Fancy winning a place at The writing academy, then this competition is the one you should enter. You can find all the details on line also in the writing magazine competition booklet.

Here are some other competitions that some of you may be interested in. Pop along to the next meeting on the 3rd September if you have any questions. We will be sharing our ghostly tales that we are writing for our first published anthology. So far we have the five tales that we used for our Advent calender and I have had one other sent to myself.

Remember we need photos and illustrations as well plus a couple of poems.

See you on the 3rd at The Hideaway, where food and drink will be available all evening.






Late Spring 2002 didn’t make any impression, though Summer was almost on the doorstep. Breezy, changeable, not especially warm, typical English weather. To properly wake up, I walked in to my garden and looked around. In every corner of that green, I could see plenty of work and duties; too much for two pairs of hands.

As newly arrived Senior Citizens to Folkestone, we adore our house and garden and our plan for renovation and change of design was endless! After my breakfast, when I started to enhance a flower border I could feel a pricking pain in my spine. Took several minutes to get relief with the help of deep breathing and slowly walked to the chair. Sadly looked on the number of tools which I had prepared. I knew that my husband would be surprised at what still needed to be done. As a spiteful act, the sun appeared and with it I got a new idea. Walk for health! While tidying up the tools in the garden shed, there looking at me was my best friend – my purple bicycle. No, no, today not, my friend… but I couldn’t break away from it!

Later on, walking gently by our road, leading my bicycle, I created a new plan. Remembering a saying of my Physio Teacher at High School, Active Rest is The Best, I decided to obey him!
Aiming in the direction of the Leas, crossing Sandgate Road, I noticed two cyclists – seniors enjoying easy, of gentle speed, riding down to Sandgate. Great! With silent thanks for this gentle hint, I followed them, full of joy. Without any effort, after a few minutes got the end of Sandgate. I slipped to the coastal path for a stop, to decide on the next part of my journey. Sat on the beach and with amazement, adored the turquoise sea and the tranquillity of the seaside, only several walkers passed by.

Although only the first time at that spot I recognized that I had to turn left to get home. Taking the coastal path, just after Sandgate Castle, I could see a male-cyclist who has stopped for a chat with friends.
”Excuse me Sir!” I addressed him, ”Could you help me? I don’t know this area and need to take an easy way to get to Folkestone!”

”I could! Maybe a few ways!” Answered that chap with cheeky smile. ”The road you probably don’t like, but after about hundred metres, by that coastal way, you can find three paths to the Leas, but only one is easy! Or down to the Harbour. It would be best for you!” With a glimpse he recognized, he was speaking with a senior.

With thanks I waved at him and within a few minutes I passed the first exit with stairs. That is a bad one! I deduced. Next one smooth exit near the Mermaid restaurant, was closed for building work. I could learn from one worker that I should continue to the Harbour or go back to the previous exit, where there is the zig-zag path with several steps only.

After a few minutes I found it, but it was again the one, I had seen before! Grabbed my bike and managed those forty steps to get to the Parking on the Lower Sandgate Road. I stopped, breathing with relief and looked around. In front of me I could see stairs again, on the right a small road to the Harbour or left to Sandgate. No way!? After a short hesitation, I took my bike again under my arm and with that idea, proceeded onwards and upwards, hoping, that I could see a landing. Soon I started puffing and had to have a rest.
”Wow, that is training for Tour de France?” Mid aged couple, descending stairs, were wondering and watching me with a light smile.
”Not at all, that’s a mistake only!”, I answered and continued. After several steps , I finally could see a landing! What a relief! Stopping for breath, I noticed a beautiful view – the

water of the English Channel! At that moment I was approached by a group of walkers. ”Do you really go in the right direction? The easier way is to go down, not up!” They were joking and laughing.
”I know, but I want to try the next way, for a change, what will happen?” I answered and moved on.

