Latest Press Releases


UK’s Largest Children’s Literacy Festival on the 11th April 2019


Wendy Hobbs, Author of the ‘Claudia Quash Series’ is delighted to be invited to speak and run writing work-shops at the largest children’s festival to celebrate World Book Day in the UK. The event is hosted by Stephens and George Charitable Trust and this year’s theme is the ‘Great Outdoors.’ The Education Secretary, Lucy Owen, TV presenter, and 5,000 children attend the event, and are inspired by illustrators, poets, writers, scriptwriters and journalists.


The Charroux Memoir Prize 2019 for poetry and prose
Closes midnight 15 August 2019

Thank you for being such a great supporter of the Charroux Literary Festival. We want to keep you updated on our latest initiative and we hope you will get involved or let others know about it.

We are very excited to announce the launch of the 2019 Charroux Memoir Prize for Poetry and Prose; and what’s more, we are delighted that the authors Susie Kelly and Gordon Simms have agreed to judge our first competition.

We are looking for entries for short memoir or poetry which delight, shock, amuse or enthral.

The closing date for the competition is 15 August. The successful winners and runners up will be announced in October 2019, followed by a celebration event and writing workshop in South West France.

Entrance to the competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 writing in the English language.

Guidelines and other information can be found on our website
you can email us
or find us at

Tickets on sale for the first Swindon Spring Festival!
In the inaugural Swindon Spring Festival – built on the legacy of twenty-five years of the Swindon Festival of Literature – there are sixty events across fourteen action-packed days of literature, writing, speaking, ideas, dance, drama, music, film, art and circus skills.
The new Festival is bookended by two familiar and well-loved events – the unique Dawn Chorus at Lawn Woods and the Festival Finale.
The action-packed first day includes a 5k run followed by a talk by an author on all things running – this year it’s Bella Mackie, author of Jog On. But it’s not just humans and animals at the run – this year they are joined by the Tractor Carnival.
Think Slam, where philosophers do battle to out-think each other, also makes a welcome return.
More braincell-engagement comes in the form of the Spring Festival Quiz, hosted by TV Egghead and six times world quizzing champion Kevin Ashman.
Also new for this year is Festival in the Park, a free day of family fun at Lydiard Park replacing the popular Family Day having outgrown its Lower Shaw Farm home. Families will be treated to circus skills, a poetry jukebox, puppetry, and live music.
BBC Wiltshire listeners will be invited to contribute lines and phrases to A Festival Poem for Swindon, which will be curated by performance poet and festival regular Sara-Jane Arbury and the young voices of Swindon’s Prime Theatre.
Swindon’s most celebrated author gets an event in his honour – 132 years after his death. The first annual Richard Jefferies Lecture will be presented by broadcaster and Victorian literature expert Will Abberley.
Appearances from living authors include former education minister and home secretary Lord Kenneth Baker on the Seven Deadly Sins, Mike Berners-Lee (There is no Planet B) on climate change, Heather Widdows (Perfect Me) on perfection and beauty, and mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy, on whether computers will ever replace artists.
Swindon Arts Centre will host a number of film screenings, among which is Life is Wonderful, a documentary focussing on the legal team who defended Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial – a team led by Joel Joffe, a longtime supporter of Swindon Festival of Literature and resident of Liddington, who died in 2017.
In dance, Swindon Dance will mark its 40th anniversary with The Rising, where dancers and musicians will explore what makes people feel alive.
In theatre, Everybody – a play written and performed by young Swindon actors from Rapport – will explore what it means to be a teenager today, and Emily Carding asks you if you have answers for Hamlet’s great questions of life.
There’s too much to fit into one email – watch out for more magnificent missives on the programme and explore Read more about Thursday’s Festival launch on the Festival Chronicle.
With spring greetings!
The Swindon Spring Festival team

