Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Coventry is having its own Literature Festival - next week!

Excitement is gathering in the literary enclaves of Coventry as our very first Literature Festival approaches. Forget the Jubilee, forget the Olympics, forget even Wimbledon - Coventry is the place to be from 11th-16th June 2012.

Literally Coventry Book Festival will be hosting all kinds of literary-themed events, including a visit from 'The Fonz' - US TV star Harry Winkler, who was awarded an MBE by the Queen last year for his work for children with dyslexia and special educational needs.

Harry Winkler has also co-authored (with Lin Oliver) the New York Times bestselling Hank Zipper books. Their book Ghost Buddy, which features a boy with a super-cool ghostly room mate, will be published in June 2012.

Read more about the Fonz's visit to Coventry in the Coventry Telegraph here.

Other famous names who'll be appearing include actor John Challis from Only Fools and Horses, who will be talking about his new book Being Boycie. And look out too for bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, plus many other writers and poets, including Ruth Eastham, Jo Nadin, Cathy Cassidy, Ann Evans, Anna McQuinn, Chris Hoskins and even yours truly, Rosalie Warren. (I'll be running a school-based workshop for children of 7+ entitled 'WIXI Robot in the Making' - on the theme of my new series commissioned by Phoenix Yard Books.)

There'll be lots of events for all ages taking place in schools, in local communities and at various theatres and other venues.

And finally, let me mention an event close to my own heart. The Coventry Writers' Group will be performing extracts from their prizewinning anthology Coventry Tales at the Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon, Coventry, on the evening of Monday June 11th, 6.30-7.45pm (tickets are free!)  As those of you who follow my blog will know, this book recently won first place in Writing Magazine's Writers' Circle Anthology Award 2011. We are very proud of our achievement and look forward to performing to an audience of Coventrians and visitors in this wonderful theatre. There'll be poetry, short plays, quizzes, prizes and lots more. Come along and share our enthusiasm for Coventry and the writing it inspires.

You can see the full programme of festival events at

If you're anywhere near Coventry next week, please come along and join us for lots of fun based around books, poetry and the written word.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

STOP PRESS: 'Coventry Tales' has won a national prize!

I was delighted to get back from a few days' break yesterday to discover that our Coventry Writers' Group anthology Coventry Tales has achieved FIRST PLACE (hurray!) in the Writing Magazine Writers' Circle Anthology Award! What an achievement and how encouraging for everyone involved.

As regular readers of my blog will know, we brought out this book of short stories, poems, historical accounts and humorous pieces as something of an experiment last November. The contributions were all written as entries in a competition held last summer, and we felt it would be a waste just to let them go. One of our members suggested we self-published as a paperback and an eBook - and as a result of his enthusiasm and expertise (thanks, Mike) - that's exactly what we did.

For some of our members, this was the first time they had seen their work in print. We all had a lot of fun and learned a tremendous amount about what goes into self-publishing a book. I was able to practise my skills as a proofreader and we commissioned a talented local artist who brought the book alive with her wonderful illustrations of Coventry.

From the blurb:

Coventry Tales is the new book inspired by the city and the people of Coventry. Fifteen local authors make up this colourful collection of nineteen short stories and poems, providing insights from Coventry's past and present, narratives that explore the fabric of the city life and what makes it unique, stories that celebrate the life of Coventry and the people who inhabit her.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step back in time and live in the Coventry of yesteryear? Or yearned to discover the mystic powers of the Coventry Ring? Want to know what Lady Godiva was like to live with, or see the wild zebras of Binley?

Here you will find all these stories and more. Written by some of Coventry's finest writers, Coventry Tales provides a rich and colourful tapestry of stories and insights into our city.

Anyway, congratulations to all involved in the writing and production and publicising of Coventry Tales.


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