The experiences that inspire me

A Guest Blog by Eve Ainsworth.

I never planned to write for young adults. I just knew I wanted to write SOMETHING. Writing seems to run through my blood, it feeds me and keeps me warm – and for a long, long time I just wrote the odd ideas that popped into my head – often underdeveloped and not really thought through in detail. But they were ok and they fed my addiction.

Things changed when I started working in a local secondary school. Again, this was not on my list of plans. In fact, when I left the same school at eighteen, I swore that I would never EVER return. But after years of unfulfilling and uninspiring work, I needed something different – so I decided to take the leap and work with teens – and thank goodness I did.

My new job meant that I was working directly with young people and also witnessing some of the real issues they were facing. It was a job I absolutely loved. It soon became clear to me that I could utilise my work in my writing and create stories that represented some of the very real and very concerning problems that face teenagers today. And so 7 Days, a book about the realities of bullying, was written, shortly followed by Crush, a book about toxic and controlling relationships.

I am a true believer that life takes you down a particular path for a reason. Years ago, I would have never expected to be writing books for teens, but now it seems a very natural and enjoyable route for me. This is not to say that I think you should only write what you know – but having experience in certain areas can feed your passion and make the writing so much more authentic.

Above all you need to enjoy what you do. Always.


Eve has written two Young Adult novels – Seven Days and Crush – both published by Scholastic. Seven Days was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.

Eve is giving an author talk at Lindfield Arts Festival on Saturday 17th, 1.30-2.30pm in the URC. Register now to save your seat! Suitable for ages 11+

Jill Lewis and Don’t Read This

Jill Lewis aka Jill Walkinton and Alison Lewis will be running a workshop at Lindfield Arts Festival this year! A perfect addition to our wonderful line up of children’s authors, with something for a slightly younger audience.

Jill lewis

Jill and Alison have a 42 year friendship behind them– having met training to be nurses at the London Hospital. After going their separate ways, they both ended up teaching and have always had a deep desire to get non readers – reading. That led them into writing stories:

“Friday is our writing together day – either in Sussex or London or via Skype. We always start with a résumé of the week, jobs, family crises etc and then get down to work. We can of course multi task – so if one types – the other might be peeling potatoes or ironing a shirt – it has always been something we’ve had to fit in around the rest of life!.”

The hobby has become something more successful than they could have imagined and they have had a total of 8 books published to date including DON’T READ THIS BOOK! – a silly story which is now used in Year 2 classes around the country as part of the Literacy Evolve Project. We’re very excited to welcome Jill and Alison to the Festival!

Insomnia with Hereward Kaye

Guest readers present dark poetry from Hereward Kaye’s book Insomnia.

Readings in the URC Main Hall from 10.00am are interspersed with performers from Rok Skool.

Hereward Kaye
Hereward Kaye

Producer and songwriter Hereward Kaye was first discovered by Ray Davies of The Kinks – who went on to produce his debut album with Cafe Society in 1975. Over the subsequent 40 years Hereward has worked with a number of major names in the UK record industry and West End musical theatre.

Hereward has not only collaborated with Cameron Mackintosh, Caroline Quentin and Willy Russell but also worked alongside Pete Wingfield, Dave Mattacks, Chris Rea, Gerry Conway, Chas & Dave, Rick Wakeman, Tom Robinson – and toured the world for a decade as a member of The Flying Pickets.

Sex Gods & Anglicans

What: Sex! God! Anglicans!

When: 17 September, 11am-12pm

Where: Bent Arms, Upstairs


The life and poetry of John Donne. Cavan Wood examines the life and poetry of John Donne, whose metaphysical poetry celebrated both God and sex. Will include poetry readings.



What: Jane Austen: Christian moralist?

When: 17 September, 12-1pm

Where: Bent Arms, Upstairs

In this lecture, Cavan Wood wonders why we still read the work of Jane Austen in the 21st century and if this 19th century Christian can teach us how to live a better life now.

Cavan Wood has been a Head of RE since 1993. He has written textbooks for Heinemann on Judaism and Buddhism as well as for the Think RE series. He is a regular contributor to Secondary Assembly File and a reader in the Church of England.

Tickets are free, however, tickets are allocated due to limitations on seating capacity. Please register your place below.

Eve Ainsworth – children’s author

18679049 CrushWhen: 17th September, time 1.30 – 2.30pm

Where: URC Attic

Who: Children aged 11+

Come and be inspired by an award winning author!

