The Directors of the Stroud Book Festival are delighted to announce that this year’s Festival will be held from 6 - 10 November 2019. It will be headlined by Booker-winning author (and Stroud Book Festival patron) Ian McEwan, who will be in conversation about “Machines Like Me”, his subversive and entertaining new novel about artificial intelligence, which poses fundamental questions about what makes us human.


The full Stroud Book Festival line-up will be revealed this summer and will aim to build on the success of the 2018 Festival, which finished its 5-day run with record ticket sales, sell-out events and a line-up widely praised both for its variety and broad appeal.  The Festival programme will once again include a Schools Day, writing competitions, Stroud Short Stories and much more besides.


Stroud Book Festival’s Artistic Director Caroline Sanderson says ‘We’re delighted that Ian McEwan has agreed to appear at this year’s Festival, and look forward to announcing more exciting events in the coming weeks. Children’s Artistic Director, Jane Churchill and I are already hard at work to bring a host of authors to Stroud who will animate, educate and entertain our audiences this coming November.’


Festival Director Paul McLaughlin says: ‘We are hugely grateful for the support we received from the local business community in 2018 and look forward to partnering again with so many brilliant Stroud companies and organisations. We are also very excited by the prospect of working closely with the new team at the Subscription Rooms as both venue and box office.’


For all enquiries please contact:

Louise Brice louise@stroudbookfestival.org.uk (mob) 07734 106034


Carolyn Shanti - Book Launch

‘Trap, Prey, Lust' by Carolyn Shanti


Carolyn Shanti is a Cheltenham writer whose book ‘Trap, Prey, Lust’ concerns

the hidden sexual crimes of the rich and famous.  The book will be launched by her publisher on 26th February in London.

Although the book is a novel about sexual crimes against women and children it is based on the author’s own story of ritual abuse that she experienced as a child.

The book is already up on worldwide Amazon. Pre-orders can be made on Amazon, Waterstones and Carolyn's own website for the book.


Stroud Short Stories + Competition Launch

Stroud Short Stories - New dates, new theme, new venue!
The next Stroud Short Stories event will be held on Sunday 19 May 2019 at a new venue, The Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street, Stroud.
SSS opens for submissions from Gloucs and South Gloucs writers for this event on I February and closes on 31 March.
The theme is 'Incendiary!' so we are looking for stories, both literally and metaphorically about fire, heat, passion, rebellion, incineration, inflamed feelings, subversion etc.
As always it's free to submit, and we accept both published and unpublished stories.
Ten stories will be chosen by co-judges novelist/short story author, Ali Bacon, and SSS organiser, John Holland. On the night the authors will read their stories to an audience of up to 150 short story lovers.
All the info you need is on the SSS website - http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.com/
Why not subscribe for SSS newsletters so you don't miss a thing? http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.com/p/contact.html

5 Star Review...

Congratulations to Sue Cross who has received a 5 start review on Amazon for her collection 'Stories To Go'

Available now and also on order from your local bookseller .. ;)

Five star Amazon review:
'Sue Cross has won awards for her short stories and many of these are very relatable to most of us. "Stories to Go" are just that: easy to dip into while waiting at the doctor's, the dentist's or the bus. Sue Cross's cosmopolitan and much-travelled background comes through in her stories and there's always an interesting twist in the end. As a British expat living in the US, I had no problem relating to some geographical references and English idioms such as pinny for apron. Each one of the ninety-three short stories is unique and I find it difficult to single my favourites but I did find "Mother's Word of Wisdom". "Head Banging", "On the Rocks", "A Moving Experience", really entertaining. There is something for everybody in this book and I certainly recommend it.'

Cheltenham Poetry Festival - Poetry Pamphlet Competition

Cheltenham Poetry Festival are delighted to announce the launch of their Poetry Pamphlet Competition,
This is a fantastic (and rare) opportunity to get your work into print with the Prize of 50 copies of a 32-page pamphlet
plus a publishing contract for  the winner
Cheltenham Poetry Festival will also provide marketing support, including a headline poet event for the winning poet.
           Closing date: 15 January 2019.
Please click through to full details of how to enter:    Frosted Fire Firsts
Good luck everyone !

Pushcart Prize Nomination for Miki Byrne

Miki's poem 'City' is being nominated for this years Pushcart Prize!.

''Many thanks for Editor Darren at Stepaway Magazine for having enough faith in my work to nominate it''

The Pushcart Prize is an American literary prize published by Pushcart Press that honours the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in the small presses over the previous year. Magazine and small book press editors are invited to submit up to six works they have featured.

Anthologies of the selected works have been published annually since 1976. It is supported and staffed by volunteers.

Jan Turk Petrie celebrates second book launch...

Following the successful launch of her Nordic near future thriller ‘Until the Ice Cracks, Pintail Press have just published the second book in Jan's Eldísvík trilogy: ‘No God for a Warrior.’
Jan was interviewed about the first books on Corinium Radio’s Writer’s Room and you can hear this on the link below).
Jan will be recording a follow up interview about the new book and this will be broadcast shortly.

Celebrating Miki Byrne's 500th Publication











Today we’d like to share some very special news about a very special Glos Writer, Miki Byrne, who’s just had published her 500th piece of writing – a poem titled River Rising.

She is one of GWN's longest serving members and has both won and been placed in the GWN competition several times over the years and is an inspiration to us all.

Miki is the author of poetry collections ‘Nice bits & Hissy-fits’ ‘Flying Through Houses’ and Mackerel Sky’. She has had work included in over 200 poetry magazines/anthologies, including the Raving Beauties Anthology published by Bloodaxe, Wraith Infirmity Muses Inaugural issue and D/deaf/Disabled Poetry Anthology by Nine Arches Press. Other poems have been included in Popshot, Obsessed with Pipework, Acumen and Tears in the Fence.  Miki has read on Carlton TV and BBC TV and on numerous radio stations. Venues she has read in include The Crescent Theatre in Birmingham, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and Tewkesbury Medieval Fayre.  Miki was a finalist for Gloucestershire Poet Laureate.  Her poems have been in Poems in the Waiting Room, a joint NHS/Arts Council initiative.  She has also had a number of articles published. Miki founded and ran In Your Own Words poetry group at The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury.  Miki began reading her work in a Bikers Club in Birmingham.  She is disabled and now lives near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire UK.

She says ' ... I began writing in the year 2000. The poem 'River Rising' is my 500th poem to be included in a magazine or anthology. I would not have achieved this, or written the poems that have not yet been accepted somewhere, if it was not for the help of fellow poets, workshops and poetry books already available. Being disabled I don't see many of you. Knowing you are all out there helps a lot. ...'

We're sure you'll all join in with us in wishing Miki many more years of successful publishing and we are pleased to share with you her 500th published work! Enjoy.

River  Rising. 


River creeps, tumbles, rages.

Works up a frenzy of force.

Sucks bones of buildings bare.

Tears out roots of lives.

Hurls possessions with the abandon

of a party drunk who cares nought

for destruction.

Water spreads like infection

through a town where tears

add to its increase and a woman

screams at nature.

Falls howling to her knees in turgid water.

Sullen skies deposit misery

in rain-fuelled surges, the foetid rise

of drains.

Homes are consumed, sliced away

from foundations, slurped down

into wet maws of sunken roads.

Dragged in the violent sweep

of muscular currents.

Pumps roar, sandbag lines snake

into futile barricades.

Red boats stutter through the flood

as life attempts to progress.

Yellow clad men ease a disabled boy

over his bedroom windowsill.


Accepted ( by courtesy of Editor Marie Lightman) by the Writer’s Café theme ‘Elements’.  October 2018.