Do you have a burning desire to write or a story to be told?
The answer to that question is often, ‘yes, but where do I start.’
Our monthly creative writing classes are not only about writing, they are a bringing together of like-minded souls, socialising, interacting, inspiring and learning in a positive, encouraging and welcoming atmosphere. Writing can be immensely healing and therapeutic, transforming negative thoughts into positive actions. Many of our greatest love stories come from pain.
In 2018 our students had a wonderful year and are thoroughly enjoying their writing process. We have had some amazing work published in online magazines. Others are working on their biographies, memoirs, self-help therapy books, etc.
Our writing classes are held at 3 Park Villas, Wallsend every month.
Due to popular demand, I will be putting on an extra writing class and our first meeting will be on Thursday 31st January 2019. These classes will be held monthly and some of the subjects covered will be:
• Getting Started
• Goal Setting
• Setting up a Storyboard
• Tapping into your creative source
• Show Not Tell
• Creating drama to enhance your storytelling
• Character development
• Tips on Editing/Literary Agents/Publishers
We meet at 6.30pm for an informal cuppa and a chat before moving into the training room at 7pm. The class finishes at 9pm.
The cost for the evening is £10.
To book your place or for further information, please email me at
Suzanne Lambert

The contest runs from March 20th through June 20th, 2019
The theme of the contest this year is «Round Midnight»
First prize: A week’s holiday in the island of Crete
First three winners’ stories published in two different anthologies (Greek and English).
All the stories of the shortlist will be published in a special English edition, released through & strange days books.
Entry fee: 10 €
Judge: Gregory Papadoyiannis

* Theme of the contest: Round Midnight
*Entries must be short stories, of any genre, and maximum length is 2,500 words and must be previously unpublished in a book, printed magazine or web-based journal. Entries must be in English.
* The contest closes at midnight UTC on 20th of June
*This is an international contest. There is no restriction such as nationality etc of the author, but you have to be 18 years old on the 21st of March 2019 to enter the contest.
* Winners and the shortlist to be announced on September 10th, 2019
* There will be two collections of stories – one that will be published in Greek including the translated stories of the first three winners of the English Section and another one with all the shortlisted stories of the English Section.
All prize-winners and shortlisted writers have to renew their approval for the publishing of the anthology till the 1st of October, 2019.
*First prize winner will be the judge of next year’s 10th contest!

First prize is a week’s holiday on the island of Crete. Three Rock, (Triopetra beach, South Crete) is a studio for 2 people (with beds for two children also available). Air tickets not included.
• All the shortlisted stories will be published in the anthology. The book will be released through “Strange Days” publications and in November, 2019. All the shortlisted writers will also get a free copy of the book! (We send the books to your address once. In case of return we can’t repeat it).
First prize winner will be the judge of next year’s 10th contest!

Three Rock Writers’ Resort announces the opening of applications for its 2019 residencies. Situated in one of the most magnificent places of Greece at the south coast of Crete island, Three Rock in collaboration with Strange Days Books publishing offers a two-weeks low cost (or no cost at all) stay especially for writers. Full stipend will be offered to one project and half stipends (discount 50% from the regular cost) to 20 other projects.

Three Rock Writers’ Resort Residency is a self-directed program that offers time and space for writers to work on a creative project of their choice and above all an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy life on Crete.
Writers in all creative writing genres are invited to apply. Novels, plays, short stories, poetry, graphic novel, everything is eligible. Our residency is designed for emerging and established writers seeking to dedicate a period of time to a project in any genre.
You may choose to stay in a single or shared apartment or in your private studio, at an already well known resort for award-winning writers from everywhere in the world, who have been our guests since 2012. Space is also available for one partner/friend writers would like to bring along at no extra cost

All you have to do is fill in the form and send the details of your writing project. We will choose only 20 submissions for one or two-week stay with the minimum cost in the period you prefer (Three Rock Resort available for the months April/May/June /October /November) and we also offer one prize for an entirely free one-week stay!

There is even more! Writers who will be accepted can submit their text to Strange Days Books publishing for a chance to win a publication contract! SDB will publish one book per year from writers who follow and complete the Three Rock Resort Residency.

















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