the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Happy Birthday to you

on May 29, 2020

My debut novel The String Games is one year old today. It’s been quite a journey from launch to anniversary and here are some of the things I have learnt along the way.

Book launches


  • invite everyone you know and turn the launch into a party to thank all those who have shown interest in your writing . Make sure there’s plenty of wine and nibbles, and loads of books to sell!

Make the most of opportunities 

  • when I attended a Christmas lunch 2018 with the Society of Authors in Salisbury, I had no idea it would lead to an invitation to deliver a session at the Bridport Literary Festival 2019. Chance meetings are often the best!

Put yourself out there

Book is Judged by Cover-1

  • Press releases have enabled The String Games to feature locally, regionally and nationally in print publications and online features. I’ve also talked on local radio programmes several times. There’s nothing wrong with getting about!

Literary festivals

  • I’ve attended so many festivals as a participant but now I’m a published novelist it’s a delight to feature on programmes as an invited guest. Besides the Bridport Literary Festival, I’ve also delivered input at Sturminster Newton Literary Festival, Blandford Literary Festival and Stockholm Writers Festival. Get me, delivering at international events!

Finge Festivals

  • I write collaboratively as part of 3-She to develop comedy sketches. Last summer we took a show to  Shaftesbury Fringe. There’s such a lot to be learnt from the process of writing with others. Love a good gig!

Curry favour with your publisher

  • I’m delighted that Victorina Press have show confidence and commitment in me as an author and thanks to my publisher, I attended the London Book Fair 2019. My novel is also a finalist in The People’s Book Prize. Covid 19 permitting, there’s a black tie do to celebrate this achievement later this year!
  • The team at Wordsmith_HQ continue to promote my poetry pamphlet adversaries/comrades and share my writing successes across their writing community. Good eggs all round!

Keep up with your writing pals

  • It’s great to celebrate the writing successes of others. I’m lucky to be a member of several writing and reading groups. Long live them all!

It’s not all about writing


  • I managed to shoehorn a long held ambition into my schedule and it can brought surprising results. Off to Bidibidi refugee settlement in Uganda I went as a volunteer. Ideas for writing that stem from this experience are still brewing!

And it’s about time I thanked you, my loyal blog readers. I so appreciate your feedback on my posts, the way you support my novel: the buying of it, the reading of it, the votes you give it in competitions. Thank you also for your comments and book reviews. Where you I be without you?

For anyone who hasn’t yet voted in the finalist round of The People’s Book Prize, you can give my baby a birthday present by voting here. The competition ends tomorrow, 30 May 2020.

5 responses to “Happy Birthday to you

  1. Suzanne Goldring says:

    Happy birthday! I can see the back of my head in the launch photo at Waterstones! It was lovely there and really well attended.

  2. jim bates says:

    Hi Gail and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to String Games! What an incredible year it’s been for you and I’ve had a blast, following your journey. You’re an incredibly talented writer and beyond that a wonderful human being. You’ve made the world a better place and are what I consider to be one of the “Good ones!!” Keep up the great work, my friend. It’s a pleasure to know you 🙂

    • gailaldwin says:

      Oh my goodness, Jim. What a fabulous comment. And to think I’ve never even met you! But the internet enables communities to develop in surprising and wonderful ways. Glad to be in the same writing gang with you!

  3. jim bates says:

    You and Kathy Sharp have been my inspirations from the beginning of my serious commitment to writing stories. Just over five years ago!! I owe you both a huge debit of gratitude 🙂

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