Writing Groups in Devon


Blog posts : "authors"

Report from Chilcompton Fringe Festival 2018

It has been a scorching hot summer in Devon – with everything turning hayish shades of yellow. Then two weeks ago the weather changed, and withering plants revitalised into a dark green jungle. While the wet weather was a blessing for plants, animals, and over-heated humans. Outside events did not fair so well in the summer deluge.

Last year Chilcompton Fringe Festival ’17 was so deliciously hot, the authors had to leave their tables and hide inside the marquee for shade. This year it was like being in a different country. Torrential rain and plunging temperatures caused everyone to flock inside the marquees for a very different reason.

Fortunately, the rain did not stop people from having a great time. The festival reverberated with the sounds of guitars, drums, and singing all set against the atmospheric background of the beating raindrops. The fantasy authors were performing in Little Hay and it was a magical interlude in a dark day with audiences being taking on fantastic voyages to new worlds, bubble universes, and times long forgotten. This is the power of fantasy fiction. It can believe in the story, you can journey into fantastical new worlds and meet dragons, fight the Mivrian Outriders or fall in love with sword wielding heroes.

The Fantasy Department of the Exeter Authors Association performed in a dazzling variety of welly boots.  Richard Dee spoke about the mechanics and science which underpins his steam punk world. Mark Norman explored the phenomenon of sightings of the mysterious Black Dog.

Jennifer Ash aka Jenny Kane took her audience back to a crime committed in Medieval times and Tracey Norman spoke of a land of dragons and elves. Susie Williamson took everyone to Africa as she retold her tale of magical people struggling a tyrannical king set on destroying the environment in pursuit of his crystals.

While I decided to take everyone on a traveller’s guide to Torcia, looking at the common phrases, spellcraft you might encounter and need to watch out in case you end up croaking like a frog for the rest of your stay in Torcia. A definite case of traveller beware!

by P.J. Reed author of The Torcian Chronicles

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The Bampton Charter Fair Experience

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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The Twyford Writers - writing in styles

Twyford Writers braved the chilly autumn darkness this week to meet in The Royal British Legion Hall  and discuss writing they don't normally do.

It's always a challenge writing in a genre you don't like but it's always good to put a toe outside your comfort zone and test the waters of unexplored writing styles. The results were strange and wonderful. There was a highly entertaining soap parody complete with a heart attack, resuscitation, staff cuts, hospital romances, broken relationships, and embittered staff.

We had a food poetry extravaganza featuring chocolate in a variety of poetry styles including tanka, limerick, and senryu but requests for a quick sausage roll dinner were rebuffed.

There was also the strange experience of a horror writer writing a very creepy romance about the wrong type of love which brought a huge reaction from the group.

Finally, there was a descriptive narrative about Knightshayes in the form of a guidebook. 

The group then spent a very happy final  hour in the bar discussing future writing plans, stories and plotting future story twists. 

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