Hampshire Writers’ Society 2022-23 Programme

Confirmed speakers – more details on the way

September 13th 2022 – To Be Confirmed

More information soon…

October 11th 2022 – Jenny Saville

More information soon…

November 8th 2022 – Clare Whitfield

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Getting noticed in the Slush Pile

Clare will talk about her journey to getting published. It’s a very difficult industry to break into and she will talk about how she secured a two book deal and agent on submission and the process from contract to publishing a debut novel, and what to expect. 

Clare Whitfield was born in Morden in 1978 (at the bottom of the Northern line) in Greater London. After university she worked at a publishing company before going on to hold various positions in buying and marketing. She now lives in Hampshire with her family. Her debut novel, People of Abandoned Character, won the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award and was also short listed for the HWA Debut Award, and was also published by Head of Zeus. Her second novel, The Gone and the Forgotten, is out June 9th 2022.

Special Guest – Gregory Sayer

December 13th 2022 – Susmita Bhattacharya

Title: My Writing Journey: An unconventional route to publication

Did I dream of becoming a published writer? No, because it did not occur to me that such a thing was possible for an ordinary girl growing up in Mumbai. After graduating with a degree in graphic design, and sailing on oil tankers for three years, I settled down in Cardiff, and the world of writing opened up for me. Let me share with you my early experiences of writing and how I became a published writer and hopefully inspire you in your writing journey.

Susmita Bhattacharya is an Indian-born writer. Her debut novel, The Normal State of Mind (Parthian, 2015) was long-listed at the Mumbai Film Festival, 2018. Her short story collection, Table Manners (Dahlia Publishing, 2018) won the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection (2019) and was a finalist for the Hall & Woodhouse DLF Prize, 2019 and has been featured on BBC Radio 4. She teaches creative writing at Winchester University and facilitated the ArtfulScribe Mayflower Young Writers programme in Southampton. She was also Writer-in-Residence at the Word Factory, London in 2021. You can find her on Twitter: @Susmitatweets

January 10th 2023 – Nate Crowley

Nate Crowley is an author, interactive fiction consultant, videogames journalist and public speaker.
Nate has worked as a journalist, a publisher, a teacher and an aquarium guy. He has a degree which involved all sorts of stuff but basically ended up being about the history of natural history. He enjoys a good trip to the zoo, creating feasts, and staring into the wasteland behind his house. He loves to talk about beasts and SF and the sea, plus history and films and all kinds of nerd stuff.

February 14th 2023 – Nick Cook & Yarrow Townsend

Nick Cook

After completing a Fine Arts Degree Nick Cook joined the emerging video game industry back in the 80s. It was the start of a long career and he produced graphics for many of the top-selling games on the early home computers, including Aliens and Enduro Racer. He worked on titles such as X-Com, and set up two studios, which produced Warzone 2100 and the Conflict: Desert Storm series. He has around forty published titles to his name.

At the end of 2006 he was finally ready to pursue his other passion as a full-time career: writing. Many years later, he completed his first trilogy, Cloud Riders. Going on to publish over sixteen books.

Yarrow Townsend

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Yarrow Townsend spent her childhood among the moss, oak and heather of the New Forest. After working as a teacher, and then as a stablehand, Yarrow completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University, before returning to the forest to work for the RSPB. Always in search of ways to be closer to the outdoors, Yarrow now lives on a narrowboat, travelling the canals with her garden on the roof. The Map of Leaves is inspired by her life by the woods and the water, and by her own parents’ herb books.

March 14th 2023 – Claire Gradidge

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Claire Gradidge was born and brought up in Romsey. Her career included working as a nurse, a school librarian and an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing. She has had some short fiction and poetry published in South, Orbis and Vortex.

Her novel, The Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox, a crime fiction set in Romsey in World War II, was selected as the winner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition in January 2019.

Josephine Fox returned in Treachery at Hursley Park House. In January 1943 Josephine goes undercover to investigate information leaks and espionage at Hursley Park House, where Spitfire modifications are being designed.

April 11th 2023 – Cheryl Butler

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Shakespeare, Travelling Players & The Historic Henry

Looking at the events of 1415, which had a big impact on Hampshire, Shakespeare’s interpretation, and looking at his potential knowledge of the area via the travelling players routes.

Cheryl Butler has a twin passion for history and drama which combine together in her work as a playwright, novelist, and inform her lectures and guided tours. As a contributing editor for the Southampton Records Series she continues to work as a serious scholar whilst working as a cultural manager in the arts and supporting several heritage organisations in a voluntary capacity.

May 9th 2023 – Joanna Barnard

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From Rejection to Auction: Failure and Success in the Writer’s Life

Includes top tips on practical things like working practice and seeking representation / publication.

Joanna Barnard is a published author, workshop leader and writing mentor. After winning the Bath Novel Award in 2014, Joanna’s first two books were published by Penguin Random House, and she subsequently also qualified as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapeutic counsellor, nowadays specialising in bereavement care. Joanna’s two main passions, therapy and words, led to her designing and facilitating a series of workshops in Writing for Wellbeing. She also teaches introductory novel writing skills. Joanna continues to write and is working on her next novel.

June 13th 2023 – Della Galton

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Della Galton is a novelist, short story writer and journalist with over 35 years’ experience. Her writing credits include ten novels, several novellas and over 2000 short stories published in the UK and abroad.  

She is the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum magazine and is a qualified Adult Education tutor. 

Her latest novels, The Bluebell Cliff series, are published by Boldwood Books. Her ‘How to Write’ Books are available from Amazon.  For more information about Della see www.dellagalton.co.uk