The link between the Settle to Carlisle line and the Ilkley Literature Festival!

Click HERE to hear an interview on the Arachne Press website where my fellow-author Peter Cooper and I talk about what it’s been like putting together this fringe event for the 40th Ilkley Literature Festival – a festival that just gets better every year, and also believes in supporting local authors like us by having a thriving fringe programme.

Look out for references to the Settle to Carlisle line (a real gem to have on my doorstep and by far the nicest way to travel into the Dales) and to a lovely, generous ex-railwayman in Settle who has lent us his original station hats to wear for the event! Here’s a photo of me trying one of them on at home:

me in railway hat


It’s on the 15th October, 9-10pm at Ilkley Playhouse. We can promise you a brief but amusing and varied journey through some selected highlights of trains and railways popping up in literature.

We will also read from Stations, published by Arachne Press.

AND that free cake we keep mentioning is kindly provided by Exquisite Handmade Cakes of Leeds – delicious enough to come for that alone!



Free Fringe Event at the Ilkley Literature Festival 2013

WP_000381 Wset Coast coach cropped

Join myself and fellow-author Peter Cooper for a fabulous FREE fringe event at the Ilkley Literature Festival.

Date: 15th October 2013.

Venue: Wildman Studio, Ilkley Playhouse

Time 9.00 – 10.00pm

We will take you on a journey through a selection of our favourite instances of trains and railway stations making an appearance in literature, and we will also be reading from Stations, an anthology from Arachne Press.

There will be free cake to enjoy on your journey, kindly provided by Exquisite Handmade Cakes!

More details here:

Ilkley Fringe Flier Word Doc

There are still tickets for some of the festival’s events, and there is also an interesting range of other free fringe events – check out the festival website and pop a couple in your diary to look forward to!

Society of Young Publishers event in Leeds:18th June 2013

You are very welcome to join me at this event organised by the Society of Young Publishers – North & Midlands.

I will be reading from my short story in the recently published anthology Stations and talking about writing. Click on the poster below for details.

For more information about Stations see below the poster.


Stations: Short Stories Inspired by the Overground Line
Edited by Cherry Potts of Arachne Press
Published in November 2012.

Twenty-four new short stories in homage to the East and South London section of the Overground Line: a story for every station from New Cross, Crystal Palace and West Croydon at the Southern extremes of the line, all the way to Highbury & Islington.

From tigers in a South London suburb to retired Victorian police inspectors investigating train based thefts, from collectors of poets at Shadwell to life-changing decisions in Canonbury, by way of an art installation that defies the boundaries of a gallery,
Stations takes a sideways look through the windows of the Overground train, at life as it is, or might be,lived beside the rails:quirky, humorous and sometimes horrifying.

Ideal for the commuting reader, Stations would make an excellent souvenir of a visit to London and a perfect gift for lovers of London everywhere.


Adrian Gantlope
Andrew Blackman
Anna Fodorova
Bartle Sawbridge
Caroline Hardman
Cherry Potts
David Bausor
Ellie Stewart
Jacqueline Downs
Joan Taylor-Rowan
Katy Derby
Louise J Swingler
Max Hawker
Michael Trimmer
Paula Read
Peter Cooper
Peter Morgan
Rob Walton
Rosalind Stopps
Wendy Gill
© Arachne Press 2012

To the smoke for London Lies reading at Kilburn Library

The train is speeding through the flatlands, and it’s only four hours since I was driving out of the Yorkshire Dales through hard-falling rain along single track roads which were swamped by floods of about two feet deep in places.
I’m looking forward to meeting Cherry Potts of Arachne Press while I’m down south. She is the editor of the anthology I have a short story in, coming out late November/early December. It’s called ‘Stations: Short Stories Inspired by the Overground Line’.
This Thursday (27th September) I’m going to hear some readings from Arachne Press’s previous anthology of stories with a London flavour, ‘London Lies’.
Come and join us at Kilburn Library, 42 Salusbury Road, London NW6 6NN 6.30 to 7.45pm.

Settle Showcase 29th September 2012

Showcase Banner

Writing (R)evolution is going to have a stall at the Settle Showcase, so if you’re local, come along and say hello! I’ll have some displays and plenty of information about the range of editing and proofreading services I can deliver. I’ll also be running a free creative writing workshop on the day.

