Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Yorkshire Writers' Newsletter February 2015 Part I

Here is the first part of the Yorkshire Writers' Newsletter, with details of workshops and courses, that I thought my followers would be interested in seeing:

Yorkshire Writers' Newsletter

February 2015


Writing Yorkshire News
A new series of masterclasses, a new writing group plus ongoing writing opportunities, here's our diary of events.

Masterclass Series

We have a new series of creative writing masterclasses running over the next few months, here are the details:

Crime Writing Masterclass with Helen Cadbury - Sheffield - 14th February.
Come and spend Valentine’s Day writing crime. A practical workshop, for those with some experience or none. We’ll look at irresistible openings, building suspense, twists and turns and we’ll create some new, thrilling, short fiction.
Helen Cadbury is a British crime writer whose debut novel, To Catch a Rabbit, was joint winner of the first Moth Northern Crime Competition.
For more info and to book a place click here

Song Writing MasterClass with Ray Hearne - Sheffield - 21st March
Our very own Ray Hearne will be running this song-writing masterclass. For beginners and experienced writers alike, this will be a masterclass set to music. Anyone interested in trying to put their stories into song is invited to come along and join in this practical session, during which we will ALL write. We'll look at some of the key issues in songwriting and agree together some impromptu themes/subjects before spending some time on practical writing and sharing drafts with the group.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to sing unless you really want to!
Writer and performer of songs and poems at concerts, festivals, conferences in UK and abroad, Ray Hearne has been working with schools and community groups across South Yorkshire and beyond for many years, helping them to find and write their own poems, performance pieces, songs and anthems, and to publish and perform, as well as record and broadcast.
For more info and to book a place click here

Delivering Writing Workshops Masterclass with Beverley Ward - Sheffield - 25th April
Whether you're in a writers' group that's losing focus, wanting to start a new one or thinking that you might like to turn writing into a career, this masterclass is for you. We'll look at the nuts and bolts of running writing workshops: how to inspire others, giving positive and constructive feedback, managing group dynamics and promoting yourself as a facilitator. You'll leave the masterclass with new tools, exercises and confidence that you can take with you to share with children and adults in a wide range of contexts.
Beverley Ward is a writer, literature development consultant and trained teacher with 20 years experience of running workshops and creative projects in schools, youth groups and community settings. She was the founder of the Sheffield Young Writers' project and works as Writing Yorkshire's Professional Development Manager.
For more info and to book a place click here
Venue: All of the masterclasses take place at Bank Street Arts, 32-40 Bank Street, Sheffield, S1 2DS.
Cost for each masterclass: £13.50 / £18.00 (WYmembers/non-members) + booking fee via Eventbrite
More info:

Well it's time to.....  Get Writing with Writing Yorkshire!
Whether you're an experienced writer who has hit a rut, a beginner wanting to experiment with different forms of writing or someone who wants to be inspired to get back to writing, this new writing group, organised by Writing Yorkshire, is for you.
Facilitated by experienced writer and teacher, Beverley Ward, the group will offer writing prompts and exercises to generate new writing and provide space for writers to share works in progress.
When: Every Wednesday, 11.00am-1.00pm, beginning Feb 25th
Venue: Bank Street Arts, 32-40 Bank Street, Sheffield. S1 2DS
Cost: Pay what you can afford (recommended price £5 per session)
More info or to register: Please email 

Derbyshire Writing Retreat

There are still a few places left on our Winter Writers’ Retreat in Buxton but you'll have to book as soon as possible to be sure of a place.
Led by Writing Yorkshire’s Professional Development Manager, Beverley Ward, the retreat will be an opportunity to focus on your writing, distraction free. 
For more information or to reserve a place: Please contact: as soon as possible.
Dates: Sunday 15th February – Wednesday 18th February
Cost: £140 per person
Location: The Portland Hotel, Buxton:
"Write Through The Winter"
We have a couple of sessions left in our series of free writing workshops at Experience Barnsley in Barnsley Town Hall. Make a date in your diary and come along to the next one on Saturday 21st February.
 Prize winning poet Suzannah Evans will guide and support you through the sessions which are for new writers, old writers and all of those in-between. Whether you are interested in poetry, short stories, doodles or just taking notes everyone is welcome.
When: Saturday mornings 11.00am to 1.00pm
Dates: February 21st, March 21st
More info: Phone: 07903 241947 /  Email:
Not sure, then just come along and give it a try.

