Posts Tagged ‘writers’

A free ‘Writing and Writers’ Conference for you – on the 18th October 2014

August 24, 2014

You may be interested in this rare opportunity for a free conference in the Library of Birmingham that will be taking place on Saturday 18th October. The full details are below:
Writing and Writers’ Conference
Saturday 18th October
The Library of Birmingham
Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2 ND United Kingdom
Tel: 0121 242 4242 (Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm)

• Chris Carling talking about her moving and highly topical memoir: ‘But Then Something Happened: A Story of Everyday Dementia’
• Rosemary Westwell ‘John, Dementia and Me’: exploring life problems in fiction and also talking about ‘Unseen Poetry’
• Jackie Reynolds and Michael Callan ‘‘Connecting Communities with Creative Writing’
• Sarah Gornall ‘Co-authoring and what it can mean.’
• Dr David Gatley ‘1936 a Year in Post Boxes’
• Elaine Ewart ‘My work as Fenland Poet Laureate including poetry writing, and performing ‘
• Noreen Wainwright ‘A homespun year’ by Noreen Wainwright and Margaret Priestly Thrifty ways to make and grow, bake and sew
• Stephanie J. Hale ‘What it takes to sell a million books, what it takes to make a million from your book idea and what works and what doesn’t when it comes to selling books in this exciting new digital age.’
• Hayley Humphrey ‘Nanowrimo: From writers’ block to 50,000 words, a novel written in a month.’
• Mary McGuire ‘Publish or self-publish? Which way do I go?’

ENTRY FREE refreshments served

Book early to avoid disappointment: contact: Malcolm Henson, North Staffordshire Press, Business Village, Staffordshire University, 72 Leek Rd., Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2AR Tel: 01782 442831 website:


opportunity for authors

June 13, 2014

PRESS RELEASE Opportunity for authors.
Malcolm Henson of North Staffordshire Press presents a one-day Conference: Writing and Writers in Birmingham Central Library (UK) on Saturday 18th of October 2014, 10 am to 5 pm.
If you have a book that you have written or are in the process of writing or if you are interested in writing, language and/or (language) communication and have ideas to share, you are invited to send an outline of a 20-minute presentation to give in a one-day conference at Birmingham Central Library on Saturday 18th October 2014.
Your submission should contain your full name, address (including post code), phone number(s) and email address(es). It should be no more than 500 words and should summarize the content of the whole of your presentation.
Entrance to the conference will be free and you will be welcome to bring your books to sell and flyers and cards to distribute. There should be plenty of time for discussion and networking or viewing this impressive library.
You should send you submission within the body of an email to The deadline for receiving entries is the 14th July 2014 and successful entrants will be notified by the 14th of August 2014.
I hope to present an update on ‘John, Dementia and Me’
Dr Rosemary Westwell (PhD, MA Ed, MA TESOL, BMus, BA Hons)
On behalf of:
Malcolm Henson, Managing Director, Editorial Services, North Staffordshire Press, Business Village, Staffordshire University, 72 Leek Rd., Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2AR Tel: 01782 442831

Writing the blurb on your book is not easy

March 18, 2010

Writing the blurb on your book is not as easy as you might think. What are other people really interested in? – mainly themselves, you might answer. How do you relate the book to other people’s interests? People are so varied; their interests are so different. Perhaps the only solution is to write what you are interested in yourself and hope that others feel the same.

Is it safe for you to write without a copy-editor tidying up your language? Probably not, but they are busy people and sometimes it may be worth the risk…

Here is the blurb for my recent book Out of a Learner’s Mouth. The blurb has been tidied up – perhaps it could serve as a model..? (or not! What do you think?)

Out of a Learner’s Mouth

Picking up a stranger in a pub in Spain and buying a flat from him is an unusual way of starting a new relationship with the country and its language. However, this mature lady casts caution aside and gives the stranger her credit card to pay a deposit for her dream flat by the Mediterranean Sea. When the contract is signed and she first enters the building, she is unable to communicate with the electrician who is still fixing the wiring. She realizes she has to learn Spanish.

In a series of amusing anecdotes she records her feelings about the language and the Spanish way of life. She struggles with new vocabulary and with interference from school French. As her exposure to the language increases, her attitude alters; she makes drastic changes to her approach when teaching English as a Foreign Language to students in the UK.  

She describes the new Spanish words she acquires and shares the trials and tribulations that all language learners have with concentration, memory, personality differences and interfering life events. 

A developing awareness of the benefits of image, humour, other language associations and her past learning and teaching experiences give insight into the nature of the process.        

The book is an essential companion for those contemplating learning Spanish, or planning a holiday in a Spanish-speaking country, and for those in the language learning, researching, teaching and teacher-training businesses.

On Writers’ Circles

November 10, 2009

On Writers’ Circles

We had a Writers’ Circle meeting yesterday. There were only three of us, but this was one of the most useful circles I have ever attended. Somehow, even though we are writing very different scripts, we are attuned to each other and can give just the right feedback. Even though I am not a fan of science fiction or fantasy I find it intriguing how my fellow writers’ books are slowly but surely coming to life. I can empathize with the characters and ideas and after listening to a short section, have ideas about what I believe would be effective ways of improvement – you know, more showing rather than telling, less gentle thinking, more punchy interaction.

But who am I to comment? As for my own writing, I have been bored rigid with the diary of a language learner I have been trying to write. When I first read an excerpt to my fellow writers, they candidly admitted that they, too, were bored rigid. ‘Put it in the first person,’ they suggested. ‘Talk about situations and put in more of the language itself.’ So I started re-writing. I put it in the first person and tried to make it sound as if the reader was there with me, experiencing the first attempts at learning Spanish and the people and situations that affected my learning.’ Better’ they said.’ Joy of all joys, one small word of encouragement like this is enough to send me to the laptop with renewed enthusiasm and energy. The book accompanying my talk at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate next year may well be finished in time.

What is particularly apparent is the respect that develops between you and the people you know who are in the same business. Strangers may well be able to give sound advice, but little beats the words of people you know have no particular axe to grind, have no particular interest in marketability and have no preconceived, set ideas about what always works.

It seems clear to me that:

  1. You should never write alone– you always need feedback.
  2. Trust between you and your advisors is essential.
  3. It takes only one or two others to form an effective writing community.