Wednesday, 20 of August 2014

Collaborative Writing Workshop offered by Birmingham Writers’ Group

On Saturday 7 June between 14:00 and 16:00 you are invited to join a writing workshop at the Library of Birmingham.
Birmingham Writers Group members Heide Goody and Iain Grant will be running a Collaborative Writing Workshop.

Heide and Iain have written novels together for around three years and they have worked out lots of ways to have a fun time being creative in a team.
Even if you don’t want to write with someone else, you’ll get a creative boost from this lively workshop.

There is a nominal charge of £3 for the library to cover its costs.
Details here:

This is one of three events that Birmingham Writers’ Group is running at the Library of Birmingham as part of its Images Season.
We’ll keep you posted about the others as soon as they are available to view on the library’s own website.

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Starlight in the Ring

Starlight in the Ring coverNelson Mandela called for forgiveness and reconciliation. When your heart is at stake, that’s hard to do…

Growing up in South Africa in the 1950s, Betty Baker’s whole childhood has been shaped by the tyranny of the Apartheid Laws. As the daughter of native farm-labourers, her future is already mapped out for her. Betty’s dreams are larger than Burgersdorp. Each of the sixteen laws brings hate, hardship, exile and murder, but Betty’s passion and ambition drives her on. Her first love affair brings tragedy, and later, a choice: will she let the events of her past determine her future? Will she seek love – or fall for revenge?

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10.00 – 4.00
Bank Road, Little Witley, Worcs.
Tutors: Sue Johnson & Heather King
Cost: £40
(includes tea, coffee & cake)
Please bring a packed lunch (kitchen facilities available)
For further details and to book a place, contact:
Heather King on 01886 888518 or Sue Johnson on 01386 446477

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Local poetry events

The following list of events has been sent to us by Jacqui Rowe of Flarestack Poets:

I’m very pleased by how popular my workshops at the Barber Institute have become. Booking is essential (see below for details)

1.30 – 4PM
Be inspired by the seascapes in our galleries and explore personal maps and journeys and write about the sea in its many forms…

1.30 – 4PM
Embark on a treasure hunt for the hidden and unexpected artworks around the University of Birmingham campus! Be inspired in your writing by this diverse and eclectic range of sculpture, both inside and out, including works in the Barber Institute and the Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art.
Please bring suitable footwear for walking, and protection against bad weather.
This workshop,

1.30 – 4PM
In response to our Lasting Impressions exhibitions, this workshop looks at how we describe people and create characters. Explore these ideas and have the opportunity to write a dialogue by pairing two disparate portraits.
This workshop, led by Barber Write in Residence Jacqui Rowe, is suitable for writers of prose or poetry, at all levels of experience.

£6; £4 concessions & students per workshop. Limited spaces available – booking essential. To book, contact 0121 414 2261 or

POETRY BITES 7.30 pm 27th MAY
Guest poets for Poetry Bites in May are Roy Marshall and James Sheard. Floor spots are also available for you to share your own work with a supportive and appreciative audience. Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA (entry through Fletcher’s, a few yards up the road). To book a floor spot contact or arrive before 7.15 pm on the night. £5 (£4 concs) inc readers. Poetry bites receives no public funding so a fee is charged to cover room hire and to contribute to guests’ expenses.

Flarestack Poets press, publisher of the year 2013 at the Michael Marks Awards and twice publisher of the Michael Marks pamphlet of the year is open for submissions until 31st May. For details see

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Bedford Short Story Competition

You are invited to enter the Short Story Competition 2014 being run by the Bedford Writing Competition. This is a new competition with the aim of providing a platform for the finest in fiction writing. BWC is a non-profit making organisation and any proceeds will be donated to charity.

This year the competition is for short stories of up to 3000 words in length, on any theme. Prizes totalling £200 will be awarded to three stories judged to be the best by award-winning novelist Leigh Russell with ten of the short-listed entries being published on BWC’ s website.

To see the entry requirements for stories which should be submitted by 30th September 2014 please click here

We look forward to receiving your entries.

Good luck.

The BWC Organising Committee

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Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing at the University of York

From the University of York:

The Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) has carved out a niche in offering high-quality, distance learning provision over the last decade, focusing on first-rate student engagement and flexible models of delivery. As a learning provider, we have offered a variety of educational opportunities for more than twenty-five years, and have received numerous Vice-Chancellor Awards for the standard of teaching and student support.


