5 Star Review...

Congratulations to Sue Cross who has received a 5 start review on Amazon for her collection 'Stories To Go'

Available now and also on order from your local bookseller .. ;)

Five star Amazon review:
'Sue Cross has won awards for her short stories and many of these are very relatable to most of us. "Stories to Go" are just that: easy to dip into while waiting at the doctor's, the dentist's or the bus. Sue Cross's cosmopolitan and much-travelled background comes through in her stories and there's always an interesting twist in the end. As a British expat living in the US, I had no problem relating to some geographical references and English idioms such as pinny for apron. Each one of the ninety-three short stories is unique and I find it difficult to single my favourites but I did find "Mother's Word of Wisdom". "Head Banging", "On the Rocks", "A Moving Experience", really entertaining. There is something for everybody in this book and I certainly recommend it.'


Stroud Book Festival - Forthcoming Highlights:

Festival highlights hand-picked for Glos Writers:

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival.

Thursday 8th November Award winning Poet Daljit Nagra https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/daljit-nagra/
Thursday 8th November Open Mic Night  https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/open-mic-night/
Friday 9th November A Problem Shared, AJ Pearce & Bel Mooney  https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/a-j-pearce-bel-mooney/
Friday 9th November Literary Page-Turners (chaired by the Editor of Booker Prize winner Anna Burns) https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/kirsty-gunn-tony-white/
Friday 9th November Poetry Night https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/poetry-night/
Friday 9th November Something Nasty in the Living Room / Domestic Noir (Elisa Lodato and Amanda Reynolds)  https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/lodato-reynolds/
Saturday 10th November Houses of Intrigue (Susan Fletcher, Kate Riordan)  https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/houses-of-intrigue/
Saturday 10th November Healing https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/sally-bayley-and-alice-jolly/
Saturday 10th November Family Life in Fiction (Patrick Gale, Jane Bailey) https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/patrick-gale-jane-bailey/
Sunday 11th November Workshop (Jane Bailey, Kate Riordan) https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/hatching-a-work-of-fiction/
Sunday 11th November Contemporary Sci-Fi https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/contemporary-sci-fi/

 


Stroud Book Festival - tickets now on sale ;)

We are delighted to share the news that tickets for Stroud Book Festival 2018 are now on sale!

This year’s line-up includes Prue Leith, Oz Clarke, Mary Portas, Will McCallum of Greenpeace and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Now in its third year, Stroud Book Festival offers over 40 eclectic and entertaining events over 5 days (7-11 November 2018), designed to enthral, inform and delight!

We’ve invited award-winning authors, illustrious illustrators, poets, performers and politicians, entrepreneurs, environmentalists and experts to this year’s festival. They’ll be sharing their experiences of life and everything in it: food & drink, environment & ecology, working better & living better, music & memoir, family & friendships – in other words, the lifeblood that connects us all. We’ll also be screening On Chesil Beach with Lansdown Film Club and Stroud Film Festival, as well as hosting live poetry events, Stroud Short Stories and workshops aplenty.  Full line-up here: www.stroudbookfestival.org.uk

 

 

For a younger audience, we have four-legged friends and bees seeking roses, cats, ants, a platypus, and pigs up noses; dinosaurs, Romans, cuddly toys, and a chance just to come and make lots of noise!  We also have an entire day dedicated to local primary schools.  Find out more here: https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/schools-day/

 

 

Stroud Book Festival 7-11 November 2018

@BookStroud

https://www.facebook.com/stroudbookfestival/


Review - GWN Winner's event by Sharon Webster

Gloucestershire writers’ network event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

 

An increasing interest in everything writing, a discovery of the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network, and a toe dipped in the water of their competition, finds me in the audience at this event looking forward to hearing the successful

Conceived originally by the Literature Festival, Gloucestershire Writers’ Network was set up to encourage local authors and to inform and unite the various writing groups and this is the show piece of their competition. Although the festival does provide the opportunity of a bigger platform for the winners to air their talents, there is a certain home-grown feeling to the audience and I get the impression there are more than a few local supporters.

