If you’re looking for Gwyneth Box the writer, you’re in the right place: this is my personal website, where you’ll find information about writing projects and courses.
If you’re looking for my alter ego in the business world, you probably meant to go to tantamount.com. Over there, you’ll find out about Tantamount, the creative agency, while authorbranding.co.uk is home to the From Authority to Authorship programme, launching autumn 2018.
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for on any of these sites, feel free to drop me a line!
(after Garcilaso de la Vega)
Love offered me a cloth so fine and rich,
with folds so ample, I could not refuse
but sewed myself a habit, stitch by stitch.
I find the garment shrinks with daily use:
its generous measures pucker and draw tight,
I suffocate where once I’d room to spare;
I stretch and strain to free myself, I fight,
yet still the precious fabric will not tear.
Come, show me one who wants to cut these ties –
these homespun tapes we fashion for our lives
to bind ourselves to husbands or to wives –
and I will show you one who’s spinning lies.
Each wears the cloth he wove, though I confess
I wonder if mine’s shroud or wedding dress.
Award-winning poet, writer, translator and entrepreneuse, with a career spanning IT, teaching, design and publishing, Gwyneth specialises in copy writing and transcreation, particularly in the fields of lifestyle, travel and technology.
As joint owner of Tantamount and its companion organisation, authorbranding.co.uk, Gwyneth works with freelance creatives, businesses and educators on projects that draw together the threads of publishing, design, technology and training.
As a writer, she is fascinated by the multi-layered aspects of language revealed through translation and poetry, and her creative writings explore the borderlands between writer and narrator, between translation and creation, and between memoir and invention.
She was Poetry Coordinator and Digital Advisor to the SWWJ, the UK's oldest professional organisation for women writers, for whom she has run workshops and courses in subjects including creative writing, translation, and technology for writers.
Inspirations for creative writing
Some writers always have things to write about: they never seem to run out of ideas. Others struggle to start new work, sitting around waiting for inspiration to come. But experience shows that the Muse likes to find us working, so it's good to have a range of activities you can use when you're not sure what to write next.
Each class in this course provides a different prompt or activity to get the creative process started. How you use these resources will depend on your particular interests and aims as a writer.
Many of the classes are accompanied by examples of writing that has resulted from the activity described. Most of these are taken from my own work and, as my own main interest is in poetry, the examples are mostly poems; even so, the course should be of interest to any creative writer who’s looking for inspirational activities.
How to set up a writers’ group that works
Writing can be a lonely activity and one of the best things a writer can do, both to combat this isolation and to help with the development and improvement of their writing, is to join a writing group.
This course is based on my own experience over several decades of belonging to a number of different writing groups, both as organiser and as rank-and-file member. It is intended to give an idea of the range of group formats and focus, to help you avoid the main pitfalls of organisation and admin, and, above all, to make sure that the group you set up meets your needs as a writer.
The essential poet's toolbox for readers and writers
The course contains more than 20 lectures and over 2 hours of video content. It is especially suited to novice poets and readers, as well as writers of other genres who are interested in expanding their repertoire or in understanding their poetical colleagues.
I developed this course to shine a light on to some of the inner workings of poetry, to enable others to understand and appreciate what poets are doing, and to help them recognise when this is working. Like most things in life, poetry is more fun when you know what's going on: I hope that by taking the course, you, too, can share the fun.
Special offer: 69% off!
Poetry and Copywriting: a shared approach
Discover the crossover between poetry and copywriting and how the same techniques can be used in both disciplines. At first sight, poetry and marketing copy would seem to be two entirely different writing genres: on the one hand, poetry is an art - one of the highest literary forms - while the commercial nature of marketing materials place copywriting firmly at the other end of the scale.
This brief course aims to show that there is no such dichotomy: the same techniques that poets use to convey their message and meaning, and to produce the desired emotional response in their audience, can also be used in marketing materials to affect and influence the potential client.
Better business networking
Networks have always been important for business - from family-run businesses, to the old-school tie, jobs-for-the-boys and the whole ugly world of nepotism. But now, perhaps more than ever, we have the idea of networking as an activity, an activity that has become a keystone for small and medium-sized businesses, especially those who work with other businesses.
But face-to-face networking can be frightening - the idea of walking into a room full of strangers, of pitching your business to a crowd of people you don't know - and it can also be a tremendous drain on time and money. It really helps if you understand the general landscape of networking and how the different organisations function so that you can make more informed decisions about where to focus your resources.
In this course, we'll take a look at the types of group, the obligations that membership can involve, and the activities you can expect at different meetings.
