Pamphlet Competition

Frosted Fire Firsts

Judges: Dr Angela France, David Clarke, and 2019 competition winner Janet Lees.

The 2020 competition offers two prizes of publication of a 32-page pamphlet for poets who have not previously had a poetry collection published. Each winner will receive 50 free copies of their pamphlet, and marketing support to launch it. Both poets will also be offered a headline poet event at Cheltenham Poetry Festival, after their pamphlet is published.

A shortlist will be published by the end of March 2020, and the shortlisted poets will be invited to read a poem at the 2020 Cheltenham Poetry Festival, at an event in which the winners will be announced.

Rules and entry to Frosted Fire Firsts competition

Wild! Competition from CPF...

In keeping with the Wild! theme of our 2020 festival, we are holding a contest for a poem inspired by that theme. Your poem(s) can be as unruly and untamed as you like in your take on the theme.

The winning poet will receive £200, the second £75 and the third £25.

Prizes will be awarded at a special Competition event at next year’s Cheltenham Poetry Festival (or posted to any winner who can’t attend.) Shortlisted poets will be given a complimentary ticket to the event in April 2020, and invited to read their successful poems. The winners will then be announced.

Judges: Poet Ben Ray* and Festival Founder and CEO Anna Saunders, who will read all entries anonymously.

Our sponsors for this competition are two wonderful independent shops in Cheltenham.


Click here for full details and how to enter


A Big Thank you every one for making this year's GWN event another success...


Feedback from our winners, guests and the audience were really positive and we've had some great feedback.  People thought we produced an excellent show and that it was well-organised.

Several comments were made about the high standard of the winners' writing.


''Just a short note to thank you for everything you did to make last night's event happen''

''For me it was an incredible experience to spend time with so many talented writers.  I learned a lot! ''

''The whole experience has been extremely positive and is just the boost I needed to crack on with my writing.  I am really grateful to the GWN and for all you do.''

''I just wanted to congratulate you all for such a great night and it was so well hosted''

''You all do such an amazing job and make such a great contribution to the writing community''



...Another successful highlight in the GWN calendar.

Look out for more writing opportunities in our newsletter and website.

If you did not enter this years competition then there's alwasy next year ...  ;))


Thank you - from Kathryn and the GWN team

Diwali Celebration

Here are some details of an event that should brighten up an autumn day.  NAPA (Nethra Academy of Performing Arts) are organising a Diwali Celebration at Pate's Grammar School on Sunday 20th October, which will raise money for the school's "Making £nds Meet" fund.
A copy of the flier is attached and the ticket booking link is here:
It sounds like a super day out.

New - story inspired Escape Rooms


How many times do you find yourself reading a book and wishing that you could step into the story? Now a Cheltenham company allows you to do just that.

Cheltenham author, Kim Fleet, who was last year’s prose judge in the GWN Writing Competition, has partnered with Escape Rooms Cheltenham to create an escape room based on her novel Paternoster. Paternoster is the first in Kim’s series of Eden Grey mysteries and is shortly to be re-issued by Sapere Books.

Escape rooms are a popular world-wide phenomenon whereby a group of friends, family or colleagues are thrown into a scenario where they’re locked in a room, and have to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape. The Paternoster escape room explores a dark and dangerous past lurking beneath the genteel exterior of Cheltenham - a past with tentacles that reach into the present. Sleuths taking part in the escape room are presented with the cases of a kidnapped schoolgirl, a murdered secretary, and a businessman who utters 'paternoster' with his dying breath. They have an hour to uncover what links them all or they too will fall foul of Cheltenham's murky secrets.

The Paternoster Escape Room will be open until 21st December, 2019 and bookings are available at:


Dr Kim Fleet



Connect with me on LinkedIn:

Join me on Instagram @kimfleet

Follow me on Twitter: @KimFleet

Submissions open...


Submission Opportunity for Dear Dylan
Calling all  fans - we would love you to submit to our forthcoming collection of poems/letters inspired by the bardic boy. We will be looking for your poems about, and letter to, the wonderful Dylan Thomas.
Read more and submit here !

Local Success Stories...

Writers and Performers News- Congratulations one and all !

  • Chloe Jacquet reached the semi-finals of the Hammer  & Tongue National Poetry Slam
    Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the 1st of June and finished 6th overall.
  • Nigel Messenger’s third book “From Eden to Babylon “ has been published by Austin
  • Val Ormrod won the Ware Poets International Poetry Competition with her
    poem “Footsteps”.
  • Christine Griffin’s story ‘Curtains ‘ has been placed 3rd in the Evesham Festival
    of Words short story competition
  • Helen Dewberry’s film featuring David Clarke’s poem “Let Me Be Very Clear” showed on
    30 June at Festival of Young Literature in Weimar.
  • Chris Hemingway’s poem “Mr Green” was published in the July edition of “Strix”, and

Beyond the Book: Calling Digital Writers

The creative writing incubator Paper Nations has launched a new digital writing commission to support writers in the South West (Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire). Please find some brief information below and more detailed info attached.
Beyond the Book: Calling Digital Writers
Beyond the Book is a new scheme to develop innovative models for writing and publication, promoting dialogue between writers, technologists and publishers. We will support three writers with a connection to Somerset, Gloucestershire, or Wiltshire over six months to experiment with the possibilities of telling stories using a smartphone.
We’ll offer £5000 and support to develop text-based digital projects and the opportunity to reach local, national, and international audiences.
Beyond the Book is led by writer, Professor Kate Pullinger, and delivered by Paper Nations. Based at Bath Spa University, the Paper Nations team has partnered with a panel of experts who want to see work that is innovative, experimental, and shows a curiosity about the potential of smartphones.
The deadline for applications is 1st September 2019.

When Jane Austen came to town...

Jane Austen and the Cheltonians

Presented by Natura Contemporary Theatre

What really happened when Jane Austen visited Cheltenham in May 1816?

In this sparklingly witty and intelligent new comedy the truth is revealed. Emboldened by the success of her latest novel Jane conjures-up her literary muse Emma Woodhouse to help her write her next novel The Cheltonians - in which surely nothing can go wrong? However when Emma's friend Eloisa Fairweather arrives the temptation to start matchmaking again proves irresistible. Delicious complications follow, as love letters go astray, French émigrés arrive and Emma finds herself the attention of a young army officer. A timeless comment on marriage, morals and love.

Dates for you to save in your diaries are 6th, 7th & 8th February 2020, as Jane Austen & The Cheltonians comes to the Everyman Theatre Cheltenham's Irving Studio as part of its 2020 tour. Here is the link and please do watch the trailer:
Then of course book at your leisure, as Jane Austen herself would have recommended.
*     *     *

Book Launch - Abdul-Ahad Patel

I am holding a book launch at The Wilson in Cheltenham on 31/08/2019 at 2PM.
The event is invite only for 50 limited edition copies of my short-story ‘The Ghost of Shaolin’. All books have been handmade by myself and graphic design artist Adam Taie.
The event will consist of an opening with Qu’ran recitation and translation from my cousin and singer Ishaq Patel. A talk from my father and artist Abdul-Rasheed Patel regarding his illustration contribution to the book. Poetry and awareness of oppression currently happening in China by Flo Poet Annotate (Liam Spencer). To close the event I will be talking about the book and the making of. With the last section a chance for attendees to purchase a copy.
If you would like to attend - please contact Abdul-Ahad through his web site.
Abdul-Ahad Patel.