The Abergavenny Writing Festival

April 2024

Friday 19th 2024

10:oo – 11:30 – Lily Redwood: Write like a Mother.

Tickets are £13.01 (including booking fee.) Book your ticket here (link opens in new tab)

The photograph was taken outside. To the right of the image - A woman with shoulder length blonde hair. She is facing the camera and smiling. She is wearing a light colour top with short sleeves and zip detailing. The background is a blurred scene of high grass and trees.

The experience of motherhood is commonplace, yet the maternal perspective is often marginalised. For many, motherhood brings with it a fracturing of identity. The pages of a journal can be a great place to try to make sense of this seismic shift. In this session we will play with words and use creative writing practices to explore our stories and nurture confidence in the power and importance of our voices. We will also look at some practices to carve out precious time for creativity alongside the busyness of daily life. This session is open to anyone, of any age, who identifies as a mother – no creative writing experience necessary!


Since directing and producing the UK’s first Community production of the Vagina Monologues in 2001, Lily has been committed to creating spaces for women’s voices to be heard through grassroots movements, birthwork and the arts. 

10:00 – 13:00 – Wild Wellbeing and Words with Julia Morton.

Event to be held at Sugarloaf Mountain, with a meeting point of National Trust Car Park, The Sugar Loaf Mountain, Abergavenny, NP7 7LA. Plan your journey here (link opens in new tab)

Tickets are £16.26 (Including booking fee.) Book your ticket here (link opens in new tab)

A selfie style photograph of a woman with long brown hair. She is smiling. There is a tree trunk and grass in the background. It is a sunny day.

Location: Sugar Loaf. Meet at the National Trust car park.
In this 3-hour session participants are invited to explore their connection to nature in the beautiful wild wooded landscape tucked beneath the Sugar Loaf Mountain. The session will be in 3 distinct parts, facilitation, emersion, and creation.
•    Facilitation – Julia will introduce the concept of the natural self, and connecting to nature more deeply through our senses for improved health and wellbeing.
•    Emersion – Time alone to deepen a personal connection to the land.
•    Creation – Time to reflect, write about and share experiences.
The creative aim is to allow participants to follow unstructured form in their writing, this could be poetry, prose, or journaling.
Julia Morton has worked in the realm of nature, health, and wellbeing for twelve years. In this time, she has witnessed first-hand how profoundly whole health is improved by deepening our connection to nature.
Words and in particular poetry inform her personal practise as they give shape and meaning to experience and in her writing workshops, she holds the space for others to also explore their connections to nature though creative writing. She is currently deepening her practice through the study of ecopsychology.
Requirements: participants need to be willing to spend three hours outside and have a degree of fitness as it’s a 15 minute uphill walk to the woods. They will need to dress appropriately and bring their own refreshment and writing materials. They can bring a camping chair (which they must be prepared to carry) or a mat to sit on. It will be cancelled/postponed if the weather is bad.


12:00pm – 13:00 – Making a living from writing: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Tickets are £7.59 (including booking fee.) Book your ticket here (link opens in new tab)

A smiling, bald man wearing black rectangular glasses, with light facial hair. He is wearing a black t-shirt. The background is a blurred scene of a people and shops.

Tim Lebbon talks about his career as a professional writer, working on novels, screenplays, comics, audio dramas and computer games, and how to balance art and commerce.
TIM LEBBON is a New York Times-bestselling writer from South Wales. He’s had almost fifty novels published to date, and hundreds of novellas and short stories. His latest novel is Among The Living. He has won a World Fantasy Award and four British Fantasy Awards, as well as Bram Stoker, Scribe and Dragon Awards. He’s recently worked on the new computer game Resurgence, acted as lead writer on a major Audible audio drama, and he’s co-writing his first comic for Dark Horse. The movie of his novel The Silence debuted on Netflix in April 2019, and Pay the Ghost was released Hallowe’en 2015. Tim is currently developing more novels, short stories, audio dramas, and projects for TV and the big screen.





13:00 – 14:15 – An eclectic hour with the Writers’ Hub
Event to be held at Abergavenny Library, The Town Hall, Cross St, Abergavenny NP7 5HD. Plan your journey here (link opens in new tab)

Tickets are free, but booking is recommended. Book you free ticket here (link opens in new tab) 

A yellow poster. With information about the event. The same information is on the event page.

