The Abergavenny Writing Festival

April 2019


Thursday 19th April 2018 Line-Up

10.00 – 11.00am Jude Rogers on Music Journalism – £7 


Jude Rogers has come a long way from her first job in music journalism: collecting the Top 40 pop chart from Llanelli Woolworths every Saturday while doing a holiday job at the local paper. Now a music journalist of 15 years standing for national titles like The Guardian, the Observer and Q, with big interviews with Paul McCartney, Adele, Tony Bennett, Kylie Minogue, Robert Plant and Amy Winehouse and many more under her belt, Jude takes you behind the scenes on a career that’s part Spinal Tap, part Almost Famous, teaching you how to write about music and musicians along the way. She also takes you behind the scenes into the madness of the music industry – and teaches you what to do when your interviewee pees in front of you.




11.30am – 12.30pm How to write a killer proposal with Adele Nozedar – £7 


As well as running Brecon Beacons Foraging, Adele Nozedar is author of several books, including 3 best-sellers. She knows that no matter how brilliant your idea might be, the best way to get agents and publishers to buy into your idea is by putting some time and effort into writing a killer proposal. Adele will share the secrets of how to do this, followed by a no-holds-barred Q&A session.


1.00 – 2.00pm Practical Guide to Blogging from Wales Blog Network – £7 


Come along and participate in an open discussion about blogging led by Rhys Gregory, founder of the Wales Blog Network. This session is ideal for those looking to start a blog and those blogging already – with plenty of tips and expert advice on-hand. Rhys will also discuss themes such as the role blogging plays in the wider communications landscape.

Rhys Gregory is Digital Director at Effective Communication, a PR & digital content agency in Cardiff. Rhys set-up the Wales Blog Network in early 2017 as a way for bloggers to share their voice and for a better way for organisations to engage with bloggers. Rhys has over 8 years’ experience in content production, social media and digital marketing, and has worked with a wide variety of brands including Peter’s Pies, Clarks Maple Syrup, The IoD and the Speedway Grand Prix amongst many others.


2.30 – 3.30pm Writing a diverse history with Forbidden Lives author Norena Shopland – £7


The population of Wales accounts for 4.8% of the UK – and diversities within the country rarely exceed 20%; people with hearing loss account for around 19%, blind about 3%, and black and Asian around 17%. How then, does one find, and write, a history that will appeal to 80+% of the UK? Particularly when that history is a controversial one, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (6-10% of the UK population)?

Using the methods developed to write Forbidden Lives: LGBT stories from Wales (Seren Books), Norena Shopland explains how she found hidden people from history and how she made it relevant to everyone. Methods which can be applied to any history of diversity.

Norena Shopland has worked with leading heritage organisations and has extensively researched the history of LGBT people and issues in Wales for 15 years. Her work has appeared in the Welsh press, radio and TV and she regularly provides advice and support on the history of LGBT people in Wales.

4.00 – 5.30pm – Bringing colour and life to non-fiction writing, ‘Writing for Fun’ workshop  – £7 


Whether you are writing about coalmining, the history of conscientious objectors or prehistoric needlework, how do you make non-fiction writing have pace, emotional depth and engage the reader? This workshop will draw on the tools of the fiction writer and discuss the relevance of developing engaging characters, weaving a narrative through the work and understanding your theme.

If you wish, do bring along a photograph of a person or artefact relevant to your idea.

The workshop will be run by writer Pat Smail who runs monthly ‘Writing for Fun’ groups in Monmouth and Abergavenny.


Abergavenny Writing Festival tickets are now available to buy from the Borough Theatre, Abergavenny box office. Open Tuesdays through to Saturdays 9.30am-3pm buy in person or by phone 01873 850 805. For more information visit: Abergavenny Borough Theatre