Writing Groups in Devon


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A Slice of Pi-Life by Jenny Kane

January 17, 2018

Last night I spent the evening talking to the Exeter branch of the Pi-Society at the Hotel du Vin in Exeter - and my head is literally buzzing.

After a delightful two hours in the company of friendly, intelligent and joyful people, I am riding high on one of the privileges of being a writer. There are few perks in this profession; little money, no days off, no spare time, frequent bouts of insecurity and more disappointments than it would ever be sensible to count- but we do get to meet a wide range of amazing people. For me this is one of the highlights of the job- and after just two hours with the members of the Pi-society - I feel lucky to have met each and every one of the people who’d turned out to see me despite the hail and gales that hit the city last night.

On my arrival to the library in the Hotel du Vin, I joined the group sat around a big round table (wine glasses full and at the ready), and the event began. We broke the ice with a discussion about our favourite books and reads, and then we were off! I answered questions about books, writing, and my rather diverse career- from archaeologist to erotica to romance, to historical crime- for the next two hours. The evening simply flew by.

Before I knew it, the time had come to sell a few copies of my books, and we were preparing to face the elements of the cold and wet winter night once again.

I’d like to thank Nicky Dunn for inviting me alone to the Pi-Society, and the whole group for making me feel so welcome.



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Exeter Authors Association Go Plotting!

January 12, 2018

First one of the year as Exeter Authors Association braved the freezing cold to gather at Tiverton's top coffee house in Bampton Strasse at the grey and maroon place with the pretty windows where it don't "Costa" lot a money to meet up!

The group was at least ten strong this morning with numerous apologies and a packed agenda reflected how busy the EAAonistas are going to be in 2018 with many library deals being signed up to feature some top-notch talks, lectures, workshops, quizzes, kiddies games and free cake!

Free cake is a reminder of the one aspect that was missing from the gathering (other than the apologists of course!)  which was the scrumptious beetroot caraway banana marmite and peanut butter rolls as created by Head Chef and author of science fiction fame and en route all the way from the fishing port of Brixham, our very own Richard Docket  who's elaborate recipes are fast becoming world renowned and if someone else could bring the soup brunch breakfast
or lunch is covered!

Highlight of the day was an action-packed presentation from accomplished author and bestseller Jenny Kane, JK (hey those initials could be worth a fortune!) talked about the good manners & proper way to utilise social media, covering  all the platforms, the do's and dont's including prostitution, criminal activity and the benefits of advertising on social media ..of which there appear to be none! Thanks to the Kane for putting together such a good powerpoint, it really
was very informative in terms of how to set up, how to use the format and how to create your own blog so whoever is doing the professional development workshop in February had better be on the ball as the Kane is a hard act to follow
........oh dear I think it's me oops!!

Overall it was better than most of the football l cover..the crowd were appreciative, no rowdiness or swearing, and even though there was no sign of burgers(delivering the familiar stench of onions) or prawn sandwiches, nobody left early to avoid the full-time rush and as ever it was always a pleasure!

Best, for now, EAAonistas may your weekend be a darn sight warmer than it is today!!!

Lossaluuv Richie #firstimeblogger!
Richard Lappas

07976 157997

Richard Lappas is the author and photographer of 'More By Luck Than Judgement'

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Coffee Shops and Cornwall - An Evening with Jenny Kane

January 11, 2018

It is always a privilege to be invited to talk about the books I’ve written, to meet readers and to help spread the joy that comes from both reading and writing.

This week saw the first author talk by members of the Exeter Author’s Association at Bampton’s Learning and Resource Centre (LARCS ). I was delighted to kick off this series of six events with an evening discussing my love of writing about ‘Coffee Shops and Cornwall.’

Every seat in LARCS was taken, and the audience’s smiles were wide and welcoming as I launched, somewhat nervously, into my confession that I ought not to be a writer at all- but should be sitting in a library somewhere translating Medieval Latin.

Clearly surprised that writing hadn’t been my childhood dream- but that I’d desperately wanted to be an archaeologist and historian instead- I think, however, that it was my disclosure that Mars Bar scones were responsible for my diversion into writing fiction which surprised people the most. It seems I need to educate folk in the powers of the ‘super-scone’!

The evening was split into two parts; with forty-five minutes of talk about my writing, my inspiration, coffee shops and Cornwall and two very short reading, followed by a half hour break in which to indulge in some delicious coffee (how could I refuse?), tea and cake. After we were all fortified with welcome calories and beverages, and some books had been sold and signed, part two of the evenings' chatter began we with me explaining how life-writing works- and the reasons behind my Robin Hood obsession.


Half an hour of questions followed, and I suspect if it hadn’t been getting so late, the questions would have kept coming from the engaging and kind audience.

It was a truly lovely evening, and I’d like to thank Kelvin and the LARCS team for looking after me so well.

These bi-monthly evenings will continue to take place from 7-9pm on the second Wednesday of the month. After the success of the first event, I am very much looking forward to the subsequent talks in the village’s library/resource centre.

