Cheltenham Poetry Festival Summer School

Beginning May: free readings, writing triggers, open mics and workshops.

Tutors include Angela France, David Clarke, Roy Mcfarlane, and more!

Click here for more information.

April Buzzwords Cancelled

In the interest of social distancing and helping to keep everyone safe, the April 5th Buzzwords session has been cancelled.

We will keep everyone informed about future events as the situation changes.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival Rescheduled to Autumn 2020

Cheltenham Poetry Festival is being rescheduled to Autumn 2020, in line with NHS and Government guidance on Coronavirus. The Festival Team will contact anyone who has already bought tickets for Festival events, to let them know options available. The Team will be working hard to ensure the rearranged Festival will continue to be a success.

Gloucestershire Poet, Alison Mace, to appear at London Spring Festival

Gloucestershire writer, Alison Mace, will be introducing her first poetry collection, Man at the Ice House, published December 2019 by The High Window Press, at the Spring Festival of The Second Light Network of Women Poets.

The Festival takes place at the Artworkers' Guild in London on 22nd and 23rd May; poets will introduce their work with short readings at the start of the open mic sessions that end each day.

Alison lives in the Forest of Dean and co-runs the NaCOT poetry-writing group, which meets near Cheptsow and is involved with PIPs (Poets in Progress) and Dean Writers' Circle. She has always written poetry, and last year was lucky enough to be offered publication of a first collection by The High Window Press.

Man at the Ice House has four sections: one, a sequence dealing with her early life and the loss of her mother; another, a novelistic sequence telling the story of her formidable American aunt and family; and two sections of general interest, including poetry of place and nature. Her book was launched in Chepstow in December and can be bought online from Amazon and from the publishers.

Cornium Radio Opportunities

Below are dates that are still available for anyone interested in talking about writing, sharing their work, publicising books/gigs/workshops etc.
Please contact Rona Laycock if you are interested
More info on the sessions is below the dates.

April 16th , 23rd,  30th.

May 7th, 14th, 28th.

Writers Room

We meet in the foyer of Cirencester Library, The Waterloo, Cirencester GL7 2PZ  at 11am on the day of recording.

The library is situated at the back of Bingham House and can be reached via the little alleyway that runs down the side of TSB in the market place. Once the alleyway opens out into a road you will find the library on the right.

Work that is to be read on community radio has to be acceptable to a wide range of listeners so we ask that there is no explicit violence or sex and not too much swearing - certainly not the stronger swear words.

I will chat to you about what inspires you or what sort of writing you like to do etc.  If you have a website or have published a book you can publicise that as well. The programme is approximately 26 minutes long so we have plenty of time for readings as well as the interview.

The sessions are recorded so that any mistakes we make can be edited out.  If you make a mistake just stop and go back a couple of sentences and the programme producer will sort it all out during the editing.

The programme is now available to be sent out as an audio file via email so you don’t have to wait until it is broadcast to hear your performance!

It also features on the ‘Listen Again’ page of Corinium Radio’s website.


News from our friends in Evesham

Reminder, our 2020 Short Story Competition is now open.

Coming soon: Workshops: Stepping into Social Media Workshop with Ellie Stevenson - Monday 10th Feb, 10.30 am - 1.00 pm, and Developing Your Novel (Editing) with Alison May - Saturday 7th March, 10.30 am - 4.30 pm. Still places available for these two workshops. Cost £15 and £25 respectively)

Monday 2nd March, Tony Conder will be talking about Gloucestershire's Chosen Trio (Poets Ivor Gurney, Herbert Howells and FW Harvey). Tony's talk is at Holland House, Cropthorne, and follows a 2-course lunch. Arrive 12.30 for lunch at 1.00 pm. Tickets £18 direct from Holland House (tel: 01386 860330).

Since the last update we have added in two new events: Alice May will be talking about The House That Sat Down. Tuesday 23rd June, 2.30 pm, at a new venue for the Festival - Cavendish Park Care Home, Offenham Road. Its a fabulous venue, and Alice's talk will be followed by afternoon tea. Saturday 3rd October, 7.30 pm, we have Words and Music of The Vale with local singer/songwriter, Colin Pitts and friends. Venue: Unitarian Chapel, Oat Street.

Details of all events can be found on our Festival website. We are currently working on the Festival Brochure, which should be in print by end of March.

Our new Evesham Festival of Words Book Club was launched in January. It was a fantastic evening, much enjoyed by all who came, with so much lively and friendly discussion. Contact Helen Yendall if you are interested in finding out more (email:

Tickets for all 2020 events are now available and 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). Note workshop tickets are not available through the Almonry.

We have a great line up for 2020 and no shortage of ideas. We would like a couple more people on the Steering Group. If you are interested, then do get in touch. Note that I will be abroad on holiday from 8th - 20th February with email but no phone access.

Meanwhile, look forward to seeing you at some of our great line up of events.

Sue Ablett, Chair Evesham Festival of Words

Wild poetry competition!

Wild Poem Competition. 

The theme for the 2020 Cheltenham Poetry Festival is Wild, and so you won’t be surprised to learn that this is the theme for the flagship contest. 

Your poems can be as unruly and untamed as you like, they say, but I’m not sure they’d appreciate an unruly and untamed manuscript decorated with tomato sauce splotches and coffee cup stains, so I’d keep that tidy.

Closing: 29.2.20.
Prizes: £200, £75, £25.  Winners and shortlisted poets will be invited to the special prizegiving event in at the Festival in April 2020.
Entry Fees:   £4 each, £14 for four.
Comp Page:
Chelt Poetry.

Article reproduced from Prize Magic with the kind permisson of Michael Shenton

Celebrating local success...

Writers and Performers News- Congratulations all !

  • Barry Faulkner's 9th novel in the DCS Palmer and the Serial Murder Squad series, Ministry of Murder, was released in  October and made it into the top 100 medical crime books on Amazon. Faulkner sets each book in a different setting, this one is a serial murder case in the NHS Ministry of Health involving organized crime, an MP and drug price manipulation.


  • Belinda Rimmer’s “Waiting for Snow”, ZD Dicks’ “Krampus”, Cliff Yates’ “I’ve Just Invented the Tai Chi Sprout Farm Stalk” and Kathryn Alderman’s “Season’s Greetings from the Heart” were all published on Ink, Sweat & Tears website, for IS&T’s “Twelve Days of Christmas” set.


  • Chris Hemingway’s poem “Resting a Calligraphy Brush” has been published on the Dear Reader Poetry website.

Calls and Opportunities...

Cheltenham Poetry Festival are organising two competitions, in the run up to next year’s Festival.  Among other prizes, both competitions include an opportunity for shortlisted poets to read their work at the Festival.

·        The Frosted Fire First pamphlet competition for previously unpublished poets (closing date 15th February)

·        The “Wild Poems” single poem competition (closing date 29th February)


Full details on the Frosted Fire Firsts website;

Cheltenham Poetry Festival

Now celebrating its 10th year... The 2020 Cheltenham Poetry Festival runs between 15th and 26th April, and features both locally-based  and nationally-known poets.

Tickets for some events and workshops are available now on the Festival website, including early booking discounts where stated.

Please visit the Festival Webs ite for detaila and tickets - we look forward to seeing you there.