News and Opportunities for Writers: July 2019


The Society of Authors want to hear from writers, illustrators and literary translators! Fill out this survey to tell them what training, development and advice will help you further your career as an author. The survey will take around 10-15 minutes to complete and as a thank you, you can enter a draw to win a year’s free membership to the Society of Authors.

SHOUT Festival are looking to appoint West Midlands based LGBTQ+ identifying artist working in any art form as our 2019-20 Artist in Residence (AIR). The selected artist will be supported by the SHOUT Festival team to develop and create a new piece of artistic work or creative project which speaks to and/or engages with LGBTQ+ communities in the West Midlands. Deadline: 8 July at 10am.

The Royal Society of Literature has published the findings from a wide-reaching survey on what writers feel they need in order to write. You can read the report, A Room Of My Own, here.



Rugeley Writers meet at Rugeley Library on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Contact: Nina

Creative Writing WorkshopITI West Midlands Group is running a creative writing workshop at the Birmingham & Midland Institute on Saturday 29 June. This will be a fun day of creative writing prompts, discussions and exercises in a supportive atmosphere. No previous creative writing experience necessary. To book a place, please email Ros Mendy for a form:

Behind Bars: Ghosts of the Lock-Up – Following an acclaimed sell-out run last year, Boldtext Playwrights are resurrecting the ghosts of Birmingham’s Victorian Lock-Up, summoning them back to the cells, stairways and corridors for twelve more shows this July. As you move around the building you’ll meet robbers and drunkards, prostitutes and murderers, as well as the policemen and pioneering policewomen who held the keys. July 12, 13, 20, 21. The Lock-Up, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham. Click here for tickets and more info.

West Midlands Social, plus Mike Gayle in conversation with his editor, Nick Sayers Society of Authors are hosting a social for members (however, all are welcome) after the Kenilworth Books event with Mike Gayle on Wednesday 3 July. Click here for details on social and click here for details on Mike Gayle event.

BOOK LAUNCH: Wednesday 3rd July, 7.30pm, Shrewsbury Library.  Bethany Rivers launching her book on the creative writing process.  Refreshments available.  ‘Fountain of Creativity: Ways to nourish your words’ – 32 golden rules to help get you writing and to keep you writing.  A friendly and insightful guide to take you through your writing process.  FREE event.  Book released from Victorina Press £10.

Creative Writing: The Wonder of Seeds – This event will be led by Rebecca Hubbard, an experienced and inspirational writing tutor and published poet, and will be 19-21 August. Enjoy the beautiful gardens, a friendly welcome and delicious meals at the Woodbrooke Quaker Centre, Birmingham. For anyone who writes. To book: 0121 472 5171 or

NAWE Conference 2019: 8-10 November 2019, York – The annual conference of the National Association of Writers in Education offers an invaluable opportunity for writers and educators from across the UK and beyond to come together to celebrate the best in teaching creative writing practice, to build networks and debate current issues. Come and inspire and be inspired! Registration opens beginning of May.


Competitions and opportunities:

Poetry in Public is a project that puts new poetry by living, working poets in public spaces: service stations, shopping malls, bus shelters, and the handles of petrol pumps. The project is currently seeking a poem to be displayed somewhere in the Midlands later this year. For more information or to submit a poem for consideration click here or write to

The Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation 2019 is now open for entries. Translate a poem from any language, ancient or modern, into English! There are three categories: Adult; 18 and under; and 14 and under. There will be a special prize for translation from Polish. Deadline: 12 July.

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 is now open! It is the biggest poetry competition for 11-17 year olds in the world, and has kick-started the careers of some of the most exciting names in poetry. Winners of the award receive fantastic prizes and support; enter your poems and change your life! Deadline: 31 July.

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2019 is now open for submissions! The award celebrates excellence in Poetry and Short Fiction, supporting new writing talent and presents writers with a fantastic opportunity to further their involvement in the literary world. Both established and emerging writers are encouraged to enter, and works previously published are accepted. Deadlines 31 August.


Workshops / writing courses:

29 June – Decolonising Creative Writing with Kavita Bhanot. This event will be at the Impact Hub, Birmingham 10am-1pm. This workshop is for more experienced writers. Those who have been writing in other forms for some time and want to move towards fiction, or those who have been writing fiction for some time and want to develop their writing; thinking about what it might mean to decolonise their practice. For more information and to book, click here.

6th – 10th July – ‘Warwick Translates’: literary translation summer school held at the University of Warwick, taught in an all-day workshop environment using a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts and featuring networking opportunities. Bursaries available. More info and tickets here.



Categories: News