Friday, 8 November 2013

Worcs LitFest & Fringe Christmas Fayre

Worcester Writers' Circle are delighted to show you a wonderful event organised by LitFest - a Christmas Fayre at Bromyard Road Methodist Hall, 10-4 Saturday 7 December.

Here's your chance to get unique gifts for friends and family.

  • Gorgeous handcrafted jewellery, cards, calendars and cosy knits
  • Fascinating books, novelty toys and festive decorations
  • Seasonal cakes, sweet treats and stocking fillers
  • Skin care and beauty products
  •  Stunning mounted photographs
  • Art prints
  • Wooden clocks and rubber ducks!

And more …
  • Activities for children
  • Delicious food
  • Face painting
  • Christmas Carols
  • Maybe a visit from a special Christmas guest ...

Call in for a hot drink and a bit to eat – tasty snacks will be served through the day

A warm welcome awaits you :)

Tenbury Mistletoe Festival

The date to launch this year’s Mistletoe Season has been arranged for Friday 22nd November when the town Christmas Lights are switched on by Tenbury High School’s Head Girl, aka Tenbury’s Mistletoe Queen. 

This year the festival will include events such as the Regal Trust professional pantomime to be performed over the weekend 21st & 22nd December.

The main event is the Mistletoe Festival and the date has been fixed for Saturday 30th November, which has been designated as the Festival Day.
This day will also promote ‘Taste of Tenbury’ highlighting the link to kissing and mistletoe; professional dancers, musicians and storytellers will perform alongside members of the community to entertain the audiences between 10am and 4.30pm - don't miss out - be there!

And here is news of a special event with the nations Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy:

Friday, 19 July 2013

£2,500 Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2013

Five great reasons for entering the 7th annual Troubadour International Poetry Prize

  • Shortest turnaround just 5 wks from deadline (21st Oct) to contacting winners (25th Nov), tying up those valuable poems for the shortest time possible…
  • Every poem is read by both our distinguished judges Deryn Rees-Jones and George Szirtes, no sifters, no shortlisters….
  • Prizes not just the £2,500 top prize but twenty-two more prizes plus Troubadour season tickets
  • Prize reading the chance to read your prize-winning poem at the Troubadour alongside George and Deryn and fellow prize-winners at our December prize-celebration
  • Going forward the top three poems are forwarded to 'the Forward': C.J. Allen, our 2012 3rd-prize-winner, is now on the five-poet shortlist for 2013 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem…

Enter by e-mail or post, full details below and on website…

Good luck!

Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2013
Sponsored by Cegin Productions
(see our Poems page for 2007-2012 prizewinners and prizewinning poems)
Judged by Deryn Rees-Jones and George Szirtes with both judges reading all poems

  • 1st £2,500, 2nd £500, 3rd £250
  • plus 20 prizes of £20 each
  • plus a spring 2014 coffee-house-poetry season-ticket
  • plus a prize-winners' coffee-house poetry reading with Deryn Rees-Jones and George Szirtes on Mon 2nd Dec 2013 …for all prize-winning poets

Submissions, via e-mail or post, by Mon 21st Oct 2013

George Szirtes (b. Budapest) came to England as a refugee aged 8: since his work first appeared in Faber's Poetry Introductions in 1978, he has published over a dozen poetry collections, plus selected poems, new and collected poems, essays, art criticism, selected prose, libretti, poems for children, and public lectures (in Fortinbras at the Fishhouses, Bloodaxe, 2010); has edited anthologies and has translated poetry, drama and fiction. His latest collection is The Burning of the Books and Other Poems (Bloodaxe, 2009). Among numerous prizes he has been awarded the Gold Star of the Hungarian Republic, and the TS Eliot Prize for Reel (2005).
Deryn Rees-Jones (b. Liverpool) spent much of her childhood in North Wales and now lectures at Liverpool University. She published her first collection, The Memory Tray, in 1994, followed by Signs Round a Dead Body (1999) and Quiver: A Murder Mystery (2004). Co-founder of LUPAS, a network which aims to bring together scientists and poets for creative collaboration, her critical study Consorting with Angels: Essays on Modern Women Poets was published by Bloodaxe in 2005. Chosen as a PBS Next Generation poet in 2004, she has won an Eric Gregory Award and her latest collection,Burying the Wren (Seren) was shortlisted for the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize.
Both judges will read all poems submitted.

