Looking Forward to The Anglesey Môntage Writing Festival

The Môntage Writers Festival Committee2A Guest Post Written by Joy Mawby (Chair of Môntage Writers)

“What shall we do next?”
“How about organising a writing festival?”
I remember this conversation during a Môntage Writers’ Committee meeting about eighteen months ago.

It had all started about five years earlier, when members of two Anglesey writing groups met to discuss how they might work together to publish some of their own work.   

Author Debz Hobbs-Wyatt

Novelist and short story writer Debz Hobbs-Wyatt will be running workshops on ‘keeping the story moving’ and the crossover between fact and fiction.

“We could try for funding and invite all writers on the island to submit work for consideration for an anthology,” a member suggested – so that’s what we did, and I was elected Chair of a new committee – Môntage Writers.

Gwanwyn Festival and Anglesey County Council sponsored our project and, with hard work and perseverance, our first bi-lingual anthology, Môntage, was published in 2013. We gave readings and talks to library groups and clubs and sold enough copies to raise money for the production of Môntage 2, two years later. It was once this was launched that we asked the “What next?” question.

Early in our discussion about a festival, we decided to focus on writers and aspiring writers. Thus, it is a writing rather than a literary festival. It will be a day for learning, developing and sharing writing skills and gaining inspiration.

Because Môntage Writers is based on the beautiful and bi-lingual island of Anglesey, we wanted to honour the Welsh language in some way. A member of the committee suggested the brilliant Bethan Gwanas as a tutor for Welsh learners and we are delighted she has agreed to join us for the festival. We are proud of our line-up of tutors, each an expert in her/his field.

Bethan Gwanas

Bethan Gwanas will be leading two writing workshops aimed at Welsh learners.

“How hard to choose which workshop to go to,” a friend said to me, “I want to go to them all.”

So here we are – only weeks away from our first festival. We’ve learned so much and the excitement grows. We’re looking forward to our hard work and preparation paying off, to the buzz of many writers in one place and to finding inspiration ourselves. We’re looking forward to the celebratory concert in the evening too. And what next? Another festival? Môntage 3? Something else altogether? We promise to let you know!

The Anglesey Môntage Writing Festival takes place on Saturday 9th September, with a variety of workshops on topics such as poetry, crime writing, e-publishing and drama, as well as an evening concert featuring musician John Hywel and poet/playwright John Gorman.

Visit their website www.angleseywritingfestival.co.uk to see the full programme and purchase tickets.

Môntage Writers is grateful for sponsorship from Gwanwyn, Literature Wales, and Magnoxand a local Charitable Trust.

The Môntage Writers Festival Committee

The Môntage Writers Festival Committee