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July: The Road Trip Novel with Joanna Campbell

July 21, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Tying Down the Lion
Tying Down the Lion

Joanna will be sharing how using a literary consultancy helped shape her novel for publication, the importance of getting feedback, characterisation and working with publishers and agents.

Joanna’s  debut novel, ‘Tying Down the Lion,’ began life as a short story but refused to stay that way, growing to book size.

Set in the 1960’s, the novel follows a family’s road trip to Berlin in a Morris traveller to reconnect with relatives left behind the Berlin Wall. Grandma is an hilarious character and her pitch perfect mis-pronunciations won’t disappoint. The historical detail is spot on; it’s a real 1960’s time warp.

Joanna is a full-time writer from the Cotswolds and her short stories have been published in literary magazines such as The New WriterWriters’ ForumThe Yellow Room and The Lampeter Review, and in anthologies from Cinnamon Press, Spilling Ink, Earlyworks Press, Unbound Press and Biscuit Publishing, as well as The Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013, both the 2013 and 2014 Rubery Book Award anthologies and the 2010 and 2013 Bristol Short Story Prize anthologies.

Shortlisted five times for the Bridport Prize and three times for the Fish Prize, she also came second in the 2011 Scottish Writers Association’s contest. In 2012 she was shortlisted in Mitchelstown Literary Society’s William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen competition and runner-up in 2013.

Her stories have won the 2011 Exeter Writers competition, the 2013 Bath Short Story Award Local Prize and the 2015 London Short Story Prize.


Joanna Campbell
Joanna Campbell

Goodreads reviews.

It is the summer of 1967 and the Bishop family are departing their UK home for a continental road trip. Their destination: Berlin, a gritty city recovering from the bombs of 1939—45 and now sliced in two by the Cold War. Will the journey unite the Anglo-German family, or forever rip them apart?


Joanna lived in Germany for a year during the time of its division and was moved by the sorrow underlying the stoicism of the people she met there. The construction of literal and figurative walls, and specifically how the Berlin wall altered the concept of home overnight, sowed the first seed for her debut novel. Reflecting both the suffering and the irrepressible spirit of ordinary people living in a country frozen by the Cold War, it was published by Brick Lane in 2015.

Tickets available on the door tonight


July 21, 2016
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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