I am grateful to Kath Golding for informing me of the death, on 1st December at the age of 94, of Joan Brittaine.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Joan, but some remember her, and were members at the same time. From all that I hear she seems to have been a ‘force of nature’, and on her watch Sutton Writers had close to 100 members. She was Chair in the nineties.

Joan was a freelance journalist and wrote for, among others, the magazines Doll’s House, and the Undertaker’s Monthly – truly cradle to grave! She had a refreshingly commercial attitude to writing, and at her monthly workshops would exhort other members to never write without getting paid and, her own speciality, to sell a scarcely changed article at least three times! At the Literary Suppers she organised, guest speakers included Jilly Cooper and Barry Took.

Wonderful memories, from halcyon days, of a special lady.

-Bernard Jacobs, current Chair, Sutton Writers

One Comment

  1. Ann Pattison

    Soon after I joined Sutton Writers in 1994, they held an article writing competition, judged by Joan, and I was delighted to win first prize for an article about Edith Cavell called “Judicial Murder”. Despite Joan’s excellent advice, I never managed to sell it, although it did get published in a church magazine and in the 2009 Sutton Writers’ Anthology “Kaleidoscope”. Yet Joan’s encouragement led to other things and soon after this I wrote a piece for the Croydon Advertiser and various articles about the European truck and bus scene for a trade journal called Commercial Motor, both of which publications paid quite a generous fee.

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