Reading and Creative Writing Groups

Reading Group

Led by Viv Rudd, the group meets once a month on the third Thursday in the Proctor Room, from 7.30-9.00pm.

Contact Viv Rudd 01747 851619;

 Poetry Group

Formed in 2010 by published poet Pam Kelly, the group meets in the Proctor Room once a month on the fourth Thursday at 7.30pm. There is no charge but participants must be members of the arts centre.

Two books of poetry from the group "Portrait of Shaftesbury" and  "Through the Year in Shaftesbury" are available to purchase from the Box Office.


Golden Wedding

by Pam Kelly

Occasionally with great embarrassment
He pressed his sexual needs upon her.
Sorry he had to bother her, he said
And she accepted this like all the rest,
The price she had to pay, with fortitude.
They never did it nude and long since any passion.
Always in bed and, heavy with clothes and guilt,
They made love in a fashion
And quickly turned away, pretending sleep
Both feeling deep relief that it was over
Until the next time.

Books by Pam Kelly, all published by Brimstone Press, are: On the Edge (2006), Fiesta (2007), Other People (2007), Papering Over the Cracks (2008), Caught in the Crossfire (2008), Paziols: Living in the Land of the Cathars (2009, illustrated), Closer to the Edge, Lost and Found (2018)

Contact Pam Kelly 01747 852744;;

Writing Group

An informal group of local writers sharing writing prompts, ideas, techniques etc

The ad hoc group formed in 2008 following a short story-writing competition organised by the Centre and judged by author Fay Weldon (pictured right) who now lives in Shaftesbury. The competition resulted in the publication of ‘A Box of Chocolates’, a book of 50 short stories contributed by some 30 local authors, including several centre members.

The group and its members now hold regular get-togethers in the Proctor Room to share and discuss writing, and to exchange information regarding writing courses, publishing etc.

The meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month from 7pm - 9pm.

Contact:  Elizabeth or Richard:,

Copies of ‘A Box of Chocolates’, with a foreword by Fay Weldon, are for sale at the centre box office at £5. All proceeds go towards the centre.


Have you been yet? It is definately worth it!

Come and tour a beautiful garden at 4 Boyne Mead, Great Lane, and help the Centre’s fundraising appeal.

By appointment only, by phoning 01747 855306
£5 for a couple or small family groups

We would love to introduce you to our judges for the 12 - 18yr old category for our talent show ' Take a Bow'

Head over to our website or facebook page to take a peek!

If you enjoyed our first virtual play reading, then keep your eyes peeled for more information on our second, which will be TUESDAY 28th July at 7.30pm!

#shaftesbury #dorset #somethingforeveryone

Another lovely introduction for you today from Shaftesbury Arts Centre. Meet the Trustees/Directors - Sue Cadmore

#shaftesbury #dorset #somethingforeveryone


Last weekend to see this colourful exhibition of art, craft and design. 'Creative & Brave' open all weekend inc. Sunday, to 14th July, 10am-4pm. Inspired by nature, the seaside, abstract imagination. @inDorsetuk @shaftesburytown #artforall #affordableart

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