Longlisted for Retreat West

retreat__book_logo-small1Stephen Connolly has reached the longlist of 22 for the 2018 Retreat West Novel Prize.

His entry (which can’t be named yet as all entries are still anonymous) is a Historical novel originally written for the National Write A Novel in a Month project. There were 77 entries for the competition, which had to be the first 7500 words of a novel plus a 500 word synopsis.

The short list is due to be announced at the end of November, when shortlisted authors will need to submit a complete MS. First prize is a standard publishing contract with Retreat West Books for a paperback and ebook edition of the novel, with a £500 advance.

Retreat West Books is a small independent press with a social and environmental conscience. It publishes novels, memoirs and short story collections. Every year at least one anthology will be donating all profits to a nominated charity and all paperbacks are print on demand to make best use of the world’s finite resources. It’s dedicated to helping new writers bring their words to the world.

Beyond the Pale on Corinium Radio

corinium-radio-logoTo mark the centenary of Armistice Day, Somewhere Else Writers are broadcasting ‘Beyond the Pale’. This radio drama tell the story of Elsie, a child at the time of the First World War, and her brother Ted, a soldier at the Front.

For an unusual perspective of the War and its long lasting effects, tune into Corinium Radio on Sunday 28th October at 4.30pm. The play is will also be available via Corinium Radio’s ‘Listen Again’ feature and our own website.

For further information, see the blog post for October 6th.

Cargo at Stroud Short Stories

EVENT POSTER SSS_No17_A4_221018_v2Somewhere Else member Stephen Connolly has been selected as one of the ten authors to read at the 17th Stroud Short Stories event.

Stroud Short Stories is a twice-yearly non-profit making event, the aim of which is to encourage, showcase and promote contemporary writing in Gloucestershire.

The event is on Sunday 11 November at 8pm (doors at 7.30) at the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace), John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. Tickets, priced at £8 (including the SVA’s booking fee), are on sale only in advance and only from the SVA website from Tuesday 23 October.


Sky Pilots Redux

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 14.39.26Stephen Connolly has made a new recording of his radio play ‘Sky Pilots’. The original BBC Recording could not be broadcast on Corinium Radio, for various legal and financial reasons, so he has made a new recording with Cheltenham’s Alice Vellender and David Lloyd.

The play will be broadcast on Corinium Radio on the following dates:
Monday 29th Oct @10-30pm
Thursday 1st Nov @6-00pm
Saturday 2rd Nov @ 11-00am

Or if you really can’t wait, you can listen to it here:

Wordsmiths in The Curlew

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 14.35.56The latest edition of The Curlew, the print periodical dedicated to writing and illustration celebrating the natural world, features ‘Wordsmiths’ , a poem by Frank McMahon.

Each quarterly edition is named after a tree and features black and white illustrations. The latest, ‘Fagus’ (beech) also includes work by the artist Peter Randall-Page and the poet Jane Lovell.



Frank’s poem opens with these lines:

Letters inscribed in air; branches
write the seasons and their fickle
variations, shredding coherence
as they thresh and whine, blasts and rants
of leaves and barren seeds.

The Curlew does not pay for work but it is collected by the UK National Poetry Library, the British Library and the National Library of Wales.

Proceeds are donated to wildlife charities such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund and The Born Free Foundation. It welcomes contributions of creative non fiction, poetry artwork and photography and involves young people with a special section called “Sanderlings”.

Click here for more information.

To submit work info@the-curlew.com







Beyond the Pale

Jagger_GWR_memorial8Armistice Centenary

This year is the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War. To mark the occasion, Somewhere Else Writers are broadcasting ‘Beyond the Pale’, a play which centres on  the effect of the War on ordinary people, both at the time of the conflict and the long shadow it cast over the rest of the twentieth century. The story is told chiefly through the medium of letters. Writer Iris Anne Lewis  was inspired to write this play by the Great Western Railway War Memorial at Paddington station. The dominant feature of the memorial is a large bronze statue of a British First World War soldier dressed in battle gear, wearing a helmet, woollen scarf, and a greatcoat draped over his shoulders. The soldier is looking down, reading a letter from home.

Letters to and from the battle fields were an important part of the war effort. Some, of course, were official letters but many were personal and vital in maintaining morale. Up to 12 million letters a week were delivered to soldiers, many on the front line. it took two days for a letter to reach the front. Its journey began at a specially built sorting depot at Regent’s Park. By the end of the War two billion letters and 114 million parcels had passed through it.

‘Beyond the Pale’ will be broadcast on Corinium Radio at 4.30pm on Sunday 28th October. If you miss the broadcast it will be available on Corinium Radio’s ‘Listen Again’ feature and in the ‘Broadcasts’ section of this website.