We’re exited to welcome agent John Jarrold, who’s making the long journey up from the Sussex coast to deliver a masterclass on the million dollar question – How to get an agent. It isn’t often we manage to entice a real-life agent to our corner of the world, so do come along if you’re able on September 6th. John is also offering query critiques via email, of which there is a very limited number available.
May I also draw your attention to this evenings event at Waterstones, Nottingham where two of our members, Eve Makis and Jamie Mollart, are in conversation regarding their new books. It begins at 7pm, and they look forward to seeing many of you there.
I’m sure Pippa will be back in action for the next newsletter. I hope so, because I’ve never written to so many writers before, and find myself double-guessing much of my own grammar. Please keep your mental corrections to yourselves.
Happy writing over the bank holiday!
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 at www.timralphs.com/beeston-tales Inclusive meal and stories ticket £12
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 are registering 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!
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
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
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.wordpress.com as well as producing the British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers.
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
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
Mother’s Milk Books
This indie press, Mother’s Milk Books, managed by NWS member, Teika Bellamy, is inviting submissions of short stories/fairy tales for the next in the series of The Forgotten and the Fantastical. Stories should be between 1500 and 5000 words, and may be set in the present day or in any fantastical setting. Each accepted author receives a payment and a copy of the book. For more details
Deadline: 31st August
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 st age. They do not accept work written for TV, radio or film.
Full details about how to submit on their website.