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Here are the full set of exhibitors for 2023
As well as a few regulars, we have plenty of new and varied talent as well.

 

Nikky Smedley

 Say 'Eh-Oh!’ to the performer behind the beloved Teletubby ‘LaaLaa' in this candid and entertaining memoir. Lifting the curtain on what it was like to be Laa-Laa and experience the astonishing success of the Teletubbies phenomenon, Nikky’s enchanting story is warm, affectionate and as lively and funny as the programme which enchanted so many children.

“Top notch insight into the woman within the puppet.” - Vic Reeves

Nikky will reprise her TedX talk for adults "Play. Laugh. Shut Up." in which Nikky shares her three secrets for communicating with children non-verbally. See speakers page for more details.

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Nikky will also do a children’s storytelling session which will be her own (funny!) rhyming stories - they’re quite interactive so lots of opportunity for the children to join in - more details on the speakers page.

Nikky ran her own dance theatre company for around twenty years as well as singing in bands, and running a cabaret and comedy club. Then she worked in children’s television; performing (most famously as LaaLaa in ‘Teletubbies’), devising, writing, producing and directing for a further decade. Nikky left television to write and perform children’s stories and theatre events, whilst also working across all educational settings. Lately her creative work has mostly taken the form of writing and she has presented at literary festivals and conferences throughout Europe.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikky-Smedley

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SC Skillman

Warwickshire, often known as Shakespeare’s County, has a host of strange and mysterious tales ranging from ancient legends and stories of the supernatural to more modern documented cases. Curious beliefs and customs were once widespread in Warwickshire’s towns and villages, some of which still flourish today.

These strange and spooky stories include the quirky death of the Roundhead commander who owned Warwick Castle, the association of the great author J. R. R. Tolkien with the town, and the story of the hand of glory obtained at Warwick hangings. The historic buildings of Stratford-upon-Avon have witnessed many strange 

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events over the centuries and more recently the Crackley Wood sprite has been sighted at Kenilworth. Other stories include the Wroth Silver at Knightlow Cross, an 800-year‑old violent ball game played annually at Atherstone on Shrove Tuesday, and the unresolved mystery of the 1945 murder at Lower Quinton associated with witchcraft, along with other strange tales from the surrounding towns and villages. These stories are accompanied by the author’s photographs in this hugely entertaining book.

Sheila Robinson writes under the pen-name SC Skillman and lives in Warwickshire. She writes psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Association of Christian Writers.

Her non-fiction books on local history are published by Amberley and include Paranormal Warwickshire and Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire; her next book, A-Z of Warwick, will be released on 15th November 2023. She is now researching a fourth book for Amberley, Paranormal Gloucestershire, and has two gothic mystery novels in progress.

SC Skillman was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent, and has loved writing most of her life. She studied English Literature at Lancaster University, and her first permanent job was as a production secretary with the BBC. Later she lived for nearly five years in Australia before returning to the UK. She has now settled in Warwick with her husband and son, and her daughter currently lives and works in Australia.

Author site: www.scskillman.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scskillman

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/sheilarobinson700

Facebook: www.facebook.com/scskillmanauthor

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3tjLDLJ

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Joy Burnett

To date Joy has written six books; two on Aromatherapy ‘Healing with Essential Oils’ and ‘Aromatherapy for Massage Practitioners’, ‘On the Loose’- a racy romance about internet dating, ‘All at Sea’ - short stories set on a holiday cruise ship, ‘Entwined’ a fascinating story of two people reincarnated together through five lives.

Her latest is called “Two Women - Two Lives’ and is a disturbing narrative that details the lives of two very different women, who with spirit and determination rise above their abused and dysfunctional childhoods’ They never meet. All they share is the same birthday. That is until fate takes a hand…

Joy Burnett is a well-travelled, independent lady. Having lived in Oman, Brunei, Abu Dhabi and Spain she now lives in Northamptonshire, UK. Her professional life has included fashion retail management, running playgroups, practicing Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Holistic Healthcare and Nutrition. In 1990 as a result of working with AIDS patients, part of her clinical thesis on the immune system was published in Shirley Price’s book ‘Aromatherapy for Health Professionals’. In 1993 she opened her own training school ‘The Rainbow Bridge School of Aromatherapy’ in North Yorkshire and for over eleven years she practiced and taught there and in other schools. On retirement she joined a local writers’ group.

