MEET THE WINNERS!

Words and Women are excited to announce the winners of their 2017/2018 national and KerryHood[50180]regional new writing competition.

Kerry Hood’s intriguing and ambitious short story, The Sunbathers, wins the national prize for women over 40, £1,000 and a month-long writing retreat at Church Cottage, Stratford-Upon-Avon, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust.

Margaret Meyer has been awarded the East of England regional prize of £600 and a mentoring session with Gold Dust for her entry, The Once and Only First Lady Judge.

Guest judges, Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney were drawn to Hood’s voice which ‘felt original and full of verve,’ as well as the ‘thematically complex’ nature of the story

Kerry Hood is no stranger to competitions.  She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize five times, as well as broadcasting stories on BBC Radio 4.  She is an accomplished theatre writer with work produced at the Soho Theatre, and her play Meeting Myself Coming Back was selected as the Sunday Times Critics’ Choice. She has had residences at the National Theatre, Traverse and RADA.

rgaret Meyer has previously been a fiction editor, publisher, British Council Director of Literature and a reader-in-residence in Norfolk prisons. As a therapeutic arts practitioner she provides writing and reading-for-wellbeing programmes for ex-offenders. In 2016 she won a place on the Escalator writer development scheme run by Writers’ Centre Norwich and in 2017 she was awarded an Arts Council England grant towards her first novel, The Varieties of Flight.

The competition now in its fifth year and open to women writers is unusual because it offers an opportunity to enter not only fiction but non-fiction, memoir, and life-writing.  This years’ winning texts will appear alongside past successful entrants in a compendium of the best of women’s contemporary short prose, launched on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2018.

‘Congratulations to our worthy winning writers.  We had 350 entries and picking the most distinctive and ambitious texts was no easy task.  We are grateful to our brilliant judges for making such bold selections, and we really look forward to launching our compendium which will feature not only this year’s compelling and engaging writing but the best of the best in past years,’ said Belona Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women.

‘It has been a very exciting year for women’s writing,’ said Lynne Bryan, co-organiser. ‘We are extremely grateful to our sponsors. Hosking Houses Trust is a unique charity which offers women over the age of 40 time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work, in a residency free from the pressures of everyday life.  Jill Dawson, author of nine novels and founder of Gold Dust mentoring scheme is a wonderful supporter of our regional award.

See Words and Women’s blog for more details. Words and Women

 

Countdown To Deadline – Polish That Prose

WORDS AND WOMEN ANNUAL NEW WRITING COMPETITION – GET YOUR ENTRIES IN!

Deadline Midnight, 15th November 2017

Win the national prize for women over 40 of £1,000 and a month’s writing residency provided by Hosking Houses Trust and a regional prize (East of England) of £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust.Poster 2017 Online low res

Winning entries will be published online and in a Compendium of Words and Women’s best entries from the last 4 prize-winning anthologies.

Entries can be fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction and life-writing on any theme.

2,200 words

Guest judges: Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, authors of A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendship of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf. 

National prize open to women writers over the age of 40. Regional prize open to women writers over the age of 16 living or working in the East of England.

For more details email wordsandwomencomp@gmail.com or visit our blog at www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk

WORDS AND WOMEN IS OPEN FOR ENTRIES

WORDS AND WOMEN ANNUAL NEW WRITING COMPETITION IS OPEN FOR ENTRIES

Deadline Midnight, 15th November 2017

The short prose competition offers the opportunity to enter not only short stories but non-fiction, memoir, and life-writing and this year’s guest judges arrive fresh from non-fiction triumph with their co-authored book, A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf.  Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney are also award-winning writers of fiction. Emily is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and Emma is author of the award-winning novel Owl Song at Dawn. They co-run SomethingRhymed.com, a website that celebrates female literary friendship.

Emma S and Emily M

Both judges are looking ‘for compelling voices that combine a sensitivity to the musicality of language with a story that holds the reader’s attention from beginning to end.’ Narratives that are nuanced, complex and unusual will make them sit up and take note.

