AFTER ONLY THREE YEARS, Frome Writers’ Collective is celebrating its 100th member, widely acclaimed blues artist and lyricist Eddie Martin.
Eddie, who lives in Frome with his wife, artist Nicky Knowles who has also joined the Collective, has spent 25 years touring the world and has kept detailed journals of his visits to the 30 countries he has played in either as a solo artist or as band leader. He is now thinking about publishing them as a humorous memoir but, as he modestly puts it, he doesn’t think he’s famous enough for them to have a really wide appeal so may fictionalise them, turning them into a novel.
Formed in 2014 with the aim of supporting and encouraging local writers on the often-difficult journey first of all to complete their work and then to achieve the goal of publication, Frome Writers’ Collective does not just support novelists and writers of non-fiction texts. It has members whose writing spans every genre from archaeology to young adult fiction.
It also plays an active role in the annual Frome Festival through its highly successful Small Publishers’ Fair and the popular ‘writers in residence’ competition, which challenges competitors to create a short story with a given theme in two and half hours – and to do it while sitting in the window of one of the town’s bustling shops or cafes.
Though Eddie now devotes most of his time to his music and to running his own Blueblood Records label – he’s released 16 albums of original songs so far – he’s no stranger to writing. As well as keeping his journals up to date he’s a keen poet and former political speech writer and also holds a PhD in sociology and politics for which he had to submit a 160,000 word thesis.
And he said, “If I wasn’t a musician I would definitely concentrate on being a writer.”
He’s now looking forward to meeting other local writers and learning more about Silver Crow, the Collective’s unique book brand which provides authors with a pre-publishing reading advice service, help with marketing and a choice of publishers to take their work through to the final stage.
Silver Crow will shortly be marking what has been a very successful inaugural year with three books already published and more in the pipeline with a party which will also celebrating Eddie’s milestone membership.
FWC Chair Mary Mcarthur added: “It’s just amazing the amount of literary talent there is in Frome, and as a writers’ collective we are delighted to support our 100th member with as much enthusiasm as our first members.”