The home of Carol Fenlon, northern female novelist and freelance writer of magazine articles and short stories. Carol lives in Lancashire and has been writing short stories, articles and poetry for fifteen years, many of which have been published in mainstream magazines and small press publications. She has also won prizes for her work in many literary competitions. Her debut novel Consider The Lilies, won the Impress Novel Prize 2007 and was published by Impress Books in June 2008. Carol is also a keen local historian and published Skelmersdale: A New Town in the Making, Part One in June 2014
Carol is on the editorial board of the journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice. She is also an active member of several writing groups, including Edge Hill University's Narrative Research Group and Skelmersdale Writers’ group
Child of the Century: Reading and Writing Short Fiction Across Media European Network for Short Fiction Research, Edge Hill University, 13th-14th May.
I attended this conference on the Friday and found the papers really interesting. There were a variety of approaches to digitised short fiction and various online platforms. I was introduced to Twitterature and Twitfiction (which I can't help thinking is a rather unfortunate name). As a member of Edge Hill's Narrative Research Group, I'd been invited to read a short piece of my own work at the afternoon session and I enjoyed that very much and also listening to the contributions of other members of the group. As always a conference is a great place for networking with other writers, especially this one as there were writers from Europe, US and Canada attending. I came away with lots of ideas and actually put one into practice, forming a Facebook group Telling Tales for uploading serialised short fiction and narrative poetry. You can find this here Please have a look and feel free to submit a piece of your own work.
4th Self Publishing Conference, Leicester University, Saturday 7th May
I've been poking my nose into self-publishing, with the idea of maybe becoming a hybrid author so thought this conference organised by Matador Books, might be just the ticket. It was an interesting day although oddly some of the talks were more about pitching to agents and publishers than about actual self publishing. Matador and the Book Guild both had stands in the hospitality area but both are now virtually the same firm as both are owned by Troubador. Still it was good to meet some of the staff I have been emailing face to face and it was useful to see the quality of the books they produced which seemed very good. Probably the best thing about the day was networking with other authors and I enjoyed this very much and made lots of new contacts. I had hoped to learn more about the nuts and bolts of self-publishing and perhaps more about what various packaging companies had to offer but still it was a useful and enjoyable conference and I had the added bonus of travelling the day before and having a look round Leicester.
I attended the 'Meet the Authors' event at Weaver Words Literary festival in Frodsham on Friday 8th April. How nice it was to meet other local authors and chat about their work and to have the opportunity to network with Cheshire libraries staff as we showcased our own work. In the picture are three of my author friends, Rhona Whiteford, Jacqueline Farrell and Elizabeth Grimes Brown.
Short story 'Ghosts of Former Days' published in Ouen Press's competition anthology, Last Call, a collection about working dogs. Read more here
New short story, 'When Did You Last See Your Father, is published in a new anthology What I Remember by EBV press. The collection is themed around domestic violence and abuse survivors and is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions by clicking here
Short Story, 'Ann's Test' published on Near to the Knuckle E-zine website October 2015 Read it here
As always I had a delightful time at this summer's Writers' Holiday. Lots of good company and good food and lots of catching up to do with old friends plus meeting new people. Next year I will be running a course titled The Serendipitous Writer aimed at having fun with words in order to create excitingly original writing. You can find out more about the lovely Writers' Holiday, its delightful venue and wonderful courses by clicking on the link above.
Poem 'Troublin Mind' a tribute to Big Bill Broonzy is published today 11th March 2015 on Robert Sheppard's blogspot showcasing 25 poets from Edge Hill University. This poem was published some years ago in Erbacce a Liverpool based poetry press run by Alan Corkish and Andy Taylor. Some of the 25 poems will be read to night at an evening with guest poet Ian Seed at the Arts Centre at Edge Hill. If you'd like to read the poem, click here
Short story 'You Were Made For Me' a weird tale of a female stalker is published on the Near to the Knuckle page on the Close2thebone website. Please have a look
Carol lives in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, UK and is available for creative writing workshops and for readings from her work.
