News and Opportunities for Writers: October 2018


Kavita Bhanot’s Baba ji on Boulton Road has been shortlisted for the 2018 SI Leeds Literary Prize.

Room 204 writers, Liz Kershaw and Rob Ganley, have been invited to join the Tindal Street Fiction Group.

Romalyn Ante, whose pamphlet Rice & Rain (V. Press) received the 2018 Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet, recently won the Poetry London Clore Prize judged by Kwame Dawes.

Jan Edwards won the Arnold Bennett Book Prize earlier this summer with her crime novel Winter Downs.


Birmingham Literature Festival takes place 4-14 October in venues across the city, with speakers including John Boyne, Caitlin Moran, Nigel Slater, Raymond Antrobus and Jonathan Coe. There are also workshops for writers, events on a narrowboat on the Birmingham canals, performances of spoken work and theatre, and even a special evening celebrating all things Dada! Tickets from £3.

The Bournville Age of Creativity festival is taking place from 30 September – 14 October. Get the full programme and book your tickets here.

BOLDtext Playwrights and West Midlands Police Museum are presenting ‘BEHIND BARS: GHOSTS OF THE LOCK-UP’ at The Lock-Up, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham from October 19th to 21st. Tickets available here.

The BookBlast 10×10 tour, in association with Waterstones, will visit nine regions of England, celebrating risk-taking publishers who fill a unique niche in discovering talent, and will be in Birmingham on Thursday 25 October with publisher Saqi Books. Book your ticket here.

The NAWE Conference will be taking place in York from 9-11 November 2018! The conference brings together writers and educators from across the UK and beyond to explore the best in teaching creative writing practice and debate today’s issues. Guest evening speakers: Stuart Maconie and Jean Sprackland.  A wide range of day and weekend rates are available. The full programme is available online. Book here before Monday 8 October 2018.  


Competitions and opportunities:

The Emma Press has launched a call for poems about insects for a new children’s poetry anthology to be edited by Fran Long and Dr Isabel Galleymore. Writers are invited to submit up to three poems. Find out more here. Deadline: 5 October.

The Middle Way Mentoring Project is open for applications. This is a two year professional development scheme for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers based in the Midlands. In the first year, writers will receive mentoring from an experienced writer, and participate in masterclasses. The second year will begin to focus on completing a portfolio of short stories, receive career coaching and have the opportunity to showcase their work. Find out more here.  Deadline: 12 October.

The Literary Consultancy’s Free Reads Scheme is an opportunity for talented, low-income writers to receive valuable feedback on their work.  The Free Read scheme particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including women writers, disabled writers, BAME writers, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. More information here. Deadline: 31 October.

The Society of Authors are hiring. They are looking for an Awards Assistant in the Prize Department and an Office Manager. Find out more here.  Applications for Awards Assistant close 29 September and 11 October for the Office Manager role.

Submissions are now open for Anthology 84, a collection of female and male voices discussing the topic of male suicide, men’s health, male vulnerability, grief and hope. The book is being created with the support of the charity CALM, and Verve Press. Find out more on their crowd funding page here. Submit here.

Random String Fellowship Programme is a open for applications. The programme offers support from November 2018  – March 2019 and enables creatives from any discipline to embark on a technology-focused creative enquiry. Apply here. Deadline: 15 October

Call for Gothic poems. The Emma Press has launched a call for Gothic poems for an anthology to be edited by Nisha Bhakoo and Charlotte Geater. Poets are invited to send in up to three poems. More information here.  Deadline: 9 November.

Loughborough University will again be running the Overton Poetry Prize competition this year. The winner will have the opportunity for their work to be published. Click here for more information. Deadline: 20 December.

Holland Park Press are running a Brexit in Poetry Competition. Love it or hate it most people have strong opinions about the whole Brexit issue. Why not channel your thoughts by writing a poem about it? To enter email your entry to: and follow the submission guidelines carefully. Deadline: 31 December.

Workshops / writing courses:

Writing West Midlands has released its Autumn/Winter programme of short courses, which include Writing for Children with Ben Davis, Writing a Page-Turner with Liam Brown, and Introduction to Writing for Film & TV with Hayley McKenzie. You can view them all here.


Categories: News