Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Why shouldn’t blackness mean beauty?

Words And Women member Claire Hynes is in The Guardian exploring why her five year old daughter has started worrying that her skin is too dark. Click here to read the article.

Claire  is a freelance writer who has a PhD in creative and critical writing from the University of East Anglia. She is the literary events director for Norfolk Black History Month and is working on her first novel.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Our anthology writers – the final 4

Kim Sherwood tours with literary salons Elbow Room and The Book Club Boutique, and has published short stories and poetry. She completed the BA in Literature with Creative Writing at UEA in 2011, receiving the Jarrold Prize for most outstanding performance. She continued on to the Prose Fiction MA, and is now a fellowship student on the Creative and Critical Writing PhD. Kim writes in Norwich, London, Devon, and the quiet coach. She is writing her first novel.  Her short story Quick Brown Fox will feature in Words And Women’s inaugural anthology.

Nedra Westwater, a Midwestern American by birth, travelled to Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar in 1960, where she met and married the Scottish designer Norman Westwater.  In 1966 she, her husband and small son moved from Rio to Lavenham, Suffolk.  She has since lived in London, Portugal and Santa Fe, where she was a founder-member of PEN New Mexico.  Nedra's writing, often illustrated with her own photographs, has been published in journals in England, Portugal, the United States and other countries.  She has lived in Norwich since 2003 and received an Escalator Literature 2006 Special Commendation for a chapter of her memoir about Salvador, Bahia – an ongoing work.  Her memoir The Stairway will be published in the anthology.

 Rowan Whiteside was born in Durban, South Africa but has spent most of her life in the fine city of Norwich. She works as Marketing Assistant for Writers’ Centre Norwich and as a bookseller for Waterstones, where she was formerly the manager of the fiction department. Rowan studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, where she snuck onto as many creative writing classes as possible and read a lot of books from the Classics section. Her writing has been published online on various sites and ‘zines. 

She can be found on Twitter @DilysTolfree. Her story Persephone will feature in the anthology.

Lois Williams grew up along the Wash coast and travelled widely, teaching English in university and community writing programmes in the US. Her poems and essays have appeared in many venues, including Verse Daily, New England Review, Antiphon, and Granta. She is busy completing a book of stories, The Invention of Home, from which “The House of Provisions” was awarded a notable essay listing in Best American Essays 2009. She lives in Norfolk, working as a freelance writer and visual artist, and volunteering with ecology and habitat restoration projects. Her memoir For The Records will be published in the anthology.

Many congratulations to all the writers selected for our anthology. The anthology will be launched on 8th March International Women’s Day. Details of the launch will be posted on this blog in February.

Meanwhile if you're based in Norwich and interested in teen fiction then don’t forget the Books Talk Back event this Sunday 19th January at The Playhouse, Norwich, 2- 5pm. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Our anthology writers – part 4

Judith Omasete is originally from Kenya, where she worked with International Non Governmental Organizations, dealing with agricultural development, healthcare, education, child welfare, micro enterprises, tourism, conservation and land tenure. Now Judith lives in Norfolk with her family and has worked as a high school teaching assistant for 4 years. She has run workshops in schools for Norfolk Education Action for Development (NEAD) and is currently pursuing further education. Her piece of creative non-fiction called My Dog Is Boss will feature in Words And Women’s inaugural anthology.

Bridget Read is studying for the MA in Biography and Creative Non-fiction at UEA. Before coming to Norwich in September 2013, she worked for New York and Guernica magazines, and was living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 2012 and grew up in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Her memoir Appetition will be published in the anthology.

Elizabeth Reed
is currently working on her first novel, an historical thriller set in 6th Century BC Delphi. Her previous writing has included educational and marketing materials, news articles, pop songs and - since attending two creative writing courses in the past year - short fiction. What seems like a long, long time ago she received a first class BA degree in English and Drama from Loughborough University and then studied for an MA in English and American Literature and Film in New York. After 20 years of living in London she returned to Norwich where she was born and raised and now divides her time between there and Gran Canaria where she occasionally works as a singer. Her slice of creative non-fiction This Picture Will Be Hidden will be included in the anthology.

 Bethany Settle has an MA in Creative Writing: Prose from the University of East Anglia. She remained in Norwich, where she works at a library. Reading, writing and nature are her top three best things. She is writer-in-residence at the Rumsey Wells pub in Norwich, and is currently writing a novel that explores grief and loss. Her story Pendulum will be published in the anthology.

