Writers’ Rooms – Helen Anderson

Here is writer Helen Anderson talking about her writing space:
writing room Helen Victoria Anderson

I have appropriated the ‘garden room’ – an extension at the back of the house which doesn’t quite qualify as a ‘conservatory’ or ‘orangery’- for my writing pursuits. This is both a serious work space and a girly den where I rotate displays of my favourite found objects. The bureau was re-conditioned for me by my husband, as a birthday present, and I love its nooks and crannies. I did start out with a proper (-ish) filing system, but I love the fact that I can just shut the lid if the desk’s insides get too chaotic, and all is (outwardly) calm again.

Writers’ Rooms – Wendy

Larger collage

Writing Room Collage by Wendy

Here is author of twenty or more published novels and two collections of short stories, Wendy Robertson, on her writing room:
However neat and tidy it starts out, my writing room always ends up as as a cornucopia of emotion, inspiration,  books I’ve read, books I’ve written; folders and notebooks of ideas and inspiration; maps both published and invented; a globe of the world; novel drafts to transcribe; thoughts of my loved ones; a door to shut against the world, a window to look out on it. And my desk: a big battered slab of mahogany on cupboards that I bought for £2 in a Spennymoor junk shop twenty five years ago.  

Writer’s Rooms – John and others

WriteRoom_03Writer John Adams who came second  in our recent RoomToWrite short story competition, writes:
‘The (almost) completed ‘Writers’ Room’ , built on an allotment plot in Heaton, which I share with a bunch of people (including the mighty Ellen Phethean).
We constructed it out of pallets and scaffolding board for next to nothing and as there is no electrics on site, the WR will be powered by a solar panel / car battery / inverter system, complete with stove and (hopefully) an illegal Poitín still.
It so happens also, that it is within range of free wifi radiating from nearby flats.
An oasis. The whole place.’
What an amazing idea! and happy writing to all who use her…

Writers’ Rooms – Warren

Here is talented young writer Warren Saunders on his writing space

Just as well I haven’t the technology to take a pic of my writing space. It’s a bare second bedroom the walls showing veins of cracked plaster. The desk in an ironing board I salvaged from a skip. My chair is a wicker lounger I found in the back alley, totally filthy and faded but of the utmost comfort. And because it’s cold in there, I usually work wrapped up in an nhs blanket which came off the back of an ambulance. I have to say I prefer the ironing board to a desk, just wide enough to seat a laptop and A4 writing pad, what more is necessary!!! A Manhattan garret and a bottle of Montrachet on ice would be be a welcome addition.

A bottle of Mantrachet for you Warren and a link to a wonderful page full of ironing board desks


I’d love to feature YOUR writing room so please do send me  a photo if you have one and/or some accompanying text. NB We are all writers, published or not, so don’t be shy.
E MAIL ME at       amjoy@hotmail.co.uk

Writers’ Rooms – Anne

annes roomThis is where I write on my lap top. Good light, near the kettle and food. The kitchen. The heart, or should I say the tummy, of the house.
However, now I’ve learnt how to write on my IPad on Cloudon I can write anywhere. Even on the loo! Sorry! Too much information.
Anne O

Anne Ouseby is a playwright and novelist – you can find her work here

I’d love to feature YOUR writing room so please do send me  a photo if you have one and/or some accompanying text. NB We are all writers, published or not, so don’t be shy.
E MAIL ME at       amjoy@hotmail.co.uk


Writers’ Rooms – Kerry

How brilliant to get some response to my request for photos and text about where YOU write.

It made my day to hear back from newsletter and blog readers (so often the silence is deafening) – so here is the first of your Writing Rooms. It arrived in my mail box early this morning. It’s from playwright  and short story writer Kerry Hood

Kerry's Room

My writing room is a light space with a view of my Dorset beach. There is a day-bed, an ipod with tons of instrumental music and the books. A wall of books.
Meanwhile, in the real world, I don’t have a writing room. The house is undergoing work and so my space is being turned into a bedroom. I have nowhere else to work but I do have a pen and paper and words in my head, looking for a home.
or follow her on Twitter@thekerryhood
I’d love to feature YOUR writing room so please do send me  a photo if you have one and/or some accompanying text. NB We are all writers, published or not, so don’t be shy
E MAIL ME AT amjoy@hotmail.co.uk



My 100th Newsletter and Free Offer

glassesTomorrow – Monday – my 100th newsletter will go out to all my subscribers!!  Thank you for staying with me on my writing journey and if the newsletter has given you good information and  occasional inspiration then I am happy

To celebrate I’m offering From Writing With Love free on Kindle from Monday to Friday – you can get your free copy HERE

Also I would like to feature my newsletter and blog readers – that’s YOU – here on my blog. If you’d like to appear then e mail me a photo of your writing room or desk or favourite place to write with a few lines of accompanying text and I will publish them here. (If you haven’t got  a photo then tell me about it, text alone will be fine ) Go on – don’t be shy. I’d love to hear from you.

