Friday, 2 of June 2023

Category » Events

Free workshop on marketing and publicity from Writing West Midlands and Nine Arches Press

Specifically designed for authors and small presses, this two hour marketing and publicity workshop will focus on how to create impactful campaigns with tiny (or zero) budget.

We’ll cover such topics as: how to use social media if you’re time stretched; how to mobilise your authors to promote their titles; how to write a press release that hooks with the first line; how to garner great endorsements for your authors; creating book jackets that will grab attention; best practice around creating a marketing and publicity campaign, and how to engage with literary editors, reviewers, bloggers and radio producers.

Saturday 7th April


Custard Factory



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Emma Press Party and Launch

The Emma Press is celebrating five years of running as an independent press with a big anniversary party at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter on 17th March.

The party is also going to serve as a launch for our newest anthology: ‘The Emma Press Anthology of Love’. Poets who are featured in the book will be reading, we’ll have lots of copies on hand, and there will be drinks, games and goody bags too.

What’s more, for those who want to know what it’s really like to be a young female entrepreneur in Birmingham, the press’s founder, Emma Wright, will be talking about what goes on behind the scenes.

Join them for poetry readings, games, and more:


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Launch of Roz Goddard’s Spill Poetry Collection

Flarestack Poets is delighted to be launching Roz Goddard’s fifth poetry collection, Spill.
Full of tenderness, this collection explores the transformative power of love, loss and spirituality.
Roz will read from Spill and will be supported by guest readers Jane Commane and Jacqui Rowe. The M.C. For the event is Jonathan Davidson.
Afternoon tea will be served with copious amounts of cake in variety. You are all very welcome.

  • Free event
  • Sun, February 11, 2018, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM GMT
  • Birmingham Buddhist Centre, 11 Park Road, Birmingham B13 8AB

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Creative Writing Course (Erdington)

A new creative writing course at Erdington Adult Education Centre (close to Erdington Railway Station) is designed to build knowledge and assurance in the art and support your existing and future writing needs.

There will be an enrollment session this Thursday (21st September) at 1PM and the course commences at the same time the following week.

When: Thursdays 13:00 – 15:00

Dates: 28th September – 14th December 2017

Cost: Full £110, Discount : £55, Concessionary £55

Here are the venue details:-


Erdington AE Centre
101 Sutton New Road,
Erdington B23 6RE
Tel: 0121 464 6190

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Writers’ Retreat in Birmingham

“A writers’ retreat provides a day of uninterrupted writing in a supportive and friendly environment fueled by coffee, tea, biscuits and a lovely lunch.

It’s basically time and space to write  – to kick start a stalling project or get ahead on one that is motoring along steadily but could do with a boost.”

Karen will be running the retreats for a company called Writers’ HQ and writers can sign up to find out more about the Birmingham Writers’ Retreats here:


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Indy Publishing Workshop

The Book Reality Experience in cooperation with FCM Publishing, Publisher’s Weekly’s Booklife, Draft2Digital and Ingram Spark are running a one day, hands-on practical guide to independent publishing in central Birmingham on the 23rd August.

The whole day, including lunch, access to a myriad of on-line training resources and a comprehensive reference guide is available for only £99.00.

They are willing to offer a 15% discount to members of Birmingham Writers Group – contact Heide for the code if you would like it.

Further details of the event can be found here:


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Reading and Being Read: Birmingham

The Contemporary Small Press is holding this event at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham on Tuesday 27th June, 6-9pm

The event will bring together local readers, writers and small press publishers to discuss the opportunities and challenges related to small press publishing.  Speakers will include Emma Wright, editor at The Emma Press, Alan Mahar – former publishing director with the former Tindal Street Press, and writers published by both presses who will be reading from their work.

Reading and Being Read: Birmingham builds on previous events in London and Manchester, and will be a good opportunity for your writers to network with local publishers, writers and readers.

More information can be found on the Reading and Being Read website and tickets can be booked via Eventbrite
Reading and Being Read events are supported using public funding from the Arts Council England

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Bearwood Slamathon

Bearwood Action for Refugees are celebrating UK Refugee Week 2017 in style and inviting the whole community to join them.

On Sunday 25 June, in partnership with Agora Poetry, they are hosting a mammoth poetry slam, SLAMATHON, at Thimblemill Library in Bearwood, 2-7pm.

It will be fun-packed for all ages with storytelling, comedy, poetry workshops, crafts and plenty to eat with a bring and share buffet.

The event will be in aid of Aegean Solidarity Network and every penny raised will help support refugees in transit.

The application form for those wishing to enter the competition is here

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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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