Writers Invited by Kate Montgomery

  Debbie Young, Stroud Short Stories @ Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016 (image by Tim Byford)

Debbie Young, Stroud Short Stories @ Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016 (image by Tim Byford)

This April there are more opportunities than ever to put pen to paper and tell the story you’ve had rattling around your mind forever. Whether you’re an established writer or quake at the very idea of putting your work in front of people, there’s something for you...

This year is the 14th Stroud Short Stories competition, heralded as “Possibly the best short story competition in the South West” by Cheltenham Literary Festival. The event is organised by John Holland and this year there is no theme or genre. Writers are invited to submit a short story of up to 1500 words by 22nd April with a maximum of two stories per author. Entries are free! Click here for entry rules! 

The event is focused on showcasing and promoting writers from Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. The ten shortlisted stories will be read by the authors at an evening event at the SVA on Sunday 21st May. 

  Hawkwood College, Painswick Old Road

Hawkwood College, Painswick Old Road

Prestigious Stroud institution Hawkwood College is looking for a Bard of Hawkwood 2017. The annual spoken word competition will take place at the Hawkwood College Open Day on Monday 1st May. Co-ordinator Kevan Manwaring explains the rules of entry: "We’re looking for an original song, story or poem of 10 minutes or less, on the given theme; plus a 200 word statement of intent describing what you would do as your time as the Chaired Bard for the coming year. As it’s a bardic competition, pieces performed from memory or in an extempore fashion are preferred.’"

Last year’s winner, Nailsworth-based poet Anthony Hentschel has set the theme for the 2017 competition as ‘Contentment’. Deadlines for entries is the 23rd April, 3 copies of the entry and the statement to be sent to: K. Manwaring, The Annexe, Richmond House, Park Rd, Stroud, GL5 2JG. Entrants must be able to perform their entry at the college open day and be a resident of GL5/6/8/or GL10. The competition is open to anyone 18 years old or older living in the Stroud area. 

There are also two writing workshops coming up at the Subscription Rooms in April. John Bassett from Spaniel in the Works Theatre Company is hosting a ten week Introduction to Script-writing workshop from April 18th. Over the 10 weeks you will learn how to get started, the difference between theatre, radio and T.V. writing, how to create characters and plot, how to write effective and believable dialogue, the differences in writing required for different audiences and different formats and how to layout a script. Each week will feature practical exercises as well as formal teaching. Click here for further details.

Kevin Manwaring is also hosting a ten week workshop to give writers the tools to help them get their work into print. Over the 10 weeks you’ll look at finding an agent, finding a publisher, getting commissioned, your media profile, self-publishing, and entering competitions. Click here for more information and to book. 

With such a diverse and supportive writing community on your doorstep, what are you waiting for?

Kate Montgomery is a writer, artist and blogger. She lives in Stroud with her husband and two daughters. She hosts creative writing groups and wastes far too much time instagramming her food @clevermonty