Old Dogs, New Tricks

Adventures with adult learners

The trouble with being a full-time coursebook writer is that you’re always preparing lessons for others to teach.

With the drawn-out publishing process, there’s about a year’s development from concept to finished work. Even then, the book has to jump through bureaucratic hoops to be approved by the relevant education authorities, before final printing and distribution. By the time you’re actually getting royalties, (usually the only form of feedback you’ll ever get) the work itself may be a distant memory.

It’s all a little … abstract.

That’s why I enjoy opportunities to teach. For me, they’re recreation, not work. They’re also a way of keeping myself grounded.

Continue reading “Old Dogs, New Tricks”

Read All About It!

My fiction on coriobay.blog

Writing fiction is my favourite creative outlet right now. Although I’ve been a professional writer for many years, I’ve only recently started writing stories for my own and others’ entertainment. I wish I’d started sooner, because it’s a lot of fun!

I’m even kicking around the idea of getting together a collection of short stories for formal publication as an anthology. It will have to wait until I’m less busy with the ‘day job’, so probably next year, but it’s something I’d love to do.

I’m slightly daunted by the inevitable but complex question: to self-publish or to seek an agent and a conventional publisher?

In the meantime, while I’m figuring this out, you can find a selection of my stories for free, here on this site. Please have a read and leave a comment.

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Happy Days!

Three decades at music festivals

I’m not a person to rush into new things, but I’m easily led into them by more intrepid souls.

It was the beginning of the Nineties, and I was already in my late twenties, when my friend Nikki introduced me to music festivals. I was a shy young editor: a single, bookish, southern English fish-out-of-water in northern, family-oriented, no-nonsense Wigan.

Her programme of education for me was eclectic, including the Llangollen Jazz Festival and the London Fleadh in Finsbury Park.

We drove down to London in her battered old car, parked in one of the terrace-lined side streets and joined the stream of pedestrians heading in the direction of the music.

The Fleadh was a beery, cheery, Irish-dominated revelation. A tide of happy people washed from one musical experience to another, surging to the beat of the music, breaking on the shores of the front-of-stage barriers, eddying around the beer tent. It was a day of being carefree, gregarious, entranced by music and humanity. One glorious, euphoric day!

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Steve’s stories on Medium, May–June

It has been another busy couple of months for me on Medium. I’m continuing to learn a lot, engaging with other writers, exploring links with publications and pushing my creative writing in different directions. Here’s a little glimpse of what I’ve been up to.


Music has been a big part of my life for the last six years. It has been a wild and bumpy ride – and not just for me.

Pickin’ on the Porch

‘Pickin’ on the Porch’ © Steve Fendt 2021

The cheerfully unrepentant confessions of a neighbourhood nuisance. So sorry, neighbours! (Not sorry!)

Continue reading “Steve’s stories on Medium, May–June”

Never too late

Like so many kids of my generation, I left school thinking that I had no musical ability. Music theory just baffled me, and my croaky, deep, unruly singing voice embarrassed me.

I envied my mate Jon, with his electric guitar and his apparently magical ability to understand what the hell our music teacher, the fearsome Mrs Dix, was talking about. (Four beats to a bar? Really? Why?? Who decides where the bar starts and ends? And where’s the four in 3/4 time?)

Later at uni in Germany, one of my friends was a competent sax player and I’d tag along to his Dixieland gigs. I loved music, was moved, delighted, captivated by it, but music wasn’t something I was ever going to make. I couldn’t even keep a beat while dancing.

Fast forward 30 years …

Continue reading “Never too late”