Eve will be talking about her experiences as a writer, published author and as a reader. She will also be discussing the important themes that her books cover such as bullying. She will talk about why it is important that matters such as these are explored in Young Adult fiction and how empathy and understanding can help us become a stronger society.

Eve will also be providing tips for budding authors and taking questions from the audience!

For more information about Eve visit

Bring your imagination says Jill Lewis

Jill Lewis is actually two local authors – Jill Walkinton and Alison Lewis ! They are bringing their wonderful stories to the festival and delighting audiences with a workshop full of fun. Here’s what they have to say about it:

Our latest book HOORAY FOR KNICKERS is another silly story about a grumpy king who will do anything to make Prince Jolly his new best friend. Our workshop/story session will probably be silly too – so bring your imaginations, your colouring crayons or felt tips and a sense of humour!”

What: Jill Lewis, picture book author workshop

When: 17 September, 11.00am – 12.00pm

Where: URC Attic

Who: Children aged 5-8 years.

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Author and Publisher speak out

From Prologue to Prosecco. A preview reading by Rose McGinty, author of Electric Souk plus unique insights into the writing world with Rose and her publisher Matthew Smith, MD Urbane Publishing.

Including Q and A with audience.

Date & time – 17th Sept 2016, 13:00 – 14:30 hrs

Location – Bent Arms (upstairs)

Matthew Smith, is the founder and director of Urbane Publications Limited. Urbane was born out of a fascination with the value of content, and a belief in the strength of collaboration. The company combines the skills and experience of a traditional publishing company with a thirst for a pioneering, innovative sand inclusive development approach to produce the most effective and commercially successful books. Every project is driven by the three core principles of Care, Content and Collaboration, with the emphasis on developing a collaborative partnership with the author to create the most valuable book possible.
Visit – to find out more.

In addition to publishing a quickly expanding frontlist, Urbane also offer consultancy across a number of areas, from developing winning proposals to book development and writing workshops. Matthew is a publishing professional with over 25 years of experience in book, digital and content development, and prior to founding Urbane worked at Waterstones, Routledge, Addison, Wesley Longman, Arcturus, Hodder, Pearson and Kogan Page.
Feel free to have a natter with Matthew at or follow on Twitter @urbanepub

Rose McGinty

Rose’s debut novel, Electric Souk, will be published in March 2017 by Urbane Publications. Electric Souk is a literary thriller about forbidden love, corruption and an encounter with evil in the desert, set in the Middle East as the Arab Spring erupts. Rose says of her story, ‘The parts of the story that are true, I probably wish were not; while the parts that are not, I probably wish were true.’
Rose is the winner of the Kent Life short story competition 2016 and flash fiction competitions by the Retreat West and Faber. She is an alumni of the Faber Academy, where she was mentored by writer and son of Lindfield, Richard Skinner. She has read at the London literary salon, Vanguard Readings, and the Margate Bookie.
Rose lives in Kent, works in community health services in London, and has worked internationally. She is now researching her second novel, which is taking her to some rather gothic hospital corridors!
To find out more or contact Rose see Htpp://

Inkpots creative writing workshops

What: Inkpots Writing Workshops

When: 17th September, 12.00-12.30pm and 1.00-1.30pm

Where: URC Attic

Who: Children aged 8-11 years.

Inkpots chocolate-themed workshop will give children age 8 – 11 the chance to spread their creative writing wings with lots of fun activities!

There will be story starters, word quizzes and illustration games, plus tips about developing stories and characters. Whatever stage of writing you’re at, you can join in the fun!

For more info about Inkpots please visit

Creative kids? Why not write your own festival story

Nicolette Sheehan – Author talk & Poetry workshop

When: 17th September, time tbc.

Where: URC Church

Who:  Children aged 9+ / 7+

Interactive talk for children aged 9+

If you could be an animal what would you be and why? And how might this help you to write an amazing story? Come and share your ideas, learn some amazing animal facts, try out a few metaphors and get the lowdown on how to write a book.

Poetry workshop for children aged 7+

Do you think it’s possible for a group of kids to write a poem TOGETHER in just 10 minutes? Come and find out, and while you’re there have a go at writing, performing and all types of poetic play!

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Come listen to extracts from Hereward Kaye’s Dark Poetry – Insomnia

Listen to extracts from  Insomnia – Dark Poetry by Hereward Kaye.

Come and join the crowds!

Insomnia – Dark Poetry by Hereward Kaye