CLL is a thriving unit within the University, offering a variety of innovative learning opportunities both locally and globally, with a specific remit of supporting non-traditional students as they return to learn. The Centre offers around 200 evening and day classes during the academic year, receiving around 2,200 applications annually. We are based on the Heslington campus, and aim to make the University a place for everyone, priding ourselves on working in partnership with university departments, external funding bodies and local agencies throughout our work.

Since 2007, we have developed an extensive programme of distance learning to reach learners nationally and around the world, with a particular focus on creative writing. In that time, we have taught literally hundreds of students from the UK and around the globe, and have utilised that expertise to devise new, part-time postgraduate programmes of study that offer you study flexibility without compromising academic rigour. Our approach is to create vibrant and dynamic learning experiences despite students’ distance from one another, fostering a sense of community through keenly-facilitated learning.

Our technology-enhanced delivery uses the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard, to ensure that you receive a comprehensive learning experience regardless of whenever or wherever you engage, without the need for extensive IT knowledge. All our online learning is supported by experienced staff, and there is never a need for you to be on the course site a set time for core activities, making this the ideal way for the busy student to extend their learning journey.

The Programme

Led by Elizabeth Linklater, the Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing is a two-year part-time programme, aimed at writers wishing to develop their creative and critical skills at an advanced level. The programme adopts an all-encompassing approach to the discipline of creative writing, taking in a variety of genres and exploring the major forms of prose, poetry and scripts.  The award is delivered wholly online, in a fully-supported learning environment, and builds upon many years of experience in the international distance learning arena.

The programme comprises six 20-credit modules which will develop students’ writing skills and their critical faculties in a range of genres. These modules are:

Year One

  • · Creative Practice: Creativity, Theory and the Craft of Writing
  • Critical Approaches: Methodology, Research and Literature
  • Compressed Fiction: The Art of the Short Story

Year Two

  • · Poetic Power: Theory and Practice in Contemporary Poetry
  • · Sustained Fiction: The Novel as Narrative
  • · Dramaturgy, Sound and Screen

The programme also includes residential weekends at York each year. Each event is an opportunity to meet teaching staff network with fellow students, engage in study activities, and hear established writers talk about specific topic areas. These weekends are free of charge, though students will be expected to meet the cost of their travel, accommodation and sustenance. For anyone unable to attend, there will also be the option to engage via real-time video conferencing or to watch recordings of the key sessions.

What Next?

For more information, please visit or email The programme launches in late September 2014, and if you have any specific questions you would like answering, please do feel free to give Iain a call on 01904 328474.

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Free TV writing workshop at mac birmingham on 28 April 2014

TV writing and feedback workshop

Playwright, TV screenwriter and Creative Space member Jon Barton will be hosting these open to all sessions for IdeasTap writer members.

Topics and exercises covered will include pitching, giving and receiving feedback, coping with rejection and discussing TV formats.

The session takes place at mac birmingham at 2-4pm or alternatively 4.30-6.30pm on 28 April. Free tickets can be booked at


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Blackshaw’s FREE New Writing Surgery (London)

New Writing Surgery
Do you want to write but struggle to motivate yourself to start?
Are you a writer looking for a helping hand or feedback?
Do you just want to learn more about the process of writing?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then come along to Blackshaw’s FREE New Writing Surgery presented as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival + Fringe.
Please let us know you’d like to attend by emailing
Saturday 17th May, 4.30pm to 6pm
Upstairs@The Selkirk, 60 Selkirk Road, Tooting, SW17 0ES

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Kingston Writing School Hilary Mantel International Short Story Competition

Twice Man Booker Prize winning author, Hilary Mantel, will be judge for this competition.

First Prize £3000 and two Runners Up Prizes of £500

open for entries from May 1st to June 30th.

For more details, please see here

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Friday 9 May – An evening with Samantha Hayes, Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham 7pm

Meet Samantha Hayes, bestselling author of Until You’re Mine, which was chosen as this year’s Birmingham Big City Read.  Samantha will be reflecting on the Big City Read and introducing her gripping new psychological suspense novel Before You Die.

About Before you Die:

It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.Then a young man is killed in a freak motorbike accident, and a suicide note is found among his belongings. A second homeless boy takes his own life, this time on the railway tracks.

Is history about to repeat itself?

DI Lorraine Fisher has just arrived for a relaxing summer break with her sister. Soon she finds herself caught up in the resulting police enquiry. And when her nephew disappears she knows she must act quickly.

Are the recent deaths suicide – or murder?

And is the nightmare beginning again?

Tickets £5 available from the Box –

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