I’m off on a writing retreat till next weekend, so won’t be responding to emails or phone calls with any great urgency. In fact, I won’t be responding to phone calls at all, so if you do need to get hold of me, email is the best way.
The last work-type thing I’ve done before switching my brain into writing-retreat-mode was to send off our draft City of Literature bid to UNESCO UK for feedback. As I was editing it yesterday, I couldn’t help being so flippin’ proud to be a part of this amazing city. I might not be Nottingham born and bred, but I definitely belong here. Best place ever!
Wednesday 17th June from 7pm, Noumena Anthology Launch, Five Leaves Bookshop
Noumena is a diverse collection of original poetry and fiction created by MA Creative Writing students at The University of Nottingham in 2014-2015. The anthology also features selected new work from BA Creative Writing students.
Join us for an evening of readings in which our writers will lead you through their own personal landscapes.
£3 on the door, including a glass of wine
Thursday 18th June 6-8pm, Totally Wired: Early evening poetry at Wired Cafe Bar
Feating the poet Lesley Wheeler, American author of ‘The Receptionist and Other Tales’ and ‘Hetrotopia’. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University.
There’ll also be an Open Floor, which you can sign up for on the door between 6-6:15pm, where at least one of our members, Zayneb Allak, will be reading.
Free admission. Twitter @poetrywired for more info, or pop into the cafe at the top of Pelham Street
Lowdham Book Festival, 19th to 28th June, Lowdham Village, Notts
It’s the 16th year of Lowdham Book Festival. You can download the programme as a PDF here. We hope you enjoy this year’s mix of events – highlights include Earl Spencer and Alan Johnson, Marina Fiorato and Eve Makis, David Crystal and Allan Mallinson, and of course the festival traditions – Reading Group Day, Craft Day, Cricket night and our free day of talks, stalls, children’s events and music to end the week. Several NWS members are also taking part, and as usual there’ll be our regular NWS stall, with copies of Christy Fearn’s debut novel ‘Framed’.
June 20th & 21st, Cromford Mills Book Festival
There’ll be a second-hand book fair on both days from 10am-4pm, and a range of talks across the weekend, including a children’s story book trail. No booking necessary, full programme on the website.
Friday July 10th 7.30pm, Gravity’s Eye book lauch with Ian C. Douglas at NWS
Join us at the Studio for the launch of Gravity’s Eye, the thrilling sequel to sci-fi adventure The Infinity Trap by local author Ian C Douglas. On Mars, your best friend can sometimes be your worst enemy. Zeke Hailey is failing at psychic school and there’s an alien robot out to kill him. At least he has a new mate, Fitch Crawley. Only there’s more to Fitch than Zeke realises. An A-plus student at mind control and armed with a deadly invisible pet, Fitch has plans of his own. Plans that will unleash an apocalypse. Ian will be in interview with Pippa Hennessy, the Studio’s Development Officer. Free bar and snacks
Friday 12th July, Edge-Lit Convention, QUAD, Derby
Not only can you pop along to the convention, with full details of workshops here, but Ian Douglas, who will be selling his two sci-fi novels at the event, would like to offer other NWS members the chance to sell their sci-fi books as well. If you’re interested in the opportunity, you can arrange things through Ian at [email protected]
Saturday 26 September, Margaret Atwood, Albert Hall, Nottingham
Advance notice: Waterstones Nottingham have persuaded this great author to come to Nottingham. Tickets likely to sell quickly! Further information here.
25th-28th June, Leicester Writes Festival
A superb line up of authors and experts will take you through all you need to know about becoming a writer and getting published. Filled with inspiration and advice, Leicester Writes is the first and only festival dedicated to showcasing regional literary talent and helping you fuel your creativity.
Tickets from £35 per day. To avoid disappointment please book tickets by 15th June as only restricted tickets will be on sale after this date. They’re happy to arrange group discounts (10+ members) for writing groups, please email Farhana at [email protected] to arrange. Concessions are also available for students and low income earners.
Friday 19th June, Word Factory, Birmingham
Workshops are being held with David Almond and Michele Roberts as part of The Tablet Literary Festival on the Catholic Imagination in Literature (but it’s not religious!) Places can be booked here.
Saturday 20th June, The State of Things, New Perspectives, Nottingham
New Perspectives Theatre Company is pleased to announce a new Masterclass on June 20 with one of the most important political playwrights working today: James Graham. James will lead this workshop day, helping writers to dramatise the political, and turn fact and research into gripping fiction. Find out more here.
Saturday 27th June, Poetry Editing Workshop with Cathy Grindrod, 10am-1pm at County Hall, Matlock
This practical and supportive workshop aims to give you more confidence in editing your own work by taking a focused look at the poetry revision process. We will share poems we would like to redraft and use a guided process to help edit both our own and each others’ work, and discuss what for each of us makes a good poem.
