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INTRODUCTION TO BOOKBINDING – a workshop, with Mylyn McColl.

Lower Shaw Farm, Old Shaw Lane, West Swindon SN5 5PJ
Tel 01793 771080
11am - 4pm ~ 11th May ~ £50
Lunch & refreshments included

A chance to discover the joy of bookbinding and to make your own book!
In this practical workshop, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of bookbinding, using traditional skills and techniques. 
You will be taught how to use a range of traditional tools and materials; shown how to prepare pages before stitching them; then cut boards and choose a covering of bookbinding cloth, decorative papers, or up-cycled materials to create a beautiful hard cover for your book.
The result? Your own bespoke hard-backed book to take home, a book ideal for notes, sketches, journal, or recipes, to keep and treasure or to give away as a gift. 
Suitable for complete beginners and those with some experience. All tools and materials will be provided. 
Mylyn McColl is a professional prize-winning bookbinder and tutor. She loves books, loves binding, and loves sharing her skills and joy in the craft. 

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POETRY MENTORING – one-to-one with Sara-Jane Arbury and YOU


Lower Shaw Farm, Old Shaw Lane, West Swindon SN5 5PJ
From 10am  ~ 11th May ~ £20

One-hour one-to-one sessions available at 10am, 12midday, 2pm, and 4pm 
Please book your session in advance via or call 01793 771080
This is an opportunity for you, just you, to spend an entire hour with an experienced poetry practitioner, to talk solely about the poems you write. 
Supportive poetry surgery sessions offering detailed and in-depth feedback on your poems and/or your wish to write poems. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced poet, this is a one-hour session just for you.  
Sara-Jane Arbury is a writer, poet, performer, and tutor. In this capacity, Sara-Jane has collaborated with numerous organisations, including the BBC, Oxford University Press, the National Literacy Trust, and Ledbury Poetry Festival. 

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12.30pm – 1.30pm WRITERS’ LUNCH - where healthy homemade food will nourish you and meeting other writers at table may inspire you!

1.30pm – 5pm WRITING WORKSHOP with Jude Hayland


Lower Shaw Farm, Old Shaw Lane, West Swindon SN5 5PJ
Tel 01793 771080
12noon - 5pm ~ 11th May £30
Lunch & refreshments included

Writing is a solitary business. Writing well is a tricky one. Writing good prose, fact or fiction, for others to read, is even harder. How can we do it better? 
We will look at the myths and the reality around being a writer, getting down to writing, taking the craft seriously, and how to live a writing life. We will examine the differences between the techniques of novel-writing and short story-writing; and also cast an eye over the publishing world today. 
There will be inspiring writing exercises, with prompts; time for discussions and individual questions; and informative hand-outs to take home. Experienced writers will gain more experience and newcomers will discover helpful ways into writing. In other words, anyone interested in improving their writing skills, receiving good guidance, meeting other writers, and gaining knowledge about being published, is welcome. Bring your laptops, if you wish, favoured writing instruments, and materials too.
Jude Hayland began her writing career as a short story writer for magazines and has now been published extensively both in the UK and internationally. Jude is the author of four novels, is working on her fifth, experiments with flash fiction, and loves running creative writing workshops. 

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FRED BLUNT – with stories, drawing, crafts, and fun, for all the family!

Suitable for ages 4 and upwards.

Presented in association with South Swindon Parish Council


Old Town Library, Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
10.30am ~ 11th May ~ FREE
Tickets from:

Humour has always been important to Fred. Join him in creating and making your own humorous and happy stories and pictures. 
Fred Blunt is an award-winning author and illustrator and creator of Unicorn Not Wanted and Lionel the Lonely Monster.

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TONY HAWKS – in conversation, with YOU!


Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 535534
6.30pm ~ 11th May ~ £8 (£7)

What kind of writer makes you think, laugh, and reflect on life? What is the role of serious comedy? What is the relationship between good reading and good radio? How is writing fact linked to writing fiction? 
Tony Hawks, a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4 shows Just a Minute and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, has written several bestselling non-fiction books including Round Ireland with a Fridge which has sold over a million copies worldwide. His newly-published first novel, Persistent Wind, tells a story of aspiration, loyalty, and love. Stephen Fry reckons it ‘Not just wildly funny but deeply touching too.’ 
Tony believes in ‘giving back’ and when he is not writing and performing, he devotes time to charitable work. The profits from his book Playing the Moldovans at Tennis were used to open a centre for children with cerebral palsy in Chisinau, Moldova; and he co-founded the tennis charity Tennis for Free, see: 

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Hosted and supported by Sara-Jane Arbury, Tony Hawks, and Matt Holland


Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 535534
8pm ~ 11th May ~ £8 (£7)

Can you tell a story or convey an idea that can be read or spoken in three minutes or fewer? In less time than it takes to boil an egg, could you plant a new idea or story in a listener’s heart or head?
Note. Flash Fiction is a very short piece of writing. To read or speak it aloud in three minutes or fewer, it would need to be between 300 and 500 words in length, depending on the pace at which you choose to read or speak.  
This is what will happen at the second Swindon Flash Fiction Slam.
A running order will be established and competitors will have 3 minutes to present – read out or recite – their flash fiction offering. 
From then on, it’s a knockout! Keen but kindly judges, chosen from among the keen and kindly audience, and including Tony Hawks as judge-supremo, will decide who pleases the parts that others cannot reach, who entertains or informs, and who does not. 
Just as in all good sporting competitions, there will be a first round, a semi-final, and a final!

Though there may well be moments of seriousness, nervousness, and puzzlement, a spirit of wonder, wit, kindness, and good cheer will prevail! 
The winner will be crowned second Swindon Flash Fiction Slam Champion and will receive rapturous applause, a shiny cup, a cash prize, a bottle of bubbly, and words of congratulation from our guest judge supremo Tony Hawks. 
Cool compere, thinker, and writer in her own right, Sara-Jane Arbury, will maintain good Flash Fiction Slam order, with clear instructions, firm hand, and thoughtful slam smile; and will be ably aided if not abetted by sensible scorer, terrifying timekeeper, and crowd-pleasing prizes-provider Matt Holland.    

HOW TO ENTER. Anyone brave, creative, and thoughtful enough, by their own standards, can apply to enter. Please contact the Festival on 01793 771080 or at
NOTES. 1. Maximum number of entrants will be eight, so a pre-event sifting procedure may be necessary. 2. Closing date for entries is 30th April. 3. AI-generated entries are not welcome.

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