Writers’ Day School!

A chance for aspiring writers to pick the brains of those who have made the heady world of publication! Offering a choice of four workshops: crime with Matthew Hall; historical fiction with Alis Hawkins; relationships in fiction with Deborah Gregory; and young adult fiction with Byrony Pearce; followed by an interview with Cass Green and an afternoon of panel discussions on practical topics such as editing your work and how to go about getting the right agent.

Saturday 7 July 2018  10 am – 4 pm

The Main Place, Old Station Way, Coleford GL16 8RH (above Coleford Library)

£15, including lunch, tea, coffee


Cass Green is the pseudonym of Caroline Green, an award-winning author of fiction for young people. Her first novel, Dark Ride won the RONA Young Adult Book of the Year and the Waverton Good Read Award. Cracks was recommended on Radio 4’s Open Book programme and Hold Your Breath won the Oldham Book Award. She is the Writer in Residence at East Barnet School and teaches Writing for Children at City University. Her debut adult novel The Woman Next Door was a Number 1 e-book bestseller and her second, In A Cottage, In A Wood was a Sunday Times top ten and USA Today bestseller. Her next thriller Don’t You Cry is out on September 6th. Cass will be interviewed by local writer Val Ormrod.

Val Ormrod has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. Her memoir In My Father’s Memory, completed on the course, was shortlisted for the Janklow & Nesbit prize. A member of the Forest of Dean Writers, Dean Writers Circle and NaCOT Poets, she also leads a U3A Creative Writing group. She has won awards in a variety of competitions including the Bridport Prize and Writing magazine. She was runner-up in last year’s Coleford Festival of Words competition and read at Cheltenham Literature Festival as part of the Gloucester Writers Network Event, at Novel Nights in Bristol and will read at Stroud Short Stories in May 2018.

Deborah Gregory worked as an actor until winning a South West Arts writing competition. Since then she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and has had novels published by Picador and St Martins Press as well as winning various prizes with both stories and poems. She has taught classes at The Guildhall in Gloucester and several venues in the Forest. Deborah was last year’s winner of the Festival’s writing competition, ‘I’m Reading’, with her entry Postcard.

Matthew Hall is the author of seven novels and many TV scripts, most recently BBC One’s Keeping Faith. He has been twice shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association’s premier award, the Gold Dagger. We welcome him back to the Festival!

 Alis Hawkins, author of The Teifi Valley Coroner historical crime series, grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. Her inner introvert thought it would be a good idea to become a shepherd and, frankly, if she had, she might have been published sooner. As it was, three years reading English at Corpus Christi College, Oxford revealed an extrovert streak and a social conscience which saw her train as a Speech and Language Therapist. She has spent the subsequent three decades variously bringing up two sons, working with children and young people on the autism spectrum and writing fiction, non-fiction and plays. She writes the kind of books she likes to read: character-driven historical crime and mystery fiction with what might be called literary production values.

Byrony Pearce is a Cambridge graduate who fled her ‘real London job’ in 2004 and now lives in the Forest of Dean. As well as being a full-time mum to her two children, husband and various pets, she is the author of several novels for young adults including Angel’s Fury, the multi-award-winning thriller about a teenage girl who has been reincarnated; Wavefunction, a science-fiction novel about a young man who can jump between universes, based on Homer’s Odyssey; and Savage Island, a horror novel based on the question ‘what would you do for £1 million?’ She also has short stories appearing in the anthologies Now We Are Ten by Newcon Press and Stories from the Edge.

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