General: Entry implies acceptance of all rules; failure to comply with all rules results in disqualification; submissions accepted by post or e-mail from poets of any nationality, from any country, aged over 18 years; no poet may win more than one prize; judges decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into.
Poems: Poems must be in English, must each be no longer than 45 lines, must fit on one side of one A4 or US-Letter-size page, must show title and poem only, must not show poets name or any other identifying marks on submitted poems (whether submitted by post or as e-mail attachment), must be the original work of the entrant (no translations) and must not have been previously broadcast or published (in print or online); prize-winning poems may be published (in print or online) by Troubadour International Poetry Prize, and may not be published elsewhere for one year after Monday 21st October 2013 without permission; no limit on number of poems submitted; no alterations accepted after submission.
Fees: All entries must be accompanied by submission fees of £5/6/$8 per poem (Sterling/Euro/US-Dollars only); entries only included when payment received via

PayPal:  (visit PayPal account not required, no additional details required, please note your PayPal Receipt No.)
Cheque/Money-Order: payable to Coffee-House Poetry
NB: include PayPal name or cheque signatory name in e-mail or postal submission details, only if different

By Post: No entry form required; two copies required of each poem submitted; please include the following details on a separate page 
Poets Name and Address, Phone No, E-Mail Address (if available), List of Titles, No. of Poems, Total Fees, and EITHER PayPal Receipt No. OR cheque/money-order/postal-payment enclosed; no staples; no Special Delivery, Recorded Delivery or Registered Post; entries are not returned.

By E-mail: No entry form required; poems must be e-mailed to as attachments (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf only); please include the following details in your e-mail message 
Poets Name and Address, Phone No, List of Titles, No. of Poems, Total Fees, and EITHER PayPal Receipt No. OR cheque/money-order/postal-payment to arrive by post within 7 days; no Special Delivery, Recorded Delivery or Registered Post.

All postal entries, and any cheque/money-order/postal-payments for e-mail entries, to arrive at Troubadour International Poetry Prize, Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP postmarked on or before Mon 21st Oct 2013. Prize-winners only will be contacted individually by Mon 25th Nov 2013. Prize-giving will take place on Mon 2nd Dec 2013 at Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour in Earls Court, London.

E-mail entries acknowledged within 14 days of receipt of both entry and payment; postal entrants may include stamped, addressed postcard or envelope marked 'Acknowledgement' and/or stamped, addressed envelope marked 'Results' if required; results will be sent to all e-mail entrants (and posted on website and mailed to all postal entrants who included a 'Results' envelope) after announcement of results on Mon 2nd Dec 2013; no correspondence will be entered into.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

You Can't Be Serious

Andy Kirk and Sue Pritchard perform Andy's play: 'Put It On The List'

The talented members of Worcester Writers’ Circle presented a selection of their humorous stories, plays and poems in an evening at The Hive that left people helpless with laughter! Members of the Circle read from their new humorous Anthology ‘You Can’t Be Serious’ which was launched at the event. Sales were brisk as the writers demonstrated their deft writing skills.

Professionally MC’d by writer Tony Judge, we were treated to many original and inspiring pieces. The pic above shows the play ‘Put It On The List’ written by Andy Kirk and performed by Andy and Sue Pritchard. Andy’s mum was in the audience and the first laugh came when Andy assured us that his play was not based on his mum!

Tana Durham reads the second in a series of ‘Hinny’ stories

Altogether, some 19 members of the Circle entertained a packed studio at The Hive. Tana Durham read the second in a series of ‘Hinny’ stories about a Geordie lass who gets into all sorts of bother.

