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You have reached Brighton Writes, a regularly updated blog featuring all the latest news and opportunities for creative writers in Sussex and beyond.

Bridging the gap between personal writing, community arts and published literature, in association with Creative Future

The Long Goodbye

After some consideration, I have decided not to continue with this blog for the time being. However, I will leave it online as a resource for those who may find it useful.

Wishing all my readers the best in your creative endeavours, whether in Brighton or beyond…

Grit Lit and More

Photo by Simon Dack

Tonight from 7-9pm, a meet-up for all local reporters and bloggers at Community Base, Queens Road. Subjects under discussion include online writers and the law.

The final Grit Lit of 2010 is at the Red Roaster, St James St, on Friday at 7.45pm (book in advance or £5 on door.) Performers include John O’Donoghue (Sectioned), Akila, Louise Halvardsson, Amy Riley, Tim Lay, Dan Holloway, Erinna Mettler and Rob Paraman.

Updates on the latest publications from Waterloo Press are on Facebook, and they will be holding a Christmas Party at the Iambic Theatre, Gardner St, on December 16  at 8pm.

Ministry of Secrets

Weight: Three Stories About Secrets, tonight at the Con Club, Lewes, is a performance piece by author Catherine Smith, who has adapted three of her short stories for the stage. (8pm, £7.)

Mslexia‘s Short Story Competition is now open, entry £10, international, women only. For inspiration, try these specially devised writing exercises.

In The Guardian this week, Frances Booth reports on Nick Hornby’s new enterprise for children, the Ministry of Stories.

‘My Quiet Niagara’ and a Storm Warning

'Swandown' Installation

Poet Collette Waller, whose experience of Multiple Sclerosis is the subject of her debut collection, Party Girl (£4.99 at Rosetta Live), is profiled in The Guardian this week.

Storm Warning, a short story collection by Vanessa Gebbie, launches at the Nightingale Theatre (above Grand Central) tomorrow, November 23, at 6pm (free admission, pay bar.)

Submissions wanted for Unthank Books’ annual ‘Unthology’, and Urban District Writer zine. The Writers and Artists Short Story Competition and the Warren Adler Short Story Contest are open until early 2011, while the winning entries in Brighton & Hove Libraries’ We Love Poetry have been announced.

Over at Jubilee Library, historian Frank Flood will be talking about Brighton’s cinemas on Thursday 25th at 7pm (£3), and for teens, a Manga Workshop on Saturday 27th, 11-12.30 (free, book in advance.)

Brighton, as featured in Peter James’ Roy Grace series, is named among Maxim Jakubowski’s Top Ten Crime Locations, while a trailer for the 2011 film adaptation of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock (set amid the Mods and Rockers riots of 1964) has just been released.

Today’s photo is part of the Swandown Installation, a collaboration between author Ian Sinclair and film-maker Andrew Kotting, on view at the Regency Town House tonight at 6pm (£4, limited). ‘Shoot the Poets’, showcasing original projects by writers, film-makers and performers, is on Wednesday 24th at 8pm, Electric Palace cinema, Hastings (£5).

And for your reading pleasure, a poem (‘You’re Not Cool Enough to Be in My Band’ by John Osborne, Popshots) and a short story (‘For Murder, Just Add Water’ by Ian D. Smith, The New Flesh.)

After Visiting Hours

The last Ace Stories event for 2010 is at the Hotel Pelirocco tomorrow, Sunday November 13 at 6pm, featuring James Miller, Jeff Sheppard, and Brighton-based author Louise Halvardsson. (Louise’s work will also be featured in ‘Into the Dark’, a night of short stories, read by actors at the New Venture Theatre, next Friday, November 19, at 7.45 pm. Submit stories of up to 1500 words to brightonnewshound@hotmail.co.uk by Thursday.)

At the Brighton Dome on Thursday November 18 at 7.30pm, former Labour MP Clare Short talks to the Egyptian feminist author Nawal El Saadawi. And the Storyville Women Writer’s Festival is at the Dome next weekend, featuring talks by Jackie Kay, Lionel Shriver and Ali Smith.

‘3000 Words to Change the World’ is a short story competition just launched by Quilliant, the online writers’ community, in aid of the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

Finally, don’t miss Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel‘s account of a recent experience of life as a hospital patient, ‘After Visiting Hours’, in today’s Guardian.

Winding Keys, Workshops and More

Jan Bradley‘s debut poetry collection with Creative Future, The Winding Keys, will be launched tomorrow at the Amnesty Bookshop, Sidney Street, 7pm. And here’s a list of upcoming workshops from Creative Future:

Creative Writing

Brighton 1st Dec – LIVE! Writing Taster 12-2 at MIND, 51 New England Street, – free please let Dominique know if you plan to attend.

Horsham Nov 23 and Dec 7, 1-3pm St John’s Church, 3 Springfield Road – £3 per session

Worthing – 17, 24 Nov 1-4pm, Mind Worthing, The Hollies, 83 Little High St – free –please let Dominique know if you plan to attend

Art

Crawley Nov 22, Dec 6, 20,  12-2pm Crawley Library, Southgate Ave – £5 per session

Bognor Nov 17, 24, Dec 1,8, 15, 1-3pm 28 Sudley Road, Bognor – free – art & photography sessions.

