Raising money to support the rehabilitation of our wounded
About Words for the Wounded
The Team
W4W is run by three writers, Margaret Graham, Jan Speedie and Penny Deacon and an extreme marathon runner and organiser, Matt Pain, who wanted to help our wounded servicemen and women by using the writing skills of anyone and everyone who has a story to tell. We believe our troops deserve all possible help and that everyone, including writers and sportsmen, want to help.
Our objective is to raise money for the rehabilitation of our wounded servicemen and women via writing prizes and donations. We act as a conduit and pass the proceeds to existing projects.
Margaret Graham   (Founder, Administrator and Team Leader)
  I am a writer and teacher of creative writing. I live near London and am the mother of four, and Grandma of three and member of the Rock Choir! I am experienced at running writing prizes, having founded the Yeovil Literary Prize, charity no 299372 which raises funds for the creative arts of the Yeovil area. (South Somerset). I know that everyone has many stories to tell and that together we can raise funds via Words for the Wounded to help our injured servicemen and women. My father was a wartime RAF pilot and I know very well how much servicemen and women do in our defence, frequently at the expense of their own health and well being. They need our help not just for now but for many years to come.
Penny Deacon   (Founding Member)
  I'm a writer and a teacher. I live by the sea, but I spent ten years living on an ocean going yacht. I started my published writing career with romance and graduated to crime and owe much to competitions and always support them. This one is great for anyone who just wants to 'have a go', especially in such a good cause. My father was in the RAF so I am well aware of the demands and expectations put on our service personnel and am delighted to be involved with something like Words for the Wounded which helps those who have suffered in our defence.
Jan Speedie   (Administrative Officer)
  Jan Speedie and Margaret Graham met at the age of 9. They were partners in crime, and still are. They survived their teenage years together; youth club, boyfriends and the traumas of growing up. Jan became secretary to a consultant in the NHS and with retirement began to write, often for Frost Magazine. She has four grandchildren who keep her young. She and Margaret are frequently in London, visiting exhibitions and places of interest and enjoying long lunches at ‘their pub’ The Wellington on the Strand. Watch this space - they have exciting plans to raise more money for W4W to help with the recovery of wounded servicemen & women.
Joshua Edwards   (Publicity and Social Media)
  I cannot really call myself a writer just yet, but I have had an article published for Frost Magazine, so maybe I am on my way. I have recently completed a degree in Education - which was not quite as boring as it sounds - at the University of Greenwich. I worked at Starbucks to fund my way through Uni and am still there, funding my job search! I am honoured to be involved with Words for the Wounded and look forward to being part of the team.
Gemma Blayney   (Administrative Assistant)
  I'm 18 and graduated from Bridgwater college, with three A levels in Literature, Psychology and Sociology. I'm always reading, my favorite novelists and poets are Sylvia Plath, Albert Camus, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Kafka, and Virginia Woolf. I like working out, walking, running and hiking. I love swimming and traveling. I have one cat and three brothers. I love listening to Tom Waits and I like meeting new people. I'm a vegetarian, have been five years. I'd love to travel and maybe work in a publishing house, or company. I love poetry, I write, and I hope to get lots of experience in the next few years. I'm really happy to be involved with Words for the Wounded. It's a wonderful charity.
Margaret Graham
  I am a writer and teacher of creative writing. I live near London and am the mother of four, and Grandma of three and member of the Rock Choir! I am experienced at running writing prizes, having founded the Yeovil Literary Prize, charity no 299372 which raises funds for the creative arts of the Yeovil area. (South Somerset). I know that everyone has many stories to tell and that together we can raise funds via Words for the Wounded to help our injured servicemen and women. My father was a wartime RAF pilot and I know very well how much servicemen and women do in our defence, frequently at the expense of their own health and well being. They need our help not just for now but for many years to come.
Matthew Pain
  I am not a writer hence feel somewhat a charlatan; however I do scribe occasionally and more importantly think this is a worthwhile competition and it's great to be involved. My father and stepfather were in the Navy, Grandfather in the RAF and I have been involved with the Army from time to time. I've ground out a few races in hot and cold climates and have recently been involved with setting up a marathon in Sierra Leone for a Street Child charity and managed a running expedition from Lisbon to London 50 marathons in 50 days for a chap called Hugh Williams-Preece, raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. I'm pleased to lend a hand with this esteemed team. W4W's success will rest with the contributors; so write what you feel and share it with others. It is ultimately all for those in our armed forces who give without expecting reward and who do so with honour.
