Black Country story: writing for Lye Down readers’ group

The West Midlands doesn’t just share a landscape with the Wild West

Lye Down with a Good Book

A few months back I visited Lye Down with a Good Book readers’ group in the Black Country (notes here).

The visit was organised by Roz Goddard of West Midlands Readers’ Network  and I was commissioned by WMRN and Lye Down to write a story by  September. I was made to feel very welcome by the group and offered tea and lovely cake. I went away eager to begin work on  a story set in the Black Country with a few pointers….


I was told it should be: Modern, full of suspense, perhaps dark, very much rooted in the Black Country, may involve a strange arrival or intruder….

There were many other pointers or ideas and it wasn’t long before I began work.

Last Wednesday (September 26) I returned to read my story to the group. I wrote about an outsider and I used the outline of a Western story set in the present day. The photo alongside is of Cannock Chase. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s a North American landscape. In my story the West Midlands and Wild West share more than a landscape!

I won’t say any more as the story will be published and I’ll be reading again at an event (see below) which follows in November.

I’m delighted to say the group enjoyed it. It was great to share my work with them. There was a great response and they seemed to really feel for the central character. There were a few laughs and smiles and a few lumps in throats.

So thanks again to Roz and Lye readers’ group for their terrific support.

The next step is to read an extract from the story in Birmingham on November 20 at an event I’m very much looking forward to called Seven Minute Stories. I’m in good company with fellow writers Fiona Joseph, Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn, Helen Cross, Jeff Phelps and Polly Wright who also went out to work with groups across the region.

My writers’ post is featured here on the WMRN website. 


About richlakin

I write about things that interest me
This entry was posted in Outsiders, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Black Country story: writing for Lye Down readers’ group

  1. Elaine Moxon says:


    I am intrigued by your story! Wonderful to be so well received and it sounds as though you have some interesting future engagements. Have fun and happy writing.

    Best wishes, Elaine

  2. We really enjoyed the story.
    Thanks from all at Lye Down With A Good Book Reading Group.

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