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This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: member news writers abroad news site news

Nigel’s blog this week should strike terror into the hearts of every writer!  A year’s worth of work lost by one lightning strike!  Flash drives failing and cyber attacks!  But, he’s right.  There is so much to lose that all precautionary efforts need to be made. 

Dianne’s muse for this week is not yet posted – with the time differences I often don’t catch everything when writing the This Week posting.  Be sure and check it out, I’ve no doubt there will something to grab your attention.

On the Bragging Stool this week Laura and Angela received an Honourable Mention and Highly Commended in the 100-word comp run by Morgen Bailey. Good work you two!  Sue has posted a copy of the judge’s comments about her first place poem that was published in October’s Writing Magazine.  What an achievement! We’re all so proud of her!  The news can be spread now that Angela made the final ten of The Fictional Casket flash fiction competition!  Although we all knew last week, winners were not announced until the 8th.  Many congratulations, Angela!

A couple of pieces for the WA Magazine are up for review this week.  Under Works in Progress Crilly has posted her Guilty Conscience piece and Lesley posted hers under the WA-E Magazine Forum.  The deadline is approaching. 

Hoping this is a productive writing week for all.  If I’ve missed anything please post in the comments. 





This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: writers abroad site news members news writing

Despite everyone being busy with friends and family over the summer, last week seems to have been a productive one for members of Writers Abroad.

Blog: Laura has posted an interesting blog we can all relate to, asking questions about why and what we read, and what happens after we’ve finished a book.

Muse: Sue has some great ideas for this week, inviting us to write a humorous sketch, something from a one line prompt, something for the Ad Hoc word prompt for this week – ‘hill’, or a 40-line ballad. Take your pick.

Bragging Stool:  Congratulations go to Angela who has some hush hush news of reaching the last ten in a high-profile flash fiction competition, which I’m dying to shout out about by name, but have been sworn to secrecy! All will be revealed in the next few days, after which she can grace the bragging stool again.

All the usual suspects – Sue, Crilly, Chris N, Angela and Laura seem to be taking over the Ad Hoc site and have all been published again. Well done.

My own disappointment at getting no further than the shortlist in the I Must Be Off travel competition was slightly eased by a smaller achievement – winning a runner-up prize in the Erewash ‘books’ themed flash fiction competition.

New Forum: Sue has created a new forum called ‘How To – a guide for members’ which you can find under ‘General’. Here you will find her topic ‘Overview’. Particularly helpful in showing how to upload and post an image with a muse, or anything else. Also some help with how to post a Muse.

September Challenges & Opportunities: This topic is up and running on the forums. More ideas welcome.

WA Magazine: Jo has sent out our first newsletter to all those on our mailing list, which includes information on the publication of our seventh e-mag in November. Those of us, including myself, need to get on with writing whatever they’ve signed up for. Last call is the end of September.

Wishing everyone a happy and productive writing week!

A New Kind of Tourism
Category: Writing
Tags: Literary Famous Writers


A New Kind of Tourism

Have you ever wandered around a famous writer’s home?  Perhaps stood beside the writing desk secretly hoping you would find inspiration? Maybe gazed from their windows and wondered what they were thinking as they pondered the same landscape? The scattering of dust on the mantelpiece might contain microscopic particles of ‘writerly DNA,’ which by standing close, was possible to absorb.

There is often something special about the atmosphere of these homes, is it the location, the tranquillity or merely the fact that the author was successful?

Literary tourism is booming. If we consider that Chawton House in Hampshire, the only house that Jane Austen lived (and wrote) in is open to the public and saw 40,000 visitors visit last year, we can see that this brand of tourism has become quite an industry.

There are myriad well-known writers homes open around England and as 2017 has been declared the  Year of Literary Heroes in Britain, let’s visit a couple here   

Winston Churchill lived at Chartwell in Sevenoaks, Kent for forty years until his death in 1965. Apart from his role in politics, a love of art and his ability as an artist, he was a prolific writer. His work comprised historical books, memoirs, short stories and one novel, forty-three books in total. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953 and is often quoted as saying – “HISTORY WILL BE KIND TO ME FOR I INTEND TO WRITE IT.” 

Chartwell is now managed by the National Trust and in 2016 saw over 232,000 people visit. The library and study are set up just as if the former prime-minister had momentarily left the room. We can almost imagine him returning to the room to retrieve his glasses left on the blotter or the briefcase cast under the desk.



Let’s also look at the home of Vita Sackville- West whilst we are still in Kent. Vita loved reading and writing, she was passionate about words. A quick check on Goodreads says she wrote 92 books. Her work comprised mainly novels, poetry and several biographies. Her love life is legendary and her affair with Virginia Woolfe well-known but she remained married to Harold Nicolson, a politician and a writer. In 1930, they purchased Sissinghurst Castle which was built in the middle ages and surrounded by a moat. At the time of purchase, the castle was extremely run down and in need of much restoration which Vita and Harold accomplished over the years. One of the main features being an octagonal four storey tower where Vita used to write. Aside from writing, Vita was a keen gardener and her purple garden a work of art. To quote the National Trust website – ‘Today the Purple Border is a complex tapestry of purples ranging from violet-blue through to crimson-magenta and every shade in between.’

Sissinghurst is run by the National Trust and was visited by almost 199,000 people in 2016. I have touched on three writer’s homes but there are many others. Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-on-Avon, Dickens home in Doughty Street, London, Charlotte Bronte in Thornton, Yorkshire to name but a few.

Do you visit writer’s homes? How does the visit affect you? Are your writerly batteries recharged? In conclusion, I leave you with my favourite quote from Vita Sackville-West.

"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop."




















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The House at Zaronza
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The Duke's Shadow
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Foreign & Far Away
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Break Out
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Big Book of New Short Horror
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Tiger of Talmare
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