Onwords & Upwords Group - Waiting for you!
The new series of the Onwords & Upwords writing group sessions is up and running at the Civic Theatre in Barnsley and we still have places reserved for anyone who would like give the group a try.
If you have health issues or are feeling stressed then this may be the group for you - Onwords and Upwords is a friendly and supportive writing group, which meets up in Barnsley town centre. we explore ideas to help you to start writing and look at various ways of developing creativity and imagination. Drinks and biscuits provided.
Venue: The Civic Theatre, Barnsley, Mondays 1.00 - 3.00pm
Dates:  February 9th & 23rd; March 9th & 23rd.
Interested? Want to know more? Please contact Sue Shaw, Writing Yorkshire, at 

We welcome your details of events, writing groups, courses, workshops, open mics, in fact anything to do with creative writing. If you have anything that you would like us to publicise then please send the details to us at this address:  - we'll be happy to pass the details on via the newsletter or our website. If you know of anyone that you think may be interested in the newsletter then please do forward a copy on to them.

Ilkley Literature Festival Under Threat
Bradford Metropolitan District Council are proposing a 100% cut in the annual grant they give to the Ilkley Festival - and the festival organisers need your help to change their mind.
If Bradford’s funding is withdrawn they’ll have to look at cutting back on the Festival programme; raising ticket prices and ending workshops in inner city schools. On top of that, lack of support from Bradford Council could threaten future support from Arts Council England, who are one of their main funders.
At the moment this proposal is at the consultation document - and Bradford Council is asking for your comments before a decision is made.
To supports the Festival click here and take part in their survey, closing date 25th February.

BBC Opening Lines Opportunity
The BBC Radio Drama Readings Unit is looking for submissions from writers new to radio for their annual series, Opening Lines, which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Three successful writers will have their stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and be invited to the BBC in London to see their stories being recorded. As well as broadcasting the three strongest stories they will publish transcripts of the best stories submitted within this period on the Opening Lines Website
Deadline: 13th February 2015.
More info: Click Here

Love Libraries? - Another chance to show it!
While Central Goverment continues to shrink the library services out of existence there is still much that you can do to support those that are still with us and what better occasion than National Libraries Day which takes place on Saturday 7th February 2015.
Saturday 7th February will round off a week of special celebrations held in local, public, academic and workplace libraries up and down the country. It is a chance for people to organise a local event or visit their library and interact with the vital work carried out by their library and information professionals, reminding decision-makers that our libraries and librarians are valued.
Click here  to visit the National Libraries Day website where you'll find lots of information, resources and opportunities for you to get involved with your library services. You'll also find an interactive map where you can find out what's happening in your area. If there isn't anything happening near you because your local library has already closed then you can still get involved - make something happen by visiting these other sites:
Public Library News  - the very latest news about what's happening in and to your local library, compiled by Ian Anstice, it's THE site to visit to keep abreast of the latest threats to your library services. There's a fantastic free newsletter which visitors can subscribe to - if you think you know what's happening in your area then read this - you'll soon know a lot more!
The Library Campaign  -  an independent national organisation set up in support of Friends of Library groups and to campaign for improved services in publicly funded libraries.
Let's not forget the wonderful librarians who keep the library services up and running, they also need to be valued and protected. They have a voice here.
Get involved - Love your Library - use it and protect it!

Getting Started on your Crime Novel - Course - Doncaster
Ever wondered how you commit the perfect murder? How to dispose of a body? What’s the best way of getting blood off the soles of your shoes? These are the kind of questions crime writers Danuta Reah, Michael Fowler and Alison Taft grapple every day.
They invite you to join them for a three-day crime-writing feast at The Stables, High Melton College, near Doncaster between 22nd April - 24th April 2015.
In addition to workshops and advice sessions the programme has been designed to also allow you the time and space to write. The final day will arm you with the information needed to best submit your work, whether to agents, publishers or competitions. you will also be able to book a twenty minute one-to-one session with an author to discuss your work or a project you are working on.
More info: Click here.
For further details of the course, including costs, and a copy of the programme, contact Michael Fowler - Email:

New Arvon Programme

Make 2015 the year you put pen to paper and set your imagination free. Arvon, renowned for its five day residential creative writing courses and retreats, has released its new programme. Leading writers are tutoring the weeks, including Monica Ali, David Eldridge, Helen Macdonald and Paul Muldoon. Courses are held in three beautiful rural writing houses in England, and are across a wide range of genres, from Poetry and Fiction, to Screenwriting, Playwriting and Writing for Young Adults.
More info:
* Arvon are on the lookout for a Centre Director, see below under Opportunities & Vacancies for further details.

The Ultimate Winning Writers Workshop - Leeds 
Do you dream of being a winning writer? Well, 2015  is the time to stop dreaming and start acting on that dream! Winning writing competitions is hard work but some people, apart from being talented, have the knack of winning more than one in a life time! We are bringing you one such person to share her tips and knowledge of how you can help yourself become a winning writer.
We can't guarantee that you will win, but we are sure that after attending this Masterclass that you will feel more confident and better armed with experience tips and know-how after listening and working with the amazingly multi-talented Char March.
When: Saturday, 28th February 2015 11:00 to 16:00
When: UNION 105 (East St. Arts), Chapeltown, Leeds
Cost: £15.00/£12.00 [Inscribe members]
To book:  Click Here   
More info:

1-Day Creative Writing Workshops
with Susan Elliot Wright - Sheffield
Suitable for all levels, these one-day workshops are inspiring and productive – packed with writing exercises, readings and writerly chat – you'll meet like-minded people and have the time and space to explore your writing self.
When: Saturday 28th February 2015 & Saturday 28th March 2015
Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm
Venue:  Wesley Hall, Crookes, Sheffield S10 1UD
Cost: £45 for either day, or £80 if you book for both
More info: Click Here 

Igniting The Spark Workshops - Halifax
Join Gaia Holmes for a series of informal weekly writing workshops at Dean Clough, Halifax.
The series of workshops are suitable for writers of all abilities and will involve a selection of practical and inspiring writing exercises to generate poetry or prose as well as gentle discussions of craft and technique.
When: Tuesdays 5.30 - 7.00 pm
Cost: £5.00, £3.50 concessions
More info: Tel - 01422 369575/email -


Fictions of Every Kind - Leeds 
Live session - Monday February 9th: Fictions of Every Kind: Hearts, at Wharf Chambers social club, Leeds. Entry 19.30, £3 entry.
Guest speakers: Nasser Hussain, reading from his new collection Boldface, and Suzannah Evans, award winning poet & the author of Confusion Species. There will be a writers' open mic and music from the band Red Trees.
More info HERE

Pies, Peas and Poetry for Pudding with Ian McMillan - Eckington
A rare opportunity to see and hear one of the funniest men in British poetry is being organised in Eckington by the town’s writing group, We’re All Write. Poet, broadcaster, commentator and programme maker Ian McMillan will be performing a hilarious blend of memories and acute observations from his book “Talking Myself Home”.
Where: The event is at Eckington Civic Centre,
When: Tuesday 3rd March, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.
Cost: Tickets cost £15, which includes homemade pie and peas. The poetry is for pudding!
Details: Tickets are being sold in advance only, available from Eckington Library (01629 533748) or, for more info:
Phone: 07870910837 / email: /


Have you been thinking about joining a local writers group? Not sure where to look to find out what's happening in your area? There are lots of groups out there, all waiting to welcome you and to find out the details just click - here - this will take you straight to our group listings on the Writing Yorkshire website where you'll find all of the information that you'll need.

If you run a group which isn't included then just send the details to us at: and we'll be happy to add them to our listings (thanks to those who have already sent details on to us).

Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster Young Writers Groups are always open and welcoming to new members (13s to 19s), here are some details. 

Writing Workshops for young people aged 13-18 in Doncaster.
Interested in creativity, imagination, words, images and objects? Want to explore new starting points, develop ideas, tell stories, create characters and meet other young writers? Then come to The Point Community Arts Centre (16 South Parade, Doncaster),  on Thursdays:

We Meet up in the café area at 4.45. and share our writing between 5.00 - 7.00 pm. Workshops are free and refreshments are provided.
More info: Sue

And if you're in Sheffield or Rotherham ............
Are you aged 14 to 19? Then we have groups for you as well! You don't have to think you're an amazing writer to join, you just need an interest in creative writing and having a go. The groups are very supportive, relaxed and informal and everyone is welcome. Workshops are generally once a fortnight, 5 to 7 or 5.30 to 7.30 with a munchies break in between  As well as writing workshops, we let groups know about other writing happenings like competitions, events and festivals. If you're interested or you know someone who is, say hello to Vicky:
If you're too old for a group but want to know what's happening in Yorkshire for under 25s, drop Vicky a line too.

