All posts tagged Thomas Hardy

Competition Winner Announced

Boris Starling, Writer In Residence at Max Gate during 2015 has chosen the winner of the ’88 Words’ competition he ran as part of his residency.

The remit was to write a poem of 88 words inspired by Hardy’s own short story entitled Life’s Little Ironies. The winner is Eleanor Smith from Weymouth in Dorset whose poem, Realignment wins her a copy of The Customs House by Andrew Motion. Congratulations to Eleanor and many thanks to all who entered.

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We had a full house for our plotting workshop on Guy Fawkes Night, though luckily there were no miscreants armed with gunpowder (or at least no more than usual) lurking round Max Gate with malice aforethought. Continue reading “GUNPOWDER, TREASON AND PLOTTING AT MAX GATE” »

Writer in Residence at Max Gate, Boris Starling, interviews author Louis de Bernieres at Bridport Literary Festival

There’s more than a touch of Thomas Hardy about Louis de Bernières. Not in terms of appearance, of course – de Bernières is a jovial soul whereas Hardy glowers in his photographs – but in what they choose to write about. They both concentrate on the little people buffeted by the gales of history, they both bring the sights and sounds and smells of landscapes to evocative life, and they both share a willingness to forgo a happy ending. Continue reading “Writer in Residence at Max Gate, Boris Starling, interviews author Louis de Bernieres at Bridport Literary Festival” »

Flash Fiction Winner – September

We are delighted to publish Unflinching, September’s flash fiction winner Liz Hedgecock’s piece of writing about Hardy and his love of animals… Continue reading “Flash Fiction Winner – September” »

Writing Places Open Day at Max Gate: October 13th

Max Gate, the house that Thomas Hardy had built and in which he lived until his death in 1928, welcomes you to a Writing Places Open Day on Tuesday 13th October 2015 to include free entry to the house and gardens. Continue reading “Writing Places Open Day at Max Gate: October 13th” »

Boris Starling: Writer In Residence programme at Max Gate


I’ve always wanted to be a writer-in-residence. DJs have residencies: why shouldn’t writers? Max Gate is smaller (and certainly quieter) than the average nightclub, but you don’t have to be there very long to realise it’s a special place. I’m thrilled and honoured to have been chosen, and very excited about the events we have lined up.

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September Flash Fiction: Hardy & his animals

Thomas Hardy loved wildlife and animals, particularly dogs and it is thought to be one of the things that Hardy and his first wife Emma bonded over. The grounds at Max Gate have the graves of his pets including his beloved black retriever Moss and Hardy even carved some of the headstones himself. It is also said that when Virginia Woolf visited him to talk about books he kept bringing the conversation back to his dog despite her attempts to do otherwise.

Your task this month is to write a piece of flash fiction about Hardy and his animals (maximum length 500 words).

Send your entries to to arrive no later than September 30th.

Visiting Hardy – A Talk by Helen Dunmore

Writing Places, the literature project partnership between Literature Works, The National Trust and The Poetry Archive, are delighted to welcome acclaimed author Helen Dunmore to Dorset Country Museum on Friday 25th September. Continue reading “Visiting Hardy – A Talk by Helen Dunmore” »

Announcing the Writer in Residence for Hardy’s houses: Boris Starling

We are delighted to announce that Hardy’s Cottage and Max Gate will have a new Writer-in-Residence as Boris Starling takes up his post for the Writing Places project.

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BBC Radio 4 Thomas Hardy’s Dorset

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