From workshops to bookshops

Katherine and her husband in Abbeyfield Park
Katherine Blessen and her husband in Abbeyfield Park.
Katherine and her husband in Abbeyfield Park
Katherine Blessen and her husband in Abbeyfield Park.

Story by Colette Wymer.

Local Author Katherine Blessan runs writing workshops at Abbeyfield Park House aimed at people struggling with their mental health –  a 10-week programme of workshops structured around a theme – being, belonging, memories, releasing, hope and dreams for the future.

Katherine says:

“It’s a healing journey…We want to expand – Sheffield as a whole and nationally but we’ve just run our pilot programme and we’re now running our second lot of workshops.”

Katherine started writing in her teens and her first novel was published in 2014. She says:

“I enjoy the process of writing. But I guess I’m seeing more that my writing is for other people, rather than primarily of benefit for myself… A lot of my stories touch on social issues such as trafficking, disability, FGM, slavery, refugees/asylum seekers, racism. First and foremost, I want it to be a good story, but it just so happens that those are issues I like to talk about.”

Home Truths with Lady Grey book cover

Her new novel Home Truths with Lady Grey Is out now but getting published was “a difficult process… I submitted it to 52 publishers and agents before getting accepted”. The story follows the unlikely friendship of two women, “Jennifer, mid-50s, very independent. A bit spikey. I wanted to explore her being racist and confronted with a woman [Mona] from a different ethnicity.

“Part of Mona’s journey is learning to accept her dual identity as British and Iranian which is relevant to me, I’m married to an Indian man, our children are mixed race. I’m interested in exploring the spaces between where different cultures meet.”

Katherine’s novel is available in a print or audio book: www.katherineblessan.com/works/

For more info about the writing workshop, email: kaleidoarts@protonmail.com

Update: Launch event Friday 20th May

Katherine will be signing copies of her new novel Home Truths with Lady Grey in the Carwood Suite (at the back of Sorby House, Spital Hill, Sheffield) and sharing something of her publication journey on Friday 20th May 5.30pm – 6.30 pm.

She’d love as many of you as possible to join her in celebrating, although spaces are limited to 40.

Free refreshments will be provided and you can buy signed copies of the novel if you wish – no undue pressure will be applied!

For tickets visit the Eventbrite page.

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