Jenny Kane

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The Bampton Charter Fair Experience

October 30, 2017

Last weekend the Exeter Authors Association were in action at the Bampton Charter Fair. This was the first time authors have been invited there for over 500 years so we have a lot of history to make up for. We shared a hall with the lovely people from the LARCS and it made for a chaotic, busy day.

The children's authors and entertainment section proved very popular with our special guest Ollie in a toga bringing ancient history to life. K.Y. Eden gave a fascinating insight into the writing of the Redcroft Journals trilogy and into the crazy life of a fantasy author.

Jenny Kane as always delighted her fans and sold out of most of her books. Fortunately, they are still available online. The Circle of Spears drama company gave a thrilling installment of their play WITCH... which completely stopped the tea chatter. John Hall gave a fascinating talk about researching and writing his terrorism based novels and a possible research trip to Oman. Richard Dee read one of his scary short stories and Richard the second or Richard Lappas to his fans regaled everyone with tales of Princess Diana and the Queen. 

P.J. Reed came in her performance poetry guise for this event, leaving her high fantasy and horror writing for more sinister times, and read her new poem regarding 'Colin the nearly new neighbour'.  Brian Willis, another performance poet from Tiverton entertained with his new selection of Gothic poetry.  Jeni Braund sold many copies of her Heartland poetry book in aid of the Anthony Nolan charity. All in all in was a fun-filled. action-packed day! 

If you missed seeing the Exeter authors they will be on display at the CreaTiv Hub, Fore Street, Tiverton, Devon from  Tuesday 28th November to Saturday 2 December with free goodies, cookies, a free draw and an amazing selection of books!

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Exeter Authors Association Climbing the Stairs To Happiness in Costa

September 18, 2017

Last Friday heralded our biggest meeting of the year. As each author arrived everybody shuffled up a seat and made room for one more until no more authors could fit around our two reserved tables. It was then that it was decided we had outgrown the guest tables at Costa. 

There is a mysterious door on the Costa wall marked – Staff Only. The presence of a door in a wall is always intriguing, especially to curious writers… We charged through that door and found ourselves in a very narrow corridor leading to an equally narrow staircase.

At the top, the staircase opened into a lovely mini-conference room for barista training which we thought might come in useful as a second career. Soon the room was filled with some of the most active authors in the south-west with books ranging from children’s story to terrorist based thrillers to sci fi adventures.

We were delighted to welcome 3 new Exeter Authors _ K.Y. Eden., Richard Lappas, and J.E. Hall who each received their official and extremely rare Exeter Authors Association badge. The author's lanyards have finally arrived too so Exeter Authors members have been well and truly labelled.

The autumn and winter months are going to be very busy. All our members actively engaged in literature-based activities.

Many of our members have been invited to the Bampton Charter Fair – this is the first time authors have been invited since the Middle Ages which is very exciting and hopefully we might even get invited back sooner next time. Please see the poster, for a complete guide to those authors attending Bampton Charter Fair. All the Exeter Author events are free so if you want to chat to an author, attend a book reading, a children’s workshop or get a book signed visit the LARCS at Bampton on Thursday 26th October.

In other exciting news, we have been given the keys to the CreaTiv Hub, Tiverton for 5 days from Tuesday 28 November to Saturday 2 December. This is an ideal chance to chat to an author and buy bespoke books which can be dedicated to the one you love for that special Christmas present. 


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In a field, in a tent, some authors gathered and it was hot!

August 28, 2017

Assorted members of the Exeter authors Association went adventuring this weekend as we crossed the border and entered the wilds of Somerset. We traveled through the rolling dark green fields of the Mendips, past fascinating historic buildings including the Kings of Wessex and quaint village greens. Finally, we reached our destination – a sports pitch on the edge of Chilcompton.

Sometimes, however, appearances can be deceptive. This pitch was bustling with excitement and dotted about its fields were large white marquess standing expectantly, ready to be filled by musicians, singers, poets, and authors. The first Chilcompton Fringe Festival was waking.

The Exeter Authors Association were honoured to have our own small marquee complete with stage and professional sound equipment so our voices were not lost between the three vibrant music marquess.  We also had a wonderful sound engineer who also gathered audiences for us and a compere who happily joined in with all the workshops, and their efforts were greatly appreciated.

 The day was so hot – unnaturally so for England, we put our book tables outside the marquee and then hid in the shade of the marquee for as long as we could.  In the course of the afternoon two pairs of sunglasses were broken, a lot of liquid consumed and faces began to glow red. It was British summertime at its best.

We had a fantastic line-up of Exeter Authors performing, reading and running free workshops.  Jenny Kane started the show with readings and anecdotes from her best-selling series of Abi books.  Her author's table was busy all afternoon with people coming to the Festival just to buy the latest Abi book, which was very touching.

P.J. Reed read her eclectic variety of poetry to a suddenly increasing audience. One of whom yelled “You’re mad!” in a hopefully positive manner, after hearing about the adventures of her new, neighbour Colin and his washing line. I think that’s what is known as audience participation!

