Robin Gilbert

Robin Gilbert's 'Hamlet, Prince of Wenlock' pastiche is one of five winning poems published in Lighten Up Online issue 54.  You can read it here.

 


Evesham Festival of Words - Latest News

Here is the latest news from our friends in Evesham

Festival Programme:

The updated programme for 2021 is available through the website https://eveshamfestivalofwords.org/. There are two exciting new zoom events coming up. Saturday 12th June, a half day event 'Focus on Wellbeing' with three tremendous contributors: Alice May, who some of you heard recently talking about her house that sat down; Rachel Kelly, a nationally renowned mental health campaigner, who was last with us in Evesham in 2017; and Cat Weatherill delivering a great workshop 'Pilates for the Pen'.  Charge is £10 to cover all three events. Book via the website. Do pass on details to anyone you know who may benefit from a really uplifting and inspiring morning.

Another new zoom event is Meandering the Orkneys with Paul Gillingham on 6th July. Paul is a great speaker and this is a fascinating talk.

Coming up in May, a great zoom poetry event 'Home and Away', with readings from Anna Saunders, Ben Ray and Zoe Brookes, followed by an Open Mic session. Free event but you need to email me to register - all open mic slots are now taken.

Note that our Photography Exhibition 'Music in Monochrome' originally due to be held in the Regal Cinema in June has been moved back to September.

Those of you who have joined us for zoom events will appreciate that up to now we have not made any charge, though there is inevitably a cost to the Festival. From August we will still be running some zoom events and will be making a charge of £5 per event - given the quality of the zoom events we've put on so far, I'm sure you'll all agree its excellent value for money.

And then later in May, Wednesday 26th, our first live Festival event of 2021, when we will meet up with TV producer, David Parker in the village of Slad for a guided walk/talk In the Footsteps of Laurie Lee. David is a firm festival favourite and this is an entirely outdoor event. Tickets £12 via Festival website.

Competitions:

1st May sees the launch of our very popular Six Word Story Competition. Rules are on the website, and the Competition runs to the end of May. See what gems you can come up with!

In the Spotlight:
In the Spotlight this month is Philip Douch, Stroud based short-story writer and performer. See the website - enjoy!


Graffiti prose and poetry competition now open - £100 prize for the winner in each category

Prose Competition Rules

Theme: Secrets and Lies

1.   Closing date 31 August 2021. Entries must be in English and be the writer’s own unpublished work. They must not be on offer for publication or entered in any other current competition.

2.   Maximum length 1,500 words.

3.   Each piece of work, with its title, must be in clear type on one side of A4 sheet(s).

4.   The name and address of the writer and the titles of all entries should be on a separate page.

5.   The prize-winner will be notified by post, if SAE provided, or by email if email address is provided.

6.   Postal entries are accepted as well as via email. Please keep a copy of your work, as entries will not be returned.

7.   The fee is £4 per story. Cheques/Postal Orders in sterling only, should be made payable to:

Catchword Writing Group

Please ensure you enclose your full details AND the title of your entry with the cheque.

8.   All entries that arrive on time will be considered. No correspondence will be entered into concerning the result.

9.   Competitors wishing to be informed of the results should provide an email address or enclose a SAE.

Send entries to:

Graffiti Magazine Secrets and Lies Prose Competition

C/o 33 Sandford Leaze, Avening, Glos. GL8 8PB

Or : rona_laycock@yahoo.co.uk with ‘Graffiti entry’ in the subject line.

Prize: £100      The winning entry and short listed entries will be

published in Graffiti.

 

Graffiti Magazine Poetry Competition Rules

No specific theme for this competition

1.  Closing date 31 August 2021. Entries must be in English and be the writer’s own unpublished work. They must not be on offer for publication or entered in any other current competition.

2.  Each piece of work, with its title, must be in clear type on one side of A4 sheet(s). Maximum length of poem 50 lines.

3.  The name and address of the writer and the titles of all entries should be typed on a separate page.

4.  The prize-winner will be notified by post, if SAE provided, or by email if email address is provided.

5.  Postal entries are accepted as well as via email. Please keep a copy of your work, as entries will not be returned.

6.  The fee is £4 per poem. Cheques/Postal Orders in sterling only, should be made payable to:

Catchword Writing Group

Please ensure you enclose your full details AND the title of your entry with the cheque.

