Welcome to Red Lighthouse

Red Lighthouse is Mantle Arts’ programme of writing and literature projects. It includes participatory activity with schools, libraries and local communities as well as offering support and development opportunities to new and established Midlands-based writers who want to think outside of their existing specialisms, explore new approaches, develop additional skills and knowledge, and grow their professional network.

Wolves & Apples is an event for writers producing work for children and young adults. It’s a chance to find out more about the opportunities out there and network with professionals from the industry. Speaker Liz Flanagan has worked in children’s book publishing for many years and, as a former director of Lumb Bank, The Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, supported a fresh batch of writers every week.
Here are some thoughts from her..

What was your favourite book when you were a child, and why?
My favourite book probably changed several times a year, but I always loved books that combined magic and adventure. I loved writers like Susan Cooper, Ursula Le Guin and Robert Westall. My favourite author was probably Margaret Mahy, whose YA novels ‘The Changeover’ and ‘The Tricksters’ still count among my most beloved reads of all time.

What is your top writing tip?
Try to put doubt and critique aside as you write the first draft. Whatever tricks and bargains you need to make with yourself, just let it tumble out, as playful and unstructured as you like. Editing is a whole different skill, and a very important one, but it comes later, and you just need to get the words out first.

What is the best thing/do you enjoy most about writing for children?
Going back to my first answer, it’s probably some combination of magic and adventure. I think you get to ask big questions in writing for children, but you also get to keep some magic. I’d say children and young adults are very eagle-eyed readers, so you need to up your game and work hard on plot and characterisation, too. But the best thing of all about writing for children and young adults is getting to meet readers at events – I love that part of the process.

Watch the trailer for the new film of Ray Robinson‘s Edith, with Peter Mullan. You can read the original story, along with 14 others in What Haunts the Heart, an anthology of psychological horror, historical fiction, contemporary fantasy and, of course, ghost stories. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and as a Kindle book

Congratulations to Richard Barber who’s story A Framework has been included in the anthology Respectable Horror, along with The Well Wisher by Mr Matthew Pegg, director of Mantle Arts! Richard also has a short story in the anthology ‘What Haunts the Heart’ Available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/1XXSvGm) and Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/1VWBWNN) and as a Kindle book (http://amzn.to/1TdGDkB)

BUY YOUR COPY NOW ‘What Haunts the Heart
Fifteen tales of the things that haunt us. From obsession to regret, madness to redemption. A waxwork maker in Victorian Whitechapel, a doomed puppeteer performing in a lonely village… the characters in this collection are all haunted by something; by past mistakes, relationships, memories and choices. Includes psychological horror, historical fiction, contemporary fantasy, and, of course, ghost stories. Available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/1XXSvGm) and Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/1VWBWNN). Also available as a Kindle book (http://amzn.to/1TdGDkB)

Wordsworth in Leicestershire
We’re making a radio play about when William Wordsworth moved his family from Dove Cottage in Grasmere to Leicestershire and helped create the Winter Garden in the grounds of the newly built Coleorton Hall. Get in touch of you are interested in helping with research or learning about the technical side of radio drama – maybe even performing. No previous experience necessary! For more info email marketing@red-lighthouse.org.uk

WHAT HAUNTS THE HEART An anthology of short stories

A waxwork maker in Victorian Whitechapel receives help from an
unexpected source.
A woman tries to sell a house scarred by the evidence of a disturbing past.
A doomed puppeteer performs in a lonely village.


What Haunts the Heart features fifteen tales of obsession, regret, madness, redemption, and other things that haunt us. This anthology includes psychological horror, historical and literary fiction, contemporary fantasy, and, of course, ghost stories. Featuring fiction by Graham Joyce, Ray Robinson, Emma J. Lannie, Annabel Banks, William Gallagher, Brian Ennis, Richard Farren Barber, Liz Kershaw, Pascale Presumey, Fiona Joseph, Reen Jones, J. T. Seate, Fran Hill, Scotty Clarke and Tom Johnstone.



Publisher: Mantle Lane Press  Now available as a Kindle book on AMAZON 


Can collaborations enhance your creativity?  

Red Lighthouse is working with The Moveable Feast Workshop Company on Points of Contact, a workshop using a variety of techniques – including storytelling, printmaking, dialogue and writing – to provide creative nutrition for writers and visual artists who want to explore new possibilities and collaborations.

Here are some personal reflections on the process of collaboration from Tony Gee, workshop leader and Director of Moveable Feast; –

The first workshop I facilitated was at Dartington College of Arts. Forty artists from a variety of practices wanted to look at workshop practice – via a workshop! The mix of practitioners, and the need of an often isolated group to spend creative time with other artists, led to some amazing results: people’s practices took new and unexpected turns and whole companies sprung up which subsequently found ways to employ each other. It was an inspiring event and many of those artists still work together now. Practice was developed through practice. Since then I have facilitated or co-facilitated all sorts of gatherings, including a project in Saskatchewan with the Indigenous Peoples Health Research Centre. Through creative production we bring into existence things that hitherto hadn’t existed.  An artist friend once said this to me in an interview: ‘Every workshop is a story and it’s an original story and it’s a story written there and new completely and it’s never been thought of before.’ So, what do I find comes out of creative retreats? Confidence, affirmation, new directions, collaborations, ideas and employment possibilities can emerge through the collective application of our imagination“.