Writing

NaNoWriMo winner – writing a novel in a month

I am a NaNo Winner 2018. To many of you that will mean nothing, but to some of my fellow writers it will signify one hell of an achievement. NaNoWriMo is a challenge that takes place every November, in which writers around the world try to write 50,000 words of their novel. Some of us…

NaNoWriMo 2017 – we’re halfway there folks!

So we are now just over halfway through NaNoWriMo 2017. Have I reached my target word count to be on track for 50,000 words by the end of the month? Not even near. But that’s ok. This is the second time I’ve attempted the glorious madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short)….

New Year’s Resolutions 2016

Well, better late than never: Happy New Year everyone! Over the past week I’ve been reading some fantastic New Year’s Resolutions posts from bloggers all over the world. I normally only tell close friends and family what my personal goals for the year are, but there is one ‘resolution’ that I wanted to share. Rather…

NCTJ Production Journalism exam

Last Thursday I took my NCTJ Production Journalism exam. I’m studying for the NCTJ Diploma via distance learning, and after putting my studying on hold while at drama school, I recently decided to pick up where I left off. The Production Journalism unit is one of my two optional units, the other being Business of…

NaNoWriMo – bitten off more than I can chew?

So at the start of this month I signed up to do NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Naturally, the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month somewhat fazed me, but I thought if I put my back into it I could give it a…

Simon Stephens playwriting workshop

I’ve always considered myself a writer of sorts, but until now I have limited my efforts to writing short stories, journalistic articles, marketing copy and multiple abandoned efforts at writing a novel. My love of theatre and, particularly, my current actor training on the MA Acting at East 15 Acting School, has awaked a desire…

Epic Fairy Tales writing workshop

From one kind of workshop to another… at the weekend I went to a writer’s workshop at Southsea Library run by Zella Compton and William Sutton. The workshop, entitled Epic Fairy Tales and Mysteries at Our Own Doors, was part of a project called Portsmouth Fairy Tales, which involves 11 local writers, including Zella and…

A visit to Jane Austen’s House

On Saturday I paid a visit to Jane Austen’s House Museum in the pretty village of Chawton. Although I’ve always wanted to go there, this seemed a particularly fitting time to finally make the short trip, with One Off Productions currently rehearsing Pride and Prejudice. I wanted to get a feel for the writer behind…

Local writers in Day of the Dead

Portsmouth BookFest is in full swing. If you haven’t yet made it to one of the events on offer, take a look at the BookFest website to see what literary treats are still in store. Ahead of this evening’s ‘Day of the Dead’, I caught up with William Sutton, one of the authors taking part in this year’s festivities….

Time for tea – writers on tour part deux

Earlier this week I wrote about the OutWrite day I went on with Rob Richardson of WriteInvite, and the first mystery location we went to – Southsea Castle. The second location was completely different but just as inspiring, and prompted a wonderful variety of stories from our little group of writers. The location: All About…

OutWrite day – writers on tour part un

Writing on location is something I’ve often wanted to do but never had a pen and notebook ready at the right time. The key is to plan your writing expedition, which is where OutWrite comes in. Run by Rob Richardson and his lovely wife Chris, who run the WriteInvite short story competitions in Portsmouth, OutWrite…

A pretty little thing

Basking in the glorious bank holiday sunshine, I wandered down the seafront today with my friend Louise, and happened upon a pretty little thing courtesy of Love Southsea. In desperate search of a breeze we headed towards the sea, sitting high on the bank above the bandstand for a while before moving on down to…

Byron by day, Beethoven by night

As a press officer, I write releases that often make it into the local paper. Recently I was asked to write this year’s graduation stories – one for each day about a student graduating that day with an interesting story to tell. One of these graduates is Will Sherwood.  An edited version of Will’s story…

Criminologist to crime writer

For Portsmouth lovers of crime fiction, today marks a special day – the release of not one but two crime novels written by local authors. City of Devils by Diana Bretherick and Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square by William Sutton, both available to buy from today, were launched at an event at Blackwell’s…

Beginnings – how to make a start

Last night I went to my second session with Kerry McPhail’s writer’s group. Scribbling away in the new Innovation Space in Portsmouth with cups of tea and chocolate swiss rolls, the wonderful plethora of stories and writing styles once again fascinated me. Although I’d only been with this group on one previous occasion, it already…

The art of reviewing

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing a spot of theatre for free and getting to write about it for the local paper. Still a relative newbie when it comes to reviewing, and acutely aware of the importance of those words from an actor’s point of view, I felt as nervous as if I…

Writer’s group – starting your book

The other day I went to my very first writer’s group. A few friends and I toyed with thoughts of starting one back in our uni days, but nothing ever came to fruition. To finally make it to a session with an established writer’s group, led by an actual proper published writer felt almost like…

The penny

I thought I would post a bit of my creative writing, so here’s the short story I wrote for the recent Write Invite evening (see previous post). The story is called The penny: I’ve lived a long and wonderful life, seeing many places and meeting many people along the way. I’ve had the chance to…

Return to Write Invite

This Monday I went to my first Write Invite in over two years. The evening is a short story competition where you can either enter and read a story of up to six minutes, or come along to watch and support. Back in 2010 I went along to a few and came third twice. I’ve…

A note on Life

I was reading through my notes in my writing scrapbook earlier, and suddenly noticed a tiny bug, the colour of skin, translucent and almost too small for the naked eye to see. At first I was simply going to brush it away, most likely killing it in the process, but I decided to watch it…

Flirting with an idea

Since things are now a little quieter on the acting front (but not for long – LAMDA summer school next month eek!), I thought I’d take the chance to work on my long-neglected writing projects. The most prominent of these is, of course, the ever-elusive novel. I’ve been working on this thing since I was…


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