12 Stories for 12 Sections

An anthology of short fiction inspired by Cornwall’s protected landscape.

National Landscapes, designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are cultural landscapes of local and national value. They are the product of people and place. They are an important element of our collective and individual identity and always represent much more than can be easily expressed.


A collection of 12 stories for the 12 Sections of the nationally protected landscape, showcasing the cultural heritage of each place. Creating a sense of place to inspire. Available to pre-order now.


Increasing access to the protected landscape, for those underserved, and connecting people with place. This project uses the arts as a mechanism to connect more people with nature.

Project Overview

Project Overview

Cornwall National Landscape is unique in that it is a single designation made up of 12 separate sections. This project commissioned writers based in Cornwall to create short stories situated in the protected landscape. Each writer was guided through their assigned section and given creative freedom to let their imagination weave a narrative. These 12 narratives, captured the essence of the distinctive and beautiful sections, will be featured in a collection of short stories published by Hermitage Press.

This collection showcases the cultural heritage of the protected landscape to inspire, connect and engage with audiences from Cornwall, and beyond.

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Our Primary Purpose is to conserve and enhance Natural Beauty.

Our priority is to lead and support projects which deliver under these four key categories.

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benefit to people


More people are connected with the protected landscape in Cornwall. Access is increased to the protected landscape for those who are underserved.

benefit to place


Storytelling and narrative help put into words what makes these protected landscapes special and unique, creating a sense of place and deepening the understanding of 12 Sections, One Designation.

benefit to nature


Readers are inspired to engage with nature, understand more about the ecological crisis, and connect with the local environment.

benefit to climate


Understanding landscapes and what makes them special also highlights what threatens them with climate change, allowing readers to seek to undertake positive action.

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Project Detail

We have a history of expressing the value of AONBs through the language of policy, by which the emotions of place are inadequately distilled into the tools of protection, but the reality is that we experience landscape; it triggers emotion. To describe landscape to others without invoking an experience is to fundamentally ignore our relationship with place and miss what it is to be human. To recognise the experiential element of landscape and create opportunities for others to access the value this can bring to their lives is part of their effective curation.


The creative exploration of place, through music, painting, poetry, and dance opens up the experience of landscape beyond the world of science and policy and helps us better understand our place in the world. With better understanding comes better stewardship; the basis of a more sustainable future.

These beautifully-illustrated stories have been inspired by Cornwall’s culture and heritage, but there is one source of inspiration that arguably sits above all others – the Cornish landscape.

In the spirit of Cornwall’s storytelling tradition, we present this anthology of wonderful stories by 12 of Cornwall’s most gifted authors, inspired by the 12 Sections that make up the protected landscape in Cornwall.

Taking you on a journey across Cornwall, from Hartland in the North to West Penwith in the deep south, these diverse stories – comic, dark, deep, tragic, human – will ultimately make you want to pull on your walking boots and set off to encounter the epic beauty of the Cornish landscape face-to-face.

Authors & Illustrator

Gareth Rees

Section 01 | Hartland, Marsland – Menapoint

Gareth is a writer, editor and workshop leader. As a freelance journalist, commissioning editor, content creator and copywriter, he has worked in the media and publishing industry for almost 20 years. He has run several series of the popular ‘Everybody Has a Story’ workshops at The Writers’ Block in Redruth, Cornwall, as well as creative writing workshops for Cornwall AONB events including Bodmin Environment Arts Science & Theatre (BEAST) and Art in the Landscape at Tehidy. Currently on the MFA Creative Writing programme at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Writing School, he is working on a historical novel set in his native Wales. When he is not working with words, Gareth enjoys exploring the Cornish landscape and sea swimming.

Jane Pugh

Section 02 | Pentire Point to Widemouth

Jane Pugh is a writer and performer based in Penzance. She is course leader and lecturer specialising in screenwriting at Falmouth University and leads workshops for The Writers’ Block. In 2021, she produced Paper, Pens and Envelopes, a letter-writing scheme for primary school children and old people living in isolation following lock-down. Jane leads Discover Your Story workshops for the National Trust throughout the Southwest, enabling staff and volunteers to find and share property stories with visitors. As a script editor and developer, Jane manages the annual Emerging Writers Scheme for The Minack Theatre, and as a freelance script editor, her clients include Ed Rowe, Mark Hayhurst (First Light, Chichester Theatre Festival) and Wildworks (Wolf’s Child).

Jane Pugh Author Cornwall

Polly Roberts

Section 03 | The Camel Estuary

Polly Roberts is an explorer of people and place: a writer, community arts worker, environmentalist and counsellor. Polly Roberts holds a BA in Creative Writing from UEA and a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. She is author of the travel memoir Social or Solitary.  In 2017 Polly won the British Council’s ‘Writers by Nature’ scholarship for emerging nature writers. Her debut poetry collection, Grieving with the Animals, was published Summer 2019 by Dempsey and Windle. Polly currently lives in Cornwall where she is working on her novel.

Polly Roberts Cornish Author

Annamaria Murphy

Section 04 | Carnewas to Stepper Point

Annamaria Murphy: Member of Kneehigh Theatre latterly as a writer, (Tristan and Ysuelt , with Carl Grose, & Red  Shoes,  Don John , the Very Old Man with Enormous wings puppet version to name a few )  For BBC R4, plays and short stories , recently series 11 of “Curious Under the Stars” and The Severn Serpent. 3 Story and Music shows with musicians, Bagas Degol .She is Artistic Director of The Story Republic and The Writers Block , part of KEAP. Writer with Simon Harvey and Dave Mynne on The Odyssey & Cantebury Tales.  Writer with Carl Grose and Simon Harvey , KH’s “The Illustrated Girl”, a play for young people as part of KH’s Asylum season. For Kneehigh she was lead artist on Kneehigh’s Rambles programme & Coastal Communities project Random Acts of Art.

