The guerilla poetry collective [insert text here] is looking for a young Cumbrian photographer (aged 16 to 25) to snoop and snap around Lowther Castle and Gardens, producing glorious images for the Beneath the Boughs exhibition project.
The closing date for applications is 31 May. Find out more >>
Writers Wendy Storer, from Kendal, and Sheffield-based Kate Hanney, are the brains behind new publishing imprint Applecore Books, specialising in realistic contemporary fiction for children and young adults. To help spread the word, they’re running a competition for 9 to 18 year olds, and the first prize is a fabulous Kindle Fire.
“I went … to study art history and English at university. Aberystwyth art department was … a backstreet repository of goths and geniuses. The alchemical smell of paints, solvents and Golden Virginia was brilliant and heady.”
Sarah Hall joins fellow novelists Kazuo Ishiguro, Lavinia Greenlaw, John Lanchester, Alan Warner, and Colm Tóibín, writing about their favourite ‘other’ artforms in The Guardian. Read more >>
It may have missed out on the T.S. Eliot Prize, but Jacob Polley’s latest has received mostly positive reviews since it was published last November. Here’s our pick of the best of them by Ben Wilkinson, Miriam Gamble, John Field and Steve Matthews, plus links to poems from the collection published online and a recording from the T. S. Eliot Prize reading in London.
Read Mary Robinson’s winning poem, ‘Beech Trees’ (and listen to it here), plus the runner-up and seven highly-commendeds in this year’s Mirehouse Poetry Competition. Of these nine poems, selected by judge Blake Morrison, five are by poets based in or strongly connected to Cumbria – Mary Robinson, Mary Chuck, Christopher Pilling, Angela Locke, and Jason Lytollis.
Have you got a book in you? So long as it’s not a novel, Cumbria Community Foundation would love to hear from you. They’re looking for applications for this year’s Hunter Davies Bursaries – three awards of £1,000 each to any aspiring writer working on a Cumbrian non-fiction project, or even just mulling one over. Writers don’t have to be living in the county, but the book must have a Cumbrian connection. The closing date for submissions is 10 May.
“Grace and Mary is not a book about dementia, BBC broadcaster Melvyn Bragg is keen to point out. Nor it is about his own experiences. Yet without either influences, his latest novel would not exist in the form it does.”
Melvyn Bragg talks to the Liverpool Daily Post before appearing at the city’s In Other Words festival on 11 May, just after the publication of his new novel. Cumbrian audiences can catch him in Wigton on 18 May and Carlisle on 6 June. (See our Calendar pages for details). Read more >>
“Regional writing does not have the pedigree here that it does in America, which honours writers from the South. In the UK, I am considered strange, this exotic girl from the North who is told she is avant-garde because she is writing about the country.”
Cumbrian writer Sarah Hall talks turkey about her inclusion in Granta magazine’s epoch-defining, reputation-making Top 20. Read more >> and listen to an excerpt from her novel-in-progress.
The Melita Hume Poetry Prize is an award of £1,000 plus a publishing deal with Eyewear Publishing, for the best first full-length collection by a young poet (35 years of age or under) writing in the English language. It’s free to enter, and the closing date is 13 May.
A book can take fifteen years to write but be out of print in no time and pretty much forgotten – a shameful state of affairs for Angela Locke’s novel Dreams of the Blue Poppy, according to fellow Cumbrian author and newbie independent publisher Kathleen Jones.
Originally published by Robert Hale in 2007, the novel – a historical romance with a botanical twist – has been re-released in an electronic edition by Kathleen’s Book Mill imprint. Read more >>
Jacci Garside lives up in the hills near Renwick, where there’s little to do except pore over clothes catalogues and fret about soft furnishings, and write the odd poem.
So here’s an odd poem, called Curtains >>
Here’s a digest of poetry competitions with submission deadlines coming up in the next few weeks, courtesy of the Saison Poetry Library on the South Bank. Picks of the bunch: the SCJ Poetry Award, Poetry London, and Poetic Republic competitions (£1,000 each), the Ware and Vers competitions (each offering £600), and the Manchester-based Poets and Players Prize (£400), which this year is being judged by Cumbrian poet Jacob Polley.
Ebooks, Kindles, iPads – technology is transforming the way we write and the way books are published. But in the rush to grasp the digital future are we being too quick to throw away the rich heritage of ‘real’ books and the printed word?
This new exhibition about to open at Egremont’s Florence Mine Arts Centre celebrates 5,000 years of the written word and warns against relying too much on swanky graphics and thousands of pixels. Read more >>