Kathryn Alderman Reviews 'Hex' by Jennie Farley

Kathryn Alderman reviews Hex by Jennie Farley in Ink Sweat and Tears, the poetry and prose webzine, exploring poetry that takes the reader on a 'magic carpet ride'.
Click here for the full review.

Oh Crumbs!

Oh Crumbs, the regular spoken word/story telling/performance event based in the Forest of Dean, continues its online live version with an open mic session on Thursday 21st May from 3pm.

Open mic sessions with featured guest performances every two weeks via Zoom.

Click here for more information about Coleford Hub,
and here for more information about Yarn Whispering

Cheltenham Poetry Festival Summer School

Beginning May: free readings, writing triggers, open mics and workshops.

Tutors include Angela France, David Clarke, Roy Mcfarlane, and more!

Click here for more information.

Stroud Short Stories - 10 Stories Selected

The 10 stories to be performed at the re-arranged Stroud Short Stories event on Sunday 8 November have been named.
119 submissions were received from Gloucestershire writers on the prescient theme of DISRUPTION.

Co-judges Ali Bacon and John Holland have chosen stories by Robin Booth, Stephen Connolly, Hannah Glickstein, Claire Harrison, Emma Kernahan, Geoff Mead, Simon Piney, Mark Rutterford, Sharon Webster and Steve Wheeler.

The event will be held at the Cotswold Playhouse and will be part of the 5th Stroud Book Festival. Tickets will go on sale later in the year.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival Rescheduled to Autumn 2020

Cheltenham Poetry Festival is being rescheduled to Autumn 2020, in line with NHS and Government guidance on Coronavirus. The Festival Team will contact anyone who has already bought tickets for Festival events, to let them know options available. The Team will be working hard to ensure the rearranged Festival will continue to be a success.

Gloucestershire Poet, Alison Mace, to appear at London Spring Festival

Gloucestershire writer, Alison Mace, will be introducing her first poetry collection, Man at the Ice House, published December 2019 by The High Window Press, at the Spring Festival of The Second Light Network of Women Poets.

The Festival takes place at the Artworkers' Guild in London on 22nd and 23rd May; poets will introduce their work with short readings at the start of the open mic sessions that end each day.

Alison lives in the Forest of Dean and co-runs the NaCOT poetry-writing group, which meets near Cheptsow and is involved with PIPs (Poets in Progress) and Dean Writers' Circle. She has always written poetry, and last year was lucky enough to be offered publication of a first collection by The High Window Press.

Man at the Ice House has four sections: one, a sequence dealing with her early life and the loss of her mother; another, a novelistic sequence telling the story of her formidable American aunt and family; and two sections of general interest, including poetry of place and nature. Her book was launched in Chepstow in December and can be bought online from Amazon and from the publishers.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival

Now celebrating its 10th year... The 2020 Cheltenham Poetry Festival runs between 15th and 26th April, and features both locally-based  and nationally-known poets.

Tickets for some events and workshops are available now on the Festival website, including early booking discounts where stated.

Please visit the Festival Webs ite for detaila and tickets - we look forward to seeing you there.



Evesham Festival of Words 2020 - Main Weekend details

Friday  26 June10.45 –11.45 am

Illustrated talk: ‘Libraries of the World -More Than Just Books’ with Sue Ablett (Wallace House) (Tickets £6, inctea/coffee/home-made cake)Fri 26 June10.30 am –12 noonWorkshop: ‘Writing Psychological Suspense’with Amanda Reynolds(Evesham Hotel) (Tickets £15, inc tea/coffee)

Fri 26 June2 –3 pmAuthor talk: ‘Wrestling with an Octopus’ with Susanna Beard(Evesham Hotel) (Tickets £6)

Fri 26 June3.30 –4.30 pmAuthor talk: ‘The Real Sherlock Holmes’ with Angela Buckley(Evesham Hotel) (Tickets £6)Fri 26 June7pmFestival Opening Night:‘An evening with Vaseem Khan: Bad Day At the Vulture Club’followed by Short Story Competition presentations(Northwick Hotel) (Tickets £8, inc wine and nibbles)

Sat 27 June 10.30 –11.30 amAuthor Talk: ‘Nine Pints –A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood with Rose George(Friends Meeting House) (Tickets £6, inc tea/coffee/home-made cake)

