Christine Griffin’s poem ‘Silk Road’ won the Graffiti Travel Poetry Competition.
Also her story ‘Matt and Zoe 4ever’ was a runner-up in the Graffiti Travel Writing Competition.
Please tell us about your own writing success stories  ;)



Spring Picture Competition


Dear all

Are you also a budding photographer..?

Do you find inspiration from nature and the seasons?


In addition to our flagship Poetry Competition, we are also introducing a Spring Picture Competition.

The winner will have their (copyright free photo) used on our Web site Main page.


Perhaps your favourite photograph would also provide inspiration to others...  Spring is such a good time for new and creative thought ;)


If this is successful we might extend the challenge into all Seasons and publish your picture inspired poetry;)


Please send in your photographs by 5th March 2019.

The GWN Chairs will judge and the winner will see their work on line for the first day of Spring 20th March 2019.


So! what are you waiting for - grab your cameras, mobiles, box brownies ... and send us your best shot...


  • Photographs must be taken by the GWN Member.
  • Your entry assumes permission to publish your photograph on line
  • Email your entries to:
  • Don't forget to include your contact details


Good luck


Kathy and the team

University of Glos. - Creative Writing Anthology


Call for Creative Writing submissions
What does heritage mean to you? Family, identity, history… or something more?
The 2019 UOG Creative Writing Anthology – Heritage: New Writing VIII – is inviting prose, poetry and artwork submissions connected to the theme of ‘Heritage’ from Monday 4th February to Friday 8th March 2019. If you’re a student, employee or alumni of the University of Gloucestershire or Humber College, Canada, we want to hear from you!
See here for more details: and email submissions to  

heritage feb2019

Stroud Short Stories + Competition Launch

Stroud Short Stories - New dates, new theme, new venue!
The next Stroud Short Stories event will be held on Sunday 19 May 2019 at a new venue, The Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street, Stroud.
SSS opens for submissions from Gloucs and South Gloucs writers for this event on I February and closes on 31 March.
The theme is 'Incendiary!' so we are looking for stories, both literally and metaphorically about fire, heat, passion, rebellion, incineration, inflamed feelings, subversion etc.
As always it's free to submit, and we accept both published and unpublished stories.
Ten stories will be chosen by co-judges novelist/short story author, Ali Bacon, and SSS organiser, John Holland. On the night the authors will read their stories to an audience of up to 150 short story lovers.
All the info you need is on the SSS website -
Why not subscribe for SSS newsletters so you don't miss a thing?

Poetry Cafe Refreshed 2019 Calendar

Here is the 2019 calendar for Poetry Cafe Refreshed events.

Please see further details in calendar section.

16 Jan Stephen Payne

20 Feb Holly Magill and Brett Evans

20 Mar Melanie Branton

April 17 Maggie Harris

15 May Rebecca Gethin

19 June Kate North

17 July A.F. Harrold

21 Aug Oz Hardwick

18 Sep Julia Webb

16 Oct   Luke Palmer

20 Nov  Sarah L Dixon

Peter Wyton Gears up for 2019...


I am now at last fully retired from what Phillip Larkin termed ‘the toad work’, following a many faceted career which began, delivering and connecting laundry all over Belfast in the summer of 1959, at the unimaginable salary of £3 a week. If I have a proud boast at all, it is that I have never been unemployed since, until I skidded to a halt in the late spring of this year of 2018. PETER WYTON GEARS UP FOR 2019

I am now in a position where I can enjoy myself – and what I enjoy is entertaining people with my poetry. I am NOT a teacher. I have neither a degree to my name, nor any aspirations to special merit beyond those laid out below. Within those limits I aim to present a pleasant programme for groups and societies throughout Gloucestershire and neighbouring counties. My e-mail address is at the foot of the page. Drop me a hint and I will endeavour to fit in with your requirements

I began to write poetry at school & appeared on B.B.C. Radio Children’s Hour in Belfast, for which I was paid the princely sum of 7/6d per broadcast, which did nothing to persuade me to follow a literary career. Instead, I joined the R.A.F. and served for 36 years. Such poetry as I wrote in uniform tended be caricatures my long-suffering aircrew colleagues..

