By alisonroseknight, Sep 18 2018 07:35PM
The past year has been a time of change for me in many ways. After giving up my ‘day job’ I planned to concentrate on my writing career, only to be side-tracked for a while when I was offered opportunities to teach Functional Skills English and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) to adults at Wiltshire College. I loved teaching people who were motivated and keen to learn. It was thrilling to see them grow in confidence – in some cases after many years of thinking they ‘weren’t clever enough’ to do the things they wanted to do. But a lot of people leave school without qualifications through no fault of their own. They may have missed school through illness, been bullied, or have an undiagnosed learning difficulty such as dyslexia. But none of that meant that they weren’t bright, articulate people. I felt privileged to be able to work with them and help them improve their written communication skills and to see them grow in confidence in a matter of weeks. I was thrilled that several went on to study GCSE English. One student said: ‘You made me believe that it is never too late.’ She learned to have faith in herself. I’m so pleased to have been able to help in a small way. She did all the hard work!
After teaching these classes for a year, I decided to cut back and concentrate on teaching Creative and Life Writing. I’ve teamed up with author Jenny Kane to form Imagine Creative Writing – see www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk. Between us we run a number of workshops and courses. This month we had a very successful ‘Location Inspiration’ workshop at Lacock in Wiltshire, with members of the local chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Using a mix of historical information, walks and photographs taken around the village, we set a number of creative writing challenges with the aim of gaining inspiration from this unique location. Look out for more Location Inspiration workshops in 2019! In October we’ll be welcoming people to writing retreats in Somerset and France – see the Events page for more details.
Another big change in my life involved a move from Wiltshire to Somerset. From my kitchen window I have a view of Glastonbury Tor and from my new office, I have double doors leading into our garden. After a couple of weeks of unpacking, I finally got back to writing and the words have begun to flow – over fifteen thousand of them in just one week!
I’m aiming to finish the first draft of a new romance novel soon, and then I have to work on final drafts of a family drama set in the 1960s and the second Rosie YA time travel story, both of which are due for publication in 2019. Two more romances are in the planning stages and will be written in 2019. In between writing my own books, I’m also getting more work editing and proof-reading for other authors.
I’m very excited about running some free taster sessions for writers at the Red Brick Building in Morland Road, Glastonbury. See the events page for more details.
My first speaking event is an author talk at Street Library at 11am on Saturday 6th October. Do come along and say hello if you’re in the area.
I’m looking forward to an inspiring, creative and productive future in my new location.