Category Archives: weekends

INKSPILL Taster or Teaser

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The full programme including this year’s Guest Writers will be revealed on the 27th. We have a new feature for 2017 – The INKSPILL Library where you will have instant access to selected archives from 2013 -2016 Writing Retreats.

INKSPILL Library

The Library will be open on Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday when it features additional archived material. 

We are featuring 2 Guest Writers this year.

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They will be revealed on the 27th. 

There will be short writing tasks, exercises and workshop activities, creative tests, exclusive interviews with our Guest Writers, book promotion (the INKSPILL Bookshop will be open all weekend), monologues, Inspiring Women Writers, a look at Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen & Siegfried Sassoon, Goal Setting, an interview with Zadie Smith, writing advice from Novelist Jill Dawson, an interview with Lee Child, editors discussing modern writing and the Launch of Contour WPL Magazine. As well as rich pickings from the archive featuring previous guests: Charlie Jordan, William Gallagher, Heather Wastie, David Calcutt, Alison May, Deanne Gist, Daniel Sluman, Gaia Harper & Roy McFarlane and more. 

 

 

5th Annual Writing Retreat INKSPILL

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Copy of Event Flyer (1)

INKSPILL 2017 Coming Soon Celebrate Our 5th Year

Book yourself some time off and treat yourself to a FREE online writing retreat this Autumn. Join us in real time, or wander around the posts at your leisure.
Easy links to previous years will also be available.

SPECIAL GUESTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!

INKSPILL 2016 is Coming

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In less than 24 hours INKSPILL 2016 will be underway. If this is your first year participating please read this post, if you have INKSPILLED before – please also read this post.

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This button can be saved and shared across your social media – let the world know what you are up to this weekend.

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How to Participate

Here are the INKSPILL Guidelines we encourage you to use:

YOU NEED TO:

  • Please FOLLOW awritersfountain blog to take part in the weekend.

  • LIKE the post when you have read it.

  • Spread the word of this FREE online writing retreat to others.

YOU CAN:

  • Dip in and out or accept you are on retreat for the entire weekend.

  • Please appreciate for the safety and wellbeing of all participants comments need to be approved, this will sometimes take a few hours.

  • You DO NOT have to share your writing publically. If it is a copyright/submission issue there is a CLOSED Facebook group you may join to share your work online.

  • We encourage LINKS to be shared if you are posting work elsewhere on the web.

REMEMBER:

  • Whether you are taking part in real-time or after the event, we appreciate ‘likes’, you can like and post as a guest if you have no WordPress account or sign up, there is a world of great blogs to explore on the platform.

  • Ideally we aim to create the sense of community, it is valuable to see other people here for INKSPILL. We encourage you to leave comments, feedback and links on the feed.

    Guest writers cannot access the statistics for traffic they can see comments and feedback. They have worked hard to provide part of the programme for us this year and have given their time free of charge. I am sure they will appreciate thoughts and comments on posts too.

     

We offer links to purchasing books and promote events and websites associated with our Guest Writers in lieu of payment. We make no profit ourselves and are unable to offer payment in any way. We appreciate you may not be able to place orders for books, please do not be offended by the option, some writers are rich enough to rattle their jewellery.

 

The History of INKSPILL

INKSPILL is a FREE online writing retreat, the idea came in 2013, the year I started blogging and returned to the world of writing. I discovered the Wonder Woman Weekend led by Iyanla Vanzant – I couldn’t afford the airfare or ticket price, so to cheer myself up (after spending a month back on the poetry scene) I started INKSPILL. imagesCABXRBCK

The success of the first year, (where with the help of the internet I facilitated the entire programme), showed me this was something to offer annually.

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In 2014, our second year, I started inviting Guest Writers to participate and provide exclusives for all of you writers and readers out there.

Created in 2013 and run annually, INKSPILL has been a free and non-profit making venture created & facilitated by Nina Lewis. Guest Writers have been used since 2014.


