Swansea & District Writers Circle (SDWC)

A group of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. The only shared characteristic is that we are passionate about writing.

Category: Guest Speaker (Page 1 of 3)

4th March: Researching local history with Geoff Brookes

Researching local history for non-fiction and fiction writers

On Wednesday, March 4th we will be joined by Geoff Brookes who will talk to us about researching local history and traditions.

Our Speaker

After an early life in Sheffield and the Midlands, Geoff Brookes moved to his wife’s home town of Swansea in 1981 and spent 38 years in the teaching profession, beginning a parallel career as a writer in 1998.

His early writing included articles and books about education, but Geoff is best known for his local history books, which came about through his writing for “Welsh Country Magazine”. His first history title, “Stories in Welsh Stone”, explored the tales behind gravestones across Wales.

This was followed by several books about the history of Swansea, initially for History Press and then for Amberley Publications, with titles including “Swansea in the 1950s”, “A-Z of Swansea – Places, People, History” and “Swansea in 50 Buildings”.

2018 saw the publication of Geoff’s first novel, “In Knives We Trust”, the first in a series of stories about Police Inspector Rumsey Bucke. The second novel in the series, Our Lady of Mumbles, followed in 2019. These stories are set in Swansea in the 1880s and draw on Geoff’s knowledge of the city’s history.

Geoff will be talking to the Circle about methods of researching local history and traditions, from the point of view of a non-fiction writer and as a novelist writing historical fiction.

About SDWC

We are a small group of local people with a shared love of writing.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:15 pm, in the Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write or want to write poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people. No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you!

Car parking is free for two hours, you’ll need to get a free ticket from the machine.

We are usually in Committee room 2 but we’re occasionally moved, but the door is open for ten minutes at the start of the meeting.

We look forward to meeting you!

5th February: Brian John

On Wednesday, February 5th we will be hosting Brian John, scientist, geographer and writer.

Our Speaker

After an early career as a scientist and geographer, during which he led expeditions to Iceland and Greenland, Brian John began as a full-time writer and publisher in 1977. He has published hundreds of articles and around 90 books.

His novels include the 8-volume “Angel Mountain” Saga which achieved cult following, and which has now been sold to Bolinda for audiobook versions. There’s also a chiller thriller first published as “Acts of God” and recently rebranded as “Icefall Zero.” His children’s story, “The Strange Affair of the Ethiopian Treasure Chest” won the 2011 Wishing Shelf Award for books aimed at 6-8 year-olds.

Brian’s non-fiction titles range from books of jokes to walking guides and titles on local history and tradition, such as “Ghostly Tales from Pembrokeshire”, which became a Christmas best-seller in 2012, and more recently “The Stonehenge Bluestones”, published in 2018, which takes a controversial look at the origins of certain West Wales bluestones.

More information can be found on Brian’s website: www.brianjohn.co.uk

About SDWC

We are a small group of local people with a shared love of writing.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month (except August) at 7:15 pm, in the Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write or want to write, poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people. No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you!

Car parking is free for two hours, you’ll need to get a free ticket from the machine.

We are usually in Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved, but the door is open for ten minutes at the start of the meeting.

We look forward to meeting you!

8th January

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 8TH 2020 at 7:15 p.m. in the Civic Centre Swansea.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – This is your chance to discuss the speakers you would like to hear in 2020 and the topics and workshops you would like to see covered as well as help pinpoint the direction you would like Swansea Writers’ Circle to take.

After the AGM our chair, Anne Marie Thomas will enlighten everyone as to what exactly is involved in realising your dream of becoming a self-published author from perfecting your manuscript, transforming it into e-and printed book to marketing and selling your work.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:15pm, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea. Whether you already write or want to write, anything from poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people.

No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you! Car parking is free for two hours – you will need to get a free ticket from the machine.

We are usually in Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved, but the door is open for ten minutes at the start of the meeting.

We are always looking forward to welcoming new members!

4th December: Eleanor St Clair

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 4TH 2019 at 7:15 p.m. in the Civic Centre Swansea.

Does the idea of tweeting fill you with terror? The thought of posting pictures to Instagram make you shrivel up inside? Or maybe you’re already winning on social and you just want to fine-tune your skills to target agents or potential readers?

On Wednesday 4th December we will be talking with one of our own members, Eleanor St Clair, about all things digital marketing.

Our Speaker

Social media can be both an advantage and a disadvantage to authors: it opens us up to a much bigger audience, but we’re also much closer to them, with no editors or filters (barring the pretty ones on Instagram). Social media is instant and permanent. So we need to know what our author brand is and how we show it through our interactions online.

Eleanor St Clair was born in a small village in South Wales and for a short while worked as a Molecular Biologist. After falling asleep on a microscope, an incident that left her with red rings around her eyes for days, she realised that this career was not for her.

She turned to her true love — writing —working three jobs whilst studying to complete her Masters. Her favourite job was in a traditional sweet shop because Sundays were quiet and she could write under the counter whilst sucking a sherbet lemon. Now she freelances for companies all over the country from her tiny cottage in South Wales and her days consist of copywriting and social media marketing.

She also works with writers to help them develop their author brand and social media presence. She reserves the night-time for make-believe worlds and gathering inspiration for her stories.

About SDWC

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:15 pm, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write or want to write, anything from poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people.

No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you! Car parking is free for two hours – you will need to get a free ticket from the machine.

We are usually in Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved, but the door is open for ten minutes at the start of the meeting.

We are always looking forward to welcoming new members!