Buy the book on Amazon here 

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Jo de Lancey

The Crystal Shore is a character-driven fantasy adventure, with a cosy and familiar yet unique feel to it. Charlatan, Killian O’Shea, is hired by the neurotic Ren Thorncliffe, to help him uncover a lost artefact that will save his dying father. The money is very tempting for Killian, but so is the chance to redeem his past by doing something good for once in his life. He enlists the aid of Captain Lily Rothbone – a fierce pirate queen – and her crew, tricking her with the promise of treasure.

There’s action, adventure, a world within a world, tips on how to make a good fish stew, and a ‘will they / won’t they’ romantic sub-plot between Killian and the pirate queen. There’s also a strong emphasis on friendship, and the bonds we create as we go through life.

The Crystal Shore won two awards in the Spring 2023 Book Fest awards. It came first in Epic Fantasy, and first in Magic, Myths and Legends. Sadly, there wasn’t a category for making fish stews.

Jo de-Lancey is a fantasy writer originally from Warwickshire, now living in Cheshire. She wanted to be an author from a very young age and used to while away the hours writing stories about enchanted scarecrows – which she’d then read to her older brother and his friends. Yes, she now cringes about this, but everyone has to start somewhere.

She’s since left the scarecrows behind in favour of thieves, pirates and magic. A love of the classic Final Fantasy and Zelda games drew her towards the fantasy genre, as well as the desire to create her own world. Her debut novel, The Crystal Shore, was released in 2022 and is the first in a series of four.

When she’s not writing she can be found playing video games, navigating the wilds of the English countryside with her fiancée or watching b-movies while drinking cocktails.

Visit her website – https://jodelancey.com/

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Kit Butler

Magster the Cockapoo and her human daddy, Paul, go for a walk in the woods. A mysterious stranger recruit Magster as a special agent for the Mystic Council of Mages. Her first mission is to protect the “Light of the Ladybird” and so their adventures begin. After a nail-biting duel, Magster’s reputation as a force to be reckoned with is sealed; her work for the Mystic Council of Mages has only just begun.

Kit Butler lives in the Midlands.
He has been an avid reader since childhood but his real passion for writing came later in life.
Kit is the author of  the middle grade children's book, “Magster and the Light of the Ladybird”, which is the first book in a series of adventures for Magster - the intrepid Cockapoo ,who has been recruited as a Special Agent for the Mystic Council of Mages, to help them in their continued fight against the forces of darkness.
He spent some of his previous years as a professional session guitarist and published composer and then later, as a Commercial Director / Consultant in the digital media arena before he started writing in a professional capacity.
Kit’s second book “Magster and the Shoal of Gold- Part 1” is forthcoming and he is currently finishing the writing of “Magster and the Shoal of Gold - Part 2.”
His mantra is:
“Imagine a world without the love and magic of animals”

Find Kit's book on Amazon here.

https://www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk/magster-and-the-light-of-the-ladybird-by-kit-butler
https://www.waterstones.com/book/magster-and-the-light-of-the-ladybird/kit-butler/9781800421820

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Thomas Norford

Earth. The distant future. An immense planetary ring dominates the sky, drowning the humbler stars in its borrowed light. Moulded by aeons, humans have evolved into diverse new forms. The people are born, they toil and they die, their lives at the mercy of theocratic edict and a flawed, implacable god.
Canna Dawn’s mundane existence is upended when a transgression forces him to join an audacious sea voyage, led by a charismatic and unstable captain. As the crew approaches the mysterious continent of Eyra, they face deadly wildlife, treacherous seas, and an enemy within their ranks. Canna’s profound insights into the living world set him on a collision course with everything he holds sacred, while a patient, merciless enemy awaits his return. The Starved God is an enthralling tale of adventure, mystery, and philosophical exploration.