These essays were originally published between 2004 and 2008 as the Capital Letters column in The New Entertainer, an English-language newspaper based in Mojácar and distributed principally to the large population of British ex-pats and other foreign nationals based in the Múrcia region of Southern Spain. Minor corrections and adjustments have been made, but the essence remains unchanged.
Los vecinos and other animals
Brief essays from the pueblo
The essays of ex-pat life in Los vecinos and other animals have been adapted from articles published in The Reader, an English-language newspaper based in Almería and distributed principally to the large population of British and other foreign nationals based in the Murcia region of Southern Spain.
The column, Outside the Box, which appeared in The Reader between 2009 and 2010, followed the same pattern as the Capital Letters column published for some years in The New Entertainer, with occasional Spanish phrases incorporated into the mainly English texts.
Castles in Spain
This anthology of speculative fiction from ten of Spain’s top genre writers includes hard science fiction, cyberpunk, alternate history, time slip, fantasy and horror.
Gwyneth contributed the translations of El bosque de hielo - The Forest of Ice -by Juan Miguel Aguilera and Mensajero de Dios - God’s Messenger - by Rodolfo Martínez.
Writing in circles. A writers' group handbook
Gwyneth has belonged to many writers’s groups in the UK, in Spain and online, and she realises that no two groups are the same; they do, however, have things in common, and there are lessons to be learned from all of them.
This handbook includes a discussion of points to consider before setting up a new writers’ group, as well as a series of short first-person essays – Group Encounters – based around the meetings of a fictionalised group. In addition, the final section – A Critter’s Companion – includes advice on how to deal with receiving critique, and an essay on how to critique poetry - one of the banes of mixed-genre writing groups.
A poet's dozen
Touching on such topics as poetry structure, form, sound, perspective, narrators, workshops and readings, this collection brings together thirteen brief essays on poetry written by Gwyneth in her capacity as Poetry Coordinator of the SWWJ, for the Society’s in-house magazine “The Woman Writer”, between 2012 and 2015.
£3.99 + £1 shipping
Around the Corner from Hope Street
Around the Corner from Hope Street is a contemporary poetry collection by Gwyneth Box, written in English but set in Spain. Illustrated by the graphic artist Lance Tooks, and seen from the point of view of a single female narrator, the poems deal with themes of love, alienation and isolation, recovery and renewal, as well as demonstrating a keen observation of nature and the simple pleasures of daily life.
Read sequentially, the collection reveals a narrative thread, with the poems progressing chronologically over a period of 15 months. The first poem – "On Breaking Up" – establishes a post-relationship setting, while the early pieces go on to show us a melancholy narrator holding on to talismans and mementoes but determined to keep going. Despite the autumnal atmosphere, even these early poems demonstrate a quirky outlook and a degree of optimism from a narrator whose very nature places her "just around the corner from Hope Street".
iBook for iPad
This enhanced poetry eBook, designed specifically for iPad, includes sound files of the poems read by the author.
If you’d like to know more about the background to Hope Street, download the eBrochure for iPad.
Poems from the Pueblo. Haiku and assorted fragments
Nature and human nature, the natural world and everyday life in a Spanish “pueblo” are the main inspirations behind the thirty-five short poems included in Poems from the Pueblo. Haiku and assorted fragments. Arranged by season, from winter and on through to the following winter, and illustrated with photos by the author, the collection also includes the essay “House of Cards” which describes the process from notebook jotting to finished poem.
At bedtime, white bubbles blossom in the bathroom, taking David on a flight of fancy to a magic world of colors and scents.
A bilingual poetry/picture book in Spanish & English, illustrated by Sonia Sánchez.
Gwyneth has also translated a number of other children's books for Topka. They are all published in bilingual (Spanish/ English) versions.
Out of print
Writing under the name of David Aston
The Cat's Miaow. A Waverley story
Waverley is a small cat with a big miaow and he lives with Mr and Mrs Turner and their son Jonathan at 10, Martens Drive.
Waverley likes the house at 10, Martens Drive because it has lots of good places to sleep and a back garden that seems to go on forever. All day long Waverley snoozes in the sunny spots around the house. But at night he goes adventuring.
With beautiful illustrations by Martin Jones, David Aston’s first story about Waverley the cat was ranked number one on Kobo USA for several months, including the holiday season 2017.
The enhanced ebook includes a reading by Alex Owen-Hill, which allows younger readers to listen again and again as they follow the text.
The Lonesome Daisy
Year after year, the seasons change, but the great oak tree remains at the edge of the field. One sunny winter’s day, out in the middle of the field, a daisy wakes up thinking that spring has arrived. But she finds herself all alone. The oak asks his friends the squirrels to help him by taking a message of reassurance to the daisy.
Original mixed-medium illustrations by the author add to the appeal of this gentle children’s story of hope, patience and friendship.