Poems From a Runaway - the story of the story so far.


A year on since self-publishing my 350-page story 'in verse' (323pages) on the Amazon version) and I'm still out and about spreading the word about it.
I'm really pleased now that I took a year out from almost everything to write it, and the countless hours of promoting myself through thousands of emailed press-releases, social media set-ups and reaching out to organisations haven't gone unnoticed.

OK, so I've only sold 151 copies including ebook on Amazon so far bringing the total somewhere around the 250 mark including my signed high-quality paperbacks.
But it's been a much brighter journey than one of simply selling a ton of books - sure, more people reading my book would be ace. I'm sort of glad this journey hasn't been at all as easy as I once expected, but what has come with it has for me being amazing.
I've met many inspiring and caring people since my self-publishing journey began, and sharing my childhood story has led to me being invited to 'the other side' by social workers to get a much deeper view of how many social workers really do want to understand more about the deeper aspects of the people they often find themselves working with and supporting.

After reaching out to missing children's charities and fostering organisations in the UK and across the world via email and twitter, I was invited to write a couple of blogs, one for the charity Missing People whom have been doing some great work over recent years.

I was then invited to European Parliament by the charity Missing Children EU to attend a conference on Runaways, which was actually my first ever time abroad at the age of thirty-three years old.
As well as reading some of my story and sharing my experiences, thoughts and feelings from the persective of the-then young me I also learned a lot about how other children across Europe went missing and was glad to see people internationally were giving a voice and looking out to help runaway children (Continued below video)

Shortly after my visit to European Parliament in Brussels, I then shared my childhood experiences and read some of my book to a group of over thirty social workers, social work students and foster carers at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge alongside To The Moon And Back Fostering whom are also based in Cambridge.
(Continued Below)

Not too long after I shared my experiences and gave another book reading to social workers in North Somerset as part of their social work course.
I also contributed to a couple radio interviews with BBC radio 5 and Cambridge local radio as well as being featured in a magazine called 'Become'.  Those care-leavers like me that were in care around twenty years ago might remember it as 'Who Cares?' magazine.

It was nice to be invited once again by To The Moon and Back Fostering to share my experiences, thoughts and feelings once again at a conference on childhood trauma.

I then managed to successfully crowdfunder enough money to get a more finely-tuned second edition in print before attending a safeguarding conference in Crewe with social workers from around the country.

I've just got back from multi-agency conference in Bexley where I saw an effort by social workers once again to understand more about the deeper aspects of what affects young people and families.

The journey certainly isn't over yet, and although I want to get writing another book - I'm keen to keep sharing my experiences as well as the learning I also get from attending such events.

You can find out more about my book as well as purchase high-quality signed and colour copies from my new website at https://benwestwood.wixsite.com/runaway
You can also save money on delivery costs by grabbing an Amazon createspace version at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1981314350 (ebook also available for £3.49)

You can read some samples of the book also by clicking HERE

Feel free to contact me also at benwestwooduk@gmail.com

Cheerio for now, below is a  recent video of me busking in Glastonbury with a funky version of John Lennon's 'Imagine'.
All the best and stay warm.

Ben Westwood.

No comments:

Post a Comment