Tag Archives: Charlie Jordan



The Library will be open throughout the weekend. I will add archived INKSPILL links for you to delve into at your leisure. Enjoy.





Historical Fiction and Research

Historical Fiction Part 2





Guest Writer William Gallagher tells us














With Guest Writer Heather Wastie 





With Guest Writer Charlie Jordan 





includes video – Nina Lewis 





I had the great pleasure of FINALLY seeing Inua Ellams perform in Birmingham this Spring, he also did a blinding set at the Swindon Poetry Festival this Autumn. 

This is a poetry film, featured as part of 2015 INKSPILL writing retreat. 


Nigerian-born Inua Ellams, a London-based writer, created the story “Dolphins” as part of “The Refugee Tales”, works about the journeys of refugees and migrants seeking safety in Britain. Ellams worked with children who have made treacherous journeys across desert and sea, and wrote the stories based on their experiences.  © Film for Action




Guest Poet Interview with Daniel Sluman on his 2nd collection 



Come back to the Library tomorrow where we will have more links for you from INKSPILL 2015 & 2016.

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


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!

INKSPILL 2014 Links


Thanks to everyone who made this year’s INKSPILL a success!

AWF circle

Please remember to share – I will be connecting social media and Guest posts later on today. Here are links to some of the 30+ wonderful posts created over 2 days! See you next year!


awf-2014 whirl


WATCHmotivation dreams

Welcome + Motivational Video

Stephen King On Writing

William Gallagher Guest

Writing Motivation

You vs Yourself


READ books1


Meet Our Guest Writers

You Vs Yourself

NaNoWriMo Includes links to 4 articles.

Archive INKSPILL 2013 4 articles;

Historical Research

Writing Historical Fiction

How to Write a Short story

The WHY Technique


GUEST POSTS ticket 2014


How To Get Rejected

Making Time To Write

Writing Doctor Who

What You Get From Writing



On Her Writing Journey

Editing A Poem


Histrionic water

Spaghetti hoops



Thoughts on Writing & Editing Part 1

Thoughts On Writing & Editing Part 2


ACTIVITIES writing_swirls



Speedwriting-An Article in Under 30 Minutes

Night Write

Book Discussion

Final Write Subjects and Dialogue





Products cost more than £2.00inkspill disclaimer



Our Guest Writers kindly gave up their time this year to write material for INKSPILL for FREE. They all did more than I expected and I am very grateful. I have my own plan for how to thank William, Charlie and Heather and I will.

Another way I can say thank you is by opening a gift shop to sell their wares.

If you get a chance to hear any of our Guests speak or perform then GO DO IT! You will not be disappointed. charlie jordan Heather Wastie headshot ©2014 Lee Allen Photography  *

*©2014 Lee Allen Photography


NOW fs open


William’s Store – Click the bookshop… piles_of_books-red


Charlie’s Anthologies would be for SALE on the shelves in a Tea Room, filled with plenty of cake and poets!  Click the picture wolverley tea shopFacebook

Charlie’s Tea  Shop (CAKES)

You can listen to Charlie on Smooth Radio or HERE and watch her perform her poetry all over the Midlands.


Heather, would need an eclectic shop, a fusion of musical instruments, CDs and poetry.

vertu-bar-photo-created in birmingham Heather’s Store

Click it


Other products are shown on the Bio Post here

And if you have no money – say a virtual thanks by choosing a button – blogging about INKSPILL and link back to AWF! Spread the word… let’s watch it grow!

AWF pencil sketch     AWF r awf-2014


inkspill-pink2014  awf-2014 ink


INKSPILL: Guest Writer – Charlie Jordan – Thoughts on Writing and Editing (Part 2)


Guest Writer ticket 2014

Charlie Jordan – charlie jordan

Thoughts on Writing and Editing (Part 2)


Balance? No idea – just squish bits of writing in whenever you can, and accept that life sometimes gets so busy with work and family responsibilities, that you may not always have space…….that’s ok too – sometimes the only hour you get free needs to be spent walking in the park and clearing your head.

Don’t get too Ivory Tower about your writing, we all have images of sitting in a particular location, with elegant stationery or a Macbook and endless hours to focus on our craft – but the reality may be scribbling on a train in rush hour, or when waiting to collect the kids on the school run – hoping they’re running a few minutes late today, so you can finish a piece. 😉 Sometimes it’s just a few brief notes or thoughts for working on another time, and that’s ok.


