Roe Valley writers celebrated in library exhibition

Waiting on the John Steinbeck lecture to start at Library at Limavady. (0103SL65)
Waiting on the John Steinbeck lecture to start at Library at Limavady. (0103SL65)

Limavady library opened its doors this week to local scribes to celebrate Roe Valley writers of past and present.

Limavady library opened its doors this week to local scribes to celebrate Roe Valley writers of past and present.

Guests pictured at the Jane Ross writing group evening of John Steinbeck. (0103SL64)

Guests pictured at the Jane Ross writing group evening of John Steinbeck. (0103SL64)

The Jane Ross Writers’ group launched the exhibition ‘Voices from the Valley’ on Wednesday evening, to a packed crowd. Designed to showcase and celebrate the creative writing community within the borough, the exhibition also tells the story of the group since its formation in 2002 through the use of photos, clippings, and the many accolades which the group has received throughout the years.

A selection of books, anthologies, magazine articles and flyers the group have published were presented within the library. A selection of the group’s most recent writings was also put on display for others within the community to admire over the next month.

Limavady Library’s branch manager, Linzie King was “delighted” to “have the local group’s work on show for the rest of the public”.

“I think it’s great for all the people to come in, and for people who don’t even know about the group to find out information about it”, Ms King told the ‘Journal’.

Launched

The exhibition was launched on a date of particular significance to local writers, and to English literature itself - 27th February, the birth date of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck; the immediate family of whom hailed from Mulkeeragh, Ballykelly.

Tutor of the Jane Ross Writers’ Group, Dr. Liam Campbell found this date provided a good opportunity to launch the art exhibition as “Steinbeck certainly is a prime example of someone who took his own life circumstances, not only the landscape but his own history, and fed it into his own fiction. So whilst the work is fiction, it is actually driven by reality”.

The 111th birthday of John Steinbeck proved to be of relevance to the group itself, as Campbell says if any writer can take anything away from Steinbeck, he’s a prime example of “write about what you know”.

According to Campbell, the Jane Ross Writer’s Group has developed greatly since its initial formation.

“It’s been what we might call a ‘meteoric rise’,” he said, adding actual finished, creative writing work is being published.

Mary-Ellen Hayward, a member of the Jane Ross Writers’ Group, claims it is important for events such as this to take place in order “to be able to share our writing, and to encourage other people to join us”.

‘Voices from the Valley’ exhibition can be seen in Limavady Library during library hours, until 27th March.