We will feature our final 4 fabulous writers tomorrow!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Our anthology writers – part 3

 C.G. Menon grew up in Australia and has lived in the UK for five years. She’s currently  based in Cambridge. She studied mathematics at the Australian National University and has attended creative writing courses at City University in London. Catherine has previously been published in Everyday Fiction, and has work upcoming in a Stupefying Stories anthology. Catherine’s story A Time For Rain will feature in Words And Women’s inaugural anthology.

Lily Meyer
grew up in Washington, DC. She recently graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a Master's student in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Lily’s story Wellfleet will be published in the anthology.

Patricia Mullin graduated from Central/St Martins and became a textile designer for Liberty & Co London. Later, as an illustrator, her work featured in women’s magazines, publishing and industry publications. In 2007 Patricia graduated from the MA Writing the Visual at Norwich University for the Arts. In 2009 Patricia was shortlisted for an Arts Council Escalator Award. Anthology publications include short stories Archie and the Dragon, The Camera Lies and Terrafrimerites. Her 2005 novel Gene Genie was republished as an e–book in 2012. Patricia has led site-specific writing courses at the Julian Shrine, Norwich Cathedral and most recently at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts. She is an associate lecturer at the University of East Anglia. Currently she is revising two novels that have been languishing in a drawer, also putting the finishing touches to her recent novel Casting Shadows. Patricia’s story The Sitting will be published in the anthology.

Karen O’Connor has been writing fiction on and off for fifteen years and has previously had four short stories published or shortlisted in competitions. These include: A Week Off If You Sell the Lot, Take a Break’s Fiction Feast, Shooting Stars, ‘Writers News’ (2nd prize winner in their writing competition), My Final Blog, ‘Words With Jam’ (awarded second place in their short story competition) and Dead Perfect,Writers News’ (shortlisted in their 1,000 word writing competition). She is currently writing book five of a series of young adult novels and her resolution this year is to finally complete and e-publish the series by the end of 2014. Her  story Happy Families will feature in the anthology.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Our anthology writers - part 2

Layn Feldman lives in Suffolk, having emigrated from Golders Green over eleven years ago. Now retired, she appears to spend her time seeking out cafes that serve the best cappuccinos, thinking about gardening, complaining about stuff, complying with the mum contract by worrying about her three grown up kids, caring for her two cats Tigger and Roo (the daughter chose the names), taking her dog Dylan (after Bob) for walks, knitting, shouting at the radio and the telly, chatting to friends, sleeping and writing short stories. Layn’s story Taken For Granted will feature in Words And Women’s inaugural anthology.

Wendy Gill lives in Hertfordshire with her partner, children and two dachshunds. Several years ago, she gave up a successful career in business and commerce to pursue her love of writing. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Middlesex University. Her first short story Moving Mike was published in the anthology Stations in 2012 by Arachne Press. She has also written a libretto for a contemporary London-based musical and is currently working on a collection of short stories for women, entitled The Female Condition. Wendy’s story The Deal will be published in the anthology.

Caroline Jackson is a freelance writer who lives in Cambridge with her husband and two teenage children.   She studied English at university before a brief, and not long lamented, career as a lawyer.  Currently writing a novel set in Ireland, she is easily distracted by blogging as an Oxonian in Cambridge, reviewing books for various magazines and the urge to write short stories. One of her stories The Call will feature in the anthology.

Alice Kent
was born in Oxford. She studied Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, followed by an MA in European Journalism at Cardiff. She is currently working on a collection of essays inspired by ten years of working in marketing - Kind Regards - is a personal ode to the literary heroes of office life including Pessoa, Gogol and Kafka. She is also working on an essay about collective memory, comparing Ishiguro and Sebald, and a novel based around mass hysteria. She works at Norwich University of the Arts and lives in Norwich. Her story Len’s Whole Life  will be published in the anthology.

Four more writers tomorrow!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Our anthology writers - part 1

As promised we will be posting short biographies of the writers whose work has been selected to appear alongside Dani Redd’s story - My Sister’s Haircut - in Words And Women’s inaugural anthology. Dani Redd won first prize in our prose competition and if you want to find out more about Dani please see our competition page.

Four biographies will be posted each evening this week. Congratulations to all of the following writers for their success.

Deborah Arnander
was born in Northumberland and spent her childhood in Thailand.  She has worked as an academic, translator and speech-writer.  She won an Escalator New Writing Award in 2009 from the Writers’ Centre Norwich, and is currently working on her first novel, about a GI baby, set in wartime Norfolk and 90s California. Her short story Lion Bastard will feature in the anthology.

