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.


"A Place for Writing"

Some news from our neighbours in Oxfordshire..

 

"A Place for Writing"  One-day Writing Course

Buscot Park, Oxfordshire, SN7 8BU

 

Tuesday 9th June 2020  9.30am – 5.00pm   £ 90.00   Course fee includes buffet lunch

More details & Booking  http://www.buscotconcerts.co.uk/writing.htm

 

This is a one-day professionally-led course in the idyllic surroundings of Buscot Park, Oxfordshire.  The insights offered on this one-day course will enhance your understanding of writing and help you develop your writing skills.. A combination of writing exercises, text analysis, and group debate will form the basis of the day.  The emphasis throughout is upon developing an individual voice and a confident style while working in a wholly supportive environment.  Students will be encouraged to share and discuss their writing. As such, they will gain creative and critical skills which will bring a fresh perspective to the writing experience. Absolute beginners and practicing writers are equally welcome.

Designed by two professional writers with long experience of teaching at university level, the programme will address the writer’s art and craft in ways both practical and thought-provoking, involving both writing and the discussion of writing.

The programme’s focus will be broad, making it useful to writers of poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction.

 

*The tutors

 

Professor Jem Poster and Dr. Sarah Burton have led Creative Writing courses at the Universties of Oxford and Cambridge and developed and ran the Master's course at Cambridge until 2017. They continue to teach for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education, [ICE], Guardian Masterclasses and the Oxford Literary Festival.  Between them they have written novels, non-fiction, children's fiction, plays and poetry. Their tried-and-tested supportive and informal but focused approach is designed to provide stimulation and ideas for writers of all levels of experience.

 

Dr. Sarah Burton:

Sarah currently teaches on weekend courses, day schools, online courses and the International Summer Programme. Until 2017 she was Course Director of ICE’s Master’s programme in Creative Writing; she now convenes ICE’s Writers’ Retreats. She teaches fiction, non-fiction, writing for performance and writing for children and also writes in all these genres.

Sarah's publications are diverse, including two critically acclaimed biographies, Impostors: Six Kinds of Liar (2000; translated into Korean, Japanese, Czech and Spanish) and A Double Life: a Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb (2003; shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year award); a children’s book, The Miracle in Bethlehem: A Storyteller’s Tale (2008), a page-to-stage guide, How to Put on a Community Play (2011) and a spoof, The Complete and Utter History of the World By Samuel Stewart, Aged 9 (2013). Sarah has also written and produced seven community plays.

Emeritus Professor Jem Poster:

Jem Poster worked as an archaeologist, surveying and excavating a range of sites on behalf of the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments, before taking up an administrative post with Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education in 1987. From 1993 to 2003 he was University Lecturer in Literature with Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education and a fellow of Kellogg College. From 2003 to 2012 he was Professor of Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University, and is now Emeritus Professor. He is the author of two novels, Courting Shadows (Sceptre, 2002) and Rifling Paradise (Sceptre, 2006), as well as a collection of poetry, Brought to Light (Bloodaxe, 2001), and editor of a volume in the six-volume Oxford University Press Edward Thomas: Prose Writings (OUP, 2018). He has won prizes in major poetry competitions including first prize in both the Cardiff International Poetry Competition in 1995 and the Peterloo Poets Open Poetry Competition in 2001. He has been Chair of the editorial board of Wales’s leading literary journal, New Welsh Review, and Programme Advisor to the Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education’s MSt in Creative Writing; he is currently Director of its International Summer Programme in Creative Writing, and is an Affiliated Lecturer of the Institute. He is also Director of Academic Programmes for the Financial Times Oxford Literary Festival.

 


Paper Nation introduces Writing Producers' Scheme

Writing Producers’ Scheme

As part of Paper Nations’ ongoing quest to establish the South-West region as a place for writers, we are launching the Writing Producers’ Scheme.

The Writing Producers’ Scheme will support writing producers to create, expand, and sustain writing initiatives. We’ll do this by mentoring writing producers to develop their writing project ideas, create sustainable business plans, and write proposals for financing and grants.

The application process is open and can be found at the bottom of this page. Please share this call with anyone who you think may be interested.

woman with short hair at a laptop, taking notes  Notebook with balled up paper and a pencil on top.  Hand writing in a notebook.

We are looking for:

Producers with ideas and proposals that will contribute to the development and sustainability of a ‘place for writers’ in the upper South-West region of England.

Writing producers are simply those who create or help to run writing initiatives. Producers may come from a strictly writing or publishing background or they may have produced events or schemes in another industry. They could be entrepreneurs, workshop leaders or other kinds of writing educators.

A Place for Writers is a region where writing and storytelling are nurtured, and where diverse voices are developed and valued. As part of this we are supporting the development of villages, towns, cities, writing destinations, and communities. We’re also working closely with creative industry partners to incubate community interest companies, social enterprises and micro businesses and SMEs that support writers.

How could the Writing Producers’ scheme help me?

Successful applicants can propose ideas for writing initiatives and projects. You may have a project that you want to launch or an existing initiative that needs support. We will help candidates make this project happen by providing a sponsored 1-2-1 mentoring session as well as a place on our 2020 Dare to Write? Academy Habit Camp. Producers can use the scheme to incubate ideas, and get mentoring and support for writing funding proposals.

