Cheltenham Writers' Circle

Did you know?  Cheltenham Writers’ Circle has a new Chair and a new venue.

Our new chair is Howard Smith and our new venue is The Tivoli in Suffolk Street,  close to our old venue at Parmoor House, Lypiatt Terrace.  Details are on our website,

The site also lists our meetings over the coming six months.  All welcome


Edward James

Dean Writer's Circle - New Website

Dean Writers Circle has recently launched its new website where you can find out about their meetings and various upcoming events.
On Wednesday 31st July they are hosting author and poet Belinda Rimmer and short story writer Chloe Turner at The Dog House micro-pub in Coleford, with open mic too.
The event will also launch the Circle's Forest Leaves Festival to be held on Saturday 31 August.
Check out the GWN Calendar and the DWC website for more details.

Stroud Book Festival - Competition



I’m thrilled to send on the details of the Stroud Book Festival writing competitions for 2019.


I attach the press releases, and also the competition entry form.


You can find full details on our website here where you’ll also find the rules and entry guidelines, as well as an electronic version of the entry form.


Following on from the success of 2018, we are running three competitions this year: Poetry, Flash Fiction and Mainstream Fiction.


We are delighted to announce our three category judges:  Jo Bell (Poetry judge), Tania Hershman (Flash Fiction judge) and Alice Jolly (Mainstream Fiction judge).


The Poetry and Flash Fiction competitions are open to international applicants. The Mainstream Fiction Prize is only open to Gloucestershire writers.


Prizes will be awarded at a special event at the Stroud Book festival, which this year runs from 6-10 November. Headline events include Ian McEwan and Julia Donaldson.


We are also very grateful to Adam Horovitz, who agreed to announce the competitions here on Facebook and here on twitter


We would so grateful if you could help spread the word!


Many thanks, all best wishes and Good Luck !



Louise Brice

Stroud Book Festival 6-10 November 2019



Mishka Shubaly hits town...!

Mishka Shubaly


Brace yourselves...  On 22nd June - Mishka Shubaly hits town.

This is part of his  'SOME OF THIS WILL BE FUNNY' UK TOUR

Catch him while you can...

Tickets on sale now via the web site:


Don't miss the boat!

Entries have started to arrive for this year's Competition - have you started yet??

To mark the Cheltenham Literature Festival’s 70th anniversary, poems and prose pieces are invited on the theme of:


  • How many entries will you submit?   1? 2? 3?
  • You have an extra 1 day weekend this Bank holiday to write a winning entry - give it your best shot
  • What can you pack into a poem of 50 lines (max)
  • Maybe you have a 14 line sonnet in mind.
  • Can you tell a story in 750 words?
  • We'll have 2 judges 1 venue and 8 winning entries to listen to
  • You have only have 52 days to go  - and counting  ;))


  • What are your chances? - you do the sums !

You may interpret the theme as imaginatively as you’d like. Look at our How to Get Started page for more inspiration. 

We look forward to receiving your entries


Happy Writing

Kathryn, Penny & Chris

Novel writing course - Birmingham

A seven-week novel-writing course begins on Wednesday 5 June.

The course is taught by bestselling novelist Helen Cross (author of My Summer of Love and other novels) and features a visit from top literary agent Carrie Plitt.

She will attend the final session for a Q&A about the publishing industry and share tips on how best to submit your novel.


GWN members interested in applying are being offered a generous discounted fee of £199 (rather than the full fee of £249) if their applications were successful and they were offered a place on the course.

The course runs each Wednesday evening from 7pm to 9pm and will be held in a private upstairs room at The Rose Villa Tavern at 172 Warstone Lane, The Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B18 6JW

(close to the Jewellery Quarter station). There is plenty of free parking on the roads right next to the venue, and it's on several bus routes too.

All the course information can be seen via the link below…

And here is a selection of testimonials from writers who took the last course we ran in Birmingham at the start of the year…

IF ANY GWN MEMBERS would be interested in one of these  DISCOUNTED PLACES , please email the organiser directly:   Rufus Purdy.

Spotlight on... Glosink.

Every so often we feature a GWN member group:  To introduce them to a wider audience and hopefully attract new members.

If you would like to feature your writing group  please send email to Guy:


Following a creative writing course led by the writer, artist and musician Avril Staple at the Gloucester Guild Hall in 2012, Avril and her students decided to meet at Robert Raikes’ House, Southgate Street Gloucester, for workshop sessions and to critique each other’s work. The following year Avril coined the name ‘GlosInk’ for the cover of a printed collection of the group’s poems, stories and flash fiction. It was entitled ‘The Plan’, and the pamphlet was launched to coincide with the group’s first spoken word event, held at Peppers Café in Bull Lane.

Since that time, GlosInk has continued to meet at Robert Raikes’ House at 7.30 pm every Monday evening except on Bank Holidays.  It’s a friendly group who believe that sharing their work is important, because gaining feedback is the only way to make good writing even better. Those who have brought some prose or a poem distribute copies and read the piece, while the others listen and make notes. The group members take it in turns to make constructive comments, saying what they especially like and suggesting possible improvements. Each author has an opportunity to reply. Comments can be helpful in modifying their writing or be ignored – after all, it’s the writer’s own work!