The national award, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust, offers women writers over the age of 40 the opportunity to win £1,000 cash and a month-long writing retreat at Church Cottage, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The East of England prize offers the winner £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust.  Both national and regional winners will be published in a compendium of the best stories published by Words and Women over the last five years. The compendium will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2018 in Norwich, as part of a year of activities supporting The Year of Publishing Women, a provocation launched in Norwich last year by Kamila Shamsie and supported by Words and Women.Young W logo copy 1

‘We are very grateful and excited that Hosking Houses Trust has agreed to sponsor our competition with such a substantial national prize for a second year. It is a brilliant opportunity for women writers over 40 and we are looking forward to receiving entries from Billericay to Belfast.  And to have Jill Dawson’s mentoring session again as part of our regional prize is immensely supportive and provides a great opportunity for our regional winner,’ said Bel Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women.

‘This year, we have two outstanding guest judges with experience of both non-fiction and fiction, and we are looking forward to working with them and hearing their views on the selected long-list,’ said Lynne Bryan, co-organiser of Words And Women. ‘We work closely with the judges to select the winners but ultimately it is their choice after much discussion! It’s always an exciting process.’

Hosking Houses Trust is a unique charity which offers women over the age of 40 time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work, in a residency free from the pressures of everyday life. Writers who have been awarded residencies include Joan Bakewell and Sally Vickers.

Jill Dawson is the author of nine novels, including the best-selling Fred and Edie, (short-listed for The Whitbread and Orange Prize) and Watch Me Disappear (long-listed for the Orange Prize). Her novel The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke, published in 2009, was a best-seller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read.   Her latest is The Crime Writer, about Patricia Highsmith. Jill is the founder of Gold Dust, a high calibre mentoring scheme.  Gold Dust will offer all entrants to our competition a special discount on their mentoring scheme.

The Words and Women prose competition has proved itself to be a great showcase and previous winners have gone on to secure agent representation and increased interest in their work.

Entries should be 2,200 words or under.  Short works of fiction of any genre, memoir, life-writing, essays and creative non-fiction are all welcome. Extracts from longer works will not be considered. The deadline is 15th November 2017.  Winners will be announced in January 2018.  See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for details

 

Words And Women Launch Writing Sundays – All In A Good Cause

Words and Women, which supports and celebrates women writers is launching a series of Writing Sundays in the community to support their bid to raise funds for a virtual office and website.

The series of exciting writing workouts in Norwich are designed to be an energizing dip into creativity and will be held on 3 Sundays in September and one on the first of October led by professional writers in prose, poetry, scriptwriting, and devised theatre. Learn how to kickstart your first novel with Sarah Ridgard, join poet Julia Webb on the theme of family and childhood in poetry, devise theatre with Hannah Walker and transform a Suffragette text into a contemporary script with Belona Greenwood. Book up for all four or fix on one that sparks your imagination.

The workshops take place in The Old Hospital Chapel, Fellowes Plain, Norwich, NR1 4DL all between 10 and 12 a.m (except for week 3 which will run between 9.45 – 12.15).

The workshops are just £20 each. They are open to all levels of women writers – there really is something for everyone. Book all four and get a 10% discount. Bookings open from August 19th at www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk

If a workshop doesn’t appeal then Words and Women are asking supporters to dip into their pockets and support their crowd-funding appeal.

The voluntary organisation run by Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood are seeking to raise £3,500 by the end of September 2017 by asking people to become supporters offering donations of £5 and £25.

In return for their generosity, £5 supporters will receive advance notice of events and competitions planned for 2018.  The supporter’s name will also appear on the sponsors’ page of a new 2018 publication, the Words & Women compendium.

Become a Super Supporter for £25 and receive all of the above and a free copy of the compendium which will be published on the 8th March, International Women’s Day. Their name will also be entered in a prize draw for a bumper selection of books by women writers, published in the UK.

For more information and to donate go to: www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk

Words and Women launch annual prose competition for the East of England and a new national award for women over 40.

LOW RES ONLINE Words and Women Competition 2016The national award, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust, marks the fifth anniversary of Words and Women and offers women over the age of 40 the opportunity to win £1,000 and a month-long writing retreat.

The East of England prize offers the winner £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust.  Both national and regional winners will be published in Words and Women: Four, alongside 20 runners up. The anthology, published in partnership with Unthank Books in Norwich, will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March, 2017.

This year’s guest judge is Naomi Wood, the prize-winning author of The Godless Boys and the bestseller Mrs. Hemingway (both from Picador). Mrs. Hemingway has been translated into ten languages, won the Jerwood Fiction Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2015 International Dylan Thomas Prize. It was also a 2015 Richard and Judy Bookclub choice.

