Writing can open up new doors for many of us. This summer both Sue Dawes and I have become involved with the WivWords festival, having been co-opted onto the committee by our mutual friend Petra McQueen. This is what Petra has said about the event:-
'Wiv Words' is Wivenhoe's own literary festival that will take place on October 12th and 13th. It will be an unstuffy celebration of local talent. There are talks, walks, workshops, theatre, comedy and poetry events. There are events for children, teenagers and adults. The weekend will culminate on Sunday night with a show by John Cooper Clarke and Martin Newell.
As well as being a writer and active member of the committee, Sue describes herself as a jewellery-crafter and lover of all things hand-made. You will be able to see some of her work at the Paperformance exhibition in William Loveless Hall during the weekend, and also at Cutting Corners Picture Framing, situated in Wivenhoe Business Centre, Brook Street, Wivenhoe. Here there will be a small exhibition of jewellery created using book pages, paper and other materials.
I have been asked to speak at the Voice of Wivenhoe Women event to be held on Saturday evening at Open Space, also in the Business Centre, Brook Street, Wivenhoe. This will give an opportunity revisit some of the women interviewed by Charmaine McKissock over the four series of Wivenhoe Women, broadcast on Radio Wivenhoe since 2012. I believe Sue Dawes has now been interviewed too. The recordings, which are fascinating to hear, are still available on a play-back facility. I was one of the earlier interviewees and found the whole experience very revealing. Charmaine brought something out in each of us with her charming and clever interview techniques. The spoken word rather than the written word gave added insight.
I have been delighted to contribute to the on-going Writing Relay organised by Broomgrove Infant School in Wivenhoe. Alexander McCall Smith kindly provided a starter paragraph which has been added to in turn by various school groups, businesses and local townspeople. My page was written on behalf of The Wivenhoe Surgery. It was a challenge to read a story developed by others and then continue it, providing continuity as well as giving somewhere for the plot to go - a very different experience from creating ones own plot and I can’t wait to read the end of the story. I do hope it will be available for us all to read in due course.
The Shed writers group, based at the Wivenhoe Bookshop have organised a 60 word writing competition. Now here’s another challenge, open to all, to write a 60 word piece (prose or poetry) containing the word ‘shed’. Why not give it a go? The entry form will be available at the bookshop throughout the weekend of the festival and four winners chosen by November 4th. I hope we might be allowed to publish their words on this blog shortly after.
So writing and word related projects are springing up all over the place, raising money for the Mayor's charities, and many published writers will be giving talks and workshops over the two days of the festival. Anyone seeking ideas and inspiration for their writing should have a look at the full programme on the Mayor’s website; wivmayor.co.uk or pick up a printed version from Wivenhoe Bookshop, 23 High Street, Wivenhoe CO7 9BE.