Thursday, March 31, 2011


There may have been rioters intent on destroying our beautiful London buildings on Saturday, but all was peaceful and very green at Olympia at the UK AWARE SHOW. Although a relatively small event, every stand had something interesting to demonstrate and inform visitors. I was keen to listen to Piper Terrett (my friend from home town Billericay pic of them at the top)part of the team on the rostrum giving their opinions on health, veganism, finance, saving energy (and the planet) and much more. There was a great fashion show, and a chance to learn how to 'swish' with Victoria and Sandra. Swishing is a fabulous clothes exchange idea to gain an exciting new wardrobe while raising money for your favourite charity. Contact Victoria and Sandra at

Simply loved Rudi Schogger's new electric folding bikes launched at the show. The hottest two-wheeled TP Scoot was available for test drives - everyone had a go! They can be seen at The Gadget Show Live from 12 April in London. This nifty, folding, cleverly crafted piece of engineering can save so much money. It has a range of up to 20 miles and a top speed of 20mph. It does require insurance, tax (zero rated) and either a pre-2001 drivers licence or a CBT. Electric Scooter Shop are taking the TP Scoot on a roadshow across the UK through spring/summer.I can see this being of huge interest in the future. For detail contact Rudi at

Monday, March 28, 2011


Can't believe four years have passed since we attended the launch party celebrating Phoenix FM's permanent broadcasting licence at the Bay Tree Centre in Brentwood. But long before this, in December 1996, Phoenix FM first took to the airwaves albeit on a temporary one month basis. Their presenters have changed over the years and their guests have included national and local celebrities, politicians and some of the world's best writers appearing at the famous annual Essex Book Festival held around the county. This week's column pictures my friend and super presenter, Michelle Ward which I attach by courtesy of the Brentwood Weekly News.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Several Society of Women Writers and Journalists members are celebrating the launch of their new books this month.

Our very own Honorary Secretary,  Bradley Bernarde, has been busily signing copies of her exciting new novel entitled To Thine Own Self at bookshops in London bookshops, but more particularly in Stamford, a place she knows so well having family connections there for more than 30 years. The idea for the plot of her new book began here and she chose the 17th century Commonwealth period as a fascinating background with its links to witchcraft.

Among her reviews is one from Clive Evans, Producer of Nice Pictures, who wrote: ‘An excellently researched fascinating account of life in the 17th century... The characters are all finely drawn and our sympathy is fully engaged with the problems and difficulties they encounter. This is a book with which to savour the atmosphere of an age, and is thoroughly recommended for history buffs.’

The Apothecary’s Gift was published by Whydown Books in 2003 and the author has written three more books, along with many short stories.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wendy's newest book

Wendy Hughes is one of the most energetic writers I know, yet she turned to writing in 1989 when ill-health and poor vision forced her into early medical retirement. Since then she has published 26 nonfiction books, and over 1700 articles published Her work has appeared in magazines as diverse as The Lady, Funeral Service Journal, On the Road, 3rd Stone, Celtic Connections, Best of British, and Guiding magazine. Her latest venture is presenting audio lessons on writing for people on the move (

Her books include many on her native Wales, Anglesey Past and Present, The Story of Brecknock, Brecon, a pictorial History of the Town, Carmarthen, a History and Celebration and Tales of Old Glamorgan. She has also co-authored two story/activity books for children, and a book on Walton on Thames in the Images of England series, a company history and two books on the charity Hope Romania. Her latest books are, Haunted Worthing published in October 2010, and a new colour edition of The Story of Pembrokeshire published in March 2011. She has two books coming out in June 2011, Shipwrecks of Sussex and The Story of Gower (colour edition), and is currently working on The Story of Carmarthenshire for the same series

Wendy has spent many years campaigning and writing on behalf of people affected by Stickler Syndrome, a progressive genetic connective tissue disorder from which she herself suffers. She founded the Stickler Syndrome Support Group and raises awareness of the condition amongst the medical profession, and produces the group’s literature, and has written the only book on the condition, Stickler The Elusive Syndrome, and has also contributed to a DVD on the condition.

She has also written three novels, Sanctimonious Sin, a three generation saga set in Wales at the turn of the century, Powers That Heal set in the Neolithic period and a semi biographical book entitled New Beginnings which deals with two generations coping with blindness and a genetic condition. She also gives talks and runs workshops on the craft of writing. Her latest venture is two audio presentations on how to get published and how to write a novel (

If that is not enough, Wendy is also Membership Secretary for the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and a member of the Society of Authors.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


For a town to have its own theatre is of huge benefit and Brentwood, Essex, England is so fortunate in having such a gem. But it was not an easy achievement and many local ardent fund-raisers can be proud of the work put in place many years ago. Mark is the great enthusiastic Administrator of the Brentwood Theatre which is growing in popularity throughout the south east. Here is a little article about him and his beloved theatre which appears by courtesy of the Brentwood Weekly News (written by yours truly). Click twice on the feature in order to read text.

