Festivals, Fun and Success

2016 – gradually running out of W.I.s and local Social groups. Well over 50 talks and readings given, only 2 this year. Leominster Festival Bookfair was the highlight of the year, with authors mingling with readers, giving talks and I ran a workshop again. The writing competitions for children received over 70 entries. I was one of the judges and it was wonderful reading all their stories and poems – very difficult to find winners, they were all so good. All great fun – already planning next year’s Festival, competition and Bookfair.

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2015 – busy and fun – talks, workshops and writers’ groups. Enjoyed every writing minute, the year went so quickly. Now to prepare for 2016!

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Leominster Festival Bookfair – what a wonderful day in Grange Court with writers, readers and a great crowd. I ran a workshop with an enthusiastic group, we explored short story writing, plot, characters and settings with hints on producing successful stories. The group participated in exercises and feedback and great fun was had by all. Loved it

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2015 has proved a popular year for speaking, lovely engagements with social and W.I. groups, enjoyed them all, a few more to come

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New Year, and an exciting list of talks and workshops just waiting! January 8th and it was great fun at Marden W.I. with audience participation – and future writers discovered? Thanks for a lovely evening

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September 10th, I met some lovely ladies at Huntington W.I.

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September 9th, a lively and fun evening with Dinedor W.I.

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August 18th, I gave a talk and reading to Brimfield W.I. Great fun and a receptive audience. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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May 31st – first day of Leominster Festival. Brilliant start with a Writers’ Slam – writers reading their work, a wonderful mix of humour, fiction, non-fiction and poetry. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon – not to mention the cake!

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March 12th – happy and enjoyable evening with Kingsland W.I. Great fun

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Feb 10th. Despite the river swirling about the roads, Eardisland W.I. arrived at the village hall for my talk. Very enjoyable evening before squelching home

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Jan 20th 2014 – first of the year! An interesting evening giving a talk and reading to HARA in Hereford

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December 11th, a wonderful Christmas Dinner at the Swan, Hay on Wye with the Hay Writers’ Group. I announced the winners of their short story competition. 1500 words on the theme ‘Lost and Found’. No two stories were alike, which made for interesting and difficult judging. An enjoyable afternoon.

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Another pleasant evening with a lovely group of ladies from Orleton W.I.

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I spent an extremely enjoyable evening at Tarrington, judging readings for the W.I. Cogan Cup.  The choice of reading was an extract from: any of the Bronte sisters’ novels, Cranford by Mrs Gaskell, P.G. Wodehouse’s books set in Blandings Castle. There were 6 entries, all excellent, the readings were clear and expressive and I could quite happily have sat and listened and I had to remind myself I was there to judge! It was a difficult decision, but the winners were Peterstow W.I. with an extract from Blandings Castle. I’d like to thank everyone who put in so much hard work to make the evening a success, and also thanks go to the those who made delicious cakes and tea to follow. A most enjoyable evening.

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Thursday, 8th August – a very enjoyable evening spent with Foxley Ladies, great fun and fantastic refreshments. Thanks for inviting me!

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Yesterday, 22nd June, I went to Burghill Flower and Music Festival and gave a talk and reading to a small but happy audience. The festival runs for three days and has a variety of events with music, demonstrations, stalls and delicious homemade cakes! The church is decorated with beautiful flower arrangements and today is family day with fun for children of all ages.

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Talk and reading to Tenbury Ladies Guild, lovely room with soft, comfortable chairs!

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Dilwyn W.I. – a most enjoyable evening with a talk and reading, followed by gorgeous cakes! I do enjoy these social occasions.

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A beautiful sunny morning, at long last! And a lovely group at Probus at Leominster for my talk and reading.

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11th April – Busy time! Another great afternoon with Huntington W.I.

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10th April – Enjoyable afternoon talking to Kington W.I.

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4th April – A fun evening spent with the ladies of Kinnerton W.I. The scenery there is spectacular, a backdrop of snow-clad mountains to beautiful countryside. Snow drifts taller than my car!

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Bredenbury Ladies invited me to be guest speaker at their meeting with a talk and reading. Delightful company and refreshments afterwards.

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Another year, more talks, wonderful. Last night, January 30th 2013, I visted The Pyons W.I. A most enjoyable evening.

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www.alfiedog.com , the new download site for short stories, is up and running. A variety of my stories are available for download: tales of Romance and the Supernatural; Thrillers and Crime, with a murder or two thrown in for spice! The twist endings leave the reader intrigued, surprised and, occasionally, amused. Curious? Then take a look at www.alfiedog.com and click on my profile.

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Last night at Malvern Theatres was wonderful. There were 9 finalists with a mix of entertaining stories and a lovely audience who were a joy to perform to.  I read my story, A Chance for Charlie, first and was then able to relax and enjoy the other stories. A marvellous evening. The competition As You Read It is to be held again later in the year so, if you feel you want to  have a go at story telling, keep an eye on the website: www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

Malvern Theatres As You Read It is an evening of read-aloud short stories. Stories were entered into the competition held annually by Malvern Theatres and 8 finalists were chosen to perform on the evening of Thursday May 17th 2012 at 7.30pm. I am thrilled to be one of those finalists with my story, A Chance for Charlie, a humorous story that I hope will amuse.

The event is free to attend but tickets must be obtained via the Box Office and are available on a first come first served basis. Box Office number is 01684 892 277. I am told that some of the stories contain adult content and may not be suitable for younger audiences.

For full details of the event: www.malvern-theatres.co.uk 

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On Thursday I visited Peterchurch, such a pretty area with wonderful scenery. I talked to Peterchurch Pensioners and had a very enjoyable afternoon.

