Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Freefall Writing Competition

Freefall Writing Competition....In her forthcoming book, Writing Without a Parachute: The Art of Freefall, Barbara Turner-Vesselago sets out the method by which she has helped hundreds of people worldwide to develop a new relationship with writing through deepening what she calls the aspect of 'surrender' in the writing process.

1. Pick a prompt from this list, if you wish: 
a) A sound heard in childhood 
b) Don't go near the water 
c) Nothing has ever tasted so sweet 
d) "Talk to me like the rain, and let me listen" 
e) Hearing my name in the night 

Or you can simply start from ‘what comes up’
Contact if you would like full entry details...
Freefall Writing website

Monday, 19 November 2012

Introducing Merac and Howard

I'd like to bring your attention to a new blog from the world of MR W.... Introducing 'Merac and Howard', perhaps the most odd characters you will ever come across. Their dull, macabre lives will be published on the blog 'Merac & Howard' in instalments so sign up now so you don't miss out on the latest grimy fingerprint of their sad little world, smeared onto your cotton bedsheets....

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Little House Short Story competition

Little House Short Story Competition 

For stories up to 2,000 words.

First prize £100 and a full critique

Five runners up also receive a critique of their submission.

Deadline: December 31st 2012

Entry fee: £5.00  

2013 Bristol Short Story Prize

The Bristol Short Story Prize 2013 is now open. Stories can be entered online or by post and the closing date for entries is midnight (BST) on 30th April 2013. Please read the 2013 BSSP rules before entering. The judging panel will be chaired by editor and literary consultant, Ali Reynolds, a former editor at Random House.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Autumn Reading Challenge

Last year I set myself the challenge of reading all the shortlisted books from the Man Booker Prize Shortlist. I managed to read them all, largely because I had a holiday during that time and can always read more when I'm not side-tracked by daily business. Even though some weren't the kind of books I'd normally choose to read,  I have to say I discovered some fascinating writers and storytellers and would like to read more of their work.
Now this year I find an email announcing the 2012 Man Booker Prize Shortlist so I'm setting myself the same challenge. The full list can be found on The Man Booker Prize website if you'd like to do the same. I think I'll ease myself in with 'Swimming Home' by Deborah Levy.
Happy Reading!

2012 Bridport Prize Winners Notified

Perhaps one of the most prestigious writing competitions, we await the results....due to be announced on October 14th 2012. See The Bridport Prize website.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Newspaper Taxis: Poetry After the Beatles

The Beatles changed popular culture in an era when popular culture was changing the world, high culture and low culture blending to become our culture.
We are looking for poems that exist only because The Beatles did, but come after, going beyond hagiography and reminiscence to capture what made them a vital force, at the forefront of creative and social change.
The editors of ‘The Captain’s Tower: Seventy Poets Celebrate Bob Dylan at Seventy’ (Seren, 2011) will draw upon ‘Things We Said Today: Poems About The Beatles’ (Stride, 1994) to create a new anthology to mark fifty years of the only pop group guaranteed a place in histories of the future.
Contributors then included Philip Larkin, Roger McGough, Carol Ann Duffy, Adrian Henri, Wendy Cope, Jeremy Reed, Wes Magee and Lachlan MacKinnon.
Please email your submissions to: newspapertaxisbook@gmail.com

Monday, 18 June 2012

Watchet Summertime Week - performance poets wanted!

Pete Stevenson is organising a 'Busking' day for the Watchet Summertime Week (see website for more details of whats on - watchetsummertime.btck.co.uk) on August 13th. He is asking musicians etc to do a stint on the day and also anyone who does performance poetry if they would be interested. He is clear that he wants very performance style stuff (no agonising!!) as whoever does it will have to make themselves heard on the esplanade, grab people who are walking past etc. with their words of course!

