Pure Talent next week

What does  “Dystopian novel” mean? We’ve taken the phrase as our theme for this Thursday’s Pure Fiction event at The Old George in Newcastle. Fancy joining us to listen to Sue Miller and Emma Whitehall reading from and discussing their work?

Pure Fiction celebrates writers of fiction and their work. Previous events have featured Jennifer C Wilson, Kitty Fitzgerald, Sandy Chadwin, Carol Clewlow, L.A. Craig, Rod Glenn and Victoria Watson. On Thursday 16th November it’ll be the turn of writers Sue Miller and Emma Whitehall. Host Elaine Cusack will let them run with the Dystopian novel theme and we’ll have the chance to ask questions and chat with them afterwards. Elaine’s colleague, Sandy Chadwin will kick off the evening with a Tall Tale.

Doors open 6.45pm and the evening starts at 7pm. Tickets cost £3 and can be bought in  advance or on the door. Here’s more information on Thursday’s authors…

emmapicEmma Whitehall is a writer, reviewer and spoken word performer based  in the North East of England. Emma specialises in supernatural fiction, and has been published in the United Kingdom, America, Mexico and Ireland. Her Flash Fiction has been longlisted for the Bath Novella in Flash Award, and shortlisted for the Fish Flash Fiction Award.

For more years than she wants to remember, Sue Miller  worked with families and communities locally and nationally as a psychologist, teacher and manager. Those experiences have given her knowledge and insight into the stories we all become: ordinary people often made extraordinary by what life throws at us. Sue’s debut novel 20/20 Vision They Didn’t See it Coming was published earlier this year and on Thursday she’ll  read from her current work in progress, a prequel to 20/20 Vision.

Sue Miller

 

 

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Pure Fiction on Thursday!

Pure Fiction logoPure Fiction is The Next Page’s regular literary event, dedicated to writers of fiction and their work.

We held two Pure Fiction events in Whitley Bay last year featuring writers Kitty Fitzgerald, Carol Clewlow, L.A. Craig plus The Next Page’s Jennifer C. Wilson and Sandy Chadwin,

Our third Pure Fiction event takes place this Thursday 11th May  in Newcastle’s oldest pub, The Old George Inn, just off the Bigg Market. The evening features Rod Glenn and Victoria Watson.

Rod is the author of best-selling Sinema series, the first of which introduces us to the film-obsessed serial killer, Han Whitman. Victoria is a writer, copy-editor and Creative Writing tutor. She has won awards for both her fiction and non-fiction.Rod Glenn

Victoria-WatsonDoors open 6.45pm and event kicks off at 7pm.  Sandy Chadwin will kick off the evening with one of his Tall Tales and the event is hosted by his Next Page colleague, Elaine Cusack.

old georgeTickets cost £3 and we advise booking in advance from Ticketsource.

Writers need people!

James Tucker is our guest blogger today….

I once remarked to my then-girlfriend about how artistic people could be hard work sometimes.  ‘Yes, you certainly are!’ was her response.  I hadn’t really thought of myself in those terms but then I felt good about it.  I could now strike official Artistic Poses, and my various gripes (block, comparisons, criticisms, doubt, obsession, etc) would be justified because I was a Tormented Genius.

Sometimes, though, the “artist” business strikes me as odd because writing is almost inherently introverted.  You can do it in company but it boils down to you spending a lot of time with a piece of paper or keyboard and your attention focused on the work.  It’s the kind of art that someone shy and possibly without any previously detected artistic talent or temperament can aspire to.

But I’m not sure there is any such thing as a pure introvert.  Sooner or later, you will need to get some motivation or perspective from another person to keep going.  Not to mention that writing is also a craft, and has to be learnt.  One of my lecturers defined a writer as someone who would write even if they knew for a fact nobody else would ever see it, but that would be unpleasant and inefficient at the least.James again

So here’s a rub: unless you are that rare person who writes entirely for your own enjoyment, then at some point, somebody else is going to have to read it.  Or, you will have to read it to them.  It may feel like you are exposing something deeply personal; if you have spent a long time with your work, you may even be a little jealous of sharing it.  You will discover whether being heard is a want or a need, or both.

