Northern Creative Writing Groups

In 2007 we were commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to produce a second week of short stories from creative writing groups in the north of England, and we invited bona fide writers' groups to submit their best work for consideration. The five stories were broadcast in February 2008 in the afternoon readings slot at 3.30pm. Like the first series those stories were well received and we felt the standard of the second collection was even higher than the first. Sadly we do not currently have a contract for producing Afternoon Readings nor any prospect of one in the foreseeable future.

This was our selection for the second series:

“Mooncall” by Karen Wolfe, of the Hornsea Writers, read by Maggie Fox (half of the comedy duo ¨Lipservice¨)
The full moon has a dramatic effect on Kenneth, which drives his sister to despair until a chance encounter with a nice old woman outside the butcher's brings a solution satisfactory to all.

¨St John the Better¨ by Celia Burney, of Hexham Writers, read by Rod Arthur
This story is set outside an abandoned tower block, where a group of local lads have set up an unorthodox clubhouse. When they reluctantly report a strange wailing noise coming from an upstairs window, their action has unexpected consequences.

¨Room Service¨ by Cathy Bolton, of the Sheffield Hallam University Short Story Group, read by Lynn Bains
Set in New York City - a chance encounter with a pregnant guest helps a bereaved hotel worker to move on after a terrible loss.

¨Nature’s Way¨ by Helen Cadbury, from the York University Centre for Lifelong Learning, read by Siobhan Finneran
Merrill is stuck looking after her idle brother, just as her mother did before her. But she hesitates when she gets a chance to escape her drudgery.

¨Rowing Upriver from Bridge Cottage¨ by Lesley Jackson, also from Sheffield Hallam University Short Story Group, read by Delia Corrie
This gentle tale shines a light on a long marriage through a river journey with changes of direction, arguments over destinations and the occasional sudden squall.

Each story was read by a professional actor and each had a short introduction by Mark Whitaker, saying something about the group and the writer. The series was executive produced by Gillian Hush, producer of countless book readings from the northern England for Radio 4 over several decades and now a Consultant to Square Dog Radio, whose producer Mike Hally conceived the idea.

This page last updated 18 February 2009