Summer’s (sort of) here, and we had the first NWS Writing Picnic last weekend at Wollaton Park, which was a great success. I hope you’ve all got some good writing planned for the summer, and I hope the large selection of events, courses and opportunities in this newsletter will contain something that will appeal to you.
31st May to 7th June, Derby Book Festival
The impressive line-up for the first Derby Book Festival includes over 60 events and activities, including internationally celebrated, best-selling authors as well as a broad range of local writing talent. You can find full details in the festival programme.
June 6-7, Bold Strokes Book Festival, Nottingham
Two days of author events which will be of interest to writers and readers alike, featuring Bold Strokes authors from across the world. All events are free, including the ‘meet-the-authors’ party at NWS from 5pm tomorrow (there will be pizza), so don’t miss this! Full programme and more information here.
Wednesday 10th June 7:30pm, Beeston Tales, White Lion in Beeston
Shonaleigh Cumbers brings us The Diamond Girl and the Goat Horn Bee. Shonaleigh is one of the foremost tellers on the British and world scene, a 21st century drut’syla reworking folk tales from the Jewish tradition. With music by Simon Heywood. You can book a ticket here.
Tickets: £5 in advance, £6 at the door, £12 including meal
June 12th to 14th, Gedling Book Festival, Arnot Hill Park
A free to attend programme of talks and activities, with the Friday themed around general fiction, Saturday will be children’s fiction day, and the Sunday a celebration of non-fiction. Check the website for the full programme of speakers. No booking required.
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
Wednesday 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.
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.
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
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.
Sunday 7th June, 10:30am-3:15pm, Poetry Improv with Robin Vaughan-Williams, NWS
What happens when you stick a bunch of poets in a room with nothing to write on and ask them to get creative? At this introductory workshop we’ll be exploring a spontaneous, collaborative approach to poetry that involves listening as well as speaking. It’s all about how our voices interact, collide and echo one another, taking us places we wouldn’t go on our own.
Tickets: £25 (not including lunch).
More information and booking here.
From May through June, City Arts Summer Programme, Nottingham Our neighbours at City Arts have launched their Summer Programme of creative courses and events for all ages and abilities. There’ll be everything from music, arts and theatre. Spaces are limited so booking is essential – just email [email protected] or phone 0115 9505 251.
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
Saturday 8 – Friday 14 August, The Writers’ Summer School, Swanwick, Derbyshire.
A week-long programme for all writers including the chance to take part in workshops, one-to-one sessions, courses, talks and panels run by expert tutors. Guest speaker Simon Brett – Winner of the 2014 Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger,along with Alex Gray, Peter James, Helen Lederer and Deborah Moggach.
More information here.
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.
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.
First Art commission for Artists at Bolsover Festival
This autumn, Bolsover town will host a week-long festival from 12 – 18th October 2015 – in shops, tea rooms, churches, in the Food Bank, in pubs, parks, and fish and chip shops. It will end in a weekend full of theatre, music, crafts, poetry, dance, storytelling, mini safaris, film projection, workshops, singing, eating and drinking. The theme is ‘Bolsover Stories’.
All types of artists are invited to participate. The deadline for expressions of interest is Wednesday 17th June 2015 at 5pm. See website for details.
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
19th June to 11th July, Street Art Festival at Surface Gallery, Nottingham
This open exhibition celebrates Nottingham’s thriving alternative art scene by showcasing some of today’s best local, national, and international street art. Mediums of any type are welcome – including writing! Up to six pieces can be submitted per person and all work will be hung salon style, packed from floor to ceiling. All submissions will be displayed as long as you can get them through the door. You can download the application pack here.
Deadline: Friday 12th June, 5pm
Associate Artists Applications – Now open
In Good Company are now recruiting for their 2015/16 Associate Companies programme. This is a bespoke development opportunity for artists in the East Midlands offering access to resources, space, mentorship and funding. You will work together with IGC’s three partner venues; Derby Theatre, Attenborough Arts Centre and Create Theatre and benefit from the gravitas and experience of these organisations. You can find out more details on the programme and how to apply here.
Deadline for applications: 12th 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
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
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