Clare Dwyer – ‘Murmurations’

Clare lives with her husband in South-East Cornwall and is an active member of Liskeard Poets. Her debut collection ‘If Wishes Were Horses’ (2019) was published by Scryfa. She was also a runner-up in an environmental poetry competition run by The Literary Platform. Recently, she graduated from Plymouth University with an M.A in Creative Writing. She has three children and a gaggle of grandchildren whom she considers to be her greatest achievement.

Scott Jones – ‘Jack and the Time Machine’

Scott grew up in Camborne, Cornwall and joined the Royal Navy in 1991. After serving for twenty-two years, he opened his own gym, which he still runs today. He’s only recently begun a writing career, often using Cornwall as his inspiration, including his next novel, The Lost Pirates of Prussia Cove.

Polly Roberts – ‘Together We Evolve’

“I tend to describe myself as an explorer of people and place. I’ve travelled widely and feel an inextricable link to landscape, its creatures, its habitats, and these always make their way into my writing. As well as working as a writer and creative writing facilitator, I’m a counsellor – I find the two very similar, as both can feel like the process of reaching toward self-actualisation. I run writing for wellbeing workshops across Cornwall and have worked for several creative writing and arts charities, sharing the benefits of writing and reading. I self-published my first book, a travel memoir called ‘Social or Solitary’ (2014), as part of an Arts Council project and toured this alongside a visual arts exhibition I curated. My debut poetry collection, ‘Grieving with the Animals’ (2019) is published by Dempsey and Windle and was written as part of a ‘Writers by Nature’ scholarship I was awarded from the British Council for emerging nature writers.

After a lot of moving around I am happy to have settled in Cornwall, reaping inspiration from swimming in the sea and walking its various coasts and riverways. I love Cornwall because it feels integral to living here that a real emphasis is placed on lifestyle. The slow, quiet winters, the battling with the elements, and what could be seen as ‘lack of opportunity’, all make space for integrating all sides of life with nature and fosters a creativity to make something meaningful out of what is available. The arts scene is so rich and welcoming and the scenery stunning, and these provide all the ingredients to nurture me as a writer.

My forthcoming novel, ‘Together We Evolve’, was written whilst completing my MA in Creative Writing with Bath Spa University. I was living on a houseboat on the River Avon and surrounded by birdlife and fauna. The concept of the novel came about year’s earlier when I was living in Norwich. At first, I found the flatlands of East Anglia dreary compared to the Devon hills I grew up in, but soon I became enamoured by its unending skies and the huge variety of ecosystems it houses. I felt a moodiness in the land and gained a curiosity in what it meant to be making myself at home somewhere that was slipping away beneath sea level every year, as well as the strangeness of domestic life meeting the wild in this way. I am so pleased the novel has now found a home with a Cornish publisher. It feels like a lovely merging of homes past and present!

‘Together We Evolve’ is a novel about rewilding, both our internal and external landscapes; it is about the natural and human world of relationships, and where these collide. The novel follows Sophia, a young woman who experiences a miscarriage off the back of her naturalist father’s death. Her grief takes her on a journey to re-examine the domestic life she has created for herself – a husband, house, family, supposed stability. She finds herself revisiting her father’s love of nature and exploring how the natural world might manage things differently. The book deals with themes of monogamy, fertility and miscarriage, grief, and climate change. Set in Norfolk and Suffolk, the landscape is as much a character in the book as Sophia, and it is in nature that she finds belonging, adventure and inspiration. I spent a lot of time in the various settings, walking in Sophia’s footsteps and absorbing myself in her story.

I’m pleased to have Hermitage Press as publisher for this novel, as I feel passionate about Cornish organisations supporting and elevating our local arts. When I first moved here, I worked for the creative writing centre for Cornwall, The Writers’ Block, there I learned how beautifully the region’s arts charities and organisations care for their own communities. We are a long way from the hub of this country, but we support one another to create our own opportunities. There is so much creative talent here in Cornwall, and I am grateful to Hermitage Press who are helping to celebrate and advance our thriving literary scene.”

Kath Morgan – The Bycatch Principle

“I grew up in Wales but was born with restless legs and have lived all over. After a decade in Asia, I returned to the UK and have been living in Cornwall since 2001. I was one of those kids who always had their nose in a book and a pen in their hand, and I’ve published various scribblings over the years. After 17 years as a schoolteacher, I took an MA in Professional Writing and began teaching the subject I love to adults, instead. I’m still doing that, and still loving it.

Like so many others who have made Cornwall their home, my family came here every year for our holidays and the magic rubbed off and never left me. I have lived in numerous locations, both in the UK and abroad, but only on a couple of occasions have I lived away from the coast. Those inland experiences taught me that it’s the sea that grounds and inspires me. Where better to be always near it than on this legendary peninsula?

The idea for ‘The Bycatch Principle’ had been brewing with me since my schoolteacher days when I found myself uncomfortable with the amount of data being collected on children. Later, I read a book about FBI profiling, and that old ‘what-if’ question started fermenting away. Then one day the main character arrived unannounced as I was responding to a writing prompt … and the story was born. I hope readers will enjoy it and will take it as a warning.

I was drawn to the Hermitage Press concept of a home for Cornwall-based writers. There’s so much writing talent in this region (I know because I work with many of them) but finding a publishing fit can be tough. I also love the ethos that Hermitage Press has of supporting local suppliers, and the collaborative approach they take to everything. ‘The Bycatch Principle’ has found the right home with Hermitage Press, and I’m excited about working with them to bring it to publication in Autumn 2023.”

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