 

INKSPILL 2013 Facilitated by Nina Lewis

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INKSPILL 2014 Guest Writers;

William Gallagher, Charlie Jordan & Heather Wastie

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INKSPILL 2015 Guest Writers;

David Calcutt, Alison May & Daniel Sluman

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INKSPILL 2016 Guest Writers;

Robert Harper, Gaia-Rose Harper & Roy McFarlane

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Here is a link to our programme of events:

INKSPILL 2016 Programme


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52 Meet and Perform for the Stratford Poetry Festival

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52 The Event

52 by bernie briggs  © Bernie Briggs 2014

 

Jo Bell – creator of 52 and all round people’s goddess of poetry was this year’s resident poet for the Stratford Festival. She organised the virtual poets of 52 to meet up for a picnic at Hall’s Croft (the house of her residency) on Sunday 20th July, I cannot believe it was just 9 short days ago. Writing this blog post (which won’t look like it), has taken hours and brought all the excitement back to the surface again! Julie Gardener likened it to that strange state when you wake up from an anesthetic, relieved you are alive and a little out of your body and mind.

It was a superb day. The word of 52 has spread across the Midlands well, I had a small part to play in that – and so many local known poets were there – it was great to meet all the other 52ers, although I felt a bit anxious on the day (find me a poet who didn’t!) and didn’t mix as well as I wish I had. There were people I didn’t even get to talk to and some of them regularly comment on the poetry I post. Shame on me. All in the same boat a bit by the time we got to the pub at the end of the day hot, sweaty, sun burnt and thriving on adrenalin  there were 3 different parts of the pub people sat in so mixing with everyone was somewhat challenging – even saying goodbye to Jo at the end of the day was no mean feat as she was wedged between balcony and table – perhaps she was fed up of hugging people by then!

Shall I start at the beginning?

52 raffle  52 Jess Davies Halls croft© Jess Davies 2014

We all met in the gardens at Hall’s Croft for a picnic, Jo had moving speeches to make and treated us all to a poem. Then there was a free raffle, with bountiful journals and poetry/ writing books being gifted and some silly prizes too. I won the little felt penguin who is now sitting quite happily on the book shelves surrounded by all the books I have bought this past 10 months back in my poetry skin (helping the poetry ecology as Jo would say)! 52 picnic 3

Jo had some very special socks made by Liz Williamson, to go with her sock poem 52 photo by Bernie Briggs and during the speeches at certain points Jo sported a colander on her head in honour of Trish Traynor who sports one on her profile picture. Trish couldn’t make the event. Glasses were raised in a toast to absent friends (not dearly departed) just those who couldn’t get to Stratford for this event.52 Liz's magic socks Williamson 52 jo by rachael clyne

Then the mingling began. Excitement grew as our names were put into the colander (there were 54 poets in attendance I think) room to hear 20 of us at The Shakespeare Centre, for the ‘Poetry from 52’ event. Open to the public and many attended who weren’t 52 picnickers. The biggest audience at the centre for the poetry festival apparently.

52 picnic52 picnic452 picnic Hilary52 picnic A52 picnic 5 jess davies52 picnic 3

52 Polly and I52 Jess davies152 Holly Magill, Elizabeth Williamson, Ruth Stacey, Tessa Lowe, Carly Etherington, Julie Gardner, Polly Robinson and Nina Simon

Most of us didn’t even see the names coming out but later on Jo announced them. I couldn’t believe it! I wasn’t lucky enough to win the beautiful journal but I did win a spot for the 52 event.

52 colander of joy52 tess and i The Lucky Dance Tessa Lowe and I performed around it might have helped!

I had only taken 2 short poems to choose from – some 52ers had taken many and there was a flurry of paper and gadgets as people decided what to read. There was also a reserve list of poets. As poets are lovely creatures, we all kept our turns short, avoided hefty introductions and left the stage with enough space for all the reserve list and more – some on the spot (brave) poets performed.

The Shakespeare Centre – 52 Do Stratford

© Sarah Bryson 2014

© Sarah Bryson 2014

It was an amazing hour listening to entertaining and touching poetry, we have spent the year reading it and critiquing it from the safety of a screen but watching the poet’s perform their own words was beyond a powerful experience.

