About Shorewomen

Shore Women is a group of Isle of Wight writers who meet regularly to motivate and support each other and to critically evaluate our work.

In our sessions together we experiment with different forms and themes and organize special activities, guest writers and week-ends away.

As well as our own individual writing, we sometimes write collaboratively. Many of us have published poetry, articles, and short stories in a wide variety of publications. We also perform at events on the Isle of Wight and make links with other groups.

Shore Women regularly go away together to write, read to each other and share workshop ideas. On our days out we like to meet in interesting and varied places. Here we are celebrating our tenth anniversary at Cass Sculpture Park in Sussex.

On days out around the island we have also written at Ryde Cemetery, The Roman Villa, a Shanklin beach hut, and Tennyson's study at Farringford. We have read to audiences in lots of places, including clifftops and windy beaches.

Joan on the beach at Ryde

We have enjoyed writing week-ends at North Court Manor, The Irex coastguard cottages at the Needles, Bonchurch Manor, and The Garlic Farm.

NorthCourt in Shorwell, Isle of Wight

a snowman on the tennis court at NorthCourt
Every summer we have a beach hut and then, come winter, a long week-end at Rosetta Cottage on Cowes seafront.

Sometimes we go further afield. In 2013 we went to London and spent a writing day at the Foundling Museum.

Our biggest trip yet was down to Cornwall in March 2010. We stayed at Lamledra, a lovely old house which looks out across to the Dodman headland. On a bright, cold day we took a break from writing and walked to Gorran Haven.

Shore Women sometimes undertake long projects, such as Benchmarks, a project funded by the West Wight Landscape Partnership from 2009 to 2011. As part of Benchmarks, Shore Women documented all the benches of West Wight and commissioned a beautiful poetry bench at the Needles Battery.

We also did many readings and workshops for groups in the community, and an anthology of bench poems, published in collaboration with photographer and graphic artist Alex Thompson.

Another project was The Wreck of the Irex, a true story of a mysterious island shipwreck. After much historical research and then writing, poems about the Irex were performed in costume at venues such as Niton church and Dimbola Lodge, and also for various community groups around the island.

Going even further back, our collaboration with the Vane Women writers from Darlington in 2001-2002 resulted in some excellent writing about North and South, as well as much hilarity.

Synchronised swimming at NorthCourt

First, they came south and then we went north. The result was a book of unusual poems about both the Isle of Wight and County Durham.

Shore Women gathered on Freshwater beach in October 2003 to celebrate the launch of Rewriting the Map.

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