Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Latest News from Worcester Writers' Circle

Kevin Brooke

Kevin's short story 'The Jogger In The Park' has been selected for the Black Pear Press Competition Anthology 'Seaglass And Other Stories' – congratulations Kevin from all at WWC.
Kevin's story 'Running Away' has won first place in the 2014 Erewash Writers' Open Short Story Competition 2014.

The Judge, Malcolm Welshman, chose Kevin's story for first place and said "Running Away was...superbly written. So much so it outclassed the rest and so headed my list."

Congratulations Kevin especially as this comes hot on the heels of his successful new book Jimmy Cricket see below.

Kevin launches new book - Jimmy Cricket

Kevin Brooke’s book launch at The Hive, Friday 26 September, saw a full house listening avidly to extracts from this story about a boy.

Jimmy is fifteen. His parents have been killed in a motorway accident. When he’s forced to move over a hundred miles to live with his nan, Jimmy struggles to cope with the upheaval in his life. His one real friend, Dean, has even bigger problems than Jimmy, and together they can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Then they are arrested for shoplifting. While all this is going on, a girl called Dayla arrives on the scene to complicate things further. 
Jimmy becomes involved in a bereavement club with a difference, he is given the chance to find some stability at last.
The question is—will he take the opportunity?

On the back of recent successes – both highly commended and runner-up in two separate national short story competitions – Kevin Brooke launched the publication of his new book, Jimmy Cricket, aimed at early teens.

‘There’s no more exciting yet terrifying time in your life than early to mid-teens,’ he said. ‘Seen through the eyes of the main character, Jimmy Latham, this story shows how teenagers can, with the right support, survive just about anything. Set just after Jimmy’s fifteenth birthday and a year after the death of his parents in a car accident his life is in disarray. But then…he’s given the chance to focus on something positive.’

We asked Kevin to tell us more about the main character and the story.
‘Does he get himself into trouble along the way? Oh yes. Does he get involved with things that he shouldn’t? Of course he does. Does he fall in love? Try and show me a teenager who doesn’t. Does he finally, with the help of those around him, sort himself out? Well, you’ll just have to read the book and find out the answer!’

Although aimed at teenagers, Black Pear Press is convinced Jimmy Cricket will be successful as a crossover book; a spokesperson said, ‘It’s a rare opportunity to support a local author who knows his target audience so well. When we read Jimmy Cricket we couldn’t put it down; it has great ‘PTQ’ (page turning qualities).
‘I think adults will enjoy the story as well,’ Kevin added. ‘It may even give the parents the opportunity to find out what their sons and daughters are really getting up to…’

Jimmy Cricket is published by Black Pear Press

Sue Pritchard
Writing as Frances Bennett, Sue's first thriller Seeds of Destruction was published and launched recently.  The novel features celebrity chef, Hester, whose orderly life is thrown into chaos by her stepson,Simon. Hester views Simon with maternal affection, unaware that he harbours a dangerous obsession. 

The seeds of destruction have their roots in Simon’s bitter and lonely childhood. On the death of his grandfather he becomes wealthy enough to abandon his teaching job and, with ruthless determination, plans to remove anyone who stands between him and the attainment of his dream. Gradually losing all touch with reality, his behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre, with terrifying, destructive consequences. 

Seeds of Destruction was launched Sunday 12 October, 16:00-18:00 at St Swithun’s Institute, to considerable acclaim.
For your copy go to:

Front Cover Seeds_edited-1

Polly Robinson
Polly has two poems exhibited in the basement of Croome Court as part of the 'Soul to Sole' project, the first is about the 2nd Earl's wife, Anne Somerset, Countess of Croome, and the second is about the head gardener in the 18th century, William Dean, who wrote the Hortus Croomensis. Polly was pleased to be invited to continue her association with Croome as one of the 'Croome Poets' who will be doing walking tours and performing poetry in Croome Park in 2015 and will publish booklets of their poetry about Croome.
Her latest publication successes include two poems in the Paragram Poetry Anthology 2014.  

Alan Durham
Alan launched his first novel The Hen Race Sunday 26 October at Benedictos in Sidbury, Worcester - a great success.

Young Tom York is growing up in a railway community. An idyllic childhood sees Tom learn about hens, trains, ballroom dancing and the folly of climbing onto the pig sty roof.  In due course, Tom discovers the truth of the situation, his parents are struggling to cope with scars from WWII. This is a time of mangles and tin baths, love, laughter and crises, when strong communiti
es worked together to achieve the near miraculous. Based on a true story, The Hen Race is a celebration of survival, of modest heorism and the extraordinary courage of ordinary people. 

Alan says, 'I'm an old bloke who writes a bit.' He enjoys writing short stories and the occasional rhyming thing. He's happily married to Tana.

The Hen Race has 'been floating around' in his mind for over forty years; some would say its publication is long overdue! It's set in the 1950s, a decade roughly coincidental with the early years of Alan's life. He was brought up in the East Riding of Yorkshire and now lives in Worcestershire.

Mark Billen
This year, 2014, Mark has had two plays published.

Cinderella's Sisters ... happy ever after? is published by Lazy Bee Scripts
A production has been booked by Dreamaker Drama Education Centre, Beijing for January 2015. (That's how they spell Dream Maker!)

Aladdin's Arabian Nightmare is published by Comedy Plays.

The Henry and Fred series now has twelve titles. The latest is 'Martin and Miriam's New Friend'. The Henry and Fred books can be purchased at the Henry and Fred website.

Mark's well-established play Seeking Sleeping Beauty will be performed by the University of Derby Students' Union Theatre Society 5th and 6th December 2014  in Derby UK.