All successful applicants will receive an events pass, gaining free access to events provided in collaboration with the Dare to Write? Academy. You will also be able to access a coworking space in Palace Yard Mews, central Bath.

In addition to providing mentoring support, producers will have the option to be added to a database of writing producers within the upper South-West region. The database may be shared with other organisations who have paid opportunities for writing producers and/or educators.

How do I apply?

Applicants can fill in an expression of interest (EOI) form using the button at the bottom of this page. The EOI form will take about 15 minutes to complete. It asks applicants to tell us about themselves, their experience, and their project idea.

Applications close at midday on Thursday 12th March. Successful applicants will be informed in April 2020. More information on the application process is available in our downloadable FAQ, which is available below.

two men working in a coffee shop, chatting  woman with notebook and pencil, thinking wryly  writing for all launch event - whole room shot

Who can apply?

Those who apply for this scheme must value creativity and be organised, with a practical mindset. They must also believe in our vision to make writing accessible to everyone and be able to contribute to our mission to establish the South-West as a Place for Writers.

This call is open to people from all backgrounds but we are keen to broaden the range of voices in the world of writing and publishing, to hear from people from backgrounds that are not currently well represented. These include: people of colour, working class people, people from areas of rural or coastal deprivation, people who have experienced homelessness, refugees, people from the LGBTQ+ communities, people who have survived abuse, disabled people, and people with chronic health conditions.

You must live and work in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire (inc. South Glos), or Somerset to be eligible.

What do you mean by a writing project or initiative? How do I know if my idea ‘counts’?

Writing initiatives and projects could be any number of things. We don’t wish to be too specific as we would like to support a range of different ideas. Your project could be purely creative writing-based, or it could be interdisciplinary (take, for example, the way in which the Maths Poems project blended poetry and mathematics).

Your project could involve a series of workshops or events, or you could build something like an app, website, or resource that will serve the writing community. It could be mentoring-based, focused on developing networks and partnerships, or offer showcasing opportunities such as publishing. It could be enterprise-focused, like helping charities or local start-ups write about the work that they do or it could aim to be an established writing business, like The Good Literary Agency. Or it could be more of an installation. Your concept could be large or small, for a specific demographic, or be open to everyone. The options are endless.

What do we expect from successful applicants?

We will ask you to keep journals of your progress and document your work through any of the following: written reports, blogs for the Paper Nations website, and quotes to be used on public-facing media.

Your experiences will be showcased as part of our Writing for All events planned for 2020-2021. You will be expected to demonstrate the impact of the commission on your creative practice. We will provide templates and support to help you do this.

I don’t have an idea of my own but I am a project manager or producer with skills to offer. Can I apply to work for Paper Nations?

If you are a writing producer without their own concept, who is looking to work on and support Paper Nations’ own projects you should fill out this separate EOI form.

 


Barry Faulkner books...

Local writer Barry Faulkner has to books out in February...

Book 10 in the Amazon best selling DCS Palmer and The Met's Serial Murder Squad series. THE BODYBUILDER. Not for the squeamish, Palmer's following a trail of bodies that all have one limb missing. Is somebody building a body, and if so why?  ebook £1.99  pprback £7.99

 

Factual book, LONDON CRIMES  being the youngest of an extended South London family of petty criminals who ran with the Richardson Gang 1950s-80s. Although my mother, who was a top fashion model at the time was determined her youngest would not follow in the family career path, with the house often full of villains I had a first-hand introduction to them and their ways. This book is a factual record and in-depth look of the London 'geezers', their gangs and their heists 1930s-present day. includes Brinks Mat, Great Train Robbery, Hatton Garden, Baker Street Bank and Princess Margaret naughty photos etc.. etc..  ebook £1.99  pprback £7.99

I'll also be giving a humorous illustrated talk on London Crime to the Fladbury WI on March 9th and also giving the talk at the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival on April 25th.

 

Barry Faulkner

email:  barryfaulkner1@btopenworld.com


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: helenyendall@yahoo.co.uk).

Tickets for all 2020 events are now available and can be booked via me - email: info@eveshamfestivalofwords.org, or tel: 0787 1285606; via our Festival website (www.eveshamfestivalofwords.org) 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


Writing space available at Snowshill Manor

In 2020 Snowshill Manor and Garden is offering a space for creative workshops and courses on Saturdays and Sundays at a low day rate which includes entry to the gardens and manor house for course leaders and participants for inspiration…

The offer lends itself particularly well to writing courses as Charles Wade, who bequeathed the house and its contents to the National Trust, was himself a keen poet and welcomed a number of notable writers to Snowshill during his time here. Further details about Charles Wade and Snowshill Manor can be found on our website at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshill-manor-and-garden/features/who-was-charles-wade

I would be grateful if you could please pass this information on to your members. I would be happy to respond to any questions or queries about this opportunity.

Best wishes

Rachel Leach

Rachel Leach

Business Support Coordinator

 

National Trust

Snowshill Manor and Garden, Snowshill, near Broadway, WR12 7JU

01386 842810

rachel.leach@nationaltrust.org.uk

 


'There's Nothing There' - Review

I'm not visiting the Black Forest now!

