Category Archives: Awards

WLF 2015 The Launch & Poet Laureate Final

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WLF Last night was the Launch of Worcester Lit Fest at The Guildhall. It was such a rainy, muggy day, the only thing missing was the forecast storm. I had my hair cut* in the morning and by the afternoon it was ruined with the humidity and had been straightened 3x by the time I left for the city! Strangely no-one mentioned the metre I had chopped off!

* I have a phobia when it comes to Hair Salons! My last cut was so long ago, you have seen photos, the condition of my hair wasn’t brilliant and let’s face it when you’re entering some major competition you need to be armed with every confidence boosting trick.

It hasn’t stopped raining since, it was so torrential last night we heard things coming down the chimney, things that sounded like falling bits of chimney and I didn’t think the conservatory roof was going to take the constant pressure.

It was a rainy evening which is not good for attracting audiences or poets, what a shame all brollied and waterproofed up, at least I had bought a new ‘holiday mac’ so I looked fresh in the rain. Mum came as my +1 and kindly drove as I was not in any fit state with nerves, it gave me a chance to just sit, cool down and chat, almost took my mind off the night. I had spent the day with raging butterflies, despite trying all sorts of calming techniques my heart was racing. In the end (and due to a late night) I decided sleep was the best avoidance technique and had a siesta.

I practised my poems, I was up against stiff competition and decided to go for it 100%. To be honest I hadn’t envisaged going for Poet Laureate yet and with such well known and talented poets in the back of my mind I never won it, despite all my positive thinking. The one thing I did want to do was my best. Apart from mixing a couple of words up, I did.

We had the air con on and when I stepped out of the car the heat hit me. I had already struggled with flustering getting ready so by the time I arrived at the Guildhall I was a mess (physically). Mum is a great calming influence as I don’t recognise the ‘hyper’ bit myself.

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It was lovely to see everyone, especially Tessa Lowe who stuck around before catching her train to wish me luck and will be very glad that she didn’t stay as it was a late finish!

The rest of this review is how it honestly felt as a participant, it is no reflection on the WLF team who work incredibly hard programming and organising events for the festival. Every volunteer and committee member did their best, it is just the nature of an evening where so much is packed in before the final of the poets.

I found it difficult to cope with friends in judging roles – who all had to be very distant with us, but were relaxed (thank goodness) after the results. Proceedings were started at times different to advertised, which when you are sitting in a hot room with fully charged adrenaline, nerves and a stadium’s worth of butterflies is not good.

Finally we started and some of the evening was brilliant, like the Children’s Story Writing Competition, they all performed their stories brilliantly. The Mayors and Town Council Reps were all in attendance – there was a certain element of ceremony about proceedings. Flash Fiction Prize winners were announced and some awards for local students at Worcester University, none whom could attend as they were all sitting exams. Finally, at I didn’t even look at the time – it was the 6 Finalists for WPL, our turn.

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Names had been drawn from a hat and I was to perform last, which scared me so much I verbalised my disappointment. I quite liked getting to see all the other performances first but I felt by the time my turn came the audience were wiped out. Hot, tired and poeted out on the previous 10 poems! So I kept my introductions very short and possibly lost some scores for this. But it was difficult performing to a group of people who appeared so tired. Let’s not blame the audience – it was difficult full stop. I was a wreck, attempting to remember 2 poems I hadn’t practised for over 4 hours and had only managed to get perfected the day before.

I don’t think the outcome would have been different no matter what I did and the person I thought would win, did. So afterwards I felt silly for having all that nervous energy, for taking the day off work in an attempt to remain calm etc. etc. but the flipside of all that mental preparation and rehearsing was I DID DO my best.

The judges took forever with the tough decision, which order to place the top 3. I think at one point we probably each sat in poll position in the discussion. A page width apart – which is a sliver. They meant the edge of the paper not the width of the sheet!

I am delighted to share the news that I came 3rd place! When my name was called I didn’t know if I was meant to go up to the stage or not. On the way up the steps, one of my new pink shoes came off (MY TRUE CINDERELLA MOMENT) – the people on stage congratulating and presenting awards couldn’t see my shoe on the step and wondered why I was running away so soon! Unfortunately, my mum couldn’t see me, once I was on the stage for the LITFEST banner on stage. I never got to see her face.

2nd place went to Suz Winspear and the winner this year was Heather Wastie, who will be a great Poet Laureate.

