Stroud Book Festival - Forthcoming Highlights:

Festival highlights hand-picked for Glos Writers:

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival.

Thursday 8th November Award winning Poet Daljit Nagra
Thursday 8th November Open Mic Night
Friday 9th November A Problem Shared, AJ Pearce & Bel Mooney
Friday 9th November Literary Page-Turners (chaired by the Editor of Booker Prize winner Anna Burns)
Friday 9th November Poetry Night
Friday 9th November Something Nasty in the Living Room / Domestic Noir (Elisa Lodato and Amanda Reynolds)
Saturday 10th November Houses of Intrigue (Susan Fletcher, Kate Riordan)
Saturday 10th November Healing
Saturday 10th November Family Life in Fiction (Patrick Gale, Jane Bailey)
Sunday 11th November Workshop (Jane Bailey, Kate Riordan)
Sunday 11th November Contemporary Sci-Fi


Book Launch - Historic England: Cheltenham

Historic England: Cheltenham

David Elder will be signing copies of his new book on Cheltenham (part of the Historic England series published by Amberley) at the Suffolk Anthology (17 Suffolk Parade, Cheltenham GL50 2AE) on 26th October at 6:45-8:00pm

This illustrated history provides a nostalgic look at Cheltenham’s past and highlights the special character of some of its most important historic sites. The photographs are taken from the Historic England Archive, a unique collection of over 12 million photographs, drawings, plans and documents covering England’s archaeology, architecture, social and local history. Pictures date from the earliest days of photography to the present.

Historic England: Cheltenham shows the town as it once was, from its grand streets and squares to its famous tree-lined promenades and gardens surrounding its spas. Once the ‘most complete Regency town in Britain’, Cheltenham became the most fashionable resort in England following George III’s visit and has enjoyed centuries of prosperity based on the discovery of its natural mineral springs. But the town has not rested on its laurels and is now a vibrant centre of festivals and fashionable shops, a Mecca for horse racing, international music, cricket and world-renowned schools and colleges. Cheltenham is one of the country’s most visited towns and this book will help you discover its colourful and fascinating history.

Stroud Book Festival - tickets now on sale ;)

We are delighted to share the news that tickets for Stroud Book Festival 2018 are now on sale!

This year’s line-up includes Prue Leith, Oz Clarke, Mary Portas, Will McCallum of Greenpeace and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Now in its third year, Stroud Book Festival offers over 40 eclectic and entertaining events over 5 days (7-11 November 2018), designed to enthral, inform and delight!

We’ve invited award-winning authors, illustrious illustrators, poets, performers and politicians, entrepreneurs, environmentalists and experts to this year’s festival. They’ll be sharing their experiences of life and everything in it: food & drink, environment & ecology, working better & living better, music & memoir, family & friendships – in other words, the lifeblood that connects us all. We’ll also be screening On Chesil Beach with Lansdown Film Club and Stroud Film Festival, as well as hosting live poetry events, Stroud Short Stories and workshops aplenty.  Full line-up here:



For a younger audience, we have four-legged friends and bees seeking roses, cats, ants, a platypus, and pigs up noses; dinosaurs, Romans, cuddly toys, and a chance just to come and make lots of noise!  We also have an entire day dedicated to local primary schools.  Find out more here:



Stroud Book Festival 7-11 November 2018


Book Launch - Jan Turk Petrie

Sheepscombe author Jan Turk Petrie is supporting Oxfam with the launch of her first novel this month. Jan will be signing copies of her new book, Until the Ice Cracks, in the Oxfam Cirencester Books and Music shop on October 27. She is donating a sizeable share of her sales on the day to the charity.‘I’m a big supporter of Oxfam and was delighted when they asked me to do a book signing. The shop is such a good resource for readers and writers.’

Until the Ice Cracks is the first volume of Jan’s trilogy of Eldisvik novels, set in a dark, cold Nordic city of the near future where heat is power, foxes are deadly and the line between the criminal underworld and the police is as thin as a crack in the ice – Nordic noir meets Blade Runner.

Volume Two of the trilogy ’No God fro a Warrior' will also be published by Pintail Press next month and Jan is hard at work on the final volume right now.

A successful short story writer, this is Jan’s first published novel. She is a former English teacher with an MA in creative writing from the University of Gloucestershire. Jan also finds time to paint and exhibit semi-abstract oil paintings and has a studio space in the Painswick Centre.

Jan will be in the Oxfam shop at 7 West Market Place, Cirencester from 10 am to 12 noon on October 27. If you aren’t able to call in, her book can now be borrowed from Painswick Library and is also available from Amazon as a paperback or in Kindle format.

Congratulations to John Holland

John Holland wins the To Hull And Back Short Story Competition
Stroud Short Stories organiser, John Holland, has won the 2018 £1,000 First Prize in the To Hull And Back Short Story Competition (for humorous stories) with his story 'Lips'. John, who also won the Dorset Fiction Award in July, will have the pleasure of journeying to Hull, having his mugshot on the front cover of the printed anthology and reading his story at the launch on 8 December.
Here is how the announcement was made ;)

Lo, verily and yay, here be the most splendid, original, pioneering and prodigious stories entered into the 2018 contest. These stories scored well consistently across a variety of reading tastes.

Congratulations to all the winners – you have each penned a fable of mirth and legend that will be revered for eternity in the To Hull And Back archive.

1st Prize

Lips, by John Holland

All info -

New Book from Gloucester based writer Abdul-Ahad Patel

Now living and writing in Gloucester, Abdul-Ahad Patel is self-publishing his debut novel 'Native' in October.

Please see his web site for more information:  Abdul- Ahad Patel


Stroud Short Stories Launches New Anthology

The new Stroud Short Stories Anthology 2015-2018 is being launched on Friday 28 September. The anthology covers three years, six events and 57 stories by 45 Gloucestershire authors in 254 pages.

The launch is at the Ale House, John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA on Friday 28 September from 7.00 to 10.00pm. Organiser and anthology editor John Holland will say a few words at 7.30 when Mark Graham will then read his story 'Wayland Smith: Warrior of the Milky Way' from the anthology.

The 45 authors in the anthology include four GWN prose winners - Emma Kernahan, Alex Clark, Nastasya Parker and Philip Douch - plus former GWN judge Lania Knight, as well as favourites like Rick Vick, Joanna Campbell, Chloe Turner, Steve Wheeler, Melanie Golding, Simon Piney, Kate O'Grady, Ali Bacon, Jason Jackson, Jan Petrie and Andrew Stevenson.

The event is free and unticketed. Why come along and join us? The anthology, priced at £10.00, provides an eclectic mix of brilliant stories.

To reserve a copy, please email John Holland on

For more information including a full list of all 45 authors being published in the anthology please click here

New Poetry Workshop starts 04.09.18


A new CPS poetry workshop series starts in Cheltenham in September – in a new venue:

7pm-10pm Tuesday 4 September, upstairs at Moss Books, Henrietta St, GL50 4AA.  

Led by Claire Thelwell, the workshops are open to everyone who wants to experiment with their writing in an encouraging environment.

The aims of the workshops are to:

- explore new techniques
- aid the imagination
- generate ideas

For this first in the series, Claire will be using material from the Answering Back anthology edited by Carole Ann Duffy. No need to buy or read the book beforehand! Everything you need will be provided. Just bring your usual writing materials/method ... and £4.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be included.

NEW Courses starting at WEA

WEA announce the launch of new courses for Creative Writing starting this Autumn

Creative Story Writing: drafting, feedback & redrafting skills.  C3529635


Creative Writing C3529636

These will be held at: The Roots Coffee & Community Centre, Alvin Street, Gloucester. GL1 3EH

5 or 6 fortnightly sessions, starting : 24th September and 4th October

Please see our events pages for more details and how to sign up or visit their web site here:

GWN Competition Results

Hello Writers
We have great pleasure in announcing the winners of the 2018 GWN Writers' Network Poetry and Prose Competition.
They are as follows:
FOR PROSE - Judged by Dr Kim Fleet
Emma Kernahan, Stroud - 'The Locals'
Lynda Fowke, Gloucester - 'The Shawl'
Iris Anne Lewis, Kempsford - 'Call me Shada, Mura, Nasima'
Marilyn Timms, Cheltenham - 'Bride Price'
Ali Bacon, Emersons Green - 'In Loco Parentis'
Joanna Campbell, Bisley - 'Zugswang, 1963'
Kathy O'Grady, Stroud - 'Freewheeling'
FOR POETRY - Judged by Anna Saunders
David Hale, Horsley - 'Cranes Flying'
Catherine Baker, Tewkesbury - 'Waiting for the Boat'
Derek Healy, Lower Swell - 'Love's Convergence'
Marilyn Timms, Cheltenham - 'Public School - Private Hell'
Frances March, Stroud - 'Dancing on the Equator'
Sam Pearce, Newent - 'Checkmate'
Johnny Porter, Cheltenham - 'The Taste of Bear'
We offer sincere congratulations to all who've been placed and to all who entered and made it such a great contest. We thank our wonderful judges, who've worked extremely hard.
  • You can hear our winners, runners-up and judges read at GWN's prizewinning event (L088) at The Times and The Sunday Times Literature Festival - 6.30pm - 7.45pm in The Nook on Sunday 7th October.
    Last year we sold out three weeks in advance, so make sure that you book ahead here:
    You can read the winning entries and judges' comments in the 2018 Prizewinners' Anthology for sale at the event and online.
We thank our kind hosts and sponsors, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Liggy Webb, Cheltenham Arts Council and The Suffolk Anthology Bookshop.
You can continue to keep abreast of writing events across Gloucestershire or let us advertise them for you via our website:
and follow us on Twitter @GWNgloswriters and on Facebook at
Well done all and Happy Writing!
GWN Team