|9 June 2018|
‘I use what is available with enjoyment, padded out with hard work’
Charity founder on how she made Virginia Woolf’s idea that writers need ‘a room of one’s own’ a reality
I am guided by the mantra in Virginia Woolf’s 1929 essay A Room of One’s Own in which she said that a woman needs £500 a year and a room of her own if she is to write. Twenty years ago I set up a charity with £5 to allow older women writers a period of seclusion in a country cottage, plus an allowance of £1,000 a month. It flourishes and shows that the most meagre resources can bear dividends.
My finances have always been modest and, in my retirement, I live on £19,000 a year. But I have three advantages: I was a wartime child and brought up by inventive parents so intense thrift did not mean you had to be miserable; I am scrupulously well-organised; and I own my own home.
|30 December 2017|
‘Where do I think best? In bed’ – authors reveal their dream retreats
Joan Bakewell: Church Cottage,
Tucked away in a village cul-de-sac in rural Warwickshire is a precious gem known and loved by those who use it – female writers over 40 for whom it was created.
Church Cottage is the brainchild of a remarkable woman, Sarah Hosking. Drawing on Virginia Woolf’s remark that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”, Sarah has made this tiny cottage into just such a haven: one lower and one upper room, each no more than 15sq ft, bearing all the hallmarks of her country style: pictures, cushions, rugs, an open fire. Here are all the comforts for the focused life: downstairs a living room/kitchen/desk space (wifi, broadband, printer); upstairs a sumptuous double bed and free-standing bath.
|Alternativity, a feast for Christmas, a service of carols and readings organised by the Hosking Houses Trust|
Celebrate Jesus, Dickens and the Welfare State!
IF you are up for a bit of Christmas magic, then you could do no better than go along to see Alternativity at Stratford’s Guild Chapel on Saturday, 2nd December, at 6pm.
The fun annual service is organised by Sarah Hosking and the Reverend Paul Edmondson, of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and this year takes on the themes of A Christmas Carol — playing down the road at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from next week, coincidentally enough!
|Writer creates new chapter in history about village||17th January 2014|
When Sarah Hosking embarked on the story of her village she was determined it would be more then a parochial pamphlet. Alison Jones hears how she rewrote the rules for such books.
Village histories can often be well intentioned yet rather uninspiring affairs.
Researched and written by a local enthusiast, they seldom trouble the best-seller lists and can amount to little more than a thin paperback for sale in the village shop or church.
It was precisely this kind of lacklustre pamphlet Sarah Hosking had in mind when she embarked on the background of the corner of Warwickshire that she calls home – as an example of what not to do.
From its burnt orange front cover to its willfully eclectic content to its contributions from respected academics and authors, Round The Square & Up The Tower: Clifford Chambers, Warwickshire, is clearly superior in its genre.
|A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN||September 2012|
Many of us dream of escaping to a country cottage for a few months with nothing to do but write – but is the reality quite so romantic?
Mary Jane Baxter spills the beans
PHOTOGRAPHS SARAH CUTTLE
Wading through floodwater at dawn perilously clutching a rabbit hutch containing two disgruntled occupants wasn’t really what I had in mind when I became a resident writer in the Warwickshire countryside. But, when the rains of May arrived, and with the mistress of the house away, it fell to me to ensure the safety of the menagerie at the bottom of the garden. Fortunately, a kind neighbouring family had already helped me shift the pet duck and her nearly hatched eggs and now I fervently hoped I wouldn’t have to rescue a soggy cockerel and assorted hens at half past five in the morning.
|Leave Me Alone: Diary Of A Writer In Retreat
|11th August 2012|
Why is it, then, that thirty years later, I still struggle to be alone? That is to say, I struggle to get alone and stay alone. Always, there is noise. Always, there is someone clamouring for attention. Often, that someone is my own social ego, interfering like an ambitious parent or a party bore who buttonholes you with boozy breath.
|Valerie Grove||25th September 2010|
|Anjum Malik, left, with Sarah Hosking in her garden in
Clifford Chambers, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tom Pilston for The Times
Sarah Hosking has created a hideaway in the country for women writers over 40. And now she’s determined to expand.
Virginia Woolf once said: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write.”
Her view, delivered to the women of Cambridge in 1928, has always been arguable (Jane Austen had neither), but for Sarah Hosking it is a mantra. So ten years ago she set up a scheme, Hosking Houses Trust, to provide a bolthole and a bursary for women who want to write in rural solitude.
|A Woman’s room to think||17th March 2010|
Where are the poets? Where are the philosophers? Where are the physicists?
Sarah Hosking’s clarion call to intellectual women is prompted by a genuine bafflement at the lack of response from them to her offer of shelter, money and peace in which to work.
In spite of her zealous attempts bringing the existence of Hosking Houses Trust to the attention of those it is intended to benefit, she admits she has been disappointed in the lack of variety in the candidates that have been coming forward.
“If I have another novelist writing an ‘Aga saga’ in middle England I shall scream. They might be very good but we have an awful lot of them.