Tuesday, 31 of March 2015

The National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Books announce New Children’s Author Prize 2015 for unpublished authors.

A new writing competition to find the “next big thing” in children’s literature has been launched by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Bloomsbury. The New Children’s Author Prize is set to unearth brilliant new talent in writing for children.

Unpublished authors who enter the competition will be in with the chance of winning a publishing contract with Bloomsbury, publisher behind the Harry Potter series. The first prize will also include an advance of £5,000 and an exclusive print run of the new author’s work.

To enter, authors should submit a 20,000–40,000 word children’s story, targeted at children aged 8 to 12, with a 350 word synopsis and a 1,000 word passage highlighted for judging in the early rounds. Pay for your entry by 30 September and submit your entry by 31 October. Entries cost £30. All proceeds from the competition go towards the National Literacy Trust’s work in tackling low literacy levels in deprived communities across the UK. Visit www.literacytrust.org.uk/authorprize for more details and how to enter.

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Writer’s conference at the Library of Birmingham Saturday 18th October


  • Chris Carling talking about her moving and highly topical memoir: ‘But Then Something Happened: A Story of Everyday Dementia’
  • Rosemary Westwell ‘John, Dementia and Me’: exploring life problems in fiction and also talking about ‘Unseen Poetry’
  • Jackie Reynolds and Michael Callan ‘‘Connecting Communities with Creative Writing’
  • Sarah Gornall ‘Co-authoring and what it can mean.’
  • Dr David Gatley ‘1936 a Year in Post Boxes’
  • Elaine Ewart ‘My work as Fenland Poet Laureate including poetry writing, and performing ‘
  • Noreen Wainwright ‘A homespun year’ by Noreen Wainwright and Margaret Priestly Thrifty ways to make and grow, bake and sew
  • Stephanie J. Hale ‘What it takes to sell a million books, what it takes to make a million from your book idea and what works and what doesn’t when it comes to selling books in this exciting new digital age.’
  • Hayley Humphrey ’Nanowrimo: From writers’ block to 50,000 words, a novel written in a month.’
  • Mary McGuire ‘Publish or self-publish? Which way do I go?’

ENTRY FREE           refreshments served

Book early to avoid disappointment

Contact: Malcolm Henson enquiries@hensoneditorial.com

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Birmingham Readers’ Map Authors Host a Night of Local Fiction at Brewsmiths

Finding locally set fiction is always difficult, but Birmingham based publishers Pigeon Park Press have sought to remedy this with the Birmingham Readers’ Map. Novels, poetry and short stories all featuring a local flavour have been collected and compiled into a GoogleMaps-style map allowing book-lovers to browse and discover stories set just around the corner.

Now, authors featured on the Readers’ Map are coming together for a night of thrills, humour and entertainment at Brewsmiths Coffee & Tea shop at the Jewellery Quarter on 29th September. Authors will be sharing excerpts of their latest books and even a few bespoke short stories in a night celebrating the diversity and creativity of Birmingham writers, before taking part in a Q&A panel where audience members will have the chance to quiz the authors on writing and publishing their own books, as well as the challenges and rewards of being an independent author.

Join us for the Birmingham Readers’ Map at Brewsmiths on 29th September at 7:30pm in the Jewellery Quarter.

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Write Angles 2015 – Southend International Playwrights Festival

Final Call for Scripts – 10 October 2014

Write Angles 2015 – Southend International Playwrights Festival

The Write Angles Festival, formally known as the Southend Playwriting Festival, is now accepting entries for next year’s Festival to be held at the Dixon Studio, Palace Theatre in Southend-on-Sea from 4-6 February 2015.

There are 3 categories for submissions to be considered under – Comedy, Drama, and Young Writers (16-25 yrs of age) – with a cash prize of £250 for the overall Festival winner.

Anyone can enter the festival with plays of any genre, except musicals, as long as they are simple to stage.   The maximum running time for entries is 45 minutes – there is no minimum running time.  Authors can submit extracts from full plays to this running time (or less) or complete pieces.  Authors submitting extracts will need to include a synopsis which can be given to the audience before the performance begins.

