In an exciting update to our Story Sunday ‘Tales of Our City’ event on October 20th we’re thrilled to announce that we – and you – will be joined for the evening by Bristol’s favourite writer and spoken word poet Lucy English.
We’re sure that you have either met Lucy or know her work; from her acclaimed novels Selfish People and Our Dancing Days to her recent achievements in poetry, digital writing and film. Lucy recenty organised the brand new Lyra Poetry Festival in Bristol and you may also know her as a tutor on the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing.
Lucy will give a short performance as part of the Tales of Our City evening alongside a selection of other local writers who have submitted for the event.
Speaking of which, to have a chance of joining Lucy on the Southbank stage, you still have penty of time to SEND US YOUR STORIES!
Of course non-writers are also welcome to an evening of diverse and diverting performances from our talented local writing pool, all in the laid-back atmosphere of Southbank Club in Bedminster.
Two book launches in the last month! It’s been a bumper summer for Writers Unchained members.
A Forbidden Love
Kerry Postle launched her fabulous second book A Forbidden Love at Max Minerva’s Marvellous Books in Bristol this July. The audience were fascinated to hear about where Kerry’s research had taken her – into the intricacies of the Spanish Civil War and, in particular, the experiences of women caught up in it. We’re all looking forward to reading this gripping and heart-rending historical novel.
This was followed in August by the launch of Heather Child’s second novel The Undoing of Arlo Knott (Orbit), about a man who has an ‘undo’ button for life, at Storysmith books. At this sold-out event, Heather talked about themes of regret and hindsight, snakes and ladders and quantum physics.
We’re delighted to announce our next Story Sunday will be on October 20th and in conjunction with the marvellous Bristol Festival of Literature we’ll be celebrating Bristol and its environs with the theme of Tales of Our City.
We’re putting together some new ideas for this special evening but as usual we’ll be inviting fellow writers to contribute their stories and friends far and wide to come along and join us.
A round-up of our summer adventures – and it’s only July!
Heather Child: ‘Uplit’ at Edgelit
As well as an appearance at the Dark Societies dystopian book club in London, Heather was in Derby last week running a workshop and speaking on a panel at the popular sci-fi, fantasy and horror event EdgeLit 2018.
The recent boom in dystopian fiction was the topic of discuss
ion, though with political decisions made in the last couple of years starting to bed in, it seems the incoming trend is ‘uplit’, or more uplifting fiction. All events were well-attended and people enjoyed meeting their favourite genre authors and getting books signed.
Heather is also at this week’s lunch-time lecture at Bristol City Library on Thursday July 26th at 12.30 in the old library foyer. It’s free, so get there if you can!
Jean Burnett in the Dragons Den
Jean pitched her unpublished novel to the Chudleigh Dragons at the Chudleigh LitFest last weekend in Devon – and won the prize!
Her cosy crime novel wins a critique from novelist Sophie Duffy from Legend Press.
Jean is also working n a new historical novel and looking forward to a writing retreat in Greece.
Ali Bacon around and about
Having survived a book-selling trip to France, Ali set out for Suffolk where she was part of the Wickhambrook literary lunch in late June.
As well as talking about In the Blink of an Eye she had lunch with afternoon speakers Nicci Gerard and Sean French and has been name-dropping ever since.
She is now emerging from a stint on the golf course to do a book signing at Books on the Hill in Clevedon this Saturday 21st and dropping in to the Flash Fiction Festival on Sunday in Bristol.
Scottish readers should also check out her website for news of Scottish shenanigans in September and October.
And yes, our next Story Sunday will be in the early autumn, so please watch this space and keep writing!
Stop all the clocks! We’re having ‘A Moment In Time’
After something of a lull at WU Towers we’re delighted to be open for submissions once more for our first 2018 Story Sunday event on Sunday April 29th with the theme of A Moment in Time when around ten writers will be invited to take to the Southbank stage in Bedminster and enthral us with their talent.
Submissions Open Now
Any genre is acceptable, a historical tale or an imagining of the future, or maybe just a moment, crystallised in words. As ever we love to be shocked, stunned, terrified or delighted in any way.
Please check our submissions page for full instructions on how to send us your finely-wrought words.
All welcome on the night
Our promise to writers is a friendly audience – to our audience a night to remember for a mere £5 entry.
