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Monday, 2 October 2017

What Was Left - Retreat West anthology



The beautiful anthology from Retreat West - the coloured dots representing the twenty stories, some darker, some more hopeful, and the rest reflecting the nuances in between.


I feel privileged my shortlisted story lent the title to this anthology, What Was Left, a beautiful collection of short stories and flash fiction from Retreat West



It was so good to see writer-friends Diane Simmons, Jude Higgins and Jo Derrick again, and to meet Amanda Huggins and Retreat West founder, Amanda Saint, at the September launch in Waterstones, Reading.

Huge congratulations to winners Judith Wilson (On Crosby Beach) and Jude Higgins (At The Hospital), who held the audience spellbound with their readings.

It was especially lovely to be in Reading as I met my husband there thirty-three years ago when we were both working in WH Smith. One of our daughters took this picture of us outside the store in the very spot where we first met.

The shop has been rebuilt since we worked there, but I think the entrance is roughly in the same place!


Thank you so much to Amanda and everyone at Retreat West for all the hard work that produced the book and the launch. Retreat West offer writing competitions for short stories, flash fiction and novels, as well as beautiful writing retreats and creative writing courses, so do check out their website .

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations to you, Joanna and all the writers included in the anthology. How wonderful to have your title used for the book. I love the photo of you and your husband standing in the very spot where you first met xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Teresa! It really was a great thrill for my story's title to be used for the book and a brilliantly nostalgic moment for Adrian and I to stand where we first met. We also drove past the house where I grew up as well and I felt very emotional to see that the lawn which my late father had kept immaculate - his pride and joy - was now all paved over xxx

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    2. It is sad about your father's lawn, but it will always be there in your memory xxx

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    3. That's a very comforting thought, Teresa. Nothing can erase the memories. Thank you XXX

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  2. What a lovely post, Joanna, and congratulations on this latest success - great title! You look lovely in the photos.

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    1. Thank you so much, Rosemary! That's very kind of you. I really enjoyed seeing Reading again. It looked different where it has been updated over the years, but the atmosphere still felt exactly the same and took me straight back to my youth. I was glad to discover that the locally well-known 'Smelly Alley', where the butchers and fishmongers are, was still smelly! xxx

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  3. Congratulations on writing the title story - and what an aproppriate place for the launch.

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    1. Thank you very much, Patsy! It really was the perfect place. I was so excited to be back there with all the memories. Working at WHS was a lot of fun, especially once I met my husband - he proposed three weeks later! xxx

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  4. Congratulations on the story. I love the picture of you both! Think that's quite a story too!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lindsay. As avid readers, it was very fitting we should meet at WHS, although he worked in the computer department, which was brand new then, and I was in Sounds, as we called the records department. It was all vinyl of course, apart from a handful of Dire Straits CDs, which cost about £35 back then! Lots of memories and as you say, another story altogether...! xxx

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  5. The title story! That's very special, Joanna x

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    1. Thank you so much, Wendy - it was a lovely surprise! xxx

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  6. I always love these kind of adorable surprises.
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  7. I love the photo of you and your husband that's was awesome.
    meet and greet Stansted

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