Richard Dee, the steampunk and sci-fi author, did an interesting lecture from his series of Fantasy World Building lecture series which will be available as an online course later this year. After which, he braved the sun all afternoon, selling the deep space adventures of Dave Travise to happy earthlings.

Poet and children’s story author Trina J. Stacey put on her life coaching hat and gave an inspiring interactive session or how to write from the heart, without fear and with happiness. Something which every writer needs to bear in mind when fighting deadlines and unwanted edits from editors!

The actress, narrator and playwright Tracey Norman shone on stage giving a talk about WITCH her play which has been performed throughout England in 2017 and she gave a talk on how to research and write historically accurate plays.

The Exeter Authors have something to offer everyone. In the later afternoon, the darker aspects of humanity were delved into by horror writer Chris Tetreault-Blay who gave a fascinating talk about how to write a successful horror series. Mark Norman, narrator, researcher, and record keeper of the Black Dog sightings of England closed a very successful day with his true tales of mystery and sinister goings on. 

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A Celebration of Books Roars Into Life! By P.J. Reed

June 20, 2017

It was a hot and sticky Saturday. The sun bore down, rebounded off the pavements and buildings and onto the waiting people. The 120 freshly made cupcakes began to ooze and a delicious smell wafted through the library. The Exeter Authors stood behind their beautifully illustrated tables and talk bubble through the book celebration. Everything was ready with fifteen minutes to go. Suddenly, there was a noise at the library door. People had started queuing in the 34-degree heat.  A surprised silence hit the authors as they stood in the shelter of the library. These brave people were standing in a furnace because of their passion for books. Therefore, it was unanimously agreed to open the doors and let these brave people in early lest they get taken by the savage heat.

                The doors opened and a wide of people floated in. It was great to see so many people come together to celebrate their love of books. In fluid times, unexpected events happen. An unexpected but very interesting Professor arrived with his selection of text books regarding Anglo-Saxon history.  We managed to find him a little island of history between Chris Tetreault–Blay’s horror books and my haiku collections but then history is indeed a mixture of horror and art.

And so, the celebration began with a mixture of art and horror...

The event was a fully interactive afternoon of readings, performances, workshops, and cupcake demolition. We were extremely lucky to have Michael Jecks, the bestselling Medieval crime author and Samantics one of the leading performance poets in the south-west. The acts drew huge crowds.

Unfortunately, I missed the lot. My workshop ‘How To Catch a Publisher’ was the first workshop of the afternoon and it was enlarging. It expanded from the table into the environs encroaching into the friends of the library refreshment area almost within reach of the cupcake mountain.

After a chair reorganisation, my workshop began. It was rapid fire workshop of one and a half hours of work condensed into twenty minutes. It was an intense battle but we persevered. These were intelligent, articulate writers, and asked many questions which was a pleasure to explore.

My full workshop ‘How To Catch a Publisher’ will be coming to libraries across the south-west very soon…

Once my workshop had finished, I went to my little author section to prepare for my surrealesque poetry performance. Only to find the poetry book, ‘Flicker,’ that I was going to use, complete with paper page marks, had been sold. However, poetry waits for no man or woman.  I had exactly five minutes to locate another book and remark the pages. It was a frantic battle but I triumphed and bounded on stage with my poetry saved. The audience, like the workshoppers, were fantastic and very responsive.

After my turn, I could sit back and watch the other performers. It was a fantastic way to end an amazing afternoon. The only negative being – by the time I had finished greeting, talking and watching- someone had eaten all the cakes!

Check out P.J. Reed's website at- Deliciously Wicked Writing

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A Celebration of Books, What happened at CredFest 2017 by Richard Dee

June 19, 2017

Instead of a post about my writing or some other insight, I’m reporting on my attendance at CredFest last Saturday.

As a member of the Exeter Authors Association, I had a table, a workshop, and readings to do. Here are a few pictures from the event.


I also made some cupcakes for the visitors.

I’m a big fan of Carrot cake, so that was what I produced and they seemed to be popular.











There was a good turnout for the event and as this was the first one that I’ve attended I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But it was great.

I chatted to customers; my workshop went down well, with good feedback. I was actually told that my suggestions for world building made great sense, someone else admitted that hadn’t been sure what to expect but had been fascinated. There were some excellent readings by the other authors, great poetry and a short extract from Witch!

I think I’ve found some new books to add to my virtual pile!

My readings were also well received, I read a short extract from Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café and another from The Rocks of Aserol.

It’s true that I didn’t sell many books, but I did give away lots of short stories and samples, which may well sow seeds for future sales. And as a new(ish) author it’s about getting the brand out and being recognised. Events like this are great for doing just that. And one lucky person won a copy of Andorra Pett, who knows where that will lead?
The audience got the humour in Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café and laughed in most of the right places, which was a relief, after all, it’s my sense of humour and you never really know if others will find it funny.

The extract that I read is at the end of this post; it’s from a little later in the book than the sample chapter that you may have read HERE.

