Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sunday humor

Play in a Day

Saturday, October 22 · 10:00am - 8:00pm
Worcesterer Arts Workshop
21 Sansome Street

This is a full day event for actors and writers of all ages. Starting at 10am, the writers will be given a plot summary which they must use to create a short script, and they will direct the actors to bring their vision to life! This play will have a spooky, Halloween theme, giving writers a chance to create a fantasy world of monsters and ghouls, and actors a chance to explore their paranormal alter egos!

The performance itself will be at 7:30pm for those who just want to watch the end result!

Sebastian Peake

Sebastian Peake

TICKETS ON SALE NOW for Gormenghast: The Life And Work Of Mervyn Peake

The Worcestershire Literary Festival are delighted to be bringing Sebastian Peake back to Worcester on Saturday 29th October 2011, 7.30pm at The Fownes Hotel to reprise his talk “The Life And Work Of Mervyn Peake”. For more information and to buy tickets click here.

Tickets can be purchased via the box office Worcester Live on 01905 611427, by visiting the Worcester Live box office in the Crowngate Shopping Centre in Worcester or online by and paying via paypal.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Have you ever ....


Been to one of those work meetings?

I am going to assume, that it is simply the universe's way of motivating individuals like myself to keep writing, hoping and dreaming.

6 days and counting... for the Booker Prize!

The Man Booker Prize

The six books, selected from the longlist of 13, are:

Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House)

Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie (Canongate Books)

Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers (Granta)

Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Serpent’s Tail)

Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)

A.D. Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic)

Chair of judges, Dame Stella Rimington, comments: “Inevitably it was hard to whittle down the longlist to six titles. We were sorry to lose some great books. But, when push came to shove, we quickly agreed that these six very different titles were the best.

The winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 18 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall and will be broadcast on the BBC. The winner will receive £50,000 and each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their book. Last year’s winner, The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK alone.

Monday, 10 October 2011

A flash of flash fiction

Flash (Wally West)

LWC Flash Fiction Slam 2011

The Limerick Writers' Centre is running its second international flash fiction contest this month.

This year, writers are being asked to submit pieces of up to 500 words (not including title), with the prompt being '2011'. They say that the stories could be about anything: '2011 could be number or a year. The pieces must be stories with a beginning, a middle and an end - not poetry or vignettes.'

Entries must be submitted by email by the closing date of 30 October 2011. A short-list of 10 entries will be announced on or around 15 November. Each shortlisted entrant will have the opportunity to read their piece (or have it read by an actor) at the 2nd Annual LWC Flash Fiction Slam in December 2011. On the night, there will be a small prize selected by the judges and a small prize voted on by the audience.

Reader's Digest UK 100-Word Short Story Contest

This contest for stories of exactly 100 words has a top prize of 1,000 UK pounds - a pretty good rate per word! It's open to UK and Irish writers only - sorry if that doesn't apply to you.

There are three categories: one for adults, and two schools’ categories: one for children aged 12 to 18, and one for children under 12. In the adult category, the entry voted best by the panel of judges will receive £1,000, and two runners-up will receive £100 in book tokens. In each of the school categories, the prize for the winner is £500 of high-street vouchers of their choice, and £500 for their school. Winning entries will be published in a future issue of Reader's Digest.

The closing date is January 31, 2012, and entries have to be submitted by email.

Miranda Dickinson Flash Fiction Contest

This contest for aspiring novelists, from the HarperCollins Authonomy website, invites you to create a 416-word story, beginning with the words, 'It started with a kiss'.

The contest is being held to celebrate the release of the third novel 'It Started With a Kiss' by UK romantic fiction author
Miranda Dickinson. A near-neighbour of mine, Miranda was originally 'discovered' via the Authonomy site, and is now one of HarperCollins' star authors.

The winning entrant will be invited to submit the first 20,000 words of their novel manuscript (which need not be related to the contest story) to be reviewed by Miranda’s own editor. They, alongside four runners up, will also receive a signed copy of Miranda’s new novel, publishing November 10 2011. The contest is open world-wide. The closing date is 16 October 2011, so you'd better get writing now!

