Then there were 10: our line-up for next Sunday

Thanks to all the wonderful people who have talked, tweeted or written about us (not to mention all those who sent something in) we are delighted to announce our line-up for Sunday 21st which looks like being as spinetingling (in a slightly different way) as our November event. 

Our readers will be (not necessarily in this order):

Emily Koch (Bristol)
Writer & journalist, newly in possession of a masters degree – and, hurrah! –  an agent

John Holland (Stroud)
Short fiction writer, events organiser and, we hear, obsessive …

Patrick Widdess (Newport)
Writer, poet, photographer & journalist (who likes where he lives)

Mark Rutterford (Bristol)
Stokes Croft Writer and performer (expect more than words)

Debbie Young (Hawkesbury Upton)
writer, broadcaster, festival organiser, champion of the independents

Dan Gooding (South Glos)
Library guy, student, TV and film extra. You wanted to hear him in Stroud? You can now.

Louise Gethin (Writers Unchained)
writes Anecdotes of Love and Death (especially death)

Shirley Wright (Writers Unchained)
prize-winning poet, novelist, choco-and cato-holic

Sally Hare (Writers Unchained)
plotter of allotments, teller of stories, banger of drums,

Ali Bacon (Writers Unchained)
updates websites (yes this one), brings people together, occasionally writes

 

Come along and see what they’ve come up with for our #lovehangover theme.

St V Day Hangover event flyer

 

Live events round-up by Claire Snook

Claire Snook who lives in South Gloucestershire and is currently finishing a second novel, reports back on two of the many recent live events in Bristol- including our own! 

claireshaun
Claire with a local celebrity

Something special seems to be going on in Bristol at the moment. There’s never been a better time to be a writer in the city with so many opportunities for scribblers to get themselves seen and heard out there. I’ve even partaken in a couple of events myself; reading at the Writers Unchained inaugural Spine Tinglers’ night and performing a couple of stories at the marvelous venue that is Sanctum, a truly unique experience.

 

South Bank Club

The Spine Tinglers’ night at the Southbank in Bedminster was absolutely fantastic and it was great to hear stories from Bristol Women’s Writing group and guest speakers including Emily Koch and esteemed horror writer Pete Sutton (who has blogged about the evening here) . It was the perfect night for scary stories as well with dense fog outside. We heard about carnivorous slugs (something that has stayed with me :S), bodies manifesting their owners’ wrong doings, decapitation, and a death that doesn’t go exactly to plan. There are some fabulous storytellers around at the moment and the tales on the night were chilling. I’ve only read one of my stories in public before so I was absolutely terrified – and on last. Thanks, Ali Bacon! (Ed: – no problem Claire – we wanted a grand finale!)

My story was more of a confession as it actually happened while I was living abroad. It involved dancing nuns and rats. I hosted a mini Q&A session afterwards as people wanted to know more – and see the scars. I hadn’t performed one of my horror stories before and it was great to have such a shocked yet positive response. People were still talking about the story the next day across social media, posting videos about parts of it and I even received an email from an audience member telling me she hadn’t slept all night because of my story. Great, and I’m getting it framed.

Sanctum Bristol
Sanctum: a ruined church and a 24/7 performance space

A few days later I found myself sat in front of an audience at Sanctum. This is such a great venue where I again performed a couple of stories – one horror and one magic realism. It had the right atmosphere too – grey and eerie, raining a little outside with just two spotlights in the entire place. People drifted in throughout my twenty minute talk.

There’s definitely something very special about performing there, it was an incredible experience. It’s very intimate with a max of fifty people in the audience. Afterwards I received lots of hugs and talked to people, discussing my stories in depth. People were curious. Another highly enjoyable performance! I think I’m getting the hang of these.

Sanctum is worth a visit; I’ve been back to watch a few performances and can highly recommend dropping by while the project is running. You never know what might pop up next!

Thanks Claire. Sanctum is running until Nov 21st but no programme is published. Kevlin Henney describes it here or follow @situationsUK
Or if you like the idea of performing with Writers Unchained, we’re planning another event at Southbank in February. Details soon 🙂 

Bristol Litfest is here again. Book bazaar and our first ever flash slam

book bazaar
Nina looks after our wares

We’re delighted that a bunch of us got to the Book Bazaar in the Green Lab on Saturday and Sunday to have some good fun and share the wise words with local authors and publishers.

