Writers will share secrets of success at Penarth Book Festival event
8:50am Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
AUTHORS at the Penarth Book Festival this year will be sharing the secrets of how they got published - and for those yet to put pen to paper there's also a workshop on how to write your own autobiography.
The Debut Writers Event will be held on Saturday, November 3, at 1pm in the Lesser Hall of All Saints Church, where teen fiction author Cathy Farr will be talking to three new authors, Emylia Hall, Catherine Jones and Jennifer Cryer. All three have had their first books published in the past twelve months.
"It's such an uphill battle today to attract publishers," explained Cathy.
"Competition is extremely high and publishers are getting more risk averse as ebooks take more of the market. In today's book publishing world, getting published is no mean feat."
Having studied at York and then Switzerland, Emylia Hall's first novel, The Book of Summers, was published in May and was a Richard & Judy Summer Book Club pick this year.
Northumbrian born Jennifer Cryer enjoyed a career as a scientist before taking up writing. After the successful completion of an MA and PHD in creative writing at Swansea University, Jennifer completed her first novel, Breathing on Glass. Published this June, the book explores the links between science and story.
To complete the trio, Catherine Jones will be talking about her first novel, Wonder Girls, inspired by the achievements of some of the most extraordinary women of the twentieth century.
Catherine, who lives in Penarth, gets a lot of her ideas from the items around her at the auction house in which she works, including letters, diaries and trinkets. Wonder Girls has been described as 'an enchanting and uplifting tale of love, friendship and the wondrousness of women for wonder girls of all ages'.
The festival also aims to inspire budding writers with a workshop on How to Write your own Autobiography, hosted by Phil Caradice.
"In any creative writing class you are always told to write what you know," said Cathy.
"Everyone knows their own life story and Phil's workshop will show people just how to go about writing something others will want to read."
Even the Children's Day shares the theme, with new author Rich Pitman talking about how he has just signed a five-book publishing deal with his first venture into teen fiction, Jimmy Threepwood.
The Penarth Book Festival is being sponsored by Penarth Town Council, HSBC and TWL Voice & Data and information on tickets and events can be found on the website www.penarthbookfestival.org.uk
Tickets can be bought on the Ticket Hotline 07787 848337, and at the Windsor Bookshop in Penarth.
IN the build-up to Penarth Book Festival, a children's writing competition attracted more than 150 entries.
Winner of the Year 8 category was Tristan Goodway-Sims, with his story The Rusty Key...
The Rusty Key By Tristan Goodway-Sims (Year 8)
Alex stared out of his bedroom window. He had just moved house, hundreds of miles away from his friends and his busy city life to the country. To the boring country! But there wasn't another child in sight, just his own reflection staring sadly back at him in the glass.
He was brought out of his daydreamy stare by something furry rubbing against his leg.
"Hello Mungo" said Alex rubbing his hand down his dog's back. He had the disc on the collar specially engraved, 'Alex's dog' followed by the address and phone number, only now it was useless because it was the number of their house in the city, not here.
"I'm lonely Mungo and I really miss my old friends. Let's explore! This house is so big and old and there's nothing else to do."
Alex had never realised houses could be so old and have basements. This one was spooky, dark and damp and smelt like mouldy cheese. Even switching on his torch only gave a low light and didn't stop him walking into a curtain of spiders' webs.
The basement got narrower and darker. Sinister shadows danced on the low walls and Mungo growled.
"It's a good job I don't scare easily" muttered Alex out loud.
He was on his hands and knees now with the torch held in his mouth and just when he thought he couldn't go any further without being squashed he felt rough wall in front of his face.
The light of the torch picked out of the grime and cobwebs a small wooden door, not much bigger than a large cat flap. Set into the door was an iron ring, and small rusted key in the lock.
His hands shaking with excitement and fear, Alex tried turning the key. It was very stiff and in the silence of the basement the grinding, scraping noise echoed loudly. Finally it clunked and using his legs to brace himself for extra strength Alex pulled until his face went purple. The door was moving! Alex pulled himself through and Mungo followed.
"Ow! What's that?" His knee had struck something hard. The torch lit up a very old dirty green glass bottle. Alex sat down and pulled hard on the cork. Tipping the bottle upside down Alex stared at another key, larger and more fancy than the one in the little door and some sort of yellowing map too faded to see in the dim light.
He carefully put it in his pocket. What could the key open? He had to go on even though his heart was beating very fast with fear.
He and Mungo were now in a passageway. The smell was different here like wet leaves and damp earth.
"I seem to be walking for ages' whispered Alex, his own voice echoing eerily back at him. The passageway was narrowing and twisting with every step and then around the corner nothing, just a dead end with leaves growing everywhere. Alex felt through the thick moss.
"I can see the outline of another door Mungo!" It was bigger this time and far stiffer. Seeing the empty lock he reached into his pocket and took out the fancy key. It fitted and turned but the door was too stiff and heavy to move. Alex made a lot of noise trying.
"Hello" - a muffled voice was coming from the other side of the door! Mungo barked. Alex shouted back. "Who are you and where are you?"
"I'm by a trap door that is overgrown with leaves" the stranger's voice shouted back. It was hard to hear.
"You pull and I'll push" shouted Alex.
With an effort from both sides the thick heavy door scraped open just enough. Alex was almost blinded by sunlight after the dark tunnel. "Hello". A boy about his age was smiling down at him.
"I'm Tom, who are you?"
"I'm Alex and this is my dog Mungo, we have just moved into Smugglers House. I found this tunnel in our basement and followed it."
"Wow" said Tom and he gave Alex his hand to help him climb up from the trapdoor.
"I'm glad you moved in" said Tom. "Your tunnel sounds cool. There have always been stories that your house was used by smugglers to store stuff in the old days and that's why it's called Smugglers House."
Alex carefully locked the secret door and pocketed the key. His fingers closed around the old map. That creepy mystery would wait for another day. Suddenly this place didn't seem so bad after all.