Wicked Young Writers' Award 
The Wicked Young Writers' Award was established by the long-running musical Wicked in order to link the important
messages of the production with a competition that would inspire young people to use their writing to look at life a
little differently. Since its launch in 2010, they have received 17,000 entries to the award.
Now in its 5th year, the Award recognises excellence in writing, encourages creativity, and helps develop writing
talent in young people between 5-25 years old from all backgrounds and areas of the UK & Ireland.
A shortlist of 100 entrants will be invited to a very special prize event at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in July 2015
and each will receive a published copy of their entry as part of the annual Wicked Young Writers' Award Anthology.
Entrants aged 18-25 will have their entries published on the Wicked Young Writers’ Award website.
More info: Click Here


Arvon are looking for a new Centre Director at Lumb Bank.
Would you like to work for Arvon, the home of creative writing, running one of our residential centres? Arvon is now recruiting for a Centre Director to lead Lumb Bank, our much loved Yorkshire house, formerly the home of Ted Hughes.
If you are passionate about creative writing, and have a range of programming, management, practical and interpersonal skills, this job could be for you. See for details.
Closing date: 1.00 pm, 9th March 2015.

The Submission Process: Literary Agents in Discussion (York)  Sat 28 Mar 2015 (Booking places now)

Join us at the York Literature Festival where we present a two-hour session solely dedicated to the process of submitting to a literary agent. Literary agents receive hundreds of submissions from writers each week. To help make yours stand out from the crowd and give your novel the best possible start on its journey to publication, join us at the York Literature Festival where we present a two-hour session solely dedicated to the process of submitting to a literary agent.
This exciting event sees Writers & Artists in collaboration with York Literature Festival for the first time and brings together leading UK literary agents Julia Churchill, Oliver Munson and Jo Unwin who, in turn, will cover everything you need to know about how to put together a well-crafted submission package.
More info & to book a place: Click here

Post Card Poetry
A short poetry competition from Bank Street Arts, in conjunction with The Poetry Business and South Yorkshire Poetry Festival.
In 2013, Bank Street Arts invited a number of poets to participate in an exhibition of new writing as part of the 2nd Sheffield Poetry Festival. Their task was simple; to send a picture postcard – be it from home, work, or somewhere they happened to be visiting – featuring an original, handwritten poem on the reverse ‘that relates in some way to the location of the postcard’. These were then exhibited as part of the festival. The following year, the exhibit was expanded as part of Bank Street Arts’ own Poetry Festival, featuring work from almost 40 poets.
In 2015, it’s your turn. Bank Street Arts will be hosting a Postcard Poems competition; as in previous years, your task will be to hand write an original poem on a postcard and send it to us here at Bank Street Arts.
More info: Click Here

BITS - We've run out of space but these "bits" are too good to miss.
Leeds Indie Writers' Festival - Saturday 21st February 2015. More info HERE.
Leeds Trinity University Writers' Festival - Wednesday, 25th March 2015. More info HERE.
Healing Words Writing Workshop - Scarborough - Saturday, 7th March. More info HERE.

Writing Yorkshire  Website 
If you'd like to find out more about the full range of services that Writing Yorkshire offer, including mentoring, writers advice sessions, and membership then click here.

If you want to send us an item for inclusion please email it to: with "Newsletter" in the subject line.
Writing Yorkshire provide information about writing events in the region, and run a variety of writing activities throughout the Yorkshire area. If you would like more information please email or ring Geoff on 0114 3830456 (answerphone, but we will ring you back).

Thanks to all who provided information posted here. We will always endeavour to make sure that the information included is accurate but apologies in advance for any errors or omissions which may occur, any corrections or suggestions will be welcomed.
We hope that you enjoy the newsletter.

Writing Yorkshire is a limited company incorporated in England and Wales under company no: 7475298.
For more information about all of our work, visit our website:
Tweet us @Writingyorks or find us on Facebook

To be kept abreast of writing events and activities in the region or to let us know about events that you're running, please subscribe to our mailing list via the website, by emailing or phone us on 0114 3830456 and leave a message.


Contact Details and information to:
Geoff Briggs - Office & Information Manager
Writing Yorkshire
Bank Street Arts, 32 - 40 Bank Street, Sheffield, S1 2DS.  
Phone: 0114 3830456. (Answer Machine)

Twitter:       @Writingyorks
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