All six finalists were brilliant and competition was tough, especially for non-competitive poetry types. Looking back it was a fun night, I can honestly say I didn’t start enjoying it until the judges had disappeared for their ruling, which was about 3.5hrs after we started. Even then there was a edge of a flurry of butterflies constantly raving as we had no firm idea of the results. It was exciting.

It was the most highly anxious occasion I have ever attended. I have not felt such tension since waiting for graduation/ degree results and that is done from the comfort of your own home and you know the day and rough time so you don’t rinse yourself out for 24 hours beforehand! My heart was younger then too!

I need to give it some recovery time (my heart). It has 3 hours before I am off out for the final WWM session of this year. Actually it has a 5 day break before I perform again! It was almost as if I have booked a holiday!

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October Week 4 Writing, Editing, Book Launches, INKSPILL and MORE!

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The end of this month seems even busier than the beginning, which is crazy because I intentionally withdrew from performing poetry to concentrate on a writing project and take stock. With all the writing & editing there hasn’t been much time to take stock! I did have to take on a lot of day work (as my half term is unpaid) I managed one FULL day of writing mid-week which was a godsend! I spent most of this week preparing articles and posts for Inkspill, researching and communicating with our guest writers; William Gallagher, Charlie Jordan and Heather Wastie. If you missed it you missed a treat – follow this link to some of the programme, join in – it’s never too late! awf-2014 I was also working towards finishing a big writing project I have been involved on since the end of August. I spent hours writing on Wednesday, which was great – hard work feels so good when you love what you’re doing! I also received some news on Wednesday – I had been given an award from Arts all Over the Place for stepping in last minute to compere they opening event at the festival. AAOTP_3 I was able to go and pick up my award en route to the Restless Bones night at The Ort, due to work I didn’t get there in time to join in all the fun, very touched by Rachel Green and Arts All Over the Place. AAOTP Pictured with Big Bren – Birmingham’s host for Sunday Xpress. I hope to work with Rachel again in the future. Although I was working on Thursday the booking was amended last minute and I was able to leave early and to the Library of Birmingham for Poetry for Lunch with Jan Watts. I always love this short, fast paced game of poetry tag and we were watched by a bunch of school kids waiting to go to the Rep Theatre, it made me doubly grateful for the early release! pfl me choosing poems pfl oct In the evening Elaine Christie had organised another launch event for  Restless Bones Poetry Anthology. We were to perform poetry and watch the film Born Free. born free The Ort has lots of things going on some nights (it is community based) Thursday evening there was an art class in the gallery *(the space we had booked) and events and reservations in the café downstairs so we were up in the Gods in a level I never even knew existed as far from the bar and toilets as possible, still nothing a tray and some good balance couldn’t solve! Although there were a small select few of us another batch of books were sold, that’s over £330.00 for the born free all proceeds are being donated to charity. It was also one of those magical nights when the world seems right and everything is running to cosmic order. Those nights when you become aware of behind the scenes and feel incredibly touched by existence. Tessa Lowe had the idea that everyone else should pick poems to read which weren’t theirs – one of mine was by Emily Dickinson and it got read earlier, so I had to think on my feet – it was great to hear us all read words by somebody else, it was incredibly moving. As is the book, you really should buy yourself a copy! Come along to the next event 25th November where Restless Bones poets are reading at Poetry Bites, Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham (Kings Heath). BUY YOUR COPY THERE £9.99 restless the book It was a great evening with a wonderful atmosphere. I was also trying to squeeze in a trip to Hanbury Hall (National Trust Property) to visit an exhibition that Stanza members are writing poetry about, I am glad I didn’t attempt this too as Thursday left me exhausted. henrace3 I went after work on Friday – which was a pain with regards to the light and lack of time I spent with my notebook but was a lovely rest-bite from work traffic on a Friday night! There was so much going on in Birmingham this weekend. I missed it all as I had my project and Inkspill to attend to and had already accepted two weekend events I didn’t feel I could say anything other than YES to! The Poet Laureates took over the Library on Saturday with performances, workshops and a general spread of Poetry! SatelliteBritain’s Got Talent came to town and one of my poetry friends, Andrea Smith (a.k.a Swingerella) had a very successful audition – I expect we will see her on the TV soon! Ruth Stacey was involved in a writing walk – this was in Ledbury and not the city – but had I been available was something else I would have liked to do! It looked fab. I also missed SOCKTEMBER socktober which was an event I had planned to take part in performing poetry and enjoying a bonfire. I spent the time I would have been there chained to my desk writing and editing and I have no regrets there at all! I have made a note for this next year and hope to help the event and give the cause the time it deserves. I did manage to escape my desk briefly on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we celebrated a big and important birthday, my Great Aunty Sheila and we all saw my brother Dave and his wife, Jenny fresh back off their wonderful honeymoon. On Sunday teatime I attempted 1940-50s fancy dress – with the help of Google and a few items in my wardrobe I generally don’t wear anymore and certainly not together, styled my hair and shot off to Worcester for Alan Durham’s Book Launch of The Hen Race. alan durham http://henracepress.com/2014/10/28/keep-calm-and-carry-on/ Read all about it straight from Alan on his blog. It was a great launch, Heather Wastie played the keyboard and sang a selection of the songs mentioned in the book. She was brilliant! henrace1 Polly Robinson and Heather read extracts as well as Alan and the wonderful cover art was on display. HENrace 2 We were spoilt with drinks and canapés and it didn’t even matter that my worst fear was realised, people hadn’t realised I was in fancy dress! It was lovely to pop in and see everyone too and the room was packed. A great turn out for the launch. The empty seat was mine. henrace4   Every spare minute of the last few weeks has been spent on my writing project, so much so that despite reminders in my writing schedule it was only 7 day before that I had started to instigate work on the writing weekend. I felt awf-2014 whirl was a great success, lots of hard work went into making it happen, especially with other commitments and opportunities that have arisen this year! Thanks again to everyone who took part! It was a full and action packed week!