Now, I have to prepare for Tiverton Literary Festival on Friday. I’m one of the authors you can meet in the Library. We start at 10 am so if you’re local to Tiverton, please pop in and say hello.

Writing wise, I have just about finished Andorra Pett on Mars, the follow-up to Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, and I have an idea for book three in the series, Andorra Pett takes a break.
My Steampunk sequel A new life in Ventis is with beta readers. Dependant on their reaction, I’m working towards publication before Christmas. I also have a couple of other projects in the pipeline. There will be more news on them in the very near future.

Are you interested in how I build words? Would you like a transcript of my workshop with suggestions? Why not let me know, together with your ideas, in the reply box below the post. I’d love to hear from you!

So here’s the extract that I read, Andorra Pett is settling into her new life, running a café. She’s already discovered a secret, and now it seems like someone is after her…….

I’d set my alarm for 4 a.m. again, we had sold nearly all the things I had made yesterday and although Clarissa had provided some pies we still needed fresh bread and more cakes. Cy, for all his enthusiasm, wouldn’t be up till later so it was down to me.
The alarm went off, without bothering with the lights I reached out and turned my hair straighteners on; then I headed for the bathroom. When I came back I watched in horror as the bedroom door started to open, a line of dim light grew slowly as it was pushed from outside. Someone was creeping in. There wasn’t time to put my boiler suit on; at least I was wearing a vest and some shorts to cover my modesty.

To read more about Richard Dee and his writing, visit his website, Welcome to my Worlds

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Exploring the Devon Dialect

June 7, 2017

The Tiverton Poetry Group monthly meeting is always a surprising affair. The chameleon nature of the CreaTiv Hub, means you never know what you are actually walking into. On occasions our meeting has been held amid art exhibitions, photography and the hilarious children’s art centre time, when we ended up holding our meeting on a kiddie art table complete with beautifully vivid matching chairs.

The surrealist nature of the room reflects the surrealist nature of the group.  In what other context would a group with such disparate former lives as a postman, PhD student, life coach, author, teacher, air force corporal, and book shop owner all meet under the cover of darkness than to discuss poetry?

Last night we walked into a rainbow coloured treasure trove of vintage clothes. The atmosphere oozed with their memories of lives once lived and now discarded.

The past is indeed a foreign country and this month’s meeting delved into Devon’s poetical past with readings from John Keats, a one-time resident of Teignmouth, slightly risqué poem ‘Where Be Ye Going, You Devon Maid?’   and Rudyard Kipling, a Westward Ho! man, poem ‘The Gardener.’ We also ventured into the near past of Devon folk history with an attempted reading of Crediton born, Jan Stewer’s ‘Home! Home, Begad,’ which proved a highly challenging read.  Here is a section to attempt if you can…

Home! Home, begad. ‘Tis snawin’ an’ blawing’ an’ I be sneezin’ an’ barkin’ an’ me nawse gets nipped off if I aunly putts ‘en outside the door an’ the sky is as black as thinder an’ ev’rything in the shops is dear as zuvrins an’ they voretells ’tis gwain to be the wist winter o’ the lot.

But ’tis home an’ that’s all I cares about fer the present.

I’ve left the warm zin behine me fer a bit, zim-zo, an’ I mus’ zay I veels the cold most jewsive. If I aunly goes two enches away from the vire the ole gewse-vlesh creeps up all ovver me an’ me knees is knackin’ together an’ me teeth is chitterin’.

But ’tis home.

An’ there’s other kinds of warmness bezides the yet o’ the zin. There’s the zight o’ yer awn volks an’ the ole familiar noises which you never did’n use to take no notice of, but now they makes ‘e preck up yer yers like music.

It takes a brave man/ woman to slow your vowels and roll easy ‘z’s and try to speak like a Devonian.

After various levels of dialect success, the group moved on to their own Devon inspired poetry and AOB.

We were delighted to learn long standing member Audrey had won a Haiku Competition with an actual cash reward and people say poetry doesn’t pay!

Group poets P.J. Reed, Trina J. Stacey, and Brian Willis are performing at CredFest17 as part of the Exeter Authors Association ‘A Celebration of Books’ event on Saturday 17th June, Crediton Library from 2 – 5pm.  Everyone is welcome to this free event but spaces are limited.

For further information visit –

Finally, The Tiverton Poetry Group are planning their annual open poetry event at the Independent Coffee Trader, Tiverton with a tentative date of Tuesday 11 July.

More details to follow!

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Romancing the Golden Triangle

May 4, 2017

The Tiverton Poetry Group met in the lightening evening of a Tuesday night in May. Their dark figures scurrying past the gaze of the orange street lights and into the even darker recesses of the chair circles, hidden at the back of the Hub. It was as though a meeting of the Illuminati had been called, its members summoned. The night time walkers of Tiverton stood for moments and watched through the blazing windows trying to ascertain the nefarious nature of the after dark meetings at the Hub.