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Wood is looking for ‘writing that is smart but also honest. Writing that challenges the reader and writing that may take risks in voice or form. But most of all, I’m looking for writing that has a big heart, and where the reader is left moved by the whole experience of being in the world created by the writer.’

Hosking Houses Trust is a unique charity which offers women over the age of 40 time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work, in a residency free from the pressures of everyday life. Writers who have been awarded residencies include Joan Bakewell and Sally Vickers.

Jill Dawson is the author of nine novels, including the best-selling Fred and Edie, (short-listed for The Whitbread and Orange Prize) and Watch Me Disappear (long-listed for the Orange Prize). Her novel The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke, published in 2009, was a best-seller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read.   Her latest is The Crime Writer, about Patricia Highsmith. Jill is the founder of Gold Dust, a high calibre mentoring scheme.  Gold Dust will offer all entrants to our competition a special discount on their mentoring packages.

The Words and Women prose competition has proved itself to be a great showcase and previous winners have gone on to secure agent representation and increased interest in their work.

Entries should be 2,200 words or under.  Short works of fiction, memoir, life-writing and creative non-fiction are all welcome. Extracts from longer works will not be considered. The deadline is 15th November 2016.  Winners will be announced in January 2017.  See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for details.

 

 

It’s Out And It’s Marvellous

Words and Women Three Cover

WORDS AND WOMEN: THREE

This year’s anthology edited by Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood and selected by novelist Emma Healey is an eclectic collection of high quality prose, a rich and vivid read of startling, compelling and moving texts set across the world and close to home.

Explore the unexpected: belly-dancing in Japan, the collapse of bricks and mortar in an ordinary street in an ordinary town, drugs buried in a Norfolk beet field or sample a still life on Brixton Station. Why does a canary sing in Kabul? What is the significance of the calf born in the snow? Infidelity and re-visited virginity, sinister origami and movie-making, the true nature of Jane Austen’s dog and murder in Mexico.  Everything about being human is here for the curious of mind and the adventurous by temperament.

Ann Abineri, Deborah Arnander, Susan K Burton, Caroline Davison, Sharon Eckman, Sarah Evans, Victoria Hattersley, Danusia Iwaszko, Sara Keene, Julie Kemmy, Isabelle King, Kathy Mansfield, C.G. Menon, Margaret Meyer, Nicola Miller, Antoinette Moses, Patricia Mullin, Glenys Newton, Dani Redd, Sarah Ridgard, Claudine Toutoungi and Louise Tree.

Praise for Words and Women One and Two.

“It is a refreshing, vibrant collection that has redefined the way I see women’s writing.”

R.M. Bond-Webster, EDP: “Words And Women: Two is an excellent anthology of imaginatively and superbly written pieces.”

WordsAand Women: One was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award in 2014.

Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood were shortlisted for the Women In Publishing New Venture Award 2015

Order online from Unthank Books or your local bookshop – keep in touch with us at Words and Women

 

 

 

 

WORDS AND WOMEN LAUNCH NEW WRITING ANTHOLOGY AT ANNUAL SHOWCASE EVENT

Join us for the launch of our third anthology of the best in regional women’s writing together with some of the finest and most exciting women musicians around.

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Sarah_EvansFeaturing this year’s competition-winner, Sarah Evans, (left) guest judge Costa First Book Award winner Emma Healey, Guardian award-winning stand up Louisa Theobald, and the brilliant and original music of Karen Reilly of the Neutrinos, Emily Winng, Sink Ya Teeth and Kimberley Moore. 

This year Words And Women is also marking its fifth anniversary by raising money for Women for Refugee Women, an organisation which challenges the injustices experienced by women who seek asylum in the UK.  Tickets are a snip at £5. All are welcome.

Emma Healey

Emma Healey

There is also a free literary warm-up in the Arts Centre bar between 6 and 7pm.  BooksTalkBack is an interactive literary event for aspiring authors, and offers 2 writers longlisted in our prose competition, an opportunity to have their writing publicly critiqued by author Eliza Robertson.

