West Sussex Writers celebrate 80 years!

Alison Macleod
Alison Macleod
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To celebrate its 80 year anniversary, West Sussex Writers is holding a day-long writers’ event in central Worthing, featuring talks and seminars from six writers – including a keynote from novelist and short story writer, Alison Macleod.

Alison will be joined by Melanie Whipman, Stephanie Norgate, Clare Best, Julie Everton and Umi Sinha, collectively covering subjects as diverse as novels, poetry, short stories, playwriting and life writing. The event is open to all but ticket numbers are limited.

Phil Williams, of West Sussex Writers, said: “Alison Macleod has just released a new short story collection, all the beloved ghosts, and her novel Unexploded was long-listed for The 2013 Man-Booker Prize for Fiction and was one of The Observer’s Books of the Year.

“She has been nominated for The BBC National Short Story Award and The Sunday Times EFG International Short Story Award, and her stories have often featured on the BBC.

“Following the keynote from Alison, the day will follow a workshop format with three break-out sessions in the morning and three in the afternoon, with the following titles:

Alison Macleod – Creating Characters in Fiction: Enigma & Revelation; Melanie Whipman - Characterisation for All Abilities; Stephanie Norgate – …whisperings around desolate shores…; Clare Best – Using photographs and mementoes to mine material for life writing”; Julie Everton – How to develop ideas for film; and Umi Sinha – Wordplay”

The full day of activities will take place on Saturday, July 29, starting at 9.30am for a 4.30pm finish – with lunch, refreshments and end-of-day celebrations included in the ticket price. It will be held at Bohunt School, 65a Broadwater Rd, Worthing BN14 8AG. Parking is available on site.

Tickets are on sale now, for £22, available online at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/373458. Members of West Sussex Writers will be allowed free tickets to the event and discounted membership will be available on the day.

Melanie Whipman is a prize winning writer and lecturer whose fiction has been broadcast on Radio 4 and been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her debut short story collection, Llama Sutra, was published last year and is a contender for the 2017 Edge Hill Prize. She runs creative writing courses in Farnham, and is an associate lecturer and PhD student at the University of Chichester. She is also commissioning editor for The Story Player.

Stephanie Norgate is a poet and playwright whose work is broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She has released two poetry collections, The Blue Den and Hidden River, which was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize and the Jerwood Aldeburgh Award. She is also Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester.

Clare Best is a poet and creative writing tutor whose first full collection, Excisions, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize 2012. Her other collections include Treasure Ground, Breastless and CELL, and her prose memoir was a finalist in the Mslexia Memoir Competition 2015. Her latest collaborative publication, Springlines, was published in March. She teaches creative writing for the Open University and life writing for the autobiography and life writing programme in Brighton.

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