He is also organising a poetry reading at the Watchet Live Music Festival on the early evening of 24th August - also performance poetry which is usually done in one of the smaller tents (tea tent) where they have a mike and later on they do accoustic stuff. If you go to this event he would need your name to go on the door so you can get in free for the evening.
Anyone interested in either of these can ring Pete to discuss 07896867799.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

POEM: For Harry

I have written this poem for my future Godson's Christening in June- any feedback appreciated...Thanks Polly x

June the 3rd and someone, somewhere seeks light.


And we are at the beginning,

Out of an old answer comes a question.

Will I promise to teach you what I know?

No. I will not promise you one thing.

I will point towards the light through the leaves and hope you see beyond the sky.

I will paddle with you in the waves, make mud pies and let ice-cream drip down your chin.

Let you select the best shells, dip nets in rock pools, draw out the slimy monsters.

Will I promise to have the answers? No.

I cannot promise you this.

But I will hold your hands and rub your feet if you wish.

This is your story that’s unfolding, a sunny view, a comfy cot,

Music and stillness, fullness and expectation.

Find your feet.

I’ll let you stare at spoons if you so wish.

Show the wonders of a pickled egg in a packet of crisps.

I’ll show you the utter randomness of life,

Laugh when you rant; cheer when you try.

But now go the bells and we are ready to rush

to more places to drink and raise toasts,

greet other faces who smile ‘cause you’re little and can’t yet speak words.

But words are piffle when you can have song –

let us learn from the dolphins, the wolves and unicorns

Dare to put your faith in the unseen. Dive in.

Let us learn from the trees and the bugs and the tigers.

Let us learn from the dreams of butterflies and poets.

Find your feet. Then fly.

And remember to send the postcards

I’ll pin them up, keep them dry.

Bradninch Music and Literary Festival in Devon

Poetry Workshop and Reading at the Bradninch Music and Lit Festival in Devon that might be of interest. See website for details. Bradninch is a lovely old village, not very far from Cullompton in Devon.

SATURDAY 2nd JUNE from 11am to 1pm, POETRY WORSHOP with GENISTA LEWES in the WHITE LION PUB, BRADNINCH, DEVON. READING takes place from 5pm to 6pm.

There will be spaces for open mic readings during the session which might interest some of you?? Make a change from all the royal celebrations!!



New FREE Magazine - OUT NOW..

LAMP (Literature, Arts, Music, Performance) is a new FREE magazine edited by Lionel Ward of Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton. It includes a poetry section. Brendon Books

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Poetry London Competition - closing soon

Poetry London Competition
1st Prize £1000
plus publication in the magazine
Judge: Neil Astley

click on the title above for more details...

About a Dog

We found a dog in our free period.
Decided it was lost, named it Alec,
looked under its tail to check.
Suddenly we were children faced with a decision.
We walked away, Alec followed.
Alec didn't look like a biter;
no collar; clean paws; no frothing at the mouth
i.e. rabies free.
The policewoman asked us questions,
we said, "His name's Alec".
He stared a betrayal at us - wagged his tail.
We had just started 'Tess of the D'urbervilles
and didn't know. The teachers with no imagination
asked, "What were you doing wandering in town?"
Mr Dams smiled with his eyes and said,
"Trust you two!"
We picked wiry dog hairs off our jumpers
during double Psychology -
'The Mating Ritual of a Stickleback
can teach us how other animals court. Discuss
1000 words'.
We drew willies on Ali's folder the whole lesson.
Our future was the weekend.
We forgot about Alec.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

IF YOU'RE A POET - DON'T MISS THIS ON 14TH APRIL!

Getting Your Poetry Published: A Seminar Session with Neil Astley
Organisation: B&NES Arts Development
Date: Saturday 14 April, 10.30am-12.30pm
Price: £10, £8 concessions
Venue: BRLSI, Queens Square, BA1 2HN
Book Now!
Neil Astley of Bloodaxe Books offers a nuts-and-bolts examination of the whys and wherefores of getting your poetry published in books and magazines.

This seminar led by Neil Astley, Editor and Managing Director of Bloodaxe Books offers a nuts-and-bolts examination of the whys and wherefores of getting poetry published in books and magazines. Neil has published hundreds of poets but has also had to reject many more. He offers an informed, insider's view of poetry publishing and bookselling.
The session involves a general reality check as well as attention to particular concerns and questions.

