Growing up in coastal Essex in the 1950s/60s Wendy’s childhood artistic aspirations were thwarted. Labelled as shy by teachers, a life of office work loomed. Instead, she grasped mature student opportunities in her mid-twenties, mid-forties, and mid-sixties. A career as a textile designer for Courtaulds Home Textiles was followed by teaching crafts in adult education
and freelance designing. Now writer/poet/artist.
Wendy returned to her Essex roots in 2010, after 34 years in Yorkshire (she considers herself half Essex/half Yorkshire, though isn’t sure which half is what). She moved to the Holme valley, nestled below the Pennines, in 1976 (via Dunfermline and Middlesbrough). In the 1990s she made up stories for her young son during countryside walks with bearded collie Tess. Which she later wished she’d written down.
Come the 21st century she started writing and submitting stories to literary agents, with some positive feedback amongst the rejection slips. Success came when she won a competition for unpublished writers (after rejections from sixteen literary agents). Her children’s novel Like a Brother was published in 2014 with a new title Brave.
Daily walks with Lola her labradoodle strengthened passion and concern for
the natural world. Initially ignoring plastic debris blighting beach walks she
started picking it up - bringing it home for sorting and washing! Creative
resource. A year’s journal of the beach walks became the foundation for her
MA dissertation. In May 2018 she presented a workshop “Plastic Pollution –
Shoreline to Storyline” at Jaywick Martello Tower, concluding with a
community art installation using plastic litter.
After the MA, Wendy started writing poetry. In 2021 she received Arts Council DYCP funding for developing the creative practice of writing eco-poetry. A Good Place to be Alone was published in the Fenland Poetry Journal, Autumn 2022.
Since 2016 she has been involved with Essex Book Festival - from
demonstrating/making hundreds of origami peace cranes, to leading writing
workshops on eco topics (for children and for adults).
Most recently, a series of eco-poetry workshops at local primary schools on the Great Flood theme (70 th anniversary of the 1953 floods).
Environmental issues and the natural world form the core for most of Wendy’s creativity. Provoked by the plight of the planet (huge plastic gyres polluting oceans) whilst celebrating the wonders of nature (grasshoppers cavorting in the garden). Also, about being human, and sometimes about dogs.
Sadly, the beautiful Lola died in June 2022, but there are hopes to have a new canine companion by early 2024. Who will play a part in the development of her MA dissertation into a book. Working title - One Woman Walking - returning to beach walks with a dog. Enjoying the sights and sounds of waves and wildlife - and collecting beach litter.
As Wendy salutes her seventies she is currently involved in a project Turbulent Flow funded by the Arts Council. As part of a group of five artists working in different media, with offshore wind power as the central theme, Wendy is writing a prose piece.
There is always much to see, much to do, much to learn …
BSc Textile Design and Design Management, UMIST Manchester, 1979
MSc Textile Technology for Textile Designers, University of Huddersfield, 1997
Winner: The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition, 2013
MA Wild Writing: Literature and the Environment, University of Essex, 2018
Member of The Society of Authors