Monday, 21 December 2015


When Ann walked into a workshop run by a theatre group over a year ago she had no idea where her project would lead. That’s what can be so fascinating about writing. You never know what you’ve started.

The theatre workshop looked at creating a small play, drawing upon an established piece of literary work for inspiration. Ann chose The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear.

After the workshop she brought her short play to the writers’ group, where we were allocated parts and did a reading. It was great fun, but it seemed such a shame that it should end there. Surely there was something else.

And this is where being a member of a writers’ group can lead to so much more trouble! We suggested turning it into a radio play, or perhaps an animation. But how? A bit of brainstorming turned up the idea that Ann should get in touch with her university tutor (she got her BA Hons at the age of 75), because we thought he might know some animation/film maker students looking for a project. Well, as these things so often turn out, Ann was given the name of someone who knew someone, who knew someone … etc.

And an idea was born. Not an animation, but a comic. (Which was also a lot cheaper.)

That was several months ago, and last Tuesday two of us from the group accompanied Ann to the home of Elliott, a 19-year-old creative who’d pulled the project together for Ann, drawing upon a graphic designer he knew in America and a local printer.

When Elliott handed the comic over, Ann was quite emotional (and the quietest I’ve ever known her). But it was great to see the finished product, professional produced.

Ann has clear plans for her three copies that she’s had printed. But as I sat there in Elliott’s family home, it was great reminder that writing is all about teamwork. Inspired by others at the theatre workshop, and encouraged (some may say bullied) by the writers’ group to take it further, Ann’s project came to fruition thanks to Elliott and his team.

So, next time you sit down and start a project, just wonder for a moment about where it may take you. And don’t forget, writing may feel a solitary exercise at times, but if your piece is going to be published, produced, or entered into a competition, there’s a whole of team of other people involved in making it happen.

Merry Christmas. 

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