Mail on Sunday Novel Competition winner Isabel Ashdown’s first novel Glasshopper (Observer Best Debuts of 2009, Evening Standard Best Books of the Year) was published to critical acclaim in 2009.
Glasshopper tells a captivating story of family life, at once troubling, funny and joyous. Vividly bringing to life the gentility of a 1950s childhood, the free-spirited hedonism of the Sixties, and the urban domesticity of 1980s Portsmouth, this is an intimate, lyrical and deeply moving portrait of a family crumbling under the weight of past mistakes. Here are some of the fabulous reviews Isabel has received for Glasshopper:
“Tender and subtle, it explores difficult issues in deceptively easy prose… Across the decades, Ashdown tiptoes carefully through explosive family secrets. This is a wonderful debut intelligent, understated and sensitive.” Observer
“An intelligent, beautifully observed coming-of-age story, packed with vivid characters and inch-perfect dialogue. Isabel Ashdown’s storytelling skills are formidable; her human insights highly perceptive.” Mail on Sunday
Isabel Ashdown’s second novel Hurry Up and Wait was released in June 2011 with a book launch party at Chichester’s Waterstone’s. In her eagerly anticipated second novel Isabel explores the treacherous territory of adolescent friendships, and traces across the decades the repercussions of a dangerous relationship. Here is just one of the glowing reviews Hurry Up and Wait has already received:
“With strong characters, a cleverly constructed story and masses of period detail, this vivid evocation of life in 1985 is a fine second book from a writer who first won The Mail On Sunday novel competition.” Daily Mail.
You can find out more about Isabel and her books here: http://isabelashdown.com/
Writing and Publishing Panel at the Writers’ Retreat
With her editor, Victoria Blunden, Isabel is featuring in the panel talk: Getting Published: Our Experiences on the Friday evening of Chichester Copywriter’s Writers’ Retreat.
Victoria Blunden is a Fiction Editor at Myriad Editions, an independent publisher specialising in three distinct but complementary genres: topical atlases, graphic non-fiction and original fiction. Actively seeking out home-grown talent, Myriad Editions aims to publish up to six debut novels each year, launching new writers from Brighton and beyond.
Isabel and Victoria will join Gabrielle Kimm and her editor, Rebecca Saunders, to reveal how these local authors secured their publishing deals. You’ll hear Isabel and Gabrielle’s trials and tribulations and hear their publishers’ side of the stories too. Publisher and writer, Stewart Ferris will also offer his point of view of the writing and publishing world. It promises to be a fascinating and entertaining talk with industry insiders, providing a real insight into the highs and lows of the world of professional writing.
Characterisation workshop at the Writers’ Retreat
On the Sunday morning Isabel is giving a characterisation workshop called: Changing Voices. Concentrating on the creative processes of building credible characters with distinct voices, this is a relaxed session with a strong focus on practical writing exercises, readings, feedback and discussion. The workshop is suitable for all levels of writing – enthusiasm is the only requirement, so what are you waiting for?
To come along to Isabel Ashdown’s characterisation workshop you will need to attend Chichester Copywriter’s Writers’ Retreat weekend. Tickets start at £200 and include log cabin accommodation, homemade food, writing workshops and writer talks, outdoor activities and more. You can also catch Isabel and co on the Writing and Publishing Panel on the Friday evening, with tickets priced at just £15 for a full evening of Pimm’s and culture. Call Katy on: 01243 533421 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to book your ticket today.