 Karen ReillyPhoto credit: Lisa Stirling

Karen Reilly has been hailed as a saviour to women in rock in Toronto and featured in the Top Ten stage-show 2014  for The Guardian – described as ‘A joy inducing original’ The Times,  ‘A total game changer’ The Guardian, and ‘Truly outstanding’ The Telegraph.

Emily Winng

Emily Winng is a quarter of Sargasso Trio and sings songs of heartache, revenge and ‘ramshackle crazy woman songs.’ Expect beer bottle percussion and some hollering and wailing – in a good way.

Sink Ya Teeth

Sink Ya Teeth is a unique and mesmerizing two piece, Gem Cullingford and Maria Uzor, minimal in sound with a crystalline primal ferociousness that reflects the band’s name.

Kimberley Moore sings beautifully, performs, creates and facilitates from the depths of Suffolk. She writes serious (ish) lyrical songs that touch hearts on a surreal journey.

Other writers reading include Dani Redd, Victoria Hattersley, Isabelle King, Margaret Meyer and Glenys Newton.  Their work is included in our anthology, published by Unthank Books, and there will be plenty of opportunity to buy copies on the night.

Words And Women’s co-organisers, Belona Greenwood and Lynne Bryan were runners-up for Women in Publishing’s New Venture Award in 2015.  The Anthology, shortlisted for a national Saboteur Award in 2014 has been described as ‘…a refreshing, vibrant collection that has redefined the way I see women’s writing.’ And R.M. Bond-Webster, writing in the EDP: ‘Words and Women: Two is an excellent anthology of imaginatively and superbly written pieces.’

 

WORDS AND WOMEN ANNOUNCE THEIR 2016 WINNER!

Words and Women is delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s annual new writing prize is Sarah Evans, who receives £600 and publication in Words and Women: Three for her emotionally compelling story Scalpelling Through.

 Sarah_EvansSarah has had over a hundred stories published in anthologies, magazines and online, with outlets including: the Bridport Prize, Unthank Books, Lighthouse, Structo and Best New Writing. She has won a number of short story prizes, including the Winston Fletcher Prize, the Stratford Literary Festival Prize, the Glass Woman Prize, the Fylde Writers’ Circle Prize and the Rubery Prize. She has also had work performed in London, Hong Kong and New York.

The anthology will feature 21 other highly commended entries to the competition, including short prose from Sarah Ridgard, Deborah Arnander, Dani Redd, Antoinette Moses, C.G. Menon, Caroline Davison, Sharon Eckman, Danusia Iwaszko, Claudine Toutoungi, Patricia Mullin and Louise Tree among others. Published by independent press Unthank Books, this year’s anthology will be an eclectic collection of high quality prose, a rich and vivid read of startling, compelling and moving texts set across the world and close to home, exploring everything from belly-dancing in Japan to collapsing houses in the UK, a canary in Kabul and the birth of a calf in winter snow, infidelity and virginity, sinister origami and movie-making, the true nature of Jane Austen’s dog and murder in Mexico.

The competition received 176 entries from all over the region and was guest-judged by Sunday Times best-selling author, Emma Healey. The quality, as ever, was very high and reflects the talent and commitment of women writers in the region.

‘We are continuously surprised by the range of subjects tackled by entries to the competition,’ said Belona Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women. ‘We had a hard time selecting our long list from so many genuinely interesting ideas before handing the final responsibility for choosing the winners to this year’s judge, Emma Healey.

‘We judged the work anonymously and it was very exciting to find out the names of our winners at the end of this process. We have selected an outstanding mix of work, both fiction and non-fiction, and look forward to seeing it appear in Words and Women’s third anthology,’ said Lynne Bryan, Words and Women co-organiser.

The anthology will be launched at Words and Women’s 5th anniversary celebration of International Women’s Day, which this year will be on March 7th at Norwich Arts Centre with a brilliant line up of short readings from winning writers and music from Karen Reilly of the Neutrinos, Sink Ya Teeth, and Emily Winng, all presided over by compere, award-winning stand up, Louisa Theobald. This year, Words and Women will be raising money for Women for Refugee Women.

Words and Women’s last two anthologies have both been shortlisted for the national Saboteur Awards, and this year, Words and Women were runners up in the Women in Publishing award for ‘pioneering venture.’

Words and Women showcase women writers who live in the East of England, at all stages of their professional careers in an annual celebration of regional creativity on International Women’s Day, and through commissioning opportunities and an annual new writing prize.