Tickets: £10 with complimentary tea and coffee
To book a place email [email protected] or phone 01773 831385
July through August, Open Book event, Bromley House Library
The Library is running a programme of talks and an exhibition of our books and manuscripts on Sherwood Forest through July and August. The talks will be on Wednesday lunchtimes and the talks and exhibitions will be open to the public also.
Book from Monday 1st June. Please phone or email the library to book tickets, £3.50 per talk
Saturday 26th September 10am-1pm, Deborah Bailey at 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.
Thursday 15 October, Dawn King Playwriting Workshop, Theatre Royal Nottingham
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
Job Vacancies at Writers’ Centre Norwich
Our friends in Norwich are advertising for several positions; Programme Manager, Learning and Participation (0.8 FTE), Communications Officer (FT) and Business Development Assistant (a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursary-funded position, available only to recent graduates who were fully funded through their degree). (FT, 1 year, fixed term contract)
Full job descriptions and iapplication info are available on their website
Writing East Midlands mentoring scheme
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.
Thomas Gray Anniversary Poetry Competition
This is the second of three annual poetry competitions organized by The Stoke Poges Society as part of a programme of events celebrating the tercentenary of Gray’s birth in 2016. Judge: Carol Rumens. Three prizes will be awarded of £250, £100 and £60. In addition there will be up to three highly commended entries awarded £30.
Entry Fee: £5 for the first and £3 for subsequent poems. Application form can be downloaded from the website.
Closing date: 19th June
Filmsquad at QUAD, Derby
Presenting an exciting opportunity for writers in the East Midlands region and elsewhere in the UK to develop an original story idea into a short film script. The best story will be developed and produced by a professional creative team, supported by filmsQUAD, and directed by a Derby based Producer-Director duo that have raised £5,000 to shoot in the region this year, with the aim of entering it into the major film festivals for 2016. As the writer you will be fully credited and consulted throughout the production process.
If you have a story you believe will make a great short film, please submit a 1-2 sentence logline and a synopsis between 100-500 words, along with your email address and phone number, to [email protected]
Closing date: Monday 22nd June at 5pm
10th July 7:15-9:15pm, Words at the Wharf at Wheatcroft’s Wharf Cafe, Cromford Mills
Cromford Mills is launching its new season of spoken word nights. Mark Gwynne Jones will be performing a selection of his poetry and there’ll also be the opportunity for other writers to come along and showcase their own work in the relaxed atmosphere of Wheatcroft’s Wharf Café.
Free entry, no advanced booking required
The Carers UK Creative Writing Competition 2015
While we’re inviting entries about all aspects of caring, this year we’re particularly interested in poems and short stories that respond to our 50th Anniversary message: no one should have to care alone. Prizes: A total of £300 in high street vouchers, plus others from leading literary organisations. The judge is Cheryl Moskowitz. You can submit up to three poems, each being no longer than 40 lines. Short story: you can submit one short story of up to 1,000 words. Entries must be unpublished, in English, and not a translation of another author’s work. Submit online here.
Free entry. Closing date 31st July
Torbay Open Poetry Competition 2015
The judge this year is John Greening. Poem Length: In English, typed and up to 50 lines. Prizes: 1st prize: £700 plus a weekend’s accommodation and Festival Pass for the Torbay Festival of Poetry 22nd – 26th October 2015, 2nd Prize £400 plus a Festival Pass to the Torbay Festival of Poetry, 3rd Prize: £200 plus a ticket for two to the Festival Supper, Saturday 24th October 2015. Poetry books/ subscription to Acumen Literary Journal for short-listed poets.
Entry Fee: £5.00 per poem or 5 poems for £20.00
Closing date 28th August
Women’s Novel Competition 2015
This year, we’re on the lookout for novels of at least 50,000 words written for adults (and young adults) in any genre by previously unpublished women novelists. The 1st prize is £5,000.
£25 fee per novel. Details on mslexia website.
Deadline 21st September
The National Literacy Trust poetry prize
An exciting new Poetry Prize with Bloomsbury Publishing! Enter your poems and one of them could feature in a poster campaign across the country. There’s also an iPad and £250 of books up for grabs. All proceeds go to the work of the National Literacy Trust.
Open now, closes 31 August 2015 with an announcement of the shortlist on 2 October, National Poetry Day.
The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition
Prizes: £1000 for winners in each category; £200 for second place in both categories. Categories: English as a Second Language (ESL) Category & Open Category. Judges: Bernard O’Donoghue and Hannah Lowe.
Entry Fee: £5 to submit a poem or £4 per poem for more than three entries. You may enter up to ten poems, providing they are unpublished. Enter online
Closing date 31st August
The National Poetry Competition 2015
Now open for entries, the Poetry Society’s annual National Poetry Competition is for previously unpublished single poems and has a first prize of £5,000.
Deadline: 31 October
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.
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 Ening 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
In other news
Open Pen magazine
Pick up your free copy of the most excellent Open Pen Issue Fourteen now from Nottingham Writers’ Studio.