency. She spends a lot of time supervising the linguistic endeavours of a 14-month old whose vocabulary is currently limited to “more” and “mine”. Her three-year-old makes up for this by filling every waking minute with as many words as is humanly possible. You can read her blog here.
Kit De Waal
Kit de Waal worked in criminal and family law for fifteen years and now writes flash fiction, short stories and longer form prose. She is published in various anthologies – Fish Prize 2011 and 2012; The Sea in Birmingham, 2013, Final Chapters 2013 – and works as an editor of non-fiction. She came second in the Coast Short Story Award 2013 and is longlisted in the Bath Short Story Aware 2013. She is represented by Jenny Hewson of RCW.
Katherine Doggrell is a financial journalist with over 15 years’ experience. During her career she has worked for publications including the Financial Times, The Guardian, Q, Mojo and Business 2.0, meeting such luminaries as Steve Jobs, the Queen and a group of reclusive cowboys who pretend it’s 1850 in a field in Essex. She is also a founding member of Rattle Tales, a short story night which was one of this year’s Pick of the Fringe at the Brighton Festival. Read more about Rattle Tales here.
Philip is a regular contributor to Story Fridays and has also written and performed his amusingly offbeat tales at summer festivals, private parties and as part of his own one man show at the North Devon Fringe Festival. He is also a playwright and a member of the Cheltenham Everyman Writers Lab. His plays have featured in new writing competitions in Gloucestershire and Waterford, with his new ten minute piece Carrying On being performed at The Alma Theatre Bristol in Theatre West’s autumn programme of new writing in November 2012. He also acts with The Phoenix Players in Gloucester and appeared in the newly created Gloucester Mystery Plays at Gloucester and Worcester Cathedrals in November and December 2012. Read more about him here.
Retired teacher of English and Literature, new to the South West after spending most of my adult life north of Watford Gap. Published ‘Wasdale – a Celebration’ many years ago; since then most of my writing had been lesson plans, articles on education, and angry letters to politicians. I have recently mastered the formula for In Brief letters to The Guardian and this has given me the courage to go public with my secret short story writing.
Lisa has contributed a number of stories and photographs to A Word In Your Ear. She has recently moved to Brussels, which is a great shame for all of us, but you will be able to read what she’s up to in a monthly column here.
Pippa’s stories have been broadcast on Radio 4 and on Radio 3, including commissioned work and stories live from the Bath Literature Festival. Her work has won grants and awards form South West Arts and Arts Matrix and has been placed in writing competitions including first prize Orange New Voices 2006. In 2004 she was awarded an Arts Council bursary for her short stories, and in 2011 she received an Arts Council bursary to develop her writing.
Julie’s varied career began as nanny to Haile Selassie’s great granddaughter and spanned a protracted stint in Personnel Management. Her first short story was included in an anthology produced for Cheltenham Literary Festival. Since then, she has had a monologue recorded by Headspring Productions and produced two children. She moved into script writing quite recently and won the Theatre Royal Bath’s One Act Play competition with ‘Piece of Cake’, which was subsequently chosen by Tiny Dog Productions for their Theatre Breaks Festival in London. Julie is still scrawling away and can be contacted via A Word In Your Ear.
Geoffrey Heptonstall studied Drama at Bath Spa. Recent performance work includes Providence, a play for Lempeter Writing Centre; The Rabbit Replies, a monologue for White Rabbit Co; Emperors for Tea, a masque for Newton’s Heritage; The Physical Book, a film for Curious Films; a reading for 105FM Radio; and three new literary festivals: Bolton, Canterbury Wise Words, and Dunbar Wee Festival of Words. A reviewer for The London Magazine, Geoffrey is a widely-published poet, fiction writer and essayist. He has mentored and taught Writing for Anglia Ruskin, Bath Spa, Cambridge Regional College and the Open College of the Arts.
