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.

 


Introducing our GWN Judges and winners 2018

Here are some photographs from our GWN event celebrating the finale of our 2018 Competition

Our congratulations to all winners and to every one who took part - we hope to see you all again next year :))

Photographs courtesy of Howard Timms and Olivia Howarth

Pictured from left to right:

Iris Anne Lewis (Prose runner up) Anna Saunders (Poetry judge) Lynda Fowke (Prose runner up) Emma Kernahan (Prose Winner) Derek Healy (Poetry runner up) Marilyn Timms (Poetry and prose runner up) David Hale (Poetry winner) Kim Fleet Prose judge)

 

 

David Hale - Poetry Winner

Emma Kernahan - Prose Winner

 

Judges Anna Saunders and Kim Fleet in the Waterstones tent

 


Review - GWN Winner's event by Sheila Johnson

The Gloucestershire Writers Network at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

‘East meets West’ was the theme of the 2018 Literature Festival which Gloucestershire writers were asked to interpret. The judges selected this year were short story writer and novelist, Kim Fleet, who judged the prose pieces and Anna Saunders, the CEO of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival and author of five poetry collections, who judged the poetry entries. There were two winners in each category and three runners-up in each. The event this year was a total sell-out as an excited audience consisting of the prize-winning participants, their family, friends and fellow writers gathered around tables in the Nook Marquee at 6.30pm on Sunday 7 October.

The prose winner, Emma Kernahan, from Stroud’s piece was entitled ‘The Locals’, an amusing story about a couple relocating from London to the rural west of England. Emma was thrilled to experience her first competition win with this.

David Hale’s winning poem, ‘Cranes Flying’ was about an archaeological dig unearthing a piece of porcelain, “think willow pattern” he instructed us as he began to read.

We then enjoyed three poems from the runners-up, Derek Healy with his poem, ‘Love’s Convergence, Catherine Baker’s poem ‘Waiting for the boat’ - which was read by her friend Maureen Drew in Catherine’s absence – and Marilyn Timms poem, ‘Public School – Private Hell’. Marilyn was a double runner-up, as she also was a runner-up in the prose section with her piece, ‘Bride Price’. Marilyn has been a runner up in the GWN competition four times but still manages to be surprised by her own talent.

“It’s fantastic to be a runner-up,” she said. “You’re hopeful but you never expect it. I’m just very lucky.”

The other two prose pieces were ‘The Shawl’ by Lynda Fowke and ‘Call me Shadi, Muna, Nasima…’ by Iris Anne Lewis, both dealing with the topical subject of displaced people and refugees.

We then had the pleasure of hearing readings from both the judges, Kim and Anna.

Kim read first from her novel, ‘Featherfoot’ set in the Australian outback and then from her novel, ‘Holy Blood’, set in contemporary and past Cheltenham and dealing with the illegal holy relics trade. Kim confessed to us that all her books have something to do with crime and bodies.

Anna’s poems all came from her latest poetry collection published this year, ‘Ghosting for Beginners’.

“The Gloucestershire Writers Network Competition event is a wonderful opportunity for writers in Gloucestershire,” said Penny Howarth, the joint administrator to the organisation along with Chris Hemingway. “We are very grateful to the Cheltenham Literature Festival for hosting us.”

The Gloucestershire Writers’ Network is a non-profit organisation which connects with writers and writing groups across Gloucestershire by providing them with a central platform. The competition follows the theme of the Cheltenham Literature Festival, which like the festival itself, is run annually and is open to all Gloucestershire writers over the age of sixteen.

 


Review - GWN Winner's event by Howard Timms

GWN honours Gloucestershire Writers at Cheltenham Literature Festival

For any writer it is an honour and privilege to read her or his own creation in the prestigious programme of Cheltenham Literature Festival. That opportunity is provided for a group of outstanding local writers through an annual event by the talented volunteers of Gloucestershire Writers’ Network.

For me, the 2018 event on 7 October provided an excellent and high quality evening’s event. I was proud spouse of one of the seven writers who earned a chance to read after success in a competition which attracted more than 160 entries. I admit a hint of envy, too, as an also-wrote who was honouring the high standard of writing by all the readers on stage.