Sarah Baxter was born in Colchester and is the oldest of three daughters. She gained a First in Chemistry at Warwick University and a research career beckoned, before becoming impossible, when she realised she was allergic to solvents. After a spell in the Perthshire Highlands, Sarah returned to her birthplace where she discovered writing through adult education classes.  In 2013, Sarah came third in the flash fiction category of The Bridport Prize. Sarah is currently working on her first novel. Her memoir The Girl I Left Behind will be included in the anthology.

Susan Dean has been filling notebooks with her observations on life since the age of eight. She currently combines working full-time running a small music publishing company with doing a part-time MA in creative writing at the Anglia Ruskin University. She lives in a Breckland town on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. Her story Dreams will feature in the anthology.

Anni Domingo is an actress living out in the Fens. She has worked extensively in the UK and abroad in theatre, radio, TV and films. She teaches English, Drama and Creative Writing and works regularly as director. Anni runs her own company ‘Shakespeare Link,’ taking Shakespeare workshops to schools and colleges. She has written several workbooks on Shakespeare, now used in many schools. Her poem ‘Empty Cradle’ is published in the anthology Secret and Silent Tears. Anni is currently writing a novel called ‘Breaking The Maafa Chain’. Her memoir Empire Girl will be published in the anthology.

More writers tomorrow!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Dani Redd wins our prose competition!

Congratulations to Dani Redd who has won Words And Women’s first writing competition with her wonderful short story My Sister’s Haircut.

Dani grew up in the South West of England, studied English Literature at Queen Mary's University,  and is currently a student on the MA Creative Writing Course at Norwich’s UEA. Dani has been shortlisted and placed in several short fiction competitions and most recently was longlisted for The Lightship Short Story Prize. She is currently working on her first novel, which is set on a fictional island within the arctic circle.

Dani wins £600, membership to Words And Women and her winning story will appear in our inaugural anthology published by Unthank Books, which will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March, this year.

Our competition was open to women living in the East of England over the age of 16. We asked for prose – fiction or non-fiction – under 3,000 words long, and are pleased to say we received scripts from writers based all over the region, for example in Aldeburgh, Beccles, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Norwich, Sheringham,  and Westcliffe-on-Sea. The 176 scripts covered a variety of subjects: dogs, art, death, rain, growing-up, dancing, birthdays, sex, writing, God, herrings, laundry, war. They were set not just in this region but all over the world – USA, Italy, France, India, Africa, Australia – and we received as many non-fiction scripts as fiction.

The organisers of Words And Women, Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood, were the judges and spent most evenings in December reading the entries. All entries were judged anonymously and the unveiling of the names of the winning writers at the end of the process was very exciting!

Dani is our worthy overall winner. There are also 20 other writers whose scripts will be published in our anthology. Their names are listed below, along with 6 writers whose work is also commended.

Over the next few days Words And Women will be posting photos and short biographies of all of our successful writers. Also Words And Women will be busily preparing the anthology for publication. More news about this will be posted on our blog in due course.

Finally, Words And Women would like to say thank you to everybody who entered the competition. The quality of work was outstanding.  

The winning entries:

Dani Redd for her story My Sister’s Haircut. Dani currently lives in Norwich, Norfolk.

Deborah Arnander – Lion Bastard - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Layn Feldman – Taken For Granted – (Beccles, Suffolk)
Caroline Jackson – The Call - (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)
Kim Sherwood -  Quick Brown Fox - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Rowan Whiteside - Persephone - (Norwich, Norfolk)

Sarah Baxter – The Girl I Left Behind – (Colchester, Essex)
Susan Dean – Dreams – (Brandon, Suffolk)
Anni Domingo – Empire Girl – (Chatteris, Cambridgeshire)
Wendy Gill – The Deal – (Potters Bar, Hertfordshire)
Alice Kent – Len’s Whole Life - (Norwich, Norfolk)
C.G. Menon – A Time For Rain – (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)
Lily Meyer – Wellfleet - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Patricia Mullin – The Sitting - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Karen O’Connor – Happy Families – (Chelmsford, Essex)
Judith Omasete – My Dog Is Boss - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Bridget Read – Appetition - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Elizabeth Reed – This Picture Will Be Hidden - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Beth Settle – Violence, tranquility - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Nedra Westwater – The Stairway - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Lois Williams – For The Records – (Dersingham, Norfolk)

Amrita Brown - The Wake - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Karen Evans - Chasing Sophie Hannah – (Sheringham, Norfolk)
Melissa Fu - On Sante Fe Baldy - (Haslingfield,Cambridgeshire)
Maggie Ling - Running Away – (Aldeburgh, Suffolk)
Madeline Parsons - Trying To Hold The River – (Westcliffe-on-Sea, Essex)
Pia Ghosh Roy - Mrs Sen – (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)