the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other Dorset writers

Poetry and Prose Performance Workshop


Rob Casey

On Saturday 10 June, I joined sixteen other writers attending Rob Casey’s workshop at The White Room, in the Chapel in the Garden, Bridport. The building is set back from East Street and provides a delightful oasis on a busy market morning. We had such fun trying out ways of how-not-to perform and of course, there were plenty of tips and advice to get the delivery right. Rob had us working in small groups to share ideas and generate writing for development. It was great to hear other people’s work and learn from an experienced performance poet.

Rob is one of the founders of the Apothecary Open Mic, poetry and spoken word event that is held regularly at the Beach and Barnicott in Bridport. For more information see the Apothecary Facebook page.

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Bridport Story Slam

Each year, to support entries to the flash fiction Bridport Prize competition, there is a story slam that takes place in Bridport. This year it will be held on Monday 3 April from 7.30pm in the Arts Centre Café. Tickets (£5 for readers and for writers) must be purchased in advance from  the Arts Centre box office (01308 427183 and If you would like to read a 250 word story,  please also register your interest by emailing


If more people want to read than there are slots available, names will be drawn from a hat on the night. Those who sign up have a good chance of being able to read (although this is not guaranteed). Do go along. It’s a great fun evening with prizes and feedback from the judges.



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Writers in the Alley, open mic

There is a friendly and talented group of writers who meet in Dorchester on the first Wednesday of each month. They are known as Writers in the Alley due to the venue, a room sometimes used for playing skittles at Goldie’s Bar, 36 High East Street. Regular meetings are held at 7pm for a 7:30 start. Members support each other by showing a positive interest in the writing shared. On Wednesday 5 April, the group is hosting a second open mic session, so if you’re in Dorchester this is well worth attending. Go along to hear some wonderful poetry and prose presented in a variety of forms or bring your own writing to read or perform. I attended an open mic held in the autumn and it was great to find a receptive audience for my poetry. You can find Writers in the Alley on Facebook or contact the organiser on


I’m really disappointed  I won’t be able to attend this open mic as I’m away from home at the beginning of April. Luckily Writers in the Alley are planning to make the open mic session a regular event so I hope to be there next time.

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Story Slam, Bridport 2015

Scan 1Organised by Frances Colville, the fourth Bridport story slam  was another wonderful event. I was honoured to act as a judge alongside novelist Rosanna Ley and Nick Macy, manager of Waterstones, Bridport. Author Laura James was an excellent MC at the event.

Sixteen writers entered the story slam although owing to constraints of time, only twelve were able to read. Each writer shared an original story taking up to 5 minutes for the reading. We were impressed by the high quality delivery from all the writers, readings were offered to engage and entertain. The stories took us to places far and near as well as emotional journeys of recovery and love. There was much humour, too: from a chuckle to the laugh out loud variety.

Much of the writing was carefully crafted, giving hints and clues, making the stories textured. There was a wide range of genres including fantasy, sketches and letters. Some stories contained clever twists and characters from history and fairy tale were given new life. It was a very hard job for the judges to agree on the top three stories. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dorchester Literary Festival

Victorian Gallery, Dorset County Museum

Victorian Gallery, Dorset County Museum

The first Dorchester Literary Festival runs from 23-25 October 2015 with events at Duke’s Auctioneers and the delightful Victorian Gallery in the Dorset County Museum. I’m a volunteer steward at Desert Island Books with Tracy Chevalier and I’m planning attend the session delivered by Dom Joly on Friday. You’ll also find me helping at the Young Peoples’ Story Slam on Saturday held at Dorchester Library.


If you’re able to attend any of these events, I look forward to seeing you.

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Story Slam in Upton

You may remember back in the summer I was delighted to be a judge at the first story slam in Dorset held at the Shaftesbury Arts Centre by Storyslingers. You can read about it here.

I’ve now been asked by Adrian Ford to circulate details of a further story slam taking place in Upton. This time I hope to be a participant, and if my name gets pulled from the hat, I’ll be reading one of my latest stories. Please find the details of the story slam below:


7.30 pm at Upton Library

JUDGES:   Pam Fudge and Dr Jim Pope
COMPERE:   John Barclay


(Book Tokens)


ENTRY ON THE DOOR: £2 (£0.50 for F4UL members)

All proceeds go to F4UL funds in support of their aims to keep the library open and support local literary and art projects.

F4UL Publishing, Upton Library, Upton Cross, Upton, Dorset BH16 5PW
‘Supporting our local library; promoting Creative Writing’

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