Q and A with founder of Bristol Climate Writers, Deborah Tomkins

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Deborah is one of our guest readers on October 25th at our Ask the Editor event with Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, and we asked about her writing group, Bristol Climate Writers.

Q. What prompted you to set up a climate change writing group?

I set up the Bristol Climate Writers group in January 2017 because I was in touch with a Climate Writing group in London, but it was bit far to travel on a regular basis. They suggested I tried something similar in Bristol.
Q. How many members do you have and what’s the set-up?
We have about a dozen people on our list, and usually between 3 and 5 manage to get to our monthly meetings. We aim to provide support for each other in our writing, as well as feedback and gentle critique. We are all at different stages: some are already published, either with traditional publishers, online, or self-published; some have completed the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing, and others are at an earlier stage in their writing.
Q. Your group are writing about similar themes. What genres are people writing in?
We have a wide variety of different types of writing in our group – from journalism and travel writing, to memoir and nature writing, science fiction and fantasy, literary fiction and poetry. We’re open to all writers concerned about climate change and other environmental concerns.
Q. Is it solely for fiction or can poets and short story writers join?
We welcome all writers. Many of our group write short stories or blogs as well as novels, for example. And sometimes it’s easier to discuss a short story or a poem in a couple of hours than part of a novel.
Q. Tell me about the event you’re running as part of Bristol Festival of Literature.

It’s a discussion and workshop run by Bristol Climate Writers, with a chance to hear some of our writing. We’ll be talking about our emotional responses to this huge issue of climate change, the importance of writing about it, and exploring ways of doing that. It’s open to all, whether you’re an experienced writer or not, and however much you know about climate change, or not. It’s an issue that touches every person on the planet, after all. Participants will be encouraged to have a go at writing something themselves, whether fiction, non-fiction (such as a blog), or poetry. It’s on Sunday 29th October. Please join us!

Q. Are you open for more members?
Yes! We’d love to see more people join, and for this to become an even more vibrant group and an established part of the Bristol writing scene. Please contact me via Facebook  Bristol Climate Writers