Here’s old friend Nina who came from Wales to join us and you can check our Facebook page for a few more photos of us and our wares. I was sorry not to be there myself but good to know we had a presence and made some useful new contacts.

Nikesh Shulka - be kind!
Nikesh Shulka – be kind!

We’re also delighted to be taking part this Friday in the Flash Slam at Crofter’s Rights with Nikesh Shukla in the chair.

Five teams, four rounds – sounds like a blast!

More Litfest events are here. 

 

 

 

And don’t forget. If you have a spine-tingling story in your pocket and want to submit it for our Spine-tinglers event, the deadline is looming. Send it by Wednesday 10 pm please!

Spine-tinglers event November 1st. Cometh the hour …

Let us tell you a story

South Bank Bar

Yes, as you may have heard our new and improved Sunday Night Stories get-together WILL take place on Nov 1st from 6 – 8 pm when you can snuggle up in the bar at Southbank Club Bedminster and let our members and guests make you shiver or smile with their spine-tingling stories.

Update! Submissions are closed and we have selected eight stories by our members and guests to be read on the night. We’ll be in the main bar at Southbank and hope to welcome everyone there who’s free to join us.

Tickets on the door. Don’t forget your voucher if you have one! Details below or contact us with any questions.

 

Local writers are invited to join us 

If you are within striking distance of Bedminster and have a chilling or thrilling story to hand (or can rustle one up in a hurry!) please send it to us by Wednesday October 21st. We’ll pick those we like best and invite the authors to take up our three guest slots on the night.

Please read our submission guidelines before you send us anything and only submit if you can come and read on the night. We’ll let you know by October 28th if you’ve been selected.

There is no entry fee (or prize!) for this BUT

  • everyone who submits a piece for consideration will be sent a Bring A Friend For Free voucher, so that even if you’re not reading, you can come along with a friend and have your entry at half -price.
  • if you’re selected and decide to come alone, you’ll have free entry.

The full ticket price is £5, by the way, to include spooky refreshments. (Cash only.)

So whether you’re a reader, writer, or someone who likes a bit of entertainment, don’t let Sunday evening get you down. Come along and be part of the Southbank scene, and let us tell you a story.

Spine-Tinglers Flyer

 

Spine-tingling Sunday – new date!

STOP PRESS!

The bad news is  we’re postponing this event until Sunday November 1st. The good news is we’re beefing up the programme to have more readers, writers and tingling of spines.

Apologies for anyone who’s disappointed over next Sunday but we hope to see you on the new date.

Details coming soon!

 

Book launch and exhibition : Vice & Virtue, the history of Old Market

We may not have taken on any new group projects lately, but our members have been as busy as ever.

ViceVirtue_Cover-300x301Since last year Louise Gethin, has been proud to be involved in Vice and Virtue, an initiative exploring the history of Old Market with the book launch and exhibition happening on July 16th 2015 at Trinity Community Arts Centre. http://www.bristolbooks.org/news/launch-of-vice-virtue-book-a-history-of-old-market/

Everyone is welcome to see the outcome of what sounds like a fascinating community arts project.

Do contact the organisers if you would like to attend.

ViceVirtue_Invite

Louise is also working with illustrator Beth Hawkins on a pamphlet called In Sane Moments, five short fictional pieces exploring elements of Mental Health, which should be ready as a one-off limited edition in time for the Bristol Festival of Literature (BFL)  in October.

Watch this space for more BWW member news and other events at this year’s BFL, now in the planning stages.

Coming soon – a new shamanic mystery from Nina Milton

Nina MiltonIt seems no time since we were at the launch of Nina Milton’s In the Moors, her gripping thriller featuring shamanic sleuth Sabbie Dare. I’m delighted to say Nina is back to tell us about her follow-up, Unraveled Visions, and has news of a special offer!

 

 

Unraveled Visions coverHi Nina, is this a return for my favourite heroine of last year, Sabbie Dare?