 

Calling Short Texts! Words and Women’s Deadline Less than a Month Away!

There’s less than a month to get your short fiction, memoir, life-writing and creative non-fiction entered for Words and Women’s latest competition. Open to women living and working in the East of England, first prize is £600 and publication along with 20 highly commended entries in our anthology. This year’s guest judge is Emma Healey and she cannot wait to read your prose!
Visit our blog for details:  http://wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk/p/competitions_11.html

 

Words and Women Three Cover

Words and Women’s New Writing Competition is Open for Entries!

Emma Healey author of the Sunday Times’ best-selling novel ‘Elizabeth is Missing,’ is to judge, Words and Women’s third annual new writing competition. The appointment will be Healey’s first experience of selecting winning texts and it will be all the more rewarding because of close links t0 Anglia where the competition is based.

Words and Women Competition 2015 A4 full res copy (2)‘It is not just that she is a critically acclaimed writer, her debut novel also won the Costa First Novel Award, but that she is closely linked to the region as an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing at the UEA.’

‘The competition is a wonderful opportunity for women writers in the region,’ said Lynne Bryan, co-organiser. ‘It is a great showcase and previous winners have gone on to secure agent representation and increased interest in their work. We are thrilled Emma Healey is our guest judge. Her input will help us to identify the strongest and most exciting writing by women in the East of England.’

 

The competition offers a cash prize of £600 and publication in Words and Women: Three. Entry is open to all women writers over the age of 16 who live or work in the East of England.  Short works of fiction, memoir, life-writing and creative non-fiction are all welcome.

Emma Healey

Emma Healey

The anthology, published in partnership with Unthank Books in Norwich, will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March, 2016, Words and Women’s fifth anniversary.

Emma will be looking for keen observation in the competition entries. ‘It is always wonderful to find a writer has described a sensation never put into words before, come up with a perfect metaphor for something, or created a stunningly vivid image in the mind of a reader. It’s also exciting to find the mundane transformed into the extraordinary or the extraordinary made to feel familiar.

‘I’d love to read pieces which say something about our time, or our location, stories which are striving for some kind of meaning, even if they are only asking questions for the reader to try and answer.’

Entries should be 2,200 words or under.  Extracts from longer works will not be considered. The deadline is 15th November 2015.  Winners will be announced in January 2016.  See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for details.

Norwich-based Words and Women showcase and celebrate women writers who live in the East of England, at all stages of their professional careers.  The organisation which began as a simple reading event five years ago has gone on to host more vibrant and eclectic reading events, make a film, hold a garden festival and commission new work. ‘About’, funded by Arts Council East gave four women writers the opportunity to produce new work for page and performance. Winners of Words and Women’s annual prose competition have gone on to receive agent representation

Visit http://www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for more information about the competition.

VOTE FOR US! WORDS AND WOMEN SHORTLISTED FOR A SABOTEUR AWARD!

Words and Women are delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted for a National Saboteur award in the ‘best one off event’ category.  The nomination is for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration held on March 8th at the Forum in Norwich. The literary event with a difference saw not only the launch of Words and Women: Two, a second anthology of contemporary women’s writing from the East of England but also the performance of four newly commissioned texts for ‘About,’ an Arts Council supported project which explores the relationship between women and place.

Words and Women’s trademark warmth, eclecticism and vibrancy was on show in Norwich as organisers Belona Greenwood and Lynne Bryan hosted a range of outstanding women writers from the region, reading their winning entries featured in the anthology. Words were intermingled with live music from Anna Mudeka and Sithabele Dube. There were stunning performances from actresses who took on the roles of 16th century Jane Sellars, found ‘idle at Trowse,’ a woman on a pilgrimage of grief, a railway woman’s quest in wartime Britain and a young prostitute, Anguish, incarcerated in a 19th century lunatic asylum, directed by Adina Levay of Chalk Circle Theatre Company and supported by the Arts Council.

‘The event drew a great audience of men, women and children, a range of ages and people travel from as far away as Peterborough and Cambridge to be with us.’ Said Belona Greenwood.

‘It is a really exciting to be shortlisted for this category. We want to encourage people to vote for us. It’s easy, just click on the link.’   VOTE NOW!  http://www.saboteurawards.org

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Rozzy Burt as ‘Anguish’ in Counting the Pennies by Tess Little, one of the ‘About’ commissions supported by Arts Council England.

