Sunday, 22 of January 2017

Hometown Tales

Weidenfeld & Nicolson (part of Orion group) is launching a series of short books – Hometown Tales – featuring new voices from regions that are under-represented in the UK book market.

Each book will include a work by an unpublished writer and one by a high-profile author, both writing about the same place.

The series will promote greater inclusivity and provide a platform for new writers, helping them to launch the first step of their careers, edited and mentored by editors at W&N.

Find out about the submission process at their web page

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Reading and Being Read: Making Books at Birmingham Box

TWO events:

Thursday 22 September 2016, 6-8pm
Café Mezzanine, Library of Birmingham

If you think it’s fine to judge a book by its cover – and typeface, paper and page layout! – this is the event for you. Come for an evening of discussion, demonstration and investigation into all that goes into make books as objects with other keen readers, practitioners and local small press publishers.

Tickets are £3

Event arranged by The Contemporary Small Press and the Library of Birmingham.

Friday 23 September 2016, 6-8pm
Café Mezzanine, Library of Birmingham

The last few years has seen an explosion of new small presses and independent publishers around the country, publishing new and exciting fiction and poetry. If you are a keen reader and want to know more about the difference being a small press makes to how they work and what they publish, come along to hear from two local small presses, The Emma Press and Ayebia Press. They will each be presenting one of their writers, who will read from recently published work.

Event arranged by The Contemporary Small Press The Contemporary Small Press and the Library of Birmingham.


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Penguin Random House seek writers from under-represented communities

In an initiative called Write Now, Penguin Random House are looking for writers from under-represented communities.

This might mean you’re from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, or have a disability.

They are hosting a series of insight days (one of which is in Birmingham).

Find out more at the website

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Spoken word event – Books and Beer

You’re invited to Books & Beer at The Gunmakers Arms, Birmingham city centre 7-9pm on Monday 12th September. There will be fantastic live fiction and Two Towers’ brilliant craft beers, and tickets are free. Book them at and be sure to bring your friends!

The evening is loosely themed around Birmingham’s heritage and its history of gun-making.

The pub is the Two Towers’ brewery tap. Its beers are wonderful and very reasonably priced.? Free snacks will be provided and you can order pub grub too.

If you’d like to perform a short piece of fiction, please contact Helen at



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Links & Shifts – event in Birmingham

Links & Shifts
Sunday 21st of August, 2:30-5:30
Birmingham Open Media, FREE

Links & Shifts brings together three practitioners to discuss the similarities and differences in their working processes.

Nikki Pugh (artist), Kat Jungnickel (sociologist) and Emily Chappell (writer) have all taken the experience of cycling as the  starting point for their work. Through a combination of presentations and panel discussion, they will explore how they go about understanding things through doing and making. They’ll also talk about the methods they use to move between the practical stage and the final outcome.

Come and join us if you have an interest in practice as research, embodied modes of knowing, storytelling, or just enjoy a good bike ride. There’ll be tea, cake, book signing and a chance to wear Kat’s research whilst pedalling a suitably aged bicycle.

Tickets are free, but strictly limited. Reserve your place at

Emily had her first book published in January and is well known in cycling circles for her blogging; winning Travel Blogger of the Year at the 2012 British Travel Press Awards. She also writes for the Guardian. She’ll be ‘fresh’ back from taking part in an endurance cycle race across Europe and will be talking about (or rather doing) the bit between living the experience and turning the memories into stories and the written word.


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Verve – A Birmingham Festival of Poetry and Spoken Word

Poetry Competitions now open:
Verve is Birmingham’s first Festival of Poetry and Spoken Word, launching in February 2017. In the run up to Verve, we’re launching a poetry competition for both adults and children. Entries are welcome from anywhere, both in the UK and abroad, as long as they relate to Birmingham, UK.

Dates for your diary:
Submissions open: 11th July
Submissions close (Adults): 11th September
Submissions close (Children): 30th September

See website for details

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August Open House at United Agents

A series of specific days are open for submissions of:

  • Children’s and YA
  • Crime & thrillers
  • Commercial fiction
  • Literary fiction

See website for details

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Radio station showcases emerging writing talent in Birmingham and the West Midlands

Call for Short Stories and Voice Actors Now Open:

Tall Tales is a brand new fiction, drama and spoken word programme on Brum Radio, showcasing the very best emerging writing talent in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Each week, host Philip Ellis introduces a new work of fiction by a local author, brought to life by talented voice actors.

Stories of jealous lovers and lost youth, shady magicians and dangerous dinner parties, treacherous journeys and ghostly encounters — we’ve got a little something for everybody.

Tune in every Tuesday at 10:30pm for a new story by a different author. Episodes are repeated the following Sunday at 12:00pm.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @BrumRadioTales

Short Story Submission Guidelines

Deadline: Midnight, Sunday 31st July

We are currently seeking short stories of all genres to be performed by voice actors in our second season, which begins in September. Writers must be from or currently live in Birmingham / the West Midlands.

Word count: Minimum 1,500 words. Maximum 4,000.

See website for details


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Dark fiction wanted by Dirge magazine

“Here at Dirge Magazine, we love dark fiction. Even more, we love something to look forward to, and we love getting lost in ongoing characters and worlds. We want to bring the very best of that to our readers. We want to get lost in your world.

We are looking for a monthly dark fiction serial series. We are offering a $200 advance and $50 each month for 12 months to the author who pitches the best series for our readers. We will also publish the serial as a collection.

Our first round of submissions will run from July 1st 2016 to July 31st. Here’s what we want from you:

  • A 100-200 word pitch for your serial. Outline what it’s about, give us a brief sketch of characters and themes; the elevator pitch for your story.
  • A 1-2 sentence outline for all 12 entries. These don’t have to be detailed, just show us the arc you imagine your story taking over the year.
  • When you’re ready, email this to:

    Finalists will be chosen by August 7th, and given 3 weeks to complete a first chapter.”

    See website for more details

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    Infected Books invite pitches for zombie novellas

    The 25 word pitch and 250 word excerpt should be posted directly into a special, dedicated thread on the Infected Books facebook page.

    Readers are encouraged to like the entries that appeal to them. In fact, the more popular an entry is, the more it may draw the eye of some of our judges.

    The overall favourite, chosen by our judges, will be required to deliver their completed zombie novella (10K – 15K) to Infected Books immediately.

    If the manuscript is delivered, they will be offered a contract and published in October 2016. If the manuscript is not delivered, the next favourite entry will be chosen.

    See the website for full details


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