Penny Deacon
  I'm a writer and a teacher. I live by the sea, but I spent ten years living on an ocean going yacht. I started my published writing career with romance and graduated to crime and owe much to competitions and always support them. This one is great for anyone who just wants to 'have a go', especially in such a good cause. My father was in the RAF so I am well aware of the demands and expectations put on our service personnel and am delighted to be involved with something like Words for Wounded which helps those who have suffered in our defence.
Lord Fellowes of West Stafford
Emma and I feel so strongly that we must never forget the debt we all owe to these brave men and women. We are honoured to be involved in this wonderful charity’.
As an actor Julian Fellowes is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the incorrigible Lord Kilwillie in the BBC’s popular Sunday night series, ‘Monarch of the Glen’. His debut as a film director, ‘Separate Lies’ which he adapted himself from Nigel Balchin’s novel, received critical acclaim in the UK and America. His first script for the cinema was ‘Gosford Park’ which won numerous awards including Oscar for the Best Original Screenplay. He has written many more scripts for both cinema and television and his television series, ‘Downton Abbey,’ with Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Dan Stevens has earned a special place in the nation’s heart and added to Julian’s impressive store of awards. It has just been nominated for 16 Emmys for the second season. His novel, ‘Snobs’ was an international bestseller and his second novel, ‘Past Imperfect’ was a Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read. In 2008 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset. In January 2011 he was awarded a peerage and became Lord Fellowes of West Stafford. He is married to Emma, née Kitchener.
Rt Hon Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMG KBE PC
There have been many, many great soldier writers. Winston Churchill; Bill Slim, the wonderful soldier diarists of the Peninsula Wars to name but a few. And some very notable best selling authors in modern times. I discovered my passion for writing in the Royal Marines and it has been on of my most enjoyable (and rewarding) pastimes ever since. I am delighted to be involved in Words for the Wounded and look forward to encouraging writers to use their skills to help our service personnel’.
Paddy Ashdown saw active service as a Commando Officer in Borneo and the Persian Gulf. After Special Forces Training in England in 1965 he commanded a Special Boat Section in the Far East before commanding a Commando Company in Belfast. In 1972 Paddy left the Royal Marines for the F.O. and then politics. He was elected Leader of the Liberal Democrats and retired from the Commons in 2001. He was made a KBE in 2000 and a peer in 2001. Lord Ashdown was awarded the GCMG in the 2006 New Year's Honours List for his work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is currently on the Advisory Boards of the Good Government Group, Defence Strategies and Solutions and Silverline.
Paddy has written six books; Citizen's Britain, Beyond Westminster, The Ashdown Diaries Volumes One and Two and his recent autobiography, A Fortunate Life. His latest concerns the Cockleshell Heroes - A Brilliant Little Operation.
He is married to Jane and they have two children and three grandchildren.
Lt Col Jim Dryburgh Royal New Zealand Signals, late Royal Signals
I have had 37 years in uniform in two Commonwealth Armies and I never cease to be amazed by the selfless bravery and sacrifice that our soldiers, sailors and airmen are prepared to make for the greater good. I am honoured and humbled to be able to support, in my small way, a venture that recognises that service and sacrifice’.
Katie Fforde
The men and women who protect our country and therefore me, are not only incredibly brave, but incredibly young. We must never forget what we owe them, which is everything. That’s why I'm supporting this amazing charity’.
Katie Fforde lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and some of her three children and their children. Her hobbies are watching cooking and property programmes on television which she calls ‘research’. A lapsed flamenco dancer, she is also a member of a choir. She has written nearly twenty novels, including Recipe for Love, Summer of Love and A Perfect Proposal. Her target audience is intelligent women who are tired.
Mark Hodgson
Simply through their imagination, wit and wisdom, writers and poets of all ages and backgrounds can show their support and gratitude for our wounded servicemen and women. I am delighted to be associated with this admirable cause’.
Mark works for Google, building business partnerships around the world. He also founded his own media technology company, Civicboom.com. Mark enjoys spending his spare time with his family at their home in West London, and his true ambition is to publish his first novel sometime soon.
Katharine McMahon
Words for the Wounded is a charity which will both offer support to those in need of rehabilitation and encourage writers. After a summer in which we have witnessed the power of sport to inspire and regenerate, I am delighted to endorse a charity which will focus on the power of words to do the same’.
