We’re launching the Nottingham Writers’ Studio April ‘Never’ and July ‘Open’ journals together at an event on 11th September at NWS from 7:30pm. These quarterly journals are a collection of prose and poetry from NWS members. The evening will include readings from both editions by the authors, and copies can be picked up for £3. It would be fantastic to see many of you there.
This Sunday is John Jarrold’s masterclass on getting an agent, with notes on writing and publishing in general, hosted by Deborah Bailey, starting at 3:30pm. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to ask John your burning questions. For those with a manuscript ready, there are only three spots available for one-to-one query critique with John, who’ll read your first chapter and offer tailored advice.
Last but not least, may I also draw your keen attentions to our Intensive six-week Novel editing workshop, starting this Wednesday, which helps to make your writing as professional as possible. And also Alex Davis’ Horror writing workshop next weekend on Saturday 12th September, for anyone looking to truly terrify their readers. It’s never too early to start planning for Halloween.
8th to 12th September, Phoenix Rising, Nottingham Playhouse
Phoenix Rising was first performed at Nottingham Playhouse as part of the International D. H. Lawrence Centenary Festival in September 1985 and returns to its roots to mark the 130th anniversary of Lawrence’s birth. Paul Slack reprises his critically acclaimed performance as D. H. Lawrence.
Tickets £13, concessions £11
Wednesday 9th September 7.30pm, Beeston Tales, The White Lion, Beeston
This month, Beeston Tales brings you The Returned – sometimes they come back. “A man stands by a railway track, watching people crowded on the roof of the train – fleeing poverty and violence, or just visiting loved ones. He is plunged into a reverie, obsessing over home and what it means to those on the roof, and what it means to him.” Mike Payton brings stories of those desperate to return home – over mountains and rough terrain, through war zones and dangerous ground…and even from beyond the grave.
Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door, available from The White Lion, or online atwww.timralphs.com/beeston-
Friday 11th September, Journal Launch, NWS
This is the double-launch of Nottingham Writers’ Studio journal, which is a quartlerly collection of member’s prose and poetry. One of the journals is an open theme to give the author’s imaginations free rein, and which received the highest number of submissions to date. The other journal focusses on the theme of ‘Never’, and includes thoughts on the neglected, the often overlooked and the accidentally ignored. The journals can be purchased on the night for £3 each. The full roster of authors can befound here
Saturday 12th September Noon-4pm, Terry Pratchett: a celebration, Mansfield Library
Enjoy all things Discworld to mark the release of Terry Pratchett’s final novel, The Shepherd’s Crown. Make your very own Nac Mac Feegle with artist Jessica Kemp, and interactive fantasy games including Thud. Author JG Parker will be talking about Sir Terry’s influence 12noon-1pm, “Building fictional worlds” creative writing workshop by Ian C. Douglas 1.30-3.30pm (£6 booking essential), and The Orangutan Foundation talk from 2-3pm. Plus a Pratchett quiz with prizes of Discworld Stamps!
Thursday 17th September 7pm, Common Word Superheroes of Poetry Slam, Attenborough Centre, Leicester
With the Dike Omeje Award fabulous cash prize the finalist having the opportunity to go to Manchester to compete in the poetry slam final – part of Manchester Literary Festival 2015 fabulous Cash Prize plus other wonderful prizes e.g Arvon Course. So, the Midlands Heat is coming up, fantastically lyrical slammers, poets, rappers, etc areregistering now to take part up against other national Poetry Slam contenders to delight lively audiences. For those who want to rock the mic for 3 minutes, contact Carol Leeming at firstname.lastname@example.org – do make haste..! We are keen to encourage Women BME & LGBT Poetry Slammers to step up too!
Thursday 24th September 2:30-4pm, Nottingham Stories Live: These Seven, West Bridgeford Library
These Seven is an exciting collection of stories by six of our brightest local literary talents, plus a short story by the late Alan Sillitoe making the seven. Sheelagh Gallagher, who initiated the project, and Pippa Hennessy of Nottingham Writers’ Studio, will introduce readings from the book. Get your copy and meet some of the writers involved.
Friday 25th September 7:30pm, God Save The Teen with Mulletproof Poet, NWS
A show about growing up and getting it wrong. In his funny yet heartfelt new spoken word show, acclaimed performance poet Andrew ‘Mulletproof ‘Graves recounts his past life as a council youth worker, offering tales of drugs, relationships, bullying, parental break ups, starry-eyed punks and disappearing goths. Interwoven through this narrative are his own childhood stoires about trying to come to terms with an aloof and difficult single father, who is unsympathetic towards his ‘poncey’ poetic leanings.
