Sunday, 28 of May 2017

Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2017

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2017 is now open

Submit in one of three categories: PoetryFiction and Life Writing (the competition is open to anyone who has not published a complete book in the category entered).

Simply fill in the entry form and send it with your entry and fee of UK Sterling £6.00 if entering one category, £10.00 for two and £15.00 for three categories.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on 14 July 2017.

Please click here to download an entry form, or email Only entries with an accompanying entry form will be accepted.

£300 will be awarded to the winner of each category and the work will be published in Wasafiri.

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Stepping into Self-publishing Workshops

Bardstown Writers have two forthcoming workshops on self-publishing:

Workshop 1- Stepping into Self-publishing: getting your book to Market

Where and when: Friday 12 May (pm) at the Methodist Church Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Who it’s for: those with a completed manuscript (fiction or non-fiction) they want to publish, who would like guidance and information on self-publishing
In this three-hour workshop you will:
• identify the benefits/challenges of self-publishing vs traditional publishing
• learn the steps of the self-publishing process
• acquire knowledge of key resources for the self-publishing author
• gain an understanding of where to go next with your project
Includes a Q&A session with independent author and crime writer JJ Franklin.
By the end of the workshop you will: feel confident about taking the next self-publishing step for your work.
More Information:

Workshop 2: Stepping into Self-publishing: marketing your book

Where and when: Saturday 20 May (pm) at Stratford-upon-Avon ArtsHouse.
Who it’s for: those with a completed manuscript (fiction or non-fiction) ready for publication who want guidance on marketing and promoting their book.
In this three-hour workshop you will:
• identify the challenges of making your book visible in a crowded industry
• learn how to use social media to build your platform and promote your work
• gain knowledge of other promotional tools and techniques
• develop a personal marketing plan for your work
By the end of the workshop you will: be ready to use a variety of promotional tools and techniques to market your work.
More Information:

More about the workshops
• Stepping into Self-publishing is in two sessions, which can be booked separately. Those booking both qualify for a 10% discount
• Members of writing groups, creative writing students and those over 60 also qualify for a 10% discount

Previous Comments on the Workshops and Tutor

‘Very motivational and instructional.’ Karen Pettigrew.
‘I found it useful to be able to focus on achievable steps in order to reach the final goal.’ Dianne Lee.
‘It was useful to have the opportunity to clarify my plan. It’s all so doable.’ Robert C Day.
‘Very useful professional focus treating writing seriously.’ Workshop participant.
‘I certainly got value for money. Ellie helped me see my manuscript in a new light with her inspired suggestion for a revised starting point, as a result of which I reduced my word count and tackled a number of other issues. I wish I had done it sooner!’ T. Kemp.

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64th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, 18-25 June

Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival Crosses Borders

Enjoy an exciting programme of contemporary, diverse and inspirational poetry

18 – 25 June 2017


The UK’s longest running poetry festival returns to Stratford-upon-Avon from 18 – 25 June. Inspired by world events and international cultures, this year’s festival takes the theme of ‘Crossing Borders’, with world-class poets and artists reflecting contemporary issues of conflict, immigration and integration.

Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the 64th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival presents an exciting line-up of readings, performances and workshops from award-winning artists including Simon Russell Beale, Oliver Ford Davies, Inua Ellams and Jessica Mehta.

The festival launches on 18 June, on Father’s Day, with a special programme of poetry for Dads featuring the official launch of the much loved Shakespearian actor Oliver Ford Davies’s new book, Shakespeare’s Fathers and Daughters. Oliver will present his work and take part in a recital with actress Mariah Gale. They have previously played a father and daughter (Polonius and Ophelia) in Hamlet and will explore why Shakespeare was so obsessed with fathers and daughters.

Families and youngsters can also enjoy a storytelling and poetry workshop with Adam and Charlotte Guillian, authors of the hilarious best-selling picture book, School for Dads – a perfect family activity for Father’s Day.

This year’s Poet in Residence (in collaboration with the Hosking Houses Trust) is the award-winning Cherokee poet, Jessica Mehta from Oregon. Much of Jessica’s writing is centered on her self-identity as a Native American woman who ‘passes’. Join Jessica for a reading, commentary and discussion about what it means to be a native writer today and explore the history, arts, works and struggles of indigenous communities in America.