From the WWC Mailbox

Discover the pleasures of poetry with the T S Eliot Prize reading groups

Poetry was recently described by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy as ‘a necessary and nourishing part of our lives’. The Poetry Book Society wholeheartedly agrees and we’d like to offer you the chance to engage with the best in contemporary poetry through the T S Eliot Prize reading groups. The scheme is based on the shortlist for the 2011 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry. We hope to encourage fiction reading groups to try poetry, using the work of the poets shortlisted for the Prize.

The judges, Chair Gillian Clarke, Stephen Knight and Dennis O’Driscoll, will meet in mid October to decide on the ten-book shortlist, which will be announced on Thursday 20 October. From that day, reading groups will be able to download a biography and photo of each poet and three poems from their book, together with reading group notes on the poems, from The PBS website will offer readers the opportunity to vote for their favourite poet online, the result of which will be announced at the award ceremony.

Generous reading group discounts will also be available. Readers can also sign up for a weekly email which will cover the ten poets in turn and keep them up-to-date with news on the Prize.

There will also be a prize draw for tickets for the celebratory T S Eliot Prize Readings in the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank on Sunday 15 January 2012. The 2010 Readings were a great success, attracting one of the biggest audiences for a single poetry event of recent times.

The PBS is keen to encourage fiction groups to give poetry a go, so, to help you on your way, the poems will be available to download from the site so that you can incorporate them into your reading plans. You can also order books from the PBS if you wish to explore any of the poets in more depth. In addition, we’ll be providing helpful advice on how to set up and run a poetry reading group.

The winner of the 2011 T S Eliot Prize will be announced at the award ceremony on Monday 16 January 2012, when Mrs Valerie Eliot will present the winner with a cheque for £15,000. The shortlisted poets will each receive £1,000.

The four Poetry Book Society Choices from 2011 are automatically shortlisted for the Prize. This means we already know that Night by David Harsent (Faber), November by Sean O’Brien (Picador), Profit and Loss by Leontia Flynn (Jonathan Cape) and Armour by John Kinsella (Picador) will be on the shortlist.

The T S Eliot Prize was inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday, and to honour its founding poet. Now in its nineteenth year, the T S Eliot Prize is the ‘world’s top poetry award’ (Louise Jury, The Irish Independent). The Prize is awarded annually to the writer of the best new poetry collection published in the UK or Ireland. It is unique as it is always judged by a panel of established poets and it has been described by Sir Andrew Motion as ‘the Prize most poets want to win’. Last year’s winner was Derek Walcott, for his collection White Egrets (Faber).

Founded by T S Eliot and friends in 1953, the Poetry Book Society is a unique poetry organisation which provides its members with its Poet Selectors’ choice of the best new poetry books. The PBS has two websites; an online bookshop ( offering 90,000 poetry books and CDs, including the Poetry Archive recordings, together with a wide range of poetry news, articles, reviews, information and events listings, and the PBS website,, which has a special members’ section and houses the PBS’s projects, including the T S Eliot Prize and its Shadowing and reading group schemes.

For further information please go to

or contact: Hilary Davidson or Chris Holifield at the Poetry Book Society

tel 020 7831 7468 emails and


To The Worcestershire Writers

Our 100-word story competition was such a hit when we launched it last

year that we’ve decided to do it all over again.

So come on all you budding authors out there: this is your chance for

publishing glory and a shot at £1,000 prize money—as long as you can

write a compelling story in just 100 words, that is!

Send your entries, which should be original, unpublished and exactly

100 words long to by January 31, 2012.

Please mark your entry “adult”.

For some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, and initiate

some brainstorming at your next book club, visit:

to see last year’s winning and commended stories, as well as five

submissions from famous authors, which we feature in the October issue

of Reader’s Digest.

We look forward to reading your submissions,


Editorial Assistant


Dear Poetry Fans

Another in our limited series of autumn info-mails about poetry organisations (the highly-regarded Cinnamon Press, in this instance) who’ve agreed to mail news of our Fifth Troubadour International Poetry Prize to their poets and supporters, helping to support both poetry in general and, in particular, our ongoing mission to keep poetry alive and lively at London's longest-running and best-loved literary landmark venue...

