Thursday, 29 November 2012

Alan Sillitoe Poetry Comp

Poetry competition – big name adjudicator – £200 first prize

After the massive success of last year’s inaugural Alan Sillitoe Memorial Open Poetry Competition – adjudicated by Ruth Fainlight and paying out £350 in prize money – they’re doing the same again this year. George Szirtes – winner of the 2005 T.S. Eliot Prize – will be the final adjudicator.

The competition is open to everyone except members of the Alan Sillitoe Committee and their families. Theme and form are open. The only stipulations we make are that your poem should be no more than 40 lines, previously unpublished, not submitted for publication elsewhere and not entered for, or placed in, any other competition.

First prize: £200. Second: £100. Third: £50.

Entry fees? £3 per poem or four for £10.

How many poems can you enter? Well, as long as you’re paying £10 per multiple of four, they really don’t mind.

All proceeds will go to the Alan Sillitoe Memorial Fund. The deadline is Tuesday 22nd January 2013.

Click here for the 2nd Alan Sillitoe Memorial Poetry Competition flyer; please read the guidelines on this document before entering.

Postal entries should be sent to: The Competition Secretary, 38 Harrow Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7DU. Cheques or postals should be made payable to ‘The Alan Sillitoe Committee’.

Or you can enter by email, sending your poems as attachments to and paying your entry fee via the “donate” button on this website. You should make a note of the PayPal reference number and quote it in your email.

Good luck!

Beeston Poets

Beeston Poets were visited by Neil Astley. Fresh from the Nottingham Open poetry competition adjudication, Neil (who founded Bloodaxe Books in 1978) read from Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy to an audience of nearly 60 people. The Five Leaves elf's favourite was Edip Cansever's "Table", which is available online, unlike most of the poems in Essential Poems and the trilogy (so go and buy them... or at the very least get hold of Essential Poems, it's a fantastic and accessible introduction to contemporary world poetry).

Neil also spoke about the philosophy behind Bloodaxe, and his own personal mission to bring a wider range of poetry to a UK audience. He suggested that much of the poetry published in the UK is written by white middle-class English men (or white working-class Irish men, or white middle-class Scotsmen... you get the idea). So Bloodaxe has made a point of publishing contemporary poetry from a wide range of men and women of all races and from all parts of the world, and Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human are exemplars of that philosophy. "Hoorah for Bloodaxe!" says the Five Leaves elf.

After the break, Neil treated us to a couple of poems from local success story Candlestick Press's pamphlet Ten Poems About Sheep, which he edited for them.

Andy Croft, December 8th

Andy will read from 1948, a comic novel written in Pushkin sonnets, set during the post-War London Olympics and illustrated by Martin Rowson. Starring Russian spies, London gangsters and useless poets, 1948 is part Cold War film noir and part Ealing comedy, and it was recently Nicholas Lezard’s Paperback of the Week in The Guardian. Andy will also read from his other poetry collections.

The Five Leaves elf has pulled out all the stops, and organised a slide show featuring Martin Rowson's cartoons which were drawn especially for 1948. Like Andy's reading, these will entertain and enlighten you, and are virtually guaranteed to make you laugh.
Andy Croft is a brilliant and hyperactive writer, who was Poet-in-Residence on the Great North Run, translates Siberian poets, works with prisoners, and has given readings all over the world including in the USA, France and Russia. He has written five novels and forty-two books for teenagers, mostly about football. He has edited several anthologies of poetry; and his own collections include two novels in Pushkin sonnets, Ghost Writer and 1948. He runs Smokestack Books, which publishes unconventional and radical poetry both from English-speaking poets and in translation.

For more information on Beeston Poets and their events please visit

Monday, 26 November 2012

John Harvey guest judge in EMBA

The Submission Deadline for the 2013 East Midlands Book Award is Sat 1st December 2012.

The aim of the award is: ‘to promote writers who live in the East Midlands, to raise the profile of the thriving literary scene in the region, and to reward exceptional work.’

This year’s guest judge is none other than John Harvey.

Please click HERE to read the rules and how to enter.

Review: Word of Mouth

Read the LEFT LION review of the recent Word of Mouth event at Antenna by clicking the link below.


Book Day in Arnold, Sat Dec 1st

Book Day at Gedling Civic Centre, THIS Saturday, Dec 1st, between 10am and 4pm.

This free to attend event features talks, readings, a book launch, ‘meet the author’ stalls, refreshments, and a workshop from a local publisher.

There’s no booking required, simply turn up at any point during the day. The short talks are suitable for all lovers of literature. Topics range from The Women’s Land Army to Creating A Free Website and include Where Ideas Come From, Creating Characters, Hard-Boiled Fiction, Self Publishing and Tracing Our Languages Back In Time.

Gedling Civic Centre is in the grounds of Arnot Park, Arnold, Nottingham, NG5 6LU. Parking is available within the park.

Everyone is welcome at this event hosted by members of New Writers UK

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Word of Mouth: Journeys

Word of Mouth: Journeys

Wed 21 November


Antenna cafe-restaurant

9a Beck Street, NG1 1EQ (how to find Antenna)

Tickets and Boarding Passes: £4/£3 (NWS members & concessions)

Word of Mouth is back on 21 November for a third month running with a night of journeys and freedom, hosted by three-time novelist Megan Taylor.

Escape a cold November night for an evening of spoken word wanderings with readings that range across Europe, Russia, and Nepal, before returning home to our very own Notts. More adventurous than a city break, more daring than a package holiday, this is writing that flies in the face of repression and off into an uncertain future.

Poetry by Richard Goodson, Andy Miller and Robin Vaughan-Williams

Prose from Giselle Leeb, Andrew Kells, Laura Grevel and Alison Moore

Wayne Burrows on PEN International's reaction to the Pussy Riot convictions, and Arthur Seaton's own unique response via James Walker.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Short Story Reading Cafe

Wed 14th November

10.30am - 12 noon

Celebrate National Short Stories Week at Arnold Library (Front Street).

The library's ever popular Reading Cafe plays host to this themed event. Bring along your favourite short stories (maybe your own) to discuss over tea and biscuits.