It is a warm atmosphere and there is an expectation of enjoyment as the winners and runners up read their prose and poetry pieces, all conforming in some way to the theme “East Meets West”. The breadth of the interpretations is wider, more unusual than I had anticipated, the readings unselfconscious and engaging. I particularly enjoy the prize winning prose piece, “ The Locals ” by Emma Kernahan because it rings true and makes me laugh, and “ Public school - Private Hell “ a poem by  Marilyn Timms,  for the strength of its delivery.  In fact the whole is summed up quite nicely by my neighbour’s comment,

“The standard is much higher than I expected.”

It is as I scan the anthology that I realise the authors have all had some success previously and are not quite the amateurs I thought they were.  **

In the second half we are treated to recitals from the judges themselves, Kim fleet reads extracts from her most recent crime novel “Holy Blood” and Anna Saunders a selection of her poetry, with particular focus on her latest book “Ghosting for Beginners”.

The 50: 50 mix  of poetry and prose makes  the evening varied and entertaining and I will put it on my wish list next year.

As I leave I have a conversation with a stranger about the Ghosts we have seen, it is a good way to end the day thanks to Anna!

 

** Admin Reminder
Please note that the competition is open to all, regardless of experience.  Over the years both experienced and new writers have been represented in the winning line-up.

 


Introducing our GWN Judges and winners 2018

Here are some photographs from our GWN event celebrating the finale of our 2018 Competition

Our congratulations to all winners and to every one who took part - we hope to see you all again next year :))

Photographs courtesy of Howard Timms and Olivia Howarth

Pictured from left to right:

Iris Anne Lewis (Prose runner up) Anna Saunders (Poetry judge) Lynda Fowke (Prose runner up) Emma Kernahan (Prose Winner) Derek Healy (Poetry runner up) Marilyn Timms (Poetry and prose runner up) David Hale (Poetry winner) Kim Fleet Prose judge)

 

 

David Hale - Poetry Winner

Emma Kernahan - Prose Winner

 

Judges Anna Saunders and Kim Fleet in the Waterstones tent

 


Review - GWN Winner's event by Sheila Johnson

The Gloucestershire Writers Network at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

‘East meets West’ was the theme of the 2018 Literature Festival which Gloucestershire writers were asked to interpret. The judges selected this year were short story writer and novelist, Kim Fleet, who judged the prose pieces and Anna Saunders, the CEO of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival and author of five poetry collections, who judged the poetry entries. There were two winners in each category and three runners-up in each. The event this year was a total sell-out as an excited audience consisting of the prize-winning participants, their family, friends and fellow writers gathered around tables in the Nook Marquee at 6.30pm on Sunday 7 October.

The prose winner, Emma Kernahan, from Stroud’s piece was entitled ‘The Locals’, an amusing story about a couple relocating from London to the rural west of England. Emma was thrilled to experience her first competition win with this.

David Hale’s winning poem, ‘Cranes Flying’ was about an archaeological dig unearthing a piece of porcelain, “think willow pattern” he instructed us as he began to read.

We then enjoyed three poems from the runners-up, Derek Healy with his poem, ‘Love’s Convergence, Catherine Baker’s poem ‘Waiting for the boat’ - which was read by her friend Maureen Drew in Catherine’s absence – and Marilyn Timms poem, ‘Public School – Private Hell’. Marilyn was a double runner-up, as she also was a runner-up in the prose section with her piece, ‘Bride Price’. Marilyn has been a runner up in the GWN competition four times but still manages to be surprised by her own talent.

“It’s fantastic to be a runner-up,” she said. “You’re hopeful but you never expect it. I’m just very lucky.”

The other two prose pieces were ‘The Shawl’ by Lynda Fowke and ‘Call me Shadi, Muna, Nasima…’ by Iris Anne Lewis, both dealing with the topical subject of displaced people and refugees.

We then had the pleasure of hearing readings from both the judges, Kim and Anna.