Thomas Norford is the pen-name of science fiction author Thomas Norford, but he is known to his friends as Thomas Norford. He is currently producing books at a rate of one every 45 years, so his second novel should be available around spring 2068. In his defence, Thomas works full time, so finding time to write is a struggle, he claims. He lives in Northamptonshire with his wife and two children.

In his spare time (when he should be writing), he enjoys playing soccer (badly); creating terrible computer music; and cycling around the bridleways and canal paths of central England.

Thomas also writes a monthly blog on Substack: The Starved Blog | Thomas Norford | Substack

The Starved God is available on Amazon: https://amzn.eu/d/aZJ1UVr

The Starved God by Thomas Norford – Books on Google Play 

The Starved God on Apple Books

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J A Bowler

Ice Cooper and the Depton Shadelings

 Something’s wrong in Depton. Why is Ice Cooper seeing the strange creatures from her dreams? What is her own father hiding? And where is her mother? She would prefer to stay home with a book or take her dog on lonely walks, but when the earthquakes start and people go missing, she is forced out of her comfort zone.

 

Ice Cooper is the unlikely hero, facing personal and supernatural challenges in this series drawing heavily on local myths and legends and set in and around a Warwickshire of the near future as the climate collapse begins to bite. Ice, short for Isis, 

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after the Egyptian goddess, is a young teenager coping with family as well as her own social awkwardness and an uncanny, but tiring ability to tell when people are lying. Dark secrets and the unforgiving elements threaten everything – her family, her friendships, and her very survival.

J A Bowler was born in Zimbabwe but now lives in Warwickshire, UK which is the setting for the Ice Cooper series for young adults, and The Improbable Adventures of Dexter Duckworth series for children. She was a primary school teacher for the best part of three decades and has now left teaching to spend time on writing and her other interests such as playing in bands on saxophone or bass guitar.

J A Bowler enjoys writing stories that have magical adventure and a touch of danger. Like her character, Ice Cooper, she appreciates all kinds of animals, even the small, 'annoying' ones, and they always play an important role in her books.

She has also written the Handy Booklet for Writing, a companion for teachers and pupils, containing a carefully curated selection of useful words, phrases, tips and tricks to take any writer's work to the next level.

The author is an artist and paints landscapes and portraits, as well as designing cover artwork and illustrations.

She was also last year’s runner up in the Southam Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition!

Author site: jabowler.co.uk

Twitter: twitter.com/JBowler_author

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jabowlerauthor/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JABowler

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Jason Cobley

A daring rescue. A time-trapped forest. Paranormal problems for a down-to-earth detective.

War waged over wi-fi. An app to die for and a fateful shirt. Musing on the rails. Hermits, caves and epic tales. Passengers and paintings. The keys to sunlight, and young love in sunlit Santiago. Freedom has many faces. In ‘Taking Liberties’ it is met in a dozen different guises and in worlds where nothing is what it seems. Threaded through with the theme of freedom, the stories explore what it means to yearn for escape and to search for the true self, whether in the DNA or in the human soul. Mirth and myth, mystery and magic, noir and memoir shape this first offering from the Breakthrough Book Collective, a group of established and emerging authors embarking on its own journey of creative liberty.

Jason Cobley’s short story ‘Eutierria’ features in this anthology, which will be available alongside his novel ‘A Hundred Years to Arras’, the story of thousands of young men who were caught in the collision between old rural values and the relentlessness of a new kind of war in 1917. It is a story that connects the past with the present through land, love and blood.

Jason will also be launching his brand new collection of connected ghost stories, ‘This House Aches: A Calendar of Ghosts’. One ghost per month. One year haunted by its past and its future that lurks in the shadows.

Jason Cobley was born in Devon of Welsh parents and now lives in Warwickshire with his family. By day, he teaches English, but also writes. The central character of his novel A Hundred Years to Arras is based on his relative Robert Gooding Henson, who fought in Arras in 1917. His new short stories are based on more recent experiences that may or may not have happened… ​

 Find out more at jmcobley.wordpress.com

Sign up to Jason’s e-mail newsletter and receive free fiction in your inbox!