Yes. So many people have said they have fallen in love with her! As the book opens, she’s still pining over Reynard Buckley (*sighs* – ed) and living in Bridgwater with her hens (of course!) The book opens on the evening of the Bridgwater Carnival. After the carnival floats have finished, there is always the traditional ‘squibbing’; a firework display with a difference. Sabbie is there with a girlfriend, and what she witness takes her into trouble and danger (nothing’s changed there, then!)

 

The cover and title feel ‘stronger’ (and sexier?) than In the Moors – your choice or the publisher?

Midnight Ink made these decisions, but I think they’ve done me proud. I was also happy with their treatment of In the Moors.

 Anything else you can tell us about the new book?

Here’s the back cover;

The day after shamanic counselor Sabbie Dare receives a palm reading at a street carnival, she learns that a police detective has been killed and the gypsy fortuneteller has gone missing. Sabbie’s newest client—a scared woman with an angry husband—has also disappeared. Despite warnings from Detective Inspector Rey Buckley to stay away from the investigations, Sabbie can’t ignore the messages of danger she’s received through her shamanic journeys. But as close as she comes to the answers, Sabbie discovers there are people who want to keep the truth buried forever.

And a tiny snippet from the start of the book…

The two detectives had arrived as the body was trundling on a gurney over to the white tent where the pathologist waited like an adjudicator at some macabre contest. The woman was found stripped of any clothing and the technician had thrown a green sheet over her poor mutilated and rotting body for that short journey, but the gurney jerked as its wheels stuck to the walkway, which was so burning hot it was melting the policemen’s thick soles, and the woman’s head slid to the edge, her heavy locks falling free, as if she’d just unpinned them. Despite the river weed and silt, her hair was still glorious; as black as a nighttime lake, not tampered by bleach or dye. 

Detective Sergeant Gary Abbott had stepped forward, his hand outstretched, and touched the woman’s hair, crying out like a distressed relative. “Take care with her, for God’s sake!”

UNRAVELLED VISIONS   by Nina Milton from Midnight Ink

 Intriguing! Any events coming up?

If you’d like to hear me talk about my writing in the West Country, in October I’ll be speaking at the WELLS LITERARY FESTIVAL.

I’ll be there to give a talk in the Bishop’s Palace on the afternoon of Sunday 12th of October, when the winners of the Wells Short Story, Novel Writing and Poetry Competition Prizes are presented with their prizes. As a past winner of the short story prize, I hope to offer hope to writers who are just setting out.

The festival is packed with amazing names, so why not come for the day and enjoy the buzzing literary atmosphere?

Sounds like a great idea, Nina, and I’m sure a number of BWW members will be hoping for a catch-up while you are back in the West Country.

Meanwhile here’s the other bit of exciting news for Sabbie Dare fans…you can pre-order your copy of Unravelled Visions ahead of the publication date for only £8.05p. (And you can have the book delivered free if the order is over £10). U.K. publication is due mid-October. This is a great opportunity to have the 2nd book in your hands on the day, ready for winter reading. Just go to;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unraveled-Visions-Shaman-Mystery-Milton/dp/0738740055/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396516117&sr=1-4&keywords=nina+milton

For those who have yet to meet the inimitable Sabbie, Here are some reader comments on In the Moors. Could be a great time to do a deal on both titles!

In the MoorsOver the last 2 years have found it so hard to get a good book. I read yours in less than two days…A compelling read, beautifully written; memorable…

Janette Davies, from Ireland

And Celtic Writer Mara Freeman (Kindling the Celtic Spirit, Grail Alchemy)  wrote to give her thoughts on the first in the series…

A real page-turner, In the Moors cost me several hours of sleep because it was so un-put-downable! An engaging heroine, a landscape at once so real and so menacing, and an intriguing mystery had me enthralled into the wee hours!

Ali B has also reviewed In the Moors on Amazon  and gives it an unqualified 5 stars.

Great to have you back, Nina!

 

 

 

A big welcome to Bristol Poet Sarer Scotthorne

Sarer is one of several writers who have contacted us since the publication of Unchained and is now a regular member of our group. Here she gives a revealing account of her work to date. 

Sarer Scotthorne
Sarer Scotthorne

1)    What am I working on?

