The Destiny of Shoes

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 20.20.45Stephen Connolly’s short radio play ‘The Destiny of Shoes’, recorded by Off the Rock Productions of York Back in 2018 as part of their Soundwaves project, is now available on Youtube.

The script was inspired by an exercise given to the group by Paul Dodgson during the radio drama workshop he ran for us in 2017, which involved writing a script about the shoes people were wearing.

The exercise inspired a complete story, in which a pair of mismatched desert boots contemplate the end of their working lives and the possibility of an afterlife.

Cargo for Fictive Dream

screen shot 2019-01-03 at 19.40.03Stephen Connolly’s short story ‘Cargo’ has been accepted by Fictive Dream for Flash Fiction February.

During Flash Fiction February, Fictive Dream will feature a new piece of flash fiction throughout February 2019. That’s a new story, every day, starting on 1 February for the entire month.

Cargo was recently read by its author at the 17th Stroud Short Stories event ‘What makes a Monster & Other Stories’.

Matryoshka goes global

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_782When Iris Anne Lewis embarked on making her own poetry film as part of the Swindon Poetry Film Collective, she did not imagine that her film Matryoshka would be shown in events across the globe. Starting off with an show  in Chippenham, the Poetry Film Collective decided to arrange showings of all their work around the South West of England, including Swindon, Bristol and Shepton Mallet. That seemed exciting!

But then the Collective decided to submit their work to the Athens International Video Poetry Festival. All the films were accepted for the Athens Festival. This led to a further invitation to send the films to the Renaissance Festival in Australia. Poetry film certainly has an international reach.



Members of Somewhere Else were thrilled to be invited by Wotton Writers to hear Rosie Bailey talk about poetry.

For most of her life RV Bailey was an academic, ending her career as Deputy Dean of Humanities at UWE. She was the life partner of the poet UA Fanthorpe and together they read throughout the UK and overseas, jointly led poetry courses and judged poetry competitions.

In a witty talk at Wotton’s Chipping Hall, she discussed the nature of poetry, which she compared, at times, to an unruly dog. Poets, she described as ‘smugglers.’



Her latest collection of poetry is titled ‘A Scrappy Little Harvest’ and is published by Indigo Dreams.

It was an excellent evening and we hope we will be able to reciprocate and welcome Wotton Writers to one of our events.

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.