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Chris Burleigh - Poet

In 2017 I decided to gather together the best of my work and to self-publish a collection of poetry and wit as Particles of Light. The book has been well received and has sold well in my local bookshops.

Intersecting Lines, my second collection, was traditionally published by indie publisher Beercott Books in 2021. It continues to reflect my interest in people, love, the natural world, and the human condition, and is written very much with the reader in mind.

‘Life is serious, but is not to be lived too seriously’.

Serious or humorous, my poems are always good-natured. 

I write when I have something to say, and I feel I have found the right way to say it.

I have been writing poetry all my adult life as my response to scenes, situations, people and emotions. Over the years, as poetry took up more of my time, I joined writers’ groups, and started entering poetry competitions with some success. I have been published in anthologies by Fish Publishing and Indigo Dreams.

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I hope readers will enjoy reading my poems, and will feel I am putting their own experiences and emotions into words. 

It’s such a great feeling when you get good feedback and review comments, or when somebody chooses to take home a copy of your words from a bookshop. That’s communication!

I read regularly at poetry ‘open mics’ and at local literary events, and I give talks about my poetry to community groups. 

Chris's author page on Amazon.

Beercott books author page

Twitter.com/chrismlburleigh

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Andrew Mullaney - author

If you are a mentor, wish to be mentored, or are seeking to be the very best version of yourself, then this book is for you. It cuts across the generations in the form of a handy, easy to read guide to surviving and sometimes winning at life. Using the game of snakes and ladders as a constant theme and analogy, each chapter covers many of the challenges and dilemmas that we all face on a daily basis. Andrew encourages you to take everything on with full consciousness and gives practical advice, tips, examples and experiences from his life and career as well as sharing others’ stories too. This also includes the opportunity to learn from some of the mistakes he’s made over the years, which he bravely and honestly shares throughout. At the end of every chapter, you will find a bullet point summary of ladders to climb, helping you secure quick wins, as well

find a bullet point summary of ladders to climb, helping you secure quick wins, as well as the snakes - i.e. pitfalls - to avoid. This means you can take away what you feel is most relevant to you in a quick “grab” style format. This book is one that will get you questioning why things happen and how you can influence the game of life much more that you realise. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to get the best possible outcome for you as you roll the dice and make your next move. About the book the author says: “The principle theme of the book would be my belief that life is a game, a series of games in fact, that we can choose to play in full consciousness in order to survive and sometimes win. The book would be for others as a route map, guide, series of tips, experiences and reference points to ensure that there was help, hope and a handhold on the cliff face of life should people ever need someone else to turn to.”

Born and bred in the Black Country, Andrew J. Mullaney is a proud family man and has had a successful 35 year career in banking. He lives in Stourbridge with his wife and two grown up children. Now retired and a regular volunteer he is passionate about giving back and guiding others where he can. He began writing his debut book “Didn’t Anyone ever Tell You? It’s All A game!” In the summer of 2019 to not only fulfil a lifelong ambition to be a published author but also with the aims of making a difference, helping people to become the best version of themselves that they can be and to leave a legacy.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Didnt-Anyone-Ever-Tell-Game

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Penny Batchelor

My Perfect Sister:

 Annie is five when her beloved big sister, Gemma, leaves for school and is never seen again. The police search for weeks and Annie never gives up hope that Gemma will one day come home to her. Now, twenty years after her sister mysteriously vanished, Annie returns to her childhood home to care for her ill mother.
Opening the door to Gemma's room, Annie finds it untouched from the day her sister disappeared, with her make up still on the dresser and her books open on her bed.
Annie is certain that the answers to what happened to Gemma are here in her old room.
But in the search to finally find Gemma, will Annie discover her perfect sister is not who

she thought she was? And will her quest for answers put her in deadly danger?Someone knows the truth. And they will do anything to stop Annie from finding it...

When Penny was five she wrote at school that she likes fish and chips and wants to write books. Both are still true! 

Penny is passionate about positive disability representation in fiction. One fifth of the UK population is disabled, so why don’t we see that reflected in novels?  