7.  All entries that arrive on time will be considered. No correspondence will be entered into concerning the result.

8.  Competitors wishing to be informed of the results should provide an email address or enclose a SAE.

Send entries to:

Graffiti Magazine Open Poetry Competition

C/o 33 Sandford Leaze, Avening, Glos. GL8 8PB

Or : rona_laycock@yahoo.co.uk with ‘Graffiti entry’ in the subject line.

Prize: £100      The winning entry and short listed entries will be published in Graffiti.

 


Call for Short Story Writers

Submissions are open for the 2021 edition of Superlative!

 

The theme this year is 'Scapes

From landscapes and seascapes, to cityscapes and escapes, please interpret the theme however you choose, but the more intriguing, imaginative and well-crafted your stories are, the better.

 

Superlative publishes quality work by aspiring short story writers, in order to promote new, developing authors and the art of the short story to readers worldwide. They work closely with developing writers so that, when they publish their work, it is of the highest standard.

 

The journal is published annually, and Superlative provide free editing services. They ask for contributors to please read back issues of the journal before submitting, to get a feel for the types of pieces they publish.

 

Please click here for information about purchasing or submitting to the journal.


University of Gloucestershire 2021 New Writing Anthology

VOICES

As a society we all have VOICES.

As individuals we use our voices to communicate, inspire and more. This can be reflected in our storytelling – a way of using our unique voices to communicate with the world. Now is the time to share these stories. The University of Gloucestershire are looking for uplifting and powerful prose, poetry, and dramatic monologues from all UoG students, staff and alumni. However you interpret the theme VOICES, they want to see your work!
Submissions open now!

Click here to visit the UoG Voices Anthology Wesbite for further information and full submission details.

UoG are delighted to be supporting GL Communities with their anthology this year. GL Communities recognises and supports the gifts, skills and talents of the communities it works with. It facilitates the connecting of residents, local businesses and local services and works towards a community that is thriving and aspiring.
GL Communities key themes are Advice and Advocacy, Employability and Education, Community and Economic Development and Social Inclusion and Well Being.


Steel Jackdaw Submissions Open

Steel Jackdaw is a new arts magazine, which celebrates creative expression and promotes positive environmental and social change.

The first edition is raising 100% of its profits to charity, ClientEarth, and international environmental charity and local charity The Nelson Trust.

Edition 2 is now open for submission by creatives and artists of any discipline, including poetry, flash fiction and storytelling.

Please visit Steel Jackdaw's website to find out more about the new magazine and to submit.

The submission window for edition two closes at midnight on Sunday the 4th of April.


Superlative Literary Journal Accepting Submissions

Superlative, The Short Story Literary Journal, publishes quality work by aspiring short story writers, in order to promote new, developing authors and the art of the short story to readers worldwide. They work closely with developing writers so that, when they publish their work, it is of the highest standard.

Superlative are currently accepting submissions for the journal, and for their short story, flash fiction, and mini saga competitions.

If you would like your work published in a print journal for the first time, please head over to their website www.superlativelitjournal.com for more information!

 


Stroud Short Stories Open for Submissions

STROUD SHORT STORIES OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

Stroud Short Stories, this year celebrating its 10th birthday, is open for submissions from Gloucs & South Gloucs writers from 29 Jan to 21 March.

Ten stories will be chosen for their authors to read at our event, which will either be on YouTube or at the Cotswold Playhouse, and will take place on 9 May.

It's free, as always, to submit and it's an open theme this time. John Holland's co-judge this time is Saboteur Award winning short story author, Chloe Turner.

Click here for all Stroud Stories Info


A photo of bare trees in a field on a cold, sunny winter's day

Photo Competition Winners!