My email address is, amjoy@hotmail.co.uk  and if you don’t currently subscribe to my newsletter but would like to receive it then just e mail me and I will add you to my list

Above  a virtual glass or two of pink champagne – cheers!

100th Newsletter

Next week I’ll be sending out my 100th free newsletter for writers! Quite a landmark and I’m still trying to think of a special way to celebrate with my readers. Any ideas?

If you would  like to receive the newsletter every Monday (free, no strings attached ) you can just email me at  amjoy@hotmail.co.uk and I will add you to my list.

Below I’ve copied in the info from this week’s newsletter so you can see the kind of things I cover


Competitions and Submissions

The Benchmark Creative Writing Competition
‘Our latest competition is a fundraising collaboration between Willow Burn Hospice and writer Rachel Cochrane, inspired by Rachel’s latest drama, Benchmark. Available for everyone to listen as an online radio play, Benchmark takes its inspiration from the ‘In Loving Memory…’ plaques found on benches which are usually situated in a place of beauty or of special significance to those commemorated. This competition, however is to celebrate the living and reflect the ethos of Willow Burn Hospice – treasuring life.
Imagine you had a bench dedicated to you. What would it say on the plaque? ( 30 words max) Where would it be? Why have you chosen that particular place- 200 words ?’

Sara Park Memorial Short Story Competition (Red Squirrel Press) -CLOSING DATE: 31st December 2014
Prize: Publication of pamphlet collection. The winner receives 50 complimentary copies and 50% discount on further copies.
Judges: Kathleen Kenny, Ellen Phethean. Entries should be of 2 short stories of a maximum of 2000 words each. MORE HERE
Thoughts on Writing

I really enjoy running workshops for writers; for one things writers are attentive, thoughtful people and the writers in the Stanhope writers’ group I met last week were no exception.
I love to feel I might have interested or inspired a writer or given someone permission to write something new or different. I love the intense quiet and the powerful, tangible energy created when everyone is writing freely and all you can hear is the sound of pen on paper.

If I’m leading a workshop I always try to write myself and I invariably find something that surprises me. This time I found a minor character from my work in progress stepped up and announced herself as a serious contender for a bigger role. Her voice sang off my page in an unexpected way as she staked her claim in my drama.
I’d been toying with the idea of using two voices – now perhaps I will!

This was part of the workshop I ran, which you might like to try for yourself or with a group. For a group you need a collection of objects; I took stamps, a train ticket, a small brass pot, a pair of sunglasses, a penknife, some sea glass, a shell, scrap of cloth, a cup etc. etc.– really anything will do. Put them on the table then ask writers choose an object.
If you’re doing this alone then try to find something in your home that isn’t full of personal associations, try to choose something at random, maybe something quite mundane.
Now answer the following questions: (quickly and without too much thinking – first thoughts are best)
Who owns this? What is his/her name – give first name and surname.
Where are they? And what are they doing?
What time of year is it? How does the air around them smell, taste?
What are they afraid of?
What have they lost?
What do they wish for?
Who or what stands in their way?
Where are they going next?

Now write for 10 -20 mins without stopping and without editing yourself. Begin with the name and then a verb – e.g. Eileen Fisher stepped….
If you can begin with an image, something the reader can see, e.g. Eileen Fisher stepped into the sunlight that slanted through the willows…
Do not edit yourself, write freely, you can do the editing later, let the character and the story take you where it will, let it surprise you.

Inspiration and Quotes

It’ still autumn, in my garden at least – here are some lovely autumn images and quotes

Free for Wednesday

It’s FREE and it’s probably the best advice you’re ever going to get -at

Authors Share Their Best Writing Tips with NYPL -


 So make yourself a cup of coffee click the link,  scroll down, and  listen HERE to Toni Morrison  on writing what you don’t know

“I tell my students; I tell everybody this. When I begin a creative writing class I say, ‘I know you’ve heard all your life, “Write what you know.” Well I am here to tell you, “You don’t know nothing. So do not write what you know. Think up something else. Write about a young Mexican woman working in a restaurant and can’t speak English. Or write about a famous mistress in Paris who’s down on her luck.”

Tuesday for Free

cropped-botanic-journal-may-4-002.jpgThe classic writing style guide The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. is now freely available online. Hooray. John Clare, in The Telegraph, called it   “…a marvellous and timeless little book… Here, succinctly, elegantly and without fuss are the essentials of writing clear, correct English.”

All the answers to those tricky grammar and punctuation questions at the click of a button FIND IT HERE