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I have been writing since I was very young. When I was a teenager, essays and poetry helped me win my first overseas trip via a newspaper competition. I returned to creative writing in 2006 after 30+ years as a technical writer. For the past seven years, I've had great fun experimenting with different types of writing. I've written articles for content websites and on commission. I've written short stories and poetry for competitions — and have had a couple of wins, several honourable mentions and some short-listing.
Since 2009, I have been co-editor of the Chudleigh Phoenix Community Magazine and we have grown it from a 4-page, bimonthly publication to a monthly 10-pager. Together with co-editor Sharon Cook, I launched the Chudleigh Phoenix Annual Short Story Competition, which has just started accepting entries for a fourth year.
In July 2011, we published a collection of short stories. Life is Not a Trifling Affair received such positive feedback from our readers, we brought out a second collection in November 2012. This one is called Life is Not a Bed of Roses. Both anthologies are available either as paperbacks or as ebooks.
I have also published two books on my own: Sunshine and Sausages is a how-to book on running a successful summer garden party. My latest book, Parcels in the Rain and Other Writing is a collection of short stories, flash fiction, travel writing and memoirs.
I am currently working on my first novel which is set in Russia and based partly on my travel experiences. It's been in progress since 2006. In 2010, frustrated by the time it was taking to complete — and to provide structure and discipline to the project — I signed up for an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University. I graduated in January 2013.
I am a member of the Chudleigh Writers' Circle, Exeter Writers and the West Country Writers' Association. I spend far too much time on Facebook and Twitter, but have met some great writing buddies along the way.