After which, some of the people exposed to your work may say something back.  If you are lucky, it may be something you can use to improve, and you take it as such.  If you are very lucky, you may be that even rarer person whose first work is an instant success.  But that happens less often than you think; To Kill a Mockingbird is often called a brilliant first novel when in fact it was Harper Lee’s first published novel, there was at least one before that didn’t make it.

Of course taking a compliment can be pretty tough, sometimes even less comfortable than criticism.  Yet you probably aspire to more of it.

(Just to prove a point… this blog post is better for exposure to the Next Page group (Jennifer C Wilson, Elaine Cusack, Sandy Chadwin) and the Elementary Writers group run by Victoria Watson, not to mention John Evans at the Phil.)

If you successfully tread the path to major author, you will be expected to do readings and signings with talks.  Best get some practice in early.  You don’t have to be Jackanory but competence and comfort will be necessary.

So… don’t let the road be too lonely.  Sometimes you may walk together in companionable silence, sometimes pause to share provisions and compare blisters, perhaps even take time to plan your route with someone.  Or just nod to a fellow traveller as you pass.  It’ll be worth it.

Final workshop of the year…

The Next Page’s final creative writing workshop of the year takes place in just over a week on Saturday 3rd December in Whitley Bay’s library. The afternoon workshop is called Ekphrasis workshop: Finding Words in Pictures. The Greeks used ekphrasis to describe writing about art. The aim was to make the reader imagine the work of art as if it were physically present.

jasperWorkshop co-ordinator Jennifer C Wilson takes the word as a springboard for next Saturday’s workshop. Come and find inspiration from paintings, sculpture and other artworks. Jennifer will guide you through a number of exercises and there’ll be chances for feedback throughout the afternoon.

Ekphrasis workshop: Finding Words in Pictures. Saturday 3rd December Whitley Bay library 1.30pm to 4pm Cost: £20. Book your place online

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Finding Your Words

When do you give yourself a chance to explore your writing potential?  Hardly ever? Never?

And what excuses do you use to talk yourself out of attending workshops or exploring creative writing mentoring? You tell yourself you haven’t got time or that you can’t afford such luxuries.

This coming Saturday afternoon you can discover, rediscover or recover your creativity with us…and it won’t cost a penny!

The Next Page is hosting a free to attend session in North Shields library. Come along and have a go at writing exercises with Jennifer C Wilson or sign up for mini-mentoring sessions with Elaine Cusack.

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Our Finding Your Words session runs from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on Saturday 15th October in North Shields Library in Northumberland Square. It’s FREE…so you can’t make excuses!

Finding Your Words is part of North Tyneside’s Age Takes Centre Stage festival

Inspirational Saturday

Buzzzzzz! That’s the sound of my body and soul buzzing after yesterday’s Creative Writing Mentoring sessions at Whitley Bay Library.

I organised a day of one to one mentoring sessions and sliced the day into five hourly sessions. Four out of the five sessions were booked and resulted in a day of inspiration, surprises, insight, laughter and creative thinking.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and talking with my visitors. I was struck by the wide range of writing styles, aims and expectations. We all came away with homework and plans of action.

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I’ll be running more of these sessions at Whitley Bay Library on the first Saturday of every month. Future dates are 1st October, 5th November and 3rd December. For more information and booking visit https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/thenextpage

Feel free to ask questions via this blog or The Next Page’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheNextPagePresents/

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The Next Page’s First Page

Hello!

Welcome to The Next Page’s very first blog post, fuelled, on this rainy Saturday afternoon, by red wine and chocolate crispie cakes. What better way to kick off a creative venture…

JCW&EC @ PF1

It’s been five weeks since our first workshops, and three since the first Pure Fiction, so it felt about right to finally launch our blog. We have plenty of things coming up in the next few months:

  • Saturdays 3rd September / 1st October – Mentoring sessions with Elaine;
  • Saturday 15th October – Age Takes Centre open workshop (more info to follow);
  • Saturday 5th November – Mentoring sessions with Elaine;
  • Saturday 12th November – Pure Fiction featuring Carol Clewlow and L.A. Craig; and
  • Saturday 3rd December – Mentoring sessions with Elaine and Ekphrasis Workshop.

More information, as it becomes available, will be posted here on our blog, on our Facebook page, and tickets will be available on our TicketSource page.