Natural Causes – Poetry and Prose 1994 - 2019 (W. E. Holloway)

Shurdington-based writer, Bill Holloway, has recently published Natural Causes – Poetry and Prose 1994 – 2019.

The book is a mixture of light and not-so-light verse written to entertain – to make you laugh, cry, think, feel, and encourage others to write their own and share it. Many pieces have appeared in print and online magazines such as Smiths Knoll, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Cornwall and The Oldie. At 82, Bill says he has outlived some of those magazines but wanted to give “his darlings” another outing.

Natural Causes – Poetry and Prose 1994 – 2019 can be purchased through Amazon, through YPD books, and from The Suffolk Anthology Bookshop, Suffolk Parade, Cheltenham.

Dialect Autumn Workshops

This November, we are delighted to be welcoming award-winning writers Liz Berry, Louisa Adjoa Parker, Alice Jolly and Fiona Benson to bring you workshops on a range of topics from editing your work in progress to
mapping rural landscapes in poetry. Working in association with Stroud Book Festival there is also a free taster workshop on offer from Dialect's own J.L.M. Morton to kickstart your creativity.

As we continue to live through these interesting times, all workshops will be held online to keep everyone safe and of course, this means anyone can join us, wherever they are.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can-afford on a sliding scale £5 -£30.





Creative Kickstart
Been thinking about writing but not sure where to start? Stuck for a while and need to jump back on the word wagon? Join this light-hearted, collaborative online workshop designed to ignite fresh ideas and generate new and exciting work. JLM Morton will lead you gently through a series of
writing activities and share some great resources to help you keep the momentum going long after the Zoom room fun is done. FREE Taster workshop for writers at any level looking for a kickstart to get back on the page or simply enrich your existing practice.
When: Wednesday 4th November 9.30 – 11.30 Cost: FREE




Treasuring your Word Hoard - Writing Dialect Poetry
Hinny, goosegog, ginnel, clarty - the music of vernacular language can make your poems sing! Join award-winning poet Liz Berry for a friendly, playful workshop exploring how to use dialect in your poetry. You'll read some wonderful contemporary dialect poems and take part in short, lively writing exercises designed to spark new work. Suitable for writers of all stages who want to seize this fabulous opportunity to work with Liz, a poet ‘ablaze with energy and full of the rich dialect of the West Midlands,’ an ‘incandescent,’ poet of dazzling talent and verve (Guardian).
When: Wednesday 4th November, 4pm – 6pm Cost: £5 - £30 +




Exploring diverse voices in rural spaces
Historically, our literature has been loud with the silences of those who’ve been excluded. Join Louisa Adjoa Parker, a writer of extraordinary skill, warmth and courage for an interactive workshop exploring the rich diversity of rural writing with its varied voices. Taking inspiration from working class, ethnically diverse and women writers who write through experience at the margins of this ‘green and pleasant land,’ you’ll work with prompts and exercises to come away with new work and a different take on what it means to write the rural today. All writers are welcome, wherever you live and whatever your experience / background or genre.
When: Friday 6th November 4pm - 6pm Cost: £5 - £30 +




Words that glitter: re-writing and editing
So you have got a first draft of your novel or short story but you know that it doesn’t quite work. How do you make it sharper, brighter, more engaging? How do you polish the writing and tighten the structure? This workshop with novelist, playwright and memoirist Alice Jolly will enable you to work on a hands-on editing and re-writing exercise which will show you how to turn an average piece of writing into a story that glitters. This workshop is relevant to beginners, improvers and those who are ready to send out work. Come with your editing pencil sharpened and ready to work with a writer of exceptional clarity and lyricism.
When: Saturday 7th November 10am-12pm Cost: £5 - £30 +




Mapping Rural Worlds with Words
Join Fiona Benson on a foray into poems that seek to capture the realities of rural dwelling. We will work toward poems for our own personal ‘Book of Days’ by mapping out our rural territories. Exploring the overlay of the rhythms of rural life and the interplay of the seasons with our own inner lives, we’ll write poems that journey through these landscapes. You will need the largest piece of plain paper you can find, and some colouring pens / pencils / crayons, as well as your notebook and pen. The uncompromising beauty of Fiona Benson's poetry has won her many awards and the admiration of readers, this is a wonderful opportunity to work with one of the best poets at work in the UK today.
When: Sunday 8th November 10am- 12pm Cost: £5 - £30 +

