Chantal Ashby Heaven

I am a writer and drama teacher working in the South-West. I live a stone’s throw from Bristol on the edge of the Mendip Hills, a twenty minute drive from the Tobacco Factory and all its cutting-edge shows/cultural enterprises.

Writing Projects:

– The Ituri Forest is to be published this year by Arachne Press. The short story came third in The Bridgwater 2013 Short Story Prize, judged by Dame Margaret Drabble,OBE, the celebrated novelist.
The story looks at the plight of boy soldiers in The Ituri Forest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and links their life experiences with the trade in coltan.

Lastly, check out ‘Jem and Coral,’ another environmental allegory/novel that I wrote last year, available online at Amazon. Author title: C.A.Heaven; title of book : ‘Jem and Coral’.

Again I have self-published it through CreateSpace – print-on-demand eco-friendly publisher; thus one pound from every book sold shall be donated to The Marine Conservation Society. The plight of the world’s coral reefs are at the heart of the novel: it is a mixture of allegory and optimism, fantasy fiction and hard-cutting reality.

Current project: a novel entitle Hobo House charting 50 years of division in the Middle East with a defiantly optimistic ending that aims to bridge the divide of all the respective combatants and innocent victims.

Portfolio

Ituri Forest

Portfolio image: Chantal Ashby Heaven - Ituri Forest
My short story The Ituri Forest was placed third in the 2013 Homestart Bridgwater Short Story Contest this month.rnrnIf you wish to read it on-line, go to the Homestart Charity website.rnrnThe story looks at the iniquitous trade in coltan, the new ‘black gold’ without which laptops, Ipads, all the current fashionable IT products would not be possible. Unfortunately this lucrative mineral is primarily sourced from The Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with devastating effect. Notably the impact on the rainforest environment, and the resident rare gorilla population.rnOn a wider scale, boy soldiers still struggle to survive, their lives held at ransom to the various competing military groups of the six periphery nation-states, all of whom have also identified the lucrative trade in the new ‘black gold’ as a means of furthering their own military-political and economic ends.rnrnBut my story, The Ituri Forest is upbeat and has an optimistic ending! Read on and spread the world about the world’s mineral trade.rnrn(There are deposits of coltan in Eastern Australia – away from human populations and in less ecologically diverse an area: try and buy IT products that source their components more judiciously with concern for the environmental impact of our planet, perhaps? The choice is yours and mine!)rnrnBelow is a photo of me with Margaret Drabble and the other prize winners, Helen and Deborah. I am the one in the proverbial green and dark blonde hair in the back row.