#RLF2016: Written Worlds, Inspiring Places

writtenworlds-02

For some strange reason 5 years ago, I decided to start a literature festival. Possibly I had too much time on my hands (I didn’t) possibly I just felt we were lacking a festival in Medway dedicated to writing, and somebody had to do it. I must’ve been mad, and I’m also stubborn, so here we are: the fourth Rochester Literature Festival 2016 kicks off this weekend.

Amidst the usual creative writing workshops, Cafe Crawl and author talks this year, the RLF has a wonderful day of craft activities planned for all ages.

The Turtle Moves, inspired by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, sees a Juvenile Crafters’ Guild appear, as if by magic, in Rochester’s Community Hub, where you can design your own Luggage or bring to life a Golem, among other activities. Out and about in the high street you’ll bump into numerous characters – and even see a re-enactment of the Battle of Koom Valley! And shhhhh – it’s rumoured that the Librarian will be appearing in L-Space (Baggins!)

RLF Patron Lisa Cutts is appearing at Strood Library on Oct 4, alongside fellow crime author Simon Booker, while author of The Outlaw Chronicles, Angus Donald, is at Rochester Library on Oct 6. There is also a Local Author Day at Rochester Library between 10am-2pm on Oct 1.

The popular Cafe Crawl takes place on Sunday, Oct 2 and features the Canterbury Yarners, Fiona Sinclair, Nancy Charley, Johanna Coulson and Maggie Butt alternating at Bruno’s Bakes, The Quills and Cafe @172 between 12-3pm.

The festival opens with three creative writing workshops on Saturday, Oct 1: An Introduction to Screenwriting, A Guide to Self Publishing, and Building Your Make Believe World. It ends with a Writers’ Retreat on Sunday, Oct 9.

All the events apart from the workshops are free, and more detail and tickets for the workshops can be booked here.

If you pop down, be sure to say ‘hi’ 🙂

Advertisements

My Top TV Moments of 2015

It’s been a good year on the box, hasn’t it? SkandiNoir is now a generic term to describe any moody, atmospheric murder mystery being unravelled in damp weather, while Mad Men did the unthinkable and ended.

Continue reading

Sunday Slackers

The internet of interesting things to enjoy on the Sunday slow-way … help yourself to a biscuit.

cookies-572433_640

Culture: Douglas Adams on what it is to be English

Art: Even if you don’t believe in all that astrology stuff, you’ll want to check yours out!

Life: An incredibly inspiring story 

Death: All men (and women) must die. But what about after? I want to be a tree …

Writing: How to write a screenplay that sells itself

Music: Brilliant one-man cover version of Uptown Funk

Dance: I didn’t watch Britain’s Got Talent last year – I came across Yanis Marshall by accident this week and I LOVE this. Much better in a studio than on the BGT stage.

Photography: Fascinating old photos, some odd, some poignant

Travel: You can tell me how safe it is till the sun rises in the west – I still won’t like it. And I’m not sure the title of this app won’t be hijacked by a p0rn director.

Skill: Awesome arrows – do not try at home!

Image: Pixabay

Sunday Slackers

The internet of fascinating things to while away your Sunday …

Beginning with Sassy Women Alert, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do a Ricky Gervais on an unsuspecting Hollywood (and it’s fab to see George has a sense of humour. No wonder we love him so.)

 

Literature/Film: With the hype surrounding a certain film due out next month, it seemed a good time to share one of the funniest and wittiest Twitter feeds around – Fifty Sheds of Grey.

Space: The cultural significance of space exploration

Tech?: 21 times people used the internet before it was invented.

Animals: Cats and Dogs trying to decide who’s boss.

Freelancing: Dispelling a few myths about self employed people (such as writers!)

Photography: The simple beauty of children and animals

Music: John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ made into a comic strip

Miscellaneous: Mr Men’s and Little Misses for modern day Britain

Music 2: 7 Elvis tunes borrowed from classical music

For writers: Honesty in Writing and a toolbox of practicality

Fun: 7 people who totally nailed it!

Thoughts for the week – The Final Frontier!

Draw inspiration from Croquis dancers

Traditionally, Croquis is quick sketches drawn by artists watching a model who occasionally changes position. However, the Croqis being introduced to Medway is a collaboration between Rebecca Ashton of The Right Step Dance Company and Richard Squarecube of Squarecube Artisans, who’ve taken it a step further by incorporating dancers.

10645040_292629497596246_4356920866097663630_n

The artists are inspired in many different ways and are encouraged to explore the concept using their own techniques. Mostly, they’ll sketch with pencil or charcoal, but already one enterprising soul has used an iPad and others using different forms such as sculpting or modelling are also welcome.

