We call it swim-lit: the growing body of literature that reflects our love of diving in. We’ll be celebrating it with a bite-sized day of author talks, workshops, film-screenings and music, designed to please both intrepid explorers of the open water, and readers who prefer to keep their feet dry.
The festival day is slotted in between the two high tides, at 10.37am and 11.01pm, with many events taking place on the beach.
I ran workshops on childhood place – using words from Jay Griffiths’ classic book Kith: Riddle of the Childscape as starting point: ‘one’s square mile, the first landscape we know…Amor Loci’. I’ll also invited festival-goers to share their words, voices & stories with me between time with a line up of fine nature/place writers including Raynor Winn, Adam Nicholson, Horatio Clare, Emma Mitchell, & Naoko Abe.
I joined Jessica J Lee and Nina Powles of Willowherb Review in a panel discussion on Beyond the Green and Pleasant Land, before chairing the last talk of the weekend: Authors Neil Ansell (The Last Wilderness) and Dan Richards (Outpost) on wild places.
Wednesday 24 June, 2019: Stay This Moment: Diary-writing in Virginia Woolf’s Garden at Monks’ House National Trust, Rodmell for National Writing Day
“If one does not lie back and sum up and say to the moment, this very moment, stay you are so fair, what will be one’s gain, dying? No: stay this moment. No one ever says that enough. Always hurry. I am now going in, to see Leonard, and say stay this moment…” (Diaries of Virginia Woolf, 1932).
Join artist-in-residence for the day, Tanya Shadrick, in the gardens at Monk’s House National Trust as she reads passages from Woolf and invites visitors to engage in diary and letter-writing.
Sussex-based writer and artist Tanya Shadrick is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and 2019 Writer-in-Residence for Wealden Literature Festival. A former hospice scribe, she is best known in the nature/place-writing community as creator of the Wild Patience Scrolls: a mile of diary-writing and story-collecting done over two summers at Pells Pool Lido in nearby Lewes.
During this drop-in event (free to National Trust members or on payment of the usual property entrance fee) you can listen to readings from Woolf’s diaries, attend short workshops on the practice of diary-writing, and spend time in the grounds writing yourself.
Tanya will invite you to share your words on day and online as part of National Writing Day’s celebration of writing and story-telling.
Sunday 24 February, 2019: 11am-12pm, Tanya Shadrick and Katharine May for Faversham Literary Festival
An excursion into walking, swimming, wellbeing, nature and writing with authors Katherine May and Tanya Shadrick.
Katherine May’s memoir tells of her 630-mile walk in the wilds, following the South West Coast Path, as she comes to terms with an Asperger’s diagnosis. Tanya Shadrick is a former hospice life-story scribe who, during a long-distance writing project, was contacted by the well-known wild swimmer Lynne Roper, then in her last months of life. Tanya made a promise to publish her writings posthumously and, two years later, Wild Woman Swimming: A Journal of West Country Waters – recommended by The Outdoor Swimming Society and in Amazon’s top twenty swimming titles – is the result.
Katherine May writes fiction and memoir, and is also known as Betty Herbert (The 52 Seductions) and Katie May (The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club). She lives in Whitstable, is obsessed with Devon, and loves gin martinis, the sea and walking until her legs ache. Tanya Shadrick edited Watermarks: Writing by Lido Lovers & Wild Swimmers – an anthology of poems, short prose and life-writing by those who love being in seas, rivers, lakes, ponds and lidos. She grew up in north Devon and now lives in Lewes.
Sea Lanes Brighton were delighted to be hosting an evening of swim-talk on Thursday 30th August. Hosted by Ella Foote, Outdoor Swimming Society Ambassador & swimming writer, the panel discussion featured: Alexandra Heminsley, bestselling author of Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves and the Will to Swim, Tanya Shadrick, 2016/17 writer-in-residence for Pells Pool in Sussex and writer of Outdoor Swimming Society recommended read Watermarks, and Rosie Cook, Founder of new transformational women’s swimwear brand Deakin and Blue.
Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 August, 2018: Artist-in-Residence at National Trust Bucks Mills Cabin, North Devon
For the inaugural National Writing Day, I shared ideas on ways to build a creative life and invited pool-goers to find their flow through writing by hand. Dozens of visitors accepted my challenge to write a letter to their future selves, which I will post back to them weeks or months (or years?) from now.
The launch of new work by fifty fine poets and prose-writers who take us into the world’s lakes, lidos, rivers and oceans.
Watermarks: Writing by Lido Lovers & Wild Swimmers is an anthology of exceptional new prose and poetry to celebrate the life aquatic, brought together by The Frogmore Press and Pells Pool in Lewes.
Introduced by our editors, Tanya Shadrick and Rachel Playforth, and with readings from contributors, this was a celebration of a very special creative endeavour.
You can read Tanya’s words to open the evening in the Laps/Lines section.
“I feel blessed to know you and your writing even more now you have shared your writerly beginnings with some of us. The Watermarks launch reminded me of where my own written, far too sporadic, words have come from over the years – always my place of deepest emotions.”
“Written in Water”: Writer-in-residence for this one-day Free for the Festival event hosted by The Frogmore Press.
“Something so peaceful about Tanya Shadrick’s writing @BrightonMuseums”
“Diaries of the Outside: Annie Ernaux’s urban journals and Tanya Shadrick’s Wild Patience scrolls”
This seminar, jointly organised by the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research and the Sussex Centre for Language Studies will introduce the concept of the journal extime, or diary of the outside, pioneered by prize-winning French writer Annie Ernaux.
The speakers, Professor Lyn Thomas and Lewes-based writer Tanya Shadrick will explore how the project of the journal extime redefines the diary and act of writing, as well as discussing the role of the writer as ethnographer of a space/time, and the impact of women writers ‘occupying’ public space.
Professor Lyn Thomas will discuss Ernaux’s Journal du dehors and La vie extérieure, her diaries of her encounters in the urban spaces of Paris and the nearby new town, Cergy-Pontoise where she lives. A more recent diary of Ernaux’s visits to her local hypermarket Auchan: Regarde les lumières mon amour will also be examined. Quotations will be read in the original French and translations will be provided.
In May this year, Tanya Shadrick embarked on a year-long site-specific feat of ‘distance’ writing at Pells Pool in nearby Lewes. Called Wild Patience: Laps in Longhand, her work — done under the public gaze, on her knees, while inviting visitors to engage with the process — seeks to offer up the role of writer for examination. She will speak to the sources and events which fed the work and discuss the challenges for a woman writer embodying her work in public.
“Felt so inspired after your reading from the #WildPatience scrolls – the relational self and the idea of the self with fluid boundaries…It has fuelled a week of thinking and making work.”
Thursday 22 September, 2016: Magazine Brighton
“Fear of the blank page to a mile of longhand: Building a lasting artist’s practice”
Saturday 17 September, 2016: National Lido Conference, Portishead
“Libraries, Life-stories & Other Lo-Fi Ways to Create a Sense of Place & Belonging”
Wednesday 14 September, 2016: Unpsychology Magazine, Brighton