Sunday, 12 October 2014

Workshops, Competitions, and Publishing News

I've had a bit of a hectic one this week, with lots of planning meetings, Skype discussions, and many a frantic email. Still, it's all good fun, and it means there's lots of exciting things on the horizon!

We've started planning for the launch of this year's Fenland Poet Laureate Competition, plus the Fen Speak team are looking forward to celebrating their first anniversary next week! I've also been doing more workshops and judging a competition, all whilst working on my next poetry pamphlet.

It's all very exciting! 

On Tuesday I skipped down to the lovely town of Chatteris to host the second of my National Poetry Day workshops, in partnership with the Cambridgeshire Library Services.

I'm always a little nervous before hosting a workshop, in case people don't turn up, or in case the people who do turn up don't enjoy their experience. Luckily I had a blast in Chatteris, with nine wonderful participants all eager and willing to share their creativity with me. Just like my previous session at the Wisbech Library, this workshop was structured around the theme of memory and - with the help of old photographs, prompt cards and objects from a junk shop - we soon had the creative juices flowing!

Junk Shop Memories

In fact, the participants wrote some genuinely beautiful poetry, and the reflective nature of the topic really allowed people to focus on those moments and memories that were important to them. The exercises I put together went down really well, and it's definitely a topic I would revisit in future workshops.

I've even been invited back to do more sessions next year, so keep your eyes peeled for further details coming soon.

Also this week, I've been helping to judge the 'Perspectives' Community Poetry Competition, ready for their prize giving event next month.

The competition - which was hosted by The Field Theatre Group and funded by the East Cambridgeshire Community Fund - gave local people the chance to write a poem to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of WWI.

The competition winners with be announced at a special event on Saturday 15th November from 7pm at the Littleport Village Hall. Prizes will be presented by the current Fenland Poet Laureate, Poppy Kleiser, and commended poems will be published in a special anthology, which will be launched at the awards ceremony. 

Next Wednesday is the first anniversary of the launch of the Fen Speak open mic nights, and to celebrate we're holding a special birthday-themed event! There will be lots of open mic spots available for writers, poets and storytellers, as well as balloons, party hats, and even a Fen Speak cake! It's going to be a great night, and we'd love for you to join us!

We'll be at the Babylon Gallery, Waterside, Ely on Wednesday 15th October. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 7:30pm. There's no charge for entry, and no obligation to perform - although we always encourage you to give it a go! They'll be wine, good company and fabulous entertainment - what more could you ask for?

This week I have been listening to: a selection of fantastic EPs by Andy N. Andy is a Manchester based musician and poet, and his series of beautiful instrumental piano pieces have been the soundtrack to my week. If you like atmospheric soundscapes, then this is the stuff for you! You can find Andy's music on his bandcamp page.

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