Search

Author releases debut novel with support from Pen to Print scheme

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:45 15 January 2018

Eithne Cullen has written her debut book called The Ogress of Reading with help from Barking and Dagenham's Pen to Print scheme

Eithne Cullen has written her debut book called The Ogress of Reading with help from Barking and Dagenham's Pen to Print scheme

Archant

An author given a boost by Barking and Dagenham Council’s Pen to Print scheme has released her debut novel.

Eithne Cullen has written her debut book called The Ogress of Reading with help from Barking and Dagenham's Pen to Print scheme Eithne Cullen has written her debut book called The Ogress of Reading with help from Barking and Dagenham's Pen to Print scheme

Eithne Cullen’s story The Ogress of Reading is part fact, part fiction, and tells of the chilling case of Amelia Dyer, who admitted to 400 murders of young children in the 1890s.

Despite the shocking nature of her crimes, Amelia Dyer is still relatively unheard of, something that Eithne, 60, is keen to shed light on.

“Jack the Ripper killed five people, and everyone has heard of him. Dyer killed hundreds,” she said.

The horrifying tale centres around the then widespread practice of baby farming, where people were paid to adopt children born out of wedlock, a terrible shame in Victorian times.

However, Amelia did not raise the children as promised, but instead started to kill them and dump their bodies them in a river.

A police investigation ensued, leading to Amelia admitting her crimes and being executed in Holloway prison, which is where Eithne, of South Woodford, picked up on the story.

She said: “I was doing some research on dangerous women in Holloway prison when I came upon the story which fascinated me.”

Although the retired English teacher has always written poetry and taken part in creative writing classes, this is her first published book. Her efforts were greatly helped by Barking and Dagenham Council, and in particular their Pen to Print scheme.

Run by the council’s library service, the scheme is aimed at anyone interested in poetry, short stories, play writing or novels.

Eithne was given a mentor to help with her work, and credits the scheme as being a big help to her efforts.

She is now writing her second book, about obsessive love, entitled “Never not in my thoughts”.

Her advice to anyone interested in writing is, if they have the time, to “go for it”.

Eithne will be launching her book at Barking Library on Thursday, January 18. Free tickets can be obtained from eventbrite.co.uk

The Ogress of Reading is published by New Generation Publishing and is available from Amazon, priced £6.99 in paperback or £4.99 for an ebook version.

Anyone interested in the Pen to Print project can find out more at lbbd.gov.uk.

Latest Barking and Dagenham News Stories

Yesterday, 16:37

A house fire in a Dagenham terrace resulted in eight fire engines and 58 firefighters being called out to tackle the blaze.

Yesterday, 15:50

People in Barking and Dagenham are 61 per cent more likely to have a chronic lung disease which has been associated with air pollution, compared to the London average.

Yesterday, 15:36

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge has backed a Bill spearheaded by a Labour colleague which offers more protection for private tenants.

Yesterday, 17:00

Jasmine Remi-Ilori, better known as Mz J4zzie, is a law graduate from Dagenham with her sights set on rap world fame.

Yesterday, 10:57

More students from Barking and Dagenham are gaining places at university, latest council figures have revealed.

Yesterday, 06:30

Women in Barking and Dagenham are being urged to attend regular cervical cancer screening appointments.

Thu, 17:23

Barking and Dagenham Council’s enforcement team carried out a series of raids on properties owned by landlords suspected of flouting rental laws.

Thu, 14:38

A disused car park on a housing estate in Dagenham will be transformed into a community garden after the Mayor of London awarded £14,000 for the project.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now