Annamaria Murphy Cornish Author

Emma Timpany

Section 05 | St Agnes

Emma Timpany was born and grew up in the far south of New Zealand and has lived in Cornwall for twenty years. Her publications are the short story collections Three Roads, Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing (co-editor), The Lost of Syros and Over the Dam, and a novella, Travelling in the Dark. Her writing has won awards including the Society of Authors’ Tom-Gallon Trust Award.

Emma Timpany Cornish Author

Clare Howdle

Section 06 | Godrevy to Portreath

Clare Howdle is a writer and editor who lives by the sea and is drawn to its stories. Her fiction has been listed for the Lucy Cavendish Prize, the Grindstone Literary Prize, the Masters Review Short Story Prize and the Bath Short Story Award. Her stories have been published in the Sunday Times, Potshot magazine, Litro, Riptide and more. She’s currently working on her first novel.

C M Davis

Section 07 | West Penwith

Carys M Davis is a new writer from West Cornwall. She has written two short stories so far, the first of which was published in the 2020 Bath Flash Fiction anthology. Her second was recorded as an audio story for The Writers’ Block.

Cathy Rentzenbrink

Section 08 | South Coast Western

Cathy Rentzenbrink is an acclaimed memoirist whose books include The Last Act of Love and Dear Reader. In 2021 she published her first novel Everyone is Still Alive. Her book about how to write a memoir is called Write It All Down and is out now. Cathy regularly chairs literary events, interviews authors, reviews books, runs creative writing courses and speaks and writes on life, death, love, and literature. Despite being shortlisted for various prizes, the only thing Cathy has ever won is the Snaith and District Ladies’ Darts Championship when she was 17. She is now sadly out of practice.

Philip Marsden

Section 09 | South Coast Central

Philip Marsden is the award-winning author of a number of books of fiction, non-fiction and travel, including The Levelling Sea, Rising Ground and The Summer Isles. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives on the upper reaches of the Fal in Cornwall with his family and a number of boats. 

Philip Marsden Cornish Author

Wyl Menmuir

Section 10 | South Coast Eastern

Wyl Menmuir is an award-winning author based in Cornwall. His 2016 debut novel, The Many was longlisted for the Man-Booker Award and was an Observer Best Fiction of the year pick. His second novel Fox Fires was published in 2021 and his short fiction has been published by Nightjar Press, Kneehigh Theatre and National Trust Books and appeared in Best British Short Stories. Wyl’s first full-length non-fiction book, The Draw of the Sea, won the Roger Deakin Award from the Society of Authors and is published in 2022. A former journalist, Wyl has written for Radio 4’s Open Book, The Guardian and The Observer, and the journal Elementum. He is co-creator of the Cornish writing centre, The Writers’ Block and lectures in creative writing at Falmouth University.

Wyl Menmuir Cornish Author

Edward Rowe

Section 11 | Rame Head

Edward is a writer, actor and comedian from a small village in the middle of Cornwall called Roche. Edward created the character ‘Kernow King’ in 2009, and has toured three stand-up shows extensively around Cornwall, the UK and Australia. As an actor, Edward played the lead, Martin Ward, in the BAFTA-winning film Bait, written and directed by Mark Jenkin. For his performance in Bait, Edward was longlisted for Most Promising Newcomer and Best Actor at the 2019 British Independent Film Awards. Recent television credits include Alex Rider, The Witcher, House of the Dragon and Strike. Edward’s writing often focuses on Cornish history, and over the last five years he has written, produced and appeared in Trevithick!, Hireth, The Coliseum, and a trilogy of children’s shows, The Cornish Caretakers. Edward wrote and directed his short Cornish language film, Mab Hudel (Magical Son) in 2022. As a voiceover artist, Edward has recorded several stories, including Michael Morpurgo’s Half a Man. He can also be heard on Kneehigh’s ‘Walk With Me’ app and appears as King Godfrey in the video game, Elden Ring.

Luke Thompson

Section 12 | Bodmin Moor

Luke Thompson is a writer, editor and publisher from Cornwall. He is the author of the poetry collection Singing About Melon, the non-fiction title Rhinoceros and the biography Clay Phoenix, as well as collaborative titles Robot Squirrel, The Clearing, and A Suitcase Full of Eels. Luke is the founding editor of Guillemot Press. Originally from St Austell, he now lives just off Bodmin Moor.

James Innerdale


His fresh, imaginative and engaging style has been used successfully over a variety of subjects including children’s book illustrations, interpretation, exhibition panels and map illustrations as well as commissions for building, landscape and animal and paintings. Recent work includes; illustrations for Beast of Bodmin Moor, the AONB Management Plan 2022-2027; map and illustrations for historical children’s books by Tom Palmer and reconstruction illustrations for Dairy Days an exhibition of how dairy farming has changed in the Yorkshire Dales. James also recently wrote and illustrated a short children’s book celebrating his village school through the adventures of a peg doll.



These beautifully-illustrated stories have been inspired by the Cornish landscape. In the spirit of Cornwall’s storytelling tradition, Cornwall National Landscape brings an anthology of wonderful stories by 12 of Cornwall’s most gifted authors inspired by the 12 Sections that make up the protected landscape in Cornwall. Taking you on a journey across Cornwall, these diverse stories – comic, dark, deep, tragic, human – will ultimately make you want to pull on your walking boots and set off to encounter the epic beauty of the Cornish landscape face-to-face.

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