Celebrating Miki Byrne's 500th Publication











Today we’d like to share some very special news about a very special Glos Writer, Miki Byrne, who’s just had published her 500th piece of writing – a poem titled River Rising.

She is one of GWN's longest serving members and has both won and been placed in the GWN competition several times over the years and is an inspiration to us all.

Miki is the author of poetry collections ‘Nice bits & Hissy-fits’ ‘Flying Through Houses’ and Mackerel Sky’. She has had work included in over 200 poetry magazines/anthologies, including the Raving Beauties Anthology published by Bloodaxe, Wraith Infirmity Muses Inaugural issue and D/deaf/Disabled Poetry Anthology by Nine Arches Press. Other poems have been included in Popshot, Obsessed with Pipework, Acumen and Tears in the Fence.  Miki has read on Carlton TV and BBC TV and on numerous radio stations. Venues she has read in include The Crescent Theatre in Birmingham, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and Tewkesbury Medieval Fayre.  Miki was a finalist for Gloucestershire Poet Laureate.  Her poems have been in Poems in the Waiting Room, a joint NHS/Arts Council initiative.  She has also had a number of articles published. Miki founded and ran In Your Own Words poetry group at The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury.  Miki began reading her work in a Bikers Club in Birmingham.  She is disabled and now lives near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire UK.

She says ' ... I began writing in the year 2000. The poem 'River Rising' is my 500th poem to be included in a magazine or anthology. I would not have achieved this, or written the poems that have not yet been accepted somewhere, if it was not for the help of fellow poets, workshops and poetry books already available. Being disabled I don't see many of you. Knowing you are all out there helps a lot. ...'

We're sure you'll all join in with us in wishing Miki many more years of successful publishing and we are pleased to share with you her 500th published work! Enjoy.

River  Rising. 


River creeps, tumbles, rages.

Works up a frenzy of force.

Sucks bones of buildings bare.

Tears out roots of lives.

Hurls possessions with the abandon

of a party drunk who cares nought

for destruction.

Water spreads like infection

through a town where tears

add to its increase and a woman

screams at nature.

Falls howling to her knees in turgid water.

Sullen skies deposit misery

in rain-fuelled surges, the foetid rise

of drains.

Homes are consumed, sliced away

from foundations, slurped down

into wet maws of sunken roads.

Dragged in the violent sweep

of muscular currents.

Pumps roar, sandbag lines snake

into futile barricades.

Red boats stutter through the flood

as life attempts to progress.

Yellow clad men ease a disabled boy

over his bedroom windowsill.


Accepted ( by courtesy of Editor Marie Lightman) by the Writer’s Café theme ‘Elements’.  October 2018.


Introducing NewBohemians

In the winter of 2015 poet Jennie Farley and artist Su Billington got together to form a new enterprise which has been pulling in audiences for over four years...
NewBohemians@CharltonKings, run by Jennie, provides a programme of music, performance, poetry and workshops at regular intervals throughout the year.
They feature professional poets and musicians, street buskers, spoken word artists, poets launching their new books, and a popular open mic session introducing new talent.
The project supports deepspaceworks, a non-funded community art centre (in what has been called the Bohemian end of Cheltenham) managed tirelessly by Su.
This is where New Bohemians hold their events.
The venue has great atmosphere, excellent acoustics and free parking nearby
You can find them at: deepspaceworks11 Hamilton Street, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham GL53 8HN
New members always welcome !
For further details contact Jennie Farley by email:   farleyj@btinternetcom


Jennie Farley


Congratulations to Glos Writers... 👏👏👏

Miki Byrne

Congratulations to Miki on the 500th publication of an individual magazine/anthology poem. She's a much valued member of the Glos and South Glos writing community and we salute you!

