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19 June 2017

Author kicks off literary career with help of writer-led class at Wrexham Library

A first-time local author has praised a writing course which helped him write his first book – detailing the history and importance of the River Alyn.

Peter Evans, of Hope, started on the Creative Writing class at Wrexham Library after receiving an e-mail advertising the course from Wrexham Council.

With assistance from Wrexham author and course tutor Peter Read, Mr Evans has now successfully penned and published his first book Resurrection River – a social history of the Alyn and its effect on the lives of those living near it.

Originally from Anglesey, Mr Evans moved to Hope nine years ago, and began walking the Alyn six months after moving to the area.

Mr Evans said: “I decided to investigate the river more fully after chancing upon a particularly scenic stretch on the outskirts of Wrexham while walking the Wat's Dyke Way.

“I realised quite early on there was enough material for a book about the river and its tales. 

“It soon became apparent that the Alyn had many tales to tell, from modern times going back to the Bronze Age - as well as a rich and varied wildlife to enjoy.

“I followed her on foot, up to her source near Cyrn-y-Brain and back along her length to her confluence with the Dee, scribbling notes as I went which I followed up with research at the libraries in Wrexham, Hope and Mold.

He added: “It was great to tread in the footsteps of such creative people as Daniel Owen and Richard Wilson, to find out more about the river’s fascinating history and to walk her banks - which have yielded the Mold Cape, Caergwrle Bowl and Burton Hoard.”

Regarding the Creative Writing course led by writer Peter Read at Wrexham Library, Mr Evans added: “I saw the course advertised on an e-mail from Wrexham Council. I've done a couple of other writing courses elsewhere in the past, I've enjoyed them all, but this one was the most useful -and fun!

“The writing course led by Peter Read at Wrexham Library was inspirational, from ideas for writing, through sections on originality and structure to the practicalities of getting published.

“Peter encouraged all the attendees to be creative, let their imaginations run free and have a go. He was supportive to us all and keen that each one of us got what we wanted from the course. The lessons I've taken away will, I'm sure, stand me in good stead for future writing projects.”

Peter Read, the Wrexham-based playwright, poet, writer and actor who led the course, said: “I have run several courses for people who wish to hone or discover their Creative Writing skills, for the past three years at Wrexham Library. The courses are run at Wrexham Library where I find the staff incredibly helpful and supportive. Peter Evans was on the last eight week course, which ran from the beginning of March to the end of April.

“I am thrilled that Peter found the courses such a help in the planning of his book Resurrection River. There are books about the River Dee, but to my knowledge there is no modern book on the Alyn.

 “Peter’s book is excellent. It takes us on a literary amble and helps us to see the moods of this often overlooked river. It is full of fascinating titbits of information and takes us into the towns and villages on its banks. Some of the descriptions of natural life he encounters on his walks and the evocation of the different bands of weather he enjoys or fights, are very atmospheric and beautiful.”

Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships Public Protection and Community Safety at Wrexham Council, said: “I’m very pleased to see that the creative writing course provided at Wrexham Library was of good use to Mr Evans, and helped guide him in putting his new book together.

“I hope that the library continues to serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for other writers, and I’m sure there are plenty of budding writers in Wrexham who would find it a very useful resource in helping them to get their own work on to the printed page.”