Category Archives: news

My Mind is Free at the Edinburgh Festival

My play about human trafficking is going to be at the Edinburgh Festival from 7-18th August. If you are up there – do try to see it! See more on the website.

Featured below – photos from the 2015 tour of the play.

Photos from the tour of My Mind is Free

‘My Mind is Free’, featuring Cassandra Bond, Emma Miller, Waylon Ma, David Sayers; dir, Jude Spooner

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Squeak – a short story on Litro

Photo of a ghost mouse


My short story ‘Squeak’ about an alternative dimension a young woman is thrown into one Halloween, has been published on Litro. Read it here.

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ME4Writers ‘highly commended’ at Medway Culture and Design Awards

Award certificate The writing collective I set up in 2009 has been ‘Highly commended’ at last week’s Medway Culture and Design Awards.

The judges said that they thought ME4Writers had done a lot of really good work in the short time since it was set up and commended us for leading the way in re-invigorating Medway’s literary scene. Our writing work with the local community was also praised and we were mentioned as a group to watch!


17Percent showcases

Maid in Kent flier

Lounge on the Farm, 6 July 2012

17Percent is an organisation I founded, which supports and promotes female playwrights. We run regular showcases on a 2-monthly-ish schedule in Whitstable in Kent, highlighting new plays by women. The events give Kent audiences an opportunity to see new work by women.   There are several events coming up over the summer.

20 June 2012 – ‘Lucky Dip’ at the Horsebridge, Whitstable

She Writes showcase presents 7 short plays by writers on an open theme. There will be a surprising revelation about a glamorous Hollywood actress, a sixteenth century food taster, and a ventriloquist’s dummy to just give a few hints as to the varied contents of our lucky dip!

6 July 2012 – ‘Maid in Kent’ at Lounge on the Farm, Canterbury

We are pleased to be able to announce that we will be performing a show at Lounge on the Farm, in the theatre tent, on Friday afternoon. The time is still to be confirmed – so if you are going – look out for us!

18 July 2012 – ‘Maid in Kent’ at the Horsebridge, Whitstable

And for those who couldn’t make the Lounge on the Farm festival, we will be repeating the plays for our Whitstable audience at the Horsebridge. ‘Maid in Kent’ features 5 of our most popular short plays by Kent-based writers. In the line-up we have aliens, sea monsters, a psycho-killer, cookery show obsessed matrons and a disasterous first date.

WPIC 2012  

I have also been invited to speak on a panel at the Women Playwrights’ International Conference in August, in Stockholm and will be happy to represent 17Percent.

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She Writes – another wonderful night of short plays by women

Pic of Cast and director
The cast and director

I programmed and hosted the second of the 17Percent ‘She Writes’ nights on 7 December.

The range of plays showcased was very wide – even though it fitted to the theme of a meal. Cannabalistic aliens, angsty ad execs, a couple of murderesses – one more psychotic than the other, the story of Adam’s first wife in the Garden of Eden, and a grown-up (and gone to seed) Mary and Joseph were amongst the treats on display.
What I enjoy most about these nights is seeing how the plays change from page to performance. Sometimes a play has something that you can’t define when you’re reading it, but you know that there is something there and it becomes magic once it’s read out loud. Sometimes a play that reads well and you think is great doesn’t work as well on stage. Getting to see (and acknowledge) which your play is, is an important part of the development process for a writer, and as someone who programmes the event, is also important, though I think we’ve managed to achieve a high proportion of plays that really work in the She Writes nights so far.
Thanks to the cast and director who interpreted the plays, and thanks to all the writers who have submitted work. The next She Writes night is on 21 March 2012. It has an international theme as it is during International Women’s Month.
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NANOWRIMO: the hard middle bit

picture of post its


This month I have been neglecting Tweeting and blogging as I am attempting the craziness that is NANOWRIMO – National Novel Writing Month – where brave, foolhardy, sleep-deprived and simply ace writers let go of their inner editor and just pour out a 50,000 word novel in a month.

I thought I’d give it a go.

I didn’t bother to do any outline or synopsis, I came up with the title and a rough idea (written in a couple of lines) about what it was going to be about – but didn’t do any more planning than that. Quite different from my usual style.

I got off to a flying start. 2,000 words a day seemed to work OK for the first week, but now we’re into week 3 the wordcount has fallen desperately behind. I need to write about 10,000 words today in order to catch up. I always thought I was quite a fast writer but I don’t think I can manage 10K a day.

The trouble is – it’s incredibly hard to switch my editor off, so I do keep going back and correcting things. Plus my novel, ‘The Incredible Mind of Evelyn Vera Hawkins’, has gone off on some historical tangents that mean I have to get myself on Google researching aspects of the story constantly. This is the problem with having the Nazis in your novel. You need to get the facts straight. The only answer to catch up is to get up a couple of hours earlier, I did it today, but let’s see how the rest of the week goes.

I’ve written the last chapter of it, like JK Rowling did with Harry Potter, so I know where it’s going. I have a few plot points and am sticking the completed chapter titles on post it notes on my wall as a go along, as I saw Will Self do something like this on an interview. It’s just getting there that is taking some work…

Still, I’m amazed at the story that is growing quite holistically. Think Indiana Jones meets Tombraider and throw in some Greek gods and a bit of magic and you have something that is turning out to be really not the sort of book that I thought I’d ever write. So we shall see how this turns out… And now I’ll stop procrastinating, make a cup of tea and write some more!

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i am small THE WORLD IS BIG

map picture

I attended a very stimulating workshop as part of accidental collective’s i am small THE WORLD IS BIG project on Saturday 16 April.

Each member of ME4 Writers, (a group I set up a few years ago when I moved to Kent,) cut up and reshaped the world according to something personal to them.

My map was a memory piece about all the places I’ve been on holiday.

ME4 Writers will be doing some writing inspired by the event, which will be available at the accidental collective open event on 28 May at Kent County Hall. Come along, re-make your own world and hear some of ME4 Writers’ writing too.

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Interviews with inspiring and interesting women

I have completed the first two interviews with ‘Inspiring and Interesting Women’ in theatre, for 17percent – an organisation which supports and promotes female playwrights. You can see the interviews on Youtube, plus forthcoming interviews as they are uploaded by searching for ’17percent interviews’.
I have a number of other interviews with inspiring and interesting women lined up, so why not follow @17percent on Twitter to find out as soon as they are posted?

Or click on the direct link to Van Badham interview or Alison Mead interview.

Van Badham photo

Van Badham, Literary Manager, Finborough Theatre


Alison Mead photo

Alison Mead, Founder, Three4All Theatre

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What you will find on this blog…

This blog is a place for thoughts and words that don’t fit into any of my other writing projects. That might be articles and reviews or it might be something else. You can find links to the other projects on here too. 

First up – a series of articles on TV sci-fi.

NB. Orson Scott Card’s How to write science fiction and fantasy gives this useful distinction; ‘If the story is set in a universe that follows the same rules as ours, it’s science fiction. If it’s set in a universe that doesn’t follow our rules, it’s fantasy.’
In these articles, just to save on wordcount, I’m grouping both together and calling it TV sci-fi.

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