Born on the four-dozenth anniversary of Bloomsday in Leeds, his early life was influenced by his Uncle -T S Eliot – who encouraged him to examine life critically, and write about it.
In his teens he contributed to Rave magazine and International Times, and began his – still unfinished – first novel. Studying English and Drama at Durham University, he wrote for Palatinate – the student newspaper – and Muther Grumble – a local ‘underground’ magazine. He was Associate Editor of Face North – a regional arts magazine for the Northeast founded by Mark Featherstone Witty and Eric Robson.
During his mainstream career in medical marketing and product development, he wrote articles for various specialist periodicals and a handbook about continence care, before becoming head of marketing for Northumbria University, where he ghost-wrote pieces for national press.
He then worked with Healthwise Productions scripting, directing and producing medical TV programs. The team won the 1991 IVCA Grand Prix for a drama-doc about HIV/AIDS. He became commissioning editor for Lief Publishing in Durham in the mid 90s, and later co-edited Ability Magazine and the Ability Media website.
He began to submit stories and poetry to literary competitions in 2010, and was shortlisted in 2011 for the Bridport Short Fiction Prize. He has read his work at Stroud Short Stories, at the Edinburgh Festival of the Erotic Arts, the Cheltenham Literary Festival, Durham Poetry Jam, and on Corinium Radio. He is probably the world’s laziest blogger.
Iris is a writer of short stories, poetry and non-fiction. She has been successful in both local and national competitions and has twice been invited to read her work at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.
Some of her work has been published or broadcast on local radio. Her writing is influenced by history, the landscape and the local community.
Originally from Wales, she has lived in the North East of England, London and now in Gloucestershire.
As well as being a founder member of Somewhere Else Writers, Iris is also a member of Poetry Swindon.
After many years living abroad, including 21 years in Greece, I returned to UK to marry my husband in 2001 and quickly joined a creative writing class because I wanted to reignite my long held desire to write. I had played about with poetry and short stories, including children’s stories in the past. On its inception, I joined Corinium Radio as a presenter of three different programmes including one called “Write Out Loud”.
I joined this writing group last year, partly in an attempt to get back into writing a novel I started several years ago. I have had two stories published in an anthology organised by the Aspiring Writers group on ‘Linked In’ and a few poems included in different anthologies. A play I wrote was also broadcast on Corinium Radio and some children’s plays have been performed at Watermoor School and/or in Frampton Mansell where I live.
After 30 years working as a secretary Noni decided that there must be more to life than typing up other people’s creations. She, therefore, gave up her full-time job to pursue personal interests.
One of these interests was to try her hand at writing.
Having attended, and been inspired by, one of Rona Laycock’s Creative Writing courses in 2014 she hasn’t looked back.
Although Noni has received lots of praise for her short stories, so far she has not had any women’s magazines knocking on her door. But she persists and one day …
Noni is also in the process of planning a novel, based here in Cirencester.
Richard developed his writing skills through a career in marketing and has had articles published in various trade journals and other magazines including Country Life, The Field and Country Living. He still contributes monthly articles for one of the local free magazines. Indeed, he edited The Ark magazine for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, a national charity, for over 10 years.
He has had four non-fiction books published – Rare Breed Pig Keeping (2003); Shetland Breeds (co-author), 2003; Pig Keeping (2010); Higgledy Piggledy (2010); giving a lie to one of his main interests. He is proud of the fact that he won a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Food & Farming Awards for his work in conserving rare breeds.
Still working as a company director, Richard is looking to develop his writing further through short stories and a possible novel into retirement and joined the Somewhere Else Writers Group in 2015 to try and further these aims.
Writing for pleasure is new to Selwyn since in the past he has written only to convey information, often of a technical nature.
In 2014 he joined the Somewhere Else Writers’ Group. He finds it so much fun to let a story ride out in his head and for it to take him to places he hasn’t been before. He says he hasn’t given up on the “nerd” in him as he always has to check that his facts are right, and searching for the truth amongst the fiction is almost as much fun as making up the story in the first place.
Selwyn has included a short piece of his writing that affirms his intention to keep on doing this “proper” writing stuff.
Sophie worked as a journalist for 15 years and turned to fiction as a way of avoiding ever having to check her facts.
Her short stories have been published in magazines and broadcast on local radio.
She read her work at the 2012 Cheltenham Literature Festival when she won the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network short story award.
She has been a judge for Stroud Short Stories, a twice-yearly community event, and in 2015 was the judge for the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network short story competition, a feature of the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
For the last two years she has been working on a novel, a process she describes as ‘torture’. She says, ‘The novel is taking so long that I am beginning to pin my hopes on extreme old age as a selling point.’
Steven is a founder member of Somewhere Else Writers.
Terasa is a qualified technical author and she established her own communications company in 1993 to provide information services in its various forms to industry.
Following suggestions from her husband she was persuaded to have a go at writing fiction/life writing.
In 2013 after a series of creative writing courses with Rona Laycock she became one of the founder members of Somewhere Else Writers.
Anthony has turned his hand to writing fiction since he retired five years ago. A graduate of Birmingham University in the days when the red brick was still vivid, Tony studied Literature, Linguistics and Education. He vowed that one day he would write seriously and with the help of a couple of creative writing courses from the University of East Anglia, he has now set sail on the rough seas – as you can see from the adjacent photo – to realise his ambition.
Having had success with short stories he has embarked upon his first full length work which is going to be the great post-9/11 novel!
His genre is contemporary fiction, his idols the usual suspects: John Steinbeck, Scott Fitzgerald, T. S. Eliot, Ian McEwan and, most recently, Evie Wyld and Amy Sackville.
Bridget was one of the founder members of Somewhere Else Writers and is now an associate member, having moved to be nearer her family in the Midlands, where she has joined a U3A writers’ group. She has always enjoyed writing stories for her children and grandchildren and is compiling accounts of her sailing adventures for them. She is pleased to have had letters printed in various newspapers and in Prospect and Private Eye and has three educational books in print, together with a slim volume of short stories and poems, Climbing the Mast. She attended several creative writing courses, including Arvon, West Dean and City Lit, before joining Rona and then Somewhere Else, and these courses have led to several prize winning short stories and poems. She wants to write novels, primarily about gender identity, and, having put the first aside to mature, is starting my second.
Somewhere Else Writers was a launch pad for Clare Finnimore after Dr Rona Laycock’s excellent creative writing classes.
Clare gained a merit in the Creative & Critical writing MA at Gloucs University in 2015 and then went on to study Scriptwriting at Bath Spa University. Her first radio play ‘When Will it Be Me?’ written in collaboration with three others, received a four star review at Burdell’s Yard Theatre in Bath. She is currently writing a docudrama for radio and working with actors at Bristol Old Vic.