Innovative & Unusual
Books are my passion, sharing them with people even more so!
So I’m always on the look out for innovative and unusual ways to make books special for you, too. Whether it’s a Random Reading Group session because I just read a book that I simply had to talk about, or a trip to Venice so we can follow in the footsteps of famous authors, or a Readers’ Retreat or whatever it might be … these are events that come up every now and again and are open to everyone.
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Occasional Special Events
We love our special events and have missed them over the last two years due to illness and bereavement. 2018 is the year we are re-emerging though, and ‘God willing and if the creek don’t rise’ (to quote Barbara Kingsolver, one of my my favourite authors) we’ll be enjoying these very special new events very soon. Sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page for the latest information.
Join Deborah Alma, aka The Emergency Poet, with Liz Lefroy, Roz Goddard and others for a powerful reading from the #MeToo anthology.
Listen hard – this is what you hear and what must be said: the hard poetry of truth, exploding into the light, where it goddam belongs. Read these poems ansd then decide in what order you want to cry, march, scream with recognition and relief and then grab a sword/pen and write your own.
This is a collection of largely new work, coming directly out of the collective rage of the #MeToo campaign on social media last year.
This is a marvellous way to start our celebration of women and feminisim. We’ll serve a glass (or two!) of fizz and you’ll be able to talk with the poets. (Publisher’s proceeds from the book are being donated to Women’s Aid)
SATURDAY 16 JUNE 12pm £5
All the Winding World
What would have happened if Penelope hadn’t stayed at home weeping and weaving and had gone to find Odysseus herself? So asks Kate Innes, author of The Errant Hours and Flocks of Words.
All the Winding World is a sequel to the hugely successful The Errant Hours and explores many of the themes of the classical texts.
We are delighted that Kate’s latest book falls so neatly in the middle of Feminist Book Fortnight, so join us in conversation with Kate as we explore this fascinating period of history from a feminist viewpoint.
Fizz and nibbles – let’s celebrate!
SATURDAY 23 JUNE 4pm NO CHARGE
A Treachery of Spies
Manda Scott spent four years researching the women – and men – of the Special Operations Executive for her latest book A Treachery of Spies. These were women who had the courage, language skills and (sometimes) the flair for deception that allowed them to live and work in enemy territory. Their stories have been told, but often with elisions, or deletions of those parts considered unpalatable to the audience of the day. This afternoon we’ll explore the unvarnished truths of the lives, and often appalling deaths, of these women – and look at the rôles played after the war by survivors in this eagerly awaited new book (to be published in August).
Manda Scott is the author of fourteen novels, including the world famous Boudicca series. She will be signing copies of Into the Fire, the precursor to A Treachery of Spies, at this event.
Do join us for this very special finalé to our fortnight of feminist celebrations. We’ll serve a glass (or two!) of fizz, alcoholic and otherwise.
SATURDAY 30 JUNE 4pm £5
More events, the celebrations for Feminist Book Fortnight just keep coming! Here are some of our week-day events for your enjoyment
TUESDAY 19 JUNE
10.30am – 12pm
The Persephone Reading Group
We’re discussing Young Anne by the wonderful Dorothy Whipple. £15 to include the book (available now), coffee & biscuits. Booking essential.
THURSDAY 21 JUNE
11am – 12pm
Coffee and Conversation
What were you reading in the second wave of feminisim? Come to the table with ideas, memories, & your old books if you have them! No charge.
WEDNESDAY 27 JUNE
3pm – 4.30pm
THURSDAY 28 JUNE
2.30pm – 4.00pm
Knitting and Poetry – poems by, about and for women
Bring your knitting (or not!) and enjoy a glass of sherry and the bliss of being read to by Ali and Tim. £7
Readers’ Retreat 2018
Ty Newydd Writing Centre
25th-30th NOVEMBER 2018
Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, Cricieth
… but we are holding a list for reservations in case of cancellations so do email me if you’d like to be included.
This year we are delighted that our Readers’ Retreat will be held at the National Centre for Creative Writing in Wales at Tŷ Newydd, and we are pleased and proud that our special guest will be Gillian Clarke, former National Poet of Wales, on the afternoon and evening of 28th November.
Built in the fifteenth century, Tŷ Newydd is a Grade II listed building with a rich history. Famously the last home of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, it has seen many families passing through its doors over the centuries.
The beautiful grounds looking out over Cardigan Bay were restyled by famous architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1940s, and provide the perfect setting for you to read or write (or to relax with your knitting!) in peace and quiet.
The house has six bedrooms, two libraries, a large dining room, a kitchen, and a conservatory. The annexe, Hafoty, just across the way, includes the tutors’ quarters, and a further six rooms for guests. It also includes a writing nook.
The first evening
The course will begin with afternoon tea, when we will give out the reading material for the week: this will be a selection of short stories taken from The Story – love, loss and the lives of women. 100 short stories chosen by Victoria Hislop and published by Head of Zeus. This will be followed by free time before meeting for a celebratory glass of Prosecco to start the the week. We will then have supper in the main dining hall.
In the mornings
Each day’s format will be the same, except for the afternoon of November 28th, and all activities are optional. After breakfast we will gather together and Anna will read to you from the selection of stories. This will be followed by the chance to walk locally, or to simply explore the grounds and garden, or to find a quiet corner in which to read – perhaps in one or other of the libraries, or in the main hall. We will designate a ‘silent space’ for those who wish to work without distraction, other spaces will be available for quietly whiling away the hours. Feel free to bring your craft of choice with you, or materials for painting or to catch up on your writing. Morning coffee will be served for those who have stayed put.
The rest of the day
Lunch will be taken together in the house, or if you are out and about, there are cafés (and the famous Dylan’s sea-front restaurant, in nearby Cricieth). After lunch, you are again free to enjoy your time either on your own or with others, and afternoon tea will be served. Most days we will meet as a group from about 5 o’clock to enjoy convivial drinks and conversation together before going in for supper. After supper, we will discuss the story that we read earlier in the day.
The Small Print
Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, Llanystumdwy, Cricieth, Gwynedd, LL52 0LW
Telephone: 01766 522 811
For further information, and to book your place,
please contact Anna on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holiday fee: £545, the non-returnable deposit of £100 is payable by no later than 10th May. The full balance is due by 10th September.
Discounts may be possible for couples and shared occupancy subject to availability – please contact Anna for details.
Everyone will have their own room. Some rooms are en suite, (on a strictly first come, first served basis) others share a bathroom with one other bedroom.
Arrivals from 4pm on Sunday 25th November, departures after breakfast on Friday 30th November.
We very strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance as refunds are only possible if another participant is able to take your place. Your deposit is non-returnable.
Breakfast, lunch, and supper, morning coffee and afternoon tea are all included. Special diets catered for – please let us know. The kitchen is never out of bounds to guests, and you will be able to help yourself to hot drinks whenever you wish (there are teas, including herbal varieties, proper coffee and cafetières, and hot chocolate) and you can even raid the fridge for leftovers.
We ask that you bring wine and your favourite pre-dinner tipple to share. We will provide a glass of Prosecco (or elderflower fizz) for the first and last nights. Tŷ Newydd is an old house: the heating will be on at all times, but do dress warmly, bring layers, and hot water bottles if you like them. We advise you bring wellies and/or walking boots and waterproof clothing as there are lots of lovely walks in the grounds and there will be opportunities for guided walks in the area.
12 High Street
Shropshire TF13 6AA
Open 10am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday