INKSPILL – Meet Our Guest Writers


This year I am delighted to announce that I asked three writers to come on board for INKSPILL 2014 – all three agreed. The 1st lesson to learn is

ASK – you will never know until you do!

awf-2014 William Gallagher, Charlie Jordan and Heather Wastie have generously given their time to write articles for this  year’s writing retreat. All of them have exceptionally busy schedules and I am grateful that they added INKSPILL to their list of projects this Autumn.

Once again a BIG THANK YOU to all three of you – it has been fun!


I first met William Gallagher just over a year ago, at the Book to the Future Festival 2013, Birmingham University. He was giving a talk about his book ‘The Blank Screen’, all about productivity, some great writer tips including a great idea about email… (you will have to buy the book)!

I knew Charlie Jordan by name, as she was Birmingham’s Poet Laureate. I saw her a few times last year at the Birmingham Literature Festival and finally met her properly after William’s talk at the University. Charlie and I both performed poetry at Phenomenal Women an event organised by Jan Watts for Book to the Future Festival 2013.

I met Heather Wastie at the very start of  Poetry journey back in September 2013, we met at a book launch for Be[yond] by Sarah James. Heather Wastie performs poetry regularly as well as hosting the great Open Mic Night ‘Mouth & Music’ which I first went to last December. Heather and I performed at Phenomenal Women last week as part of the Book to the Future Festival 2014.


Let me introduce you!



William Gallagher is a writer, dramatist and lecturer. He writes Doctor Who audio dramas, stage plays and has an extensive British journalism experience. He’s also the author of the British Film Institute book BFI TV Classics: The Beiderbecke Affair, B7 Media’s Blake’s 7: The Ultimate Guide and co-author of Radio Times Cover Story. His work has appeared regularly in Radio Times magazine and BBC News Online plus The Independent, the Los Angeles Times and on BBC local and national radio.

William’s hit book The Blank Screen: Creative Productivity for Writers and Normal People Too has become a UK-wide workshop in literary festivals, companies, universities and colleges. It’s also now a busy news site at with half a million words in its first few months. 

He’s won awards for his stage drama and his photography has been published in international jewellery books. William is also a performer on the spoken-word cabaret circuit in Birmingham and teaches writing in schools. He’s taught in prisons and also in universities where he’s lectured to both students and professors. He once had afternoon tea on a Russian nuclear submarine and regrets calling the place a dive.

©2014 Lee Allen Photography

©2014 Lee Allen Photography

“Love this book, it is clever and witty and genuinely grapples with making an extra hour (or two) in the day. Inspiring and liberating. A real Can-Do manual. No creative should be without it.”

Blank screen William G
– Barbara Machin, creator of Waking the Dead
Paperback and Kindle now on Amazon:




charlie jordan

Charlie Jordan wore glasses by the age of 3, learned to read before she could speak and hasn’t stopped doing either since. Although she discovered contact lenses at 14, and boys not long afterwards, which distracted her from words for a bit….. 20 years as a radio presenter is in a way a career in spoken word!

She stumbled upon poetry and writing by accident in 2006 when replying to an email about a short writing course. Gobsmacked to become Birmingham Poet Laureate in 2007, while still a complete beginner in poetry, she has since spent time as Poet in Residence at WBA football club, written and performed a solo show ‘Buddhism & Ben and Jerrys’, gigged at The Big Chill festival, Manchester & Worcester Literary Festivals, and with Decadent Divas, rocked the Ledbury Poetry Festival in 2013 and was v. impressed with the backstage cake!


Published in anthologies Split Screen & Bugged.





Heather Wastie wordsmith, humourist, musician & actor Heather Wastie headshot

Heather is an eclectic polymath whose work does not fit easily into boxes! She is a poet, songwriter, oral historian and performer, and runs monthly spoken word and music night, Mouth and Music in Kidderminster with poet Sarah Tamar. She has been short-listed for both Birmingham and Worcestershire Poet Laureates, and in 2013 was Writer in Residence at the Museum of Carpet, turning people’s memories into poems, monologues and songs with accordion. She is co-founder, with Emma Purshouse, of Brewers’ Troupe, a performance poetry company specialising in performances in pubs.

Heather was born in the Black Country and has compiled and edited 2 books of Black Country reminiscences which grew out of projects in Tipton and West Bromwich. She has published 3 illustrated poetry collections: Until I Saw Your Foot and The Page-Turner’s Dilemma (Lapal Publications), focusing on the humorous side of her work, and Poems of the Head in Dynamic Relation to F M Alexander (self-published), centred on the Alexander Technique. She uses technology to create innovative pieces combining music, spoken word and found sound. As a facilitator, she works with people of all ages, including people with disabilities.


Website Wasties Space

Blog Weaving Yarns


© Peter Williams 2014

© Peter Williams 2014

Summary of recent & current work

• Weaving Yarns performances – songs & poems about people who worked in the carpet industry in Kidderminster

• Performances of original poems & songs

• Spake Prapper – a Black Country Talk Show with Dave Reeves & Billy Spakemon

• Comedy character performances – Black Country Pat, tragic opera singer Montserrat Carbonara

• How do wars start? Performance poetry show with Worcs Poet Laureate, Fergus McGonigal commissioned by Kidderminster Arts Festival 2014

• Idle Women & Judies – solo performance poetry piece about women who took over the working canal boats during WW2, commissioned by Canal & River Trust 2014

• National Trust – Croome Court – actor in site-specific performances; also involved in setting up new poetry group

• Alzheimer’s Society – performances & workshops at dementia cafes

• Workshops and performances in care homes

• Bostin Chats – workshops with young people with disabilities for Creative Health CIC, using performing arts as a tool for consultation

• Sound designer – recent commissions: Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton Counter Culture; Madeley Town Council – Nine Men of Madeley


Forthcoming performances

Sunday October 26th

Singing songs from 40s/50s with keyboard for launch of The Hen Race by Alan Durham



Tuesday November 4th

Guest Poet/Musician at “The Works Canteen” with Dave Reeves

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley


Thursday November 6th

Performing poetry at Fergus McGonigal’s book launch



Saturday November 8th

Idle Women & Judies by Heather Wastie

National Waterways Museum, Gloucester


Tuesday November 11th

Mouth and Music, Kidderminster


Friday 21st November

Quiet Compere – Medical Themed Poetry



Saturday November 22nd

Special Guest with Harmonie Concert Band



Friday November 28th

Worcester Victorian Christmas Fair

Clik Clik Collective street entertainment


Starting late November

Christmas site-specific show at Croome Court, Worcs


Tuesday December 9th

Mouth and Music



Thursday December 11th 7.30pm

Featured poet/musician at WorcsLitFest Speakeasy




Products for sale

The Page-Turner’s Dilemma More poetry & tales from behind the music stand £7.50

TPTD cover

Poems of the Head – with photos, after an intensive Alexander Technique course £5.50

Poems of the Head cover

Alzheimer’s Army CD – 3 songs about dementia £3.50 (£1 goes to Alzheimer’s Society)

Alzheimer's Army CDs

Bananas from the Heart CD – poems & a few songs £5

Bananas from the Heart CD sleeve

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  1. Pingback: INKSPILL 2014 Links | awritersfountain

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