STOP PRESS Impress Books, publisher of Consider the Lilies and home of the Impress Prize have a new website. You can read my blog on there as well as those of other authors published by Impress. Please have a look.
This lovely photo of myself and friends at the recent
Society of Authors event at the Imperial War Museum, Manchester was
taken by Ian Williams. We had a wonderful day with guest speakers Maggie
Gee and Nicholas Rankin
Maggie Gee and Nicholas Rankin in conversation. What a lovely couple.
Photo courtesy of Ian Williams
Now available on Amazon and eBay Skelmersdale: A New Town in the Making. Part One: from fantasy to first brick The first part of my history of Skem New Town traces the history of the town to its designation as a new town and the laying of the first brick of the new estates in June 1964. This commemorative book is A5 paperback format, 93 pages and includes lots of black and white photographs, postcards and illustrations. Price £5.50 Also available on eBay or direct from me. Free delivery to Skelmersdale addresses if ordered direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange.
Monday 30th June saw an exciting double book launch at Skelmersdale Library. I gave a reading from my book pictured above but also the rest of our group Skelmersdale Writers read from our new anthology, Fruits of Life. Check out their pictures and how to order the book on the Skem Writers page on this site
NO WHITEMOSS LANDFILL
We still need donations to help us pay for expert representation at the public examination into Whitemoss Landfill's application for a massive extension. The hearings will be held in mid July and we are busy preparing the case to defend our town against this further encroachment. Please go to www.nowhitemosslandfill.com where you can donate via Paypal. Please also join our Facebook group Say No To More Hazardous Waste in Skelmersdale, where you can find out how to help us fight this plan.
OVER 3000 OBJECTIONS LODGED WITH PLANNING INSPECTORATE TO WHITEMOSS LANDFILL'S APPLICATION FOR HUGE EXTENSION AND SITE OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE . Skelmersdale residents, businesses, schools and community organisations have united in force to send the message that we do not want a massive toxic dump on our doorstep. The planning inspectorate have stated that never have they had to deal with so many objections for a single application anywhere in the country at any time. ALMOST 4000 PEOPLE HAVE JOINED THE FACEBOOK PAGE Say No To More Hazardous Waste in Skelmersdale. We are determined that our voices should be heard. Our town deserves regeneration and respect, not to be made the receptacle for the country's toxic waste.
Whitemoss Hazardous Landfill site in Skelmersdale has applied for a huge extension which will bring its operations within 200 yards of residential areas of Old Skelmersdale. The tip owners have requested permission to dump 150,000 tonnes of toxic waste per annum until 2035. They want to make Skelmersdale the toxic dumping ground for the whole country. if you live in West Lancashire this will affect you too, if not now then in the future as no one knows what the results of this simmering cauldron of poisons will be. The grey area in the picture shows the current limits of the site and the orange line shows the area it will take up if the extension is granted. You can find out more at http://:infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/north-west/whitemoss-landfill-north-western-extension/
NEWS ARCHIVE Skelmersdale Writers Group will be attending the
National Library Day event at Skelmersdale Library on Saturday 8th
February. We will be giving readings between 11 and 12 and will be
compiling a long poem about the library throughout the day with
contributions from people dropping in to the event. The day runs from
10-4 and there will be lots of activities by other groups as well for
kids and adults and lots of information about what is going on in Skem.
Award winning writer Carys Bray will visit Skelmersdale Writers'
Group on Monday 28th October. Carys has won many prizes for her short
stories which have been published in a number of literary magazines. Her
collection 'Sweet Home' won Salt Publishing's International Scott Prize
and was published in 2012. Her debut novel will be published by
Hutchinson in June 2014. Carys lives in Southport with her husband and
four children. Skelmersdale Writers are delighted to be hosting an
evening with this prestigious author who will talk about and read from
her work as well as running a short workshop. The event will take place
at Trinity Methodist Hall, High Street, Skelmersdale, WN8 8AT starting
at 7.45 pm, and is free to attend apart from a small charge for
Have you ever been to Caerleon Writers' Holiday? Do you remember the Russian poets and the Roman poets at the legendary poetry nights in the bar? Myself, Les Baynton and Steve Wade have put together all of our hilarious sets in a poetry pamphlet to celebrate the final event at the Caerleon venue. Most of the copies were sold at the venue but I have a few left. If you would like one, please email email@example.com for details. Copies cost £4 including postage.
