Natural Causes – Poetry and Prose 1994 - 2019 (W. E. Holloway)

Shurdington-based writer, Bill Holloway, has recently published Natural Causes – Poetry and Prose 1994 – 2019.

The book is a mixture of light and not-so-light verse written to entertain – to make you laugh, cry, think, feel, and encourage others to write their own and share it. Many pieces have appeared in print and online magazines such as Smiths Knoll, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Cornwall and The Oldie. At 82, Bill says he has outlived some of those magazines but wanted to give “his darlings” another outing.

Natural Causes – Poetry and Prose 1994 – 2019 can be purchased through Amazon, through YPD books, and from The Suffolk Anthology Bookshop, Suffolk Parade, Cheltenham.

Dialect Autumn Workshops

This November, we are delighted to be welcoming award-winning writers Liz Berry, Louisa Adjoa Parker, Alice Jolly and Fiona Benson to bring you workshops on a range of topics from editing your work in progress to
mapping rural landscapes in poetry. Working in association with Stroud Book Festival there is also a free taster workshop on offer from Dialect's own J.L.M. Morton to kickstart your creativity.

As we continue to live through these interesting times, all workshops will be held online to keep everyone safe and of course, this means anyone can join us, wherever they are.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can-afford on a sliding scale £5 -£30.





Creative Kickstart
Been thinking about writing but not sure where to start? Stuck for a while and need to jump back on the word wagon? Join this light-hearted, collaborative online workshop designed to ignite fresh ideas and generate new and exciting work. JLM Morton will lead you gently through a series of
writing activities and share some great resources to help you keep the momentum going long after the Zoom room fun is done. FREE Taster workshop for writers at any level looking for a kickstart to get back on the page or simply enrich your existing practice.
When: Wednesday 4th November 9.30 – 11.30 Cost: FREE




Treasuring your Word Hoard - Writing Dialect Poetry
Hinny, goosegog, ginnel, clarty - the music of vernacular language can make your poems sing! Join award-winning poet Liz Berry for a friendly, playful workshop exploring how to use dialect in your poetry. You'll read some wonderful contemporary dialect poems and take part in short, lively writing exercises designed to spark new work. Suitable for writers of all stages who want to seize this fabulous opportunity to work with Liz, a poet ‘ablaze with energy and full of the rich dialect of the West Midlands,’ an ‘incandescent,’ poet of dazzling talent and verve (Guardian).
When: Wednesday 4th November, 4pm – 6pm Cost: £5 - £30 +




Exploring diverse voices in rural spaces
Historically, our literature has been loud with the silences of those who’ve been excluded. Join Louisa Adjoa Parker, a writer of extraordinary skill, warmth and courage for an interactive workshop exploring the rich diversity of rural writing with its varied voices. Taking inspiration from working class, ethnically diverse and women writers who write through experience at the margins of this ‘green and pleasant land,’ you’ll work with prompts and exercises to come away with new work and a different take on what it means to write the rural today. All writers are welcome, wherever you live and whatever your experience / background or genre.
When: Friday 6th November 4pm - 6pm Cost: £5 - £30 +




Words that glitter: re-writing and editing
So you have got a first draft of your novel or short story but you know that it doesn’t quite work. How do you make it sharper, brighter, more engaging? How do you polish the writing and tighten the structure? This workshop with novelist, playwright and memoirist Alice Jolly will enable you to work on a hands-on editing and re-writing exercise which will show you how to turn an average piece of writing into a story that glitters. This workshop is relevant to beginners, improvers and those who are ready to send out work. Come with your editing pencil sharpened and ready to work with a writer of exceptional clarity and lyricism.
When: Saturday 7th November 10am-12pm Cost: £5 - £30 +




Mapping Rural Worlds with Words
Join Fiona Benson on a foray into poems that seek to capture the realities of rural dwelling. We will work toward poems for our own personal ‘Book of Days’ by mapping out our rural territories. Exploring the overlay of the rhythms of rural life and the interplay of the seasons with our own inner lives, we’ll write poems that journey through these landscapes. You will need the largest piece of plain paper you can find, and some colouring pens / pencils / crayons, as well as your notebook and pen. The uncompromising beauty of Fiona Benson's poetry has won her many awards and the admiration of readers, this is a wonderful opportunity to work with one of the best poets at work in the UK today.
When: Sunday 8th November 10am- 12pm Cost: £5 - £30 +

GWN 2020 Winners' Event

On Sunday 4th October we celebrated the successful entries to our poetry and prose competition, on the theme of “My World,” at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. It was the first time that we were live streamed, that we had to hear the judges’ comments and enjoy samples of their writing on pre-recorded videos rather than live, and that more of the winning pieces were read on behalf of, as opposed to by, their author. But we were there!

In a year when nobody could have envisaged the havoc a microscopic organism could wreak on our existence, we were lucky to have two amazing judges, Tyler Keevil for prose and Sarah James/ Leavesley for poetry, who still spent their time deliberating over the submissions, we are informed by them, of a very high standard, before they declared the winners. We were also very fortunate to have the support and professionalism of the team at the Festival who made the event, not only possible, but fun.

