Play With Words

Words are meant to be fun!

Join us at this creative writing workshop for adults; a space in which to explore storytelling, learn new techniques, stimulate ideas, channel your creativity – and put some words on paper. Open to all levels and experience, the session will include exercises, prompts, activities and discussion to help get your imagination and pens flowing. After the session you’ll have plenty of sparks to form the beginnings of some short stories – and longer ones!

Date & Time Wednesday 31st May 7-9pm

Location Happy & Glorious, 47 High St, Cranbrook TN17 3EE

Cost £25 per person or two tickets for £35 – price includes a glass of wine/tea and coffee and nibbles.

Tickets are available here.

Francesca Baker is a word lover, book geek, literary enthusiast… Armed with pencils, coffee, headphones and a spring in her step, she likes to explore and scribble her way through life. Find out more at her website and follow her in a legal way on Twitter here

Submit your flashes to National Flash Fiction Day’s Micro Competition and Anthology!

National Flash Fiction Day UK is on Saturday 24th June 2017, and we are open for submissions for our Micro Fiction Competition and our Annual Anthology! Entry for both are free!

Competition: There is no theme for our competition, so feel free to send us up to three of your stories that are 100 words or fewer! Deadline for entries for our Micro Fiction Competition is Friday 31st March 2017. You can find out more information here: http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/comp.html

Anthology: Once again we are delighted to open ourselves up to submissions for the annual NFFD anthology. This year the theme is Life As You Know It.

This year’s editors will be the Co-Director of National Flash-Fiction Day, Santino Prinzi, and renowned flash-fiction writer, Meg Pokrass.

We want stories inspired by the lens of your own experiences, stories that navigate life and the world as only your characters know how. Tales of hope, loss, fear, and resilience. Flashes about identity, vulnerability, and triumph. We want you to harness and make use of your own experiences in fiction: What are your secrets? What makes you cry? What keeps you awake? Feel free to interpret “life as you know it” however you like, but your flashes must fit the theme in some way.

However you care to work with our theme, we want to read your stories. The word limit is 500 words, and you can submit up to 3 stories. Please include them in the email as MS Word attachments, and follow all the guidelines below.

All writers who have a story selected for the anthology will receive a free print copy of the book upon publication. Deadline for entries for our Anthology is Friday 14th April 2017.

You can find out more information here: http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/anth.html

This year we will be launching the anthology the U.K.’s first ever Flash Fiction Literary Festival, which will be taking place in Bath.

Adam Foulds, SAND Journal and unknown writers making it

This month is proving a very exciting one for Visual Verse contributors. As well as having Booker Prize nominated author Adam Foulds headlining on the site, we are thrilled to announce a collaboration with the Berlin based literary journal, SAND.

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More of that shortly, though. First, Kristen Harrison (Visual Verse curator) and I want to thank all the contributors who made the March Visual Verse our best month since we launched last November. Our image was by artist and illustrator Denise Nestor: a precariously balanced tower of birds who seemed to be sleeping, or dead. The writers loved it – so much so, we had 80 submissions in one month, which was unprecedented. Each piece was astonishing: carefully observed and written to make every word carry weight. The chapter as a whole is a thing of beauty in itself, it is fascinating to see how one image can bring so many responses.

Some of my favourite lines: ‘What does the sheep think of the sky?’ in Tristan Forster’s elegiac prose poem; Sarah James’ wonderfully  forensic piece, with the line,  ‘the delicacy of coiled intestines and death plucks song’ and of course our lead writer Adam Marek’s short story, with its simple control of voice: ‘The cheese was all prickly. Like battery tops. We fought the cheese was bad, but when we noticed the same taste was in everyfin, we realised it was our mouths.’

This month is lead by another Adam – Adam Foulds, whose Booker nominated ‘The Quickening Maze’ and ‘The Broken Word’ are poetry laced with violence and despair. The perfect choice for this month’s image, by photographer Marcus Bastel. I absolutely love reading all the submissions we get each day, and even more taking part in the conversation about them that is growing on twitter. I read and consider everything  – there are only a couple of rules – it must be 50-500 words, written in the space of one hour in response to the image. It should not have been published anywhere before.

Those who submit find new opportunities opening up for them too. I’m delighted to say that Berlin-based SAND journal will be featuring Visual Verse in their next issue. In consultation with us, they have selected four pieces to publish in SAND Issue 09, both in print and online. SAND exposes fresh literary talent from Berlin and beyond and we are proud to be featured in it.

I can’t wait to read what the month will bring. If you are thinking of submitting, the only thing I would say is  – you won’t regret it. Visual Verse is all about collaboration between what you see and how you write, you, us, our readers: art and words. The image is the starting point, the text is up to you. Enjoy!

Preti Taneja
Editor, Visual Verse