This month’s meeting was based on the idea of ‘Pipe Dreams,’ which led to a meeting focussed on dreams, opium, the order of the Golden Dawn, and its possible poet members. Unfortunately, no one in the Tiverton Poetry Group was also a member of Golden dawn or is that what they want us to believe?

The term 'Pipe Dreams', the subject of this month’s meeting, came directly from the fanciful dreams created when smoking opium pipes. Opiates were widely used by the English literati in the 18th and 19th centuries. Samuel Taylor Coleridge masterpiece ‘Kubla Khan’ was probably written whilst daydreaming on his opium pipe.  Lewis Carroll, although not known as an official opium user himself, made clear allusions to drug use in ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.’  As the centuries passed the term has developed to encompass any dream which is unlikely to be achieved.  However, to dream you do not need a pipe and several outstanding dream based poems were read including,

A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

“Who knows if the moon’s a balloon” by ee Cumings

And Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The rest of the evening was spent listening to new dream based poetry written by the members of the group and written without relying on even as much as an aspirin.

Steve Dawes read from his book Gravel and Gemstones.

P.J. Reed read from her latest collection Flicker, poetry based on the flickering images of characters, countryside, and casual thoughts of two years spent watching life in Devon including,

he dreams of monsters

stories float on empty pages

and his wife talks on

little ginger dog
smiles and snores his happy dreams
duvet occupied

nighttime once more and
lonely moon asks for a friend
my bed lies empty

The theme for next months after dark poetry meeting is poets with a relationship with Devon, which should yield some surprising poetry.

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The Exeter Authors Association Rock Costa

April 25, 2017

The EAA met in the darkened recesses of the new improved Tiverton, Costa. It was a great turnout with members traveling from across Devon including Brixham, Exeter, Tiverton, and the darkest regions of the Devon countryside. The seemingly innocent faces masked the sheer scope of writing depth that sat crouched over half drunk coffees. Their writing covers anything from erotic fantasies to psychopathic killers and everything in between.

The Books

The newest member of the group was Jeni Braund, a poet from Exeter who writes poetry based on her life experiences. 

Richard Dee has just published his latest sci-fi novel 'Myra.' 

Myra is is the story of Dave Travise,  An ex-Navy man on the run; somehow he’s ended up in a dead man’s shoes; on a new ship and on the wrong side of the law. With no way to prove his innocence, he’s just got to play along and keep his head down if he’s going to survive. As if he doesn’t have enough problems, now he’s fallen for Myra, the engineer on his new home.

Read More 

Jenny Kane has also been busy with her latest novel, 'Abi's Neighbour.' 

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door. Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business. Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

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P.J. Reed has also published her latest book entitled 'Flicker'.

Flicker is a combination of haiku and senryu, combined and updated for the modern audience. In this collection, P.J. Reed has brought together a series of poetic postcards entwining the ever-changing nature of the Devon countryside with the lives of the people she has met in her travels throughout the county, creating a fascinating representation of humanity and nature.

Read More 

The Writing Projects

Michelle Werrett is writing her first book, a natural history book based on the life of an ancient hedgerow.

Maura Beckett is writing her first novel - a cozy detective story set in the heart of Devon, concerning an arrow, a murder, and a former head teacher turned detective.

Trina J. Stacey is utilizing her life coach skills working on a self-help book based on an unusual experience had while running through the streets of Devon.

P.J. Reed is delving the depths of the psychotic mind with her horror novel based around Thorny Ridge - the mysterious murder capital of smalltown USA. 

Future Events!

If anyone is brave enough to meet an author... the Exeter Authors Association will be performing, reading, and discussing their work at CredFest17. 



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Storytime at the British Legion

April 22, 2017

April 6th proved to be a lively evening for the Twyford Writers.

Writing had been inspired by the general prompt, ‘Weddings’. We were treated to a variety of stories connected to the theme in different ways.

Initially, we heard a comical story about a young boy in 1952. He had the honour of being chosen to be a Page Boy. Unfortunately for him, the wedding dress theme was Scottish clothes. As a five-year-old, the boy was worried about what he would wear under his kilt - luckily, his mother laid out his clothes with a nice, clean pair of underpants!

We then heard about Wayne, a professional footballer about to marry his sweetheart, Kylie. Her relations were making Wayne slightly nervous and reluctant about the day. He was hungover and had overslept after Kylie’s brothers had insisted on an impromptu stag night, from which he had woken handcuffed to his future brother-in-law. All ended up well as they all had one thing in common – they adored Kylie.

The next offering was inspired loosely by. ‘Soaking up the atmosphere’. It was a ghost story about a lady entering a church, sitting down and falling asleep. As she awoke, she heard whispers, music, and people being asked, “Bride or Groom?”. She wasn’t sure if she should be there but no-one noticed her. She saw a wedding but later wondered if it had really happened at all. When she left the Church, she asked about the couple. However, it hadn’t been a wedding that day but the funeral of an old lady.

The final three pieces deviated from the prompt. We heard the first part of a self-help book. It will be looking into how we feel and respond to different stimuli. Considering the chameleon nature of people and the different sides we show to both others and ourselves.