Sarah Hilary won the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2012, the Sense Creative Award in 2010 and the Fish Criminally Short Histories Prize in 2008. Her fiction appears in The Fish Anthology, Smokelong Quarterly, and in the Crime Writers’ Association anthology, MO: Crimes of Practice. In 2011, she received an Honourable Mention in the Tom-Gallon Trust Award. In 2012, she launched Flashbang, a crime writing contest in association with CrimeFest. Sarah is the author of the very successful DI Marnie Rome series of crime novels. Her agent is Jane Gregory. You can read the story she performed at The Fall here.
To buy or download a copy of Di’s novel Ash click here.
Emma is a director of A Word In Your Ear. To read more about her click here.
Jayne Newton Chance
Pauline Masurel is a gardener and short fiction writer who lives in South Gloucestershire. Her stories have been published in anthologies, broadcast on radio and are available online. She has performed her work around Bath, Bristol and beyond at various venues including bookshops, boats, festivals, city farms, a cinema, a crypt and even in a disused toilet block. You can discover more about her fiction in out-of-the-way places here.
Elaine writes plays for the stage and radio, as well as short stories and flash fiction. She is a member of the Rondo Scriptwriters’ Group in Bath, and five of her short plays have been performed at the Rondo Theatre. Her full-length play Dog Day Sunday Afternoon was performed at the Mission Theatre in Bath in May 2013. Elaine made her debut in London in November 2013 with her short play Who Wants to be Normal which was staged at the Southwark Playhouse as part of Little Pieces of Gold, a showcase for established and emerging writers.
Rosalind trained as a dancer, but grew to love acting more. She gained a place at RADA, but academic life took over. If it hadn’t, she would have spent her life interpreting characters instead of working with them for real. She studied in Birmingham, Sussex and Exeter universities for a career as a psychologist. Her experience includes academic and practical psychology, including 14 years expert witness work. She has worked with a wealth of characters, but now retired, she creates fictional people of all ages. She relishes quirkiness, and loves creating complex characters of all ages. The inner life of her characters drives her plots whether the genre is humour, historical fiction or crime. She writes short stories and novels, recently completing the trilogy, A Relative Invasion. Her books are in paperback and all ebook formats, click here. She blogs at www.characterfulwriter.com.
Crysse Morrison writes drama, fiction and poetry. She is Spoken Word Coordinator for Merlin Frome and organises events for writers at the theatre and in the town. Currently Crysse is focussing on work for stage, and her play Mascara was produced by Stepping Out Theatre Company at Bristol’s Alma Tavern in June 2012. For more information on these events and Crysse’s writing courses abroad, visit her website and follow her local arts blog.
Thomas David Parker
Hannah was born in England, but her formative years were spent growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, before going to school in India. She returned to England to complete her studies, and graduated with an English degree from Oxford Brookes University. In the last twelve months Hannah has been pursing her childhood dream of becoming a writer; completing the ‘Writing a Novel’ course with Faber Academy, and achieving recognition through placing and winning a number of competitions. Hannah is in the final throes of finishing her first novel, and will be looking for an agent in early 2016. Contact: email@example.com
Jonathan Pinnock is the author of the novel Mrs Darcy Versus The Aliens (Proxima, 2011), the short story collection Dot Dash (Salt, 2012) and the forthcoming bio-historico-musicological-memoir thing Take It Cool (Two Ravens Press, 2014). He blogs here and tweets as @jonpinnock.
Cherry Potts is author of The Dowry Blade, a lesbian epic fantasy, and 2 collections of short stories, Mosaic of Air and Tales Told Before Cockcrow (out of print). She has had many stories published in anthologies and magazines, and her works has been performed (sometimes by actors) in London, Leeds, Leicester, Oxford, Cumbria, Hong Kong and now Bath. Cherry edits short story/poetry anthologies including Award Winning Weird Lies for Arachne Press, which she owns. She runs south London live lit event, The Story Sessions, and the literature and music festival Solstice Shorts.
Clare runs A Word In Your Ear. You can read more about her at her website here.
John D Ritchie
John only writes when the spirit takes him and shakes him till his teeth rattle. John has whiplash and is afraid of ghosts.