Then I could spot the roof of the Grand and Metropole on the Leas. It was as a dose of energising drink!
The last part of 140 stairs I made so easily, I couldn’t believe it. Standing with amazement and adoring the Panorama of Folkestone’s Victorian pride. The flower bed in front of the Hotel, as a colourful lace, always to attract everybody who passed by. At this moment I had the feeling of being twice amazed, with my achievement and …

”Hello my Neighbour!” The senior lady, of about my age, who I knew from our street, pushing a baby buggy with a grandchild. Waving and smiling at me.
”Oh, you are sporty!” She added as a compliment.
”Thank you, I do cycling occasionally only, but I like it!”, still visibly out of breath.
”Just fancy, what I saw last week?!” With widened yes, Lady: ” Three lads, with racing bikes, suddenly appeared just at this spot, where we are standing now. Sweat dripping from their faces, puffing and from their speech I knew, they had climbed by these steps from Lower Sandgate Road!” Turning her head in disbelief. ”Maybe, they have climbed from the coastal path, with another 40 steps?! This is hazardous, isn’t it? In my opinion they are mad!?” Waiting for my response.

”I agree … there are enough areas to choose for that sport!” I answered with a little stammering.

”I am glad, you use the advantage that lovely Leas! That is really a gorgeous area! Mainly for relaxation!”
With smiley face and bye, she left.

Only now, I come to realize, why I am here? Where did I leave my backache?


Jana is a new member of the writing group so it is a pleasure to have her story on our site, including Jana’s photographs which go so well.

When Jana was recoverring from an illness she did some mosaic work which I would like to show you. I think it is wonderful.


A very talented lady who will be a lovely addition to our group.

Please send any of your work that you would like to see on our site to myself, Karen at




The Hideaway – Thursday 30th July 2020


After welcoming everyone, discussing the social distancing and leaving all names plus numbers as per the recommendations from the government, then the drinks were bought with some eating as well, we then got underway.  It was great to see you all after such a long time.

It was a good turnout for our first meeting since this awful pandemic started with twelve of us meeting and apologies from Debby, Matthew, Carol, Mary and John.

Tony decided that the Zoom would not work as needed someone to ‘man’ it.  Facebook messenger was suggested but think that would have the same problem.  Mark suggested that we film it and then put it on the website.  I will talk to Hannah as she may have a suggestion.

Debby asked me to mention the Hythe Festival 25th to 27th September, Facebook page here.  They are thinking a book marquee for workshops, readings and selling your books.  I will update when I hear more but keep the dates free if you can.

Author events – These may be people we know or our own members giving a talk.  I will chat to Charlie Gallagher as he could do a local talk.  Also, our member Paul who writes children’s books offered to do one, I thought this would be good as not had a children’s author visit us.  I had Andy Markwell booked to do a talk about photography for book covers in November so hopefully, that will still go ahead.

Roll-up banner – Tony met up with Roger to ask about the progress so it is still in hand and going ahead, we must remind him in a couple of weeks and see how it is progressing.

Our Anthology – Andy did some calculations so we are looking at the 5 advent calender stories, which may need a polish off by the writers.  Then another 15 stories of about 1,500 to 5,000, I am thinking 2,000 is an average word count.  It would be good to have a couple of poems and some illustrations or photos to mix it all up.  Should we have a children’s section at the back with a story and poem in there for our young readers?  The theme has always been ghostly set in Folkestone but you can mix that up into romance, comedy or anything, as you are all great writers.  I can ask Andy Markwell to assist us in the cover photo.  We will aim for Halloween, Christmas or Easter lol

Sharing of work – It was great to hear what everyone has been up to on their writing journeys and listening to the poems and stories we all shared.

The Wellbeing Centre – I have had to stop the storytime sessions here but if any of you would like to do something similar then please contact Sheree on Facebook messenger.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – This will be for the month of November, I think we should all try to be involved with this, more so if we do have another lockdown as we can make a messenger group or WhatsApp group to keep everyone updated about what and how much they have written.  We can support and encourage each other.

Future meetings

Meetings held at The Hideaway, 16 Bouverie Rd West,

Folkestone CT20 2SZ  at 6.30 pm

3rd September – Ghostly writing to share and brainstorm

8th OctoberGroup meeting plus ghostly writing & sharing work

12th NovemberGroup meeting & sharing work

19th NovemberAndy Markwell, photography for book covers

10th DecemberGroup meeting & Christmas meal/buffet

7th January Group meeting

Contact: Karen 07967532899 or email:

See you all on the 3rd September at 6.30pm        New members always welcome

I have attached a poster of dates so if any of you can share that it would be good as I am not putting out posters in town myself.