Not to be missed.

Neil Astley has edited nearly a thousand poetry books and published several bestselling anthologies. He won a Gregory Award for his own poetry, and has published two poetry collections, Darwin Survivor and Biting My Tongue. He has previously been a board member of the Poetry Book Society.

News from Fire River Poets

After the wonderful assortment of poetry at our March reading with the uplifting poems of Rose Flint alongside our usual variety of open mic offerings which were all shades from dark to light, from fun to disturbing, we offer our usual mix of poetry and discussion at our poetry cafe on 5 April.

All we ask is that you bring along a poem of your own that you would like to read and be prepared to join in the debate on poetic forms and styles, techniques and problems, on competitions and magazines, on publishers and the internet. In other words, on every issue that is current in poetry today. One of our Fire River Poets members, Anthony Watts, who has four publications to his credit, will lead off as our featured poet for the evening by reading some of his latest work and perhaps answering a few questions, but thereafter, the evening is yours ...

To newcomers I say: "don't be shy". If you have never read your own work in public before, this is an ideal opportunity to do so in front of a friendly audience of fellow poets.

John

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Yeovil Literary Prize 2012

OPPORTUNITIES FOR NOVELISTS,, POETS AND SHORT STORY WRITERS SIGNIFICANT PRIZES!!
JUDGED BY PROFESSIONAL WRITERS AND PUBLISHERS
Novelists, can't find a competition with a category for you? Look no further! The YEOVIL LITERARY PRIZE is just waiting for you! It's open to poets and short story writers as well as novelists,
There are three categories:
THE NOVEL
Please send the synopsis with opening chapters (up to 15,000 words in total) : Entry fee - £11 for each novel submitted Prizes 1st = £1,000 2nd = £250 3rd = £100
THE SHORT STORY – Up to a maximum of 2,000 words.
Entry fee - £6 for each short story submitted Prizes - 1st = £500 : 2nd = £200 : 3rd = £100
POETRY – A poem with a maximum of 40 lines. Entry fee - £6 for one poem, £9 for two, £11 for three Prizes - 1st = £500 : 2nd = £200 : 3rd = £100
The closing date is 31st May 2012, 23:59
Several winners and runners-up have gone on to publishing success!
Full details, rules and entry instructions can be found by clicking the title.
Or write to:
Yeovil Literary Prize, The Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil, BA20 1UX
Get writing!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Andrew Motion - at the Brewhouse, Taunton

The Brewhouse 35th Birthday Celebrations
Thursday 29 March
7.45pm

Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate (1999-2009), introduces Silver, his eagerly awaited sequel to Treasure Island, featuring a cast of noble seamen, murderous pirates and tales of love, valour and terrible cruelty.

He also reads from his latest book of poems, The Cinder Path (Faber), which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry; from Laurels And Donkeys, a profoundly moving sequence of poems about conflicts from 1914 to the war in Afghanistan; and from his acclaimed autobiography In The Blood – A Memoir Of My Childhood.

Andrew will answer questions about his writing and the role of Poet Laureate.

The event will be followed by a book signing.
More info on Taunton Brewhouse website

Friday, 24 February 2012

Write on at The Holburne

Bath Festivals' Write Team are taking over the Holburne Museum during the Festival and have a series of events aimed at 12-18 year olds wanting to get a taste of the world of writing and publishing. Starting on Monday 5 March, each session will look at a different aspect of the writing process, from how to find inspiration; to cultivating and structuring your work, as well as the editing process and how best to start promoting yourself. With Luke Blackall and Tim Walker from The Independent on hand to give tips, these will be an invaluable introduction for anyone hoping to develop their writing skills.

Tickets £8 per workshop or £35 for all
Book Online

To dancers, artists, musicians, yogis: Movement Arts Retreat Brazil

Movement Arts Retreat Brazil! June 2012

If you’re creative and have a love of dance, yoga, walking and kayaking then consider escaping to Brazil on our 10 day retreat set in one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the world. This isolated island is covered by tropical rainforest and hosts over 100 secluded beaches to enjoy whilst relaxing in 5 star accommodation.