Skelmersdale Writers' Group Monday August 19th. 'A Celebration of Skelmersdale Writers'. Open mic event at Skelmersdale library. All welcome. See Skem Writers' page
Caerleon Writers' Holiday 2013 What a fantastic week. Arrived a day before the conference actually started and got stuck into my new novel right away. I was running a course 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination' but not until the second half of the week, so I eschewed following any courses the first half of the week so I could get on with my own writing. This was not to say I didn't mix with everyone, old friends and new people met for the first time. Plenty of time for socialising in the bar, at mealtimes and coffee breaks and I followed some of the volunteer after tea sessions including Viv Hampshire's how to solve cryptic crosswords which was great fun. Wednesday afternoon I spent down in Cardiff bay after teaching my first session. I had a wonderful group, producing some highly original work and I thoroughly enjoyed leading the course. I hope to hear some of the stories produced when they
are completed as many of us are keeping in touch via Facebook and
Wordpress. Thursday night in the bar was hilarious with open mic poetry and the last appearance of the famous Russian poets (myself, Les Baynton and Steve Wade). We had even produced a small book of the Russian poems, (one or two still available). Sadly, it was all too soon time to go home and even sadder than usual as this was our last time at Caerleon. Next year Writers holiday moves to Fishguard and not all my old friends will be able to attend. This time I travelled by train and had to book assistance with my case as I am still recovering from a broken sternum following a recent car accident. Have to say the rail staff were fantastic, I was met at every station, helped with my case and ushered to a seat on each train. Everyone complains about British Rail but I was so pleased with them.So got home tired but very enthused and have been writing well ever since. I have booked to go to Fishguard next summer and keeping fingers crossed that it will be as much fun as ever. If you'd like to know more about Writers' Holiday, click on the link above.
Gearing myself up now for this year's Writers' Holiday at Caerleon, South Wales. This year I will be leading a course titled, 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination', aimed at producing writing around images of the uncanny. Sadly, it is the last time Writers' Holiday will be held at the Caerleon venue and it feels like the end of an era, so no doubt we will all be celebrating many years of wonderful writing events here. Caerleon will always hold such special memories for me and I have made so many great friends and contacts here over the years. All thanks to Anne and Gerry who have made all those fantastic times possible and look after everyone so well Thankfully, Writers' Holiday will still continue but at the new venue of Fishguard Bay Hotel, where the smaller Spring Writers' Holiday has been held for several years now. Another lovely venue, it means the Summer Writers' Holiday will be different, but still hopefully in similar format with lots of familiar faces. For more details both of my course this July and of the Writers' Holidays click here
Giant child spectacular, Sea Odyssey event.
What a fantastic weekend when giants roamed the streets of our city and all of Liverpool turned out to watch and have fun. I went down to Albert Dock on Friday to see the giant 'uncle' emerge from the seabed and it was even more awe-inspiring than I expected. Followed him up to James Street, then took a breather before heading up to Lime Street to see the little giant girl lifted out of her boat before continuing her journey on foot with her dog Xolo. The atmosphere was fantastic, everyone chatting and enjoying themselves and the kids just loved the dog, especially when he put his head over the barriers for a pat. It was great to see the Lilliputians too pulling the strings and boy they must have been fit, four hours or more of strenuous activity. The band gave everything a festive air and I came home worn out but full of wonder at how this great spectacle had been achieved so well. I couldn't be there on Sunday but watched it on tv and was thrilled to see the letters we'd worked so hard on fired into the air. Check Facebook's page Sea Odyssey Letters and Postcards to see copies of the letters people picked up on the day. Congratulations to Royal de Luxe and everyone in Liverpool who was involved in producing this fabulous show, an event that will be long remembered in the hearts of Liverpudlians
GIANT CHILD SPECTACULAR. SEA ODYSSEY - STORY OF LOVE AND LOSS LIVERPOOL 20-22ND APRIL
It's getting closer. Here are North End Writers at the Titanic letter writing project event last Tuesday, 27th March at St George's Hall. Letters written by the group as from passengers and crew on the ship, will be used in the Sea Odyssey event. Don't miss it.