Katharine McMahon is the author of eight novels. The paperback of her latest book,Season of Light, set during the French Revolution was published in June 2012. The Rose of Sebastopol (Weidenfeld & Nicholson), set during the Crimean War, was a Richard & Judy Bookclub Selection for 2008. A previous novel, The Alchemist's Daughter, was a Waterstones Paperback of the Year for 2006. Her novels are published in the US and across Europe. She is currently working on a sequel to her novel The Crimson Rooms.
Katharine has taught creative writing in universities and for the Arvon Foundation and is a mentor on the Eastern Arts Council Escalator programme. She has been a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow and since April 2010 has served on the Sentencing Council of England and Wales.
Ann Wild OBE
It is an absolute pleasure to support Words for the Wounded’.
Ann Wild has been a Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic athlete since the age of fourteen and has competed in the Seoul, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing Paralympics. Included in her many achievements is her captaincy of the Great Britain Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team for fifteen years and has competed in eight European Championships and four World Games (Gold Cups).
Hugh Williams-Preece
I am delighted to be supporting such a worthwhile and necessary charity’.
Hugh Williams-Preece was a tiddler at birth but how things have changed. Now he runs extreme marathons including his inspirational 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days from Lisbon to London. He crossed the finishing line in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2010 raising nearly £40,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Hugh was awarded the PNE Development 2011 Volunteer Award for inspiring and innovative fundraising. He is married with 3 children and runs his company, Running Events.
Hugh is challenging the JOGLE (John O’Groats to Lands End) World Record in May 2013. He plans to run non stop, approximately 90-100 miles per day for 9 days to beat the record.
Sarah Challis
I am honoured to have been asked to support Words for the Wounded and can think of no more worthwhile cause. The debt we owe our servicemen is beyond words’.
Sarah spent most of her working life as a teacher until thirteen years ago she threw in the towel and decided to try her hand at a novel. Ten books down the line she is still writing and enjoying living in a very small village in Dorset. Four sons and numerous grandchildren provide a distraction and a lot of useful material.
She has travelled widely, especially in Mali, where two of her novels are set.
Daisy Goodwin
I am very happy to support Words for the Wounded’.
Daisy Goodwin, a Harkness scholar who attended Columbia Film School after gaining a degree in History at Cambridge University, began her TV career at the BBC as an arts producer. At Television Centre, she made films about literary figures, and devised Bookworm and The Nations Favourite Poems Initiative. Whilst at the BBC she also devised the hugely successful shows Looking Good and Home Front. Daisy's debut novel My Last Duchess (The American Heiress) is the story of Cora Cash, an American heiress who marries an English duke at the end of the nineteenth century. Daisy Goodwin has just formed her own production company, Silver River Productions.
Tony Pain
The selfless dedication of my service colleagues never failed to impress me. It was taken for granted that they would do whatever was asked of them as just part of the job and expected no special thanks. No-one ever expects to be prevented from doing what he has been trained to do. When this happens he must find something else if he is to maintain any sense of self-worth. Over the last few weeks we have seen the wonderful achievements of paralympic athletes and how they have used sport to put their lives back together. So please support Words for the Wounded and provide new opportunities to those who have given so much fighting for their country’.
Now retired, my working life started in industry, included 16 years as a marine engineer in the Royal Navy and finished with me running my own small manufacturing company.
Louis de Bernières
I am pleased to have been asked to support such a worthwhile cause’.
Louis de Bernières, who lives in Norfolk, published his first novel in 1990 and was selected by Granta magazine as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993. Since then he has become well known internationally as a writer and his sixth novel, ‘Birds Without Wings’, came out in 2004. Captain Corelli's Mandolin (1994), won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Novel. ‘A Partisan's Daughter’ 2008, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and ‘Notwithstanding: Stories from an English village’ was published in Autumn 2009.
As well as writing, he plays the flute, mandolin, clarinet and guitar. He was born in London in 1954.
Taryn Lee QC
I am proud to support such a wonderful and worthwhile charity’.
Taryn J. Lee QC, Recorder and joint head of chambers at No.37 Park Square Leeds was called to the bar in 1992. Taryn practices in all aspects of public and private child care law. Taryn was appointed a Master of her Inn in 2012. An elected Member of the Bar Council since 2004, Taryn was Bar conference chair in 2011 and appointed chair of the Social Mobility Committee in 2012. Taryn is involved in many organisations that support families and mentor young people.
