Thursday, 8 of October 2015

Leominster Festival


SAT 6 JUNE 10.00 – 16.00




READERS: Browse through bookswritten by local authors and meetthe writers. Books will be on display with many for sale.

Authors will begiving readings/talks on their workthroughout the day.

WRITERS: Meet the authors SimonWhaley and Fay Wentworth and take part in the writers’ workshops

(£8 each or £21 for all three).

Booking is advised. Tickets available from the Tourist Information Centre in person or on 01568 616460.


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Luke Bitmead Bursary

Legend Press, the leading independent publisher in the UK would like to talk to you about their annual bursary prize for writers called the Luke Bitmead Bursary.

The prize was set up in honour of Luke Bitmead. His debut novel was the first novel Legend Press published but sadly, after struggling with depression, Luke committed suicide. The award has been set up by his mother in partnership with them to support and encourage the work of struggling writers, and is the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished authors.

Submissions must be adult fiction, and only completed novels will be considered. Full guidelines can be found on the website.

Closing: Submissions open 1st May until 1st August.

Prizes: A publishing contract with Legend Press and a £2,500 cash bursary.

Entry Fee: Free to enter.

Competition Page:


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Writers’ Summer School in Derbyshire

Chairman of The Writers’ Summer School, Michael O’Byrne, is delighted to announce that Simon Brett, winner of the 2014 Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger, has accepted an invitation to be one of the inspirational guest speakers at this year’s School. Simon is known to readers and listeners as the author of The Charles Paris Mysteries, dramatised on Radio 4 with Bill Nighy in the title role. He joins an impressive line-up including short story specialist and writers’ agony aunt Della Galton, fantasy author Mario Reading and Scottish bestselling author Alex Gray.

‘Crime writing is a very popular genre and we are thrilled to have persuaded Simon to join us this year. As well as our guest speakers and hugely popular courses and workshops, the Tuesday morning Publishing Q&A panel is expected to be a highlight of the week for new writers wanting to take the next step towards publishing and selling their work,’ said Michael.

The Writers’ Summer School has been held at The Hayes Conference Centre in the village of Swanwick near Alfreton in Derbyshire every year since 1949. The residential school attracts up to 300 published and aspiring authors who are offered a huge choice of courses and workshops, all run by experienced tutors, and enjoy the unique opportunity to share their experiences. This year’s School runs from Saturday 8 August to Friday 14 August.

Simon and his fellow guest speakers follow in illustrious footsteps – past speakers have included Peter James, Iain Banks and Deborah Moggach. Sir Terry Pratchett was a much-loved speaker and his recent passing will, no doubt, evoke memories for ‘Swanwickers’, some of whom have been attending the School for more than 40 years.

Details of speakers, courses, workshops, accommodation and nightly entertainment are available on the School’s website at Booking is available online or by emailing the secretary at


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Birmingham-based food columnist wanted

Local website Birmingham Favourites are looking for someone to write twice a month about their local dining experiences.


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Help with market research for a new writing magazine

Here are some details we have been sent by Criteria Fieldwork, an independent market research agency based in London (

The sessions that are mentioned are taking place in Edgbaston.

“We have been commissioned by a publisher who is launching a new magazine and website offering information and support to people who enjoy creative writing as a hobby (more info is available about the magazine/ website is available upon request).

They are organising some focus groups, in the evening, on Tuesday 17th March and would love to invite people along who enjoy creative writing to get some feedback on the new magazine and website.  This is not a sales exercise and all information obtained within the research will remain confidential.

The focus group would last 1.5 hours, we understand that time is valuable so those attending would receive a cash thank you of £50.00 as a token of our appreciation.

Please be assured that the research is conducted in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the Market Research Society Code of Conduct ( )

If you are interested in participating we would need to ask some questions to see if you are eligible for this particular session. If you would like to take part or are interested in finding out more, please reply to this email with your contact mobile number and I will give you a call.”

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Bournville Children’s Book Festival

The Bournville Children’s Book Festival is taking place on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March 2015 at various venues in Bournville.

Children’s authors and illustrators attending the Festival include Ian Whybrow, top 10 best selling author of “Harry & the Bucketful of Dinosaurs” series and Korky Paul, the world famous illustrator of “Winnie the Witch” series.

They are also featuring local children’s illustrator, Jess Mikhail, and local children’s author, Juliet Clare Bell.

If you would be interested in attending the not-for-profit Festival, tickets are available online via the Events button on the Facebook page


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Hearts of Darkness – spoken word event

Monday 9th February 7pm-9pm

Brewsmiths Coffee & Tea, 214 Livery Street, Birmingham B3 1EU

Tired of sickly sweet Valentines? Then join us for a night of romantic fiction with a deliciously dark twist.

There may still be authors slots, please get in touch with Heide Goody who can pass you on to the organisers.

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Benchmark Creative Writing Competition

A fundraising collaboration between Willow Burn Hospice and writer Rachel Cochrane

With judges Writer Wendy Robertson, Dr Philip Le Dune and Writer Sue Spencer

Imagine you had a bench dedicated to you:

What would it say on the plaque?

Where would it be?

Why have you chosen that particular place?

Through Rachel’s online radio play Benchmark and associated writing competition, we want to encourage people to think positively about their lives and raise vital funds for Willow Burn Hospice.

Competition prizes:

First Prize is a solid Iroko Dalton 3 seater (1500cm) hardwood bench with personalised engraved plaque and delivery within the UK. Kindly donated by Faithful & Gould, Victory Signs and Solid Oak Hardwood Furniture.

Second Prize is a Kindle kindly donated by David Ridley

Third Prize is a £30 book token kindly donated by Rachel Cochrane

• All winning entries will also be showcased in written form on

This national competition is open to all adults (18+) in the UK, so if you’ve never written creatively before – why not give it a try?

An entry fee of £5 with 40% of that donated to Willow Burn Hospice.

To enter the competition, visit


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Breadcrumbs coverBreadcrumbs is the debut short story collection by author Simon Fairbanks.

Horror, fantasy and fairy tales merge in these twenty-one tales traversing all manner of times and worlds: twins escape their kidnapper and seek refuge in a mysterious cave, a homeless crusader hopes to save his friends from the fiendish Bogeyman, a life-changing encounter occurs in a Sri Lankan tuc-tuc, and a lonely girl discovers a monster in the woods.

Breadcrumbs also features a new adventure starring Denebola and his sky-horse Palladium, set within the world of Simon’s fantasy novel The Sheriff.

Follow this trail of Breadcrumbs into Simon’s imagination and discover stories both dark and wonderful.

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Best British Short Stories 2014 – A Tribute to Joel Lane

At this special Library of Birmingham event, authors M John Harrison, Mick Scully and Louise Palfreyman will celebrate the short story form, and the memory of one of its masters, with Salt Publishing editor Nicholas Royle.
This year’s Best British Short Stories anthology is dedicated to Birmingham writer Joel Lane, who died last November. Joel’s work will top the bill in a great evening of author readings, plus we’ll be answering your questions on writing and getting published.
There’s no charge for this event. Get tickets here, and feel free to invite your friends!
We’ll be asking for your favourite Joel Lane poems, stories and novel excerpts at @tweetybyrde and #bestbritishshortstories

30 October at 18:30–19:30

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