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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

Your Caring, Sharing Arts By Eileen Earnshaw, Robin Parker, Ray Stearn

There are many positive things to come out of lockdown and one important example to us is the way the local arts are coming together admirably to support each other. Such as the local writing groups where “Another Folk n Poetry Night” has led the way.

The online app. Zoom has given the opportunity to meet and to carry on with writing workshops. The experience was led locally by our Folk n Poetry hosts, Eileen Earnshaw and Robin Parker and has enabled local writers and musicians to come together, albeit virtually, to share their work and have some much- needed fun. The one drawback being that it doesn’t take place in a good pub!

Alongside this group meeting, Eileen carried on her workshops for Sanctuary Bolton via Zoom. More importantly, she invited members of other writing groups to join the sessions - and they have.

This has led to Ray, who is Chair of Touchstones Creative Writing Group, trialling a Zoom workshop for TCWG. The important element being the sharing of the workshop with other groups.

So, following this workshop, Robin, who is Chair of Langley Writers, is looking into the possibility of Langley hosting an online workshop, inviting local writing groups to join. Ray certainly intends to do more TCWG workshops as they have already been asked for.

Not only has the use of the online workshop meant that writing continues but we feel more importantly in lockdown it has provided a lifeline for some members of the groups who have felt very isolated and welcomed the chance to talk to another human being instead of the wall.

From that perspective, the Zoom app has enabled a lot of other things to happen. Isolated Faith and Community Groups, for example, have come together to share needs and express concerns. While personal contact post-pandemic will make a welcome return, this group is looking to maintain its Zoom links; it is considerably more convenient than booking and paying for a room and personal transport costs to a venue.

Many of the top writers, comediennes and musicians now show their work online. There is general agreement that an audience provides an ambience that is crucial to the way a performance is delivered and that their work has altered to accommodate this fact.

If you would like to join any of our workshops or would like to provide us with an audience particularly at the Poetry and Folk Night, please contact

Eileen, Ray or Robin

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