6th November: Wendy White

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 6TH 2019 at 7:15 p.m. in the Civic Centre Swansea.

Our Speaker

We are extremely fortunate to have children’s and adult novelist Wendy White as our speaker, author of Mamgu’s Campervan and the Knights in Shining Armour, as well as Welsh Cakes and Custard, Three Cheers for Wales and St David’s Day is Cancelled.

About SDWC

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:15 pm, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write or want to write, anything from poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people.

No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you! Car parking is free for two hours – you will need to get a free ticket from the machine.

We are usually in Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved, but the door is open for ten minutes at the start of the meeting.

We are always looking forward to meeting new members!

2nd October: Rob Gittins

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2ND 2019 at 7:15 p.m. in the Civic Centre Swansea.

We are extremely fortunate to have the renowned scriptwriter and novelist ROB GITTINS as our speaker.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:15 pm, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write or want to write, anything from poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people.

No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you! Car parking is free for two hours – you will need to get a free ticket from the machine.

We are usually in Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved, but the door is open for ten minutes at the start of the meeting.

We are always looking forward to meeting new members.

5th June: Dean Powell

On Wednesday, June 5th we will be hosting Dean Powell, historian, author and owner of a PR firm.

Our Speaker

Dean Powell has published a collection of fascinating history books while also contributing essays to a variety of specialist publications and websites.

With a particular interest in Welsh history, particularly during the Victorian period, his work as an author commenced with a series of fascinating photographic history books concentrating on the valley communities of South Wales. His series of publications focusing on individual towns, villages or specialised subjects, have enjoyed widespread acclaim.

Most notably Dean has spent a decade researching the life of Welsh surgeon and pioneer of cremation Dr William Price.

For more than a year he worked closely with film actor Glyn Houston which led to the publication of his enthralling memoirs. Such was the popularity of the book that it resulted in an ITV documentary celebrating Houston’s career.

With such a varied and successful career, Dean Powell is sure to deliver an engaging talk, interesting to all kinds of writers.

About SDWC

We are a small group of local people with a shared love of writing.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month (except August) at 7:00 pm, in the Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write, or want to write, poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people. No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you!

Car parking is free, (pick up your free token at the desk and check which room we are in – it’s usually Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved).

We look forward to meeting you!

Will Macmillan Jones on Horror

On Wednesday, May 1st, 2019, our very own Wall Macmillan Jones spoke to us about the horror genre. He gave us some tips on publishing and some general writing advice.

Our Speaker

Will is a novelist, poet, storyteller and international tax consultant who adores words, and not so long ago managed to win a national competition for Flash Fiction.

His paranormal mystery series started with a very personal book, The Showing, but has now grown into a full series intended to run for 6 books.

His first love as a writer: his comic fantasy series The Banned Underground, is now released by Red Kite Publishing and is available here. Starting with The Amulet of Kings, and running through The Mystic Accountants and The Vampire Mechanic to Bass Instinct and The SatNav of Doom, each book is a stand-alone work and the series can be read in any order. Warning: these books contain beer, pizza, loud music and an enormous joke count. They may be unsuitable for those without a sense of humour.

Will’s blog can be found at willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com

You can see his web pages at www.thebannedunderground.com and
www.willmacmillanjones.com

About SDWC

We are a small group of local people with a shared love of writing.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month (except August) at 7:00 pm, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write or want to write, anything from poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people. No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you!

Car parking is free, (pick up your free token at the desk and check which room we are in. It’s usually Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved.

We look forward to meeting you!

6th March: The Pitfalls of Publishing

On Wednesday, March 6th, 2019, our very own chair, Gail Williams, author of the Locked trilogy, will be joining us to talk about the pitfalls of publishing.

Our Speaker

Gail is a writer, a freelance editor, and has a day job. She normally writes crime fiction and has just published the final book in the Locked trilogy.
Gail has also published the first two books in a steampunk series, the first of which is called Shades of Aether. She writes novels, shorts and flash fiction and has had some success with paranormal prose and poetry.

Gail has seen two sides of publishing, both traditional and self publishing, and this talk is sure to be eye-opening for novices and experienced writers alike.

About SDWC

We are a small group of local people with a shared love of writing.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month (except August) at 7:00 pm, in the Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road, Swansea.

Whether you write, or want to write, poetry, short stories, novels or plays, come along and meet some like-minded people. No experience necessary, we’d love to meet you!

Car parking is free, (pick up your free token at the desk and check which room we are in – it’s usually Committee room 3 but we’re occasionally moved).

We look forward to meeting you!

The Three P’s in 2019

From the valleys of the South Wales Coalfield, Dominic Williams is a Poet, Performer and Publisher who will be sharing his poetic expertise with us in February 2019.

Based in Carmarthenshire. For nearly twenty years his home has been the small fishing village of Ferryside on the Tywi estuary from where he runs his publishing house Iconau Books. Williams is a co-founder of the community interest company write4word and with his friend, Irish poet Denis Collins, established the Wales Ireland Spoken-word and Poetry Alliance (WISPA). He is the MC of West Wales’ most established monthly spoken word event, Poems and Pints at the Queens. In 2012, as coordinator of the Coracle project he was a founding partner of the inaugural Dinefwr Literature Festival and in 2006 organised and managed the week-long Welsh Writing for The World Festival in venues across New York City.

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 6 2019 – 7PM TO 9PM CIVIC CENTRE SWANSEA

Ask at the desk for a free car park token and check the room number. We are usually (but not always) in Committee room 3.

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