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The Group Organisers

Rupert Davies-Cooke

When I was young, I loved stories and wanted to become a writer. My problem was dyslexia. Reading, writing and memorising were all difficult skills to master. Yet, I was driven by the desire to write. Over the years, I came to understand that dyslexia is just the way I think and so developed my own distinctive writing process that takes advantage of the fragmented way I develop ideas.

I grew up in the 60s when it was common practice for parents to send children to boarding school and for those kids to communicate with their parents by writing letters. I learned from my very first letter that we never tell the truth to those we love. We always put on a brave face. When I turned 13, I started to keep a diary. After a couple of years, this turned into a journal. Writing this journal was the moment I discovered the power of a personal narrative. It was the first time I wrote not for a teacher or my parents, but for myself. It was a place where I could be honest and recount events as these actually happened. I found that writing could be cathartic. It helped me to make sense of some horrendous times.

When I was a teenager, my parents sent me to stay with my grandmother who lived at Owston Hall, an old rambling house in Yorkshire, full of long dark corridors, ancient dusty furniture and family portraits. Lining the walls were oil portraits, drawings, sketches, watercolours and a photograph of a cowboy leaning against a horse. My grandmother told me that it was her father. Five years later, that photograph was the inspiration for a BBC Radio4 documentary. I did not let go of the story. It is the inspiration behind The Tenderfoot.

Working on the Tenderfoot inspired me to work in film and television. For ten years I worked in advertising at EuroRSCG, as a TV producer and video editor. In 1994 I set up Acorn Films specialising in making films for businesses. Then in 2006, I founded The Original Writers Group.

My blog: www.pdcooke.com

Gal Podjarny

I have always been fascinated with stories. I grew up in a close-knit farming community in Israel and quickly developed a passion for reading, devouring every book in the small community library.

I find that I think better when I write. English isn’t my first language but I write in English because nowadays that’s how I experience my life. I like how in English there is almost a word to describes every situation.

We all like a good story. That’s the basic human condition: stories and music. I am interested in stories that give a different take on the world, especially social justice and mental health issues.

That’s why in 2018 I joined the Original Writers Group. It is a supportive community with great feedback. Writing is a solitary profession, so it is a pleasure to meet with writers, our fellow travellers who understand and share our journey.

My blog: www.galpod.com/blog

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