Other festival highlights include:

  • Simon Russell Beale and Alexandra Gilbreath performing a recital about how poets and writers respond to war, refugees and crossing borders: All the Business of War, a special programme devised by poet and Shakespearian academic Roger Pringle. The evening features poems of several centuries and cultures which have responded to wars, distant and recent, and its consequences. Hear about the struggles, heartache, heroism, excitement, grief and triumph in this absorbing and varied recital.
  • Inua Ellams’s highly acclaimed show An Evening with an Immigrant. Packed with poems, stories and anecdotes, poet and playwright Inua will tell his experience as an immigrant, with tales of escaping fundamentalist Islam in Nigeria, performing solo shows at the National Theatre and drinking wine with the Queen – all while being without a country to belong to or a place to call home.
  • Join multi award-winning Kurdish poet and journalist, Bejan Matur, in conversation with Erica James of the Poetry Translation Centre for an evening of readings and tales about the struggles of the Kurdish people. Her poetry engages directly with the issues she faced and yet there is also a mysticism in her writing, a closeness to nature and embracing mythology.
  • Celebrate Midsummer’s eve around a bonfire in the magical grounds of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Follow the tradition of singing songs and telling stories around the fire, and hear extracts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and related poetry. Don’t forget to pack a picnic blanket.
  • Turn your favourite poem into a work of art. Join artist Clare Booth and bring to light the imagery within your chosen poem in this artistic workshop which focuses on pastel colouring and drawing techniques. Come along with your favourite poem, rolled up sleeves and an open mind.


Dr. Paul Edmondson, Poetry Festival Director and Head of Research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “Poetry nourishes us through all the seasons of life, and this year we wanted the festival to reflect something of our own troubled times. Wherever people are, and however displaced they are, poetry and stories will be part of their daily bread. This year, the UK’s longest-running poetry festival, based in the town of one of the greatest of all poets, calls us to feel solidarity with world events. We are presenting this, too, in the context of the 70th anniversary of the formation of a new India and Pakistan, and in the on-going centenary of the First World War. Shakespeare always provides a great occasion for international conversations and connections, and he’s our backdrop for this truly internationally-focussed festival.”


The 64th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival runs from 18 – 25 June 2017. For the full programme and to book tickets, visit Tickets can also be purchased from any of the Shakespeare houses.



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PowWow Festival of Writing

PowWow have got a great programme lined up for the 7th of May, in Moseley, Birmingham.
The sessions for the afternoon will cover everything from ‘how to make a living as a writer’, a talk from a literary agent, and the headline speaker – Joanne Harris.
Thanks to funding from the Arts Council, they’ve been able to keep our ticket prices low, so it’s a great value event.

You can see details of the speakers and tickets here:

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Contributions wanted for one-off magazine on Birmingham


We’re looking for news stories, long-form features, flash, short and long form fiction, poetry, photo stories, illustrations, interviews and opinion pieces about Birmingham for a one-off edition of BRUM.

We’re interested in new and original ideas to tell the different stories of the people, history and culture of the city. You do not have to have lived in Birmingham, or even visited the city. We want to tell the story of Birmingham from any perspective – from the long term resident to the far-off observer.

Your story can be in the first, second or third person. It can be celebratory or scathing. It can even be told from the perspective of an historic figure, or that of a future resident.

But it must tell us something about Birmingham today that we’d be hard pressed to read elsewhere.

BRUM is a one-off publication designed to explore the people and perceptions of the UK’s second-largest and all-to-often overlooked city. It’s aim is not to sell the city, but to intertwine the various and diverse narratives of the city in a single place, at a single time.

It will be printed in tabloid format (but not red-top tabloid style) and sold* and distributed across the city and online.

Get in touch
Send your pitch (including word length) to Fred at

Any queries – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*yet to be decided; as close to free as possible

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Writers residency in Germany

There is a new writers residency programme at the Pfaelzer Hof in the Huensrueck region of Germany (made famous by Edgar Reitz’s epic films ‘Heimat’).

“We are inviting applications from established and emerging writers to come and stay in our beautifully renovated apartments over the summer months, from 3 weeks to 5 months in May to September. Each apartment has large windows with wonderful natural light, interesting vistas and ample space for writing.

This is an opportunity for writers to get away from it all and find time and space to write.”

For more information about the Pfalezer Hof and photos of the apartments please see our website:
Full details of our residency programme can be found here:

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Pitch novels to DHH agents

DHH Literary agency is thrilled to be opening its doors to unrepresented writers who would like to pitch their novels to experienced agents. Five agents will be available for a ten-minute slot for an individual pitch session. Each writer will receive honest and valuable feedback. The agents are approaching this with a view to finding new clients. The pitch sessions will run from 4pm to 7pm on 12th April at Library Club on St Martin’s Lane.

Each writer will only be able to approach one agent on the team so do choose carefully. Information on the event and what each agent represents can be found at To apply for a place, you will need to email your work in advance. Spaces are limited so please submit your work promptly. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 5th April.

More details:

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Milestones International Poetry Competition in association with Write Out Loud

Open: 21 March 2017

Deadline: 21 June 2017

Prizes: First prize £500, second £100, and third £25. Separate prize for under-16s (£100). Free anthology for prize winners and commended poets.

Entry fee: £5 per poem, three poems for £10, subsequent poems in same entry, £3. Entrants aged 15 and under £1 per poem

Judge: Brian Patten.

The competition is open to all internationally but must be in English and up to 40 lines in length.

Results announced – early August 2017.

The winner will be invited to read their poem at an award ceremony in Long Compton, Warwickshire on 7 October, 2017.

Further details:

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Participate in the Event United for Peace – Unity through Poetry


University of Birmingham: College of Arts and Law

Participate in the Event United for Peace – Unity through Poetry


18:00 PM – 21:00 PM



The Oxford Foundation in partnership with The Edward Cadbury Centre for the
Public Understanding of Religion at the University of Birmingham, is hosting a
gathering entitled, United for Peace: Unity through Poetry. Leading luminaries
from across the faith, cultural, and non-faith traditions will read, chant and
sing beautiful poetry that will speak across different cultures and faiths
affirming the universal message of peace, love, wisdom, unity and harmony. The
evening will incorporate poetry interspersed with silent reflection and music
that will celebrate and affirm these shared values.

United for Peace is a
national initiative
by The Oxford Foundation that draws United Kingdom’s
diverse communities together to affirm the values that unite us. The values of
respect, love, peace, compassion and understanding as opposed to the narratives
that extremists advocate of ugliness, division, hatred, and violence.

If you would like to contribute and present a reading whether spoken, chanted or
sung, we’d be delighted to here from you.

Please contact: Kaleem Hussain, The Oxford Foundation Representative for West
Midlands and Buckinghamshire at with
the following details no later than

10th April 2017



Affiliation to a tradition


Presenter Details (Individual, group, numbers)


Poetry Being Recited (Author, Tradition, Poem)


Oral Reading or Interspersed with Music? If music, what acoustics will
be required?


Approx Duration of Poem (5-10 min max)


Contact Details


Any Additional Information


Sponsorship (If
you would like to sponsor this event please provide your details and the
amount and we shall be in touch. The sponsors details shall feature in The
United for Peace-Unity through Poetry


Once you have forwarded the above information, there will be a process of
selection and The Oxford Foundation shall be in touch with further details
regarding the event. A United for Peace: Unity through Poetry
event booklet shall also be produced as part of this event which will feature
all the poetic readings from those presenting along with messages of support
from prominent faith, non-faith and civic leaders.

For more information about this event please visit the
online page

For further information about The Oxford Foundation please visit the

For more information about the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public
Understanding of Religion, please
our website
and follow
@PTRBirmingham on


University of Birmingham,


Birmingham B15 2TT,

United Kingdom



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Commission – Artificial Intelligence

From Leicester Uni’s Centre for New Writing:
“We wish to commission a writer to help researchers to allay public fear about the development of artificial intelligence technologies. Science fiction has traditionally has painted an Orwellian picture of new technologies. Much dramatic representation, too, envisages brave new worlds where robots murder the last humans on earth. None of this helps researchers who wish to develop these technologies for the public good. It affects the uptake of potentially life-saving technological solutions to everyday challenges. The technology to alert the emergency services when an elderly person falls, for example, is cheap and readily available. Devices for tracking where patients with dementia are could also save time, money, and anxiety. Why is such technology not being used? Working closely with Professor Jeremy Levesley and his team, the commissioned writer will explore the public understanding of artificial intelligence and promote its uptake for improving the quality of life. It is hoped that this will only be the start of such collaboration, as the challenge is significant, but the potential benefits considerable.

The commissioned writer will produce a short story, short poetry sequence, monologue or piece of narrative non-fiction which will be featured in a pamphlet about artificial intelligence, introduced by Professor Levesley. The pamphlet will be distributed to target audiences and we hope that the writing will help to reshape attitudes towards artificial intelligence across a number of sectors.”

The fee is £150.
The Deadline is 31st March 2017
See the website for details of how to submit your application

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