Judith Spelman

journalist and author

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I have written several books including Stamford Voices, Rutland Voices, Voices of the Nene

Valley and Lincolnshire Bedside Book.


When I came to live in Stamford in 1996 I wanted to know about the town and it was a wonderful opportunity to

find out when Tempus Publishing asked me to research and write Stamford Voices. It meant I had to contact a

cross-section of elderly people and let them tell me their memories of growing up in the town.  I found it so

interesting and learnt such a lot that I went on to write Rutland Voices and Voices Of The Nene Valley. Writing

these books convinced me that you have to know about the past to understand the present.


I am often asked to write or contribute to a book and I have a couple of ideas in the back of my mind that I

hope I‘ll find time to do. And of course, there’s a novel lurking at the back of a drawer! I am currently

working on a biography of the superb soprano, Judith Howarth, whose four-octave voice has led her through

a fascinating life. To find out more, click here.


I had a gap from journalism of about seven years and then turned to freelance work. I was lucky and was given assignments in the most extraordinary circumstances. One thing seemed to lead to another. The motoring correspondent on the local paper had been struggling for years to write reviews of classical music and ballet and he gratefully passed that over to me. It was before my husband had contracts with Nice Opera and so I had someone to turn to for advice.  


When my husband was contracted to sing with Nice Opera, we put our house on the market and the editor of one of Emap’s titles was interested in buying it. Someone else had put in a bid so she didn’t get it but she was keen to use me as a freelance and gave me some ideas and people to research. Perhaps the best one was to spend five nights as a guest of the general manager of Reid’s Hotel in Madeira. For that I had to write a mere 1,000 words! Other commissions from editors of Emap titles followed and I soon became very knowledgeable on gardening, pensions, fishkeeping, business training, genealogy, walking and cats.  For other publishing houses I have written short stories and features.


I write a regular column for Writing Magazine and contribute to other publications in print and on line.


As a journalist I know how to research and I can probably write on most subjects if they interest me. I was offered other work and began to write about countryside matters,  pensions, travel and people. People – what they do and why they do it – fascinate me and over the years I have had the opportunity to interview a wide cross-section. This ranges from the many leading authors I have met to chief executives, Members of Parliament, opera singers, explorers, artists, shop keepers, restaurant owners and local entrepreneurs.


I will write anything as long as I’m paid for it. Having said that, I have often been persuaded to write for charitable concerns and, thinking about it, I have quite an interesting print background. I have compiled many brochures for such diverse

clients as a racehorse trainer, property developers, a letting agency and interior designers. I have written advertising copy for food manufacturers, estate agencies, builders, fabric designers and many new businesses that wanted information for their



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