Christine has written extensively for theatre and her work has been professionally performed internationally (Scotland, Italy, Greece and Brazil) and nationally (London, Bristol, Hereford, Exeter and Plymouth). An anthology of her plays entitled Tormented Minds has been published by Intellect and Mangled by Minerva Press. Her most current plays have been: Citizens performed at Theatre 503, Battersea, London in November 2011. Recipes for Eternity (2010) and Silver Screen Estate Agents (2009) as part of the ‘Trading Local Project’ in Bristol, produced by Sheila Hannon, Creative Producer of Show of Strength. Fitting End commissioned by the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, directed by Rebecca Manson Jones in January 2010. Bugaboo (2009) selected for the Off Cut Festival, organised by In Company Theatre, performed at the Old Red Lion Theatre, London, September 2009.
Mark first appears on the Story Friday stage in January 2014. It seemed, he thought, to be the best thing ever. So he’s put the second novel on the back burner and spent much of the last couple of years writing more short stories and performing them in Bath and Bristo. He knows, without doubt, it is the best thing ever. Along the way Mark has created a Facebook page (Mark Rutterford Writes), become one-eighth of Stokes Croft Writers, been published in the To Hull and Back Anthology 2015, and has a website (markrutterford.com) he’d love you to visit.
Rose is a Kentish maid who moved West in 1980. After a 23 year career in regional broadcasting, she considers herself a recorder of moments in time. She has written and photographed for pleasure all her adult life. She has an MA in Cultural Astronomy and is currently researching for a book on British megalithic sites. Apart from A Word In Your Ear stories, she is also working on a series of paranormal romances. The first two, Shades and House of Lilith, are available on Amazon here and here. Check out her occasional blog here or find her on Facebook.
Ben is a native of Bath who enjoys writing, acting and performance poetry. He is working on his second novel, which he rather hopes will be his first good one.
At just seven years old, somebody showed me how writing could help me make sense of the confusing world around me. Thirty years on and I still write everyday, still trying to make sense of the confusing world around me! My first love is poetry and my collection Fingerprints is scheduled for publication later this year. I also write short stories and flash fiction and have been shortlisted in a number of international competitions. I am part of the Rondo Writing Group and my play was performed earlier this year as part of an evening of new writing. I fit my writing around my chaotic life in Bath with our six young children who never cease to inspire my creativity.
Doc Watson retired from professional theatre some ten years ago but has continued to perform and write whilst living in Bath. He has been concentrating on short plays no more than ten minutes long; and a collection of these has been published under the title ‘Nursery Rhyme Crimes’ by New Theatre Publications, alongside an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ ‘Pickwick Papers’. Copies of these plays can be obtained here or by visiting Doc’s website, where you may find out further information about his writings by reading his blog.
I’m a 64 year old primary teacher and yoga teacher, married, living in Bath. I’ve been writing for many years, gone to classes, written short stories and hopeful novels, but only recently feel I’ve found something of a voice. Apart from family – grandchildren etc – I sometimes paint and had an open studio in Larkhall last year.
June started writing in her teens having some success with national under 18s poetry competitions and magazines. Having her first child at the age of 19 she then started to write children’s stories. She has had work broadcast and published by BBC Television and has carried out work for Endemol UK. She completed an M.A. in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University concentrating on prose writing but after carrying out a Larkin 25 commission in 2010 she has returned to writing mainly poetry. Her spiritual home is still very much her birth city of Hull and the East Riding.
Stephanie is a Bristol-based actor and Artistic Director of the comedy improvisation company, Instant Wit. She started writing three years ago and has been one of the winners of the ‘Saturday Shorts’ competition, run by Bristol Folk House, the Bridgwater/Tacchi Morris Arts Centre ‘Page to Stage’ competition, the Ted alters International Playwriting Competition and the Sadalles ‘Five ‘N’ Ten’ competition. She is also a committee member at Southwest Scriptwriters.
Born in the UK and brought up everywhere! Najma completed an MA in Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Having co-written a political play The Radcliffe Line, she has also been writing for The Asian Writer. She is part of the Bath Writers’ Group and has just completed her debut novel set in Peshawar, North-West Pakistan. She has read her short stories at various festivals including the Bay Lit Festival, Cardiff, and is currently working on a short story anthology.