Penny Batchelor is an alumni of Faber Academy's six month 'Writing a Novel' course and the author of two psychological thrillers, My Perfect Sister and Her New Best Friend, both published by Embla Books in paperback, ebook and audiobook. . My Perfect Sister was longlisted for The Guardian's Not The Booker Prize 2020, and Her New Best Friend was described by LoveReading as 'a white-knuckle tense thriller'. Her short story ‘The Debate’ is in an anthology called UnLocked, published in November 2023 to raise money for The Trussell Trust by a group of authors who all debuted in 2020. 

 

 

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Along with fellow author Victoria Scott, Penny successfully campaigned for Amazon to introduce a disability fiction character for adults in their books section. With Clare Christian Penny co-founded and runs the #KeepFestivalsHybrid campaign, urging literary festivals to maintain an online presence, and also co-founded and is a judge of the ADCI Literary Prize for disabled and chronically ill authors who include positive disability representation in their novels.

Penny's books are available via Kenilworth Books here

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Victoria Scott

The Women Who Wouldn’t Leave:

Connie Darke is trying to run away from the traumas in her past, and it's led her home, to the small rural council estate she left almost 20 years earlier. Matilda Reynolds has spent most of her long life in the Worcestershire village of Stonecastle, and she’s content there, with her animals and her solitude. Until a fall lands her in hospital, and Matilda has to turn to her strange young neighbour Connie for help looking after her home. Out of their tentative arrangement, each woman gains a new sense of community. But before long, that community comes under threat when the council decides to sell the estate, to make way for expensive developments.  Connie and Matilda are determined to fight for their home – whatever it costs them.

Victoria Scott’s first novel, Patience, was the Booksellers’ Association Book of the Month and LoveReading Debut of the Month. Both Patience and her second novel, Grace, are Amazon bestsellers. Her third novel, The Women Who Wouldn’t Leave, will be published in August 2023 by Head of Zeus.

Victoria started her career as a broadcast journalist at the BBC, before moving into the freelance world, working for outlets such as Good Housekeeping and the Telegraph. When she’s not writing novels, she lectures in journalism at Kingston University and writes scripts for podcasts.

She lives on a Thames island with her husband and two children and a cat called Alice.

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                                            Anthony P Prior

Androgynous Lyrical Narratives,

Analysing words and anecdotes,

Compelled to write about the ordinary,

His style is rolling lyrical perpetuating,

Hoping to make ordinary interesting,

Exponentially developing growing,

Wanting to make good altruistic,

Sense of encouragement,

Good, humoured analysis,

Making light of boring,

Accentuating the positive,

Deliberately deliberating,

Repetitively repeating,

Consoling consoles,

Round and around,

Words sounds metered,

Singing profoundly,

All encompassed,

North and south,

Fully abridged across.

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Bardstown Writers 

The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at The Methodist Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. The group was formed to give local writers who are interested in being published a chance to meet for encouragement, support, and to share news and publishing opportunities.

Every month we explore different aspects of writing and the publishing process and members have the opportunity to share their work in progress and gain helpful feedback.

Many of our members are now independently published authors across a range of genres. Bardstown Writers is also a member of the National Association of Writers and Groups.

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Here is a sample of the books available from the Group:-

Transcending Love by Louise Jelley – Magical Realism – Buy Now

The Gypsy Killer by Angela Dandy – Triller – Buy Now

Shadows of a Lost Poet by Ellie Stevenson – Historical Thriller – Buy Now

1997 Remembered by Paul Hirons – Humourous Fiction – Buy Now

Echoes of Justice by JJ Franklin – Thriller – Buy Now

Marie Corelli: Shakespeare’s Champion by Jann Tracy – Historical – Buy Now

The Peregrine by Chris Sharpe – Dystopian – Buy Now

Contact us at bardstownwriters@gmail.com

or visit https://bardstownwriters.wordpress.com/ for more information.