We listened to the next extract of a serial killer book about a fictional town in America called Thorny Ridge. It was the last stop on a murder tour and home of ‘The Butcher’. Tourists flocked to gawp at the town and visit places of real life horror. All the time, unaware they were being watched by the man himself. He didn’t mind his nickname but he would have preferred, “Connoisseur of Death”.


Finally, we heard the next installment of a mystery set in a fictional town in North Devon. Murder is about to take place but the inhabitants do not yet realize. They are going about their day-to-day lives, however; their peace is about to be shattered.


Twyford Writers meet on the first Thursday of the month at the British Legion in Tiverton. We are friendly group of varied individuals and all writers are welcome.

Many members of the group will be attending 'A Celebration of Books,' reading and leading workshops as part of Credfest17 on Saturday, June 17th at Crediton Library, Devon. This is a free event, open to everyone!

Free cupcakes will be provided!

See Link for details - 'A Celebration of Books'

By Maura Beckett

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Trouble in Rhyme

April 20, 2017

The Tiverton Poetry Group had an exciting meeting discussing the meaning of poetry and the highly controversial topic of does poetry have to rhyme to be true poetry? This is always a highly emotive subject. When the topic was suggested at the end of the last meeting, a hard-line rhyming poet stood up, announced that poetry has to rhyme and left… exit stage right.  

And so, the two poetry battle lines were drawn.

One of the arguments for the superiority of rhyming poetry states that it is the true form because it is the oldest form. Unfortunately, this case disintegrated under the attack of Beowulf, the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon long poem, consisting of 3182 alliterative lines written between 975 and 1025 which has no end rhyme.  

Looking further back into the annals of ancient Greek history and reading such great works as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey or Virgil’s Aeneid, it was soon apparent that the works contained no end rhyme but a regular meter in the form of a dactylic hexameter.  However, the ancient Greeks and Romans did know of end rhyme, for example, there were rhymes in The Wasps by Aristophanes, they just choose not to use them.

Historically, rhyming poetry was a  more populist poetry form. It was used in nursery rhymes and ballads as a form of memory aid, helping a largely literate population to recall and pass on important events, history, and lessons.

Poems containing end rhymes only gained popularity with the rise of modern poetry in the twentieth century.

Consequently, the supporters of the ‘traditional’ rhyming poetry needed to change sides quickly in the traditional poetry debate to become modern rhyming revolutionaries.

Meeting the Two Factions.

After the historical origins of the poetry types had been fully explored both types of poetry came under heavy flank -

Non- rhyming blank poetry was labelled as mere prose, not requiring much skill and of ‘killing poetry’

While rhyming poetry was ‘poetry slammed’ for being simplistic, childish with clunking rhymes that destroy the meaning behind the words.

So what was the conclusion of this epic poetry battle?

In the end, both parties agreed that there were great poems on both sides of the poetry battle lines, and also inferior ones too and what really mattered was the skill and power of the poem and not its rhyme scheme after all.

The next poetry meeting is on dreams and pipe dreams which no doubt will be a much more chilled-out meeting…

Book Releases from our members.

The poet, author, and haiku activist P.J. Reed has published exciting a new collection of senryu and haiku based on her experiences of the Devon countryside and her meetings with some unique characters along the way. This collection is beautifully illustrated with colour paintings.

An idea gift for poetry lovers everywhere!

For more details see-

Festival News

Two members of The Tiverton Poetry Group – P.J. Reed and Trina J. Stacey will be performing their work at CredFest17 as part of ‘A Celebration of Books’ by the Exeter Authors Association.

Exeter Authors Association is holding a book celebration as part of CredFest17 on 17th June from 2-5pm at Crediton Library. This will be a highly interactive, free event to celebrate writing in Devon. There is room for only 80 visitors in the venue, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. 

The Performances- Local authors and poets give ten-minute readings from their books/ poems.

The Workshops-  A series of workshops will be running alongside the readings. These are available for anyone to join.

Tables-  There will be 'meet and greet' the authors with tables running alongside the performances and workshops. Guests will have the opportunity to meet an author and buy books!

 For more information about ‘A Celebration of Books’ see

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The North Devon Author's Present 'Writers in a Cabin'

April 18, 2017

Our latest meeting at Latte and Lunch cafe on Bideford quay was spent in discussing our forthcoming ‘Writers in a Cabin’ residence. Nestled at the bottom of the hill in the little fishing hamlet of Bucks Mills, lies The Cabin. This two-roomed hut began life as a fisherman’s store before being acquired by Judith Ackland’s family. Together with her friend Mary Stella Edwards, Judith used the building as an artists’ retreat for half a century. The solitude and spectacular views across the rugged North Devon coastline make it ideal for those seeking inspiration. Now in the care of the National Trust, the Cabin is almost exactly as the artists left it in 1971.