The biggest project I am working on is editing a sequence of forty poems called “The Blood House” to send to publishers. It was the last piece of writing I did for my MA in Creative Writing. Being part of Bristol Women Writers has been invaluable. Their support and feedback is exceptionally useful in developing my editing and writing process. I have also started writing a new collection of poems about women in martial arts. I’m also doing some smaller projects called  “Obeni”, where I write a poem and a photo/collage is created as a response by photographer Vernon White. Poet Paul Hawkins then writes a poem as a response to the image. Another project is a performance piece involving film, poetry and martial arts. Last but not least I run a beginners writing workshop for women in Bristol.

 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know of any other female poets writing about their experiences as a martial artist. I expect there are in China and I do intend to research this area.

I think my poems are the product of my experiences in life, they have a certain visual quality, (I have a BA Contemporary Arts) and could also be described as psychosexual. I often delve into the darkest recesses of the mind and write about the unwritable. I have just had one of my poems, Sunday Morning Words published in poetry journal The Interpreters House. I have been surprised at how troubling readers find the subject matter of this poem.

My poems cover many subject areas, including topics such as politics, war, sexual politics, martial arts, nature and family dynamics. I enjoy the way the quality of language shifts as I change the subject of area of my poetry.

 3)    Why do I write what I do?

I feel compelled to write. I wrote on my own for years and was never taught. I wanted to take my secret passion for writing further and see what I could get away with. I like writing about topics that people deny, such as sexuality, abuse and power structures. I like pushing boundaries, both in subject matter and in form. I try to challenge prejudice through my writing.

 4)    How does my writing process work?

I always carry a notebook around with me, and I scribble notes and drawings onto every inch of paper. I read poetry all the time, and I am very active in the contemporary poetry community of the South West and I like to get to London, Oxford, and Brighton to either read my own poetry, listen, write and participate in book fairs. I find it all very exciting and this stimulates and feeds my creativity. The next step is harder work; the editing. This can involve a lot of research, and I sometimes feel as though I have a compulsion to endlessly play with a set of words, which can go on for a year or more. It can seem like a puzzle that I need to be patient with and work out. As I get towards the end of the process I start to feel an immense sense of relief and satisfaction. This is where feedback is invaluable. I get feedback from some very accomplished poets, also Bristol Women Writers who are outstanding and have helped me with the final edits of some of my favourite poems. It is the greatest feeling to finish poems to a high standard and see them being published.

thunderbolt mapDon’t forget you can catch up with Bristol Women Writers and some of our closest writing friends  at the fabulous Thunderbolt Bristol for the monthly Word of Mouth slot on Wednesday May 7th. We’re looking forward to performing our work and meeting up with old and new friends. If you haven’t had the Thunderbolt experience, this could be the time to try it out. 

 

 

 

Where Can Books Take Us? Free workshop coming up

It has been a busy few months since our launch in October with Bristol Women Writers members taking parts in lots of events around the Bristol area as well as knuckling down to get on with our own writing projects. (Yes, we write stuff too!)

But now we’re ready to ‘go public’ again with a reading/writing workshop which is part of  Bristol Libraries’ 400 celebrations.

The Bookhive
The Bristol 400 Bookhive (Photo by Bristol City Council)

In Where Books Can Take Us, you can again hear members read from the Unchained anthology, but this time there will also be the chance to hear about their sources of their inspiration and take part in activities to get you writing.

The event is on Thursday 27 Feb 2014
in the Central Library,
from 5:45 PM – 7:15 PM

 AND IT’S FREE!

The event is listed here, but  please ring 0117 9037250 or email bookhive@bristol.gov.uk to book your place.

Our thanks as always to the library staff for making this possible. We’re all looking forward to catching up with Unchained fans old and new.

See you there!

Out and about
Out and about
Photo credit: Bookhive image copyright Bristol City Council
Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/55274649@N08/11350913515/in/photolist-ii3p8r-ii3HU5-ii3H8A-ii3VuC-ii3pAv-ii3VCo-ii3pPg-ii3VVh-iJacxY-iJ8c84-iJ9uck-iJ9tzD-iJcd7m-iJaeUS