Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Alita Balbi

This year for the first time a slice of Words And Women will go on tour as part of the Breckland Book Festival ( http://brecklandbookfestival.com). Some of our writers and performers will be visiting Watton Library on the 16th March 2013, 12.00 – 1.00pm, and Thetford Library on the 23rd March 2013, 12.00 – 1.00pm.

Alita Balbi is a newcomer to Words And Women and will be reading her work at the Watton event. Alita was born in a small town in Brazil, and writes fiction both in English and Portuguese. She is currently a MA student on the Creative Writing Prose course at UEA.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Sarah Ridgard

Sarah is another wonderful writer who will be reading her work in the Fusion Digital Gallery during our evening celebrations on the 8th March. 

Sarah is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at UEA (2002), and was selected as one of ten writers from the East of England for the Escalator Scheme run by the Norwich Writer’s Centre. This was in 2009. Then in August 2012 Sarah’s debut novel, Seldom Seen, was published by
Random House and subsequently shortlisted for the Amazon Rising Stars Competition. 

Catherine Taylor – The Guardian – described the novel as “Death and mayhem in sleepy rural Suffolk… Ridgard's evocation of landscape, of farming, its seasons, cruelties and epiphanies, is striking...”

Sarah lives in Norwich with her husband and two children.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Deborah Arnander

Deborah, who will be reading her work during our evening celebrations in the Fusion Digital Gallery, was born in Northumberland and spent her childhood in Thailand.  She studied at the University of Sussex and has a PhD in French literature.  After leaving university she lived in Paris, San Francisco and Seville, and worked as a translator, researcher, speechwriter, house doctor, market trader, bingo-hall caller and bartender.  She was lured to Norwich by the siren on the ziggurat – she spent four years doing various courses in UEA’s continuing education creative writing programme – and her two young daughters were born here.  In 2009 she won an Escalator New Writing Award.

She has a short story in Unthank Books’ first Unthology, and has published poems on the webzine Ink, Sweat and Tears, and in the anthologies Not Expecting Fish, Gatehouse Press, and Voicing Visions, (Norwich Twenty Group Spring Exhibition 2009).  She is currently working on her first novel, about a G.I. baby, set in wartime Norwich and 90s California.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Eleanor Wasserberg

Eleanor will be reading her work as part of the evening celebrations in the Fusion Digital Gallery. She was born in Staffordshire, and  has a BA in Classics and English from the University of Oxford, and has worked as an english teacher in Paris and Trivandrum. In 2010, she graduated from the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia, and Arts Council England recently awarded her a grant to complete her first novel Foxlowe. Foxlowe  follows a cult survivor as she remembers a childhood both hedonistic and chaotic, violent and magical. Set in the Staffordshire Moorlands, Foxlowe draws upon pagan sites and local folklore to tell a story of love and power, shame and redemption.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Heidi Williamson

Heidi is currently poet-in-residence at the John Jarrold Printing Museum in Norwich, and will be reading her work at Words And Women during the evening celebrations in the Fusion Digital Gallery. Heidi’s first collection,
  ‘Electric Shadow’ (Bloodaxe Books, 2011), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2012 Seamus Heaney Centre
Prize for Poetry. She has lived in Stirling, Brussels and Norfolk, and was poet-in-residence at the London Science Museum’s
Dana Centre in 2008 and 2009. More about Heidi and her work can be found at www.heidiwilliamsonpoet.com .

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Megan Bradbury

In the lead up to Words & Women 2013 we will be posting profiles of the readers, performers and artists who will be contributing to our events on International Women’s Day.

The first is Megan who will be reading in the evening in the Fusion Digital Gallery. Megan is the current Charles Pick Fellow at the University of East Anglia. She graduated from UEA with a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2004 and MA in Creative Writing Prose in 2005. Since when, besides pursuing her own writing, she has worked as an editorial reader and creative writing mentor.
Megan’s working on her first novel which documents the cultural development of New York City through the lives and work of four major figures from its history, namely the writer Edmund White, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, urban planner Robert Moses and poet Walt Whitman. An extract can be found at

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Expanding… Expanding…

2013’s event would be a little bit bigger we decided. It would grow but not too much, just enough. We wanted to keep the homespun, friendly feel. We wanted to keep it fun to organise as well as to attend. So we talked it over with Mitchell Albert from the Writer’s Centre Norwich (www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk) who suggested we grow sort of sideways, tour some of our readers. Great idea we thought. Then a few more great ideas later, the event is expanding and expanding - in the nicest possible way. Here’s what we hope will happen at Words And Women 2013:
-       A reading of their own work by young women writers from local secondary schools and groups to take place in the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library
-       An art exhibition in The Forum Atrium by local women artists. 
-       A reading by older women writers in the Fusion Digital Gallery with compere, short theatre, music and wine.
-       And a tour of this reading as part of The Breckland Literary festival.
More details will follow as we confirm names and times. But already speclal thanks to The Forum Trust Limited (www.theforumnorwich.co.uk) for agreeing to house the art exhibition and the evening read.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


The logos for Words And Women have been designed by Rose Cowan who is studying for the Illustration BA at Norwich University College of the Arts. Rose’s work can be seen at http://rosealison.tumblr.com. Her papercuts have been shown at the Glasgow Art Fair and at Temple Newsam House, Leeds. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Hello! Welcome to Words And Women.

We will be using this blog to keep you updated on our planned celebrations for International Women’s Day 8th March 2013 in Norwich.

First a little history:
Words and Women was started in 2011 by Bel Greenwood, journalist, scriptwriter and founder of The Greenword Tree (www.thegreenwordtree.co.uk) which organizes imaginative experiences for children and young people. Bel couldn’t find any events in Norwich celebrating International Women’s Day and so decided to create one of her own, bringing together a group of local women writers – some established, some not – and singer songwriters, and arranging for them - with the help of librarian Gwen Parker - to perform their work at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library. The event drew a big appreciative audience of men and women, and Bel was able to use it to raise money for Camfed, a charity which helps to educate young women in Africa out of poverty. Bel was joined in 2012 by Lynne Bryan (www.lynnebryan.co.uk), novelist, short story writer and teacher of creative writing, and together they expanded the event to include cabaret and stand-up at The Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Money was raised by a book raffle and proceeds went to Camfed and also Leeway, which provides women and children with shelter from domestic abuse. Below is our fantastic poster designed by Kate Munro (www.katemunro.co.uk) for that event.

Now, Bel and Lynne are organizing the 2013 event which promises to be much larger but, hopefully, just as much fun.