2013 Charles Causley Poetry Competition Winners Announced

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Congratulations to Jo Bell (1st Prize), Dorothy Coventon (2nd), Simon Pomery (3rd) –and all the shortlisted poets.

You can read the winning entries on the Charles Causley Poetry Blog. You can also ‘follow’ and keep up to date with any competition news for 2014. Who knows maybe next year it could be you (or me!) 🙂

 

You can also listen to Jo Bell reading The Icicle Garden here on SoundCloud.

The Charles Causley Trust

The Charles Causley Trust is delighted to announce the winners of the first ever Charles Causley Poetry Competition, in aid of the continuing project to renovate the late poet’s house in Launceston, Cornwall and supporting an on-going programme of Writing Residencies and Literature events.

The competition closed in November 2013, and offered a top prize of £3000 with runners up prizes of £500 and £100. Sir Andrew Motion judged the competition and presentation to the winners by Sir Andrew was held on 28th January 2014.

• 1st Prize of £3000 was awarded to Jo Bell for ‘The Icicle Garden’

• 2nd Prize of £500 was awarded to Dorothy Coventon for ‘The River Trevillet’

• 3rd Prize of £100 was awarded to Simon Pomery for ‘Love Poem to Black Pudding’

To read the winning poems click here

Shortlisting, Sir Andrew also highly commended the following poems:

• Once in Wapping’ by

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An Award for the End of 2013 – Dragon’s Loyalty Award

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Thank you Meghan bday

Thank you to Meghan for passing the Dragon Loyalty award forward to us. Congratulations on receiving it yourself too! (I think I forgot that on my message in my excitement to collect it!)

We were nominated for this award on 22nd December.

Here is the lovely shiny award – award dragon

I would love to add it to the sidebar but apparently I have used all the space…

Apparently the Dragon’s Loyalty Award is a combination of both The Versatile Blogger Award and The Very Inspiring Blog Award.  Meghan is an inspiring woman and her blog is lovely (go visit it – linked at the very top of this post!) we do some of the same writing challenges and many followers here are already followers of her too.

Here comes the hard bit – I love receiving awards (who doesn’t) but then I have to find other bloggers who are willing to accept them and even harder find some interesting facts to write about myself that I haven’t already disclosed in the past year on my blog!

THE RULES:

1. Display the Award on your site /

2. Announce it with a post and link to whoever presented your award /

3. Present 15 awards to deserving Bloggers.

4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them to the post

5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself. /

7 interesting things about me

1. Despite attempting to be an organised writer (I have created several new email accounts this year) I always have more than 1500 unread emails in my original/ personal email account! Not something I am proud of and many are newsletter subs, but it is my guilty secret, the mess of my e-life!

2. I was first published when I was 15 years old in a print anthology of ‘Green’ poetry.

3. ….. Struggling already and quite glad at this point it is only 7 interesting facts! I took my work experience at a theatre and served tea and biscuits to Robert (swoon!) Powell.

4. My favourite food is allotment fresh sweetcorn (corn cobs)! No need to add butter.

5. I lost 4 1/2 stone (63 lbs) a few years back and will be attempting to do the same in 2014!

6. (Nearly there! This is a real uphill struggle…) I taught myself to read sheet music when I was 8.