From 29 April – 1 May, it will once again be a setting that encourages creative talents to flourish. Between 10.00 and 4.00, the seven members of the North Devon authors’ group will take it in turns to use the cabin and its wonderful surroundings as their muse. The work of all these writers is rooted the past, in the local landscape, or both. They look forward to discussing their work, both past and forthcoming and signing copies of their books. This will be a unique opportunity, not only to view inside The Cabin, which is rarely open to the public but also to talk to enthusiastic and friendly authors about their writing.

The Writers in the Cabin will be:

Ruth Downie writes crime novels set in Roman times. Ruth’s book Medicus has recently attracted a ‘Discovered Diamond’ award for historical fiction.

Janet Few is an author of local, social and family history books, including a history of Bucks Mills Who Lived in Cottages like These?: the inhabitants of Bucks Mills. She is now working on an historical novel set in North Devon.

Susan Hughes writes books set in the first half of the twentieth century. Her debut novel A Kiss from France was long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2017. She is now writing her second book.  

Wendy Percival is the author of mystery novels featuring genealogy sleuth Esme Quentin, which include The Indelible Stain, set on the North Devon coast, near Hartland.

P J Reed is a poet and author who writes of the beauty and ethereal nature of the changing countryside. Her latest anthology Flicker was published last month.  

Liz Shakespeare’s books are inspired by the people, history and landscapes of Devon. Her latest novel The Postman Poet, which was launched last month, is based on the true story of Edward Capern who composed poems and songs whilst delivering letters in Victorian North Devon.  

Pamela Vass writes North Devon based fiction and social history. Her novel Seeds of Doubt debates whether the Lynmouth floods of 1952 were an Act of God or the Act of Man.


by Janet Few


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The Devon Writers - Or Just How Many Writers Can Fit on a Table For Two?

March 7, 2017

The Devon Writers met in the new and improved Costa. There is a lot more space in our local Costa and a wonderful dark purple decor casting a shadow over the recesses of the back of the cafe. An ideal covert meeting place for the writers of murder mystery, erotica, horror, thriller and angst-ridden poets.

Soon plots were a foot and summer storylines set. 

Many Devon authors and poets are coming out this summer and attending the big festivals of the region, TivLit, and CredFest17. They will be giving talks, running workshops and doing readings, something which is highly recommended as it is always interesting to know, how wicked ideas are created, written and published. 

In attendance were Richard Dee, who brought his hat but no soda bread, Denise Cross, Angela Woolridge, Jenny Kane, Lucy Hay, Brian Willis, Trina J. Stacey, Michelle Werrett, and myself.

The year is a very busy publishing time for the Devon Writers with 3 attending authors publishing amazing newly inked works ranging from ultra modern sci-fi to the ancient Japanese art of senryu poetry. 

The Books

Sci-fi and Steampunk author, Richard Dee, has just published 'Myra', which tells the story of how Finn Douglas, Naval Officer; became Dave Travise, Galactic Trader. And what happened before Freefall.

  "I turned, and even though I didn't immediately realise it, it was then that I fell in love."

Meet Dave Travise, at least that's who his identity chip says he is. An ex-Navy man on the run; somehow he's ended up in a dead man's shoes; on a new ship and on the wrong side of the law. With no way to prove his innocence, he's just got to play along and keep his head down if he's going to survive. As if he doesn't have enough problems, now he's fallen for Myra, the engineer on his new home.
Pursued by criminal gangs and keeping one jump ahead of everyone, Dave and his new shipmates are going to need all the luck in the Galaxy just to stay alive.

Jenny Kane's latest novel  'Abi's Neighbour'  the long awaited sequel to 'Abi's House' will be published on 4th May 2017. 

In 'Abi's Neighbour', Abi Carter has finally found happiness in beautiful Cornwall, with her old tin miner’s cottage proving the perfect home. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door… Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. She’s obnoxious, stuck-up, and hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, she seems to have designs on Abi’s boyfriend Max…
But Cassandra has her own problems. Her wealthy lawyer lover has promised to leave his wife and join her in their Cornish love nest – but something always comes up. Now, not only is Cassandra stuck on her own, miles away from her city lifestyle, but someone seems intent on sabotaging her successful business. Will she mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are the two just destined not to get along?

P.J. Reed's senryu poetry collection, 'Flicker' is due out in April 2017.

'Flicker' is a collection of senryu poems providing flickers or moments in the curious lives of the people she has met on her travels throughout Devon.

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Concerning The Plotting of the Exeter Authors

February 17, 2017


The Exeter Authors met up on the darkest recesses of Costa today for their bimonthly meeting. It was indeed a plot of writers with plans laid and pens sharpened. The imaginations behind these innocent faces have written work ranging from horror to hedgerows and everything that lingers between...

The year is a very busy publishing time for the Exeter Authors with 3 attending authors publishing newly inked works.

The Books

Laura Wake's debut novel 'A Monster by Violet' will be published in March 2017.  