Tickets are £5 and can be booked on the NWS website
Tuesday 29 September 2:30-3:30pm, Meet the Author: David Belbin, West Bridgeford Library
Crime fiction is very popular with our readers, so it’s a real treat that author David Belbin will be joining us to talk about his critically-acclaimed crime fiction series, Bone and Cane, which is set in Nottingham. Love crime fiction? Or simply love books? Then don’t miss the chance to meet an exciting writer at your library. Booking link
£3, booking advised
Friday 2nd October 7-11pm, Mud Press Launch Party, Rough Trade
Celebrate the launch of Mud Press, a Nottingham-based indie publishing house founded this year by Georgina Wilding. The first realease is ‘Hunger’, which will be available from the Rough Trade shop. The evening will feature exclusive preview performances, together with live music and drinks. Here’s the Facebook event
Free entry, all ages welcome
Saturday 3rd October, Wolves & Apples, College Court Conference Centre on Knighton Road, Leicester
Wolves & Apples is a new annual event for writers focussed on on writing for children and young people across books, tv and theatre, involving panels, talks and practical workshops from experienced practitioners. Confirmed guests include Debbie Moon, writer and creator of the CBBC series ‘Wolfblood’, Tanya Landman, children’s author, winner of the 2015 Carnegie Medal for ‘Buffalo Soldier’, and Juliet Forster, Associate Director at York Theatre Royal. For further information and booking visit the website.
Tuesday 17th November 12 noon, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Come along to the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 10 year celebration and 2015 prize winner announcement. The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is Europe’s biggest competition for playwriting development in partnershop with the Royal Exchange Theatre and Bruntwood.
Starts from Wednesday 9th September, Intensive Novel-Editing Course with Victoria Villasenor, NWS
Self-editing is an important process in the development of your manuscript. Once you’ve written and revised, you should be able to do a few core things before sending it out into the world. We will work through various elements involved in self-editing and hopefully at the end of the workshop you will have some new tools in your writer’s toolbox to make your current and future manuscripts as professional as possible.
Victoria Villasenor is a full time development editor for LGBTQ publisher Bold Strokes Books in New York and also runs the social enterprise Global Words, based in Nottingham. She and her partner are often off gallivanting around Europe, when she isn’t chained to her desk working. Her work can be found in various anthologies, including Women of the Dark Streets, She Shifters and Girls Who Bite.
Members £60, Non-members £90. Booking info here
Friday 11th September 3-5pm, Into The Future writing workshop, Broadway
Into The Future is a series of events working with Nottingham women, using the model of a ‘think tank’ to position women as the progenitors of a future Space Programme and generate visions of possible futures. “You receive a capsule from another ship, sent through Space. The capsule contains unidentified objects that have been worked on by other members of the Ship’s crew. What are they? What do they do? Do they pose a threat – or an opportunity – to the survival of the species?” This creative writing workshop uses Design Fiction techniques to create speculative narratives of the future.
£5, concessionary rates available
Saturday 12th September 4-6pm, Make your Writing Horrific with Alex Davis, NWS
In this session, we’ll be exploring how to build a sense of terror within your stories. This will include a look at atmosphere, language, characterisation, plotting and more to show how horror can be built into unlikely situations and settings to great effect.
Alex Davis is an author, publisher, tutor and events organiser. His debut science-fiction novel, THE LAST WAR, is out now from Tickety Boo Press. He co-ordinates the Edge-Lit event and is part of the management committee for Derby Book Festival. He also runs Boo Books, Derby’s independent press, aiming to promote regional talent.
Members £5, Non-members £10. Booking info here.
Saturday 26th September 10am-1pm, Getting Your Writing Out There with Anne Holloway, Worksop Library
Join Nottingham Writers’ Studio to look at how you can find opportunities and markets for your writing, such as competitions and magazines. Plus, get tips on how to prepare your work for submission. £6 per person, and booking is essential so please contact the library to reserve a spot. Here’s the website.
