Auckland Writers Festival 2017

 She reached the luggage coach just as it was turning north at the junction. It was an unusually dry autumn morning, respite from the storms.
“Mr Bunt, I’m so glad I caught you.”
“Why Miss Clementine, are you alright there lassie?”
Breathlessly, she reached up and handed him the paper.
            “What do we have here then?” Mr Bunt, squinting at the envelope, before turning it over and finding the Nelson address.
            “Mr Bunt, I would be so very obliged if you could see that my aunt receives this, but not until Friday.”
            “Now why is that lass?  I can see that she receives it upon my arrival on Wednesday.”
Clementine stood tall, and with all the confidence she could muster, replied, “I am off to Christchurch on the morning coach Mr Bunt.  Due to an unfortunate incident, I no longer work at Westport House, and the lodgings at Mrs Shelly’s are unsuitable. I wish to be in Christchurch before my aunt knows of my plans.”
            “The thing is lass, there won’t be a coach, probably for a week I’d say.  The Otira River is that flooded from the storms.  They were turned back this morning.”

This was the short 200 word piece I came up with for our Writers Festival workshop with the wonderful Jenny Pattrick.  A few weeks beforehand we’d been sent three photos and a newspaper clipping, with the instruction to incorporate at least two of the images and the newspaper into words and introduce one character.  What a fun workshop and we couldn’t get enough of Jenny’s tips on researching and musings on all things writerly. 

Other highlights of the Festival weekend were the sessions with Sarah Laing, Catherine Chidgey, John Lanchester, and James Shapiro.  A workshop with Kathryn Burnett focused on ‘Beginnings’ and what she covered in just an hour and a half, was inspirational.  Kathryn has a writing club called The Writing Room, and I love the concept, something to think of joining.

The weekend was over too quickly, but DH and I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions.  Until next year!
The haul!
Happy writing, y’all!

What I’m reading:  The Swan-Daughter by Carol McGrath
What I’m listening to on Audible:  The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau
What I’m listening to on Podcast: The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn



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