Rowena Hampton
I am delighted to support the very worthy charity Words for the Wounded and hope it will be given the generous support it deserves’.
Rowena Hampton is a Dorset portrait artist who has painted people from all walks of life and many celebrities. She has undertaken many commissions, given workshops and demonstrations as well as exhibiting throughout the county. Her pastel portraits of people and pets are highly regarded and she has won many prizes. Most recently she has an interest in painting miniatures.
Liz Pike
The written word can paint a picture, can convey love, beauty or horror. The power of words must never be underestimated. So this W4W writing competition is a vital way for everyone to show their support for our self-sacrificing servicemen and their families. W4W will be a writing competition that grows in stature, giving recognition to new and established writers’.
Liz Pike is Administrator of the Yeovil Literary Prize, an annual international writing competition with novel, short story and poetry categories (www.yeovilprize.co.uk). After paying significant prize money and the judges' fees, all profit is ploughed back into the local community by sponsoring young people studying the arts, and to bringing good speakers to Yeovil. This year they have sponsored 10 young people; dancers, drama and musical theatre students, a musician and a photographer. Culture and the arts can inform and certainly can heal. She is an author, artist and photographer.
Elizabeth Buchan
I cannot think of a better cause to support. Words for the Wounded offers a vital and life-enhancing lifeline’.
Elizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books after graduating from the University of Kent with a double degree in English and History. She moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time. Her novels include the prizewinning Consider the Lily - reviewed in the Independent as 'a gorgeously well written tale: funny, sad and sophisticated'. A subsequent novel, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman became an international bestseller and was made into a CBS Primetime Drama. This was followed by The Good Wife, That Certain Age, The Second Wife and Separate Beds. Daughters is her latest novel.
Elizabeth Buchan's short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for the Sunday Times, and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes, and also been a judge for the Whitbread (now Costa) awards. She is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and of The National Academy of Writing. She is currently writing a novel about the Danish Resistance during the Second World War.
Caroline Redman Lusher
Please accept my support for W4W for the rehabilitation of wounded servicemen and women. I will endeavour to offer my experience, skills and profile to help raise money and awareness for this new and creative charity. Using the creative skills of writing and creative writing to help our servicemen and women is an exciting concept and I look forward to helping’.
Caroline Redman Lusher is the founder and director of ROCK CHOIR, Britain's biggest contemporary choir of 16,000; singer, musician, composer, arranger, dynamic entrepreneur, award-winning businesswoman, motivational speaker and subject of the hugely popular 2011 ITV documentary series, 'The Choir That Rocks'. In October Caroline will be honoured with a prestigious Gold Badge Award by BASCA (British Association of Songwriters Composers and Authors) in association with PRS to celebrate and recognise her contribution in support of songwriters and composers.
Rachel Cuperman
I am delighted to support Words for the Wounded. Our service personnel need all the help they can get and this wonderful charity will help enormously’.
Rachel's screenwriting credits (in collaboration with her writing partner Sally Griffiths) include A SACRED TRUST and DEATH AND THE DIVAS for ITV's Detective Drama series, MIDSOMER MURDERS. Projects in development include a supernatural drama TV series, and feature films BELLY DANCING FOR BEGINNERS, an original comedy and OUTLAWS an original family comedy, both for Samuelson Productions, makers of the Oscar-nominated TOM AND VIV and WILDE.
Previously, Rachel worked as a producer for Samuelson Productions. During her decade with the company, she helped to develop and produce a variety of films. Her credits include THE GATHERING, GABRIEL & ME, WILDE, GUESTHOUSE PARADISO, THE COMMISSIONER, TOM & VIV and ARLINGTON ROAD.
Rachel was a Director on the Board of Women in Film & Television (1997-2000).
Nikki Gemmell
I'm honoured to be involved with such a heart-lifting charity. It combines good people, powerful words, generosity, honour and kindness - all my favourite things’.
Nikki Gemmell has written five novels, Shiver, Cleave (or Alice Springs in the U.S.),Lovesong, The Book of Rapture, The Bride Stripped Bare and its follow-up, With My Body. She's also written two works of non-fiction: Pleasure: An Almanac for the Heart, and Why You Are Australian. Her work has been internationally critically acclaimed and translated into many languages.
In France she's been described as a female Jack Kerouac, in Australia as one of the most original and engaging authors of her generation and in the US as one of the few truly original voices to emerge in a long time.
