Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising

Books & Writing


Latest Story

Abergavenny Writing Festival 2019

April 11th, 2019

Lots of possibilities to learn something new at the Abergavenny Writing Festival this month!

Some intriguing and enlightening talks from local writers, including Phil Madden’s session on Friday 12th April where he will share his experiences of writing to an inmate on Death Row. This session will be followed by a talk from the film directors and producers who are making a feature documentary on pen-palships with inmates on Death Row. On a completely different subject Patrick Hannay will present his thesis for discussion: have childhood tales sentimentalised our view of the countryside?

For the youngsters a chance to learn how to write and perform poetry and then compete in a ‘Youth Poetry Slam’ under the expert guidance of Bristol based aficionados Glenn Carmichael and Claire Williamson who have been running poetry slam workshops and hosting slams since 1994. Abergavenny Museum and Castle will provide the source material and base for an intergenerational memoir writing workshop led by Lynn Clausen on Saturday 13th April.
Or join award-winning Cardiff food bloggers Ed Gilbert and Jane Cook as they share their insights on food blogging; from finding a niche, building an audience, and navigating issues of ethics and transparency, right through to turning a food blog into a full-time career. This event will take place at Chesters Wine Merchants on Saturday 13th from 3.00 to 4.00pm.

There will be lots of practical advice for aspiring and established writers such as ‘Can I Write a TV Script’ and ‘How to Make a Living as a Writer’ led by experts in their field including BBC Wales Writers Room and The Society of Authors. But also many sessions focussing on writing for sheer pleasure: ‘Writing for Wellbeing’ with Sharon Brace and ‘Writing about Loss’ with poet Christine Thatcher in the beautiful and tranquil setting of Linda Vista Gardens. And for those who fancy something more active a ‘ride and write’ three hour back ride led by cyclist and writer Emily Chappell starting from Gateway Cycles in Abergavenny.
There’ll be speed-dating for artists and writers, a panel debate entitled ‘does everyone have a novel in them?’ (chaired by Focus editor Hannah Hill), a one day writers’ retreat and much, much more.

The final night is an opportunity to kick back and enjoy an exciting night of words and music upstairs at The Chapel. Author, journalist, TV presenter and cyclist Rob Penn will be introducing the stellar line-up. On the bill are vocalist of Afro funk, hip hop group Afro Cluster Tumi Williams, Costa award winning poet Jonathan Edwards reading from his new collection Gen, Welsh writer of poetry, short stories and children’s books Mari Ellis Dunning, saxophonist, beatboxer and loop-stationer Mr Woodnote and bi-lingual lyricist, rapper, singer songwriter and performance art poet Rufus Mufasa. Not forgetting the winner of Christie Residential’s local talent search.

The event is made possible with the generous support of Christie Residential, Literature Wales and Abergavenny Town Council.

More information and tickets available at www.abergavennywritingfestival.com

Lucie Parkin

More Stories

Christmas Book list

December 6th, 2017

Emma from Bookish in Crickhowell gives us her top 10 Christmas gift book ideas. The Greatest Magician in the World Matt Edmonson Written by former professional magician and TV and radio star Matt Edmondson, The Greatest Magician in the World is an incredible interactive novelty gift book featuring a brilliantly witty and exciting quest story […]

Abergavenny Writing Festival

February 25th, 2017

Focus Magazines is delighted to be a Media Partner to the Abergavenny Writing Festival this year. Organiser Lucie Parkin tells us more about the event in April The Abergavenny Writing Festival is back for its second year. With events over three days and evenings on Thursday 20th, Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd April at the […]

Book Review : Swimming Lessons by Clare Fuller

January 11th, 2017

Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house […]

Book Review: The Wonder by Emma Donohue

November 4th, 2016

Room author, Emma Donoghue, returns with her new novel The Wonder, a historical novel with a premise which is equally interesting and extremely atmospheric. It is a story riddled with secrets, superstitions, faith, rituals, myth and tradition. The novel is set in 1859 in the Irish hamlet of Athlone. Eleven year old Anna O’Donnell celebrates […]

Libraries launch Big Friendly reading challenge

August 12th, 2016

Local youngsters are being encouraged to visit their local library over the summer holidays to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Libraries in Powys are launching the Big Friendly Read this summer as part of the Summer Reading Challenge, which is aimed for children aged 4-11. The theme for 2016 is centred around […]

Book Review: Addlands by Tom Bullough

July 11th, 2016

In celebration of all things Welsh, Emma from Bookish in Crickhowell has selected this stunning fourth novel by Tom Bullough who lives locally in the Brecon Beacons. Addlands (i.e., headlands): the border of plough land which is ploughed last of all. The patriarch of Funnon Farm is Idris Hamer, stubborn, strong, a man of the […]

Book Review: ‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton

June 10th, 2016

The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception – from the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist. On a  hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled […]

Book Review: ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ by Claire Fuller

March 29th, 2016

Winner of the 2015 Desmond Elliot Prize The heat of the summer in 1976 is evoked in the opening pages as well as the way we all became listless and bored after the initial euphoria of the endless sunny days. Peggy is an eight year old and her parents are an odd combination, though their […]

Aber Writing Fest

March 21st, 2016

April 2016 will see the launch of a new event for Abergavenny: the Aber Writing Fest. Event founder and organiser Lucie Parkin is aiming to provide an eclectic range of events for all age groups and tastes. The event is designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in writing and words, whether professional or […]