About Brixham Writers

Back in 1964 a new school opened in Brixham.  By 1965 The Community College, as it became, had a thriving programme of evening classes.   As a would-be writer, and shy of admitting it,  I took my courage in both hands and joined a course on Writing for Pleasure and Profit run by a Mrs Barbara Palmer.   Barbara was the most kind and encouraging person to lead a rag-tag bunch of beginners, who quickly became friends.   The classes ran for some years and then, when people began to establish themselves as writers who actually earned a crust or two,  we decided to band ourselves into a club, which Barbara headed until she retired. 

Apart from weekly meetings, during the seventies and eighties  we had  writing weekends at Dartington and Oldway where we invited well known authors.  In particular I remember R.F.Delderfield whose novels were being televised at the time.  “Don’t get it right get it written” was his advice.  When he wrote about love affairs he said that he always thought back to his teenage years and the tremendous feelings of falling in love for the first time.  It’s something I’ve always kept in mind when writing my own novels and short stories.

In the nineties Elizabeth Johnson from Mills & Boon historicals  came down for a weekend we organised at the  Northcliffe hotel.  M&B at the time were looking for new authors,  so covered the costs of their editors to visit various parts of the country.   Those were the days!

One of our members, Irene Northan, was writing Mills & boon historical novels, as Elizabeth Lowther,  at the time.  She was one of our founder members, though sadly she died aged 56 just as she was beginning to really get well known through her sagas , under her own name,  for Headline.  Monica Maple, writing as Sarah Westleigh, was also taken up by Mills & Boon.  Some of our members moved abroad.   Heather Graves who writes novels based on the horse-racing scene (Hale/Piatkus) now lives in Australia.  Carole Llewellyn, (historicals/Hale) has recently moved to Spain.   The magic of email keeps us in touch.

Back in 1990 we had a lunch to celebrate the Silver anniversary of those first classes that evolved into Brixham Writers’ Club.  Now we are looking forward to the next big milestone,  our fiftieth anniversary.  We have seen several well-known novelists  launched  in those years.   And others who have made a lower-profile career in different branches of writing.   Hopefully, there will be many more successful years to come.

To catch up with the current crop of published writers, see our author pages.

Anne Goring


Why not Follow Brixham Writers on Twitter – Twitter – @brixhamwriters


7 Responses to About Brixham Writers

  1. Marion says:

    What a lovely story, thank you! It was the name Irene Northan that led me to your page.
    About sixteen years ago I read a romantic fiction book about a girl who married well and became a successful hotelier in Torquay. I enjoyed it immensely, plus the area being a favourite for holidays on a number of occasions over time. I passed the book on but never forgot it, although parts of the story were hazy after so long. Periodically I would do a search to find it again, all to no avail, all I could recall of the title was that it had the word dream in it and I seemed to think the author’s name was Noreen ?.
    Early this month we visited Devon again after some years, and I was prompted before the trip to attempt yet another search for the book, surprisingly it came up with what I thought might be a lead, on someone’s blog. The more I read I realised I had at last found what I was looking for – ‘To Dream Again’ by Irene Northan, and not only that, two more books that she wrote, set in Devon.
    I ordered ‘To Dream Again’ from e-bay and have so enjoyed reading it again, then found and purchased from amazon and e-bay ‘Daughter of The River’ and ‘A Safe Haven’ – which I’m currently half way through.
    I came across your site today and was really interested to read about the group but sorry to hear that the author of the mentioned books passed away aged 56. Her writing just flows and draws you in as if knowing the main characters, beautiful settings and descriptions.
    I admire those who can write a full length novel so well, it is a such an art, and encouraging that once in print and read, a good author lives on through their work.
    I will enjoy browsing the website, my very best wishes to the Brixham Writers on your Golden Anniversary.

    Marion Sheath (Mrs.)

  2. susan swan says:

    I am very interested in your group. I have completed a novel and I am considering self publishing and wondered if anyone from the group might have some advice for a novice starting out.

  3. What a great success story! Congrats, y’all! Keep on writing and having fun doing it!

  4. Sarah Hemingway says:

    I am organising a Sharing Stories Festival, which will take place across the 3 museum sites of Brixham Heritage Museum, Torre Abbey Museum and Torquay Museum on Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd March 2018, to coincide with World Book Day on 1st March.

    On Thursday 1st March we would like to hold a ‘Books in the Bay: Celebrating local authors’ event at Brixham Heritage Museum. I am inviting Brixham Writers to take part in this event and should be grateful if you could let me know if this is of interest. A small budget is available for speakers.

    Sarah Hemingway
    Marketing, Programming and Events Officer
    Torquay and Brixham Museums

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