10th March 2012. A great weekend with the Geordie lads and lasses at Byker Books launch of Radgepacket 6 - yet another collection of true Britgrit short fiction. Click here to see Byker's other publications.
Radgepacket 6A collection of 22 'tales of the inner cities' by British writers. Read my contribution, 'Paper Money' in which a nasty character gets his comeuppance. Radgepacket 6 is available in paperback or Kindle format. Get it here.
North End Writers working on their contributions to the Sea Odyssey project. .
Coming Soon SEA ODYSSEY celebrates the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic with a 3 day street spectacular by the French Royal de Luxe theatre company in conjunction with Liverpool Vision. The Giant Child comes to Liverpool in a tale of love and loss centred on the iconic ship they called 'unsinkable'. Writing groups across LIverpool are involved in the preparations for this fantastic event. Read more here
Skem's 50th anniversary writing competition. MY IDEAL TOWN
The winning stories and poems are now on display at Skelmersdale Library along with the long poem Skem writers group produced at the 50th anniversary celebrations.
SKELMERSDALE NEW TOWN IS 50
Check the Skelmersdale 50 website to see the best of Skem talent showcased. Coming soon - Skem The Musical - find out more on the website. Click here
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SKELMERSDALE NEW TOWN!.
Saturday October 8th saw major celebrations at Skelmersdale Library to commemorate the designation of Skelmersdale as a new town 50 years ago in 1961. Skelmersdale community groups turned out in force, George Orr wowed us all with his fantastic collection of Skem postcards and our very own Skelmersdale Writers' group involved everyone in writing Skem's giant poem. Kids and adults had fun doing their own new building upstairs with hunks of clay while outside there was a display of vintage cars and the Fire Service brought along one of their engines. We all had a fabulous day and we owe it all to Marianne Howell and the staff at the library who organised it. More events are to follow, Marianne will be giving a talk next Thursday 20th October on the history of Skelmersdale so get down there and book yourself a ticket. On Monday 31st October, at 5pm, I will be presenting a talk at the library entitled, 'A Vision Of Utopia - Why Skelmersdale Was Chosen' which will be about the way ideas of planned cities have developed throughout history and how Skelmersdale came to be picked as a new town site. Ring the library on 01695 720312 for more details of either of these events.
DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN SKELMERSDALE WAS FIRST DESIGNATED AS A NEW TOWN?
WERE YOU ONE OF THE FIRST GENERATION OF IMMIGRANTS TO THE NEW TOWN?
WERE YOU INVOLVED IN THE PLANNING AND DESIGN OF SKELMERSDALE NEW TOWN?
I am currently compiling a history of the making of the new town and am looking for old newspapers, photographs or simply people's memories of what Skem was like when it first became a new town. If you can help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Carol's latest short story 'Play With Me' in Radgepacket Vol 5, now published by Byker Books . You can still get Radgepacket Vols 3&4 which contain more stories by Carol, available directly from Byker or from Amazon. If you like rough tales of the inner city, these collections are for you.Buy Radgepacket 5 here
Short Fiction in Theory and Practice - a new peer reviewed literary journal dedicated to the short story. In the inaugural issue, Carol reviews three contemporary collections of short fiction. Published by Intellect. To find out more, how to subscribe, and how to submit work click here