Sat 27 June 12.00 –1.00 pmAuthor Talk: ‘Something of His Art: Walking to Lubeck with JS Bach’ with Horatio Clare(Friends Meeting House) (Tickets £6, inc tea/coffee/home made-cake)

Sat 27 June1.30 –3.30 pmWorkshop: ‘Crime Writing’ with Alice Castle(Friends Meeting House) (Tickets £15, incl tea/coffee/home-made cake)Sat 27 June1.30 –2.30 pm‘Talk and Tour: Evesham Abbey Site –the Vision and the Reality’ with Barrie Baldelli(Meet The Almonry) FREE EVENT

Sat 27 June 3.00 -4.00 pmHousman Society Lecture: ‘Bredon and Other Hills’ with Peter Parker(All Saints Church) (Tickets £6, inc tea/home-made cake) (Free to Housman Society members)

Sat 27 June7.30 pm‘Once Upon a Song’ with EODS(Bengeworth Church) (Tickets £10, inc wine/nibbles)

Sun 28 June10.30am -1.00pmWorkshop: ‘Travel Writing’ with Solange Hando(Hampton Community Hall) (Tickets £15 inc tea/coffee/home-made cake)

Sun 28 June10.30 am-12.30 pmWorkshop:‘Writing Poetry’ with Anna Saunders (Council Chamber, Town Hall) (Tickets £15, inc tea/coffee/home-made cake)

Sun 28 June1.00 –2.30 pm‘Poetry Picnic’ with Suz Winspear(Friends Meeting House) FREE EVENT (Bring your own picnic)

Sun 28 June3.00 –4.00 pm‘The Reduced Literature Degree’ with Shirley Halse (Friends Meeting House) (Tickets £6, inc tea/coffee/home-made cake)

Sun 28 June7.00 pmPlay: ‘Miss Potter’s Tailor’s Tale’ with Brandywine Theatre Company


Tickets for all 2020 events are now available and can be booked via me - email: info@eveshamfestivalofwords.org, or tel: 0787 1285606; via our Festival website (www.eveshamfestivalofwords.org) with payment by Paypal, or through the Almonry Museum & Tourist Information Centre (tel: 01386 446944). Note workshop tickets are not available through the Almonry.

Show tickets and writing opportunity ;)

Dear Gloucester Writers,
I am excited to share with you information about 'There's Nothing There', which comes to The Cotswold Playhouse on Saturday 7th December following a successful run in Bath earlier this month. The new horror-comedy from Black Dog Productions and Apricity Theatre received rave audience reviews at its opening, with Bath Scum praising its "Horror, folklore, surprisingly funny and the chemistry between the actors made for a mesmerising performance."
More details on tickets and pricing are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/stroud/cotswold-playhouse/theres-nothing-there/e-qkoxom or through the Cotswold Playhouse website at www.cotswoldplayhouse.co.uk/. Please see the attached PR information for more about the show itself and the creatives involved.
We are offering 2 x complimentary press tickets to anyone interested in reviewing the show. If you would like tickets or have any other questions, please get in touch with myself, Black Dog Productions, or our Producer Emily Malloy (copied in). We look forward to hearing form you!
Best wishes,
Charlotte Turner-McMullan
Creative Director
Apricity Theatre
For information on upcoming projects please visit:

From little acorns.....

From little acorns.....
Report on the GWN event on 6 October by Sharon Webster

It is Sunday evening at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Autumn is doing its best to beguile with its blustery rays and scattered bronzes and in the ‘Nook’ we are listening to the winners of the GWN Competition recite their poems and short stories. It is a warm, friendly atmosphere eager to be pleased and it is not difficult for the pieces are read with clarity and expression, striking in the diversity of their interpretation of the theme ‘numbers’ and hugely enjoyable. We are for a moment guests in lives touched by the routine, the tragic, the misjudged and, in the nature of these things, left to reflect, ponder, giggle.

We are not done. It is the turn of the poetry judge, Stephen Daniels, and prose judge, Amanda Reynolds to throw exerts of their collections and most recent work into the ring and to inspire with a flavour of their literary journeys.

The GWN is all about promoting writing in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire and so it is also gratifying to note the different writing groups represented in the audience, the increased number of entrants to the competition and the various levels of experience and geographical spread of those who have been successful.
We start to make our way home. Outside it is dark now and chill, the day is ending. For some though this event will achieve what is intended, it will be a beginning.

For more photos of the event, take a look at our Competition page.