Lora

Lora Stimson reading her winning story, ‘Cornflake Girl’ at Words and Women on IWD, March 8th..

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‘Words and Women: Two is an excellent anthology of imaginative and superbly written pieces.’ RM Bond-Webster, Eastern Daily Press.

Words And Women Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th

 

Words And Women is celebrating International Women’s Day, Sunday March 8th, with the double launch of their latest showcase collection of short prose by women writers in the East of England and the first public performance of their About new writing commissions.

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The event, held in the heart of Norwich, is traditionally a vibrant and eclectic programme of readings, music, film and theatre.  This year, Words and Women’s competition winner, Lora Stimson will read her story, Cornflake Girl, alongside other writers included in the anthology, Julianne Pachico, Anna Metcalfe and Holly McDede. Singer-songwriter Meg Burrows will bring her rich singing voice.

Words And Women: Two published by Unthank Books, builds on the success of last year’s inaugural competition and anthology, shortlisted for the national Saboteur Awards 2014. It has been praised as “a bold and insightful collection containing much vigorous writing…’’ RM Bond-Webster, Eastern Daily Press.

This year the winning entries embody vivid imagination and ambiguity, delicate and subtle prose coupled with strong images and deep emotions.

The ‘About’ texts, supported by Arts Council England and written by Jenny Ayres, Lillie Ferrari, Tess Little and Thea Smiley, bring to life the voices of Jane Sellars hung in Norwich for being ‘idle at Trowse’, a woman who walks the Bungay Straight on a pilgrimage of grief, 18 year old prostitute ‘Anguish’ locked up in a mental asylum for life and Station Mistress Appleton and her wartime fight for the right to wear a company coat. The extracts are performed by Hetty Rance, Etta Geras, Isabelle King and Jenny Ayres and directed by Adina Levay.

‘The writers, performers and musicians have put their hearts into this year’s event. As always, it is going to be very special,’ said Belona Greenwood, Co-organiser, Words And Women.

The event is between 4 and 6 pm on Sunday, 8th March in Fusion at the Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich. NR2 1TF.  It is free to attend and open to all. Men, women and children.

 

WORDS AND WOMEN’S COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

Lora Stimson, who studied creative writing at Norwich School of Art & Design and the UEA is the winner of this year’s Words and Women’s contemporary writing prize in the East of England.

The quality of the 170 entries was very high and there was a broad range of theme and style with women of all ages submitting prose from across the East.  Lora Stimson wins £600 for her original and quietly compelling short story, Cornflake Girl, which will feature in the second Words and Women anthology published in March this year. Lora’s story will appear alongside other highly commended selected entries and the four newly commissioned texts for ‘About,’ an Arts Council supported project which explores the relationship between women and place.

Lora has published stories and poems with Nasty Little Press, Unthank Books, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Streetcake Magazine. In 2014 she was mentored by novelist Shelley Harris as part of the WoMentoring scheme. Her first novel, about sex, grief and model villages, currently hides in a drawer. She has higher hopes for her second novel, about twins, which received an Arts Council England grant and is now in its final edit. Lora works as a programme manager for Writers’ Centre Norwich and sings with the bands Moonshine Swing Seven and The Ferries. She lives in Norwich with her husband and son.

Other prizewinners who will be published in the anthology, include Norwich-based Anna Metcalfe for The Professor, Hannah Garrard for Did You Eat Lunch? Melinda Appleby for Footprints on the Tideline, Julianne Pacheco for Kurt Cobain’s Son, Radhika Oberoi for The Reporter, as well as Patricia Mullin for The Siren and Thea Smiley who will appear twice, with her short story Magazines and her performance text, Holding Stones. A further 16 writers will also have their work included in the anthology.  For a full list of our winning writers please see our blog:  www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk

The competition was judged by novelist Sarah Ridgard.

The launch of Words and Women: Two and performance of extracts from the ‘About’ Commissions’ will take place on Sunday, March 8th, on International Women’s Day at the Forum, in Norwich.