Activities include daily Yoga and Dance classes with practicing professional artists; movement workshops of Contact Improvisation, Cultural dance, Yoga Partnering, Capoeira, and Tango. Then enjoy guided hikes and kayaking excursions around the island’s tranquil and breathtaking surroundings led by fully qualified instructors.

In the afternoon savor one of nature’s most spectacular settings, giving you the creative space for painting, song writing, movement exploration, or simply lie in a hammock or use our spa facilities. Finish off each day with an evening of dance, music and song and one or two delicious Caipirinhas!
If you haven't already secured your place, you need to book by 11th March. Places are limited.

For more details contact Sioda directly:
Sioda Martin - Dance/Yoga/Massage

E: siodamartin@yahoo.com
T: 07813785882

Friday, 17 February 2012

Corvus Press UK: As I write the preview of CO2 is being sent to the...

Corvus Press UK: As I write the preview of CO2 is being sent to the...: As I write the preview of CO2 is being sent to the printers. We shall be launching the book at the Cardiff International Comic Expo ( http:...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Poetry at The Brewhouse

Having got their 2012 season of poetry events at The Brewhouse off to a flying start, Fire River Poets are delighted to announce that the guest poet for their reading on Thursday 1 March will be Rose Flint. Chairman of Fire River Poets, John Stuart, said “It is a great pleasure to welcome a poet to read for us who, though not a native, lives in Somerset and celebrates the natural world with such creative skill.”

Members of Fire River Poets will also be reading during the evening and, as John is always at pains to point out “We always provide a platform for poets of all ages and levels of experience, so there will as usual be an open mic session during the evening for any poet who would like to come along and read. Poets who would like to take advantage of this opportunity should apply through enquiry@fireriverpoets.org.uk.”

The reading begins at 8.00 pm, takes place in The Studio and costs £5.00. Tickets may be purchased from the Brewhouse box office. Enquiries and bookings on 01823 283244 or info@thebrewhouse.net.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Getting Your Poetry Published

Getting Your Poetry Published: A Seminar Session with Neil Astley

Organisation: B&NES ARTS DEVELOPMENT
Date: SATURDAY 14 APRIL, 10.30AM-12.30PM
Price: £10, £8 CONCESSIONS
Venue: BRLSI, QUEENS SQUARE, BA1 2HN
Book Now!

Neil Astley of Bloodaxe Books offers a nuts-and-bolts examination of the whys and wherefores of getting your poetry published in books and magazines.

This seminar led by Neil Astley, Editor and Managing Director of Bloodaxe Books offers a nuts-and-bolts examination of the whys and wherefores of getting poetry published in books and magazines. Neil has published hundreds of poets but has also had to reject many more. He offers an informed, insider's view of poetry publishing and bookselling.
The session involves a general reality check as well as attention to particular concerns and questions.

Not to be missed.

Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human

Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human

Organisation: B&NES ARTS DEVELOPMENT
Date: SATURDAY 14 APRIL, 7.30PM
Price: £8, £6.50 CONCESSIONS
Venue: BRLSI, QUEENS SQUARE, BA1 2HN
Book Now!

Editor, Neil Astley and poet, Sara-Jane Arbury, present poems from Bloodaxe Books’ recent best-selling anthology Being Human.

Neil Astley, editor Bloodaxe Books, and poet Sara-Jane Arbury present Being Human, the new companion anthology to Staying Alive and Being Alive - which now make up the Staying Alive trilogy.
They will talk about Bloodaxe's latest world poetry anthology and read a personal selection of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world; poems that touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit; poems about being human, about love and loss, fear and longing, hurt and wonder.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Book now for the next Writing Events Bath Workshop

Sunday March 4th New Oriel Hall 10am-1pm £38

Tricia Wastvedt on Dialogue and Editing - places limited - book via paypal on the website.

