Press Releases

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Valid XHTML 1.0!

How a pen can change your life

By Sarah-Jane Jones
in the Tivy-Side Advertiser Oct. 8th 2003

Changing your life just couldn't be easier. All you need is a pen, some paper, the inkling of an idea and Bob's your uncle - you're a spanking new person.

"I've watched it happen time and time again," says Annette Ecuyeré Lee "once people are given the confidence to start writing, their lives really do change in the most remarkable way." And she should know. For the past 15 years Annette has taught creative writing to hundreds of aspiring writers as well as working as a professional public relations copywriter. Now in an attempt to introduce even more people to the joys of writing, Annette has organised a weekend writing festival - WordzworkWales - which takes place in Newcastle Emlyn later this month.

"I was simply fed up with travelling to England every time I wanted to attend a writing festival so I decided that it was time to set something up closer to home," she explained. "I know it's a completely new venture but I'm confident that it will grow and become a regular annual event."

The festival is geared to a wide range of writers with varying degrees of experience including complete novices. "Many people feel they want to write but have never had the opportunity to find the courage to put pen to paper and have a go," continued Annette. "Through events such as this, people are able to find the courage to start writing things they would never previously have dreamt of writing. Writing can be a very lonely occupation and there are very few opportunities to get feedback about your work. You're not being told whether your work is professional enough for publication and neither are you being told what you should be doing to get it to that stage. I've been down that road myself so I know how daunting it can be."

Annette hopes that as well as introducing people to the art of writing, WordzworkWales will broaden people's scope by introducing them to new forms. "Writing festivals give people a stimulus which they rarely find anywhere else. When someone starts writing for the first time they normally come with their own autobiographical story and hardly ever think of themselves as creative writers. But once they are given permission to write along with a few pointers about what they should be doing, they're away, and nine times out of 10 they start writing stuff which is way beyond what they originally set out to achieve."

Annette went on to say that while some novice writers have ambitions to have their work published, the vast majority of people attending her workshops are there just for the sheer thrill of writing. "Like so many things in life, writing is all about finding the confidence to try it out - just attending an event like this takes a fair amount of courage. I've taught grandmothers whose lives have revolved around bringing up children and being at home without ever having done anything for them selves. Suddenly, when they start writing, they start being treated differently by their families and everyone who knows them. Something happens in the writing process that gives people self-esteem and confidence. And it's wonderful to see the growth in people when they start to write and the joy that they get out of it."

The WordzworkWales festival comprises a series of workshops, each conducted by a specialist in his or her chosen field. These include Helen Jones who will be focussing on complete beginners; Robert Nisbet who will be discussing the importance of character development; the controversial playwright Dic Edwards who will be examining the skill of good scriptwriting; Liz Whittaker who will be focusing on children's books and Caryl Lewis who will be looking at writing in Welsh. Four published authors will be giving a talk on their own experiences of getting into print with an opportunity for festival-goers to ask questions. Each workshop will run for 90 minutes.

WordzworkWales takes place at the Emlyn Arms conference room from October 31 to November 2. the cost of the full weekend which includes 13 workshops, refreshments, lunch and evening entertainment on Friday and Saturday night is £75. Full day sessions are also available price £45(Saturday) and £37 (Sunday) while a half day costs £25.

For a full list of events or to reserve a place at the festival contact Annette Ecuyeré Lee on 01559 370969.