‘It has been another exciting read,’ said Belona Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women. ‘We had a hard time selecting our long list before handing the final responsibility for choosing the winners to this year’s judge, novelist Sarah Ridgard.  We have had a number of winning entries with some connection to the Creative Writing MA at the UEA which continues to bring new talent to Norfolk but entries have come in from all over the five counties displaying a great range of women’s voices.’

‘We judged the work anonymously and it was very exciting to find out the names of our winners at the end of this process. We have selected an outstanding mix of work, both fiction and non-fiction, and look forward to seeing it appear in Words and Women’s second anthology which will be published by Norwich based Unthank Books,’ said Lynne Bryan, Words and Women co-organiser.

Last year’s anthology was shortlisted for the national Saboteur Awards 2014. It has been praised as ’a bold and insightful collection containing much vigorous writing…’ Eastern Daily Press and ‘…a refreshing, vibrant collection that redefined the way I see women’s writing.’

Words and Women showcase women writers who live in the East of England, at all stages of their professional careers in an annual celebration of regional creativity on International Women’s Day, and through commissioning opportunities and an annual new writing prize.

See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk

 

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE – WORDS AND WOMEN’S SHORT PROSE COMPETITION

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NOVEMBER IS FLITTING PAST SO DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR ENTRY IN TO WORDS AND WOMEN’S NEW WRITING PRIZE FOR WOMEN IN THE EAST OF ENGLAND

(Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire)

DEADLINE MIDNIGHT 15TH NOVEMBER, 2014.

2,200 words of prose fiction, life-writing, memoir or creative non-fiction

First Prize: £600 and publication in our anthology, Words and Women: 2 

20 shortlisted entries published:  Judge novelist Sarah Ridgard

£10 per entry:  See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk

for submission details.

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“Words And Women: One is a bold and insightful collection containing much vigorous writing – the dazzling sentences of Caroline Jackson’s The Call deserve particular mention.” Rm Bond-Webster, Eastern Daily Press, 04/14

Shortlisted for a 2014 Saboteur Award

Words and Women Announce Winners of ‘About’ Commissions

In August 2014 women writers based in the East of England were invited to submit a proposal for a short text of 4,000 words or half an hour long exploring the life of one woman and her relationship to place. The woman could be famous or non, contemporary or historical, fictional or factual. The place had to be within the East of England. The text could be in any form, eg. script, prose, poetry, or a combination of forms.

Fifty writers entered this open competition, hoping to win paid time to develop their proposal for inclusion in Words And Women’s second anthology of writing and to perform an extract of their work on International Women’s Day in the Fusion Digital Gallery, Norwich, March 2015.

The proposals featured swimmers, vagrants, mothers, clubbers, writers, prostitutes, teenagers, witches, a composer, a lepidopterist, an ecologist, even a station mistress. Many concentrated on historical figures. The most popular locations were Norwich and Cambridge. The coast featured heavily and The Broads. The difficulty of living in isolated small communities was a frequent theme.

It was hugely difficult  for the judges to decide.  But here are our four winners:

Congratulations to Jenny Ayres, Tess Little, Thea Smiley and Lilie Ferrari.

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Jenny Ayres

Jenny Ayres: Jenny is a north Hertfordshire based writer, actress and mum. After studying at The Central School of Speech and Drama, Jenny was invited onto the Royal Court Young Writers Programme and in 2005 won the London Lost Theatre Festival with her one woman show ‘The Fourth Photo’. Jenny then travelled to Milan and Budapest, where she was commissioned to write two short films, before her first short story, ‘…but that’s who you are’, was published in 2007. Jenny continues to write for the stage and screen today, most recently working as Writing Director for a community based theatre project entitled ‘Through a Child’s Eyes’ in conjunction with Letchworth Arts Centre. Jenny’s piece, ‘Trouble and Strife’, will explore the vital, but often unknown, work of the Hertfordshire railway women of World War Two. In the face of grueling manual work, frequent prejudice and nightly bombing attacks women worked to maintain our railway lines, not only keeping the country moving but changing the world of women’s work forever. From train sets to train drivers – the railway is a man’s world…until war comes.