Sophie Duffy
I owe my life to my grandfather and his generation who defended our freedom against the Nazis. And to all those women who fought the battle on the home front. Now both men and women fight to protect our world from evil and we, as a nation, must do our utmost to support them when they suffer injury. W4W is a fantastic charity and to use the power of words to raise funds is both fitting and awesome’.
Sophie Duffy is a novelist, blogger, and mentor to emerging novelists. Her first novel, 'The Generation Game', won both the Yeovil Literary Prize and the Luke Bitmead Bursary and was published by Legend Press in 2011. Her second novel, This Holey Life, was runner-up in the Harry Bowling Prize and was published in 2012, also by Legend. She believes that writing competitions are the best way for emerging writers to meet deadlines, to get noticed and to break through. She lives in Teignmouth in Devon with her husband, three teenagers and a very naughty Tibetan Terrier.
Eve Bonham
This is such a great idea - holding a writing competition to raise funds to help rehabilitate our wounded servicemen and women. I am pleased and honoured to support W4W’.
Eve Bonham is author of two books: a collection of short stories: 'Madness Lies and Other Stories,' and her novel about female friendship, 'To the End of the Day,' published in 2011. She was, at one time, London's only female fine art auctioneer. She has competed in yacht races across the Atlantic and Round the World, and has travelled far and wide overland. Having lived in a Breton village in France, Eve now lives in Dorset, writes in the mornings, works for a property company, assists in community projects, paints watercolours and plants trees.
Barbara Large
I am honoured and delighted to be a Patron of Words for the Wounded.’.
Barbara Large MBE is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Winchester. She lectures in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester and is Director and founder of the enormously successful Winchester Writers' Conference and the Hampshire Writers' Society, founded to as the result of a Higher Education Innovation Grant awarded to Barbara. This society recognises Hampshire's literary heritage of authors such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Yonge, Charles Dickens and Keats and welcomes all aspiring and published writers of all ages and cultural diversities to monthly meetings to listen to a broad range of talks, performances, readings, discussion and panels by well known novelists, authors, poets, scriptwriters literary agents, commissioning editors and industry specialists. No-one has set more writing careers in motion that this amazing woman.
Lt Ian Thornton
I am honoured to support such a worthwhile cause. I know all too well the horrific injuries that the men and women of our Armed Forces continue to endure on a daily basis, and never cease to be humbled by the attitude and determination with which our wounded conduct their rehabilitation. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved with Words for the Wounded, and to be able to both support my injured colleagues and recognise the sacrifice that they have made on our behalf.’.
Lt Ian Thornton commissioned into the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1 PWRR), in April 2011. Following completion of the Platoon Commanders’ Battle Course at the Infantry Battle School, he deployed to Afghanistan as an Infantry Platoon Commander. Following 6 months in both the Nad-e Ali and Nahr-e Saraj districts of Helmand province, he returned to the UK on 30 March 2012, the fourth anniversary of the death of his brother, Lt John Thornton RM, on active service in Afghanistan. He was then deployed, as part of the Venue Security Force for Horse Guards Parade, to the London 2012 Olympics, following which he returned to regimental duties at the home of 1 PWRR in Paderborn, Germany. He is shortly to be posted to the Army Training Regiment (Winchester) as a Troop Commander. His Afghanistan diary, alongside that of his late brother, is due to be published in 2013 in a book entitled ‘Helmand: The Diaries of Frontline Soldiers’.
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Freddie Hodgson   Author of the Putney Ferret (Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk). He has been enormously generous in his enthusiasm for the project and with his financial sponsorship.
  Metro Bank helped us with information on setting up the financial side and also gave us a donation.
Matt Pain   A Trustee, he has supported us from day one with his huge enthusiasm for Words for the Wounded. He participated in the Lanzarotte Ironman to raise funds for our prize money and will do the same again this year.
Shelagh and Barry Mazey   Gave us a donation to help when we set up Words for the Wounded but more, Barry gave us a great deal of information which helped us with publicity. Shelagh is the author of Dawn to Deadly Nightshade published by Matador
Kate Pain   Kate handles our social media which is the one thing that would drown the administrators!
Winchester Writers' Conference   in particular Barbara Large and Sara Gangai who invited us to fundraise in 2013.
Writers' Forum   for their continual support including their publication of the winners.
RAF News   for their support and publication of the winning entries.
Richard Graham   Richard has worked tirelessly to create and run the Words for the Wounded website, without which there would be no Words for the Wounded.