News and Opportunities for Writers: January 2019


Birmingham-based independent publisher Emma Press are in November publishing Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain. This anthology is co-edited by Richard O’Brien, recently announced as Birmingham’s Poet Laureate. Order your copy here.

Mslexia have released the 2nd edition of their Indie Press Guide, a comprehensive catalogue of independent presses operating in the UK and ROI. Listing publishers of all forms of writing, the IPG is an invaluable resource for writers. Buy here.


BOLDtext Playwright Liz John explores questions of law and order in a brand new short play The Sentence at The REP on Monday 28th January. Book your free seat here.

Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2019 runs from Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd February 2019 featuring events with Ann Widdecombe, John Cooper Clarke and Stuart Lee. Full line-up and tickets here.

UniSlam comes to Birmingham Friday 1st -Sunday 3rd February 2019 at the Old Rep Theatre. Emerging poets go head to head for the UniSlam 2019 Champions title and trophy accompanied by performances from judges Hollie McNish, Dizraeli and Melissa Lozada-Oliva. Info and tickets here.

Tettenhall Amateur Players presents dark comedy thriller The Killer Question at the Perton Golf Club in Wolverhampton from Tuesday 5th February – Friday 8th March. Silence of The Lambs meets Last of the Summer Wine in a play by Dave Payne. Find out more.

Verve Poetry Festival returns for its third year at brand new venue The Old Rep Theatre from 14th-17th February. Four days of captivating readings, passionate performances and insightful workshops. Full line-up and tickets here.

Room 204 writer Naomi Paul is performing her solo show Despite Everything, Price Still Includes Biscuits on Monday 18th February at The Cosy Club  as as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival. Find out more here.

Competitions and opportunities:

Birmingham-based independent publishers Emma Press will be accepting picture book proposals for children from the 14th of January 2019. Successful authors will be matched with an illustrator; authors who illustrate their own work are also welcome to submit. Find out more here. Deadline 20th April 2019

Want to gain experience of working in an arts organisation? Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) is hosting a free training programme for young people aged 16-25 over several sessions from January 23rd – 24th February 2019. More information and how to apply here.

Flatpack are now looking for submissions to their Short Film Competition as well as free submissions of live performances for their 2019 programme and hilarious/embarrassing early ventures into film making for their Oh Dear Video Diary project. Deadline Sunday 20th January 2019.

Warwick Arts Centre are looking for writers to perform open mic slots at SOLO Fest 2019 from Monday 4th – Thursday 5th February 2019. Pay + a free ticket to successful applicants. More info here. Deadline 21st January 2019.

The Royal Society of Literature have launched their Poems for Peace competition for 11-18 year olds. Entrants will write poetry that explores what peace means to them for a chance to win a signed copy of the Peace Poetry anthology and National Book Tokens for themselves and their school. Details here. Deadline: 25th January 2019

Spread the Word have opened their Life Writing Prize. Free to enter, it’s open to emerging writers from across the UK. Prizes include £1,500, publication, an Arvon course, RSL membership and development meetings with an editor and an agent. Deadline is Feb 1st.

HarperFiction team up with Comedy Women in Print Prize for unpublished writers. Winning comic female novelist will receive a publishing contract and £5,000 advance, and the runner-up offered a free MA in Creative Writing from the University of Hertfordshire. Deadline 28 February for chapter and synopsis and end of March for full manuscript. More info here.

The 2019 Bristol Short Story Prize is now open for entries. This competition is open to all writers published or unpublished, UK or non-UK, and announcements will happen in October 2019. More information here. Deadline 1st May 2019.

Workshops / writing courses:

Viceversa: Italian-English Workshop at the Villa Garbald in Swizerland. Week-long board and lodging of 12 successful applicants covered by promoters. Opportunity for translators working in opposite language pairs to meet and exchange ideas within a practical context. More info here. Deadline 31st January.

Creative writing Fundamentals: two day writing course at Lund Studio, Yorkshire, run by Tracey Iceton on 29th & 30th January 2019. Introduces writers to the three main genres of creative writing – stories, poetry and script.  More info and tickets here.

Writing West Midlands has released its Autumn/Winter programme of short courses, which include Creative Writing for Personal Development with Mandy Ross and Playwriting with Lydia Parker. You can view them all here.


Categories: News