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Wednesday Writers Biographies of Hosts & Guest Speakers.

Your Hosts for Wednesday Writers

Anne Rainbow has an extensive publishing career which can be viewed on her LinkedIn profile:

Anne Rainbow wears two hats: as ScrivenerVirgin, and as the RedPen Mentor. Anne’s blog on encourages writers to use Scrivener, the sophisticated writing tool, which can take an author from blank page to self-published book. Her website is also the door to RedPen through which Anne offers online training for writers in self-editing, marketing and self-publishing.  For a few students at a time, this provides access to her RedPen Mentoring scheme.

In her ebook, EDITING The RedPen Way: 10 steps to successful self-editing, Anne explains her tried-and-tested approach to self-editing.  With her simple three-task system, Anne shows how EDITING The RedPen Way can become a SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely – route to a polished manuscript.

Three further ebooks will be published in 2018: EDITING The RedPen Way: The BIG PictureEDITING The RedPen Way: The Devil in the Detail, and EDITING The RedPen Way: Spotlight on Style.

Anne’s objective is always to help budding writers to learn how to edit their own words, and therefore to maximise their chances of having their stories and novels accepted for publication. And, she makes it sound fun!

Christine Cooke has written creatively since childhood and is a lifelong journaller.  Writing is simply part of her being.

Christine has lived and worked abroad, is a qualified person-centred therapist, and multilingual.  Her articles on expat life have been published in newspapers and magazines.  She grew up in Lincolnshire and studied English at Oxford.

She enjoys experimenting with form in prose and poetry.  Christine writes memoir, flash, short stories, poetry, travel, fiction, and about writing and creative living.

To see examples of her extensive portfolio of writing, including Christine’s real-time memoir, the blog The Long Bright World, and her resources for writers, visit her website JourneyWords.

Passionate about living creatively, Christine has settled in a former watermill in a hidden valley near the sea in South Devon with a 20 acre smallholding and five historic holiday cottages where she runs and hosts writing workshops and retreats. For the writing workshops, Christine works with a network of writers, authors, editors, creatives and alternative health practitioners.  She also offers a guided literary walk around the Gara Valley which has a unique literary history, connections to the Butler Yeats', Masefield & the Bloomsbury fringe. 


Wednesday Writers Guest Speakers 2020

Anna Ventura owns the Tidal Gallery in Kingsbridge. She is an artist and     designer, born in Barcelona and now living in Devon.

Anna studied a combined degree of Fine Arts and Graphic Design at the University of Barcelona and, in 2010, she completed her degree at The University of Plymouth with a final project in Illustration. Anna develops beautifully simple and effective graphic work and is able to work in both modern and traditional arts. Her customer base is as varied as her projects, which range from developing branding for small businesses, giving identity to local events, developing rural and urban maps, to creating all kinds of publications for print from start to finish.

Anna will advise us on the importance of images (fonts / colours / book covers), style and graphics in promoting ourselves as writers and our products, books, socil media and services.

Janet M Smith writes children’s fiction.

Before she moved to Devon five years ago, Janet worked as a trained psychodynamic psychotherapist in the NHS for 27 years.

Janet says: ‘Since retiring in 2015, I have completed: Tony Plumb and the Moles of Ellodian. My role as a psychotherapist was incredibly worthwhile, interesting and engaging, however, I always wanted to write. One year, I decided to use my annual leave to take a residential creative writing course at Oxford University Summer School. This terrific experience explored plot, characterisation and internal monologue and inspired me to write about a teenager, Tony Plumb, who struggles with relationships and mental health.

The strapline is compelling, 'if your mind housed a spy, what secrets would it tell?'



Paul Dodgson is a writer, radio producer, composer and teacher.

Prior to going freelance in 2002, as a staff producer for the BBC, Paul made many programmes that involved helping people tell stories from their lives, and two of Paul’s most recent plays, You Drive Me Crazy and Home, have been radio memoirs.

In his writing life, he has written fourteen plays for BBC Radio 4, spent eighteen months as part of the Eastenders writing team, and was the writer on the award-winning drama-documentary series Monsters We Met for BBC2.   

Paul has also written the music and lyrics for four musicals commissioned by Theatre Royal Bath, and directed and produced drama and documentary programmes for BBC Radio, including Ivan and the dogs by Hattie Naylor, winner of the Tinnison Award for Best Radio Play of 2009.

In 2009, Paul was Writer-In-Residence at Exeter University and, in the next two years, he developed and taught life-writing workshops across the South West UK and the Scilly Isles.

Since then, Paul has taught at Arvon and Ty Newydd residential writing centres and at literary festivals around the country, and given lectures and runs writing workshops at universities across the UK, Europe and Canada.


Kerry Hadley-Pryce was born in the Black Country. She worked nights in a Wolverhampton petrol station before becoming a secondary school teacher.

Kerry wrote her first novel, The Black Country, whilst studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, for which she gained a distinction. She was awarded the Michael Schmidt Prize for Outstanding Achievement 2013–14.