Congratulations to our seasonal photography competition winners:

Four Winter Trees at Eventide (Caroline Summerfield)

 

A photo of bare trees in a field on a cold, sunny winter's day
Four Winter Trees at Eventide (Caroline Summerfield)

 

Caroline is the author of the Gloucestershire-inspired play, 'The Tree Charter Tapestry', which celebrates our ancient woodlands and forests, and the deep connection which we all share with Nature. The recording of the production, at the Everyman Theatre Cheltenham, is available to listen to as a podcast on: https://anchor.fm/caroline-rose-summerfield

For further information about other plays going into production and touring, in 2021, please refer to the Natura Contemporary Theatre's website:

https://writersanddirectorsworkshop.com/natura-contemporary-theatre

Gift-wrapped (Robin Barker)

 

A photo of a beautiful Regency house in Cheltenham with red ribbon outside like a christmas present wrapped up. There are trees outside full of Christmas lights.
Gift-wrapped by Robin Barker

 

'Photography is a hobby for me along with writing and travelling. I enjoy taking pictures…. it is a distraction from daily life, especially at the moment with the pandemic. I often find the best pictures I take are when I am on a walk ……… and can capture a scene or a moment in time. This one came gift-wrapped.'

Here We Come (copyright Rose Finch LRPS)

 

Photos of horses walking through a snowy field
Here We Come (copyright Rose Finch LRPS)

 

The photograph was taken during the recent snow but we were delighted to be told the background to it, a friendship with the horses that began in May last year. The picture of the foal (not part of the competition) was taken at that time.

Photo of a foalIt might appear, from first glance, that there is nothing exceptional about this image. But for me, it reminds me of a new discovery, be it in a very simple way.

It was taken on the 7th May, when we were in lockdown. Our outdoor activity was restricted to one precious walk per day, near home. I had discovered some common land, very close to where I live, which I had never walked or explored before. Spring had arrived and there were hawthorn bushes everywhere, in beautiful white blossom. The walk takes you slowly uphill to an old, rugged and lone tree. And looking back, there is a glorious view, leading to the Malvern Hills in the distance.

There were horses grazing here. I have learned since that they are Gypsy Vanners, whose history begins with the Gypsies of Great Britain, who sought a horse with strength and build to pull their caravans. They wanted a horse that was not only strong, but that was mild-mannered, gentle and easily trained. They are relatively small horses, but are broadly built and sport heavy feathering, starting at their knees and hocks. A long, full mane and tail are also common traits.

Knowing nothing about horses to that day, I was to embark on a very special journey, when I discovered a new-born foal. I watched as she lay so tiny, close to her Mum. She was beautiful, with a black and white coat. Always armed with my camera, which goes with me almost everywhere, I was very cautious, as I didn’t know how the mares would respond, so I kept a respectful and safe distance. I returned the next day and then became very excited when I realised that another foal had been born.

During the next few weeks, I watched their growth and development. I discovered that the mares were protective, but gentle and not at all worried about my intrusion. They became very used to this strange person with a camera, who photographed them constantly. One of the foals was much more confident than the other and quickly trotted to me when I approached, tentative at first, but then with increasing confidence. She seemed to welcome the human contact and would allow me to stroke and talk to her. Totally besotted, I relished this new experience. I didn’t take food, as I quickly learned that the adults would become very competitive for carrots and there was a definite pecking order. Being full grown mares, they were still big enough to knock you over, if they so desired.

Even several months later, they would still come to me, although they quickly grew in size and height. Observing their way of life, they seem to live a harsh way of life in some ways, though they have plenty of grassland and water. But they do not receive any real care or grooming, which is such a shame, as they are majestic creatures. And I wonder what they are bred for……

However, I feel privileged, to have witnessed the growth of a devoted family of beautiful and gentle horses. In the midst of the horror and worry of COVID-19, I have felt for the first time what every farmer must feel, that special connection with his animals……. . It is something I will always remember with joy!

 


Gloucestershire Writers’ Network Winter Photo Competition

Can you capture the essence of this time of year in a photograph?

 

We are running a fun competition to celebrate all that is beautiful, intriguing, interesting, quirky or unusual about our county at this time of year.

If you feel you have a winner, send it to us by 31st December 2020, and the top 3, as judged by the GWN committee, will be featured on our website.

There is no entry fee, the prize is to share your talent and image with a wider audience.

The rules:
1. Photographs must be taken by the entrant.
2. Your entry will be published on our website with your name, subject to your permission.
3. Email your entries to pennygwn@gmail.com.
4. Don’t forget to include your contact details.
5. Your photo must have been taken in Gloucestershire in the 2020 winter season.