Of course, some things were the same. We came to be entertained by the poems and the stories and we were.





Marilyn Timms read her winning poem “Final Gig at the Motorway Services”






Iris Anne Lewis was a runner up with her poem “Earthrise “and her prose piece “Two Dark Shadows”






Christine Griffin was a runner up with her poem “Old Times.”


And although the other entries were read by members of the GWN team they held the “voices” of their authors.

Strands by Robin Darrock, the prose winner.

The Wall by Tony Domaille, prose runner up.

Unchartered by Derek Healy, poetry runner up.

Cage in the Sky by Joanna Campbell, prose runner up.


Whilst some aspects of this year we would gladly leave behind, we loved the inspiration it gave to our entrants, the determination and enthusiasm of those we encountered and the fact that we were able to share the event with a wider audience. Those things we will be more than glad to take forward.

With best wishes

The GWN Team

The GWN anthology is available from Black Pear.
Books published by the judges are available at Waterstones.


The Gloucestershire-based literary journal, Superlative, has selected its winners and contributors for its 2020 'New Beginnings' short story competition and journal.

Competition Winners

'Birdsong' by Lui Sit (Winner)
'Mockingbirds' by Faraaz Mahomed (Runner-up)
'Seven' by Richard Hooton (Runner-up)


Journal Contributors

'Born Standing' by Ed James
'And the Stone Rolls On' by Alex Blank
'Did I do Something Wrong?' by Harrison Lake
'Crow Overlooking' by M.M. Mancey
'Circular Breathing' by Becca Edwards
'I'll Never Leave You' by Asha Sutton
'Saving Skyler' by William Falo
'The Perpetually Dying Woman' by Mr Uku

Competition winners are published online here.

Back issues of the journal can be purchased here, and subscriptions can be purchased here.

Christine Griffin

Christine Griffin's poem, 'Naming Words', was published in the September edition of Snakeskin.

Click here to view it.

New Stroud Writing Group

Are you writing a work of fiction, or maybe a novel or collection of short stories? Would you like to be part of a weekly online writing group - one that is task focused, using workshop activities and structured peer review? The intention is to use these short sessions as a way of ‘sketch-booking’ our writing and developing ideas in our own time.

The group uses topic based (e.g. character, POV, description etc) activities as a way of looking at our own writing. Each writing activity takes about 15 minutes, following which we share our writing/notes/thoughts and discuss what works, and ways that things could be done differently.

We currently meet on Thursdays for one hour, 6.30-7.30pm.

We would love to welcome new members to add wider perspectives/experience to the group. As we meet online, it doesn’t matter where you live. You need to have a video and microphone, and to be able to upload documents to the chat for others to read. Currently we meet on Skype but will be moving to Zoom so that we can do breakout rooms for feedback.

If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Cheryl on for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

Free Zoom Writing Workshops in September

Isolation restrictions are easing in many places, but not in others. So, isolated or not, The Roses Theatre Feel Good Festival are running a 2 free creative writing workshops in September.

The first will be on Monday 14th: click here for more information.
The second will be on Thursday 17th: click here for more information.

'In Search of You', by Patsy Freeman

A local author from Nailsworth, Patsy Freeman, has recently published In Search of You - letters to a daughter, described as: 'Heart-felt, courageous and a compelling page turner, this memoir is a beacon for those in grief'.


Patsy's website also contains many resources to help those dealing with grief and bereavement.

Click here for more information.

Children's Book Written during Lockdown - Sophie Ferguson

The lockdown has been a very difficult time for so many but there have been some important positives and I think it is good for us all to acknowledge them to keep the spirits lifted.

For my part, as a police officer for the last 25 years, I had never written a book and had forgotten that I really enjoy drawing and painting.

Forced to spend more time at home (which I love but there are always visits to be made on days off) I missed my two year old Granddaughter so much that I wrote and illustrated her a story…and then another.

'Granny and Grumps Go for a Walk' is based on the hour long exercise we were permitted at the first stage of lockdown, and I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside. The young reader will enjoy guessing which animal is spotted next and the comfort of the short verse.

'Granny and Grumps Have a Visitor' documents the excited anticipation of our Granddaughter coming to visit when restrictions eased-even amongst the creatures and the insects in the garden. The ensuing chaos is short lived before the day flashes by in an instant.

With pages including the family cat;
(‘Pippy was snoozing. He couldn’t decide if he wanted to play, or he wanted to hide!’) and the deer with the waggly ears along with the ‘Flickering, fluttering patterns and colours’ of the butterfly and her friends, hopefully my Granddaughter will appreciate these as much as an adult as she does as a two year old.

Somewhere Else Writers (Cirencester)

Somewhere Else Writers in Cirencester have recommenced weekly meetings on Wednesday afternoons.


Enquiries about membership to: