the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Round up​ of the summer so far …

As I am a ridiculously target driven writer, I thought I’d share with you some of the writing milestones from June and July 2019.

Sturminster Newton Literary Festival, 15 June

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In this the inaugural year of the festival, I was delighted to have a place on the author trail which involved running a stall in Joshua’s Coffee Shop so that I could chat to customers about my publications. I felt honoured to be part of the trail as Gillian Cross one of my favourite children’s authors had a stall elsewhere in the town. (The only problem was I didn’t get a chance to say hello to her!)

Later in the afternoon, I offered a workshop titled ‘a sense of place in writing’ at the library. I was delighted to work with many talented writers and receive feedback from the workshop in the form of this tweet:


London Launch of The String Games, 22 June 

This took place at Housmans Radical Bookshop and I was so pleased to welcome friends, family, fellow Victorina Press authors and readers to this unique venue. I was delighted that every copy of The String Games sold.


The People’s Book Prize, June 2019


BIG NEWS for the summer. The String Games has been longlisted in this unique literary competition where the public decides the nation’s next bestsellers and writers of tomorrow. Find out here about The String Games and cast your vote to enable me to reach the next stage. All you have to do is scroll down to add your details, tick a box about receiving the newsletter and submit. Thank you to all those who have already voted.

Scratch & Spit, Lyric Theatre, Bridport, 24 June

Here I am strutting my stuff during a ten-minute performance slot. What am I going on about? The analogy between writing and running!


Loughborough Poetry Event, 28 June

Alongside Rachel Lewis (who also had a poetry pamphlet published by Wordsmith_HQ), I was billed as a headline act at the launch of the Purple Breakfast Review Issue 8. It was great to spend an evening with so many accomplished poets and to read from adversaries/comrades.

FINAL COVER gail aldwin

Shaftesbury Fringe, Saturday 6 July

As part of 3-She, I co-write comedy sketches with Maria Pruden and Sarah Scally. This summer we took a group of gifted West Dorset actors to the Shaftesbury Fringe to perform our comedy sketch show Big Heads & Others. What a lot of fun we had! The next show will be staged at Dorchester Arts Centre at 8pm on 18 September 2019.


Meet the Author talk, Dorchester Library, Saturday 20 July

I had a fabulous audience for this 90-minute talk about the inspiration behind my poetry, short fiction and The String Games. They asked probing questions and we enjoyed a lively discussion. I’ve now been asked to offer further talks at Dorset libraries, so watch this space!

Gail Aldwin Poster

Friday Freebie with Patsy Collins, Friday 26 July

This is an online event where I share information about my debut novel and there’s a chance to win a free signed copy of The String Games by leaving a comment on Patsy’s blog – you’ve got until midnight BST on 31 July to do this. Why not pop over for a read? Just click here.


What’s next?

This week I received an email from my publisher Victorina Press who want me to start working with illustrator Fiona Zechmeister on the children’s picture book I’ve drafted which has the working title Peta the Panda. This is an exciting new project and I can’t wait to get started!





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Charmouth Literary Festival


Date: Saturday 5th October 2013


Venue: St Andrews Hall, Meeting Room

10.10 – John Bryant
Author of 3.59.4 The Quest to Break the Four Minute Mile. The London Marathon, the history of the greatest race on earth and The Marathon Makers and Jogging. His latest book is a biography, Chris Brasher, about a truly remarkable and singular man.
John is a veteran of marathons around the world and has been involved in the London Marathon since 1981. He has worked as a Fleet Street journalist since 1971, was Editor in Chief of The Daily Telegraph, executive editor of The Daily Mail and for a decade was deputy editor of The Times. John lives in Surrey and Dorset (Charmouth) and has attended all our Literary Festivals and is a great champion of them.

10:40 – Travel Writing with Sarah and Wendy

Sarah E. Dawson
Sarah decided, aged 52, to have her own gap year and to follow the latitude 52 degrees north from the east coast of England to the west coast of Wales. It was a personal challenge traveling on her own; her story is unusual and shows that you don’t have to go very far in order to experience and write about travel. Her travels continue with latitude 53 and 54.

