Buy direct to support the "buy small, buy local" ethos.

Links to Independent Businesses that we like

Prole Books

Independent producers of poetry and prose in the form of a literary magazine (3 times a year) and poetry pamphlets and collections. They receive no grants or subsidies but they sell enough to pay their authors and their products have received good reviews. They published Ash Tree for me in 2013. Visit the Prole Books web site.

Hayloft Publishing Ltd

Hayloft produce local and national titles, mostly with countryside, walking and historical themes. Since Hayloft was started in 1988 it has published more than a hundred books.

Hayloft has had several books short-listed in the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards and five went on to win in their categories: Lakeland in the 1830s, Walking on Bridges, 104 Men, Stone Circles of Cumbria and Hoofprints in Eden. Visit Hayloft's web site.

Hedgehog Books

Great Dockray, Penrith, Cumbria. Visit their web site and Facebook page.

Jane Badger Books

Equestrian Bookseller and author Jane Badger describes herself as "a time-poor bookdealer with a life long pony obsession." She specialises in English language horse and pony fiction and has brought out a book of her own in 2013, Heroines on Horseback - the Golden Age of the British Pony Book. Visit Jane Badger's web site.

Writers' Groups and Writing Classes in Cumbria/North Lancashire

The Scribblers

We read a section of our "work in progress" and discuss how we can improve it. Poetry, prose, long or short fiction or non-fiction writing, are all welcome.

7.00 pm, fee per session £2.

We have a new meeting place in Penrith. To check the date and venue of planned meetings please contact Sue on 01539 624636 or e-mail sue @

Writing Groups with Janni Howker

Janni Howker, Whitbread Prize winning novelist and poet, leads groups that meet in the daytime in Shap, Kendal and Sedbergh. Email me and I'll give you details.


Novelists' group meets once a month to support each other with works-in-progress. Contact Deborah Swift for details.

Kendal Writers' Cafe

Meets monthly in Kendal to critique, share tips, hear guest speakers, work towards publication. Web site.

Local Links for Cumbrian/Lancastrian writers:

Words by the Water festival in Keswick - the north west of England's premier festival of words and ideas, run by Ways with Words.

Litfest - Lancashire's literary festival, and a wealth of info for writers.

Wordmarket - Ulverston's literary festival, events, and info for writers.

Eden Arts / New Writing Cumbria - website, e-letter and more. Crackers - but in a nice way.

Borderlines - Autumn litfest in Carlisle.

Coaching & Carriage Driving Links

British Driving Society - to encourage and assist those interested in the Driving of Equine Animals.

North West Driving Club - to foster good horsemanship and friendship amongst all drivers of harnessed horses and ponies in the North West of the UK.

Fell Pony Links

The Fell Pony Society - to foster and keep pure the old breed of pony which has roamed the northern fells for years and to circulate knowledge and general information about the pony breed.

The Fell Pony Museum - celebrates the ponies of the Lake District, who have worked and travelled through history and whose breed has been known for over a century as "the Fell".

Cumbrian Links

Esmeralda Mac's Cumbrian Folklore blog - where myths and history are debunked and often turn out far more interesting than the fictions that have been woven around them.


footer image of book covers