An eclectic hour (and a bit) of writing and poetry 
13:00 – 13:15 Matthew M C Smith
Returning the Red Lady of Paviland to Swansea from Oxford
Poems from the Black Bough
13:20 – 13:35 Catherine Wynne-Paton
The Lost Library : Dancing Answers to Questions
Embodying and enhancing reflection
13:40 – 13:55 Dominic Williams
Pen and Paper: Punks in Print
DIY and poetry
14:00 – 14:15 Simone Mansell-Broome
Falafels, some frogs and a ferret
Do not underestimate this small person


13:30 – 14:30 – Pondering writing a book?

Tickets are £7.59 (including booking fee.) Book your ticket here (link opens in new tab)

A book cover. Liz Knight Buds & Blossoms Delicious and Beautiful edible flower recipes. There is a plate on the bottom half of the cover with a colourful salad style dish. The plate is resting on a earth toned piece of material, on top of a table.

Have you been pondering writing your own book but don’t where to start, how to find time to write it, or how to find a publisher & if you do get interest in your book do you wonder what kind of deal you could expect?
Liz Knight’s newest book, Buds and Blossoms is being released globally this April; 3 books in she has asked all the questions you might be thinking and will lead you through the whole process from developing an idea, pitching, writing and publishing your book sharing tips of what (and what not) to do to make your idea turn into reality.






15:00 – 16:00 – Ambassador of Nowhere: Richard Gwyn in conversation with Gary Raymond. 

Tickets are £7.59 (including booking fee.) Book your ticket here (link opens in new tab)


A Man with facial hair, wearing a knitted hat with fabric covering the hat. They have a green scarf around their neck.

Richard Gwyn’s new book, Ambassador of Nowhere, chronicles his journeys in Latin America. In a series of vignettes, he portrays the people he meets along the way, as well as reflecting on the continent’s literature, and his own role as a translator.  He witness the effects of the Narco Wars in Mexico, walks in the temperate rainforests of southern Chile and travels to a town on Colombia’s Rio Magdalena that may or may not exist. This lyrical, life-affirming account pays homage to a deeply conflicted and paradoxical continent. Richard will be in conversation with the novelist, essayist and BBC Radio Wales presenter Gary Raymond.






17:00 – 18:00 – Double Book launch with Ric Hool and Sharif Gemie 

Tickets are £5.42 (including booking fee.) Book your ticket here (link opens in new tab)

A photograph of two different men. On the left - a man with facial hair wearing a denim jacket over a dark blue t-shirt On the right - a man with facial hair and glasses, wearing a red and white striped t-shirt.

Ric Hool: What the Sand Didn’t Tell the Moon (short stories)
Sharif Gemie: The Displaced (novel)

An hour of extracts, thoughts and conversation with Ric Hool & Sharif Gemie
We are carriers of stories; apostles of our unpredictable lives; advocates of adventures and liberators of moments spent in the company of wolves and doves.
The stories in, What the Sand Didn’t Tell the Moon, are woven with projections and revisitations from the author’s travels in Spain, Greece and elsewhere, often as an itinerant musician, always as a poet.
Ric Hool is the author of thirteen collections of poetry.
Why would a young couple volunteer to work with refugees in Germany at the end of the Second World War? Sharif’s first novel, The Displaced, follows Edmund and Eleanor on their quest to rebuild the world after wartime devastation. From London, to France, Germany and Poland, and beyond.


19:30 – 21:30 (doors open 19:00) – Hybrid open-mic. 

Tickets are £5.42 (including booking fee.) Book your ticket here (link opens in new tab)

A grid of photographs. There are 12 photos showing a variety of people from different backgrounds reading from books both in person in front of a microphone and via a screen. The final photograph is of a seated audience.

AWF is about writing, all kinds of writing and reading too, but what happens when text is taken off the page and given voice. Hearing an original piece of writing as a communal experience is very different to reading alone.  As part of the opening programme of events on Friday night there will be an accessible open-mic event at the Kings Arms. The host is Dominic Williams the MC at West Wales’ legendary international hybrid spoken-word events, Cerddi yn Cwrw.
This event will be hybrid so both audience and participants are able to join either in person or via a zoom link.  There will be closed captioning and BSL interpretation for the performance.
The open-mic programme is limited to 8 participants in the physical venue and 8 participants on-line. Performance slots are 4 minutes in length. Priority for the online slots will be given to disabled performers whose choice not to attend the physical venue.
General entry £5, entry for participants is also £5 but includes an additional complimentary ticket for a friend or family member. Please contact to book a slot.



Unless otherwise stated events are to be held at Kings Arms Hotel, 29 Nevill Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5AA. Plan your journey  here (link opens in new tab)