Stephen Connolly’s short fable ‘Fog’ has been selected for the Bath Spa University anthology A Place in Words. The anthology celebrates twenty-five years of Bath Spa University’s very successful creative writing programme, and the culmination of a “flash fiction” competition for novels of 25 words in length.
The new anthology also features contributions by Naomi Alderman, David Almond, Susan Beale, Nathan Filer, Maggie Gee, Tessa Hadley and Philip Hensher. To reserve a copy, go here.
Stephen graduated with an MA in Scriptwriting from Bath Spa in July 2015. His most recent script ‘Urbini’ was performed at the Salisbury Fringe in October 2017.
The atmosphere was buzzing at the packed Bradford on Avon Arts Festival Poetry Competition Finalists event. The competition theme of ‘Flights of Fancy’ attracted 610 entries from around the globe and eleven finalists had been invited to read their poems at the event.
Somewhere Else writer Iris Anne Lewis was delighted to be amongst the finalists for her poem ‘A Hot Summer Day in Cougnac’, which was highly commended by judge Carrie Etter
In her comments about the judging process, Carrie said that the final decision “was excruciating”. She added “I read and re-read the final 11 poems so many times, the decision was needle-thin – and that is how it should be.” Addressing the finalists, she said “If you got this far, you’re a winner, all of you.
Carrie also treated us to reading of a selection of her own poems on the theme of flights of fancy.
Author of an Observer Book of the Year 2012, Ruth Waterman talked movingly about her experiences of working with musicians in Bosnia in the aftermath of war on a visit to the group this week.
‘When Swan Lake Comes to Sarajevo’ is Ruth‘s account of her visits to the country between 2002 and 2006 as guest conductor of the remarkable, multi-ethnic Mostar Sinfonietta.
The book weaves together Ruth‘s diary entries with first hand accounts of the musicians’ own war experiences. In it she describes how she begins to understand the ‘nuts and bolts of how a village can be split, how neighbours can become enemies, how people can be broken, how a society can be torn apart.
It’s so easy. It would work anywhere. You only need a handful of killers, let out of prison for the purpose, to start the ball rolling. It would gather speed of its own accord.’
Ruth is listed in the latest edition of ‘The Great Violinists’. Her concerts have taken her from Carnegie Hall to St Petersburg’s Hermitage and her first visit to Mostar was described in a documentary she presented on BBC Radio Four. She is also a poet and a painter.
It was a fascinating talk and a great honour to welcome her to the group.
Stephen Connolly’s first piece of non-fiction has been published in Issue 2 of DNA Magazine.
It’s a biographical piece, describing how he came to leave the Republic of South Africa in 1984 in something of a hurry…
Congratulations to Somewhere Else members Jim Moeller and Iris Anne Lewis for their success in the 2017 Gloucestershire Writers Network/Cheltenham Literature Festival Competition, Iris as a runner-up for her poem ‘Matryoshka’ and Jim for his prose piece ‘Benefits’.
Both will be reading their work, along with the winners and other runners-up, at the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network event L322 at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. There will also be readings from the competition judges Roy Mcfarlane and Dr Lania Knight.
Tickets will be on sale from 6th September, book early to avoid disappointment.
‘The Greenwood’ by Iris Anne Lewis is published in ‘Lughnasadh 2017’, the annual late summer harvest of magical poetry and flash fiction from the web journal ‘Three Drops from a Cauldron’
Lughasadh is the ancient Gaelic Festival held to mark the start of the harvest season
May has been an eventful month for Somewhere Else writer Iris Anne Lewis with two pieces published in online magazines. ‘The Greenwood’, her retelling of the traditional Child ballad ‘The Cruel Mother was published in Issue 15 of Three Drops from a Cauldron
Her poem ‘Song for the Yazidi Women’ was posted on 13th May on the poetry blog I am not a Silent Poet.