An Evening for Readers and Writers, Tuesday 7th November

Join Margaret James and Cathie Hartigan for an evening of lively conversation, inspiration, hints and tips about reading and writing. 

Do you love to read? Learn more about your favourite authors from Margaret James, journalist at Writing Magazine, whose author profiles have entertained readers for the last twenty years. 

How has the world of publishing changed? Have you ever wondered about becoming a writer yourself? Wherever you are on your writing journey, we can help you on your way, from first steps to publication. 

Margaret and Cathie are successful authors, writing competition organisers and teachers of creative writing.

Good for your NaNoWriMo!
National Novel Writing Month
Ask the library for more details

St Thomas Library
01392 252783
35 Church Rd/Cecil Rd - Exeter -EX2 9AZ


Did you know Exeter has a Grand Bard?

The current Grand Bard of Exeter is Jackie Juno, a multiple poetry slam winner, including the 2017 Glastonbury Festival Poetry Slam and the Plymouth LitFest 2017 poetry slam!

In 2011 Jackie won the competition to find Exeter’s new Bard. Contenders had 7 minutes to perform something of their own material (song, story or poem) and read out their manifesto of what they would do with the title. This was judged by the audience. After holding the title for a year, she held the competition to find the new Bard. The Grand Bard at that time, Mark Lindsey Earley, wished to bestow his title upon her, so after some deliberation, she decided to accept his kind offer of the seven year role.

“It is up to each individual what they want to do with the title of Bard or Grand Bard - I oversee the competition each year and support the Bards, but otherwise it is open to what the individual feels is their role."

Of winning at Glastonbury, Jackie says; “It was a nail-biting competition. After the first two rounds I was head-to-head with Lisa Goodwin, former chaired Bard of Glastonbury who had blown me away at the Glastonbury bardic Trials a couple of years earlier. It was incredibly close and I am very proud to have won the title, a free ticket to the next festival, and a ludicrously large and heavy handmade medal which I get to keep for life!”

Jackie’s way with words has taken her as far afield as Ireland, Amsterdam and Italy, plus she regularly gigs all over the southwest. She runs several monthly poetry events in Totnes, Chagford, and Bovey Tracey.

Jackie has won several awards for her poetry and has three poetry collections published – THIS MUCH I KNOW (2014), HISTORY’S WHISPERS (2011) and OUTSPOKEN! (2009). She runs creative writing classes in Devon, Cornwall, Italy and beyond… and is also a celebrant, painter, singer, compere, tarot reader, workshop facilitator and events organiser. 

She is soon to be launching her new multi-media solo show called SPELLBOUND – Being the True Tale of a Reluctant Witch Unable to Escape her Destiny. Appropriately, these debut performances are around Hallowe’en; in Cornwall and Devon, with further dates to be added. More details can be found on her website

Plymouth Literature Festival

There's lots going on at PlymLit 17 from October 21st to 29th.

(And the Exeter Writers are joining in!)


Elizabeth Ducie will be talking about her new novel, Deception! on Saturday 21st from 3-4pm.

Richard Handy will be discussing how he turns science facts into fiction on Sunday 22nd from 2-3pm.

Both events take place at the Plymouth Athenaeum and are free.

Getting ready for Nano?

November is National Novel Writing Month, when writers around the globe strive to write 50,000 words in 30 days. 
To find out more, go to where you can browse the forums and look at the FAQs to get an idea of how it works. This year, Devon has a Municipal Liason; someone who has volunteered to be a point of contact for the region. Having somebody in place to organise events and generally cheer everybody on could be a great opportunity to make contact with other writers from the Devon area.

October is also known as 'prep'-tober. When Nano-ists get ready for the writing marathon to come (unless, of course you're a complete pantser and choose to start with a blank screen on November 1st), and it's the ideal time to find out what to expect.

And where better to look than in this month's Writing Magazine, which has an article featuring Exeter Writers, Elizabeth Ducie, N. Sian Southern and Angela Wooldridge as they talk about their experiences of last year's NaNoWriMo.
Elizabeth Ducie
N. Sian Southern
Angela Wooldridge

We wish you the best of luck if you're planning to take part, and you never know - you may bump into us in the Devon forum!

Story craft with Jo Cole

Now that the 2018 Exeter Writers Short Story competition is open for entries, we thought we'd get you chomping at the bit with a series of blog posts around story craft. Happy reading (and writing)...

 Ten Ways to use ‘Find and Replace’ to Edit your Writing.
 By Jo Cole
When I first started editing my own work, I didn’t know where to start and would often rely on my gut feeling. But the more I write, the more systematic I have become; a strict editing procedure results in writing that is stronger, cleaner and more dynamic. And for a rigorous self-editor, ‘Find and Replace’ is immensely useful. Here are my top ten ways to use it.