10247290_292629467596249_4797405800700312458_n

Taster sessions will be held in November, with the official launch in January 2015. It’s an intriguing add to the creative pot of Medway events, so why not go along and try it out?

Sunday 16th November, 2-3.30pm ‘An Introduction to Croquis Events’

Sunday 23rd November, 2-3.30pm ‘Explore Croquis Your Own way’

Sunday 30th November, 2-3.30pm ‘What Can We Do With This?’

All held at Sun Pier House Gallery and Tea Room, Medway Street, Chatham, ME4 4HF

Just £15/session or £10/session if you bring your own materials.

Book one of the limited places now, by email to: info@therightstepdc.co.uk

An invitation only promo session was held, for which there is an archive with images and feedback – the blog about it can be found here:

http://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/2014/09/17/croquis-event-promo/

The artists also gave verbal feedback and that’s on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/croquisevents

There’s more information online…

Website: http://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/organisations/croquis-events/

Twitter: @Croquis_Events

Rochester Literature Festival 2014: Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know

mad_bad_banner

We’re delighted to be opening this year with an hilarious and heart-warming one woman show with actress Sunny Ormonde – the outrageous Lilian Bellamy from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, the world’s longest running soap.

Over the course of the next ten days, we’ll be joined by as-seen-on-tv-off-his-trolley comic genius Phil Kay, master of freeform performance and storytelling, and notorious Australian, Trenton Oldfield – who served six months at her Majesty’s Pleasure for disrupting the 2012 Boat Race in a protest against elitism.

We will be hosting two wonderful authors who’ll fascinate you with insights and anecdotes from their latest books: Angela Buckley introduces us to The Real Sherlock Holmes – Detective Jerome Caminada, whose methodologies mimicked Conan Doyle’s genius, and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, who will discuss the impact of reality on fiction. While No One Was Watching is set against the backdrop of the Kennedy assassination and the abduction of a young girl from the grassy knoll on that fateful day.

Sadly, we have to announce the postponement of one of our family events,Assassin, due to technical issues. Featuring the fantastic Joe Craig reading extracts from his Jimmy Coates series – part boy, part weapon, totally deadly – and music from Jacob Bride, Graham Sykes and Jamie Godfrey, this will hopefully take place early in the new year. However, we do still have the awesome Keeper of the Realms author, Marcus Alexander, who is Charlie’s Keeper, who will entertain and inspire you with his delightfully wicked fantasy adventure series – get your read on! Waterstones in Chatham have kindly agreed to sell books in the venue on the day, if you need to complete your collection.

Our interactive story game this year is Murder in the Crypt, in which you’ll be invited to solve mysteries and puzzles with Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes and Auguste Dupin. In addition, we’re holding a Cafe Crawl, where you can sample poetry and storytelling, while Bookmark’d is a chance to buy books, swap books or just listen to books, read aloud by their authors.

Our Night at the Theatre will this year be held in conjunction with Chatham Grammar School for Boys and be presented by award winning 17% playwrights,Sam Fentiman-Hall, Sarah Hehir and Maggie Drury. The Spirit of My Dream is inspired by Byron’s poem The Dream and features new plays with a fantastical theme.

An exhibition curated by ME4Writers especially for the festival, An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics, has channelled Byron to produce work inspiring madness, badness and dangerousness in the hearts of artists. A live reading will bring the visual carnage to life!

Byron’s Teapot will be our finale – a mad mix of unusual and quirky music, poetry and theatre, featuring The James Worse Public Address Method, JP Lovecraft,Dylan Oscar Rowe and Brides of Rain.

We look forward to welcoming you to our exciting – and only slightly scary – second full length festival!

To read full details, download a copy the 2014 programme and buy tickets, please visit rochesterlitfest.com.

If you have any enquiries regarding any of the events or festival in general, please email rochesterlitfest@gmail.com or telephone 07904 643770.

We look forward to seeing you 🙂

Happy Tunesday!

I defy you to keep still in your seat to this! For lovers of all things folky and dancey, I give you Ranzo (The Wild Goose Shanty) by The Demon Barbers, a taster from their new album Disco At The Tavern, due in early summer 2015.

It will accompany a festival tour of their new live show The Demon Brothers XL, featuring dancers from The Lock In and special guests Matt Crum (keyboards/sax) and scratch DJ ‘Wax On’.

The album is set to capture all the energy and excitement of the live shows, as they took the decision to cut back on touring  to work on new material. A goodly part of that excitement is down to the announcement that the production team will be Emmy & Grammy Award winning producerDonal Hodgson and Kipper, best known for their work with Sting!

“We’re really excited to be working with such experienced producers and the demo track sounds fantastic, it’s just like being on stage! It’s been 4 years since our last album and we’re keen to show the world how much our music has developed; we’re hoping for a busy festival season!”

Find The Demon Barbers here.