BBC’s WW1 Radio 4 drama Home Front broadcasts on weekdays from 12 until 12:15 PM. Last December I heard Home Front’s editor, Jessica Dromgoole, speaking about her plans for the series at a Writers’ Guild event. (We had a lovely chat in the pub afterwards!) And what a cracking series it’s turned out to be. If you’re unable to listen as it’s being broadcast then why not do what I do and download the weekly podcast here?
On the ‘Writing from the Home Front’ panel there are three members of Home Front’s creative team: Jessica herself, writer Shaun McKenna, and actor Bella Hamblin who plays Hilda Moore. I’ll be making up the foursome and talking about my forthcoming novel, Comforts For The Troops, which is inspired by my research into women working at Cadbury’s during WW1. Chairing the panel is Prof Maggie Andrews from the University of Worcester, who is also the historical advisor to the BBC series.
Part of the challenge in writing my novel has been transforming historical fact and archive material into imagined stories that (hopefully) entertain and inform whilst exploring burning themes – which in my case are the role of factory women in the war and labour relations under the Cadbury model of social purpose and philanthropy. I’ll be sharing my writing process, my
terrors anxieties about historical accuracy as well the personal conflict of writing about war whilst being absolutely committed to peace and non-violence. I can’t wait to discuss some of these thorny issues with the Home Front team.
Do come and join us if you’re free. The event runs from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM on Wednesday 8 October 2014 (Tickets £8/£5) and we’ll be in the Studio Theatre in the new Library of Birmingham.
Writing West Midlands has got together with the excellent Voices of War and Peace project to offer free creative writing workshops as part of a range of Festival Extras. On the morning session of Saturday 11 October I’ll be leading a session on using archive collections as a springboard to creative writing, particularly World War 1 archives. And in the afternoon my pal Garrie Fletcher and poet Anthony Owen will be exploring themes of conflict, peace and reconciliation. Both workshops are at the Heritage Learning Space in the Library of Birmingham and, although free, should ideally be booked in advance.
Look forward to seeing you there.