Cheryl Burman's Free Fantasy Trilogy

Cheryl is a Gloucestershire-based writer who has recently re-launched her fantasy trilogy, Guardians of the Forest.

It is free to download on kindle 22nd May - 23rd June.

Click here for more information.

Alison Mace's second poetry collection

Alison's first collection, Man at the Ice House, was published in December 2019. Her second collection is now due to be published by Dempsey & Windle in the autumn of 2020.


A special note from Alison about getting your work published.

I entered my work into the Brian Dempsey Memorial Pamphlet Competition 2019; it didn't win, but it was recognised and chosen for later publication. For anybody trying to get their work published, this shows just how worthwhile it is to enter competitions, especially, perhaps, those for pamphlets or longer poetry collections.

Resilience Anthology for the Dean and Wye Valley community

Resilience, ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’.

Your chance to be published!

Deadline is 31st July 2020.

Dean Writers Circle is working with Dean Scribblers to publish an anthology on the theme of Resilience, with an introduction by Forest-based best-selling author Andrew Taylor. The Forest is renowned for its resilience in the face of crisis, with the current pandemic the latest in a list including the 2001 foot and mouth tragedy, the 2007 floods and events far back in history. Now we are looking for widely and imaginative interpreted short stories and poems from those who live in or have close connections with the Dean and Wye Valley community.

Submissions from adults, young people and - in recognition of our lockdown - collaborative family efforts, are all welcome.

Proceeds from sales will raise funds for local charities.

Click here for more details and for submission details.

Have your short fiction published

Based in Gloucestershire, Superlative, The Short Story Literary Journal, publishes quality work by aspiring short story writers, in order to promote new, developing authors and the art of the short story to readers worldwide. We work closely with developing writers so that, when we publish their work, it is well-crafted and polished. By providing free editing services, we hope to nurture emerging talent and newly-established writers, and to keep writing alive for future generations.

Take advantage of time spent indoors by getting your stories published!

Click here for more information.
Click here for journal submission guidelines.
Click here for competition submission guidelines.

Local author, Lois Kingscott, publishes children's picture book

Lois's recently published children's picture book, Dave and Darcy Go to the Beach, is based on her horse, Dave, who is one of the ponies at Cotswold Riding for the Disabled.

Lois will be donating a percentage of the profits from this first book to the charity, and has ideas for future books, with the hopes or raising even more money.

Click here for more information and to give your support!

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.

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


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