Kim read first from her novel, ‘Featherfoot’ set in the Australian outback and then from her novel, ‘Holy Blood’, set in contemporary and past Cheltenham and dealing with the illegal holy relics trade. Kim confessed to us that all her books have something to do with crime and bodies.

Anna’s poems all came from her latest poetry collection published this year, ‘Ghosting for Beginners’.

“The Gloucestershire Writers Network Competition event is a wonderful opportunity for writers in Gloucestershire,” said Penny Howarth, the joint administrator to the organisation along with Chris Hemingway. “We are very grateful to the Cheltenham Literature Festival for hosting us.”

The Gloucestershire Writers’ Network is a non-profit organisation which connects with writers and writing groups across Gloucestershire by providing them with a central platform. The competition follows the theme of the Cheltenham Literature Festival, which like the festival itself, is run annually and is open to all Gloucestershire writers over the age of sixteen.

 


Review - GWN Winner's event by Howard Timms

GWN honours Gloucestershire Writers at Cheltenham Literature Festival

For any writer it is an honour and privilege to read her or his own creation in the prestigious programme of Cheltenham Literature Festival. That opportunity is provided for a group of outstanding local writers through an annual event by the talented volunteers of Gloucestershire Writers’ Network.

For me, the 2018 event on 7 October provided an excellent and high quality evening’s event. I was proud spouse of one of the seven writers who earned a chance to read after success in a competition which attracted more than 160 entries. I admit a hint of envy, too, as an also-wrote who was honouring the high standard of writing by all the readers on stage.

Sunday’s event started with presentations of prizes to the winner and three runners up of each of two contests – one for short stories, and one for poetry. Then came the readings, extremely varied interpretations of the Literature Festival theme of East meets West.

First up was the winning poet, David Hale from Horsley. His Cranes Flying is an interesting and thoughtful physical discovery of far-eastern culture by a presumably western archaeologist.

The winning prose writer was Emma Kernahan from Stroud. Her story The Locals hilariously contrasts fantasy-driven emails of a woman’s former London commuting with her new, mundane west-country life.

Derek Healy from Lower Swell was first runner-up to read. His poem Love’s Convergence with skilful geographical imagery, shows lovers ‘paralleled two poles . . . apart’ finally embracing each other’s mind.

The Shawl a story by Lynda Fowke from Gloucester, imaginatively features a garment as a refugee. It makes a land and sea journey as a woman’s baggage, a man’s bandage, and finally clothes for toys.

From Tewkesbury, Catherine Baker wrote Waiting for the Boat a poem on old refugee women. ‘Like pinks they can nod’ typifies the imaginative, engaging imagery and music Catherine produces with simple words.

Call me Shadi, Muna, Nasima . . . is an intriguing story by Iris Anne Lewis from Kempsford. After using false names as armour, a young refugee woman finally reveals her real name to a therapist.

Marilyn Timms from Cheltenham was runner-up in both poetry and prose. Her poem Public School – Private Hell starts a train journey in school day dreams, and ends it building the Burma railway as a prisoner of war. With another good final surprise, the story Bride Price shows a Japanese businessman. A widower, he buys a new, western wife, then loses her as ransom for his teenage daughter.

Finally, the two competition judges read some of their own work. Award-winning novelist Dr. Kim Fleet, the judge for stories, read two engaging and suspenseful excerpts from her novels. Then poetry judge Anna Saunders, founder and CEO of Cheltenham Poetry Festival, read thought-provoking and contrasting poems from her latest book Ghosting for Beginners.

After 40 years of earning a reasonable living from writing and editing non-fiction, I admire and respect all of the above writers. The art of creative writing requires more hard work, determination, and talent than reportage or factual reference. I think all of us competitors, and the winners and runners up, owe a great debt of gratitude to the successful creative writers who also find the time and energy to organize GWN.

Howard Timms           9 October 2018

I am working on adding audio of all of the above readings to my blog: http://soundingoffaboutpoetry.com