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Pauline Crame

Song In The Key Of Madeleine is a character driven novel in the social realism genre. It considers how cultural normals and personal experience impact upon relationships and ask whether these , or passion and attraction, are the stronger. It does this through the story of the relationship between Madeleine, a middle-aged British woman, and Shibu, a young Asian man. Madeleine has survived a difficult childhood, which has left her with some unresolved issues. From the start Shibu is attracted to her, not least because of some of her behaviours, which he finds intriguing. However, his cultural and religious expectations forbid him to enter into a relationship with her. The book was given its title because Madeleine loves music and dancing, but for much of her life she danced to the tune of others and needs to find her own song.                                                     

Pauline has written five novels to date, two of which have been short-listed for national prizes. Pauline moved from Wiltshire to the Midlands in the Nineteen Eighties. She has had a passion for writing since she was a child and has always carved out the time for it, even when bringing up her children and working outside the home. In her professional life she has worked with young people in an educational setting, with people with learning disabilities and now works as a counsellor.

Song In The Key Of Madeleine is published by the Book Guild. It is available from all major outlets and on Amazon

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Sandra Peachey

What's it all about... this crazy thing called life and how can we make the most of it? One woman answers these big questions, as she takes a voyage through the past, the present, the players, and the ponderings of her life - sending love letters back to them all along the way. Can letters change a life? They have already changed the life of the author and touched the hearts of the thousands of people around the world who have already read her Peachey Letters Blog... Now in book form, these letters do so many things - they entertain, engage, elucidate and energise, and more than that they ultimately show us how to let go and really love life, living it to the full… 

SANDRA PEACHEY is many things… including an entrepreneur, and with her own business – ‘Peachey Days’, she coaches, trains and mentors – working with corporate clients, small businesses, job seekers and individual ‘life seekers’. Her role is to guide and support the attainment of dreams and goals, using a range of practical and inspirational tools and techniques. This in turn provides the freedom for ‘seekers’ everywhere to choose the life they live, and make the most of the life they choose.

Website: https://peacheyletters.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sandra-Peachey/e/B00BLTKINI%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

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Rosemary Sturge

Northampton 1290: One chilly morning in January, the busy bustle of the market place is interrupted by the knifing of a vagabond. Who was this man, and why did someone want him dead? Informed that the man is Welsh, Owen ap Owen, a young knight from the Welsh borders, although loyal to King Edward, none the less has some sympathy for the rebellious men of Gwynedd. Despite his military duties, and his growing attraction to the beautiful Jewish girl, Belaset, he sets out to discover the murderer.

Rosemary Sturge began writing historical novels when she retired from the world of work. She has written four to date, all set in different historical times and places, including C18th Venice, English War period in the Yorkshire Dales, C19th Holland, and C18th Scotland All four are available on Amazon.com. She is currently about two thirds of the way through one set in the town where she lives, Northampton, in the year 1290 Hugely challenging but fortunately Rosemary loves research.

Amazon book shop Northampton 1290

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Helen Liebling

Helen has published two previous books; Justice and Health Provision for Survivors of Sexual Violence: a case study of Kitgum, northern Uganda (with Prof. Bruce Baker) and A gendered analysis of the experiences of Ugandan women war survivors. Helen’s latest book is her fascinating autobiography, describing a feminist, activist and researcher who acted against atrocities and abuses of conflict survivors of SGBV and torture to improve survivors’ rights to health, care, and justice internationally. Bouncing into the world following her mother’s jiving during the 60s and raised initially in Sheffield, Helen Liebling’s early life of disruption and family separation, led to a passion for advocating for the rights of those who were mistreated. You will discover that different types of music and extensive travel played a very important role in shaping Helen’s life. Fascinating, emotional, and uplifting; Nalule’s Travels and Adventures: The Power of Writing for Survivors in Africa, is a captivating narrative of hardship, resilience, fun and triumph against the odds, told with passion and clarity by a woman who never gave up!

