Dawn Brookes

Dawn is a local author and has written a number of books including two memoirs relating to her nurse training in the 1970s and 1980s. There will be a third memoir published this year relating to her midwifery years also based in the 1980s.

Dawn worked in the NHS for over thirty-eight years and had published articles in nurse journals and co-edited a nurse prescribing book published by Palgrave MacMillan. Dawn spoke at conferences and organised study days as well as being a lecturer/practitioner for a time. She loves writing and is enjoying life as an author – hence the founding of the Oakwood Literature Festival.

One of Dawn’s books

Hurry up Nurse: memoirs of nurse training in the 1970s describes her experiences as a young trainee nurse in Leicester when Sisters ruled with a rod of iron.

The memoir is both amusing but poignant and has been a regular #1 kindle bestseller in the UK and USA and consistently in the top 5.

Dawn will be chairing and speaking on the topic of:

Captivating Memoirs

Celia Boyd

Celia was born in Derby in 1937. She became a teacher and then a Probation Officer  (although her dear white haired old mother thought she had a respectable job, playing the piano in a brothel.) In retirement she has written four volumes of a series set in the English Civil Wars. The hero is a young doctor from Worcester who becomes involved in the Wars against his will, but who is determined to maintain a fierce neutralisty.

Celia has also written a fictional memoir about a young girl’s experiences of moving during World War II.

One of Celia’s books

Young Ravens tells the story of a young girl and her little brother during the Second World War. It highlights the social history from that era. It is a children’s book, but may be enjoyed by adults too. The war is not the only or the main threat to the protagonist’s well-being. The young girl’s life is more disrupted by her parents’ divorce than by the war. Being sent by her soldier father (who has custody of the children) to live with her grandparents in Sheffield, she must adapt fast and learn to accept and thrive in her new circumstances.

Celia will be speaking as a panellist on the topic of:

Captivating Memoirs

Mina Drever

After a life in education and academia – from teacher of modern languages to inspector of schools via teacher training,  Mina is now focusing on changing attitudes towards dementia. She has written a memoir – Thank you lady, outlining her mother’s life as revealed through her interactions and conversations with family, friends and carers during dementia years. Mina spends much of her time researching this topic, visiting people affected by dementia and is embarking on a project with local sixth formers and a care home.

Mina’s Memoir

Thank you Lady is Mina’s memoir of first-hand experience of how her mother develops dementia. Her mother’s indomitable character remains undiminished throughout.

Throughout this memoir, Mina’s message is simple: people with cognitive memory impairment are not mad as the word dementia denotes. They are disabled because their brains’ structures are impaired by events we do not yet understand properly. In the memoir she demonstrates that her mother did not disappear into a limbo, rather her interactions were punctuated by a fusion of time and space, where present, past and future were moulded into a timeless event.

Mina will be speaking as a panellist on the topic of:

Captivating Memoirs