As we draw towards the end of our story we would like to introduce you to the writers behind the story and the creators of our tale.

Their journey began some months ago with a series of writing workshops at Portsmouth University. At that time there were some 20 or so people involved but as the months progressed and the writing started this slowly dwindled to just a handful of committed creators.

They have been working almost constantly over the last few weeks to bring to life the story that was started all those months ago. We think it is rather special and those of you who have been following it will agree I am sure, that this is an unusual and possibly unique approach to storytelling. It’s not like a play where the lines are given to actors, nor is it a novel where the lines are committed to print. This is something else, it is evolving, spontaneous and captivating.

So please say a big thank you to this dedicated team of creators:


Eileen Phyall: lives in Southsea, she enjoys writing and performing short stories and poetry. She is a member of Portsmouth Writer’s Hub and Front Room Word and a committee member of T’Articulation, where she helps to organise and take part in spoken word events. Eileen has written for projects across the city such as the 200th celebration of Dickens and the Gallipoli Centenary. Currently her poem the Dockyard Gate can be found in a short film on the new DarkSide PortSide trail. TeaTray Creatives was formed by Eileen, this year it meets weekly for fellow writers to read, give and receive feedback on their work.


Mark Eyles: at 1981 company Quicksilva Mark Eyles was prominent in the UK games industry, working at incorporating storytelling in games. He was then a freelancer, entrepreneur and joined Rebellion as Head of Design. He wrote series for ‘2000 AD’ and ‘Sonic the Comic’ and was published in Fear magazine. 2003 – 2019 he established and ran games courses at the University of Portsmouth, founding Women in Games in 2004. He is an advisor to games trade association TIGA and was awarded TIGA Person of the Year in 2017. He now splits his time between the games industry and writing.


Christine Lawrence: a member of Titchfield Festival Theatre, Christine has acted, directed, organised the wardrobe and worked behind the bar.  She has published two novels: Caught in the Web and Payback and a collection short stories, Moments of Darkness, many of which she has performed at events in Portsmouth.  She is published in Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Grownups, Day of the Dead, Star and Crescent’s Pompey Writes, 2012 – Writers to Watch.  One of the founder members of Portsmouth’s spoken word group – T’Articulation, she has organised several spoken word events in the past two years.


Kim Balouch: I make abstract visual interpretations of sounds, feelings, dreams and thoughts. Writing creatively is also something I’d like to do more of but I struggle to keep a reign on my thoughts long enough to put them together in some sort of semblance. When a series of workshops on collaborative writing, gamification of stories and transmedia storytelling popped into my Facebook newsfeed, I was intrigued. I signed up and I’m now a part of the Cursed City production team and learning so much in the process. In between working full-time and following my creative pursuits, I run a record label with my partner. I manage the social media pages and also make promotional videos for all the releases.


Elena Sommers: is a visually impaired children’s story author, who wrights the most captivating fairy-tales for kids, (age between 3 and 12). Her stories are about: Kings, Queens, princesses, forces of nature, fairies, gnomes, goblins and elves. Each story has enchanted objects for instance: magic stones, flying broomsticks, invisibility elixirs, teleportation taxis or a wishing fish. They encourage the young readers to dive into magical worlds of fairy tale and experience for themselves the enchantments of reading.


Matt Wingett: is a writer, publisher and public speaker. A former scriptwriter on ITV’s police show The Bill, he has written short stories, local history and novels. He is the author of Conan Doyle and the Mysterious World of Light, 1887-1920, Portsmouth A Literary and Pictorial Tour, The Snow Witch, and Mysteries of Portsmouth. He republishes classic local history books, and has produced an acclaimed facsimile of the scarce first edition of Conan Doyle’s A Study In Scarlet. His collaborations with other writers include Day of the Dead, Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups, Dark City and Pompey Writes.

Check out the Facebook page for more information and updates when Cursed City – Dark Tide launches this October.

Cursed City – Dark Tide is funded by Arts Council England to produce a transmedia story experience that will be delivered this autumn as part of Darkfest 2019.


Published by Reynold Lissitch

Street artist and eminent raconteur with shapeshifting capabilities.

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