Wendy Knee
Wendy has written three books, Never Die Wondering, Get Cracking and Travels with Granny. Her love of people and zest for life has enabled her to travel to extraordinary places, including Uzbekistan, Ecuador, Guatemala and many more. She cycled 1000 miles through France and Spain following the Camino St Jacques at the age of 58 and at the age of 66, she spent a month volunteering in Uganda and in early 2012 she worked with young teenagers in Mexico. This is the next book.

11.00 – Coffee and writing session for all

11:30 – James Crowden
James is an author and poet living in south Somerset. In 1972 he joined the army and served in Cyprus, travelling widely in Eastern Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and North West India. In 1976 -77 he spent a winter on the northern side of the Himalaya, in the remote Zangskar Valley in Ladakh.
He works between poetry and prose, between the two worlds of inner and outer landscape. His latest book is called Flowers in the Minefield centred on the First World War.

12:00 – Walk, Write, Wild – Juliette Adair
Outside activity to inspire your writing, so be prepared for all weathers.
Juliette is dedicated to creating space for writing. She has been encouraging her family to fit round her writing habit for the past 10 years and has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London. Her novel ‘Bog Angel’ won the Christopher Little Award in 2007 and was short-listed for the A&C Black centenary prize. She is a member of the Walking Artists Network and in 2006 walked from Dublin to Galway following the route of an ancient story.

12.15 – Poetry –Rosemary Wells    –    Followed by workshop in library
Rosemary has had some of her poetry read on local radio and has been published in local magazines. She won the Silver Salver in the Adult Poetry category at the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival in 2009.

12.30 – E Books  Chella Adgopul
Chella  is a writer, teacher and publisher from West Dorset. A year ago she started Honeybee books, aimed at helping people who wanted to self-publish their writing, either in hard copy or in digital form as an e-book. She has worked with a range of writers, from beginners to professionals and community groups, and is firmly committed to helping make publishing a more democratic and accessible process.

1.00 – Lunch Hour
Literary soap box around the centre of village. This is your chance to stand on your soap box and read out your work (6 minutes max each).

2.00 – Roving Press – Julie Musk
Julie Musk is the project instigator, creative writing arm and principal editor for Roving Press Ltd, an independent local book publisher. She says, ‘Roving Press was born of our desire to publish books that are down-to-earth, helpful and with a travel and/or local interest slant. We produce only a handful of new books each year which we enjoy and believe in. As well as publishing our own titles, we offer a full or partial publishing service for those wishing to self-publish. Julie is a long-term copyeditor and proofreader for other publishers including Wiley-Blackwell and OUP, and is the author of A Slice of Apple Pie: Your One-Stop Guide to Living in America, Lesser Known Swanage and Lesser Known Weymouth.

2.30 – Peter John Cooper
Peter will talk about his experience of writing and having his work edited/proof read. Peter is a playwright, poet and theatre director whose work has been seen throughout the UK during the past 40 years. Among his prolific output are two adaptations of Hardy novels which have been published online and two books, She Opened the Door: The Wife and Women Who Haunted Thomas Hardy (published by Roving Press) and a self-published e-novel.

3.00 – Tea – write a biography on one side of paper
Dual personality – let the other person come out.

3.30 – Short story – small but perfectly formed – Frances Colville
Frances lived abroad in Norway and Belgium for 25 years, before settling in Chideock. She writes flash fiction and short stories, has had a piece of flash fiction included in Dorset Voices, an anthology published by Roving Press, and recently won first prize in a Story Slam for Dorset writers. She has also had a play for radio produced at Bridport Arts Centre and is involved in various local history projects. She is currently working on a novel set during the First World War.

4.00 – Close with round up of the day.


For further information & details see:

Contact Wendy Knee   01297 561493     07968 846514


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