|Non-Fiction WorkFrom 1959-1974 I was a journalist with the Warwick Advertiser and then with Heart of England Newspapers, based in Leamington Spa. As well as covering general news I wrote features of special interest to women readers, including pieces on equal pay, sex discrimination, divorce reform and abortion.After gaining a BA an MA and a Post-graduate teaching qualification as a mature student I taught for the WEA (Workers Educational Association) in the South West and in 1987/88 worked on a research project into the provision of Women’s Education and childcare, throughout the WEA. This co-operative effort was published by the WEA South Western District.While with the WEA I also wrote a course on English Literature which I taught through Distance Learning. This was designed to appeal to adult learners coming back into education after a long break.My MA was in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, supervised by Malcolm Bradbury. Teaching Creative Writing has been an important part of my work and from 1990 onwards I have run writing workshops in the South West. I have edited over ten collections of prose, poetry and drama by Bodmin Writing Workshop, along with the Workshop Website.In 2008/9 I wrote and published Robano Writing, an online creative writing course for Robano Resources. This material was then expanded and developed to become Rose in the Mud, an e-book for creative writing beginners and ‘old hands’, published on Amazon in 2010.In 2009 I gave a talk at ‘Role and Rule: History and power on stage’ a conference at Shakespeare’s Globe, London. My topic covered ways in which ageing female rulers were presented onstage in Shakespeare’s day and was based on my research for my PhD. Along with other conference contributions my essay was published in Representations of Elizabeth I in Early Modern Culture, edited by Alessandra Petrina and Laura Tosi (Palgrave Macmillan: 2011).I am currently running a Writing Group for Saltash U3A (University of the Third Age) and have edited a collection of members work. I contribute to the Saltash U3A magazine All About and to the branch website.
As well as enjoying writing non-fiction I love ‘telling stories’ – and hearing them too, which is why running Creative Writing workshops is so enjoyable.
I write prose – mainly novels, although I produced a collection of short stories, Plait, for my MA thesis – poetry and the occasional play.
My historical novel Rebels’ Summer, set in Norfolk at the time of Kett’s Rebellion was published as an e-book in 2012. It’s the first of a trilogy which engages with the changing fortunes of a Norfolk family in the 1500s, during the English Civil Wars, and in the present day.
Old, Bold and Won’t Be Told: Shakespeare’s Amazing Ageing Ladies focuses on the Shakespeare’s lively and empowering presentation of old women on stage. Based on my PhD research this is an accessibly-written book which looks at some of his amazing ageing ladies, comparing them to the more stereotypical depictions of the period – which generally presented the old woman as being ugly, randy, mouthy and mad. Characters explored include Queen Katherine (Henry VIII), Volumnia (Coriolanus) and Gertrude (Hamlet) and there is detailed work on Paulina (The Winter’s Tale) as a uniquely powerful old woman.