Helen Liebling is a well-travelled woman with a passion for the African Continent, Brazilian and African traditional music. She lived in Uganda where she assisted to set up and run the Clinical Psychology master’s course and then she returned to Warwick University to carry out her PhD research. Helen’s professional life included previously being the clinical lead for refugee services in the NHS in Coventry and establishing services for urban refugees living in slum areas of Kampala. Currently Helen is working at Coventry & Warwick Universities as an Assistant Professor in Research in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations and Clinical Psychology. Working very closely with African teams and colleagues, Helen has carried out published research in eastern DRC, Liberia, Uganda, and Rwanda. Helen joined a writing group in Leamington Spa about four years ago. Please contact Helen to purchase her book on helenliebling@gmail.com

Twitter: @HelenLiebling22

Coventry University website link: Helen Liebling — Coventry University

CLAMP refugee project: CLAMP: Bringing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support to urban refugees | The Global Compact on Refugees | UNHCR (globalcompactrefugees.org)

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Poppy Sall - author & creative writing teacher

Remembering Sophia, a children’s picture book by Poppy Kamel Sall and Jen Elvy. It tells the story of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, the granddaughter of the last king of the Punjab, Ranjit Singh, she was also Queen Victoria’s god daughter. Sophia lived through key moments in British and Indian history and took part in significant struggles for democracy and freedom.  Sophia fundraised for the lascars, worked with the Red Cross during World War One and was a leading suffragette. However, until recently she has been virtually invisible in history.

Poppy is a former lawyer who changed direction to study for an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in excavating hidden histories through historical fiction. Her novel 'Sepoy' tells the story of an Indian soldier fighting in the First World War. Poppy teaches creative writing to BA and MA students at Coventry University. Poppy also runs Creative Writing workshops both locally and at literary and arts festivals.

​Remembering Sophia can be bought through

Remembering Sophia can be bought through Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1053288552/remembering-sophia?ref=shop_home_active_1

https://www.hiddenhistorieswomenofcolour.com/

Facebook:

 https://www.facebook.com/WritingEvents

https://www.facebook.com/hiddenhistorieswoc

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/hiddenhistorieswoc/

https://www.instagram.com/creativewritingevents

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We believe it is the right time for Remembering Sophia, with schools and parents calling for better diversity and representation of people of colour in children’s books. Sophia is a positive female role model who we hope will inspire readers of all ages. We are taking Sophia’s story to schools, bookshops and literary events and will be organising talks, workshops and readings. We want to raise awareness of the role played by women of colour in history.

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Brian Pollitt - Bookbinder & Repairer.

Brian's passion is to breathe new life into books that are of personal value and have precious memories associated with them, as well as creating new books to capture new memories.

What books do you treasure? -Typically they are family bibles, granny's cook book, children's books, photo Albums.

Such well-loved books are often damaged from use over the generations or just by accident. You may be afraid to use such books for fear of further damage but worry not - most can be returned to at least a safe-to-use functional condition and many can be restored to their former glory.

 If your book is too delicate or valuable to repair, then it can be protected by a made-to-measure box to protect it, be it a simple phase box or full on clam-shell box.

For books you want to keep in good condition, slip cases are great way to protect them.

You may have a collection of papers, photos or memorabilia that need collating into a dedicated binding to keep them together and protecting, or maybe a story you wrote as a child and would like it binding into a book – pretty much anything is possible if you have the imagination.

Bring your books along and Brian will examine the damage and explain what can be done to bring them back to life, whether it is a repair or designing a completely new binding to your requirements. He can also provide a guide to its value.

There will also be some of Brian's most recent new bindings, including blank notebooks for sale. For the practical types, there will be some journal kits if you want to have a go at making one yourself.

Brian is a book repairer and restorer who focuses on books of personal value, rather than conservation of books with historical significance and high commercial value. This started off as a hobby some years ago after having some old family books passed to him. Having worked with a number of bookbinders to develop his skills, word of mouth has got around and now has enough work coming in to keep him out of mischief.

http://www.artisancrafts.co.uk/

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Rugby Café Writers

Golden autumn days bring to mind the changing countryside, the nights drawing in and cosy times by the fire reading your favourite books. And what could be better than this charming collection of stories which are perfect for reading in your favourite chair with a cup of tea or coffee? There is a short story for each day of September, October and November. Each should take you less than five minutes to finish but will leave you with a season full of memories. Enjoy the book and enjoy your autumn.

