Saturday’s book launch of NWS member Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was wonderful. I sat upstairs letting people in while all the fun got started, and was so immersed in the book that I reached page 92 before Anne came to drag me downstairs to introduce the formal part of the evening. I finished it later that evening, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. I do love my job!
As I said last time, we now have our courses/workshops up on the website, and Holly has added them to this newsletter as well. So you have no excuse for not booking up on the ones you’re particularly interested in. I’d like to draw your attention to the Erotica Masterclass this Saturday – if we don’t get a couple more people signing up for that by tomorrow, this will be cancelled, which would be a shame, as I’ve been looking forward to it for ages… 🙂
PS Apologies to Theatre Royal for continually ascribing their workshop on October 15th with Dawn King (which looks fantastic, by the way) to Nottingham Playhouse. My fault entirely.
PPS More apologies for the length of this newsletter. It includes most of our summer and autumn courses…
Thursday 6th August, 7-8.30pm, Disability Arts: worth fighting for? City Arts, 11-13 Hockley NG1 1FH Can art really make a difference to disabled people’s lives? Are disability arts worth fighting for? In the current economic climate, with cuts to support services and benefits, do the arts and sport still have a role to play? City Arts are working with Dance4 and director Jamie Beddard to produce the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cerebral Palsy Games, which run at the Harvey Haddon Centre in Nottingham from the 9th to the 15th of August. To coincide with this, City Arts have brought together a group of experienced artists and professionals to discuss the importance, impact and future of disability arts and sport. This is the first in a series of panel discussions at City Arts looking at the role of culture in the lives of marginalised groups. This is a free event. Drink will be provided. Book here.
Sunday 9th August, 11am-3pm, Requiem for Notts Coal, Eastwood As a commemoration for the passing of deep coalmining in the Nottinghamshire Coalfield, Mine2Minds Education are running this event. The commemoration will include readings (Pit-Lit & Pit Poetry), songs plus a presentation and is taking place at at three different venues – Brinsley Headstocks (11am – 11.30pm), the Breach House (the Lawrence’s second Eastwood home) 12 Noon – 1.00pm and at the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre for Snap (1.15pm – 2.15pm) followed by a session by the Eastwood Male Voice Choir at 2.15pm. The day’s events will conclude with David Amos giving a talk on “Tales and Rhymes from the Mines” from 2.30pm – 3.00pm. The Breach House will be open for visits and visitors can make a small donation which helps with the upkeep of the museum part of the Breach House. Refreshments can be obtained at the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre. A small group will re-enact the walk of miners, complete in pit togs and pit-muck, walking home from the pit – from the Brinsley Headstocks at 11.30am to the Breach House. People can join the miners on this walk through the fields if they wish to do so. Anyone wishing to do a reading will be most welcome and we will endeavour to fit you in at one of the three venues. Free event – all welcome for the full day or for part of the day at any of the venues. For more details contact David Amos on 07914 373745 or at [email protected].
Wednesday 12th August, #TimeForRights, online event At 12:15 on International Youth Day, 12th August 2015, 14-24 year olds around the world will record and upload videos. The videos will reflect your hopes, thoughts and feelings about a human right (or lack of it). The videos will be posted to Instagram under the hashtag #TimeForRights. In addition, artist Tim Kindberg will draw upon your videos to create a powerful online mosaic. Full details on their website.
Saturday 12th September, 1.30pm, Building Imaginary Worlds with Ian Douglas, Mansfield Library So much universe, and so little time! As part of Terry Pratchett Day at Mansfield Library, join Ian Douglas for a look at building imaginary worlds. Ian will be looking at what we can learn from the creator of Discworld when it comes to writing our own fantasy worlds. Learn some basic rules and a few traps to avoid! Free
Saturday 3rd October, Wolves & Apples, College Court Conference Centre on Knighton Road, Leicester Wolves & Apples is a new annual event for writers focussed on on writing for children and young people across books, tv and theatre, involving panels, talks and practical workshops from experienced practitioners. Confirmed guests include Debbie Moon, writer and creator of the CBBC series ‘Wolfblood’, Tanya Landman, children’s author, winner of the 2015 Carnegie Medal for ‘Buffalo Soldier’, and Juliet Forster, Associate Director at York Theatre Royal. For further information and booking visit the website.