The process sounds formal, but really it isn’t! Everyone has a lot of fun sharing what they’ve written, and having benefitted from the group’s feedback, some members have gone on to publish their work. But beginners needn’t be put off – newcomers are always welcome and no previous experience is necessary. Anyone interested in joining should contact Cedric Pickin, email:

 **Please check the GWN calendar for dates plus additional Glosink events through out the year **

News from our friends in Evesham ;)

Here is a summary of new events from our friends in Evesham. Their Year long festival and details from their main event in June


Friday 24th May, 7pm, 'Outside the Box' (A live show about death), Friends Meeting House.This is one of those must see events - a unique one woman show about death, written, directed and performed by Liz Rothschild.  Totally unique and original, Outside the Box asks its audience to embrace mortality and look on the bright side of life.  This one hour performance will be followed by an interval and then an optional half hour discussion session about some of the issues raised.  This is always a very powerful part of the evening.  Tickets £10 to include soft drinks and nibbles.  This event is in support of St Richard's Hospice.


From 1st June for a whole month.  'It's all there in black and white', Regal Cinema, Circle Bar. An exhibition of black and white photographs showcasing a world of black and white cinematography by members of Birlingham Photography Club.  Come along, treat yourself to a pre-film drink, enjoy the exhibition and cast a vote for your favourite photo.


Wednesday 5th June, 7.30 pm, 'An Evening with Simon Brett', Ecgwin's Club, Evesham.  Simon Brett has written over 100 books.  His writing also includes comedy in radio and television series.  Simon is a wonderfully entertaining speaker, so come along and hear more about his career in radio, television, and the world of books.  We will have copies of his latest book very hot off the press, and Simon will be delighted to sign books purchased on the nnight.


In the run up to the main Festival weekend, we have our very popular Bookworms Quiz Night, on Wednesday 26th June.  We have 10 teams entered already but can squeeze in a couple more.  Pre-booking essential.  The Quiz Night is followed by a new event - Crime Panel on Thursday 27th June, with Debbie Young compering a panel of three very different crime writers.


We have a change of venue for two of our events: the Calligraphy Workshop on Sunday 30th June, and 84 Charing Cross Road on Saturday 5th October.  Both will now be held in Hampton Community Hall, next to the Church on Pershore Road.  The Calligraphy Workshop is fully booked with 10 participants but the new venue does mean we can take a couple more people.  Contact me if you wish to do that workshop.


Meanwhile, apart from organising events, the Festival Team have been busy supporting two villages which have turned their old red phone boxes into a Book Exchange - Sedgeberrow and Church Lench.  This is a great initiative and we are delighted to be involved.  We are also supporting a Spelling Bee to be held at De Montfort School in late June.


Tickets for all events can be booked via me - email:, or tel: 0787 1285606; via our Festival website ( with payment by Paypal, or through the Almonry Museum & Tourist Information Centre (tel: 01386 446944).  We have already had some sell-out events.  We will include information on the website to indicate numbers of tickets remaining where these are low.  The secret is book early to avoid disappointment!  And if you've already got your tickets, please spread the word.


Sue Ablett, Chair Evesham Festival of Words

Julia Donaldson at SBF 2019!


The Directors of the Stroud Book Festival are overjoyed to announce that the one-and-only Julia Donaldson will be joining us at Stroud Book Festival 2019, for a very special family event on the morning of Saturday 9 November.


Former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson’s extraordinary canon of work, which includes THE GRUFFALO, STICK MAN, ROOM ON THE BROOM and ZOG, has catapulted her to the very top of the bestseller charts, with over 17 million copies of her cherished classics published worldwide.


Stroud Book Festival’s Children’s Artistic Director Jane Churchill says: ‘I have worked with Julia since the early days of her career and I couldn’t be more thrilled that we have the chance to welcome her to Stroud this year for what promises to be a truly fantastic event.’

Tickets for Julia Donaldson’s event will go on sale this summer via the Subscription Rooms box office, full details to be announced.  This year’s Stroud Book Festival will be held from 6 - 10 November 2019 at venues around Stroud and the full Festival line-up will be revealed in the coming months.


Stroud, 9 May 2019

 For all enquiries please contact:

Louise Brice (mob) 07734 106034


SSS - news and updates

Stroud Short Stories has sold out its new venue, the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse, for its 18th event Incendiary! on 19 May - even though their new venue has twice the capacity of their former one. This is the thirteenth SSS event in succession to sell out.
Most of the six new SSS podcasts are now available - either via the SSS website ( via your normal podcast provider (iTunes, Spotify etc) by searching for 'Stroud Short Stories'. The podcasts feature new recordings of stories from the last couple of years of SSS events read by their authors - Melanie Golding, Katie Witcombe, Emma Kernahan, Geoff Mead, Chloe Turner and Nastaya Parker.