For news of our Troubadour autumn readings, classes, and full prize details, see

Anne-Marie Fyfe (Organiser)

coffee-house poetry at the troubadour


About Cinnamon Press


Cinnamon Press is an innovative, international small press, publishing quality poetry and fiction. Our books have won or been shortlisted for major awards, including two books from winners of our twice-yearly writing competitions being short-listed for the Forward Prize for best first collection.

You can find out more about Cinnamon Press and see a selection of our titles, including the poetry journal, 'Envoi', now in its 54th year, at our website We currently have some great special offers on our new titles buy one of our newest books and for only £1 extra we will add a second book in the same genre, p+p included.

If you'd like to hear our writers perform their work we have a series of launches and events, many in London, the full programme is available at

The Cinnamon Press Writing Awards run twice each year with cash prizes and publication opportunities for poets (first collection), novelists and short story writers. The next deadline is November 30th 2011 and you can find full guidelines at

We also have a rolling programme of mini competitions - just £3 to enter and leading to publication in our regular anthologies. You can find out about the latest mini competition on the competitions page of the website.

For those looking for support for their writing we run two courses each year at the beautiful Ty'n y Coed Farm in North Wales and also offer mentoring in association with Triskele Writes, a co-operative of three writer/tutors. You can find out more at

We also have a regular newsletter to keep our readers informed of special offers, competitions, courses, events and more. If you'd like to be added simply send your email address to

For readers who want the best and writers who want to succeed see


Dear Poets

Just to remind you why you should be forwarding your best poems to the Troubadour Poetry Prize by Monday week:

- Top prize £2,500 thanks to generous sponsorship from Cegin Productions;

- You've up to Mon 17th Oct to submit (e-mail or post, payment via PayPal or cheque);

- Both judges will read all poems submitted;

- Prizewinners notified by Mon 21st Nov;

- Prizes awarded at Troubadour Prize Night on Mon 28th Nov;

- Results posted on next day;

And, of course, you'd be helping keep literature live at London's longest-running and best-loved poetry venue.

Looking forward to lots more submissions over next two weeks.

And good luck!



Please could you draw the attention of your members to the following:


Write us a short story on the subject of your choice.

* The competition is open to all writers.

* Entries must be no longer than 2000 words in length.

* 1st Prize £150; 2nd Prize £100; 3rd Prize £50

Special prize for the best story written by a Northamptonshire writer £50

(not awarded if the story has won 1st,2nd,or 3rd Prize)

In addition, a prize of £50 will be awarded for the best story by a writer who is

under 18 years old on the closing date for entries.

The entry fee is £4 for each story submitted - or £1 for each story submitted by

an Under 18 writer. Entrants are invited to submit as many stories as they wish.

The judging panel will comprise members of the Northampton Writers' Group.

We are delighted to announce that Katie Fforde will be the Head Judge. Katie is

the author of the best-selling books Summer Of Love, A Perfect Proposal, Living

Dangerously, and much else.

Closing date for entries is Thursday 1st December 2011.

Prizes will be awarded at a prize giving ceremony in the new year.

Date and venue to be announced.

There is no entry form. Simply send your story (typed please) with a first sheet

giving your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and title of story

(plus date of birth if entering the Under 18 competition) to H.E.Bates Competition,

19 Kingswell Road, Kingsthorpe, Northampton NN2 6QB. Please mark the envelope

"f.a.o Nick Hamlyn". Include a cheque (made out to N.Hamlyn) or a postal order.

Alternatively, you may e-mail your story in Word format, complete with a first sheet

as described above, to and pay by PayPal. In this case,

we will invoice you on receipt of your story.

Please note that stories will not be returned, so keep a copy!

