Having enjoyed my work-life years performing, teaching and recording music, I retired to Wales in 2016 to concentrate on my other passion – writing, having had a 500 word story on life in a Dorset Workhouse, accepted by the Dorset Writers Network for their 2015 anthology ‘This Little World’..
Once settled, I joined not one writing group, but three; Bridgend Writers Circle, Porthcawl u3a and Bridgend u3a to gain experience and feedback from my fellow scribes. In 2017 I was lucky enough to be outright winner of  the treasured Saviker Memorial trophy (Bridgend Writers’ Circle) as ‘Strangers on a Train’ came first in the Story category with ‘Visiting Grandma’, first in the Poetry section, winning also both the Railton Shield and the Keith Coles Poetry Shield and coming runner-up in their Monologue Competition.
Continuing my ‘learning curve’ into Creative Writing, I secured a place on a Scriptwriting Course run by Nicko Vaughn De-Wheele, a lecturer at Swansea University.
I was equally delighted when another of my short stories ‘The Goblin Stone’, a 1000 word children’s Gothic Horror story, was chosen for entry into Porthcawl U3A’s 2018 Anthology, all profits are going to the Porthcawl RNLI.
2019 has seen me win two prizes with BWC, one for a short story entitled ‘New Beginnings’ the other being an eight minute Gothic Horror radio play, called ‘The Raven’s Manor’.
Moving on, 2020 saw the inception of ‘Soundscape’, a collaboration between Awen Trust, Porthcawl U3A’s three Writing Groups and local photographers and musicians to produce a Show to be performed at the Pavilion, Porthcawl in May. Unfortunately, this had to be cancelled, due to the Covid pandemic. However, in an endeavour to save all the recordings, the Arts Director contacted me and we began turning the audio in videos and posting them on YouTube under the umbrella Stronger Together Bridgend.
I managed to keep the Bridgend U3A writing group viable via email and the Bridgend Writers Circle continued their monthly meetings via Zoom: Both continue this method of exchange to the present day.
Being a member of three writing groups, I was already aware of the wealth of talent we shared, from short stories and prose to memoirs and bawdy ballads. Featuring every genre imaginable and a variety of styles of voices, and as part of the Voices of Experience project undertaken by Awen Cultural Trust in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council over the period of 2022 to 2023, I set about the task of compiling an anthology from individual members of the 3 groups. The aim was to encourage more people to find their ‘voice’ and put ‘Pen to Paper’ – hence the title. This tome is now available to download on Kindle (Amazon) At 469 pages, an ideal gift for self or friends, and it’s a bargain £4.85. All proceeds from the sale of this book go to Awen Trust.
I am now in the process of recording the contents of ‘Pen to Paper’ and many of the titles are already available on the Pen to Paper YouTube page, many read by the author themselves.