A review

I blame “There's Nothing There,“ a play by Black Dog Productions in collaboration with Apricity Theatre. Although there is some humour, it is scary, the plot angry, the finish extreme, shocking and  unexpected. I am left scared of the beast in the woods and the unknown, dismayed by insincerity and the disastrous consequences of a liberal amount of alcohol on the stew of mistrust, jealousy and vivid imaginations. The company use improvisation on the road to their final script. Perhaps it is this which makes the performance fresher and quite different from others I have seen or maybe it  is the emotional investment. Russell Eccleston (Jessie) , Emily Malloy (Alina) and Charlotte Turner-McMullan (Grace) wrote it and Russell Eccleston and Tiffany Rhodes (Cassie) are also among the co-founders of Black Dog.  The cast do not restrict themselves to acting, they are  writers, dancers, singers, directors. Between them there was a lot of energy and it was very enjoyable.  If I had to criticize anything it would be the excess of swearing which did not always add to the performance for me but maybe that  was just my age. It did however inspire an hilarious commentary from the elderly couple seated behind us which contributed nicely to the evening.

“There's Nothing There “

a Black Dog  Apricity Theatre  Production

at The Cotswold Playhouse

For other performances and venues check out the company website at:

blackdogproductions.uk


Annual Glosink event

GLOSINK AT PEPPERS
invites you to our annual reading of prose and poetry at Peppers Cafe in Gloucester
on Friday, December 13, 2019 from 18.30 to 20.30 with a half-hour interval.
Entry is free. Food and drink are available to purchase from the cafe during the event.
We look forward to seeing you there to share the art and craft of writing in a relaxed setting.

Maria Stadnicka - 'Somnia' Book launch

My next poetry collection, SOMNIA is published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, editor Alec Newman, with cover artwork by painter Mark Mawer.

 The launch will be at The Museum in the ParkStroud, Thursday 5th December 2019, at 7.30pm and it will feature guests Uta Baldauf, performer, and poets David Clarke, Adam Horovitz and Philip Rush.

 About SOMNIA: 

Writer Ian Seed (author of New York Hotel, a TSL Book of the Year) wrote: ‘one of the best books of poetry I've read this year is Maria Stadnicka's extraordinarily vivid collection, Somnia.' 
 
'Stadnicka’s poetics is one of craftmanship, wherein she carefully walks the tightrope of surreal poetic metaphor and the gritty realism of investigative journalism and broadcasting.’ (Briony Hughes, writer and critic, Stride Magazine, October 2019)
 
‘Somnia is consistently alluring and enigmatic in its poetic voice. What compels it’s Stadnicka’s calm creativity in conveying the horrors and/or abstractions of these – her poetic voice completely comfortable in its suggestiveness: inventive, provoking, highly visual.' (Mike Ferguson, writer and critic, International Times, September 2019)
'Create dangerously.'
 
Maria Stadnicka

Welcome to our new Co-Chair

With the departure of Kathryn for a well earned GWN sabatical, we are delighted to welcome Rod Griffiths (CBE) to the GWN team.  Rod brings a wealth of experience to the team, joining Penny and Chris as Co-Chair.

Here is a potted bio of Rod  - Welcome on board ;)

***

I was professor of public health at the university of Birmingham and regional director of public health from 1992 until 2004. After that I was elected president of the national professional body for public health— the Faculty of Public Health, part of the Royal College of Physicians.  I got a CBE in 2000 for services to public health.

In those roles I did a lot of media work, both writing in academic and popular journals as well as radio and TV interviews.

I've always been interested in writing and communication. Despite dyslexia running quite strongly in our family I was good at English, particularly the creative writing side— rather less good at spelling.

Before I retired I went on a couple of creative writing courses as part of my annual holidays and started writing fiction seriously during the last few years before I retired. I had an agent for a short while but it seemed clear to me that I was unlikely to get much priority from her because she had more famous clients who were younger. The crude fact is that an agent needs clients who will make money for at least a few years if they are to regain their initial investment in the client. I was past 60, so in some ways lot a long term prospect. We parted company in a few months and I went down the self publishing route.

I have published three novels and two collections of short stories.

Two friends of mine in the Worcester Writer's Circle and myself got fed up with advising members on how to self publish and after some careful research we set up a small publishing Company— Black Pear Press (www.blackpear.net).  So far we have published over fifty books, by about twenty different authors; mostly collections of poetry and short stories with some novels, both for YA and all ages as well as a few children's books. We are still in business. Although it might be fair to say it is more of a self funding hobby ;)

My own writing is somewhat eclectic in style and genre— it is unlikely that I will ever sell a book that brings in as much as my pension, so I really don't worry too much about trying to sell lots of books or to build a following by sticking to a small pallette of characters in one genre.

Who knows how much longer I'll be doing this, but for now I still appear to be healthy and having fun with most aspects of writing.  That's probably enough about me for you to be able to answer anyone who says 'Who is this person?'

I look forward to joining the GWN team and helping to shape and develop this further.