News and Opportunities for Writers: October/November 2019


The Ruppin Agency has launched the Writers’ Studio, a nationwide mentoring scheme for developing writers of fiction, YA and narrative non-fiction. Over 30 mentors, including prize-winning and bestselling authors, offer a range of options designed to help writers get to the next level, from a first full draft to being submission-ready. Monthly mentoring sessions are available in person or by video call, with mentors available nationwide. Options include advice sessions with a literary agent and a developmental edit with The Book Edit. There is also a FREE place available for a writer of limited means.

Eve Connor, one of our Spark Young Writers, is a Foyle Young Poet and has been commended for her poem Man in the Street at the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Awards.


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! Booking is open until Thursday 31 October 2019.

The IKON Gallery is hosting a storytelling event on 2 November 2019 with Zimbabwean musician and storyteller, Millicent Chapanda. Millicent shares the interactive folklore and traditional “nhoroondo” or storytelling of “tsuro magen’a” or the common hare, a patron of lies and crafty trickster. This event is suitable for all ages and in association with Celebrating Sanctuary.

The Evesham Festival of Words is hosting a writing workshop: ‘Short Stories for Competitions – Catching the Judge’s Eye’, on Saturday 16th November, 1.45 – 3.45pm. This practical workshop, led by Helen Yendall, will explore what makes a good competition story and how to give yourself the best chance of doing well. Hosted at Evesham Library, this event will be priced at £15, including refreshments. Visit their website to find out more.

The Literary Consultancy is relaunching their TLC Masterclasses, beginning with a masterclass led by Shelley Weiner who has designed three individual one-day workshops. TLC will be running three different masterclasses, each with a unique theme, beginning 26 October 2019. To find out more, please visit their website.

Competitions and opportunities:

Midlands Four Cities has announced a vacancy in their Collaborative Doctoral Award. The vacancy has been outlined, which can be found here. Contact, the lead supervisor on this project, to find out more.

Spread The Word is looking for new first readers for their Life Writing Prize. Applicants would ideally enjoy reading creative non-fiction, have experience of doing similar sifting reading tasks, or are willing to give it a go with Spread The Word’s guidance. First readers will be asked to read 40-50 pieces, recommend up to 5 titles and will be paid £150 for doing so. Contact to find out more.

The Powerhouse Theatre is calling for submissions for their brand-new monthly scratch night ‘PLAYS AND PROSECCO!’ Applicants are encouraged to write a piece inspired by the chosen theme of confessions to try out new ideas in front of a lively and encouraging audience! Contact for more details on how to submit. Deadline: 9th November. Ticket information can be found here.

The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2020 is now open for submissions! This year’s theme is ‘Artificial Intelligence’, inspired by Dinesh’s short story ‘The Longhand Option’. The prize is open to anyone based in the UK aged 18 or over, providing the story submitted has not been published anywhere else, online or in print. Deadline: 25 October.

The Royal Society of Literature is currently seeking an Events and Outreach Manager. The successful applicant will take lead responsibility for our public events and young people’s outreach programmes. The closing date for applications is: 18 November 2019 at 6pm.

Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition 2020 is open for submissions! Writers are requested to write a piece in any genre, no more than 1,000 words. Enter for the chance to write four further stories for InterAct Stroke Support and receive £1,000! Deadline: 2 December.

Rubery Book Award has announced its 2020 judges and is open for submissions! All categories are accepted. Enter for the chance to win the Book of the Year award plus £1500! Deadline: 31 March 2020.

News from our Room 204 writers:

A huge congratulations to Louise Stokes on her play The Order of Disorder which was showcased at Coventry University with interest in programming it into their Mental Health Nurse curriculum and performed as part of Worcester Arts Workshop’s Mental Health Week program. Her new play, Hear Me, was also selected to be included in BEDLAM’s scratch night at MAC. Louise has also received some funding to carry out creative sessions for those experiencing the issues she explores in her work.

Fran Hill’s new book Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean? is due to be published by SPCK on 21 May 2020!  The Room 204 writer describes it ‘as a funny but poignant memoir in diary form of a year in a teacher’s life.’

Room 204 writer and BBC Local Poet for Shropshire, Jean Atkin, was commissioned a poem for National Poetry Day this year based on stories passed on by Shropshire residents. Jean’s performance of Here Be Elephants can be viewed here. Jean’s second collection, How Time is in Fields, was launched by Indigo Dreams Publishing at the end of August.

Jacqui Rowe is the joint winner of the Indigo Dreams poetry competition and they will be publishing her next collection, Other Things I Didn’t Use To Know, in 2020. Another poem of Jacqui’s, translated from Catalanalso appears in Home on the Move, published by Parthian Press.

Congratulations to Leila Rasheed from Room 204 who had two books published in September! The first being Katherine Johnson: A Life Story, a non-fiction book, published by Scholastic and the second being The Smiling Stones, a fiction book, published by Rising Stars as part of their Reading Planet reading scheme.

Room 204’s Naomi Paul is on the line up for PILOT nights at Warwick Arts Centre on 13 November 2019! Ticket information can be found here.

Liz Kershaw has been shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association Short Story Competition and will be among six shortlisted writers to attend the award ceremony in November. Good luck Liz!

Categories: News