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Category Archives: Poetry

One of the saving graces for 2018 for me, was all the fun writing and spoken word events.

Here are a few highlights from the year, in more or less chronological order:

  1. The Weston Super Mare (first ever!) Literary Festival:

At the official launch I met local dignitaries and other participating writers. I didn’t meet Jeffrey Archer:

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Picture credit: unknown (if you know, tell me!)

I took part in two events for this, one was a workshop where we ran through some ideas to start people writing short fiction, freewriting and so on, and the other was the book launch for Another Place and Voices Along the Road.

This was a lot of fun, and it was brilliant to read alongside writers who I’m friends with in Weston, Bristol and Didcot, as well as some great writers I’d not met before.

WSM Literary Festival ANother Place and Voices from the Road launch2

Picture credit: Sarah Shillam

2. Talking Tales

I read stories at Talking Tales at the Left Bank in Stokes Croft, run by Stokes Croft Writers, in April and December this year.

Here’s the crew from December, many of them featured in the To Hull and Back anthology, launched at this event.

Talking Tales December 2018

In April, I was caught on video:

And in December, in a Hat:

Talking Tales December 2018 1

Picture and video credits Thomas David Parker

3. Story Sunday

Run by Bristol’s Writing Unchained, and, as the name gives away, on a Sunday. These are always fund and I read a triptych of flash fiction based on a bee. Not the only story about bees that night, either!

Story Sunday April 2018 venue1

Story Sunday Montage 2018

Picture credits unknown (if you know, tell me!)

4. Tonic

A vibrant, relatively new poetry night. I did the open mic in October and was one of the scratch artists in November, which was a lot of fun. The organisers gave me a prompt to write to, so I was able to bring a new poem I wouldn’t have written otherwise. They take good photos, too.

Tonic November 2018

I’m the only one holding a beer.

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Picture credits: Chris Richard Beale

5. Other enjoyable spoken word nights

No pictures, but I’ve had really good nights this year at several other spoken word nights.

There’s the fantastic Weston-Super-Mare poetry night Wordmustard. This must be the highlight of Weston’s literary life, a great open mic and feature poets are many fine slam winners and popular poets from the South West.

The Art House Café Open Mic in Stokes Croft is up and running again after a hiatus due to venue refurbishments.  Now hosted by Tom Sastry. I mean to make more of these. The next is on this Friday, then every other Friday.

Bristolcon Fringe Open Mic: This is always a highlight of my year, and, for me, of Bristolcon itself. This year’s was no exception.

Story Friday, Burdall’s Yard, Bath. This is a top notch fiction night, I’ve not read at this but thoroughly enjoyed the first one I made it to, in December.

Milk Poetry: One of the South West’s leading poetry nights. I had a go at one of their Slams and lost, but it was great fun doing so and I was in good company!

In terms of workshops, I managed to get to some of the excellent Clockhouse London Writers workshops. These are particularly good because I always come away with some story ideas and story beginnings.

I also ran a couple of my own workshops in Didcot, at the Cornerstone Arts Centre, on Flash Fiction and Poetry.

So 2018 was a good year for events, and I’m hoping 2019 will be, too. I’ve already got a longer feature set on January 21st at Bristolcon Fringe, alongside the major Science Fiction writer Peter F Hamilton, and am planning on getting to as many spoken word nights as possible and have a couple more workshops lined up in Didcot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In reflective mode and being a lapsed(?) Goth I was thinking 2018 had been a rubbish year. But, some stuff notwithstanding, looking back, that’s just not true. Certainly, there have been some great high points, in terms of my writing life. So, here are some highlights. I’ll post about events in the next few days, but some published highlights first:

Publications

Another Place Anthology

This is a refugee-themed science fiction anthology in aid of the Lord Arthur Dubs foundation, so all in a good cause. This featured a long short story of mine, The Hikkikimori, about an alternate world where Edo period Japan never ended, full of Samurai battles and a burgeoning romance.

anotherplace

Voices Along the Road Anthology

A companion to the Another Place anthology, this included two poems of mine, Barriers and the Shore.

Voices along the road_

 

BFS Horizons #6

Poems:      Superboy’s Robot Double, Total Eclipse of the Soul

BFS Horizons 6

BFS Horizons #7

Poems: Ouroborous (A Villanelle), Dystopian Sparkle

BFS Horizons 7

Tales from the Weird West #6

Last Chance of the Mines of Madness

This was one of the stories I’ve most enjoyed writing, and another longer short story. Cowboys, monsters and a kung fu hero, alongside underground exploration.

