Writer's Block
What's on Nottingham's writing world
and beyond
We will be posting events and news as soon we are made aware of them. If you are hosting a live or virtual event to do with the written or spoken word, and you want a bit of extra publicity, then send us a link.

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Writer's Diary

Writer's News

GtSF DIY Poets
By Hazel Warren
Gateway to Southwell Festival Report

poster DIY entertained at Gate to Southwell festival (GtSF) this weekend, between enjoying bands, eating crepes and watching morris dancers they held a poetry showcase and open mic on Saturday afternoon in the Steeples tent and the annual all comers Slam on the Frontier stage on Sunday morning.

At the Steeples set, themes included the adventures of cats, the nostalgia of childhood memories, finding identity, insecticide, cannibal slugs, nature documenting, diy disaster, grief, love, loss and lessons learned in space travel.

Excellent hosting was from Trevor Wright who introduced the DIY Poets (Clare Stewart, Andy Szpuk, Martin Grey, Hazel Warren, Kevin Jackson, Lytisha Tunbridge, Kieth Ford, and Annette) who were joined by Denise (a regular now at the Gate to Southwell open mic) sharing a set of poems on connection to Mother Earth and two new comers Craig who shared a poem on insecticide, and Glenn who shared a touching piece on his relationship with his mum. An all ages audience enjoyed the show.

At the GtSF Poetry Slam poets came together, facing off the threat of heavy showers (which mostly held off) to battle each other for the title “Bard of Southwell”. The contest was stiff, including several previous winners and everyone brought their A-Game. 13 contestants took part including a first time ever poetry performer Nick (always amazing privilege to encourage new poets to move from the page to the stage). 3rd place went to Clare Stewart who performed a rhythmical piece entitled Scottish Andante, John L came second (a first timer at the GtSF Slam) with some Good Advice on always being in your skin. The climax of the show was a four way tie for first place, featuring Will Kummer’s piss poem (a Bladderfull of Hyperbole) Martin Grey’s -You Can Sponsor a Roundabout Today, defending champion Tibbie Star came with a new piece entitled “Galaxy” but all were all beaten in an incredibly close call on the clapometer test, by Gabe (3) and Ella (11) reading a whimsical piece inspired by the compass directions and a cowboy/cowgirl search. Great fun had by all. Join us next time if you’re able!

Thanks Hazel

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Aurora Prize for Writing
Aurora Prize for Writing
Writing East Midlands, in partnership with the Society of Authors

Open for submissions until Wednesday 7th August at midnight

logo The Aurora Prize seeks outstanding new writing in short fiction and poetry.

Since 2016, Aurora has provided a platform for writers, offering a prize that is truly national (and international) with its heart in the East Midlands.

Our judges have included some of the region’s leading literary lights, with names such as Joanna Cannon, Casey Bailey, Mahsuda Snaith, Alison Moore, Jon McGregor, Malika Booker, Helen Mort, Debris Stevenson, Shreya Sen-Handley and Georgina Wilding.

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Bad Betty
Poetry Submission
Until 31st July - Full collections

logo Guidelines
Please send a maximum of 10 pages upfront. We’ll ask for the full manuscript of shortlisted submissions. .pdf or .doc files are preferred. If you need to use a different format then do, and we’ll let you know if we’re unable to open it. We don’t have specific font or spacing requirements, but please keep it clear and readable, with no more than one poem to a page. Keep your email brief – no need to explain your work as we’ll expect it to speak for itself. Feel free to include a short bio. We’re based in the UK, but welcome submissions from poets anywhere in the world.

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DIY Poets
Youtube Channel

logo We are a Nottingham, UK based poetry collective. We're nice and we don't always rhyme.

Our aim is to give budding poets the opportunity to perform their work in public and get their work published and we're proud to have members of all ages, shapes, sizes, experiences and styles, from brand new poets and occasional hobbyists to slam winners and published writers.