7. Mr G’s nickname (1 of many) for me is Chattymuns – because I chat a lot! For my birthday this summer he ordered a custom made wooden sign ‘Chattymuns’ which we have displayed in the garden by the Summer House (oh and according to him I also have my own catchphrase!) 🙂

15 Amazing Bloggers Nominated for the award:

In no particular order – be back to post – giving it some thought.

 

Best Moment Award

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We were awarded this back in late April – May has been a mad month so I sat on it for a while and now have the time to pass it forward.

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My thanks to Kristen Hope for nominating me for this award. Go check out her great blog. Sounds to me like she is making big life changes this year too – just like me.

The rules of receiving this award are that I must write an acceptance speech and nominate other bloggers.

Acceptance Speech red carpet

2013was always going to be my year of transformation and change. I have been at rock bottom for far too many years and this year have definitely started a ‘journey’ – my life has been in stagnate pools for too long – unchanged and laborious – recently I have re-discovered 2 things;

Opportunity brings opportunities

Have faith to take that leap

I also know that when I am driving my life I am quite good at controlling the way things go. (Being strong minded and determined) there are some major changes in my life this year – some I am not yet able to post about – but believe me they weren’t easy decisions to make – my life is much better for making them though!

One of the best things was starting this blog. Hard to maintain at the moment as I don’t have 24/7 net access. I have met so many great people – read so much talent fuelled writing and generally had a great time. And now have started picking up blog awards – which feels amazing.

I am grateful to each and every one of you who follows A Writers Fountain and I love the fact that people now leave comments as well as likes.

I created the blog to keep me on the yellow brick road to a writing life (last time I gave up after I had no rent money) and I hoped it would be read – not only have I achieved the initial objectives but I have enjoyed every splash. I have been inspired by so many great bloggers out there it will be difficult to choose my nominations – especially after passing the other awards forward recently.

I decided my criteria for this would be Blogs that have offered me a best moment – an inspiring post, an opportunity, a connection – that is not to say that if your blog is not nominated you haven’t provided me the above – I wouldn’t be following you in the first place if I didn’t love your blog. I also believe in spreading the love – so if I have nominated you for a different award you might not be nominated again for a while.

So my nominations for Best Moment Award are;

http://bottledworder.com/

http://travel-monkey.me/

http://afullnessinbrevity.wordpress.com/

http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/

http://herecomethelobsters.wordpress.com/

Mainly thank you for all your wonderful blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

A Writer’s Fountain – ‘Best Moment’ our 3rd Award

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I have finally submitted my nominees today for the awards I received back in April.
I discovered another award yesterday that I hadn’t picked up! Also from April (28th)
Thank you Kristen
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For this award we have to make a speech and some nominations. I will update this post later in the week with both!

Shine On Award – Nominations

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On the 24th April this blog received 2 awards –https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/waters-nominated-for-1st-award/ click the link for the original post. I would like to extend my thanks to ARNeal for nominating awritersfountain. I am now ready for the challenge of nominating 15 other sites for this award! 2013-shine_on-from-eye-dancera

“The Shine On Award requires you to nominate 15 other blogs, who in turn can post this award on their own sites and nominate others for the award.  It also requires that you then list a few other blogs that tickle your fancy.”

And the nominees are… (in no particular order)

Please excuse the fact that I sent most of you a pingback and not a personal message, I have to get on with work, work and I have been online all afternoon!

Other blogs I like;

http://herecomethelobsters.wordpress.com/

http://travel-monkey.me/

http://backgardenvegetables.wordpress.com/

Finally – My Nominations for the Liebster Award!

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liebster-award

Back in April (click the award for the original post) my blog was nominated for awards. I need to pass this forward now, I have been searching for nominees, many blogs I follow already have strings of awards and multiples, I was so excited to be nominated that I want to give them to people like me, who had none. I have since discovered that people accept multiples of the same award, my list of 11 blogs may include blogs that have had awards already. The other issue that made this a time consuming task – many of the blogs I follow are well established and have over 200 followers.

I hope some of you will have time to explore other blogs I follow, I love finding new places through other blogs.

Firstly, thanks to Rebecca for nominating AWritersfountain for a Liebster.

There were no questions to answer on the original nomination post, now Rebecca’s blog has been nominated for another Liebster award and has encouraged us to use the questions this time.