GWN 2020 Winners' Event

On Sunday 4th October we celebrated the successful entries to our poetry and prose competition, on the theme of “My World,” at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. It was the first time that we were live streamed, that we had to hear the judges’ comments and enjoy samples of their writing on pre-recorded videos rather than live, and that more of the winning pieces were read on behalf of, as opposed to by, their author. But we were there!

In a year when nobody could have envisaged the havoc a microscopic organism could wreak on our existence, we were lucky to have two amazing judges, Tyler Keevil for prose and Sarah James/ Leavesley for poetry, who still spent their time deliberating over the submissions, we are informed by them, of a very high standard, before they declared the winners. We were also very fortunate to have the support and professionalism of the team at the Festival who made the event, not only possible, but fun.

Of course, some things were the same. We came to be entertained by the poems and the stories and we were.





Marilyn Timms read her winning poem “Final Gig at the Motorway Services”






Iris Anne Lewis was a runner up with her poem “Earthrise “and her prose piece “Two Dark Shadows”






Christine Griffin was a runner up with her poem “Old Times.”


And although the other entries were read by members of the GWN team they held the “voices” of their authors.

Strands by Robin Darrock, the prose winner.

The Wall by Tony Domaille, prose runner up.

Unchartered by Derek Healy, poetry runner up.

Cage in the Sky by Joanna Campbell, prose runner up.


Whilst some aspects of this year we would gladly leave behind, we loved the inspiration it gave to our entrants, the determination and enthusiasm of those we encountered and the fact that we were able to share the event with a wider audience. Those things we will be more than glad to take forward.

With best wishes

The GWN Team

The GWN anthology is available from Black Pear.
Books published by the judges are available at Waterstones.

Christine Griffin

Christine Griffin's poem, 'Naming Words', was published in the September edition of Snakeskin.

Click here to view it.

Shooter Literary Magazine

Shooter Literary Magazine's 2020 Poetry Competition is now open to poetry of any theme/style, up to 100 lines max.
Entry fee of £3 per poem or £8 for three.

All entrants receive an e-copy of Shooter's Winter 2021 issue, in which the winning poem will appear. Winner receives £150 and publication both in print and online; runner-up wins £50 and online publication. Deadline of November 1st, 2020; winners announced in December.

Click here for Guidelines and entry details.

Click here for general submissions for the winter issue, themed Animal Love.

First Prize for Christine Griffin

Congratulations to Christine!

Her poem, ‘Camera Obscura’, was awarded first prize in the Evesham Festival of Words Poetry Competition.

Of Earth And Sky

The Gloucester Culture Trust are starting a new project called Of Earth And Sky, which is a city wide art installation featuring words and poetry created by communities in Gloucester.

If you would like to help help, or submit an entry, click here for more information.

New Poetry Collection by Derek Healy

Gloucestershire poet Derek Healy (recently exiled to the Malverns) has just had his second full length collection published. Called "Home", it is produced by Graffiti Books, costs £7, and is available to buy here or from Derek by email:

"Derek Healy writes beautifully. Lyrically rich, vividly imagistic, poignant and moving, these poems stay with you long after their reading." Anna Saunders

"His skilful use of form, as well as free verse, is a joy." Rona Laycock

"... ranges through lyrical reflection and wry, self-deprecatory humour to the raw honesty of his evocative musings on man's insignificance in the grand scheme of things.". Marilyn Timms

Buzzwords Poetry Competition

Situation depending, Buzzwords' monthly meet will not recommence until September at the earliest.

However, the Buzzwords poetry competition is currently live and accepting entries! Closing date 22nd August 2020.

Click here for more information.

Perspectives Magazine

Perspectives magazine, produced by Cheltenham Arts Council, has some fascinating articles about the arts in Cheltenham and the effects of Lockdown.

Click here to view the magazine online.