Over 100 people attended the launch of an anthology of short stories written by new writers.
The anthology came about as the result of the ‘Write Time, Write Place’ creative writing course for beginners, which ran during autumn 2017 in four libraries across Cheshire West.
Participants took part at Storyhouse in Chester, Ellesmere Port Library, Northwich Library and Winsford Library – with more than 50 people attending the eight-week course.
They took part in workshops looking at topics such as setting a scene, building a character, using dialogue and designing a plot with the outcome of writing their own short story.
The course was funded mainly by Arts Council England with support from Cheshire West and Chester Council libraries and Storyhouse. It was run by Charlie Lea from the literacy company ‘Read Now Write Now’.
The anthology includes stories for children (including one about animals who live close to a canal) as well as supernatural tales of a park and also one about a train journey at Christmas.
There are stories set in a myriad of different places and times – World War One, Vienna in the 1930s, Aberwennol Bay in Wales – together with tales set in the twentieth first century concerning more modern issues.
At the launch Charlie gave a short speech before some of the new authors read extracts from their stories.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cllr Louise Gittins said: “Well done to everyone involved – it’s a wonderful collection of stories.
“The anthology will not be for general release, however, several copies will be added to Cheshire West and Chester’s libraries catalogue, so people will be able to take them out and enjoy reading them.”
Charlie added: “It was such a pleasure to run this course of creative writing in Cheshire West, meeting like-minded people and listening and sharing their ideas for stories.
“The course is designed not just to teach writing skills, but to bring about people who share the same aims, ambitions and zest for taking part in a practical cultural activity such as writing.”
Alan Carr, one of the authors, commented: “The series of eight workshops proved a wonderfully creative and enjoyable way to spend time and exchange ideas with other aspiring writers.
“We were all sad when it came to an end and are hoping to set up our own weekly creative writing group so that we can build on the progress that we have made.
“It’s amazing to think that the apprehensive group who turned up for the first workshop in November should have found themselves as contributors to a printed short story anthology just a few months later.
“The confidence that we gained from this project was clear for all to see at the book launch at Storyhouse in Chester. We all intend to continue writing.”