Sunday 27th September 10am-1pm Creative & Professional Development with Cathy Grindrod, NWS
Professional Development Planning (PDP) provides an opportunity for you to explore your current position as a writer, and to gain clarity regarding future steps you might take. In a small group, you will consider your past writing journey, your present creative life balance, and how you can overcome barriers and confidence issues and identify the support you most need to attain future writing goals. The session will be delivered by Cathy Grindrod, Derbyshire poet and playwright, a tutor and mentor specialising in managing and facilitating creative projects to improve wellbeing.
Members £40, Non-members £60. Booking info here
Monday 28th September 7-9pm, Learn Crime from the Experts #1: Police with Kevin N. Robinson, NWS
Come discover the world of serious and serial crime investigation; examine policing methods; the role of individuals in the team including offender profilers and other specialist resources and consider how they can shape and influence your works of fiction. With a 30 year career in local, national and international policing and an MSc in Forensic and Legal Psychology, Kevin Robinson provides support and guidance to writers about the police, their procedures and methods. He also maintains an informative blog at crimewritingsolutions.
Members £10, Non-members £15. Booking info here.
Saturday 3rd October 10am-1pm, Getting Your Writing Out There with Giselle Leeb, West Bridgford Library
Join Nottingham Writers’ Studio to look at how you can find opportunities and markets for your writing, such as competitions and magazines. Plus, get tips on how to prepare your work for submission. £10 per person, and booking is essential so please contact the library to reserve a spot. Here’s the website.
Thursday 15th October, Dawn King Playwriting Workshop, Theatre Royal
In this workshop for adult writers with some experience, Dawn King, award-winning writer and adapter of ‘Brave New World’, will lead the group in writing from their emotions and finding a theme to inspire a new piece of writing. Writers will participate in a series of warm-ups and exercises before writing a scene. Booking link here, click on the ‘Education/workshops’ tab.
Tickets: £12, including a buffet lunch
From Thursday 15th October 7:30-9pm, Put the Science in your Science Fiction four-part series, NWS
This great season of talks separates the science from the fantasy, and launches with an examination of hardcore fiction with Ian C Douglas, a FantasyCon guest speaker, a panel of academic astrophysicists and theorists. To round it all off, Ian returns with a sci-fi movie night.
To book onto the whole course it’s £40 for members and £60 for non-members
Sunday 18th October 10am-4pm, Short Story Masterclass with Vanessa Gebbie,NWS
This masterclass will strengthen editing skills, offer strategies for kicking writers’ block into touch, and discuss competitions, markets, and publishing in general. Vanessa Gebbie’s short fictions have won numerous awards, including Bridport and Fish. Author of two collections, with a third due in 2017, she is also a published novelist, poet and contributing editor of Short Circuit: Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt).
Members £50, Non-members £75 Booking info here
Sunday 1st November 1-3:30pm, Query Writing Workshop with Tom Witcomb,NWS
We’re pleased to host Tom Witcomb, literary agent, for an afternoon of learning about the role of an agent, and what they look for in a manuscript. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for asking questions, as well as analysing sample critiques. Tom has worked at Blake Friedmann for 7 years. His list comprises non-fiction and fiction for all ages: from middle-grade, through YA, to present. His tastes are hugely varied: he likes to read everything from SFF to ‘literary’ fiction. Members £20, non-members £30
Tom will also be offering query critiques via email for only ten people. This is separate from the talk, and booking can be made via this link. Members £20, non-members £30
Saturday 7th November 10am-5pm, Indie Publishing Day, NWS
Are you interested in independent publishing but unsure where to start? Just what is the difference between self publishing, indie publishing and traditional publishing and what would suit your project needs most? Writing East Midlands and Nottingham Writers Studio have teamed up with Alli and Matador to bring you a day focused on addressing these questions and more. You will have the opportunity to meet experienced indie writers and organisations that provide advice and services, and learn what you need to know to plan your own indie publishing path. A sandwich lunch will be provided.
Early bird tickets £30 before October 1st, £40 thereafter
Two courses starting 8th November 10am-2pm, Storyboarding a Graphic Story with Carol Adlam, NWS
These courses are aimed at those with an interest in writing graphic novels and who want to learn about how they are created, structured and edited. There is no need to be able to draw – but we will be exploring ways of thinking ‘visually’ (i.e. visualising a sequence of events) in order to understand how to structure a graphic novel script and storyboard it successfully. (If you can draw as well, that’s a bonus!) At the end of the workshops you will have learnt how to shape your story into a script, and how to produce roughs and a dummy book – to pitch to publishers, to put online, or even to give to your loved ones as a unique Christmas present!