How to Enter

Entries will be accepted up to 10 October 2014.  Entries must be written in English, certified as an original piece of work and copyrighted by the author.  All entries must be submitted electronically to writeangles2015@outlook.com

Each submission (play) carries an entry fee of £5 to cover reading fees.  Entry fees must be paid prior to submission by BACS to Lloyds Bank sort code 77-08-08, account number 57719168, account name Write Angles Treasurers Account.  Authors must use their submission email address as a reference to ensure we can cross-reference payment to script received.

Authors can submit as many entries as they like – but please note each entry (play) carries an entry fee of £5.

When submitting entries, writers are asked to put the following details at the head of their script:

  • Authors Name
  • Title of play
  • Synopsis – and note if entry is an extract
  • Confirmation of originality of work and copyright by author
  • Authors email address used to submit play
  • Category entered:   please specify which of the following categories applies:
    • Comedy
    • Drama
    • Young Writers award (16-25 yrs of age at time of submission)

The best submissions in each category will be chosen by Full Circle Theatre to form a three day programme of rehearsed readings by professional actors.  We will also be choosing an overall winner from the plays chosen for performance and the author will receive a cash prize of £250.  The decision by Full Circle for the programme and the winning entry will be final and this will be announced at the Festival itself in February 2015.

Playwrights will be informed whether their play has been chosen for the festival in October 2014.

The Festival is organised by Full Circle Theatre, and sponsored by Southend Theatres.   Any enquiries about the Festival should be sent to writeangles2015@outlook.com

Full details of the Festival are given on http://writeangles2015.weebly.com We look forward to receiving your plays for consideration

With many thanks

FULL CIRCLE THEATRE/Write Angles Festival Organisers

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Invitation to submit short stories

Jon Harvey, who is a small press publisher, invites submissions of short stories from Birmingham Writers Group members.

He’s looking for stories that are quirky.

He’s interested in fantasy or  horror, get in touch with him at spectrepress01@gmail.com

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Poetry & Conflict with Beatfreeks – Poetry writing workshop for young people aged 14-25

Tuesday 28 October, Beatbox in the Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2ND, 2-5pm

Free (but please book)

A partnership event with Voices of War and Peace, an Arts & Humanities Research Council First World Engagement Centre, and Beatfreeks

Beatfreeks is an arts organisation supporting young, creative people to do what they love.

We’re a social enterprise, which means we use our resources and innovation to address social issues and benefit the broader community. We believe empowered, engaged and enabled young people are incredible catalysts for bringing about positive change, so our number one aim is providing platforms for growth and expression to young people.

Our core programme is run through five creative Academies – Poetry, Music, Dance, Media and Enterprise. In each Academy we run regular events, workshops and training opportunities. Almost all of our activity is youth-led, and we try our best to build progression routes and meaningful legacies into each of our opportunities. We exist to help young people develop and grow.


All of our workshops are free. To book a place please contact: voices@contacts.bham.ac.uk


Voices of War and Peace is an Arts & Humanities Research Council First World War Engagement Centre. Led by the University of Birmingham and based in the Library of Birmingham, the Centre supports community research projects, connecting academic and public histories of the First World War as part of the commemoration of the centenary.

Please visit the website for more information: www.voicesofwarandpeace.org

Twitter @Voices_WW1

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Creative writing workshop – Voices of the First World War

Creative writing and poetry workshop for adults

Saturday 11 October, Heritage Learning Space in the Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2ND

Free (but please book)

A partnership event with Voices of War and Peace, an Arts & Humanities Research Council First World Engagement Centre, and the Birmingham Literature Festival.

10.30am-12.30pm Creative writing workshop led by Fiona Joseph

Fiona is a teacher, publisher and writer. She has written a biography of Beatrice Cadbury, the radical daughter of the famous chocolate manufacturer, and is currently working on a novel based on Cadbury women employees in the First World War.

In this workshop Fiona will explore using archive collections as a springboard to creative writing.