John Holland

Stroud Short Stories organiser, John Holland, has won the 2018 £1,000 First Prize in the To Hull And Back Short Story Competition (for humorous stories) with his story 'Lips'. John, who also won the Dorset Fiction Award in July, will have the pleasure of journeying to Hull and having his mugshot on the front cover of the printed anthology. He will also be one of the judges of next year's competition.

All info - https://www.christopherfielden.com/short-story-competition/results-2018.php#Winners

Joanna Campbell

for winning the TSS Publishing/ Cambridge Short Story Prize with her story 'Boy in a Bearskin'

Val Ormrod who has won the Mere Festival Flash Fiction prize with 'Digging Deep'

Belinda Rimmer 

who is joint-winner of the Indigo Dreams First Pamphlet Competition

and to

Frances March who was shortlisted and Howard Timms who was shortlisted for their first full collection competition.

Anna Saunders (GWN Poetry Judge 2018) 
who is the first poet to sign a three book deal with Indigo Dreams Publishing Ltd

Christine Griffin’s poem ‘Ceasefire’ was Commended in the Torbay Open Poetry Competition

and finally...

to Sophie E Tallis

shortlisted for the 2018 British Fantasy Awards in the Best Artist category so will attending the posh awards ceremony and keeping her fingers crossed!  :-)


👏👏👏 Remember to share your successes with us folks! 👏👏👏

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/


Book Launch - Jan Turk Petrie

Sheepscombe author Jan Turk Petrie is supporting Oxfam with the launch of her first novel this month. Jan will be signing copies of her new book, Until the Ice Cracks, in the Oxfam Cirencester Books and Music shop on October 27. She is donating a sizeable share of her sales on the day to the charity.‘I’m a big supporter of Oxfam and was delighted when they asked me to do a book signing. The shop is such a good resource for readers and writers.’

Until the Ice Cracks is the first volume of Jan’s trilogy of Eldisvik novels, set in a dark, cold Nordic city of the near future where heat is power, foxes are deadly and the line between the criminal underworld and the police is as thin as a crack in the ice – Nordic noir meets Blade Runner.

Volume Two of the trilogy ’No God fro a Warrior' will also be published by Pintail Press next month and Jan is hard at work on the final volume right now.

A successful short story writer, this is Jan’s first published novel. She is a former English teacher with an MA in creative writing from the University of Gloucestershire. Jan also finds time to paint and exhibit semi-abstract oil paintings and has a studio space in the Painswick Centre.

Jan will be in the Oxfam shop at 7 West Market Place, Cirencester from 10 am to 12 noon on October 27. If you aren’t able to call in, her book can now be borrowed from Painswick Library and is also available from Amazon as a paperback or in Kindle format.

New plays on Corinium Radio...

Two plays, written and performed by members of Cirencester Somewhere Else Writers Group have recently been broadcast on

Corinium Radio.co.uk

They are both available on Listen Again - look for Somewhere Else Writers....

  1. Bloodlines by Tina Baker:  A comedy drama. A couple move into an old house with a “curious and dark” past.

2. A Death in Flanders by Frank McMahon: a drama about the last two years in the life of William Tyndale.  Born in Gloucestershire, Tyndale was ordained a priest, became a formidable scholar and translated much of the Bible into English. For that, he was convicted of heresy.

New writers/members wanted - Cirencester

Do you live near Cirencester and want to join a writing group?

Our group 'Thursday Evening Writers' is looking for new members.

We meet in Cirencester from 7-9pm most Thursday evenings - to motivate each other, share and improve our work - or simply just write.

We’re serious about our writing but are friendly and supportive and we’re looking to grow our currently small group.

If you’re interested, why not come along and see if we’re your cup of tea? It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a published author, whether you’re interested in writing poetry, short stories, three-volume novels, flash fiction or all of those, you’ll be very welcome.

Not sure? Just give us a try, it’s free to attend so what have you go to lose? And if it turns out that we’re not for you, we won’t be offended - honest!

Please email:  thursdayeveningwriters@gmail.com to find out more.


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.