Finally, if you or someone you know receive self-directed support (SDS) payments (available for those who access mental health services in West Sussex), you can now apply for a place on Creative Future’s mentoring scheme.

 

 

Imagination of the Heart

‘Imagination of the Heart’, the final Ace Stories event in the ‘Speaking of the South’ series, takes place tomorrow at 4pm, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. It complements the exhibition, ‘Myths, Manners and Memory: Photographers of the American South’, which runs until January 3. Actress Kathryn Pogson (Brazil, Company of Wolves, The Arbor) will read from the works of author Barry Gifford, with blues from Sandy Dillon, and a screening of Gifford’s 1990 collaboration with David Lynch, Wild at Heart. Tickets £3.

‘Word, Image, Sound’ is the latest event in Sussex CCE’s ‘Arts & Minds’ series, at InQBate on Wednesday, November 10, at 5pm.  Includes ‘A Different Sea’, a filmed poem sequence by Abi Curtis and Kim Lasky, and  ‘The Lonely Queen & The White Hart’, a preview of collaborative works by Lewes artist Grace Dunford and writer River Jones.

The Daily Telegraph are currently running a Ghost Story Writing Competition, while Short Story Radio have just announced their Short Story Romance Radio Award for 2011. The Stylist are running a series of daily ‘microfiction’ contests, until November 9. Submit stories of up to 100 words.

‘Canongate Classics’ is a new range of Scottish literature, available in paperback and as E-books. Crime novelist Cathi Unsworth will appear at London’s Ladyfest Ten on November 12.

For inspiration this weekend, try Mslexia‘s workshop exercises on the topic of shoes. And for your reading pleasure, a poem by John Cornford (1915-36), set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War.

Don’t Feed the Poets

Queenspark are looking for volunteer writers for a new book on the Pavilion Gardens Cafe. Submit 200-300 words on this much-loved local landmark by next Friday, November 5, for a chance to participate.

Brighton’s Indepenpress have launched a new imprint, Pink Press, for lesbian and gay lit (not self-publishing.) And Myriad Editions have launched their second annual Writers Retreat Competition. Send in a one-page synoposis of your novel, poetry collection or script, plus 5,000 word excerpt, by December 31 (£5.)

The Guardian First Book Award shortlist includes three novels and two non-fiction works. Also this week, Laurie Penny celebrates the 40th anniversary of Germaine Greer‘s feminist classic, The Female Eunuch.

Finally, the latest ‘Don’t Feed the Poets’ event is Upstairs at Three and Ten, Steine Street, next Friday at 8pm.

‘Winding Keys’ Launch Rescheduled

Jan Bradley’s poetry pamphlet, The Winding Keys, will now be launched by Creative Future at the Amnesty Bookshop, Brighton, on November 12th at 7pm.

Jan Bradley was born in the industrial Black Country of England on the side of a road due to her pure eagerness to live in the oxygenated world. She studied a fine art BSc followed by a postgraduate in specialist fine art printmaking and photography at the University of Brighton. Jan also studied environmental conservation, commercial horticulture, intensive crop production and environmental management skills…and sometime later, a postgraduate and MSc in Health Through Occupation.

She now works as an Occupational Therapist at Mill View Psychiatric Hospital. Her MSc research paper, Exploring the Experiences of Writing Poetry, involved many writers from this site and others. She has been co-facilitating poetry and creative writing workshops with Alan Morrison within her work for Sussex Partnership NHS Trust over the last two years. She lives in Brighton.

“The Winding Keys is a disarming debut, image-rich, prosodically varied — free verse, rhyme, sprung rhyme, rhyme, haiku, villanelle, in only 31 pages — and, most importantly of all, emotionally powerful. Bradley tackles the big subjects once thought to form the core of poetry— life, death, love, loss — with an unabashed persistency of will and a darkly enchanting lyricism” – Alan Morrison

 

Neither Sense nor Sensibility

 

Frank Flood, one of Backstage Brighton‘s writers, will give a free talk and slideshow at Waterstone’s, opposite Brighton clocktower, on Tuesday, October 26, at 7:30pm.

Ed Siegle, whose debut novel, Invisibles, will be published by Myriad Editions next March, will appear at the Sparks Flash Fiction Night, upstairs at Three and Ten on Steine Street, Tuesday November 2 at 8pm.

The Brit Writers’ Awards are now taking submissions from unpublished authors – stories, poems and songs considered. The Sunday Times Short Story Competition closes on Saturday.

‘Fiction Uncovered’ is a new initiative aimed at promoting unheralded writers. Nominations are now open, and eight writers will benefit from a nationwide marketing campaign in 2011.

The life of Andrea Dunbar (Rita, Sue and Bob Too) is remembered in a new film, The Arbor, while Sarah Kane‘s 1995 play, Blasted, is revived at the Lyric Hammersmith, London.

Among this week’s book releases are a new biography of Karen Carpenter, while Jane Austen (of all people) gets a rather unkind, posthumous drubbing for her shabby grammar. In today’s Guardian, Jonathan Jones defends her honour.

Now I’m not a huge Austen fan myself, but really – if Jane wasn’t a genius, where does that leave the rest of us?