Here's a recent comment from a keen theatre-goer: "This theatre is absolutely great. It caters for everyone in the community from local organisations who use it for shows of all kind to the disabled who love to come here to perform. It has something for everyone and all are welcomed by the friendly staff and volunteers."

Labels: Brentwood Theatre

Sunday, March 13, 2011


My favourite On-Line Digital Magazine SUITE 101 (based in Vancouver, British Columbia) is the website in which you can find articles on every topic. Many colleagues already contribute their work to Suite and you can read them by going to and inserting names/topics. I'm aiming at my 80th feature this week (with 1,500 print features already published), and it's fascinating to see how journalism is changing day by day. It certainly keeps you busy!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Sue Moorcroft is a successful modern author and a member of our Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She tells us that she spends her days in a room on her own, making up things about people who don’t exist. And trying to get readers to believe in them.

She writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Want to Know a Secret?, All That Mullarkey and Starting Over are all published by Choc Lit. Combining that success with her experience as a creative writing tutor, she’s written a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction (Accent Press). Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge for Writers’ Forum. Check out her Author Website, her Blog for news and writing tips and you’re welcome to befriend Sue on Facebook or Follow Sue on Twitter.

Another side of Sue's busy life, is to visit libraries, writing groups and various associations as a speaker. She talks about her life as a writer and answers questions that the audience might have, always coming away with a buzz from having met so many interesting people.

Upcoming Festival appearance: 25-27 MARCH 2011 - Festival of Writing, University of York; panel and one-to-ones.

In June 2011, Sue's next novel, Love and Freedom, will be published: the story of Honor, an American who comes to a village near Brighton on the English south coast. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Monday, March 07, 2011


(nearest tube: Tower Hill)

Image of Wendy Hughes meeting Princess Michael of Kent at an SWWJ lunch

This fifth day for Journalists and Non-Fiction Writers will be led by Wendy Hughes. It is designed for beginners as well as more experienced non-fiction writers. A handout in conjunction with the day’s proceedings will be available on the day.
Following on from the successful 4th day Wendy will again look at markets and how best to pitch ideas., paying attention to that all important first paragraph.
Morning Session – with a comfort break.

Markets and how best to pitch your idea - would each delegate attending this day PLEASE bring along at least one magazine, or details of a publisher that they write for or wish to write for and be prepares to talk - for about five minutes on your chosen market - the type of material this publisher or magazine publishers. If you have an idea for an article, please bring along your opening sentence too.
Lunch Break – no working lunch - a chance to eat lunch, walk around, network and socialise.

Afternoon Session – with one of two breaks, depending on time
• A look at e-magazines and what they can offer the writer – With many features now being written in-house by staff writers, we shall have a look at e-magazines as an alternative market.
Using life experiences to trigger ideas. – turning life experiences into an article.
• Problem sharing Forum – The session is proving to be most useful, so please come along with a problem or a query to share and between us we SHOULD come up with some suggestions. Rest assured that NO problem is too trivial, as we are all at different stages with our writing. We ALL had to learn how to layout a manuscript, submit a query once!
• What next? What are delegates looking for on a Journalist Day? What would help you? What would you like covered in future sessions? Come armed with plenty of ideas, or email me if you would particular like to see something on this programme. Thanks.
The cost of the day is £18.50 per person. (Cheque made payable to SWWJ). Please bring a packed lunch and pen and paper. Tea and coffee will be available at £1 per cup. Further information can be obtained from Wendy email: or telephone 01903 785771wendy's

Friday, March 04, 2011


Yesterday was the long awaited Launch of the Essex Book Festival at which we met Joanna Trollope (interviewed at top by Dave Monk) and Lindsey Davis (the author just introducing her 20th adventure of the popular Roman sleuth, Falco), among many other writers. This particular Festival is guaranteed to bring creative people together, readers as well as writers. The Billericay Readers' group members were out in force (with chairman of Brentwood Writers' Circle, Colin Taylor doing a great networking job) and members of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Our lovely Val Dunmore, herself an author, came over from Surrey to represent the Society, as did Margaret Hoffman who again made a long journey to get to Chelmsford Library. These gatherings are great and I enjoy being a Patron of Essex Book Festival for the third year running. Now that we are launched, the events of individual authors, journalists and comedians will be taking place throughout March around the county. Do check out their dates and times at