Writings and Witterings

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Worcestershire Literary Festival 2013

Here is the pre-programme and programme for The Worcestershire Literary Festival this year 14-23 June:Prog

Click here for the link to the website for more information. This will be a wonderful 10 days in June. Join in the competitions!

Hope to see you there.

WLF logo panel 2013


Review – A Flash of Fiction

My review of A Flash of Fiction on Amazon appeared last night. This is the Worcestershire Literary Festival‘s anthology edited by Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn. I thought you might like to read about it too 🙂 I’ve got some for Christmas gifts. It’s a great read. My friends will love it 🙂


Click on the image if you’d like to buy a copy.

Fabulous Flashers

Get with the programme ~ get onto some of the funkiest fiction around!

The most talented writers in and outside the UK entered the first Worcestershire Literary Festival Flash Fiction Competition in 2012.

This absolute stonker of an anthology is the result!

Why buy just one story, when you could have 48 selected offerings?

Winner, Amy Rainbow, was a double finalist. Her winning Flash ‘Father and Son’ is a heart-rending story, marvellous to mix emotions so quickly in such a brief tale.

Second prize went to Anna Cullum for `Jasmine and Wet Grass’ in which two cultures talk across a divide.

In third place Emily Pardo’s ‘Adagio’, music to our ears.

PW Bridgman’s ‘Ad Te Clamamus …’ is a brilliant exposition of Irish Catholic life and the relationship between a young couple and her family. Andy Kirk’s ‘Contract to Retire’ has a wonderful twist in the tale and ditto Alan Durham’s ‘At First Sight’.

Every Flash in this anthology has much to recommend it, from the creativity and imagination shown by the writers to the skills and techniques used to keep us engaged.

Recommended every step of the way ~ well done Editor Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn.


WLF Walk

English: The Malvern Hills (a designatated AON...

The Malvern Hills (a designated AONB) as viewed approaching the British Camp on Hereforshire Beacon (Iron Age earth works as seen on the left). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first ever WLF Walk on the archaic tracks of the Malvern Hills will take place Sunday 21 October 2012.

Come one – come all – and have fun, get fit, and support the Worcestershire Literary Festival!

Meet at The British Camp car park at 11am for a walk to savour.

This walk generally takes 1-2 hours but this is, of course, dependent on the individual and the number of stops to write 🙂

Join us for a mapped walk, good company, stories and poetry on the Malvern Hills – discover something of the heritage we so often take for granted – walk archaic tracks – see Clutter’s Cave – Hangman’s Hill – Swinyard Hill – The Ridgeway – find out about local history and enjoy stunning views over Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

Tickets from www.worcslitfest.com – click here: WLF Walk for a direct link to the website and pay your fiver via PayPal – tickets are also available from Parole Parlate or WLF team members. Call 0845 490 0157 if you need more information.

No charge for children. Adults £5 each. All proceeds support the Worcestershire Literary Festival.

Maybe you’re not a walker … don’t let that stop you, you could always come along at around 1 o’clock to enjoy the ambience of the pub / hotel and perhaps join in by reading some of your own work or listening to that of others.

Please purchase your tickets in advance, this will help us with the number of people returning to The Malvern Hills Hotel for readings, performances, drinks, food, after the walk.

Our thanks to The Malvern Hills Hotel for their support of this event.

Keep up to date with this event here and on Facebook ~ please click the ‘Like’ icon on the Facebook page so we can get as much information about who is coming as possible 🙂

English: The Malvern Hills Hotel The Malvern H...

The Malvern Hills Hotel The Malvern Hills Hotel is on the A449 below the British Camp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Review – WLF 42 Special with Adam Millard

Andrew Owens

42’s Andrew Owens introduced Polly Robinson the first performer of the evening.  Polly read three of her poems, Shadow of Fear, Spilt Milk, and He Drinks Blood.  Two are vampire poems and the other, Spilt Milk, is about a long-term homeless person in the city.