Tricia Wastvedt is author of The River (long listed for the Orange Prize) and The German Boy. She is also an editor and a tutor on the Bath Spa University BA and MA in Creative Writing. She says:

"When characters talk, the reader hears live action. But good dialogue in fiction isn’t a replica of real speech, it’s an impression of speech; it is distilled, sharpened, and although it must sound natural, it is highly crafted. A publishing editor once told me; ‘most weaknesses in a manuscript can be fixed, but if a writer can’t write dialogue, there’s nothing I can do.’ In this workshop, we’ll look at how to find the essence of a conversation, and how to make every line of dialogue earn its space."

Tricia will also be helping writers think about revision and editing. Revision is an art, it is a craft. 'After the first rush of creativity, how do you shape, enrich and enliven a story and make the most of feedback you’ve had? This workshop is for anyone who wants to make their own writing 'the best it can be'.

NB If you are booking for 'How to Publish to Kindle' workshop we strongly recommend that you attend this workshop since good editing is one of the keys to self publishing success.

Also now open for booking and more info on www.writingeventsbath.co.uk two workshops looking at how to get published in the digital age. 'Multi media and Non-fiction' with Andy Hamilton (author the best selling 'Booze for Free" and the 'Self-Sufficientish' Bible (Thurs. April 26th at Mr. B's) £26 and How to publish to Kindle with Jenni O'Connor Sunday June 10th at New Oriel Hall (places limited) £40. Please go to website to book for these...Alex and Jude look forward to seeing you

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Words by the Water Poetry Competition

COMPETITION THEME:
“There is no joy but calm” (Tennyson)
To be interpreted freely.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY :
• Entries are invited for original poems of no more than 40 lines.
• Entry fee £4 per poem.
• Entrants may submit as many poems as they wish.
• No entry should have been accepted for publication, read on
radio/television or stage or have been awarded a prize in any other
competition.
FORMAT FOR ENTRIES :
• Two copies of each poem must be submitted.
• Entries should be typed on one side of paper.
• Entrants must not put names or addresses on the work but
must put name, address and titles of poems on a separate sheet.
• Cheques payable to ‘Words by the Water’ and sent with entries
to:
Mirehouse Poetry Competition, Droridge Farm,
Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6JG
Closing Date - Friday 10 February 2012
Winners notified by Friday 24 February 2011
Entrants should enclose an s.a.e. for notification of results.
Entries cannot be returned.
The Mirehouse Poetry Prize has been given
to celebrate Mirehouse’s longstanding literary
connections with writers including Wordsworth,
Southey, Tennyson, Fitzgerald, Carlyle and
Thackeray.

Words by The Water Essay Competition

TOPIC : On Creativity
(to be interpreted freely)
JUDGE : Adam Mars-Jones
(Novelist, essayist, critic)
PRIZES :
1st - £100 Ways With Words tokens
+ a box set of Notting Hill Editions
2nd – a subscription to Slightly Foxed literary
magazine + a box set of Notting Hill Editions
3rd – a box set of Notting Hill Editions
DATES :
Closing date for entries – Friday 10 February 2012
Winners will be informed by Friday 24 February 2012
Event at the Words by the Water Festival – Mon. 5 March at 10.15am
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY :
• Entries must be original works of no more than 1000 words.
• Entry fee is £4 per piece.
• Entrants may submit as many pieces as they wish.
• No entry should have been accepted for publication, read on the
stage, radio or television, nor have received a prize in any other
competition.
FORMAT FOR ENTRIES :
• Two copies of each entry must be sent.
• Entries should be typed using one side of the paper only.
• Names and addresses must be included on a separate sheet.
• Cheques payable to ‘Words by the Water’ and sent to:
Notting Hill Editions / Words by the Water Essay Competition
Droridge Farm, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6JG
Entrants should enclose an s.a.e. for notification of results.
Entries cannot be returned.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Girl and a Poet

I wrote this poem in response to the topic 'death by unusual circumstance'. I hope some of the other writers from the group post theirs too, most were extremely funny for such a morbid subject area...

