Sue Wilsea on The Fathom Writers’ Showcase and the Local Literary Scene

Next Wednesday at 7.30pm, local writers of all levels, ages and backgrounds will be reading their work to the people of Barton in the Ropery Hall bar.  This is all down to the Fathom Writers’ Showcase, a free event organised by Sue Wilsea so that her students can unveil their work to the public.

Past Forward project worker Jamie Smith spoke to Sue about the showcase.

She said: “It’s a chance for people whoWritig have been in classes with me to come and read their work out.

“There are 11 or 12 people reading, and we’ve got students, people who have been in classes but have gone on separately to publish books and people who are just starting out.

“We have somebody who won a local storytelling competition in Beverley.  There’s people coming from the Writer’s Support Group, which we run every month at The Ropewalk and from the regular Tuesday afternoon class, which is a creative writing class.”

According to Sue, the types of writing being created by the Fathom Writers group are as diverse as its membership.

She added: “We’ve got someone who’s writing their life story, and they want to record their life for their grandchildren.  We’ve got someone who is writing fantasy novels and publishing them as e-books and being very successful.  We’ve got people who have just started on the writing path.  Somebody has written a play, and they’re going to read an excerpt from it next week. So really, a complete mix of writing.”

So how does the group help all these different people produce all of this different literature?

Sue said: “The classes are really good for the triggers that they provide.  You’re not telling people what to write, these people are writing whatever they want to, but you’re giving them triggers and then you’re looking at how you can make a piece of writing the best it can be really.”

Sometimes, it’s just about finding what was there all along.

““It’s just unlocking it sometimes, that’s all it is.  Some people go away from my classes and some people don’t come back.  That’s not necessarily a failure on my part, it’s just that they’ve found what they want to write and have gone away to write it and that’s brilliant,” said Sue.

Of course, Barton’s literary scene doesn’t end with the Fathom Writers.

“There’s always a lot happening locally.  There’s the Ted Lewis Group based here.  You’ve got the Muse Poetry Group, which meets monthly on a Sunday evening and there’s what’s going on at The Ropewalk.  Really, for a small town, there’s a very active scene,” she said.

Sue gave a heads up about a couple of local names to look out for on your bookshelves soon: “Rob Ashman is somebody who is self-published, but he has been picked up by a publisher and he’s having his trilogy published by Bloodhound Books.  The other person is Rebecca Fernfield.  She is publishing young adult fantasy.”

Finally, what does Sue think Barton does to encourage its writers and what more could be done.

She told me: “Things like next Wednesday help, because hopefully we’ll have some people come along who maybe didn’t know we had classes.  Even if it’s just a few people, word spreads.

“We’re doing a crime evening in September.  Perhaps more things like that would help.  We’ve even talked about having a mini literature festival at some point, that’s a possibility for the future.”

So, come to Ropery Hall at 7.30pm next Wednesday to hear from Barton’s budding writers and remember to keep an eye out for them in the future.


Hidden History

Hidden History tells of Barton upon Humber's fascinating history through a collection of media including original and authentic photographs, video clips, narration and text.