Kerry is currently a Ph.D student at the University of Wolverhampton, researching Psychogeography and Black Country Writing. She focuses on ‘writing with a sense of place’: how walking practice is linked to the art of writing.

Gamble, Kerry’s second novel, was shortlisted for the Encore Award 2019.


Dave Clarke has over 25 years’ experience working with marketing content for global brands. He knows how to encourage your fans and followers to engage, follow and share what you do.

He creates podcasts for marketing through web and social media channels; he knows the rules and applies them to businesses of any size through a simple process.

Dave will take us through the How Production ‘Creative Brief’ – a planning document that provides the foundations for successful ‘marketing on air’ through radio interviews and podcasts. It's a process that helps you find your voice and develop your narrative into stories: about how your work affects communities, why it changes society, and its role in tackling some of the big issues today; insight and opinion that cuts through the noise.

Previous Speakers

Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet, novelist and screenwriter. Her first novel KISSING THE PINK was based on the women’s pro-snooker circuit, where she herself was a champion player, ranked 24th in the world.

Since turning from sport to writing, she’s published six collections of poetry and dozens of thrillers, historicals, romances, romcoms, and feel-good fiction with major publishing houses, under various pseudonyms including Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Beth Good, and Hannah Coates. She’s recently turned her hand to television writing too – watch this space!

Jane’s first thriller GIRL NUMBER ONE hit #1 in the UK Kindle store in December 2015, catapulting her into a life of crime. Her fourth and latest thriller is FORGET HER NAME. She lives in Devon and enjoys encouraging new writers. You can find her on Twitter as @janeholland1

Jane writes a blog and is also on Facebook.


Photo: Nic AskewBelinda Seawards writing has been described as ‘cinematic’ and ‘thrillingly observant’.  She has written four novels and is now working on her first book of narrative non-fiction.

Belinda’s work explores themes of identity, love and belonging.  Her novels HOTEL JULIET and THE BEAUTIFUL TRUTH were both published by John Murray, literary publishers of Jane Austen, Darwin, and Byron. HOTEL JULIET, a story of love, loss and longing, set in Zambia, London and Scotland, was submitted for the Booker Prize.  Her new work, a philosophical memoir, explores in piercing detail the arc of a 20-year-friendship and examines how friendship shapes the most important decisions of our lives. (Photo: Nic Askew)

Belinda was inspired to become a writer when Fay Weldon visited her school.  Belinda worked as a journalist for The Sunday Times and for newspapers in the Arabian Gulf, and, as a mature student, took a degree in Philosophy which she teaches at A Level and to adults through her social education courses.  Belinda has a special interest in horsemanship and in 2016, she co-founded a community interest company which offers education, health and well-being courses in South Devon. She was born in Cornwall and grew up in Devon.

Belinda is also a personal development coach offering wisdom and well-being courses to individuals and small groups who wish to develop self-understanding.  She shares insights from her work and life on her blog:  


Jane Rayner worked as a journalist in business-to-business publishing for 14 years, in different positions before becoming group editor across an environmental portfolio at Emap. Over the years, she’s redesigned magazines, launched websites, developed numerous reports and other publications, and represented magazines in the media. Alongside providing strategic insight in new product development, Jane has launched and developed awards and implemented conference programmes, seminars and workshops, and provided marketing and PR support across a portfolio of products.

Jane set up Lulu Consulting, a communications company specialising in sustainability issues, helping to raise awareness of environmental, social and economic issues and providing support in businesses development.

She can help with all forms of the written word – journalism, blogging, press releases, copywriting for marketing materials, social media – as well as develop and implement your communications strategy. She also runs workshops on developing an online presence – ideal for writers.

You can find Jane on Twitter as @luluconsult, and follow her blog.

Felicity Goodall is a freelance writer with a background in newspapers, radio and television, and a passion for history.

Her most recent book, published by the History Press is Exodus Burma  (now out in paperback), the story of the British escape from Burma as the Japanese invaded in 1942. You can hear an interview with Felicity about the book on BBC Radio 4’s  Today Programme and also on Radio 4’s Excess Baggage.

Felicity worked as a presenter and producer for BBC Radio 4 for 15 years,mostly on their literary output such as A Good Read, Poetry Please! , With Great Pleasure, Fine Lines and Dear Diary. A former foreign correspondent, she appeared on The One Show and the ‘expert’ on a BBC TV documentary on conscientious objectors. Felicity also worked on historical series such as The Year 1000 and the Diaries of King George V with Robert Lacey, and stand-alone programmes, such as docudramas about Bhopal and PTSD.

Felicity is an experienced public speaker; she has spoken at The National Army Museum and to groups such as the Devonshire Association, U3A, Devon Archives and a large number of local history groups. She is occasionally called on to write articles for the press connected with her books, and is an experienced interviewee on radio and television at local and national level.

Felicity was a panellist at the Waterstone’s Mann Booker awards in Exeter, and wrote and directed a play for Radio 4, A Change of Heart, about the first woman war correspondent to be accredited to the British Army.

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copyright © 2019 Christine Cooke
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