A Monster by Violet features Violet Kale. Violet has fallen out of love with life—she hasn’t even got the desire to dream. A dissolute figure, she drifts along with her friend Lisa (mother of a baby daughter Maria), reluctant to take responsibility for anything except her own pleasure. Then on a whim, she steals Maria away after a 3-day drug and alcohol binge, heading on a journey to a new land, and seeing in the child a chance of a new future, and a hope for salvation.

Jenny Kane's latest novel  'Abi's Neighbour'  the long awaited sequel to 'Abi's House' will be published on 4th May 2017. 

In 'Abi's Neighbour', Abi Carter has finally found happiness in beautiful Cornwall, with her old tin miner’s cottage proving the perfect home. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door… Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. She’s obnoxious, stuck-up, and hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, she seems to have designs on Abi’s boyfriend Max…
But Cassandra has her own problems. Her wealthy lawyer lover has promised to leave his wife and join her in their Cornish love nest – but something always comes up. Now, not only is Cassandra stuck on her own, miles away from her city lifestyle, but someone seems intent on sabotaging her successful business. Will she mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are the two just destined not to get along?

P.J. Reed's senryu poetry collection, 'Flicker' is due out in March 2017.

'Flicker' is a collection of senryu poems providing flickers or moments in the curious lives of the people she has met on her travels throughout Devon.

The Exeter Authors will also be making a new 'Introducing Me' video, whereby readers will get the chance to see the author hidden behind the words.

The Costa Foundation

Exeter Authors Association supports the work of the Costa Foundation. Trina J. Stacey and PJ. Reed both donated signed copies of their books to the upcoming Costa auction.

The Festivals

The Exeter Authors have been invited to perform at several festivals this year including the Tiverton Literary Festival and CredFest 2017.

Literary Festivals are always exciting events to attend and this year the Exeter Authors will bringing their own variations on the theme of 'Readings with Cupcakes'.



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The Second East Town Writers Meeting

February 10, 2017

An interesting evening at East Town Writers February meeting, with P.J. Reed, Tracey Norman, Richard Dee and others.

We have had a catch up on writing achievement since the last meeting and now one of our group, with marketing experience in various areas, has set people an exercise in identifying their target reader to help with ways of promoting books.

East Town Writers meet in East Town Cafe in Crediton from 7-9 on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Do come and join us for a very informal group.


                                                                                                  by Mark Norman



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A Celebration of Irish Poets

February 9, 2017
As usual, it was a very welcoming and warm (referring to the people rather than the venue!) gathering of Tiverton Poets for the February meeting. This group has the magnetism to attract a lovely collection of individuals each month who are willing to share their own works and those of their favourite poets, and have a mutual thirst for learning more.
We delighted in sharing our chosen poems by Great Irish poets of which there are many! The diverse tastes of those present meant that we experienced masterpieces ranging from Yeats to Spike Milligan and many more between including Seamus Reaney, Oscar Wilde and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (a very Gaelic name I am relieved not to have to try to pronounce). 
A process that proved quite reflective for the group, the topic of new beginnings for our own poems prompted thoughts and accompanying verse about letting go of the past and how we feel about starting afresh. Perhaps the most powerful symbol of re-birth the mystical Phoenix made an appearance as did contemplating whether a new beginning can occur from a terminal building...indeed why not?
After dismissing some more 'alternative' ideas for the next meeting (to the quiet disappointment of some!) we settled on the following:
Tuesday 7th March at 8 pm at CreaTiv Hub
Write 2 poems, 1 rhyming and 1 not rhyming on a choice of 3 themes - Time/Animal/Street 
And share a poem(s) on the chosen theme from a well-known poet.
Hope to see you there!
by Trina J. Stacey

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Writing from Twyford Writers

February 7, 2017

Going to a  writers meeting is like dipping your hand in a tin of Quality Street. You never know what's coming but there is always the unfailing hope that you might hit strawberry centred gooey heaven. This week there were some rather curious flavours in our tin of Quality Street.

Twyford Writers has evolved from being just a short story writing group to an expansive, all-inclusive writing group and some Bourneville dark chocolates have come in adding a sprinkling of Black Magic to the tin. 

This gives some extremely random but much more exciting writing experiences with a selection of humorous Pam Ayers type poetry about the effects of poor eyesight closing followed by the macabre incidence of a woman collecting male genitalia in her cheating husband's bottle collection. Hopefully, you don't find those in your tin of Quality Street.

It makes you wonder about a Nut Cluster though...

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The East Town Writers of Crediton

January 17, 2017

East Town Cafe welcomed writers from Brixham, Winkleigh and Exeter to the inaugural meeting of the East Town Writers.

Lots of positive feedback was received from this event, with the general view that the meeting was inspirational and many great ideas were shared. The meeting is free but we ask you to buy a drink to cover costs of opening the cafe late at night.

The next meeting of the East Town Writers will be on the second Wednesday of Feb (8th) from 7-9pm.

We will be discussing promotion using social media, sharing any recent writing and what we have done since the last meeting. Plus anything else people would like to discuss.

New members are welcome!

For more information email -

by Lucy Betts and Mark Norman

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