Young People's Laureate for Wales and over 30 writers to take part in first Aber Writing Fest

By Jake Chown  
Tuesday 19th April 2016 12:27 pm
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The first Abergavenny Writing Festival starts this Thursday 21 and runs until Saturday, April 23; with eighteen events over three days based at the Kings Arms Hotel and around Abergavenny. There will be many chances to listen and learn from the experts, have a go yourself or just sit back and be entertained.

Sophie McKeand, Young People’s Laureate for Wales, will run a Children’s Poetry Workshop inspired by Roald Dahl’s writing on Saturday, April 23 from 2 to 3pm at The Kings Arms Hotel. Sophie is a poet and educator from Y Gogledd Cymru whose work explores Community Artistry: engaging with The Arts to build stronger communities. She won the Out Spoken Innovation in Poetry Award in 2015, was longlisted for the Poetry Society‘s National Poetry Competition in 2014 and will be the Poet in Residence at Focus Wales Festival in 2016.

Sophie Mckeand will also host a poetry open mic night as part of Saturday night’s ‘word fuelled shindig’ at The Kings Arms Hotel 7-11pm. Robert Penn, writer and broadcaster author of ‘The Man Who Made Things out of Trees’ and ‘It’s all About the Bike’ will give a talk about his own writing experiences and compere the evening. Writer and performer Mark Blayney, will perform his hilarious solo show: ‘Be your own Life Coach with Abba.’ Costa poetry prize winner Jonathan Edwards and “Tree Surgeon Poet” Matthew Plumb will read some of their own poems.

The Chronicle will be hosting a session ‘How to write effective press releases & get them noticed’ on Friday,April 22from 1-2pm at the Abergavenny Chronicle offices. If you are acting as a press or marketing officer get tips from the experts in this hour-long workshop session with Abergavenny Chronicle editor Liz Davies and the Borough Theatre’s communications manager Lynsey Wheeler.

Broadleaf Books will be hosting a session on Thursday, April 21 between 6 and 7pm, where poet and novelist Jane Blunt and travel writer Jack Thurston discuss what bookshops mean to them with owner Joanna Chambers. Expect some frank opinions, insights and revelations about the book trade.

Several events are taking place outdoors too: take a stroll with Rob Yorke around The Meadows and write your own short letter under the guidance of an expert. Bestselling author of ‘The Hedgerow Handbooks’ and ‘The Garden Forager’ will lead a walk, talk and forage session around Abergavenny, taking in both wild plants and ’tame’ ones. And for the very young join Wild Tots in a Wild Mapping event at Linda Vista Gardens; inspired by the ’Childish’ chapter in Robert MacFarlane’s book ‘Landmarks’: A chance for children to explore and enjoy outdoor spaces together.

Tickets for all events can be bought online, see the festival website www.abergavennywritingfestival.com or in person at Borough Theatre, Abergavenny or Book-ish, Crickhowell.

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