The Writers’ Group at Living Choice Glenhaven hosted its second annual Writers’ Festival at the village recently and it was a most successful event, attracting both residents and clients. LORNA CLAYTON REPORTS.

Despite the rainy weather on 28th October, residents and visitors filled the auditorium at Living Choice Glenhaven while stowing away their lucky door tickets and listening to the strains of Kyna Diancin’s violin as they waited for our festival to begin.

Tim Elliott, journalist and author of ‘Farewell to the Father’, and Dr Margaret Rodwell, historian, whose passion is rural social history of the mid 1800s, were our two guest speakers, each telling true stories from very different perspectives.

Feedback sheets from the audience told us that the variety of topics made the day appealing.  Six of our residents gave short presentations:  Lorna Clayton had a conversation with her son, Wayne, entitled ‘What To Do With Your Stuff’ (for all those who have bottom drawers full of secret writings). David Nelson spoke on ‘Script Writing on a Shoestring Budget’ and screened a couple of short videos to help him make his point. (Lots of laughter.)

Anita Stevens presented ‘Scribblings’, poetry scribbled long ago on old envelopes and scraps of paper by her aunt who had always longed for it to see the light of day.  Helen Joyce held us in the palm of her hand with insights into her childhood world with another chapter from her memoir.  Graham Ascough involved all of us in a thoughtful exercise called ‘Finding Happiness and Inspiration through Mindfulness’.  And Dick Gillard’s talk, ‘Family Story’, gave us useful ideas about where to begin researching our family histories.

As a finale, nine members of our Writing Group took to the stage, each reading their writing on the topic of ‘Five Minutes’: some poetry, some prose, some factual, some fictional, all short and to the point.  Such variety!  This proved to be one of the highlights of the day.

With breaks for a tasty morning tea and lunch and chances to socialise, our Glenhaven Writers’ Festival was an event that fed body, mind and soul!

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