Copies of the Anthology can be purchased for £4 from Chair of the Circle, Sylvia Herbert – contact Sylvia at:

Monday, 10 June 2013

Wells Festival of Literature 2013 - Competitions

Short Story and Poetry -Entry Fee £5, Prizes £500, £200 and £100 plus a local prize of £100
Judges - Della Galton (Short Stories) and Sean Borodale (Poetry)

Crime Novel (our fastest growing competition) Prize - introduction to a publisher plus £100
Judge - Janet Laurence

Closing Date 31st July 2013

For full details please visit Wells Festival of Literature or phone 01749678411

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Short Story Competition


Now in its third year, The Short Story competition is open for 2013 entries:

This competition is looking to publish the best short stories from around the world.
New or established writers welcome.

Winners will be announced in December 2013 and the stories will be published on The Short Story website.

Deadline for submission is 15th September 2013.

Word limit: 1,000 - 4,000.

Entry fee: £5 via PayPal

First prize: £300
Second prize: £150
Third prize: £50

For further details please go to the website:

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival Search For Local Writers



Friday 4th to Sunday 13th October 2013

The Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious in the world. During our 63rd Festival in 2012 we sold over 140,000 tickets and held 500 events on our Festival sites in beautiful parkland in the centre of regency Cheltenham. 2013 promises to be another diverse and exciting festival with a broad reach and a great buzz.

We are passionate about ensuring our programming encompasses a broad range of work, including international, UK and local writers.  Support of the local community is vital to us and we are keen to encourage participation from local authors via our continued commitment to our series of Locally Sourced events in 2013. We’re therefore inviting local writers to submit their work for possible inclusion in this series.

Whilst there are no restrictions on subject matter or literary genre, it may be of interest for applicants to know that we have a central theme running through this year’s Festival which is memory and how it shapes us both individually and as a society.  This ties in with the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past in November and the approach of the centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014.  We feel it is therefore an especially apt time to consider the fundamental role memory plays in underpinning our lives, our wider culture, our interpretation of the past and our shaping of the future. It is a theme which offers fertile ground for the Festival to explore, especially in our events focussing on autobiography and memoir, poetry, history and of course fiction.

If you would like to be considered for inclusion in our Locally Sourced series, it would be helpful if you could send us a copy of your book – if already published – or if yet to be published some background information alongside a short excerpt from the manuscript. We’d be very grateful if you’d send us a copy rather than any original manuscript, illustrations or artwork as we won’t, I’m afraid, be able to return documents submitted.

If you have submitted your work to us before, we are careful to keep work on file so there is no need to send us another copy if you wish your work to be considered again. Instead, please send a brief updated email of any new work and highlight previously submitted work you wish to be considered.

Please send your writing by email to:  or by post to Suzanne Ross, Cheltenham Festivals, 109-111 Bath Road, Cheltenham GL53 7LS. The deadline is 7th June 2013.

If we are interested in pursuing a suggestion, or require further information, we will be in touch as soon as possible after the deadline. If you have not heard from us by the end of July, then please assume that there is regrettably no room in the programme on this occasion.

You may also be interested to hear that we will again be running our “You heard it here first” open mic session for new writing which enables local writers to perform a 5 minute excerpt of their work on stage at the Festival.  The date and time is yet to be set, but watch this space!

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Wigtown Poetry Competition

Scotland’s International Poetry Prize, Open to All
In association with The Scottish Poetry Library

The prestigious Wigtown Poetry Competition awards prizes annually to poets writing in English, Scots or Irish Gaelic or Scots.

The competition is open to anyone throughout and outside the United Kingdom.  Winners are invited to the festival, where we celebrate the prize with a special event.

This year the judges are Robin Robertson, Meg Bateman and Liz Niven.

How to Enter
Enter online >
You may also enter by post: download application form (.pdf)

Main Prize £2000
Runner-up £400
Eight additional prizes of £25 each
Judge: Robin Robertson

Gaelic Prize £250
Judge: Meg Bateman

Scots Prize £250
Judge: Liz Niven

Deadline for Entries
Closing date for entries is Friday 31st May 2013. No entries will be accepted after this date.