Saturday 1st August 10am-4pm, Erotic Fiction Masterclass with Victoria Villasenor, NWS As erotica becomes ever more mainstream, more and more people are peeping out of the prude closet. In this workshop, we’ll go over the ins-and-outs of erotica writing. Where to start, what to do, what not to do, how to build convincing characters, how to create believable, sexy, dialogue, and what to do with a story once you’ve finished it. Victoria Villasenor is a full time development editor for LGBTQ publisher Bold Strokes Books in New York and also runs the social enterprise Global Words, based in Nottingham. Her work can be found in various anthologies, including Women of the Dark Streets, She Shifters and Girls Who Bite. £5 waged, £3 unwaged. Booking info here.
Tuesday 4th August 6:30-9pm, William Ivory and Restless Minds, NWS 70% of feature films are adaptations. A vast chunk of television output, too, is based on a re-working of existing material, so it well behoves any screenwriter to consider their relationship with the adapted form very carefully! William Ivory’s talk on adaptation will consider what the term actually means, what are the different forms of adaptation and what the form offers the writer, aside from a slightly less shaky income stream. The final copies of Restless Minds will be on sale. The free lecture will be open to NWS members and the public.
Wednesday 5th August 7-9pm Summer Taster: Creating Irresistible Characters with Deborah Bailey, NWS What makes some characters memorable? And how can you use this to make your own characters stand out? This course will offer tips and techniques for creating well-rounded characters who will come to life powerfully on the page and capture readers’ imaginations. Deborah Bailey is a former full-time editor who now freelances as a writer and editor. Her fiction has recently appeared in Mirror Dance, This Dark Matter, Luna Station Quarterly, Wicked Words Quarterly, The Red Volume fundraiser anthology, and MicroHorror. £5 waged, £3 unwaged. Booking info here
Saturday 8 August 9.30am–12.30pm, Write You By The Lions with Pippa Hennessy, Nottinghamshire Archives Nottingham’s Old Market Square, including the Council House and its famous lions, has always been the focus of activity in the City. Using documents held at Nottinghamshire Archives, this workshop will use the history of Market Square and the City Centre to inspire writing about the people and buildings who have shared the space over the ages, whether it’s stories from long ago or capturing the essence of today’s Market Square in poetry. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Market Square and try some simple writing exercises to get your imagination going. Info here £8, booking essential
Monday 10th August 7-9pm, Summer Taster: Haiku with Pippa Hennessy, NWS Despite what you’ve been told, it’s not all about the number of syllables! Haiku are traditional contemplative verses that draw on symbolism, nature and contrast to pack surprisingly powerful ideas into three short lines. Find out what truly makes a haiku, and have a go at writing some of your own. Pippa Hennessy is Development Director for Nottingham Writers’ Studio, Project Director for Nottingham’s bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature, Five Leaves Elf, and many other things besides. She has published poetry, fiction, graphic short stories, and creative non-fiction. £5 waged, £3 unwaged. Booking info here.
