My 2020 Writing Life

Some may say that 2020 has been rubbish and in some ways it has. ​But because I am a self-employed author and creative writing tutor, my work is a portfolio of creative activity, some of which I have been able to continue, whilst exploring new skills and new audiences for my work.

Because my workshop programme was cancelled during lockdown, I took the time to learn how to develop workshops online. It has been a steep learning curve, but well worth the effort. You can see the beginnings of my work here at my online school where more programmes will be following in 2021.

And … drum roll please …. For the first time ever, I am participating in a Vodcast with the amazing Gerald Hornsby in which we talk about writerly things. Afternoon Tea from Bookends is published weekly and we would love to hear from you if there are topics you would like us to talk about.

During lockdown, we have also been supporting other authors to publish their books and are delighted to announce that are now able to make a new offer, through 
​Hard Pressed Books to Publish your books.

Meanwhile, the stalled programme of work in schools began again in the Autumn term. Working with Tending District Council on the Junior Ambassadors Programme, I was able to deliver 21 creative writing workshops across seven schools in Tendring before Christmas. More are planned for 2021.

And the judging of the Pen to Print Short Story competition eventually happened in November 2020, delayed by Covid. It is always great to read stories from so many talented writers and the three judges all agreed that this year, the standard was higher than ever. Congratulations to the winner and runners up and to all who entered the competition.

And I haven’t forgotten to be a writer!
On the 29th February 2020, I published 
Ruby Sixpence Whistles up a Storm​

What older woman would not like to feel empowered, to feel as though she can make things happen and influence events? To be the Fairy Godmother her younger self would have loved?

Meet Ruby Sixpence, born on a leap day; a spare day in which magic happens. Born in that enchanted crack in time where opportunities, and people like her, slip through. Over the centuries she has nurtured the uncommon art of bringing lovers together, a gift which comes in the same package as ageing one year in four. But these gifts come with a price …

Ruby Sixpence Whistles up a Storm​

And in the summer, I published my homage to the years I spent working in theatre, and a tribute to my current theatre friends:
Divas, Dogs and Dreamers

When Sophie Wilde is knocked off her bicycle by Producer Alex Brooke, she becomes entangled in his world of Royal Gala’s, Divas and dogs. She doesn’t mean to fall in love with him; her life is complicated enough with her alcoholic boomerang ex, her chaotic family and busy life in the wardrobe departments of London’s West End Theatre. But Sophie is a serial daydreamer and makes lists to put off doing what needs to be done. When the singing Diva from hell, Callandra Jewell, throws a mega tantrum on tour, all the lists in the world cannot control the powerful mesh of emotions generated in the ensuing confusion.

Divas, Dogs and Dreamers

Towards the end of 2020, I was awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s National Lottery programme, working with illustrator Charlotte Cleveland… and so my big 2021 project begins …

Published by Anita Belli

Author and Creative Writing Tutor. Novels: Divas, Dogs & Dreamers. Once Upon A Blue Moon. Ruby Sixpence Whistles Up A Storm. The Traveller & The Rose. The Art Forger's Daughter. Non-Fiction: How to be An Author in the Classroom. Write Your Life. Kickstart Your Writing. Unlock The Block. For Children: A Month of Writing Adventure

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