After more than two years I have just delivered a first draft. So coffee at the beach today instead of at the laptop (both of us a bit greyer than when I started). It’s due out spring 2024.
Rick Stein’s Cornwall
Tonight I’ll be on the final episode of BBC2’s ‘Rick Stein’s Cornwall‘ (Fri 21st Jan, 6.30pm). Funnily enough I’m not cooking, but down at Whitsand Bay with some shore finds from Rag and Bone. Haven’t managed to watch it myself yet… but it’s also on the iPlayer link here (from a couple of minutes in).
New book, in progress
Delighted to have just signed a contract for a new book with John Murray Press. Curiously (commonly?) I’ve closed the door – tomblike – on the tiny room where I wrote Rag and Bone and moved into another for this one. Leaving the old research pile and cobwebs behind.
Paperback out now
New cover for the Rag and Bone paperback, out 4th February with John Murray Press. Very different to the hardback’s spoons. Love them both and grateful to Sara Marafini for the designs.
My first book…
Opened a reprint of my first book Sea and Shore Cornwall today, as it has now sold 11,000 copies, despite being self published. My original share—transported from the truck in a wheelbarrow by me—weighed two thirds of a tonne. This is the wheelbarrow.
Lovely review of Rag and Bone in this month’s Literary Review:
‘Lyrical and intriguing… Woollett writes beautifully’ .
Radio 4 Ramblings
Today on Radio 4’s Ramblings I go beachcombing with Clare Balding on the Isle of Sheppey, where I grew up. As well as stories of my dustmen and scavenger ancestors, from their photos I’m guessing it includes that digression on slipper limpet sex. 3pm Thurs 8 Oct, repeated 6am Sat and here.
North Cornwall Book Fest
A short film from the North Cornwall Book Festival for anyone keen to see my local beach and a few Rag and Bone finds… including bone nit combs and an Action Man ‘hard hand’ (1966-1973). Also, in case it’s tempting, lockdown hair and oversize reading glasses.
Australian ABC radio
An interview for the excellent ABC Conversations radio programme, just in case anyone would like to hear more about my dustmen and scavenger ancestors (and their sparrows), ‘houses of easement’ and the going rate for dead cats.
Extract from Rag and Bone in the i newspaper today. You can read it online here.
‘Alongside the sea urchins, the anglerfish jawbone and razorbill skull are now two Lego dragons and a rusty steel toecap, half a sea-worn cassette tape, a naked-looking table-football man and a white plastic gull‘.
Book of the Month extracts
Two extracts from Rag and Bone at the wonderful Caught by the River, where it is currently Book of the Month. A horse’s head and island legends here. Or eroding cliffs, fly-tipped couches and beachcombing in the rain with my mum here.
Rag and Bone reviews
Today Rag and Bone is Book of the Day at the Guardian. There were also lovely reviews in this week’s Observer and the Evening Standard.
Finished copies of Rag and Bone arrived today and they look (and feel) beautiful. I am grateful to all at John Murray Press, to friends who read through drafts and gave their thoughts and much-needed encouragement, and to the writers who have given such generous quotes.
This week I signed with a wonderful agent, Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander.
Travelling Museum of Finds
New blog up today: a virtual museum of beachcombing and mudlarking finds collected while writing Rag and Bone (out July 2020). From bone nit combs (17th century) to Action Man body parts (1966-1978).
Rag and Bone proofs
Bound proofs of Rag and Bone arrived today… felt compelled to dig through the shore finds for the bent spoons that made it onto the cover (out July 2020).
Best Children’s Book
At last night’s Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards, Treasure from the Sea won Best Children’s Book & the Ann Trevenen Jenkin Cup. A huge thank you to the artist Sarah McCartney for her wonderful paintings.
Feature about my beachcombing in the Spanish magazine Telva (used beautifully with lots of finds images). For anyone who can read Spanish… it’s here.
Guardian top ten
Delighted to see Sea Journal on the Guardian list ‘Top ten books about women and the sea’ – amongst some books I love.
This week I have the satisfying job of sorting small mudlarking finds to start taking photographs.
Rag and Bone first draft
After a year and nine months I have finally emerged from the small dark room with a first draft.
Port Eliot Festival
‘Treasure from the Sea’. Children’s workshop with me and the book’s illustrator Sarah McCartney. A mix of storytelling and show & tell, with the beachcombed finds that inspired the book.
Fri 27 July, 12 noon
Launch exhibition, Treasure from the Sea
On now until Sat 2 June at The Poly, Falmouth, Cornwall. A joint exhibition with the book’s illustrator Sarah McCartney, including collections of the beachcombed finds that inspired the book.
Royal Society of Literature Award
Delighted that my work-in-progress ‘Rag and Bone‘ (John Murray, 2020) has won the £5000 Royal Society of Literature Giles St Aubyn Award for Non-fiction—previously the RSL Jerwood Prize for Non-fiction.
Treasure from the Sea
For the past year I have been working on a children’s book ‘Treasure from the Sea’ with artist Sarah McCartney, and her wonderful paintings have just gone off to the scanner. It will be out in May 2018, accompanied by an unusual launch exhibition in Falmouth.
Not something I ever expected to see… images from Sea Journal (including by-the-wind sailors) on a range of T shirts and an accompanying exhibition of photographs from the book in Tokyo.
Last of the Sea Journal launch exhibitions at The Horsebridge Centre, Whitstable. On from 29 Sept – 11 Oct, with a talk about writing, photographing and publishing the book on Sat 8 Oct at 3pm.
Port Eliot Festival
Talk about writing, photographing and publishing ‘Sea Journal‘ and ‘Sea and Shore Cornwall: common and curious findings‘. This Friday at 12 noon in the Tiddy Tent by the Walled Garden.
June & August 2016
Polperro & St Ives exhibitions
Sea Journal exhibition of photographs, finds and curiosities. Two Cornwall dates: National Trust’s Netloft on Peak Rock, Polperro from 17-26 June and the St Ives Society of Artists 21-26 Aug.
Bookshop Band gig
The Book Shop Liskeard event: me talking about Sea Journal followed by the wonderful Bookshop Band. At Liskerrett Community Centre, Liskeard, Cornwall Sun 8 May, 7pm.
Book launch exhibition, Lyme Regis
‘Sea Journal‘ launch exhibition of photographs, finds and curiosities. At the Town Mill Courtyard Gallery in Lyme Regis, 29 April – 11 May. I will also give a talk about making the book on Sat 30 April at 3pm.