Wednesday 12 August 1.30–4.30pm, Writing the Lifeless Body with Pippa Hennessy, Nottinghamshire Archives Between 1828 and 1866, Nottinghamshire coroner Christopher Swann conducted around 4,500 inquests inpublic houses in the county, from the mundane (drownings) to the bizarre (death by oxtail soup). This writing workshop uses documents held at Nottinghamshire Archives to inspire stories about sudden death in the nineteenth century. You could write about the events leading up to tragedies, the effects on friends, relations and onlookers, or the hullaballoo of the inquest itself. A series of simple writing exercises will help you use Nottinghamshire’s gory history to generate ideas for and then write (serious or comic) stories. £8, booking essential
Saturday 15th August 10am-4pm How to use Scrivener with Niki Valentine, NWS Scrivener is one of the most popular writing tools with authors these days, not least because of its planning functionality and ability to export your work in all sorts of formats. This workshop will cover all the basics of finding your way around Scrivener, from your initial research right through to your final draft. Nicola Valentine writes prize winning literary fiction as Nicola Monaghan, and thrillers with a supernatural edge as Niki Valentine. She has written and produced short films and is working on her first feature. Niki teaches Creative Writing at De Montfort University. Can be booked here individually, or in conjunction with Pippa’s eBook course, £15 or £25 for both
Saturday 15th August 1:30-4pm, eBooks in Half a Day with Pippa Hennessy, NWS It’s easy to make an ebook using free software. This workshop shows you how. You’ll learn the steps you need to go through to produce an ebook that will work perfectly for your readers, and how to publish it on Amazon and other platforms. Pippa Hennessy is Development Director for Nottingham Writers’ Studio, Project Director for Nottingham’s bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature, Five Leaves Elf, and many other things besides. She has published poetry, fiction, graphic short stories, and creative non-fiction. Booking info here individually, or a full day with Niki’s Scrivener course, £15 or £25 for both
Friday 18th August 7-9pm, Summer Taster: Relationships and Issues in YA Fiction with Kim Slater, NWS Good YA fiction does not shy away from tackling difficult relationships and issues. Young readers enjoy strong, diverse and interesting characters and are interested in their relationships. They want to explore and identify with the issues your characters face and we will be looking at ways to develop and successfully write YA fiction that reflects this. Kim Slater is a YA author, published by Macmillan Children’s Books. Her debut novel, ‘Smart’ has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and is winner of the St Helen’s Book Award (BASH) and the Leeds Book Award 2015. ‘Smart’ has also been shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2015. Kim lives in Nottingham and holds a first-class honours degree in English & Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing. £5 waged, £3 unwaged. Booking info here
Saturday 22nd August 10am-4pm, Illustrating Children’s Books with Sarah McConnell, NWS This one-day course will provide an introduction to the world of writing and illustrating for children. We will cover ideas generation, what is suitable for young children, dual audience, character development, text and image, writing a sequence, and finally how to get published. Drawing skills are not required but a desire to write for children and a visual imagination are a must. Dr Sarah McConnell has been writing and illustrating for children for over 15 years. She has completed doctoral research in the area of children’s book illustration. Her clients include Hodder Children’s Books, Harper Collins US, Orchard Books, Gullane, Oxford University Press and Scholastic and her books have been published in more than 10 countries around the world. £30 members, £45 non-members Booking info here.
Wednesday 26th August 7-9pm Summer Taster: 5 Easy Steps to Plan your Novel with Deborah Bailey, NWS “You’re writing a book? About what?” This course will walk you through exercises for honing in on your characters’ arcs and your story premise, and show you how to use these to build a story spine. Deborah Bailey is a former full-time editor who now freelances as a writer and editor. She teaches writing and serves as a writing mentor as well as co-chairs the Nottingham Writers’ Studio board. Her fiction has recently appeared in Mirror Dance, This Dark Matter, Luna Station Quarterly, Wicked Words Quarterly, The Red Volume fundraiser anthology, and MicroHorror. £5 waged, £3 unwaged. Booking info here
Starts from Wednesday 9th september, Intensive Novel-Editing Course with Victoria Villasenor, NWS Self-editing is an important process in the development of your manuscript. Once you’ve written and revised, you should be able to do a few core things before sending it out into the world. We will work through various elements involved in self-editing and hopefully at the end of the workshop you will have some new tools in your writer’s toolbox to make your current and future manuscripts as professional as possible. Victoria Villasenor is a full time development editor for LGBTQ publisher Bold Strokes Books in New York and also runs the social enterprise Global Words, based in Nottingham. She and her partner are often off gallivanting around Europe, when she isn’t chained to her desk working. Her work can be found in various anthologies, including Women of the Dark Streets, She Shifters and Girls Who Bite. Members £60, Non-members £90. Booking info here
Saturday 12th September 4-6pm, Make your Writing Horrific with Alex Davis, NWS In this session, we’ll be exploring how to build a sense of terror within your stories. This will include a look at atmosphere, language, characterisation, plotting and more to show how horror can be built into unlikely situations and settings to great effect. Alex Davis is an author, publisher, tutor and events organiser. His debut science-fiction novel, THE LAST WAR, is out now from Tickety Boo Press. He co-ordinates the Edge-Lit event and is part of the management committee for Derby Book Festival. He also runs Boo Books, Derby’s independent press, aiming to promote regional talent. Members £5, Non-members £10. Booking info here.
