The Directors of the Stroud Book Festival are delighted to announce that this year’s Festival will be held from 6 - 10 November 2019. It will be headlined by Booker-winning author (and Stroud Book Festival patron) Ian McEwan, who will be in conversation about “Machines Like Me”, his subversive and entertaining new novel about artificial intelligence, which poses fundamental questions about what makes us human.


The full Stroud Book Festival line-up will be revealed this summer and will aim to build on the success of the 2018 Festival, which finished its 5-day run with record ticket sales, sell-out events and a line-up widely praised both for its variety and broad appeal.  The Festival programme will once again include a Schools Day, writing competitions, Stroud Short Stories and much more besides.


Stroud Book Festival’s Artistic Director Caroline Sanderson says ‘We’re delighted that Ian McEwan has agreed to appear at this year’s Festival, and look forward to announcing more exciting events in the coming weeks. Children’s Artistic Director, Jane Churchill and I are already hard at work to bring a host of authors to Stroud who will animate, educate and entertain our audiences this coming November.’


Festival Director Paul McLaughlin says: ‘We are hugely grateful for the support we received from the local business community in 2018 and look forward to partnering again with so many brilliant Stroud companies and organisations. We are also very excited by the prospect of working closely with the new team at the Subscription Rooms as both venue and box office.’


For all enquiries please contact:

Louise Brice louise@stroudbookfestival.org.uk (mob) 07734 106034


GWN Competition

GWN Competition


We hope to announce details of the 2019 GWN Writing Competition very soon (both on the website and a dedicated mail-out to our mailing list).  We are looking to maximise publicity for the competition and would welcome volunteers to help us get flyers and posters displayed and available across the County, including South Gloucestershire.

If you’re interested in getting involved please email us at competition@gloswriters.org.uk We’re also very keen to find more places to publicise the competition, so if you have contacts for listings publications in the County or surrounding area, please also let us know.


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: pennygwn@gmail.com
  • 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: https://uniofglos.blog/creativewriting/anthology/2019-heritage/ and email submissions to heritageanthology@gmail.com  

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 - http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.com/
Why not subscribe for SSS newsletters so you don't miss a thing? http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.com/p/contact.html

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 peterwyton@hotmail.com

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)