The Poet’s who performed were;

Carly Etherington, Natalie Baron,  John Mícheál Alwyine-Mosely, Sally Evans, Julie Gardner, Ruth Stacey, Nina Lewis, Rachael Clyne, Janice Windle, Carole Bromley, Nicky Phillips, Sue Simms, Simon Williams, Donell Dempsy, Nina Simon, Norman Hadley, Kathy Gee, Bernie Briggs, Tom Sastry and John Lanyon.

52 Carly Etherington 52 Natalie Baron 52 John Mícheál Alwyine-Mosely 52 sally Evans 52 Julie Gardner 52 Ruth Stacey 52 me

52 Rachael Clyne 52 Janice Windle 52 carole bromley 52 nicky phillips 52 sue simms 52 Simon Williams 52 Donall Dempsey

52 Nina Simon 52 Norman Hadley 52 Kathy Gee 52 Bernie Briggs flatpack furniture 52 Tom Sastry 52 John Lanyon

Then we had time for the Poets in Reserve;

Clive Dee, Sarah Watkins, Sarah Bryson, Hilary Robinson,

52 clive dee 52 sarah watkinson 52 sarah Bryson 52 Hilary Robinson

And finally due to no one taking too much time or limelight (egos left melting on picnic rugs), we even had time for some wonderful on the spot poets and I think you can tell they enjoyed a surprise chance of sharing their 52 poetry.

Myfanwy Fox, Susan Taylor,& Tessa Lowe

52 Myfanwy Fox 52 Susan Taylor 52 Tessa Lowe

52 shakespeare centre252 Shakespeare centre52 shakespeare centre 352 shakespeare centre 552 shakespeare centre 4

And the only way to follow that…. a Flash Mob Shakespeare style!

After the event at the centre we all met outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace (next door) for a Flash mob!

52 Hilary Robinson Flash mob

This flash mob was rather Stratford in style, in as far as it was announced and rehearsed! We read Sonnet 18 – another wonderful experience.

And to round off the event we all headed for the Dirty Duck pub down by the river,52 a crocodile of poets by myfanwy for more food, drinks and conversation. I didn’t really want to leave but Mr G had promised to cook a roast dinner and I had visions of mine being eaten too! So, eventually I had to tear myself away.

52 river pubJulie-Boden, Mary-Norton-Gilonne, Bernie-Howley, Roz-Goddard-and-Julie-Gardner

52 hardcore party goers

The 52 website – formerly ONLY for poetry and DEFINITELY not for conversation threads was inundated with euphoric poets singing everyone’s praises and raving about the spectacular day and hardly mentioning sunburn at all!

A joy and honour to be part of such a talented group of poets!

52 Jo bell Many thanks, Jo Bell.

I must mention Jonathan Davidson from Writing West Midlands as he organised the Poetry Festival and made sure events ran smoothly! Great job, Sir and Mary Norton Gilonne, who came across from France to celebrate this special day! WOW! 52ers travelled from all the UK, I was lucky to live so close!

Here for your viewing pleasure is one of the performances.

 

52 Donall Dempsey

 

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Donal Dempsey performing his Proverb poem to the delight of the audience in The Shakespeare Centre.

 

Caught the Sunday Xpress to the End of my Poetry Week!

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I have really enjoyed wearing my poetry skin this past week and I finished off with a set at the Sunday Xpress, in Digbeth.

It was good to see everyone, especially some people who have been away from the circuit for a while.

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An Excellent Day at The Hive

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Yesterday was National Library Day imagesG6NJNK82 and many of our libraries had special events or guests in attendance. By chance I happened to be spending the day in a library hive too for the first meeting of the Creative Writers’ Group I am now working as an Assistant Writer with.Write-On-2013-300x287

I have learnt that next month taking public transport will actually be quicker – I had to park far away from the city centre as all the central car parks were all flooded.

meet room It was a great day, the group is fantastic and it also forces me to get a little writing done.