Sunday April 29th
7 – 9 pm
Southbank Club, Dean Lane, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1DB
Though we say it ourselves, our Crime Night Story Sunday went particularly well and we are grateful to all of our readers and the enthusiastic audience who made it such a friendly and entertaining evening ( pictures at the bottom of the page!)
We still have to decide on next year’s programme but will keep you up to date here with our plans, or contact us to go on our mailing list for events and submission opportunities.
Meanwhile we’ve been busy at other Bristol Literature Festival Events, including the first ever Book Busk on Bristol Harbourside and at the notoriously raucous (and testing!) Flash Slam where we fielded two teams but still had to give way to Stokes Croft Writers (don’t miss their next Talking Tales evening) when it came to top prize!
Coming up is an event hosted by theatre group Bristales. Both Dawn and Ali have been selected to take part in an evening of readings on the theme ‘memories’. Catch them at The Room Above at the White Bear on St Michael’s Hill on Friday Nov 24th at 7.30. (Don’t be late. Ali is first up!)
And just in time for Christmas you can find us on December 9th with our jolly book stall,
this time at the Southbank Christmas Market
MANY STALLS – LIVE MUSIC – HOT SNACKS – FREE ENTRY
BAR OPEN – IT’S INSIDE at Southbank Club, BS3 4DB
Yes we sell books as well as write them. Bargains may well be found!
Thanks to Suzanne McConnaghy for summing up her first experience of reading with us at Southbank on March 19th.
Writers Unchained impressed me so much at the Festival of Literature, back in October 2016, that I decided I would enter their next event. They’d finally got me to see that writing a short story was not just writing a story: there was an art to it. Large learning curve and here I am at Story Sunday on March 19th, 2017, about to step onto the stage.
The Southbank Club provides us with a relaxed and welcoming venue to listen to ten writers’ interpretations of the theme: ‘Another Country.’
I soon find Story Sunday’s excellent organisation is very supportive to the readers – when you have a programme and know exactly when you are on, it does a lot to calm the nerves. I’m placed mid-way through Act 1 and this gives me time to see how the first two excellent writers handle the situation but comes early enough to allow relaxed enjoyment of the remaining performances.
Heather Jo Reed’s ‘Mr Muyila’s Bull’ transports us straight out to the African Bush, transfixing the listener as we come to understand the fate intended for the little girl and enjoy the mother’s clever thwarting of her husband’s will. Thoroughly rattled by Mark Lewis’s surreal ‘The Ancestors,’ during which we travel across place and time,’ I realise it’s my turn. I’ve prepared a smooth response to the introduction but fail to hear a word of what is said – it must be nerves – so I have to go straight into the story. With ‘Boy in a Blue Shirt,’ you’re out in Bristol, mixing with the people who live on the streets – and under them.
Ali Bacon’s sensitive story of a young girl’s death, ‘The Coldest Country of All,’ introduces a note of sadness which contrasts well with the following piece, ‘The Emperor’s New Wall.’ After the tension of the previous reading, this satirical story by Debbie Young gives the audience an opportunity for uncomplicated laughter.
An interval filled with the strong musical performance of Dawn Marie Kelly, mixing well-known titles with some of her own work, and we’re into the second act with Jean Burnett’s ‘Swansong.’ Set in Malta, it reveals the uncertain world of the hit-man and confirms that his is not the ideal profession – if we didn’t already know it. A smooth performance by Lania Knight with ‘The Red Doll’ touches on the theme of homesickness and the power of certain objects, while John Holland’s ‘The Doorstep’ deals with a familiar character, the Polish workman, whom we see in an entirely new way. Then, Dawn Marie Kelly is back with ‘No Place,’ the story of a simple world somehow made infinitely menacing in the telling. Her acting ability and very convincing American accent made this story very powerful.
To finish, Mark Rutterford’s funny, self-deprecating ‘Skydiving’ takes us on a whirlwind journey through his love life, which feels exactly how I believe skydiving would be. This intricate, cleverly-constructed story is a worthy end to a very satisfying programme.
Can I recommend attendance at the next Writers Unchained event? Most definitely. You’ll sit enthralled through a couple of hours of thought-provoking entertainment. And if you’re a writer with aspirations like me, you’ll also learn much from the way in which the performers handle their material and deliver it to the audience. Look out for the next Story Sunday.
Thank you, Suzanne! If anyone would like to be notified of our next event, please contact us to be added to our mailing list.