Sunday’s event started with presentations of prizes to the winner and three runners up of each of two contests – one for short stories, and one for poetry. Then came the readings, extremely varied interpretations of the Literature Festival theme of East meets West.

First up was the winning poet, David Hale from Horsley. His Cranes Flying is an interesting and thoughtful physical discovery of far-eastern culture by a presumably western archaeologist.

The winning prose writer was Emma Kernahan from Stroud. Her story The Locals hilariously contrasts fantasy-driven emails of a woman’s former London commuting with her new, mundane west-country life.

Derek Healy from Lower Swell was first runner-up to read. His poem Love’s Convergence with skilful geographical imagery, shows lovers ‘paralleled two poles . . . apart’ finally embracing each other’s mind.

The Shawl a story by Lynda Fowke from Gloucester, imaginatively features a garment as a refugee. It makes a land and sea journey as a woman’s baggage, a man’s bandage, and finally clothes for toys.

From Tewkesbury, Catherine Baker wrote Waiting for the Boat a poem on old refugee women. ‘Like pinks they can nod’ typifies the imaginative, engaging imagery and music Catherine produces with simple words.

Call me Shadi, Muna, Nasima . . . is an intriguing story by Iris Anne Lewis from Kempsford. After using false names as armour, a young refugee woman finally reveals her real name to a therapist.

Marilyn Timms from Cheltenham was runner-up in both poetry and prose. Her poem Public School – Private Hell starts a train journey in school day dreams, and ends it building the Burma railway as a prisoner of war. With another good final surprise, the story Bride Price shows a Japanese businessman. A widower, he buys a new, western wife, then loses her as ransom for his teenage daughter.

Finally, the two competition judges read some of their own work. Award-winning novelist Dr. Kim Fleet, the judge for stories, read two engaging and suspenseful excerpts from her novels. Then poetry judge Anna Saunders, founder and CEO of Cheltenham Poetry Festival, read thought-provoking and contrasting poems from her latest book Ghosting for Beginners.

After 40 years of earning a reasonable living from writing and editing non-fiction, I admire and respect all of the above writers. The art of creative writing requires more hard work, determination, and talent than reportage or factual reference. I think all of us competitors, and the winners and runners up, owe a great debt of gratitude to the successful creative writers who also find the time and energy to organize GWN.

Howard Timms           9 October 2018

I am working on adding audio of all of the above readings to my blog: http://soundingoffaboutpoetry.com


Congratulations to John Holland

John Holland wins the To Hull And Back Short Story Competition
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, having his mugshot on the front cover of the printed anthology and reading his story at the launch on 8 December.
Here is how the announcement was made ;)

Lo, verily and yay, here be the most splendid, original, pioneering and prodigious stories entered into the 2018 contest. These stories scored well consistently across a variety of reading tastes.

Congratulations to all the winners – you have each penned a fable of mirth and legend that will be revered for eternity in the To Hull And Back archive.

1st Prize

Lips, by John Holland

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


New Book from Gloucester based writer Abdul-Ahad Patel

Now living and writing in Gloucester, Abdul-Ahad Patel is self-publishing his debut novel 'Native' in October.

Please see his web site for more information:  Abdul- Ahad Patel

  


Stroud Short Stories Launches New Anthology

The new Stroud Short Stories Anthology 2015-2018 is being launched on Friday 28 September. The anthology covers three years, six events and 57 stories by 45 Gloucestershire authors in 254 pages.

The launch is at the Ale House, John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA on Friday 28 September from 7.00 to 10.00pm. Organiser and anthology editor John Holland will say a few words at 7.30 when Mark Graham will then read his story 'Wayland Smith: Warrior of the Milky Way' from the anthology.

The 45 authors in the anthology include four GWN prose winners - Emma Kernahan, Alex Clark, Nastasya Parker and Philip Douch - plus former GWN judge Lania Knight, as well as favourites like Rick Vick, Joanna Campbell, Chloe Turner, Steve Wheeler, Melanie Golding, Simon Piney, Kate O'Grady, Ali Bacon, Jason Jackson, Jan Petrie and Andrew Stevenson.

The event is free and unticketed. Why come along and join us? The anthology, priced at £10.00, provides an eclectic mix of brilliant stories.

To reserve a copy, please email John Holland on stroudshortstories@gmail.com

For more information including a full list of all 45 authors being published in the anthology please click here