Women in Swaffham and Watton tell tales of their towns in new book

Gull Stones and Cuckoos is an anthology written by women from Watton during the Rural Writes project

Gull Stones and Cuckoos is an anthology written by women from Watton during the Rural Writes project, managed by Norfolk Library Services and Words and Women. - Credit: Archant

Amateur writers are celebrating the culmination of a project to depict life in rural Norfolk.

New publication Gull Stones and Cuckoos is the result of partnership between Norfolk Library and Information Service and Words and Women, supported by Arts Council England.

It saw women from Swaffham, Watton and Gorleston attend a 10-week life writing course at their local library and produce a piece for the anthology which is rooted in the landscape, life and traditions of their part of Norfolk.

The result, illustrated by Rose Cowan and edited by Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood, is an honest and vivid narrative of local lives. Published by Unthank Books, it tells of lost halls, early morning walks, telescopes on allotments, the loneliness of grief and the adventure of new places in rural Norfolk.

Those who attended the sessions in Watton brought a range of experiences to the sessions including poetry and prose writing.

The town's library held a launch event for the anthology on Wednesday, attended by the writers, their family and friends. During the evening the writers read aloud extracts of their work.

Belona Greenwood, founder and co-organiser of Words and Women, said: 'The women who joined were strangers until they signed up to try their hand at writing. They supported and inspired each other. The book itself, is fantastic but the fact the women's groups are continuing is enormously important and heart-warming.'

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Copies of Gull Stones & Cuckoos – Writing from Rural Norfolk will be available soon from the Dragonfly Gallery in Wayland House – call the gallery on 01953 880212 for more details.

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