Books Born in Hastings

 The Jenny Lind

September 2008

The Jenny Lind Hotel


Events for 




We had a tremendous time down at the Jenny Lind during the Coastal Currents Festival in August and September. Here are some photos and recollections of the events.

Shadow of the Dragon, Old Town Tales, Robert Tressell's Hastings and other books.


Author Terry Sorby         Roadie and Co cover pic



Roadie & Co

Terry Sorby opened the three-and-a-half week run of events, presenting his new book of comic and reflective poetry, Roadie & Co.

Book exhibition: Beyond the Greyscale, Roadie & Co and Porkies.

author Kay Green         



Grow Your Own Reading Group



Author and English teacher Kay Green discussed ways and means of setting up and running reading and discussion groups. No less than three new reading groups started forming themselves during the course of the evening.



Alex Willis

Luthier and author of 'Step-by-Step Guitar Making' Alex Willis gave us a wonderful demonstration of the nature and workings of different types of wood, and told us something of the luthier's art; and the musicians who provide the Jenny Lind Wednesday Folk Music tried out some of Alex's guitars.


Step by Step Guitar Making cover pic   Author Alex Willis


At the exhibition of sci-fi and fantasy art and books

Kate O'Hearn

signed copies of her fantasy 'Shadow of the Dragon', recently published by Hodder & Stoughton, and

Kay Green

 exhibited her book of fantasy stories, 'Jung's People', which was first published by Elastic Press. Also artwork by Katy J Jones and a range of sci-fi and fantasy books.


Shadow of the Dragon    Jung's People   Road Unravelled

 David and Tomoko           


The Unspeakable and The Unprintable


Do we have freedom of speech and of the press? How far do we want these freedoms? Writer and press editor Kay Green discussed dealing with sensitive and taboo subjects in writing and publishing. 


Most of those present felt that they wanted full and true accounts from non-fiction writers, and realistic ones from fiction writers - even if it made for uncomfortable reading.


author Kay Green

Ways into a Writing Career 



How to Win Writing Competitions 


At these two workshop/discussion sessions, facilitator Kay Green found out that there are a lot of developing writers in Hastings ready and eager to launch their careers.


Ways and means were discussed with great enthusiasm, and an informal poetry workshop was offered to all comers.



Actors James Lawne and Tim Skelton performing 'Down Bottle Alley' by Tom O Brien



Croft Productions Presented

Down Bottle Alley

 a play by Tom O Brien based on Brian Charles Harding's Book, 'My Wretched Alcoholism, This Damned Puppeteer'.


The play, performed by Tim Skelton and James Lawne, and directed by John Dunne, was followed by an emotional and fascinating discussion with the authors Tom and Brian.

         Down Bottle Alley by Tom O Brien                        Tom O Brien


Helena Wojtczak


owner of the Hastings Press and author of five books of women's and local history, displayed, signed, and discussed Hastings Press books.




Meet the authors days


Kate O Hearn, Monica Tracey, Dr Trevor Hopper, Kay Green, Victoria Seymour


Social afternoons with signing, exhibitions and discussion, attended by:


Andy Oakes

Andy Oakes

exhibited and spoke about his books 'Dragon's Eye' and 'Citizen One' published by Daedalus Press and Pan Macmillan.

Unweaving the Thread        Author Monica Tracey   

Monica Tracey

signing copies of 'Unweaving the Thread', her tale of an Irish childhood which was featured on 'Richard and Judy', and described by Hilary Mantel as very funny and moving.

Trevor Hopper

Dr Trevor Hopper is a History Lecturer with the Open University. His interest in Tressell's 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' led him to produce 'Robert Tressell Hastings' relating Tressell's book to the context of Edwardian Britain and the sites in the town Tressell's homes etc. His guided walks around 'Mugsborough' are a major feature of the Tressell Festivals.


Dr Trevor Hopper with 'Robert Tressell's Hastings

Steve Peak with some of his publications.

Steve Peak

author of 'Fishermen of Hastings','George Woods: Photos from the 1890s','Hastings Voices', and 'How the Railways Came to Hastings, talking about his most recent work, 'The Hastings Papers' on the history of the Hastings newspapers.

Hastings Writers Group

exhibited their Diamonds and Strandline anthologies and club member 

F C Menzinger's 'David and Tomoko', as well as talking to some prospective new club members.


Diamonds Anthology      David and Tomoko


Victoria Seymour

Displayed her collection of WWII and other vintage photos of Hastings and introduced her forthcoming book, 'The Slow Turning Tide', soon to be launched in Hastings.

Victoria Seymour and a collecton of her books

and many more. All at the 

Jenny Lind

High Street, Hastings 

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