Saturday 26th September 10am-1pm, Getting Your Writing Out There with Anne Holloway, Worksop Library Join Nottingham Writers’ Studio to look at how you can find opportunities and markets for your writing, such as competitions and magazines. Plus, get tips on how to prepare your work for submission. £6 per person, and booking is essential so please contact the library to reserve a spot. Here’s the website.
Sunday 27th September 10am-1pm Creative & Professional Development with Cathy Grindrod, NWS Professional Development Planning (PDP) provides an opportunity for you to explore your current position as a writer, and to gain clarity regarding future steps you might take. In a small group, you will consider your past writing journey, your present creative life balance, and how you can overcome barriers and confidence issues and identify the support you most need to attain future writing goals. The session will be delivered by Cathy Grindrod, Derbyshire poet and playwright, a tutor and mentor specialising in managing and facilitating creative projects to improve wellbeing. Members £40, Non-members £60. Booking info here
Monday 28th September 7-9pm, Learn Crime from the Experts #1: Police with Kevin N. Robinson, NWS Come discover the world of serious and serial crime investigation; examine policing methods; the role of individuals in the team including offender profilers and other specialist resources and consider how they can shape and influence your works of fiction. With a 30 year career in local, national and international policing and an MSc in Forensic and Legal Psychology, Kevin Robinson provides support and guidance to writers about the police, their procedures and methods. He also maintains an informative blog at crimewritingsolutions.wordpress.com as well as producing the British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers. Members £10, Non-members £15. Booking info here.
Saturday 3rd October 10am-1pm, Getting Your Writing Out There with Giselle Leeb, West Bridgford Library Join Nottingham Writers’ Studio to look at how you can find opportunities and markets for your writing, such as competitions and magazines. Plus, get tips on how to prepare your work for submission. £10 per person, and booking is essential so please contact the library to reserve a spot. Here’s the website.
Thursday 15th October, Dawn King Playwriting Workshop, Theatre Royal In this workshop for adult writers with some experience, Dawn King, award-winning writer and adapter of ‘Brave New World’, will lead the group in writing from their emotions and finding a theme to inspire a new piece of writing. Writers will participate in a series of warm-ups and exercises before writing a scene. Booking link here, click on the ‘Education/workshops’ tab. Tickets: £12, including a buffet lunch
From Thursday 15th October 7:30-9pm, Put the Science in your Science Fiction four-part series, NWS This great season of talks separates the science from the fantasy, and launches with an examination of hardcore fiction with Ian C Douglas, a FantasyCon guest speaker, a panel of academic astrophysicists and theorists. To round it all off, Ian returns with a sci-fi movie night. To book onto the whole course it’s £40 for members and £60 for non-members
Sunday 18th October 10am-4pm, Short Story Masterclass with Vanessa Gebbie, NWS This masterclass will strengthen editing skills, offer strategies for kicking writers’ block into touch, and discuss competitions, markets, and publishing in general. Vanessa Gebbie’s short fictions have won numerous awards, including Bridport and Fish. Author of two collections, with a third due in 2017, she is also a published novelist, poet and contributing editor of Short Circuit: Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt). Members £50, Non-members £75 Booking info here
Short Stories About… Project call for submissions This is a new series of collected writing and visual arts on a unifying theme. One of the aims is to present different takes on a subject, to challenge readers, to make people think (and to champion printed periodicals). Short Stories About… also encourages work from new voices – unpublished authors – and showcase them alongside published ‘names’. We are now inviting contributions for our second collection – Short Stories About Madness. The brief is open – what does Madness mean to you, what stories does it bring to mind, what thoughts, memories, experiences. What is Madness? We hope our collection will make people look at the topic in a different way, challenge perceptions, inspire and entertain. We welcome all kinds of contributions. Academic, fiction, memoir, essay. Word count 500 approx. Deadline for expressing interest: 1 August, deadline for first drafts: 31 August. Free to submit, email Steven Short at [email protected]
21st-22nd November, But I Know This City! at various venues The Unfortunates is a novel by the experimental English author B.S. Johnson, published in 1969, about a man who has been sent to an unnamed city to report on a football match. During his time in this city he remembers and reflects on previous visits. The city, clearly identified through its detailed description of landmarks, streets, restaurants and pubs, is Nottingham. The Unfortunates is published as a ‘book in a box’. Each chapter is loose and other than ‘First’ and ‘Last’ the chapters can be read in any order. Nottingham based community theatre company Excavate are looking for readers/performers. This project is part of the Being Human Festival. If you want to know more please contact [email protected] putting ‘But I Know This City!’ in the subject heading.
Writing East Midlands mentoring scheme Last chance to apply for this. A well-matched mentoring relationship can give momentum to writers, helping to develop their craft and their awareness of the market they wish to enter. Our mentoring scheme will offer support and advice to 3 writers each year that, in our view, are able to demonstrate great promise and commitment. The scheme matches the selected writers to sympathetic, established, professional writers. Find out more and apply here. Deadline is 31st July
Administrator Vacancy at Writing East Midlands Writing School East Midlands is looking for an Administrator to support the development of our writing courses in Leicester. We are looking for a flexible, proactive individual with a keen interest in arts and literature, and who loves meeting people, to help this lovely small cultural business to grow. To apply send a CV and application letter to Aimee Wilkinson, Writer Development Manager, [email protected] by 5pm on 7th August
Hodderscape Open Submissions This open call for submissions is a chance for unagented authors to get their manuscript in front of a bookseller, specifically for Sci-fi, fantasy and horror novels. They will read through every submission they receive The submission window is 12am 3rd August until 11:59 16th August. Here’s the full details about how to submit.
Primers Nine Arches Press and The Poetry School have announced a new scheme called ‘Primers’. This aims to give three new poets a platform through the publication of Primers Vol I in April 2016, and an accompanying series of readings and events, plus mentoring and tutoring to support and develop their poetry with Jane Commane at Nine Arches, and with poet and tutor Kathryn Maris. Submissions close on 1st September 2015 Details on website
Alice’s Adventures in Twine at GameCity We are currently running a creative writing competition for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire secondary ages students. Alice’s Advetures in Twine challenges students to use Alice as inspiration, and respond creatively by creating their own interactive text adventure using the free online tool Twine. Winning text adventues will be featured in the GameCity festival to be played by thousands of people. For all info Submission deadline is Thursday 8th October
Saturday 10th October 10am-5pm, Nottingham Kids’ Festival of Imagination, Lady Bay Telling Tales – Nottingham Festival of Imagination are looking for children’s writers! There is going to be an open mic reading opportunity throughout the day for you to come and share your story live with the children of Nottingham! If you are interested please contact Heather Barral at [email protected]
Early 2016, Brave New World writing challenge Simply speaking, the challenge is to Write a short final scene for the play ‘Brave New World’ of no more than 5 minutes playing time. All submissions have the opportunity to win a free all day free writers workshop with Nigel Planer and Dawn King which will take place in Birmingham in early 2016. PLUS you win the opportunity of having your Brave New Ending given a rehearsed reading on stage by the actors of ‘Brave New World’ at one of the theatres on tour. All submissions whether they win or not will be published on our website
Script Submissions, Nottingham Playhouse A call for submissions to discover, nurture and develop writers who will represent Nottingham, and the East Midlands. They expect writers who submit work to to be aware of their programme, the spaces in the building and to know why they are sending them that play in particular. They will only read complete versions of full-length or one-act, original plays written for the stage. They do not accept work written for TV, radio or film. Full details about how to submit on their website.