Friday, November 14, 2014

Winter Tales charity anthology - A sisterhood of stories

It’s a delight to welcome Jo Bartlett from The Write Romantics to our blog today with some wonderful news. Over to you, Jo…

It’s funny how contradictory the life of a writer can be.  Most of us will tell you that one of the best things about being a writer is that you are never really alone.  Your head is full of characters clamouring to tell you their story and take you off to wonderful, and in some cases weird, worlds in pursuit of their tale.  And yet… it can be an incredibly lonely life.  Taking rejection on a regular basis, doubting every word you’ve ever written and wondering if anything from cross-stitch to bungee jumping wouldn’t be a better use of your time, are all familiar to the writer – especially the aspiring one.

Serendipity is a wonderful thing, though, and an out-of-character response I made to a post on the RNA’s closed discussion forum, started a friendship that has grown into a sisterhood.  Responding to Jessica Redland’s message there, I immediately spotted a kindred spirit and we were off.  A flurry of email exchanges, each one pages long – we are both big talkers – was just the start.  Before long, we had set up a blog but, realising we couldn’t do it alone, we sent out a message on the RNA forum looking for other new writers to join our ‘gang’.

The Write Romantics have found such support in our group that most of us doubt we would have got this far alone.  We are like a real family, with the occasional minor disagreement, but unfailingly there to support one another.  During the past year, we’ve gone from having only one published writer in the group, to eight out of the ten of us having either a publishing deal or representation.  We might not quite be able to squeeze into the hot-pants of the Spice Girls back in the day, but in writing terms we are the very definition of girl power to the tune of ten.

Realising that as a collective we could do anything we set our minds to and loving the idea of cementing our friendship with a joint project, we hit on the idea of creating a charity anthology.  We wanted it to mean something to us personally and so we decided to support two very special charities - the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Teenage Cancer Trust. These charities are close to our hearts, since Alys has a gorgeous little nephew who battles with CF and, having been affected by cancer myself, when I heard about Stephen Sutton’s story I knew it was one that the rest of the Write Romantics would instantly get on board with.

As new writers, we’ve also been amazed at how supportive other writers can be. We were nonetheless amazed at how many successful writers, climbing up the best seller lists alongside our own Helen Phifer and Rachael Thomas, were willing to help out too.  As such, the anthology features stories from a wide range of successful romance writers and, in all, there are twenty four stories for just over £2.50, which is great value and will be an amazing support to these two wonderful charities.

To find out more about the anthology and the two amazing young men who inspired us, please visit, or to buy a copy head on over to Amazon.

If you are an aspiring writer reading this, my advice is to surround yourself with a group of like-minded people - you’ll never look back.

Jo x
(Jo Bartlett, on behalf of

Thank you, Jo and good luck to you all with your project.

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Rachael Thomas said...

Lovely post Jo and I'm honoured to be among such wonderful company in The Write Romantics.

Anonymous said...

Right back at you Rachael! Our sisterhood is truly something special. Thanks too to Elaine and the RNA for having us as guests on the blog. Jo.

Jessica Redland said...

Really gorgeous post, Jo. I'm thrilled to be the kindred spirit and the two of us setting up The Write Romantics is the best thing ever. Just hope we can raise loads for our two charities through the anthology as that would really be the icing on the cake for an exciting first project. Jessica xx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

What a lovely, inspiring post, Jo - hope you sell lots of books!