Part 1: Editing and storyboarding
Part 2: From Roughs to Making a Dummy
Members £30 per course or £50 for both, Non-members £45 per course or £75 for both, all the booking info can be found here
Sunday 29th November 10am–4pm, Cave Voice: Subterranean poetry workshop with poet Mark Goodwin, starting at NWS
This one day workshop will include a unique opportunity to experience one of Nottingham’s more exclusive caves, not normally open to the public. Travel with Mark, accompanied by “Creative Cave Consultant” artist Jo Dacombe, on a journey from Nottingham’s upper world into one of its many hollows-beneath. Mark Goodwin has been making poems for over 30 years. He has published a number of poetry collections and chapbooks. Mark is co-founder of expresseum poetics, a creative organisation that specialises in poetics & place. This workshop is organised and delivered by expresseum poetics.
Places are very limited so early booking is recommended. Cost: NWS member £30 Non-member £45
Sunday 6th December 10am-4pm, Bookbinding for Writers with Hilke Kurzke, NWS
You will make a variety of small books. Making books is a good way to make a beautiful gift out of a collection of poems, or a short story, or maybe even a short novella. You will get to know some fun folding techniques, one of which can be used to include pockets in a book, and, as pockets go, can be used to hold a variety of things. Generally the focus is on simple-non-adhesive structures that can be made at home with non-specialized tools and materials, and can be repurposed to serve and support many different projects.
Hilke is a book artist and has been a member of the Writers’ Studio since earlier this year. She creates books where the binding, materials, visual impression and text all play together to form a piece of art. In the past years she focused on innovative, non-adhesive bindings with a keen interest in historic structures, and how they can be translated into our time.
Members £45, Non-members £60, booking info here
Alice’s Adventures in Twine at GameCity
We are currently running a creative writing competition for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire secondary ages students. Alice’s Advetures in Twine challenges students to use Alice as inspiration, and respond creatively by creating their own interactive text adventure using the free online tool Twine. Winning text adventues will be featured in the GameCity festival to be played by thousands of people. For all info
Submission deadline is Thursday 8th October
Saturday 10th October 10am-5pm, Nottingham Kids’ Festival of Imagination, Lady Bay
Telling Tales – Nottingham Festival of Imagination are looking for children’s writers! There is going to be an open mic reading opportunity throughout the day for you to come and share your story live with the children of Nottingham! If you are interested please contact Heather Barral at email@example.com
Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competiton 2015
There are over £2000 in prizes and our sole judge this year is Tiffany Atkinson. There is no sifting. Tiffany Atkinson is a poet, literary critic, and long-time creative writing teacher in universities, schools and community writing groups. Her poetry is published widely in journals and anthologies, and her first collection Kink and Particle (Seren, 2006) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem; or £10 for 3 poems and £2.00 per poem thereafter. To entry and for all conditions, see website here
Early 2016, Brave New World writing challenge
Simply speaking, the challenge is to Write a short final scene for the play ‘Brave New World’ of no more than 5 minutes playing time. All submissions have the opportunity to win a free all day free writers workshop with Nigel Planer and Dawn King which will take place in Birmingham in early 2016. PLUS you win the opportunity of having your Brave New Ending given a rehearsed reading on stage by the actors of ‘Brave New World’ at one of the theatres on tour.
All submissions whether they win or not will be published on our website
Script Submissions, Nottingham Playhouse
A call for submissions to discover, nurture and develop writers who will represent Nottingham, and the East Midlands. They expect writers who submit work to to be aware of their programme, the spaces in the building and to know why they are sending them that play in particular. They will only read complete versions of full-length or one-act, original plays written for the stage. They do not accept work written for TV, radio or film.
Full details about how to submit on their website.
In other news
Open Pen Anthology Kickstarter campaign
Open Pen Magazine is a free, short fiction magazine, now in its fifth year. They’re aiming to crowdfund an anthology of writing, which will take the form of a 200 page paperback with our favourite stories from the last five years, all in the same place for the first time. Over £900 of their £1,500 goal already raised.
Campaign ends 18th September
Andy Miller’s new book release ‘The Naples of England’
A memoir of family, truth and secrets and what it was like to grow up on a council estate in Weymouth in the years following the Second World War. Megan Taylor has described the book as ‘ … a moving, funny and compelling account of growing up in small-town Britain …’ Now available on Amazon