Meet our prize-winning authors from across the county…
Adam Foster swapped one bucolic county for another when he and his wife moved to Dorset from Lincolnshire in 2010. His love of creative writing had lapsed until he started to write stories for his own Year 5 class a few years ago. He now enjoys crafting short stories for children and adults, and hopes to continue honing his writing skills whenever time allows.
Dan Hancoq has lived in Dorset for most of his life, growing up in Christchurch before going to Oxford for a few years and then returning. He is now settled in Wimborne with his partner, Jen, and daughter, Annabel. As well as being involved in their family business, Dan regularly submits stories to the many literary magazines he follows, and is involved in other creative pursuits.
Paula Harmon, author of The Cluttering Discombobulator , Kindling and The Advent Calendar , is a Chichester University graduate who has lived in Blandford Forum since 2005. She is a civil servant, married with two children. Paula has several writing projects underway and wonders why the house is a mess. Her latest book Murder Britannica is a humorous murder mystery set in AD 190. She is currently working on a sequel which will be set in Roman Dorchester. You can visit viewAuthor.at/PHAuthorpage for book links and www.paulaharmondownes.wordpress.com for short writing and other news.
Ninette Hartley lives in a small hamlet near Bridport. She has always been writing: song lyrics; poetry; plays; short stories; flash fiction. Ninette writes and performs her own work at local open-mic events, is a regular blogger www.ninette90.com and enjoys gardening and walking the dog in the beautiful West Dorset countryside.
David Herring’s writing-desk looks north-west over the Stour valley from a ridge frequented by seagulls and crows. His work explores the space between glyph and grapheme, the knoll and the null, bathtime and bathos. Linda is a story from his series Adventures in the Life of a Young Virgin . David is now seeking a publisher for this collection, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kay has lived and worked in Bournemouth since 1982. He is married with five children, all born in Dorset, and was a member of the now disbanded Wallisdown Writers Group. He has had poems published in Doors - Into and Out of Dorset, and South Poetry magazines, and has performed at various locations around the county. His collection of poetry, It Wouldn't Do, was published by Cowshed Press, Wimborne.
Born in Bournemouth in 1964, Richard Kay has lived with his wife and daughters near Dorchester since 1999. He began his career as a paintings specialist and auctioneer at Sothebys in 1987, and is now a director of Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne. He has always loved short stories, notably Somerset Maugham, Roald Dahl and Guy de Maupassant – and anything by P. G. Wodehouse.
Suze Pasparakis moved to Dorset from Brighton, where she wrote articles for a local publication. Suze continued writing after her move, but stopped when she took employment. She then experienced ill health, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and had to quit work. The silver lining, she says, is having time to write again
Sam Pegg lives in Dorset. He is studying film and English literature at Weymouth College with hopes of progressing to study English literature at university, and of becoming a writer. He is inspired by authors such as J.K.Rowling, Stephen King and Terry Pratchett. The Divide is his first published story.
Maggie Pierce spent the ‘80s living in North Dorset, and is now feeling very much at home again after three years in Shaftesbury. She finds Shaftesbury itself an inspirational place for writing, fostered by her local writing group and volunteer work at the Abbey. She published a memoir recently, and enjoys writing short stories and articles. She is also a press officer for Shaftesbury Arts Centre. Walking, particularly in Dorset, is a great love and keeping up with six grandchildren also keeps her active. She describes The Great Dorset Steam Fair, about which she has written, as her husband’s favourite day of the year.
After graduating with an English degree from the University of Southampton, Jasmine moved to Poole in 2016 to work for the RNLI. She found much to love in Dorset: white sands, film festivals, windy cliffs and great ice cream. However, she also saw the number of vulnerable people living on our streets, and had the opportunity to get to know some of them through volunteering with Routes to Roots (a charity providing food, clothing and advice to the homeless and vulnerably housed in Poole). Jasmine feels prompted to write about the social justice issues around her, and although the character and red paint in her story are fictional, the situation is a reality for many.
Bobbie-Jo Treglown lives in Weymouth with her artist husband and two children. She moved to the county as a child in 1971 and has remained based in Weymouth throughout her 10-year career as an international choreographer and performer. Now too rusty to dance, she says, she paints portraits, writes, and performs comedic poems as local characters such as The Toad Lady O' Chap'lay .
A published novelist and short story writer, Jane Wade was born in Essex but moved to Wessex in her twenties. She now lives in Dorset, her ‘beloved county of childhood holidays and fount of dreams’. She loves mermaids and the colour red, and is actively involved in amateur dramatics, craftwork and belly dancing. She once worked for a children’s publisher as a graphic designer, and believes that learning to type was one of the most useful things she has ever done.
Based in Swanage, Kevin has spent his life in the fields of theatre and performance, working as actor, director, fight director, playwright, magician, fireeater and jester. Most of his writing has been for the theatre, but more recently he has turned to speculative fiction. His story Wheat won the NewCon/IAgrE short story competition (2013) and was subsequently published in the NewCon Press collection Looking Landwards. He is also winner of the Blandford Short Story Competition: Dorset Award (2017 and 2018). His website is www.kbwillson.com
Formerly a teacher and literary development worker, with a master's degree in creative writing from Winchester University, Elizabeth Woodgate now writes full time and is currently working on her second novel. She has been published in Mslexia and The Housman Anthology and was commissioned to write an audio story work for the Basingstoke Literary Festival. She has recently written a piece based on research about the dissolution of Shaftesbury Abbey that was performed at the Shaftesbury Fringe.
Karen Wright lives and works in Bridport, from where she loves to explore and write about Dorset’s hidden countryside, coast and history. She is currently writing the third book in a children’s adventure series set in Abbotsbury. She also writes for children with additional needs, as well as their parents and carers. She has had articles published in Adoption Today and Your Autism Magazine , and blogs at www.bridportchildrenswriter.com.