Plotting Shed Charity Gala Night

in aid of

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Sunday 27th November 2016 at 7.15 pm. Doors 6.30 pm.

A gala charity evening of poetry, story, song and more…

to celebrate the works of the 26 local authors of Plotting Shed

Compèred by Heather Ayckbourn and Felix Hodcroft

More info:


THE PLOTTING SHED                                                  COMPILED AND EDITED BY DAVID B. LEWIS

A glass of wine or soft drink included in the ticket price on arrival and the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The format will be cabaret style seating at tables with candles and nibbles and an informal atmosphere. The book will of course be on sale at the special show price on the night. A promotional film launch will take place in the upstairs foyer area before the main event and will run on a loop on a screen during the interval and after the show.

Ticket price: £10 – Under 15 £5



If you can’t make the evening please consider pledging your support on Kickstarter.

You will be helping local writers and helping the world by spreading Creative Writing to the parts most writers never reach.

All you have to do is pledge £10 plus the p and p fee as stated according to where you are in the world and that’s it until 28th November when, if the fundraiser is successful, Plotting Shed will automatically have the money transferred into its account. You will receive your pledge order asap after that. If the fundraiser is not successful nothing else happens.


Poem from the onset:

The diagnosis floored me.
In its aftermath I walked a mile
with the sun warming my face
and a trace of your smile
as sun slipped into shadow
beamed full on my face.
My beautiful Aurora Balouris.
Your breath-taking light
radiated through memories
as I walked over the sand
and skimmed stones on the sea.
Then, in a downpour of rain,
I laughed, and laughed, and laughed
until I fell to my knees and cried.

Contemplating a Eulogy

Life events have a timely way of usefulness for the occasional ‘read and share’ evenings at Scarborough Writers’ Circle, where I am a member. A recent topic was ‘Famous Last Words’ and I decided to take this performance piece I’d written along with me. If I say so myself, I felt it was much more entertaining when performed for the ear rather than a read through from the page. (I’ll try and pop a sound file on soon for you to judge that for yourself but meanwhile feel free to read out loud this tongue-in-cheek piece yourself.)

Sorry folks this piece of writing has been removed as it has been submitted for publication.

A Clean Sweep

In the dark, dead blackness of the night, the three weird sisters will loom over you – their menacing human forms shift-shaping into familiars until they become the birds caught on the wire. They will hang out your secrets like dirty washing and you will find yourself entwined in the carcasses, pitted black feathers will spit out a stream of accusations at you. Your senses will be tormented and twisted as they are wrapped around the wire in a tight knot. There will be no escape. You will be a lost soul, disintegrating and disregarded – trapped between two worlds. Their world and yours. Without a prayer to soothe the savage beasts. You may dare to ask for hope from the dark, dead blackness of your conscience-cluttered neglect, but there is no silver lining here – there never was. The birds have taken your memories and left them balancing on the wire – tarred with dark feathers from your past – in a reversal of fate, as a final act of atonement.

A Personal Response to Bird on a Wire
current exhibition by mixed media artist Marion Atkinson (Scarborough)

Don’t miss it!

(Title of this Response has been taken from Marion’s Exhibition)

 PS there is a lot of hope portrayed in the exhibition – check out the prayer flags on your way in and out… the three crows with prayers inside their wings. Fabulous!


Waves and Wishes

My thoughts keep me company and comfort me as their sounds echo through the mist. A thick, woollen jumper holds me together as I trudge through the wet sand in fur-lined wellington boots. I’m walking blindfold through fog. I sense the thing I lost long ago calling out to me in the blindness, coming towards me, covered in black shadows. An outstretched hand holds an ancient key, beckoning me. I walk to the water’s edge to meet the stranger, not caring about the potential danger of its secret. The shadows disappear and all that’s left is the vast emptiness that is the sea, calling me to a place that was once my home. But I am deaf to its plea and want to stay here, keeping the secret warm in my memory. So, every night I sit round a blazing fire with my fingerless-gloved hands wrapped around a mug of scalding Yorkshire tea, thinking how quickly I got used to the hard water here. It was too soft where I came from. My skin was so thin then that it hurt when people looked at me. I have new friends now. I can never go back. I’d be an outsider if I turned up uninvited at the place I once called home.

2014-02-25 whitby 9Waves and Wishes Workshop, Scarborough Flare Festival 2014

The Postcard Challenge (post Festival)

It was like whizzing through a whirlwind in a hurricane for me… spinning from event to event… being grounded again when I was placed firmly back in my place at The Postcard Challenge. There I met a novel of people… characters of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, displaying a vivid variety of personalities. I invited and encouraged each one to create a postcard of a moment that had taken their breath away during the festival period.

Attached is my interim report until I present my slide show for you to view… and relive those breathtaking moments…  or for those who were not there, to experience the breathtaking moments for the first time.

with love, Julie

Scarborough Flare Thoughts


The Postcard Challenge Update

At the recent first ever Scarborough Flare Festival, where local artistes (artists/musicians/actors/poets/authors) wowed audiences with their amazing talents, I ran an event called The Postcard Challenge, advertised via my social networks and flyer handouts.   This was an invitation to all passersby – whether they were going to an event at the Festival or not – to be encouraged to write on a postcard about a moment that had taken their breath away.

As most of you who live in Scarborough will know, this was a great success and the display was chockablock with breathtaking moments by the end of the 4-day Scarborough Flare Festival (the heart of The Scarborough Book Festival 2014).

I am currently working on the preparation of a slide show of the postcards… to share with all who were involved in any way with the Festival. This will be free for anyone who wants to see it on the condition that copyright must be adhered to… i.e. no money must exchange hands in the sharing/showing of the presentation and the copyright of all submissions and photos will remain with the individual contributors.

Hindsight is always a wonderful thing and if I had inserted a slot on the back of the postcards for a day and time to be recorded of when the postcard was created, I would not now be having to sift, sift and sift again through the many postcards – in an attempt to put into chronological order the chaotic creativity of the Festival period. Don’t tell anyone I said this but it’s like trying to make creative writing an academic subject – of course it is possible but it’s also restrictive to those free flowing subconscious thoughts that I feel are necessary for writers to express as a starting point – this writer, anyway.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of The Postcard Challenge.

Back soon…  SF logo


A recent choice…

I find it difficult to let my characters go once they are in print and chose to revisit one of them on 24th April 2014 during the Writers on the Loose performance at the Scarborough Flare Festival. 

This adapted extract, chosen from the title story of my collection, Picking at the Bones, portrays the narrator’s observations about silence following the death of her neighbour Bella.

I was pleasantly surprised that my choice to read this extract generated a sale of several copies – post performance – via my social networking sites.



 I’d known Bella’s time was nearing its end because about a week before she died, she told me she’d started to hear the silence whisper her name… like it was calling her home. That’s what happens at the end sometimes… death can creep up on you.

I’m looking at Bella’s window now… at the place where she kept fresh tulips in a vase. I can’t seem to focus my thoughts with the empty space waiting there.

It makes you a bit jittery when someone you’ve seen every day for two years is suddenly not there. You expect the dust from their bodies to be drifting around the places where they lived.

When Sheila (my friend from the flat below) told me about her neighbour’s passing last spring, she said she hadn’t even realised she’d died until her husband had rattled on her letterbox to invite her to the funeral. She’d only seen her neighbour feeding the birds in the garden a week before so she could hardly believe it.  After she’d died, the birds would sit chirruping on the fence, waiting for her to appear with crumbs. Sheila said the strangest thing had been how, one by one, the birds had stopped turning up for their breakfast. Sheila had kept seeing the ghost of her neighbour for weeks… every time she traipsed down the garden to look for the birds. It was like she was still lingering there.

There’s a quiet gap in the mornings even now without those birds. I think that’s why I remembered about Sheila because looking out of my window at the day, storing up my thoughts, I noticed the lack of sound. The leaves are stiff and still and the clouds suspended in mid-air. It’s as if time has stopped and someone has forgotten to wind it up again so the world can move on. It’s like a missed heartbeat in honour of Bella from the tulip flat. I think Bella would appreciate that. If there’s one thing she’ll know about now… it’s the silence.  


See Writing CV page on this website for more details