Polly Robinson

Tony Judge

Next on was Tony Judge, with an extract from his book ‘The Whole Rotten Edifice’ set on the Russian Front in WWII – Marta prepares to fight, (pp.20-25), her colleague, Tanya, is killed ‘her quivering boots playing random drumbeats on the wood’ – a vivid description of life in the trenches with the protagonists held as ‘a pair of fledgling raptors’.  This reading made many in the audience want to read more and luckily Tony had brought along a few copies of the book, just in case!

Michael R. Brush

Andrew announced Michael R Brush, who read two short stories, The Skeleton in the Cupboard and The Good Scientist.  In the first a cabbie takes an elegant man, the wealthy Mountfell, to The Nichol – Mountfell is described as a man of ‘splendour’, and as such he needs help. It transpires that the young ostler he’s been bringing on has a foul temper and light fingers ‘but no longer’.  We mustn’t spoil the ending for others, so be there when Michael reads this one again!  The second ‘The Good Scientist’, in which the main character decides he must measure and experiment ways of leaving his money, was another entertaining read.

Time for a break and a catch up with friends. Everyone was invited to come along to other events in the festival including You Must Be Joking, Flash Fiction and the Poetry Slam and reminded  that it’s all in the programme, on the web and on Facebook.  Andrew handed over to Adam Millard, the speaker for the evening, to ‘Talk about Horror’.

Adam Millard

The first thing that Adam Millard said was ‘’write what you know’ doesn’t apply to Horror!’  He said that in the Horror genre, there are no boundaries, nothing is banned, nothing impossible, you write it, it is.  Like many Horror writers, Adam believes there to be a stigma in writing Horror, some writers deny ever having written Horror at the start of their writing careers despite evidence to the contrary. But, he said, ‘People like to be scared, people enjoy it’.  He is scared of spiders.

Adam discussed Mary Whitehouse and her attitude to Horror videos, so-called ‘video-nasties’ in the 70s & 80s and how he felt about the films, in which, he recalled, blood was cartoonish – ‘you could see the baked beans in some of them!’ – lots of these videos were banned but copied and at the age of ten, Adam used to see them even though they were ‘well-thumbed, rewound many times’.  They could be found at petrol stations and corner shops – the ‘Mary Whitehouse police’ confiscated films like Evil Dead II.  Some years later censorship was relaxed, though as we know some films are still censored.

Adam particularly likes J-Horror and said ‘No-one does Horror like the Japanese, there are some brilliant films coming out of Japan’ and he likes the original series of The Twilight Zone.  He really rates ‘the Stand’ by Stephen King and went on to talk about the major influence that King has had on his life ‘Misery’,  ‘Carrie’ and ‘The Shining’ are amongst his favourites – however, he identifies that even the best writers can have ‘off’ times and views Lawnmower Man as pretty bad.  On the subject of Stephen King books made into films, Adam commented that there have always been awful adaptations of books, when a movie strays too far from its roots it’s never good eg Phantom of the Opera, ‘there’s never been a good film made of Phantom’.

Adam Millard had some tips for writers:

  • Excessive gore is no good but you have to disgust the reader.
  • Google maps is brilliant, you can write a scene from Google maps so use it.
  • Comedy and Horror go so well together eg American Werewolf in London.

He believes we’re in the golden age of Horror with contemporary writers such as Laird Barron, Craig Saunders, Adam Millard, etc, lots of exciting Horror writing and, Adam said, print is not dead.

This was followed by an interesting and informative Q and A session.

Following a short break, Andrew Owens performed a fine story about a lake and a girl who visits.

Suz Winspear

Suz Winspear, second prize winner in this year’s Worcestershire Poet Laureate competition read her story about an election, in which an electioneer is drawn into a house by a woman …

Adam Millard then took to the stage again to give us a story about a picnic in which many distractions occur.  Birds attack and a family flee for their lives; reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, it took on another dimension.

Overall, an interesting evening with many different styles of writing showcased and it was a very great pleasure to meet Adam Millard.  Do come along to the next 42, 19:30 Wednesday 27 June, The Lunar Bar at the Swan with Two Nicks, just £3 entry – always an entertaining evening at 42.