Members of Lynemouth Writing Group

Vera author launches village group's new book

A local writing group based in a small Northumberland village has attracted a superstar of the literary world to help launch its new book.

The group, based in Lynemouth Library, welcomed Ann Cleeves who took time out of her busy schedule to attend the event to mark the publication of its second book.

Several of the members are also part of Ann’s inspirational Reading for Wellbeing Project which has been a huge success since it began two years ago.

Ann is a huge believer in the therapeutic rewards of reading and writing, and, working with Northumberland Library Service, started the Reading for Wellbeing project to help people gain the same benefits she feels herself.

With the multi award-winning author as both patron and ambassador, the project has flourished, setting up community groups, visiting schools, care homes and working in the local hospital to bring those benefits to life for people who may be struggling.

“Stories have always been healing - as a means of escape and freeing the mind from everyday concerns and worries. I leaned heavily on reading at a difficult time in my life and wanted to help others do the same.

“It is about reading for pleasure, something that takes you away from the stress, anxieties and worries.

“I’ve seen how understanding and confidence grows when people are encouraged to explore their experiences through story. Anger and resentment can dissipate. And because we’re sharing a bit of ourselves when we’re talking about books, friendships develop,” said Ann.

She was on hand at Lynemouth Library, along with members of the Reading for Wellbeing Northumberland team and local councillors, to launch the Lynemouth Writers Group’s second anthology of short stories and poetry ‘Circle of Seven’.

Councillor Jeff Watson, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Libraries, said: ”Ann has always been very generous with her time and also helps to part fund the project – her commitment is so valuable to the project.

“We are so lucky to have one of the UK’s favourite authors on our doorstep. She offers escape, entertainment and relaxation through her own wonderful writing and by encouraging others to pick up a book – or a pen - and put their worries to one side for a while.

“Northumberland is a very creative area and we have lots of groups offering support and companionship, and perhaps the opportunity to follow Lynemouth’s lead and get their work published.”

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