ABOUT OPEN MIND WRITING
Connie and Cathy met on a creative writing course. Their enthusiasm was such that they began to meet outside the class, and found they could talk endlessly about the subject, sharing ideas, techniques and mutual inspiration. They still rely on each other's constructive criticism to continue to develop their work.
They set up a writer’s group, ‘INKTANK’. The group have had an anthology published by Flarestack Press, and many of the members have gone on to publish their own anthologies.
Connie and Cathy believe that everyone has the potential to write. They enjoy nurturing other writers and watching them grow.
I am an American who has lived in the U.K. for thirty years. I’m in the unusual position of feeling to be an observer in both countries. This is a wonderful vantage point for me as a short story writer. My stories take place in both countries, and the narrative voices vary from young children to the elderly.
My short stories and poetry have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies. I am one of Bluebeard’s Wives, the Heaventree Press project generated by the opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle by Bartok.
I began writing fiction less than ten years ago, and enjoy the feeling of fulfilment it gives me. In my own exploration of writing, I attended evening classes, first through the University of Leeds and then through Warwick University. I also took a number of recreational writing classes. Finally, I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham in 2005. Both Cathy and I still enjoy attending writing workshops that are run by literary festivals and local art galleries.
I have run creative writing workshops for adults, and taught a beginners course at college level.
I especially enjoy writing short stories. Had I not attended so many varied writing classes and workshops, I never would have attempted poetry, radio plays, autobiography, stage and screen writing, and, at present, a novel.
I have been writing Poetry for a number of years. Many of my poems have been published in anthologies, magazines and competitions. I was the Poet Laureate for Warwick 2008/9. Currently I am working on putting an anthology of my poems together.
I find writing endlessly fascinating. It gets hold of you and then you can't escape! It takes you on a journey which can be increasingly elation, but sometimes it can be a long road. It's all worth the editing and hard work when finally you've created a poem that you are completely happy with!
I love teaching as much as i do writing - it opens doors to another world. It is a great feeling when you see your students develop and enjoy their writing. I have been teaching for quite a few years, generally in Creative Writing but also Autobiography and Poetry.
I completed my degree in Creative Writing at Birmingham University, with Honours, in 2004. Since then I have been expanding my regular teaching and also giving workshops. It is fascinating to give workshops to groups who have never tried writing - usually they find it a very rewarding experience. But it is also enjoyable to give more experiences writers a range of stimulating ideas that they might not have thought of before.
What else can i say about writing? It's a great way of meeting new people, swapping ideas, and learning from each other. Writing is a form of communication; we need to work with other people to realise and develop our writing potential, we need discussion and feedback to grow as writers.
Most recently I have had poems published by Postcards on Loan, and was a runner up in the Mslexia Poetry Competition, and also a runner up in the Cinnamon Poetry Competition.