The Abergavenny Writing Festival

19, 20 & 21 April 2018

Thursday – Daytime

Thursday 20th April 2017 Daytime Line-Up


10.00 – 11.00am – Sarah Hill, ‘Whimsy Woods’ children’s workshop and reading


Sarah Hill will be reading from her children’s books the ‘Whimsy Wood’ series (aimed at 5-8 year olds). There will be a self-led woodland craft activity session. Whilst the children and their parents are happily woodland-crafting away, the author will be available to help them with the crafts, but more importantly available to answer any questions they may have about writing, such as, ‘How to start writing?’ ‘What is it like to be a writer?’ ‘How do you get published?’ . .



10.30 – 11.15am – Nigel Jarrett: Getting your work published in literary magazines


Award-winning writer and journalist Nigel Jarrett talks about the importance, the fun and the frequent disappointments of attempting to have his work published in small literary magazines. Jarrett is a winner of the Rhys Davies Prize for short fiction, and in November 2016 was announced as the winner of the inaugural Templar Shorts award. A former newspaperman, he is the author of two story collections (Funderland and Who Killed Emil Kreisler?), a first collection of poems (Miners At The Quarry Pool) and a novel (Slowly Burning). He is currently at work on his second novel. He also writes a light-hearted column in Monmouthshire County Life magazine.



Nicola Davies  

Nicola Davies is an immensely successful children’s author. Her much loved books include Animal Surprises, Perfect, The Promise (English Association Picture Book winner), Whale Boy (shortlisted in Blue Peter Book Awards) and many, many more. Nicola is a zoologist and was one of the original presenters on the BBC’s Really Wild Show.




11.30am – 12.15pm – Nicola Davies: A Whale in Words 


How big is a whale exactly? How small is a flea? Can you hear a beetle’s footstep? Come and help writer and zoologist Nicola Davies create word spells that will conjure animals out of thin air.

Suitable for Age 7+







12.45 – 1.45pm Nicola Davies: Words and Pictures


How hard can it be to write a picture book? Join children’s writer Nicola Davies to find out what a challenging genre picture books are, but how they can deliver some of the biggest and most important messages.

Suitable for older children and adults






2.15 – 3.00pm ‘Fragon Tales’ story & activity session for 4-11 year olds

A FREE event to raise funds for the Red Cross Disaster Fund. Fragon the six legged dragon invites you to join him for a Fragon story: Sion and the Black Beastie, a Fragon game: Sion’s sheep’s eyeball bingo and a Fragon song all crammed into 45 minutes of fun. Whether you just want to listen to stories or do some drawing or join in the bingo, or all three, Fragon will be happy to see you!

3.30 – 5.00pm – Pat Smail & Anna Goodson Writing for Fun Workshop: Inspiring Creativity 


Ever sat down to write and found that the ideas just aren’t flowing? This workshop will show you how to build a Portfolio of Inspiration for such moments. The session will look more closely at creating characters and using locations in your writing to build up your individual portfolio. After the workshop you will be able to add to other areas of your portfolio using the exercises and ideas provided. The Workshop will be led by Pat Smail and Anna Goodson, local writers who facilitate Writing for Fun groups in Monmouth and Abergavenny.  Pat Smail has written a series of children’s stories Fragon Tales and is working on a novel for young adults about memory and dementia and Anna Goodson is currently working on a memoir.

The workshop is suitable for new writers as well as more experienced writers.

5.15 – 6.15pm –
Phil Madden Haiku workshop (5.15pm-6.15pm)


Phil Madden has had a long love affair with haiku’s sparkling concision. His haiku narrative, ‘The Tea Way’ was published by Gean Tree Press in 2012. He has won various haiku prizes, including the British Haiku Society. His poster haiku have been exhibited in Brussels.
Other work includes ‘The Amphibious Place ‘ , with the engraver Paul Kershaw, which  won First Prize at the biennial Oxford International Fine Arts Book Fair in 2015.

The workshop will give everyone the chance to explore and share haiku‘s uniqueness.


4.00-5.00pm – STORIES TO TAKE AWAY at Broadleaf Books (16 Monk St, Abergavenny NP7 5NP)  BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

Alison Newsam will be storytelling for children.  As well as telling stories she will help children the

create a story of their own to take away. Alison is an experienced storyteller and works in schools.

Space is limited to ten children.

Any enquiries to:  or 01873 857127