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Writer's Diary

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Mountbatten Hospice Wing Walk 2024
Emily Jones

In 2024, I am taking to the skies and taking part in the first charity Wing Walk on the Isle of Wight in aid of the wonderful Mountbatten Hospice on the island who looked after my lovely Dad and our whole family in his final weeks.
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Oh My Nottz Spoken Word Listings
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Oh My Nottz Writer's Block page

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Christy Fearn and Byron
200 Years of Fame
The Society of Authors
Writing East Midlands
13th July

Nottingham Central Library, 1 Carrington Street, Nottingham

poster Join Christy Fearn for a lecture-cum-performance all about Byron’s life and his fame, including his letters and poems; with reference to the experiences of more contemporary famous figures. Hear readings from Byron’s portfolio, and bring your own favourite Byron piece to share and discuss with the group.

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SWEENEY UNTETHERED
Adderstone @ Beeston Tales
17th July

Church of Assumption, Beeston

poster This is the story of a 7th century Irish king who went mad, and grew feathers…it could happen to anybody.

This is Adderstone’s take on the strange and wonderful epic of Buile Suibhne, full of vindictive saints, malevolent hags, forlorn romance, wild leaping, rapturous ranting, and weirdly canny otters. But there’s also something terribly modern about Mad Sweeney’s quest. Is he a dangerous lunatic, or a restless visionary in a time of lurching change? Has he fallen out of love with people because he’s fallen in love with the woods? There’s certainly a lot of Sweeney energy around these days.

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Jade Moore
DIY Poets Showcase
8th Aug
City Arts 11-13 Hockley Nottingham NG1 1FH.
You can also join us via Zoom

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Zoom Access

The Utopia of Us
with Teika Marija Smits,Rayn Epremian, Nadya Mercik and Fiona Mossman
18th July

Five Leaves Bookshop 14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG12DH

bookcover The year 2024 marks the centenary of the first publication of the hugely significant novel We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin. The direct inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984, We also influenced many other novels, such as Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano.

This Russian novel was first published in English, and in the US. Indeed, it wasn’t until 1988 that it was published in the author’s native country. This was a book that the people in power in the Soviet Union wanted erased. Yet it ushered in a new genre – the future dystopia – and in doing so gave birth to the many dystopian novels and films which have found their way into our popular culture.

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Did I Mention I’m Adopted?
Michelle allows us to share in her unique and moving story.
18th July

Nottingham Playhouse

poster A story of adoption, identity, the search for ‘self’ and a yearning to connect with any shared past and present genetic flesh and blood. – This gives us a window into the journey she embarked upon, in an attempt to trace her birth relatives. This fascinating quest transformed her tattered adoption papers from being an almost fictional narrative, into real people, with real names, each having their own very real and individual lives and stories that add to their collective jigsaw puzzle.

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Poetry Scum
Feat Taylor Riley
25th July

Robin Hood Sherwood

poster This months feature act Taylor Riley @documentinglife2.0 poet, activist, events organiser & all round good guy is back at Scum! It was a pleasure to watch Taylor blossom at Scum back in the Sumac days & then go on to set up his own extremely successful open mic night @nottspoetry 👏 can't wait to have ya back with us ❤️

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Fiction Book Group
In the Belly of the Queen
by Karosh Taha
25th July

Five Leaves Bookshop 14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG12DH

bookcover Our book group is open to all. Attend every meeting, occasionally or just once a lifetime. All we ask is that you read the book in advance and take part in the discussion. There’s a short introduction by a member of staff, a group regular, or someone we know with a special interest in the book in question.

We follow Amal, Younes, Raffiq and Shahira as they navigate love, loss, identity and belonging in their Kurdish-Germany community. In her kaleidoscopic novel, Karosh Taha expands our ideas of class, race and gender as she loops two stories around an invisible lynchpin: a woman who defies all expectations, a blank canvas for projections from all those around her.

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