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SUMMER OF '76 by Isabel Ashdown, COVER, April 2013Welcome to the website.  Please feel free to explore the site for news and information about Isabel, her books, events and press cuttings.

Isabel’s latest novel Summer of ’76 is published in the UK by Myriad Editions – out now in paperback, ebook and audio.  Glamour magazine describe it as ‘a fabulous coming-of-age novel that’s saturated in ’70s nostalgia.’

If you’d like to find out more, why not visit Isabel’s Pinterest pages, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


Writer in Residence – latest news

I can hardly believe it, but a full academic year has passed and the time has come for me to hang up my Writer in Residence hat.

It’s been a fabulous year, full of literary salons, writing masterclasses, one-to-ones and competition celebrations – and I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s been a rewarding and creative year.  My particular thanks to Dr Jess Moriarty, and everyone else who welcomed me so warmly into the University of Brighton community.  Wishing the very best of luck to the new writing residents, who we will hear more about before too long – here’s to another exciting academic year ahead!


eBook Offers in the Kindle Summer Sale

All three of Isabel Ashdown’s books have been selected for discounts in the Kindle Summer Sale.  So if you’re looking for some inspiration for your summer reading, just click on the links below!

SUMMER OF '76 by Isabel Ashdown, COVER, April 2013(£1.99)
‘A fabulous coming-of-age novel that’s saturated in ’70s nostalgia’
- Glamour magazine

‘Summer of ’76 did not disappoint.  Evocative of that hot, dry summer … book groups will have a lot to discuss’ – New Books Magazine

Hurry Up and Wait Cover Image 2 Dec 2010(99p)
‘This vivid evocation of life in 1985 is a fine second book from a writer who first won The Mail On Sunday novel competition” – Daily Mail

‘Funny, insightful and often tragic’ – New Books magazine

Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown MASTER cover(99p)
‘Disturbing, thought-provoking … guarantees laughter at the uncomfortable familiarity of it all’ – London Evening Standard Best Books of the Year

‘Intelligent, understated and sensitive’ – Observer Best Debuts of the Year


Guest Blog: Big Secrets in Small Places

Isle of Wight Stepping Stones

“Little islands are all large prisons; one cannot look at the sea without wishing for the wings of a swallow” – Sir Richard Francis Bacon, explorer

This month I’ve been chatting with author Jane Rusbridge in her series of blog features on the subject of ‘place’, and exploring the role of secrets in my latest novel Summer of ’76.  Here’s a short extract – please click the link to read on:

‘As a writer – and as a reader – I’ve always had a preoccupation with the idea of the outsider, and of the large dramas that play out in small places.  After all, who hasn’t, at some point, felt like the outsider, or felt trapped in some way?  I think we’re interested in everyday stories of life because we can all relate to them on some level – and in many ways, small communities offer a concentrated backdrop against which these stories can show themselves.’  Read more …

Summer of ’76 is currently in the Amazon Kindle Summer Sale.

For more news and features, follow Isabel on facebook:



Trip Fiction’s Top Summer Holiday Reads

SUMMER OF '76 by Isabel Ashdown, COVER, April 2013If you like to read books set in real places, you should check out the Trip Fiction website – simply plug in the location and it throws up suggestions for that area.  Wonderful for planning your holiday reading!

This month they share their Top Summer Holiday Reads, including amongst others Isabel Ashdown’s Summer of ’76, which is currently on offer on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and eBooks at Sainsbury’s.

To view their full recommendations, click on the link here.

Etc East Sussex, June 2014
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Writing a First Novel at the Festival of Chichester

Writing a first novel Book CoverThis June as part of the Festival of Chichester, join writer Karen Stevens for the launch of her inspiring book, Writing a First Novel – Reflections on the Journey (Palgrave, 2013) – a collection of essays offering unique insight into the experience of writing and publishing a first novel.

Isabel will be among the contributing writers speaking at the event, alongside Jane Rusbridge, David Swann and Booker Prize nominated author Alison MacLeod, as they discuss the anxieties and discoveries that shaped their first novels.

The event will take place on Monday 23rd June at Waterstones in Chichester and tickets cost £3.00, which is redeemable against a purchase of the book.  Follow this link for more details.

For more news and updates, follow Isabel on facebook:


Writer in Residence Blog – ‘From Writing Competitions to Publication’

Following on from our recent ‘Joy of Writing Competitions’ salon at the University of Brighton, this month’s Writers in Residence blog focuses on that subject, in the hope of encouraging all you writers with work languishing in your bottom drawers – to get it out there!

As well as sharing my own experiences, four writers – Lisa Cutts, Nina de la Mer, Gabrielle Kimm and Juliet West – share their stories of competition success, and describe the ways in which those successes led to agent representation and ultimately, publication.  Read more on the University of Brighton blog …

For more interviews and features, follow Isabel on facebook:

3SW by Natalie Miller, Nov 2012 Crop Crop

Tea, cake and creative writing with Three Sussex Writers

As part of the Festival of Chichester this June, join award-winning writers Isabel Ashdown, Gabrielle Kimm and Jane Rusbridge at Chichester Free School for an afternoon of tea, cake and creativity.

Tickets are limited to 20 places, so book soon!  Tickets cost £10 and are available online at in person at Cloisters Shop, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester PO19 1PX or via telephone 01243 813595.

3SW Writing Workshop at CFS, Fest of Chi, 2014