The Rugby Cafe Writers meet every fortnight in the cafe at St Andrew's Church, Rugby. They started as a small group about six years ago, but now have a membership of more than 50 writers with a range of experience from beginners to published authors. Each meeting has either a writing challenge on a specific theme or a discussion on skills, such as how to compose the opening of a story. They have published three anthologies of short stories and an anthology of poetry. Their latest project is A Story For Every Day Of Autumn which will be on sale at the festival.

 www.rugbycafewriters.com

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Beercott Books - publisher

Beercott books is an independent publisher based in Warwickshire, close to Leamington Spa and the Shakespeare town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Our aim is to provide readers with quality books by passionate authors.

We publish a wide range of books including children’s picture books and novels, craft books, and plays and pantomimes for performance. We are big supporters of mental health awareness for both children and adults, and many of our titles encompass this theme including ‘Atticus’ which sheds a light on what it is like to suffer from schizophrenia and the power of friendship, and ‘Felix the Fox’ which teaches children it is OK to be different, and to be proud of who they are. We support local authors too including; Charlie King – ‘Mr Blinking’, Alyy Lavinia O’Leary – ‘The Tora Island Adventure’, and Sitala Peek – ‘The Forest of Friendship’.

As well as books, we publish the hugely popular magazine Pantomime!, the only magazine dedicated to the world of pantomime. With interviews and stories from both sides of the curtain, it aims to celebrate this wonderfully British form of theatre.

www.beercottbooks.co.uk

www.pantomag.co.uk

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Sara Rose - Apollo Creative

Hand stamped keepsake bookmarks and enamelled homeware accessories.

I began to create hand stamped bookmarks as I was guilty of two cardinal book sins - folding down the corners of the page or folding round the dust jacket to use as a book mark.
Please forgive me book gods and fellow readers!
A good book deserves a great bookmark and Apollo Creative and the ever increasing range of different themed bookmarks was born.

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Monica Withrington

Hi, Mum, Can You Hear Me? is a novel for the age-group 9-12. Kirsty, aged twelve, is forced to go into emergency foster care when her mother is seriously injured in a road accident. She is made less than welcome by the two long-term foster children in the home, but is befriended by the elderly neighbour, who is also a foster mother - of cats! The book also deals with bullying and dyslexia.

Monica's other books include;

A Little Lower than the Angels is a collection of 40 short stories.

The Dream of Gideon the Grape is a fable for any age.

Pula!  is a Christmas story set in drought-ridden Botswana, Southern Africa.

Daniel the Dare-Angel and Gabriela, the Garden Angel are companion story-books, relating the adventures of young angels-in-training.

The Reluctant Shepherd is a novella for 7-9-year-olds.

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Monica Withrington was born and educated in South Africa. Although she trained as a teacher, she has told and written stories all her life, some of which have been published in magazines. She has twice been short-listed in Writing Magazine and has won First Prize in two other story competitions.

She now lives in the Midlands, where she enjoys the inspiration she gains from her four young granddaughters.

She has self-published four story-books and two novels for children and one collection of short stories for adults.

All of Monica's books are available on Amazon here

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Caroline from Heart of England Co-op

Pre-loved children’s books

In support of Coventry & Warwickshire MIND

 

After taking part in the Book In The Window competition at work and visiting the festival in 2022, Caroline, resident of Southam, thought a Pre-Loved children’s stall would be a welcome addition to the 2023 festival. 

As well as a diverse mix of reasonably priced books for all ages, there will be a competition and give-aways for the children, and all proceeds in support of Coventry and Warwickshire Mind in association with Heart of England Co-operative. 

See you there!


 

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Southam Heritage Collection 

Southam's museum is based in the town centre and has published several books by    local authors on themes related to the town's history.  All the books are priced          under £10 and cover a wide range of fascinating subjects.  Their short film will        present both authors and volunteers talking about the books and other merchandise  available to buy from the museum.  All proceeds from book sales go to support the    work of this small heritage charity.

https://www.southamheritage.org/


 

Southam Lions - second hand book sale.

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