1.30-3.30pm Poetry workshop led by Garrie Fletcher and Antony Owen

Garrie is a teacher and writer. Widely published, he writes short stories, novels and poems and is a member of the Tindal Street Fiction Group. Antony is a Coventry- based poet. His first collection of work was published in 2009.

In this workshop Garrie and Antony will encourage participants to explore themes of conflict, peace and reconciliation in their creative writing with particular focus on poetry.


All of our workshops are free. To book a place please contact: voices@contacts.bham.ac.uk


Voices of War and Peace is an Arts & Humanities Research Council First World War Engagement Centre. Led by the University of Birmingham and based in the Library of Birmingham, the Centre supports community research projects, connecting academic and public histories of the First World War as part of the commemoration of the centenary.

Please visit the website for more information: www.voicesofwarandpeace.org

Twitter @Voices_WW1

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Prima magazine wants YOUR stories!

From Rachel at Prima:

I am writing from Prima magazine and currently on the lookout for fantastic new writers with short stories to feature in our ‘Reader Short Story’ competition.

We are particularly looking for Christmas and New Year themed stories for our December and January edition.

The competition prize is £100.

We were hoping that you could put a message out in your writers group as we’d love to hear from them!

All the competition details are very straightforward and written below:

- Only one entry can be accepted per person.

- The story must be 800 words.

- You must send in a good-quality photo in with your entry, as well as you name, age, address and phone number.

- All entries must be sent to either:





Your Winning Stories,

Prima Features,

72 Broadwick Street,


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Bare Fiction Prize

Bare Fiction Prize 2014


Bare Fiction Magazine has launched its inaugural Bare Fiction Prize with awards for Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Short Story with a total prize fund of £2500.

All winners will be published in the Spring 2015 issue of Bare Fiction Magazine and on the magazine’s website, with the prizes to be awarded at the Spring launch reading in London in March 2015.

Judges: Adam Horovitz (poetry) and Angela Readman (flash fiction) will read all entries in their categories. Short story judges Tania Hershman & Rachel Trezise will select winners from a longlist of 50 writers chosen by filter judge Penny Thomas (fiction editor at Seren Books).

Prizes (in each category)

1st Prize: £500

2nd Prize: £200

3rd Prize: £100

plus 4 Highly Commended Awards of £25.

Cost per entry:

Flash Fiction Entries: £6 / £4 for subscribers

Short Story Entries: £8 / £6 for subscribers

Poetry Entries: £5 / £3 for subscribers

For more details, including competition rules, to enter online or download an entry form,

please visit: http://www.barefictionmagazine.co.uk/competitions

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LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER, a new kind of war memorial, made only of words and by thousands of people.


Until 4 August, 11pm

There are only 10 days left to contribute to LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER, the digital memorial created by Neil Bartlett and Kate Pullinger as part of the 14-18 NOW programme of cultural commissions to commemorate World War One.

16,000 people have already written letters to the memorial, which is inspired by Charles Sargeant Jagger’s statue of a soldier reading a letter on Platform One at Paddington Station.

Letters are pouring in from people of all ages, from 4-90 years old, from grandmothers and Gurkhas, midwives, musicians, schoolchildren, students, teachers, politicians and prisoners.

Letters are being sent from as far away as China, Brazil, South Africa, USA, Australia, India and Egypt.

Distinguished writers, personalities and politicians who have written letters to the soldier include A L Kennedy, Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry, Sheila Hancock, Sebastian Faulks, Dawn French, Lee Child, Andrew Motion, Lesley Pearce, Malorie Blackman and the Prime Minister David Cameron.

Our team of editorial moderators are reading every single letter that comes in. If you need some inspiration, they’ve come up with a wishlist of letters that they’d love to see. Their ideas include letters from the ghost of Archduke Ferdinand, a Time Traveller, a prisoner forced to enlist, a spy, and a woman fighting at the front disguised as a man.

All the letters are published online and the entire collection will eventually be archived in the British Library web archive.

LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER will remain open to receive letters until 11pm on 4 August.

Everyone can contribute a letter, either by visiting the website 1418now.org.uk/letter

or posting it to LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER, PO Box 73102, London EC1P 1TY.

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