Damask wins Graffiti

More good news, on the writing front at least.

Somewhere Else member Graham Bruce Fletcher has been named winner of Graffiti Magazine’s short story competition with ‘Damask’, a tale about the beauty of age. To celebrate the magazine’s 25th issue the theme of the competition was ‘silver’.

Stroud, Artemis and Fish

Somewhere Else Writers have suspended meetings for the time due to the coronavirus – so we’re enjoying a virtual world celebration of what’s been a bumper week of writing successes for the group. Iris Lewis heard that her poem, ‘Signet Ring’ is to be published in the poetry magazine ‘Artemis’ in May, and two of our members, Stephen Connolly and Tina Baker were short listed for the Stroud Short Story competition, with Stephen’s story ‘The Corvidae Diary’ making it to the final cut of ten that will be read at November’s event.


Artemis is a highly-regarded, twice yearly, print poetry magazine that aims to be a showcase for the best in women’s writing from new and established poets. It has been one of Iris’s target magazines for a while and she is delighted to have been accepted.


The Stroud competition attracted 119 entries from 90 writers. The winners were due to read in May. The event will now be at the Cotswold Playhouse on Sunday 8 November.


Also this week, Sophie Livingston heard that her short story ‘Hinton Ampner’ had been long-listed for the Fish Publishing Short Story prize. The competition, judged by the author Colom McCann, attracted 1,468 entries from around the world.

Raised Voices


Raised Voices: a poetry celebration of International Women’s Day

Gloucestershire Poetry Society marked International Women’s Day with an afternoon of poetry written and performed by local women poets, including Somewhere Else member Iris Anne Lewis. Held in the welcoming surroundings of St Mary de Crypt in Gloucester, the audience was treated to poetry that explored women’s lives in all their variety and expressed wit, anger, passion, humour, love and what it is to be a woman.

Ably hosted by Josephine Lay, the Chair of the Gloucestershire Poetry Society, the event raised £150 for the Nelson Trust, and organisation that supports disadvantaged women in Gloucestershire.

Detach from World, a Ragged Foils Production

RaggedFoilsFrank McMahon’s short drama, Detach from World, has just been produced on a podcast by Ragged Foils Productions.

It tells the story of a married couple and their journey to the Dignitas Clinic in Zurich. The wife has a terminal illness.

The drama was selected for professional production by this new independent producer.
The podcast warns listeners about the content, contains an interview with Frank and details of organisations to contact for people personally affected by this issue. To listen go here.

Standard Promoting At The Storm’s Edge


The Wilts & Cotswold Standard is reporting that Somewhere Else’s own Frank McMahon has published his first collection of poems.

‘At The Storm’s Edge’ are poems about love and fury with a keen sense of the natural world.

They are inspired by children, as Frank set up and managed a SureStart children’s centre in Kettering before moving to the Cotswolds.

Frank, who has two children and six grandchildren of his own, said: “There is nothing like working with and for young children.

“They constantly teach you to look at the world with fresh eyes and be open to new experiences.”

‘At the Storm’s Edge’ is available to buy from Amazon and Palewell Press

At The Storm’s Edge

Palewell Press and values-cropFrank McMahon’s first collection of poems ‘At the Storm’s Edge’ is being published in January 2020 by Palewell Press. The poems cover themes of love and loss, wonder at the natural world, anger at social injustice and the celebration of other creative voices. It will be launched at an event in Cirencester towards the end of January, and will be available for purchase at Waterstones and Amazon.

Palewell Press publications focus on environmental concerns, social justice and excluded groups and communities.


The Pig: A Natural History


Pigs – where would we be without them? That question is brilliantly answered in Richard Lutwyche’s brilliant non-fiction book:  ‘The Pig: A Natural History’. Published by Princeton University Press and beautifully illustrated, it tells the story of this prolific, ubiquitous, smart and adaptable animal, from origin to domestication and beyond. It would make a great Christmas present and is being stocked in Octavia’s bookshop in Black Jack Street, Cirencester, for the next few weeks, as well as being available on Amazon.

Richard is also the author of this month’s Cirencester Scene short story – a darkly funny tale about death. It was inspired by a creative writing exercise based on a picture from the Italian Alps showing the body of a man preserved for around 5,000 years. You can find his story here.

Richard developed his writing skills through a career in marketing. He has had articles published in trade journals and magazines including Country Life, The Field and Country Living and edited The Ark magazine for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, a national charity, for over 10 years.

He has had four non-fiction books published – Rare Breed Pig Keeping (2003); Shetland Breeds (co-author), 2003; Pig Keeping (2010); Higgledy Piggledy (2010) – all of which hint at one of his main interests. He is proud of the fact that he won a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Food & Farming Awards for his work in conserving rare breeds.