Tag Archives: This England magazine

Julie Newman: My who, where,when, what, why and how of writing

Last week, I wrote about my writing life using those trusty writing prompts – who, where, when, what, how and why. I invited readers to send me their own versions, and was delighted to receive this guest post from Julie Newman. Enjoy!

Me in London Sept 2016
Julie Newman

Who?

I have been writing seriously for 10 years since taking my first course ‘Finding Your Voice’ with Jenny Alexander in Cornwall. I had newly retired and wanted a new project, hoping one day to write my memoir; although at the time this was a distant dream. This course also gave me the confidence I needed to explore other forms of writing and I’ve since had nine articles published with Evergreen and This England magazines. Other writing courses followed, one of which was in conjunction with the Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project. I had a historical short story published in each anthology, ‘Mining for Words’ and ‘Write to Remember’.

Where?

At home in my study mostly. I also take a notebook with me wherever I go, for when inspiration strikes.

When?

Whenever I feel like it. I have no set times.

What?

I have just finished rewriting and editing my debut novel. The seed for this was sown one evening during the first writing course I took with Jenny. ‘Where There’s a Will’ is a playful romp through a month in Jess Harvey’s life, a 29 year-old woman with a strapped-for-cash lifestyle who thinks she’s found her Prince Charming in lawyer Giles Morgan. I hope to publish this in the next few weeks. Last September I finally realised my dream and proudly published my memoir ‘No One Comes Close’ which had been twenty years in the making, first in longhand taken from my old diaries and subsequently transcribed into Word and reformatted.

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I am now surrounded by books on the 1640s (English Civil War) with a view to writing a historical novel set in the Fens.

Why?

Again, I initially wanted to explore the creative writing process with a view to publishing my memoir one day. But I have got so engrossed in every aspect of writing that now it occupies most of my time!

How?

I took numerous writing courses whilst living in Cornwall and I belonged to four writers’ groups – one in particular I found extremely helpful, not only with feedback on my own work, but I learned a lot through the process of critiquing other members’ work. Since moving to Norfolk and struggling to find writers’ groups in my area, I have recently found and made friends with three other local authors which is great. We often meet up for coffee and chat about our progress. I also belong to various writers’ groups on social media which I find very stimulating.

I’m delighted to see that Julie is free-ranging with her writing too! 

If you’ve enjoyed Julie’s article, and would like to share your own responses to the writers’ old friends, who, where, when, what, why and how, please email them to me author@jennyalexander.co.uk 

ps The header comes from Julie’s guest post about journalling – you can read it here.

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