When you receive a Liebster you have to write;

  • 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions from your nominator
  • Nominate 11 blogs with under 200 followers
  • Leave them 11 questions to answer

11 Facts

  1. My favourite fairy tale as a young child was ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’
  2. Stories I still carry in my heart are ‘The Waterbabies’, ‘The Railway Children’, ‘Little Women’ and ‘The Wind in the Willows’.
  3. I used to be a dancer.
  4. I love Zumba.
  5. I am a trained Life Coach.
  6. My favourite food is Sushi.
  7. My father is a Jazz Musician.
  8. I love watching ‘The Big Bang Theory’.
  9. I enjoy travelling with my backpack.
  10. I still wear ‘character’ socks.
  11. I am a middle child. (Or I was, I have grown up a bit since!)

11 Questions

  • Got any hobbies? What do you do when you have a day to play around? 
  • I like to read, watch great films, visit craft centres and art galleries. I don’t have time for more adventurous hobbies at the moment with working and writing taking up all my free time, so these are things I enjoy doing rather than hobbies. I used to do Zumba, but need to get fit again before I can return to class! A whole day to play? Now that I would love! They don’t really happen at all unless I am away on holiday.
  • How about pets? Anything more exotic than dogs or cats?
  • I don’t have any pets Mr G and I used to have goldfish, they didn’t live very long.
  • Sports: Watch or participate? Or neither? 
  • I used to as a kid, I played Netball at County level and Hockey for the School, I am really not very sporty, I am a sore loser. I love watching tennis and have been to Wimbledon a few times, I discovered the joys of Rugby a few years ago, I love watching the Winter/ Summer Olympics, I watch football when it is the world cup. The closest I get to sports is on the Wii!
  • Original Star Wars (Episodes 4-6) or new Star Wars (Episodes 1-3)?  Original Star Wars.
  • What part of the world would you most like to visit? New Zealand.
  • Do you think there is life in other parts of the universe? Quite possibly, Mr G likes to watch the Science shows, I have learnt quite a lot about the possibility of such things.
  • What’s your favourite season? Summer, the sunshine & warmth make me feel  I was born in August.
  • If you had the chance, would you go back to school to study something new? What? They have recently started an A-Level in Creative Writing, I would definitely do that.
  • What’s the strangest thing you have sitting out in your dining room? I don’t have a dining room.
  • What’s your favourite type of music? I like The Doors, The Beatles, David Bowie, Elbow, the Black Angels and many other bands.
  • If you could go back in time, when and where would you visit? The Wild West.

Drum roll – now the Nominees

http://kyrabandte.wordpress.com/

http://blackophelia.wordpress.com/

http://anniesamazingplace.wordpress.com/

http://starvingactivist.wordpress.com/

http://the-positivity-project.com/

http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/

http://colouryourdream.com/

http://melorajohnson.wordpress.com/

http://writelindy.wordpress.com/

http://shortofstories.wordpress.com/

http://journalofmysoul.wordpress.com/

and finally…

The 11 Questions for my nominees to copy and answer;

  1. What is your favourite book?
  2. What would be your chosen pen name?
  3. What’s your favourite film(s)?
  4. Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do in your spare time?
  5. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  6. The greatest lesson you have learnt in life?
  7. Your hopes for the future? (Could be your future, the planet, your Country)
  8. Name three things you did this morning.
  9. What was your first job?
  10. Who is your hero/ person you admire and are inspired by?
  11. If you could change 1 thing about yourself what would it be?

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Have fun and display your banners proudly!

WORDPRESS Wizards I need your help!

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My 200th Blog post is a CRY for TECHNICAL SUPPORT!black-tablet-pc

 

My theme is Matala as you can see and I have spent the best part of an hour trailing around trying to educate myself about widgets. I am attempting to add a sidebar widget so I can display our brand new blog awards here at AWritersFountain. I have seen people who have the same theme have their awards to the right of the blog roll.

PLEASE, Please, please can you give me all your technical advice so I can continue tonight’s main goal of reaching 40,000 words before bedtime in Camp Nano.

Please help me – you are my only hope – really!

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P.S: You will notice I have managed to add extra buttons to share the posts if you are so inclined.

Double Splash! Waters Nominated for 1st & 2nd AWARDS!

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200533564-001 Cheshire cat grin!

Wow eowo wiow wow!

Our first award in the fountain.

Many thanks to Rebecca …. WP_000735

Big splashes of gratitude. I am overjoyed 🙂

Just popped back over and found my message from A R Neal…. Big thanks  for  the award…WP_000735

It feels like the Oscars!

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