Fee Structure
The first poem submitted costs £7.00
Multiple entries: the first three poems cost a total of £19.00.
Each subsequent entry after the first three costs £5 or a total of £14 for every additional block of 3, ie:
1 poem £7; 2 poems £14; 3 poems £19; 4 poems £24; 5 poems £29; 6 poems £33; 7 poems £38; 8 poems £43; 9 poems £47; 10 poems £52; 11 poems £57; 12 poems £61 etc.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Produce outstanding theatre for young audiences: Theatre Centre

Write Lines: New Writing for Young Audiences Conference

Do you write plays for young audiences, or do you want to? Celebrating 60 years of working with writers to produce outstanding theatre for young audiences, Theatre Centre hosts a daylong conference for writers and theatre professionals on Thursday 20 June. The keynote speech will be delivered by playwright Bryony Lavery. Other guest speakers include playwrights Amanda Dalton, Rob Evans, Philip Osment and Evan Placey; and industry professionals Anthony Banks (NT), Jonathan Lloyd (Polka Theatre) and Purni Morell (Unicorn Theatre). Reserve your place today!

Adrienne Benham Award 2013: £2,000 prize now accepting applications
Theatre Centre offers the Adrienne Benham Award, a £2,000 seed commission, to support the work of a promising playwright interested in exploring the Theatre for Young Audiences sector, but who has little experience in the field. The award is intended to steer gifted writers towards young audiences by giving them a seed commission and attachment to Theatre Centre as they develop an original idea for young audiences. Prize: £2,000 seed commission and attachment. Deadline: 7 June 2013 at 12 noon. Further information (including the full criteria and application form) available from the Theatre Centre website.

Listen Up North Writing Competition

2013 is the centenary of a moment that changed history.
Audio entertainment website is very pleased to be
running a NATIONAL writing competition as part of the Emily Inspires!
programme of events. The events commemorate 100 years since the death of
Suffragette Emily Davison who sustained fatal injuries at Epsom Derby
whilst protesting for 'Votes for Women'.

We want to create awareness of Emily and how she continues to inspire our
our lives today. Therefore we would love as many people as possible to
enter (and not just women!)

The closing date for this competition is May 10th, 2013.

Winning entries will be read out over the Emily Inspires! commemorative
weekend in Morpeth (13-15 June 2103) and recorded for

Prizes include an i-Pad, a 2 night stay in Longhirst Hall a luxury
Northumberland hotel and £100 cash donated by SCA
paper products of Prudhoe.

Click here to link to the competition page where you will find full details including terms & conditions.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

News and Competitions

Poets from the North of Ireland: Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Paul  Muldoon, Medbh McGuckian and Ciaran Carson


Is the importance of Northern Irish writers all down to 'the Troubles'? 'Certainly not!' the 'Muldoon' generation would answer.

And was that next-generation's post-modern detachment the only possible response to the serious, committed poetry of the 60s/70s? Was the shift to 80s/90s wit, surrealism, tricksterism and obscurity simply a reflection of a wider shift in poetry in general, or a product of local difficulties? And how much is contemporary poetry in English influenced by both phases of that particular Renaissance.

A chance to spend Sunday discovering and discussing six major Irish poets! For more information go to:
coffee-house poetry at the troubadour

Derrybawn Bridge on the Glendassan River in County Wicklow, Ireland by Timothy J. Barron

Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition 2013

Judge: Esther Morgan

Closing date: Tuesday 9th July 2013

First Prize: £1000 and a residential writing course at Tŷ Newydd

Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competitions opens this month with a great first prize of £1000 cash and a residential course at Tŷ Newydd, The National Writers’ Centre for Wales. Tŷ Newydd is renowned for its excellent writing courses, taught by outstanding poets, in a beautiful setting.

We are delighted that Esther Morgan has agreed to judge all entries: Since winning an Eric Gregory award in 1998 Esther has produced three collections of poetry. The first, Beyond Calling Distance, was published in 2001 by Bloodaxe Books and went on to win the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and was also shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the third, Grace, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot award in 2011. She has taught at UEA and was editor of Reactions Magazine.

Adults:  First Prize       £1000 and a week at Tŷ Newydd

            Second Prize    £500

            Third Prize       £250

See website for details of the Young People and Children’s competition section.

Winners have the opportunity to read their poems at next year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival.

