The Programme 2021/2022

Past Events

Tuesday 12th April, 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Winton Building Room 5 University of Winchester

Speaker: Matthew Harffy

Talk: What are the secrets to writing a
successful historical fiction series?

How to get that elusive first draft written, handling historical research and lots more, Matthew will talk about how to make historical fiction accessible and engaging and reveal the secrets to writing a successful series.
Matthew Harffy lived in Northumberland as a child and the area had a great impact on him. The rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline made it easy to imagine the past. Decades later, a documentary about Northumbria’s Golden Age sowed the kernel of an idea for a series of historical fiction novels that became ‘The Bernicia Chronicles’, featuring the hero, Beobrand, and his journey from young farmhand to seasoned warrior in the 7th century. 

In late 2019, Matthew published his first novel that was not part of the Bernicia Chronicles. Set in the early 9th century, ‘Wolf Of Wessex’, follows the tale of an aging warrior, Dunston, who is roused from his life of peace in the forest to defend a young orphan girl and to discover the dark secret that led to her father’s brutal murder.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Matthew worked in the IT industry. Prior to that he worked in Spain as an  English teacher and translator.

Special guest: Rob Stuart
Rob Stuart was born in Germany where his father was a UK Ministry of Defence officer on the East German frontier. Rob has been a bookseller, civil servant, wine bar owner and EFL teacher. He has taught English in Cyprus, Kuwait, Spain, Germany as well as in the United Arab Emirates University and Academic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London He is now retired and divides his time between writing and travelling.  

Rob’s recent books: A Place in the Country, Appearance and Illusion, Uther Pendragon  published by The Conrad Press.

Elane Retford and Sarah Post from I AM in Print will be speaking at this event. They are organising the the Writing Festival in Winchester. The Writers’ Weekend held in previous years is now called the I AM Writing Festival, run by I AM in Print. Booking is now open for the 2022 event at

Hampshire Writers’ Society
Tuesday 14th December from 6.30pm -7.30pm
HWS Members’ Book Fair
University of Wincheste

7.30pm Programme begins in Stripe Studio


Performance of  AUSTEN SISTERS

Special Guest: Dr Cheryl Butler

Talk: Jane Austen and Southampton Spa

Celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday in December with this dramatic and entertaining solo literary recital of readings from Jane and Cassandra Austen’s letters, prose and poetry about sisters.

Rowan Suart is a professional actress/speaker/writer based in north-east Hampshire, with a long career in theatre, television and radio, having trained for the stage at Elmhurst Ballet School in Camberley, Surrey.  She has played diverse character roles in repertory and commercial theatres all over the country, including the Bristol Old Vic, the Theatre Royal in Brighton/Winchester/Windsor, New Theatre Oxford, Guildford Electric Theatre, Farnham Redgrave Theatre.  On television she has appeared in the sit-coms One Foot In The Grave and Nelson’s Column, and the drama Intimate Contact; also Noel’s House PartyNeighbours, commercials, and in BBC Radio 4 classic serials.  Recent stage roles include Carlotta Gray in Coward’s A Song At Twilight, Mrs Elton in Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, and Mrs Malaprop in Sheridan’s The Rivals.  She is an Associate Artist with LynchPin and Artifice theatre companies, which present regular public playreadings in Surrey and theatrical productions nationwide.

Rowan also writes, performs, and produces party entertainments for adults and children, and is a guest Speaker for Hants/Surrey/Sussex groups with her themed literary recital compilations.  Her latest Austen Sisters has been performed to much acclaim at festivals etc such as Bath, Chawton, Winchester, Alton, Chichester, Haslemere, Farnham, Lindfield, and Arundel.

Hampshire Writers’ Society
Tuesday 9th November 7.30pm
Winton Building Room 5
University of Winchester
Speaker: Yasmin Kane
, Literary Agent, Kane Literacy Agency
Talk: Creativity – who is this elusive creature & where do we meet it

Yasmin Kane

A literary agent for 16 years, Yasmin set up her own publishing house, Three Hares Publishing in 2014. Yasmin strives to be at the cusp of change in a continuously evolving and fast-paced industry. Her agency, Kane Literary Agency, specialises in thought-provoking YA, children’s fiction and non fiction.

Whereas Three Hares publishes Adult, YA and children’s fiction. Yasmin loves working closely with authors, being an agent and publisher in a small publishing house enables her to do this.  She curated literary events at Midsummer Muswell Festival in 2017 and regularly participates in agent one-to-ones at London Book Fair, Winchester Writers’ Festival, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Hampshire Writers’ Society and the Historical Novel Society. Yasmin is currently adding to her agency list and looking for non fiction – memoirs, (meta physics et al) and those all elusive stories which stay with you long after the last page has been turned…

Special Guest: Jenny Overy, poet

Jenny Overy has spent many years working in mental health and education, running workshops around the country and lecturing at Southampton University. When not involved in amateur dramatics, she sings in pubs and clubs and of course, writes.

She has been writing poems and cryptic plays for many years, prompting her to complete a course in creative writing. She later joined a local writers circle, but due to work commitments, had to pause on a few half-written memoirs and a number of short stories, and poems.

You’re Kidding Me! An anthology of poems 


Jenny self published her second edition of poems, which she hopes provides readers with a modicum of entertainment and inspiration, as well as momentary reflection. She likes the simple things in life, uncomplicated.

It’s best not to take ourselves or life too seriously, and we should laugh with ourselves, laugh at ourselves and laugh with others, because, laughing is the only real tonic, without any additives.

Jenny’s third anthology of poems will be published soon.

2021/2022 Programme

14th December 2021 Rowan Suart, actress, speaker, writer
Performance of Austen Sisters

Special Guest: Dr Cheryl Butler
Book Fair

11th January 2022  Louisa Scarr, author
 Special Guest: Jan Carr, children’s author

8th February 2022 James Chew author

8th March 2022 Amy Sparkes author
Special Guest: Veronica Cossantelli, author

12th April 2022 Matthew Harffy, author
Special Guest: Rob Stuart, author

10th May 2022 Beth O’Leary, author
Special Guest: Louise Morrish

14th June 2022  Speaker to be confirmed   
Special Guest: B. Random, author

Summer Book Fair

Tuesday 28th September 2021

7.30pm at the Winton Building Room 5, University of Winchester.

Main Speaker Award-winning author, Claire Fuller

Talk: Rewriting, Revising, Editing

Claire will talk about rewriting, revising, and editing novels, and in particular how she went about changing the main character, the point of view, the tense, and even the time period in her fourth novel, ‘Unsettled Ground’.
Claire didn’t start writing until she was 40. Her first novel, ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction, as well as being a Richard & Judy, and Waterstones book club book. Her second novel, ‘Swimming Lessons’ was shortlisted for the Encore prize, and her third, ‘Bitter Orange’ was long listed for the International Dublin Literary Award. Claire also writes flash fiction and short stories. Many have been shortlisted in competitions and she has won BBC Opening Lines short story competition, and the Royal Academy / Pin Drop prize. Her fourth novel, Unsettled Ground  published 2021 was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

To find out more visit Claire’s website.

Special Guest:  Martin White  whose debut novel Faze is published in September

Tuesday 12th October  2021
Winton Building Room 5
, University of Winchester
Speaker: author, Richard T Kelly
Talk: The Lie That Tells the Truth: On Fiction & Non-Fiction

Richard T Kelly is the author of the novels Crusaders (2008), The Possessions of Doctor Forrest (2011) and The Knives (2016). His fourth novel, The Black Eden, is forthcoming from Faber. His other publications include various non-fiction books and biographies, such as Alan Clarke (1998), Sean Penn: His Life and Times (2004), Keegan & Dalglish (2017), and the bestselling memoir by Judith Tebbutt which he co-wrote, entitled A Long Walk Home (2013).

About Richard’s talk:  The Lie That Tells the Truth: On Fiction & Non-Fiction.
All creative writing draws on and interprets things that really happened: life is the subject of art, with varying degrees of imagination applied. Nevertheless, authors who work in both fiction and non-fiction are sometimes imagined to be moving between enemy camps. Using examples from his own work and some great writers, Richard T Kelly will propose that these two creative pursuits actually cohabitate peacefully and fruitfully.
Special Guest:  author, Charles Morris Lansley,  
Following his mother’s death in 2013, Dr. Charles Lansley discovered a manuscript written in the early 1960s by his father, Peter Stark Lansley. Sixty years later, it was finally published under the title Pon My Puff: A childhood in 1920s Isle of Wight by Beachy Books.  The autobiographical novel is a true story of a child’s 1920s Island upbringing by his grandparents.