Introducing some of the people at Riverside Writers

Peter Caton: A retired family man from Wirral

I’ve been a writer since about 2005. It all began when my family asked me to write an adventure story, originally told thirty years earlier as a bedtime story! Once I’d started, I found the appetite to continue.

Now it feels like I own a goldmine of experience, wisdom, and adopted characters from which I can create and colour my material. I enjoy a variety of genres: humour, drama, fantasy, poetry, inspirational pieces for special occasions. I have a lively imagination that takes me to where the action is. I have a good command of the English language – while always learning!

It’s a pleasure to belong to Riverside Writers where there is no pressure to become rich and famous, but simply to enjoy each other’s company and find encouragement for our literary journeys.

I have five published works: a book of short stories, a book of poetry, a fantasy adventure for children, a c.d. of educational stories for children, and an illustrated booklet on therapy.

I believe writers have privilege and power. Words can change us often for better but, sadly, sometimes for worse. Through the love of writing, my aim always is to help make people better. Or to help make better people.


Gillian : Author, illustrator, and business woman.

“Riverside Writers have helped encourage me so much since I joined.  Best Decision I ever made coming along to the group.” (Gillian has been awarded a grant from Chester University to set up a business writing bespoke children’s books for families with terminal illness.)



John Brown : Retired refrigeration engineer, widower, one son living at home.

We live in Prenton. As we are men living without female guidance and instruction we are able to be as stupid as we like, getting tattoos, going to Silverstone, Wembley to watch American football, buying a monster tele, only movies, Formula one, NFL games, no girly soaps, dancing, gardening, cooking or any sort of “Reality” shows. Loads of hobbies, gym visits, guitar playing, oh, and writing as well, I joined Riverside Writers about three years ago and rarely miss a meeting, I write stuff for fun, no published author aspirations, mainly attempts at humour and horror stories, with some bits of science fiction. I enjoy meeting with the group, we have a gab, read out whatever timeless prose we have painstakingly thrown together, then discuss any writing things that we have encountered, it is always a nice evening out.


Andy Siddle : Biography

I’m married with two teenage kids and live in West Kirby. I won a Radio Merseyside story competition at the age of nine and have been trying to live up to that ever since! I mainly write poetry and short stories, some of which have been published. Being a member of a local writers’ group has given me huge amounts of focus, inspiration and support. The main influences on my poetry are John Keats, Dylan Thomas and Roger McGough. My favourite writers are F Scott Fitzgerald, Don DeLillo and Virginia Woolf. My hobbies include spending time with the family, walking, watching films with my wife Tina and still trying to play football in my fifties, thanks to painkillers and very patient team-mates. A web editor by trade, I’m keen to help other writers and have supported several friends with their stories, novels and screenplays.


Chris : I am recently retired and new to the area.

I wanted to try writing as a new interest. I have been a member since October 2015 and attended the monthly meetings, which I have found to be very helpful. The other members are very friendly and encouraging. I like the structure of being given a subject each month to write a short story or passage about. If you are wondering if it is for you, I recommend you come to try us. For a warm welcome and an entertaining couple of hours with like-minded people. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Hope to see you soon.


John Davies : A bachelor living on the Rock Ferry/Bebington border.

Retired after a lifetime in retail, mostly in Liverpool City Centre. I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading Poetry, (Betjeman, McGough, Thomas) but on retirement had a fancy to write short stories. 18 months ago I joined Riverside Writers, a small friendly group of like minded people who’s advice, encouragement and support have helped to improve my modest attempts no end. Why not come along and meet us, we don’t bite, and you’ll be given a warm welcome no matter what level you are at.


Mac Whiteley : Biography

I’m married with two grown kids who have finally flown the nest! I am recently retired (hooray) and I have always lived on the Wirral.

I mainly write short stories, none of which have been published. As a result, I have decided that it is time to write a novel. Well, we all need to have a challenge! I have been a member of various local writing groups since the 1990’s and I have found that the Riverside Writers group is both friendly and encouraging. The group provides opportunities to air your work in a controlled environment. Any criticism is both constructive and supportive.

I first became interested in writing at school, where we had a very encouraging English teacher, who didn’t mind us reading Science Fiction, as long as we were reading something. After trying to write lyrics, then poetry, I embraced my limits and strengths and have stuck to writing stories since. My other hobbies include ham radio, walking, cycling and caravanning.


Tim Hulme : Biography

Tim Hulme joined Riverside Writers as an antidote to the accountancy profession and has been a member for over 15 years. He writes in most genres including, to his surprise, comical stories.  Some of these have been read on Radio Merseyside and he enjoyed the group’s monthly sessions on Seven Waves Radio for 2 years. He has won 1st prize in Writers Forum monthly competition and has a novel waiting for guidance on self-publishing.


Robin Hynes : Biography

I am 58. I have a wife, two grown-up children and a daft boxer dog. We live in Neston on the Wirral. I have worked as a maintenance engineer for over 40 years but I have always dreamed of writing. I started with Riverside Writers in March this year. They provide a great platform for me to experiment and share any form of creative writing. At the monthly meetings the other members have encouraged me to express a number of ideas in written form that have been “floating in the ether” for a while. I would advise anyone with a similar dream to join a writers’ group. By the way, this one’s pretty damn good!


Keith Dodd : Biography

Writer, scientist and multimillionaire. Three things I would love to describe myself. Unfortunately I’m still working on them. Husband, father, student and factory worker are more accurate representations of myself however. When I’m not working on chemistry assignments I like to escape into the realms of fiction, whether that be reading or writing. So, when I joined Riverside Writers in the summer of 2017, I had an outlet for my literary ramblings. A place I could go to once a month and listen to tales written by local writers as well as having a captive audience for my monotone monologues.

As a 40-something student with a family and a full-time job, I try to get to meetings as often as I can and the monthly themes give me the dose of inspiration I need to fuel my imagination.