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Lilie Ferrari

Lilie Ferrari: Lilie Ferrari worked in the South of France and California before gaining a Master’s degree in French Literature. She then went to work at the British Film Institute in the Television Unit, taking a particular interest in popular drama and soap opera. From there she went to the BBC as a Script Editor and subsequently began her career as a full time writer. She was co-creator and writer for the long running medical drama series The Clinic for RTE, and has written episodes of Peak Practice (Carlton), Dangerfield (BBC),Casualty (BBC), Berkeley Square (BBC), Holby (BBC) and numerous episodes of EastEnders (BBC). She co-created storylines for 60 episodes of the returning series of Crossroads, winning the ITV commission for Carlton Productions. She has also storylined for Family Affairs (Channel 5), and Playing the Field for Tiger Aspect/BBC.  Lilie has worked as a soap consultant in Finland and France as well as advising on a proposed new soap opera for Saudi Arabia. She has also had four novels published, and is currently working on her fifth. Her proposal is based on a real woman called Jane Sellars, who was sentenced to hang in Norwich in 1631.  Looking at research around issues of vagrancy at the time, she would like to give Jane a voice, and tell her story.

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Tess LIttle

Tess Little: Born in Norwich, Tess  studied history at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Her research focused on les femmes tondues – French women punished after the Liberation for collaborating with Germans in the Second World War. During her studies, Tess wrote non-fiction articles for student publications, and her short story ‘The Stitches’ was published in a student anthology. She has worked as a freelance journalist and previously gained experience at the New York Times in Paris, Ralph Appelbaum Associates in New York and Thomson Reuters in London. Tess’s proposal, ‘Beyond the Britannia Barracks’, will explore the story of Anguish, a nineteen-year-old prostitute repeatedly detained at the Norwich prison on Plumstead Road in the 1880s. Based on archival research, the life of Anguish will be written into a fictional monologue. Voices of her cellmates – arsonists, thieves, drunkards and child abusers – will permeate the script, weaving together prison storylines. From pavements to courts and cells, the plethora of characters at Plumstead Road epitomised lives of countless impoverished women living in the East of Victoria’s Britain.

Thea Smiley

Thea Smiley

Thea Smiley: Thea lives in Suffolk with her husband and three sons. A recent UEA graduate, she writes prose fiction, and plays for radio and the stage. Her first play was performed in 2012, and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. In Boudicca of the Bungay Straight a ceaseless wanderer, and ‘lady of the road’, delivers a monologue in which she becomes increasingly convinced that she is the re-incarnation of the warrior queen Boudicca. On Sunday 12th October we will post the judging report and also the names of our 12 commended writers who have won a place on The Tough Room workshop run by poet Hannah Jane Walker.
Many many thanks to everybody who entered.
We will be publishing news of our 12 highly commended winners who will all have places on a workshop, ‘The Tough Room’ led by performance poet, Hannah Jane Walker.

Thank you to everyone who entered.

See our blog for more details:  http://www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk

Words and Women Launch 2 Great New Writing Opportunities

 

Words and Women’s exciting new contemporary writing prize for women in the East of England is open for entries.
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The competition offers a cash prize of £600 and publication in Words and Women: Two. This year, the anthology will include 20 shortlisted entries and four winning commissions from its Arts Council Funded project, ‘About.’

The anthology published in partnership with Unthank Books in Norwich will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March, 2015.
The competition is open to all women writers over the age of 16 who live or work in the East of England.  Fiction, memoir, life-writing and creative non-fiction is all welcome, but no extracts please.  This year’s judge is Norfolk-based novelist Sarah Ridgard, whose first novel, Seldom Seen was shortlisted for the Author’s Club best first novel award. Entry fee is £10.00. Text should be no longer than 2,200 words.  The deadline for entries is 15th November, 2014.  Winners will be announced in January 2015.  See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for details.

 

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About,’ is an exciting new writing commission to create 4 texts for performance and the page. The Arts Council funded project will help develop work which explores the life of women and their relationship to place within the East of England.

The commission means 4 writers, selected through an open competition, will not only be given paid time to write but will be mentored by Words and Women as well as theatre director Adina Levay and performance poet Hannah Walker.

The resulting new work will be published in Words and Women’s second anthology and performed on International Women’s Day next year.

The competition is open to any woman over the age of 16 who lives and works in the East of England. Writers will be asked to submit a proposal, a CV and five pages of their writing. Although there are 4 commissions (one for a young writer aged 16-21), there will also be 12 highly commended writers who will win a place on a special workshop – ‘The Tough Room’, run by Hannah Walker.

 

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