Discovering, back in civilian life, the world of page and performance poetry, I have presented my work at Festivals, Arts Centres and a wide variety of venues from Penzance to the Kingdom of Fife, and from Aldeburgh to the Glens of Antrim.

I have eight published collections to my name, two of which are still in print. The most recent ‘Not All Men Are From Mars’, has raised over £2000 for the charity ‘Women’s Aid.’

The staff of the magazine Smiths Knoll recommended one of my poems for the Forward Prize in the one of the 1990s, but it turned out to be a case of ‘close but no cigar’.

Anthologies in which I have featured are numerous, the pick of them being the 1997 Forward Book Of Poetry, in which poems are printed in alphabetical order, so I have the back page all to myself! Presumably Benjamin Zephaniah must have been having an off year that year!  Also, the New Oxford Book Of War Poetry in which the editor, John Stallworthy, paid tribute to a poem in the Introduction and (again, with fortuitous use of alphabetical order bunged me in between Wordsworth and Yeats!)

I have won 25 1st Prizes in written competition, loads of 2nds, thirds and ‘commendeds’ galore, as well over performance poem Slam wins.

I was Gloucestershire Millennium Poet in the year 2000 and Poet Laureate to the Towton Battlefield Association in Yorkshire.

Further work has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express.

I broadcast regularly on B.B.C. Radio Gloucestershire, as Breakfast Bard on the Mark Cummings Show and my work has also featured on B.B.C. Radio 2 ‘s ‘Poetry Please’ and ‘Something Understood.’ I have, for some years, had a regular poetry column in Cotswold Life magazine.

I have regularly addressed local branches of the W.I., Probus and similar organisations at their monthly meetings.

I can be contacted at

Festival news from our friends in Evesham...

Dear all
... there is plenty going on with Festival planning for 2019
See below for Festival outline
Our Short Story Competition was launched 1st November, with a closing date of midnight on Friday 22nd March.  Competition Rules are on the Festival website.  There are categories for adults and juniors (8-11 and 12-15) so do think about submitting an entry, and maybe encouraging children or grandchildren to enter.  If you have a contact with a school, please pass on details.
Christmas is coming and you may like to while away an hour or two with our 2018 Christmas Quiz (copy attached and also available to download from the website/Programme).  As last year it has a bookish/wordy theme.  There is a chance to win a £10 book token.  Closing date Saturday 5th January.
Lastly, the programme for 2019 is looking fantastic - both the year-long fringe and the main Festival weekend (28th - 30th June 2019).  Details of events are slowly being added to our website.  The Festival Brochure will be out end of March/beginning of April.  In the meantime, the attached Outline Programme will give you an indication of what's coming up, when, and details of venue and tickets.  The Programme can also be downloaded from our website/Programme.
Reminder that some of our events sold out very quickly this year, so do book early.  Full details of 2019 events are gradually being added to the website.  Tickets can be ordered directly through me (by email or phone - 0787 1285606); via our Festival website, with payment via Paypal; or, from January, from the Almonry Museum (tel: 01386 446944).
Enjoy the Quiz, think about entering the Short Story Competition and, most importantly, save some dates for 2019 events!
Best wishes and a merry Christmas.
Sue Ablett, Chair Evesham Festival of Words
Evesham Christmas Quiz Dec 2018
Evesham outline Programme as at 1 Dec 2018 (1)

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

Introducing NewBohemians@CharltonKings

In the winter of 2015 poet Jennie Farley and artist Su Billington got together to form a new enterprise in what is known as the Bohemian end of Cheltenham which has been pulling in good audiences for over four years.
NewBohemians@CharltonKings (popularly known as the New Bohemians) is run by Jennie, and provides a programme of events at regular intervals throughout the year.
These events feature professional musicians and guest poets, spoken word artists, poets launching their new books, workshops, and a popular open mic session introducing fresh talent.
The project supports deepspaceworks a non-funded local community art centre managed by Su. The venue has great atmosphere, excellent acoustics and free parking nearby.
deepspaceworks, 11 Hamilton Street, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham GL53  8HN
New members always welcome!
For further details contact Jennie Farley: