Meet the Sponsored Writers 3: Katharine Orton and Nic Lamont

Hi! I’m Katharine Orton and I’m the author of two books for children, Nevertell and Glassheart, with my latest – a fantasy adventure called Mountainfell, filled with cloud dragons and dangerous magic – set to be published in November ‘22. You may not believe this, but Rachel Knightley, who founded both the Green Ink Writer’s Gym and Sponsored Write, is actually my oldest friend, the two of us having first met as tiddlers in reception class! One day (many years after reception), she very kindly asked if I’d like to take part in this special fundraising idea for Macmillan that she’d had … And I’ve been proudly taking part in the Sponsored Write more or less ever since.

Are you a “deadlines person” outside the Sponsored Write? Is the time-limit part of the challenge or the attraction?

I love deadlines. Much like the late, great Douglas Adams, I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. But letting deadlines zoom past me is absolutely not an option when it comes to the Sponsored Write – so the pressure is on!

Many of the writers involved have personal connections with Macmillan Cancer Support. Are you happy to share your experience of the charity’s work?

Macmillan were an amazing source of support when my mother-in-law lost her partner to pancreatic cancer, and have been a wonderful support to other friends and family over the years. My auntie is also actually a cancer nurse, so I know what an amazing job they do.

What’s it like being in a Sponsored Write?

Fun, rewarding, challenging. Everyone should have a go!

What do you make of this year’s theme, ‘Constant Renewal’?

I think it opens up a lot of intriguing possibilities…

Absolutely anything else you’d like to share!

Please support us by donating anything from the price of a coffee to those dusty millions you forgot you had (I know, right, if only!). If you like short stories as much as you like doing a good turn for charity, then this is most definitely for you. And perhaps next year you might even like to take part in the Sponsored Write yourself!

Hello! I’m Nic. I’m an actor, comedian and writer based in Kent. I originally began writing sketches with my comedy partner Adam in our duo The Twins Macabre and we were very lucky to have our work featured on BBC3 and BBC Radio 4. Since then I’ve written dark comedy plays that have been produced in London theatres, and a solo show which is a punk-rock retelling of the life of Mary Shelley. I was so pleased that Rachel got to see my Mary Shelley show and thrilled to be asked to take part in this year’s Sponsored Write! 

Q. Are you a “deadlines person” outside the Sponsored Write? Is the time-limit part of the challenge or the attraction?

I know it’s a bit nerdy… but I do love a deadline! Whenever I want to write a new show, the best way for me to get it done is just to book it in at a theatre and work towards that. I’m somehow both a perfectionist and a bit of a dreamer, so deadlines really help me to stop judging my own work too much or spend too long pondering. So, I’m actually really excited for the time-limit of the Sponsored Write to really focus on what I create. 

Q. Many involved have personal connections with Macmillan Cancer Support. Do you want to share any experience of the charity’s work?

Whilst not direct experience of Macmillan, cancer unfortunately has had an impact on my family in the past and present. Someone very close to me has recently started their own battle with cancer, which makes this cause all the more important to me. I know that Macmillan do incredible work, their values being ‘with strength, with heart, with ambition’ – what a brilliant force of positivity to put into the world. 

Q. What do you make of this year’s theme, ‘Constant Renewal’?

What a wonderful theme chosen by Ramsey Campbell! It’s a theme that is both broad and overarching, but very intimate too. We all go through transformations in our lives and they can be earth shatteringly huge, or tiniest everyday shift. I think the pandemic forced everyone to stand still for a second and renew their values, be it in relationships or careers or just buying more houseplants. As someone who has dabbled in many different forms of performing, and having recently become a mother, I feel I am constantly renewing what I do and my role in the world. This is a great theme to spark the imagination and I’m looking forward to what I and the other writers create! 

Q. Absolutely anything else you’d like to share! 🙂

I am excited for this to be taking place in October! Autumn is really my season; I was born in October and am a lover of all things spooky and Halloweenish. A pumpkin-spiced coffee will no doubt be my rocket fuel on the 15th! To find out more about me check out @nic.lamont