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Out now! The latest edition of the British Fantasy Society’s New Horizons, including two of my poems, Superboy’s Robot Double and Total Eclipse of the Soul.

Image may contain: food

Pleased to announce this anthology featuring two of my poems, and flash fiction and poetry by many of the finest writers I know! Not only is it full of interesting and thoughtful writing, but it’s in aid of a good cause.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voices-along-Road-charity-anthology/dp/1979555680

 

I’m involved in editing this anthology and have been going through what we’ve got so far. We’ve had some fantastic submissions so far, but room for more! Deadline 31 August 2017.

Open call for submissions of flash fiction and poetry for a charity anthology

 

We’re seeking submissions of poetry and flash fiction for a charity anthology  which will raise money for the Alf Dubs Children’s Fund.

 

Lord Alfred Dubs was rescued by the Kindertransport in 1939 and brought to Britain as a refugee when he was 6 years old. The fund’s aim is to help lone children refugees, protect them from traffickers, and get them to safety.

 

You can read more about it here.

 

Please note that as this is to raise funds for charity, no payment will be made to authors. The project is being run by volunteers with all profit going straight to the fund.

 

The anthology will be released in conjunction with a second anthology of science fiction short stories (for which submissions are full) later this year.

 

Submissions Guidelines

  • 100 line limit for poetry
  • 1000 word limit for flash fiction
  • Authors and poets may submit up to three pieces
  • The theme is child or refugee, but this can be a ‘flavour to the piece’ rather than a strict theme
  • Due to the nature of the charity, only PG submissions will be accepted
  • doc., docx., rtf., or txt. files please.
  • We’re not going to get strict on font or formatting, but nothing too weird please.

 

Please note that all pieces may be subject to editing (with your co-operation and permission of course), but please ensure that all submissions are as polished as possible.

 

We will ask for first publication rights. Full copyright and all other rights etc will be retained by the respective authors.

 

Any questions, please ask. Or get writing and send your submissions to charityanthology@gmail.com by 31st August.

 

Editors:

 

Sandra Fairbrother (writes as SW Fairbrother)

www.swfairbrother.com

 

Mark Lewis

https://syntheticscribe.wordpress.com/

 

Jesse Marbulcanti

My latest collaboration as part of the Clockhouse London Writers is out now!

I Sing the Body Acrostic, linked attached below is part of another fine issue of Sein und Werden!

http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinundwerden/spring16/index.html

In other news I’ve had a short ‘Interference’ accepted for the October issue of Morpheus Tales, watch this space!

Check out the latest Sein und Werden, it has a very interesting theme ‘Black Out’. It features found texts redacted and adapted to make new and thoughtful pieces. Poetry, prose, art and multimedia pieces. Includes the Clockhouse London Writers collaboration ‘Songs that Won the War’.

http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinundwerden/winter15/

Pleased to be a part of the very interesting online magazine sein und werden again, this time as part of a collective effort with the other members of the Clockhouse London Writers!

Link below, read it it’s a lot of fun and free:

http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinundwerden/winter13/index.html

This was back when Harry Potter ruled the book charts.  When it was still possible to visually do a survey of what people are reading on the train.  Now it would be something like ‘iPad, Kindle, generic Tab….;

Didcot Parkway to Bracknell Commuter Reading Survey II

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling x 6
Blood & Money by Graham Hurley
Imperium by Robert Harris
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Fat by Rob Grant
Siege of Heaven by Tom Harper
The Glamour by Christopher Priest
The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
Have I Got Views For You by Boris Johnson
Wicked by Jilly Cooper
Once by James Herbert
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
The Afghan by Fredrick Forsythe
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Transformers by Alan Dean Foster
Piers Ploughman by Anthony Trollope

Au Pair

One side of an overheard mobile phone conversation.

Where have you been?
Sleeping?
Well I suppose you feel better.
The house was beautiful
But
I’ve been thinking
We could get ourselves into a financial mess.
We should sit down.
Tonight.
And have a serious conversation.
I’ll get all the figures out.
She’s costing us a lot of money.
Not just her pay
But expenses;
Running her car.
I’m not suggesting we let her go now.
I’m not;
We promised to keep her
For a year; we’ll do that.
The children can cope
The school meals are good.
They can have ham sandwiches for tea
We could make a big daal at the weekend.
I’m not saying
We tell her to go now.
But when she does go again
It’s what she wants to do, she said,
Then tell her she doesn’t need to come back.
She’s only here for the work permit.
Of course we’ll need to take on a cleaner.
But just once every couple of weeks.
We’ll talk tonight
I know it’s a bad time.