Go to for further details of our poetry competition and to download an entry form, or telephone 0845 458 1743 and we will put a leaflet in the post for you. Entry fees: first poem £5, for each subsequent poem £3. Children and Young People enter free for first poem.

Ledbury Poetry Festival date for the diary 5 – 14 July 2013. If you wish to join our email list and receive a programme in May email:

Ledbury was home to poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Seasiders Write!


We hope that you and your group find something interesting at Seasiders Write! which is about to visit various coastal towns around the country.

You will also find a number of useful resources on the site at:

You and your members can also obtain a free copy of "How I became a highly paid writer" by simply identifying the resorts from the images on the On Tour page of the site. Starting top left and going down the left hand side of the 17 images and then top right and down to the bottom just tell us (using the contact form onsite) the name of each resort from 1-17. We`ll give you a little help and tell you that No 6 is Morecambe!

Have fun!

Kind Regards,

Neil Bromage
Freelance Writer

Morecombe, Lancashire UK

The Harry Bowling Prize for New Writing 

We would like to let you know that The Harry Bowling Prize for New Writing, sponsored by Headline and MBA Literary Agents, is calling for entries now.

New for 2014

This year we are very excited to announce that as well as our established novel writing prize we are breaking new ground and have a fantastic new flash fiction prize.

The winner of our novel writing prize will receive a cheque for £1000, an in-depth editorial consultation and exclusive lunch with publishing experts. While our flash fiction winner will see their work published online and receive £100.

Recognised by the publishing industry, The Harry Bowling Prize for New Writing was launched in 2000 and is an established award for talented new writers. Many of our previous winners have signed successful publishing deals as the result of winning this prize, including our two most-recent winners. We hope to continue our successful track record of finding talented new storytellers, who can inspire and entertain us, just as Harry Bowling did in his bestselling novels.

Visit for all the information you need about the prize, including details of how you can enter, top tips on how to succeed and inspiring stories from previous winners.

Entries close on 30 September 2013 and you can follow us on twitter (@harrybowling) or on Facebook to keep up to date with all our latest news. The winner will be announced in February 2014.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Living Library

Writers at the Living Library, Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, 18 March 2013.

Students from year 7 and year 8 (11-12 year olds) took part in an interview session with the writers. There were around 30 students in each group who asked thoughtful questions and were interested in the writing process as well as where ideas come from. Three writers from WWC took part: Rod Griffiths, Sylvia Herbert and Polly Robinson.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Worcester Writers' Circle

The Circle

Worcester Writers’ Circle (WWC) is an enthusiastic group who enjoy writing for pleasure and publication. Some of us are beginners, and waiting for our big break. Others are experienced professionals who have had their work published.
The Circle was established in 1941 and is one of the longest continuously active groups in the country.
Novelist Caroline Graham is our Patron and lifetime member.

If you write, we may be able to help you.
We encourage all aspects of writing from short stories, novels, articles, poetry, plays and even pantomime. We provide you with a forum to test out your ideas.
At meetings we:

  • Share our work
  • Offer help and constructive criticism
  • Suggest possible markets
  • Hold discussions on different aspects of writing
  • Host speakers.
Why not come along and see if we are what you are looking for? Guests are always welcome.

The annual subscription is £18.

WWC Events 

Following the success of the first WLF Walk, renamed 'Poets in the Mist', which we were delighted to support, we announce the next one around the water in Worcester: Words On Water ~ details to follow on the Worcester Literary Festival website

Some Background

The Circle had its first meeting on June 26th 1941, and has met continuously ever since. During that time it has had a variety of members but they all shared a common enthusiasm for writing.
Among recent members, Lynne Hackles is a very prolific and successful writer of women's fiction, being published in many of the weeklies such as people's Friend, Take a Break and Fiction Fest. She is also a regular contributor to Writers' News.
WWC includes both professional writers and beginners, and everyone is encouraged to bring work to read at the bi-monthly meetings which currently are held in Dancox House, St Clement's Gardens, Worcester on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Starting at 7.30, they last for two hours. Encouragement and gentle criticism are offered together with suggestions on markets that could be approached.

Worcester Writers' Circle is a member of the National Association of Writers' Groups.