Can’t wait until next month now! 🙂

Exciting NEW Prospects!

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Even a rejection email cannot dampen my spirits this evening! I have just spoken to IanMacLeod an award winning Novelist who happens to be the Lead Writer for the group I am about to start work with in the City this weekend. Write-On-2013-300x287The-Hive__Supported_CMYK-300x253In the role of Assistant Writer.

Chatting to him made this new venture suddenly very real! I am now looking forward to Saturday even more than I was before, a few butterflies, but it will be creative and fun!

 

Poets with Passion! {Event 1}

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Today has been a wonderful day!

I shared Sunday Dinner with family, which was lovely, especially as Mr G and I rarely bother with a roast dinner!

Then I spent the afternoon in Birmingham at Tessa Lowe’s event Poets with Passion. This event follows her success with Poets for Peace (back in November) when a group of us gathered in an act of Remembrance and shared poetry for peace. In between these events Tessa has spent most of her time travelling India.

do415com open mic It was a very popular event and I was glad of the PA system – mainly as I hardly any voice left due to spending 2 weeks with a hacking cough!

It was lovely to see everyone and chat to some newcomers – or new to me at least. The atmosphere was as relaxed and laid back as Tessa is and I hope she was delighted with the afternoon herself. It was so popular we are meeting again next month.

I am filled with poetry. 1 birm ort1

 

I am also delighted to say this news is shared as my 800th post on this blog!

Day 10 NaNoWriMo – 20K Smashed!

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I originally posted this morning – Post Marathon Cool Down NaNo

I have written today’s Nano in three parts – as I attended a Poets for Peace event this afternoon and dropped in on a birthday friend!

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Happy Birthday Liz!

This morning I managed 1289 words before getting ready for my Poetry set.

I have written in two sittings this evening – just before tea – a wonderful allotment grown pumpkin curry take 2 (less chilli) made by the delectable Mr G. and finished just now – laptop balanced on very full and happy stomach. I managed another 891 words bringing today’s total to

and my actual word count total to 20193!

I HAVE SMASHED 20K il_fullxfull_360728094 on a weekend that was kicked off by reaching 15K!

I am delighted. My personal challenge this weekend was to break 20K and I have still managed to go out spend an afternoon with friends, catch up on my sleep, attend a Poetry for Peace event, visit a birthday friend and finish reading my novel as well as writing just over 5000 words and writing 4 new poems!

WOW!

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Words Written Today = 2,180
Target Word Count 50,000
Total Words Written = 20,193
Words Remaining = 29,807 (see I said this would be below 30,000 before the end of the weekend!)
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Top TIPS for Wrimos – NaNoWriMo

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During the NaNo Marathon Writing_Marathon_851x315_1(yesterday, 9th November) I watched  LOTS of live streaming from the Google Hang Out – mainly to placate my guilt from not writing much as I spent the afternoon and evening with friends we’d not seen for a while and to feel part of the nano community as I missed the regional meet/ write in/ live marathon.

For those of you who didn’t run or watch and for those of you who did, here are some inspirational tips now we have passed the 30% barrier!

NaNoWriMo-General-FlyerTOP TIPS

on getting stuck….try

 

Chocolate

Taking a break

do something not novel related

Go back to it

Start at a different point

Some writers add a challenge word

Take a shower

Murder your inner editor

Chat or forums twitter – ask for help maybe someone out there has an idea

Look at cat pictures or something else on the internet every 15minutes or 100 words

Search random photos and add a scene about them

Dream sequences

Caffeine

Go to the library

People watch

Give yourself some inspiration for 10-15 minutes

Go for a walk

Take a timer 15-20 minutes

Go to the regional in person event – bunch of people trying to do the same thing

Word wars

Sprints

Have snacks handy

watch Google + hangouts

Go somewhere where all you can do is write

 

On hitting the wall;

keep writing and …

pray

sprint –  5 minutes as many words as you can

include certain things in the manuscript – wrimos pick key words/ objects etc

Ask ‘What would your character do if no-one was watching?’ & write!