Further info and full rules available at


Dear Poetry Fans

Just to remind everyone, well in advance, that Coffee-House Poetry's Autumn 2011 programme starts with a Salmon Press poetry evening on Monday 17th October. Hope to see lots of you there for an exciting start to a great season!



mon 17 oct: celebrating thirty years of 'salmon poetry'

with julian stannard, lorna shaughnessy, todd swift, nessa o'mahony, alan jude moore, noel monahan, anne le marquand hartigan, (ed.) jessie lendennie and guitarist henry fajemirokun

Inspired by the Salmon of Knowledge in Celtic mythology, Salmon Press was established in Galway in 1981 as an alternative voice in Irish literature, and has published 300 volumes of poetry over the past 30 years.

- Julian Stannard (see poem below) taught English & American Lit. at University of Genoa for many years - 'The Parrots of Villa Gruber Discover Lapis Lazuli' (2011) completes his Genoese trilogy;

- Lorna Shaughnessy has published translations of contemporary Mexican poetry - most recent poetry collection, 'Witness Trees'(2011);

- Todd Swift lectures in creative writing at Kingston University and is Oxfam poet-in-residence, collections include 'Seaway: New & Selected Poems' (2008);

- Nessa O'Mahony won the National Women's Poetry Competition - her verse-novel 'In Sight of Home' was published in 2009;

- Alan Jude Moore has been short-listed twice for the Hennessy Prize; his third collection is 'Strasbourg' (2011);

- Noel Monahan's fifth Salmon collection is 'Curve of the Moon' (2010) - his poetry is now prescribed text for Leaving Certificate English;

- Anne Le Marquand Hartigan's seventh collection will be 'Unsweet Dreams: Poems of Laughter, Wit and Sex' (Oct, 2011) - her prose includes Clearing The Space, the Why of Writing (1996);

- Salmon Poetry co-founder/editor Jessie Lendennie has edited anthologies, and a book of essays, 'Poetry: Reading It, Writing It, Publishing It' (2009) - latest poetry collection, 'Walking Here' (2011);

- with music from singer/guitarist Henry Fajemirokun.



I had a crazy idea we could have a good time

so you're flying in from Italy on Alitalia

and I'm booking a room in Edward Lear's old house

all sorted by my promiscuous credit card.

Then I take you to the Gay Hussar in Greek Street

where you can say anything you like

and because we're having a good time

I smile and offer you some Schnitzel.

Later, after I've paid the bill without flinching

we take a taxi to a discreet point on the Thames

where a boat is waiting full of elegant people.

It's a beautiful, limpid night and the orchestra

seems Welsh somehow. They're playing jazz but

they also throw in several Lieder. Everyone looks

good and so do you and apparently I do too

and before you know it we're dancing on the deck

a little Cole Porter and some Bunky Green

and our luminous children are following the boat

like mermaids but in actual fact they're boys

with your looks and my intelligence but

I close my mouth because the captain of the boat

deserves to live, the glittering orchestra deserves to live

and our earthly boys are hauling themselves

onto the deck as if they were part of an advert

and they see their parents dancing cheek to cheek

and before you know it we're sitting round a table

and the waiter's bringing audacious cocktails.

It feels so good it feels like cocaine but it isn't.

It feels as if all the Carabinieri and all the lawyers

have turned into seabirds flying off to Pimlico

and although it would be crazy to talk of love

the whole of London's lit up like a beating heart.


First Prize in: Fourth International Troubadour Poetry Prize 2010


Anne-Marie Fyfe (Organiser)

coffee-house poetry at the troubadour


life, literature and the pursuit of happiness...

in the famous Troubadour cellar-club:

London's liveliest & best-loved poetry venue...


readings, mondays from 8 to 10 pm, tickets £7 concessions £6, season tickets 30% off...

classes, sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 (concs. £24), advance booking only

cheques payable to Coffee-House Poetry, no credit cards

at 263-267 Old Brompton Road LONDON SW5

(no mail to this address, see correspondence address below)

nr. junct. Earls Court Rd & Old Brompton Rd

nearest Tube station: Earls Court (District & Piccadilly Lines)

for info, booking, season ticket & mailing list enquiries, or write to

Anne-Marie Fyfe, Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP