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INTRODUCTION TO BOOKBINDING – a workshop, with Mylyn McColl.


Lower Shaw Farm, West Swindon SN5 5PJ
11am to 4pm ~ 7th May
£50 Includes lunch & refreshments

Tickets: or call 01793 771080

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


Lower Shaw Farm, West Swindon SN5 5PJ
12noon to 5pm ~ 7th May
£30 Includes lunch & refreshments

Tickets: or call 01793 771080

Writing is a solitary business. Writing well is a tricky one. Writing good prose, poetry, 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 character development and their voices, as well as the importance of playing with words, using a variety of unexpected exercises from prose, poetry and scriptwriting.
There will be inspiring writing activities, with prompts; time for discussions and individual questions; and suggestions for further reading and exploration.
Experienced writers will gain more experience and ideas; and newcomers will discover helpful ways into writing. In other words, anyone interested in improving their writing skills, receiving good guidance, meeting other writers is welcome. Bring your laptops, if you wish; and favoured writing instruments and materials too.

Sara-Jane Arbury is a creative writing tutor, poet, performer, and scriptwriter. She has worked with Oxford University Press, the National Literacy Trust, and Ledbury Poetry Festival. Recently, her ghost play Acquisition was selected by The Cambridge Scriptwriting Forum for performance at The Corpus Playroom. When it comes to writing, Sara-Jane believes that ‘structure is liberating - with freedom to break the rules.'

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AFRICA WRITES NIGHT – an evening of poems, music, movement, and stories, whose roots are African. 
Presented in association with the Royal African Society.


Town Hall, Regent Circus SN1 1QF
Tel 01793 535534 (11am to 6pm)
7.30pm ~ 7th May ~ £8 (£7)

Music will start the evening; poems will carry it on; a panel and audience discussion will take it further; words from an elder will remind us of what matters; and dancers from the next generation will give us all hope for the future.

Launching the show with a soul-stirring performance will be The Rhythm & Roots Collective - celebrating African music, dance, and poetry in Swindon and beyond.

Catherine Okoronkwo will present a compelling mix of poetry and prose, speaking about and reading from her first collection, Blood and Water ọbara na mmiri whose poems travel across continents, cultures, and customs, and in so doing, examine the pull of the Western world. Catherine is of Nigerian heritage, grew up in the Middle East, and studied in the USA and UK. Her writings have been widely anthologised and her debut collection is published by Waterloo Press.

In Atomic Rhythm, the Rhythm & Roots Collective, aka Asafo Gyata, Bafana Matea, and Michael Fergie will take us on a journey of words, movement, and rhythm, combining the power of drum, body, and voice to elevate outlook and celebrate life. Asafo is an African/Caribbean musician, poet, and martial arts teacher; Bafana is a dancer and choreographer from South Africa via New York; and Michael is a percussionist, musician, and creator of the Suitcase Soundsystem.

With a sound of modern soul mixed with folk, Americana and Folk singer-songwriter Lady Nade has one of the most distinctive voices in British music today. Many of her songs highlight the positive connection between music, well-being, and diversity within the arts.  Lady Nade has appeared on the BBC’s Cerys Matthews and Mark Radcliffe shows, with her third album Willing continuing to enjoy widespread success.

Matt Holland will introduce a panel of writers who will lead discussion on various themes, including imagination, pleasure, and activism. Matt loves Literature, loves life, and loves putting on events like this at the Swindon Festival of Literature.

Elder Eulinda Antonette Clarke-Akalanne, best known as Antonette, will speak of a long life lived to the full and remind us of what matters. Antonette is a short story writer, poet, and actor who appeared in Queen Ndate Yalla Mbodj; and who believes that life should be lived to the full and that learning is lifelong!

To close the evening, a bespoke ensemble of young dancers will put on a special forward-looking performance, choreographed by Bafana Matea with original music from the Suitcase Soundsystem.

Thanks to everyone who helped make, shape, and celebrate Africa Writes Night.

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Photograph: Arthur René Walwin

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