I’ve been working with the Settle Networking Group to organise this showcase of small businesses and local organisations that work in Settle (North Yorkshire) and the villages that surround it, such as Bentham, Clapham and Giggleswick. It’s been a great way to get to know people in the area (I’ve only been here since last October) and we’ve had a lot of fun working together on it. That’s the ethos of this supportive networking group, started by Jo Rhodes, a local homeopath with a natural talent for getting people to collaborate and work together. Which is exactly what small businesses like ours need, especially when times are a bit tough. Other stars of the organising team include Cindy Haymes, who offers IT support and training as well as dance classes, Martin Peacock,  who offers architectural and garden design services, and Valerie Woodmansey, a trainer, facilitator and coach – go, Team Showcase!

The Showcase is taking place at the Victoria Hall in Settle, and at the Friends Meeting House just over the road.

This event is going to be jam-packed with information and entertainment. There will be a wide range of exhibitors with information and displays, demonstrating the scope of the small businesses and organisations across Settle and the surrounding villages. They represent a variety of sectors: the outdoor world and natural environment, IT training and advice, business and financial support, architectural services and garden design, photography, alternative therapies, health and healing, books and publishing, craft, education and community projects, fitness and exercise, and First Aid and life support techniques.

There will also be a range of absolutely FREE workshops, so you can try out the skills of our town’s talented entrepreneurs on the spot! Workshops include Basic First Aid, Food Foraging, Advice for Parents on Internet Safety, Tai Chi, Creative Writing, Computer Tips, Crafts, Guided Meditation, Nutritional Advice, and World Wide Scouting. Get there early to book them on the day at Victoria Hall.

The workshop on Creative Writing is being led by myself. Come and explore the power of using metaphors and similes in fiction to make your writing vivid and compelling.

Other organisations taking part and sharing information include Giggleswick School, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Booths Supermarket, Settle Chamber of Trade, Victoria Hall and The Folly.

Added to all this there will be lively lunchtime entertainment, free tours of the Town Hall (which is currently being refurbished), reduced entry to the Folly for all Showcase attendees (£1 for adults and kids go free), and a talk from Settle Stories about their work to develop the WR Mitchell Archive, including readings from some of his recordings which uniquely document life in the Dales through the stories of local Dales folk.

And on top of all that, there’s also the chance to take part in a free prize draw, a Treasure Trail around Settle with a chance to win prize vouchers, and charity tombola in aid of the Cave Rescue Organisation.

Hope you can make it if you live in the area – we’d love to see you there!

A new dawn

It is 6.51 and I have been up for twenty minutes already, trying to finish a short story in time for a deadline.

The sun is completely up now, and is starting its task of melting the fine frost on the hill opposite, and on the moss which covers the dry-stone walls outside the front door.

I have a Christmas-morning ache in my stomach as I wait for Amazon to deliver my first Kindle later today……I will report back tomorrow.

To Kindle or not to Kindle? That is the (Christmas) question

I haven’t forgotten about blogging. I’ve been moving house, you see, and also trying to finish a college assignment, for which the deadline is fast approaching.

But I just have to post briefly on the question of the Kindle. Arguments for and against have been circling inside my head all year. It’s beginning to drive me crazy.

Continue reading To Kindle or not to Kindle? That is the (Christmas) question

Independent bookshops versus eBooks and Amazon? Long live the mixed market!

James Daunt has taken over the 300 Waterstone’s shops that are scattered across the country. I heard him saying on the radio that he will be attempting to roll out his existing strategy, which is to ensure that the area a bookshop is in has an influence on its individual style and content. It heartened me, because Daunt bookshops are lovely places to be in, and maybe this unassuming, likeable man will find a way for bookshops to sit alongside the newer methods of book-buying, in a way that enables each to benefit and complement the other. In other words, is it not better to maintain a healthy mix in the market place? I also decided to wait and view the new e-reader which Daunt is planning to launch, before succumbing to the temptation to buy a Kindle.

That radio interview with Mr Daunt reminded me of an article I read in the Saturday Guardian in August.

Continue reading Independent bookshops versus eBooks and Amazon? Long live the mixed market!

Writers and the changing digital landscape


Turn and face the strange


Oh, look out you rock ‘n’ rollers

(Songwriter: David Bowie)

Exciting times

It is an exhilarating but confusing time to be a writer. There is a wider range of possibilities for getting published than ever before (including starting your own blog), but it is hard to know which to choose.

Continue reading Writers and the changing digital landscape