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On Wednesday evening I gave a talk and reading to Ledbury W.I. They were so lively and interested, it was lovely to meet them all and I did enjoy the evening.

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Docklow Ladies are a lovely group of ladies who really enjoy their social evenings. It was great to part of the group for a night. My talk prompted discussion and questions that were very interesting. The social evening continued with marvellous refreshments and I did enjoy myself. Thanks to everyone involved, especially Ruth for inviting me.

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A photograph of my display at Bromyard Literary Trail, taken by my own private photographer, my son! Thanks, Wayne.

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Another talk to a lovely crowd at Ballingham W.I. Great fun.

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I’ve now done two more talks at Holmer W.I. and Leominster W.I. The W.I. members have a lot of fun and hold competitions and offer tempting refreshments (I’m trying to lose the weight I put on over Christmas!). I’ve really enjoyed meeting them all and will look forward to visiting other W.I.s in Herefordshire – I have several booked for this year.

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Last night was the first of my W.I. bookings at Wellington W.I. to talk on The ups and downs of a short story writer, and a very interested and appreciative audience they were. Tomorrow I venture forth again… and so on. It looks like being a busy year and I’m loving it!

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A photo of my new poster – not as good as the real thing but had problems uploading a .doc file!

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10th November and the As You Read It event at Malvern Theatre. A wonderfully responsive audience of nearly 300 people listened to 8 finalists – I was second on the stage so the nerves didn’t have too long to quiver! A podium, lit so well it was impossible to see the audience – a bonus I think – and excellent acoustics in the magnificent Forum Theatre. Malvern Theatres are amazing and the variety of acts, plays and entertainment they provide are fantastic. I only wish I lived a bit nearer. But obviously a theatre well supported, with a restaurant, bar and excellent facilities. My thanks to Sophie, Nick and Bill for a professional and beautifully organised event. The feeling of being on that podium, reading my own work – A Whisper in the Wind, (a spooky tale!) was incredible and the comraderie in the dressing room was great fun. An experience to be remembered.

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8th November: A wet and miserable afternoon was lightened by a talk at Pembridge Book Club and I thank all those who braved the storms to join us for a very enjoyable afternoon, the home made cakes afterwards were wonderful! My thanks again.

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Fun evening on 2nd November at the Bromyard Poetry for Pleasure Group. Some amazing poems and a lively group.

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Bewdley Fringe Festival – Authors Reading Week – an amazing week of children’s writers, fiction and factual writers. All organised by Neville Farmer and Chris Griffin. The audience turned out for my event on 27 October, despite pouring rain and I thank them all. This is a photo in the library events room, as I shake before starting!

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Having been selected as one of the eight finalists in the Malvern Theatre’s  ‘As You Read It’ competition, I shall be reading my ten minute short story Whisper in the Wind – it’s a spooky one! – at Malvern Theatre in front of a live audience on Thursday November 10th, 7.30pm. I’m thrilled and really looking forward to it. Check the Malvern Theatre website out for details.

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I’m giving a talk at the Kington U3A on Thursday, 13th October – The ups and downs of a short story writer – and, although there have been some frustrating moments, there has been a lot of fun and laughter and I’ve met some wonderful writers. This is the marvellous poster that is decorating the shops in Kington!

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There has been a wonderful Festival taking place in Bewdley, Worcestershire this month. I’ve been asked to appear in the Fringe Octoberfest – a week of readings and discussions by locally and nationally celebrated writers. I shall be reading from my short story collection, Destiny’s Footprints, talking to the audience and answering questions on Thursday, 27th October at 2.30pm in the Library Gallery. Check out the details on www.bewdleyfestival.org.uk.

Report to follow!

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In August I attended the Swanwick Writers’ Summer  School – 300 writers under one roof for a whole week! Absolutely amazing. Check it out at www.swanwickwritersschool.co.uk. I learnt so much, met some wonderful people and Destiny’s Footprints was on sale in the book room!

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I was delighted when I was asked to open a fete in the gardens of  Lady Bengough’s wonderful home in Canon Pyon, Herefordshire. It was a really fun day, the sun shone and I chatted to so many interesting people. A lovely time was had by all:

I had previously given a talk to Canon Pyon Friendship Club which had been most enjoyable.

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In April this year I attended the launch of the book: Double Chance by Bryan Betts at Weobley Bookshop. It went very well and I met some extremely interesting people. My book was also on display which was a bonus. A very enjoyable and successful evening was had by all.

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At the beginning of this year I appeared at Bromyard Literary Festival which was great fun. A very literary time was had by all!

2011 here we come!

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Waterstones gave me a great signing day when Destiny’s Footprints was published:

                                         

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9 July 2009     Reading from Destiny’s Footprints  at Mark Woodward’s  Writers’ Bash – great fun, attended by writers groups from all over the country

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9 Sept 2009      Radio interview with Andrew Easton on Hereford and Worcester local radio – quite an experience. He interviewed me prior to the signing of my book at Waterstones. The only question that flummoxed me: “Why 22 stories?”  Huh? At a recent talk it was suggested I should have replied: “Because it’s the length of a cricket pitch” – I like it!

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I do a variety of talks locally to clubs, writer’s groups, social events (Herefordshire/Welsh Marches Borders) :

a)  The ups and downs of my life as a writer, starting with my first short story at the age of eleven (a tragic tale about a rabbit!) until present day

b)  A reading from my collection, Destiny’s Footprintsa shorter story of 10 minutes, followed by questions & answers or general discussion

c)  A more technical talk/q&a/discussion covering practical aspects of presentation, market research, agents and publishers for full length and short fiction

d)  Concentrating on the short story, the different markets, competitions, guidelines, submissions and presentation/approach

Talks can be adapted for the audience and contain any of the above aspects as required.

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