A Girl and a Poet

One winter’s day a girl went for a walk
but reaching down to pick up her glove,
Her body saved a falling man; her life cut short.
“You saved my life,” he said, “You must be my true love!”

She had loathed men all her life and took
measures to avoid mixed groups and manly places.
He, a lovesick poet, did not even look
before he leapt to meet his maker.

The tragedy! So young to die this way,
yet nothing now could stop her soul from leaving.
The irony, however, wasn’t lost as she lay
beneath a grateful man; she was seething.

The poet thought her final words confessed of love,
In fact, she mumbled, “Damn that blasted glove!”

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Writing Events Bath New Year workshops...

Pop Up Creative Writing group...
Thinking Big and Dialogue and Story Editing...

Pop Up writing group with Alex and Jude £10 - pay on the door
Thursday 26th January 10.30 am-12.00 at Cafe Retro, 18 York Street (around the corner from Bath Abbey – cup of coffee included - no pressure to read aloud. Please email to let us know you are coming writingeventsbath@gmail.com.

Some places left on Thinking Big with novelist and Bath Spa MA creative writing tutor Mimi Thebo £38 booking on website. Sunday 29th January New Oriel Hall, Larkhall, Bath 10.00am-1.00 pm. Make this the year you start (or finish) your novel. Mimi's workshop will help you plan and plot. You don't have to come with an idea, but we think you will go home with one. Beginners welcome.

More details and booking on www.writingeventsbath.co.uk
email writingeventsbath@gmail.com
tel: 07833711931

Bath Lit Fest - 2-11 March

Find out more at a http://www.bathlitfest.org.uk/

Meet The Author lunch - 2nd February

AT THE ALEXANDRA HOTEL,
LYME REGIS
Thursday, 2nd February 2012
12.30pm – 3.00pm £26.50 per head
Including a 2-course lunch and a signed copy of ‘Conquest’ the best-selling debut historical novel of 2011.
Local author Stewart Binns began his professional life as an academic. He then pursued several adventures, including a stint at the BBC, before settling into a career as a schoolteacher, specializing in history. Later in life, a lucky break took him back to the BBC which was the beginning of a successful career in television. He has won a BAFTA, a Grierson, an RTS and a Peabody for his documentaries. Stewart’s passion is English history, especially its origins and folklore.

To book a place contact: Hannah at events@hotelalexandra.co.uk Tel: 01297 442010. For more information on the author contact: Lucy at lucybinns@bigapemedia.com Tel: 01460 30151

Phil Beer at Bridgwater Arts Centre

On Saturday evening, 21st January, we welcome the return of Phil Beer to BAC. Phil is a popular ambassador for acoustic roots music and a dazzling instrumentalist. Best known as a top flight fiddler, his skills don't stop there, he also plays slide, Spanish and tenor guitar, mandocello, viola, mandolin and South American cuatro, not to mention contributing rich vocals. Phil Beer is currently joining the reformed Bully Wee Band for their annual January tour. This promises to be a great night so get your tickets early...click on the title for more info from Bridgwater Arts Centre..

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Poetry at The Brewhouse

To begin their 2012 season of poetry events at The Brewhouse (the fifth full season they have presented) Fire River Poets are delighted to announce that the guest poet for their reading on Thursday 2 February will be Alasdair Paterson. Chairman of Fire River Poets, John Stuart, said “It is wonderful to see that Alasdair is writing poetry again and we are delighted that he has agreed to come and read for us. He is an extraordinary talent.”

Members of Fire River Poets will also be reading during the evening and, as John is always at pains to point out “We always provide a platform for poets of all ages and levels of experience, so there will as usual be an open mic session during the evening for any poet who would like to come along and read. Poets who would like to take advantage of this opportunity should apply through enquiry@fireriverpoets.org.uk.”

The reading begins at 8.00 pm, takes place in The Studio and costs £5.00. Tickets may be purchased from the Brewhouse box office. Enquiries and bookings on 01823 283244 or info@thebrewhouse.net.