I love the books by Natalie Goldberg on writing, and she writes about Zen practise too – so as someone who’s dabbled with Buddhism for 30 yrs, I can re-read her books and still savour new nuances.

Others rave about Stephen King’s book on writing, or Julia Cameron – read widely and see what works for you, but don’t allow too much reading about writing equate to never actually doing any writing! It’s a fine balance…. I read Buddhist books, Pema Chodron & Thich Nhat Hanh are among my favourites, food books, authors like Elizabeth Gilbert – who have such a clear voice I can hear them speaking from the page, and of course – poetry……from early favourites like Maya Angelou – who wrote and spoke as a 6 foot woman, like me – and I didn’t know any other tall women then, so I felt like she understood!

Benjamin Zephaniah, as a Brummy and hugely charismatic poet and writer who is equally at home writing for children or engaging in more serious political poetry, sometimes combining both in his young adult novels, Sharon Olds – whose work Jo Bell introduced me to – which reminds me – you should look up Jo Bell.

© Sarah Bryson 2014

© Sarah Bryson 2014

Now! She’s a powerhouse of poetic life force, fiercely talented and a warm, friendly mischievous woman whose love of poetry and boating meets perfectly in her currently being our canal Laureate. She instigated 52 – a brilliant initiative online for weekly poetry prompts and sharing of new work – hopefully in a book for next year so we can all catch up on it. Lemn Sissay too – outstanding energy on the page and off the page and sometimes inscribed into walls – Google him now & look….. So many other names, too many to mention – but poets like Jaqui Rowe, Angela France, Helen Ivory are worth your time and generally dip into collections of poetry like a ‘pick & mix’ to stumble on new favourites. Performance poets to recommend include Hollie McNish, Bohdan Piasecki, Kate Tempest, Matt Windle, Spoz, Maggie Doyle – several of whom are friends, but of course I’m not biased – they’re outstanding poets too.

BL RH jACQUIKathy MaggieQC Matt Windle Gary Longden

Angela francebohdan-piasecki Hollie

Connect with other writers when you can, it’s such an isolating process – so writing groups, open mics, writing courses and literary festivals – go and find your tribe as it were! I’ve found the West Midlands to be full of some hugely talented writers, who are also encouraging and supportive people who welcome new poets and want to build up their confidence.

One thing that makes me sad is when a writer spends time and energy criticising another writer’s work. This may be amusing with the big name million selling, prize winning stars parry in the broad sheets to get the headlines for their new bestseller…..but for the rest of us in the real world – be kinder! Don’t waste your finite words, and energy in negativity and try to divide the already small community of writers and artists and claim some work is superior to others. Of course we’re not all going to love every word or genre written, but why denigrate someone’s hard work and sneer – instead why not tell us whose work you love?

Share what sets you alight with inspiration and we too may indulge in the excitement of discovering new favourite writers.



Update things. This is as much for me as you……I’ve been presenting the Drivetime show at Smooth radio in the West Midlands since March, but haven’t updated my website this year….ooooops! My friend Dave does all the technical stuff for it, but I’ve not sent him any new copy for months – so, note to self – update it……… Nina’s much better at this


On Editing

Editing – try actually chopping a piece up. Literally with scissors and physically swap words or lines around in a poem…..sometimes it frees things up in a way you’d never discover on a computer screen. And you get to play with blue tack or sellotape – always fun!



This is just a few rambling thoughts scribbled extremely quickly, so to wrap up I should say something really profound and meaningful and well thought out – like I was planning this destination all along…..erm…..oooopssssss…..oh wait, yes – that’s it….. Feel free to ignore/discard/forget every word of this or anything else……… different things will work for us all at different times. There is no one definitive answer, but by reading widely and dipping into and out of things, you’ll be likely to discover something you do like, that fits right now.

So Good luck, go write and enjoy.

Oh and one more thing, try writing with your friends – I did it with Divas, and we’ve had the best fun and once our diaries are all link up, we’ll be doing it again and having the best writing and performing fun ever, and tea, cake & mischievous giggles!



INKSPILL: Guest Writer Charlie Jordan – Thoughts on Writing & Editing Part1


ticket 2014Charlie Jordan –

Guest Writer charlie jordan

Thoughts on Writing & Editing (Part1)

Rambling thoughts of a 6 ft poet……


Eat cake, drink tea and then look back on something you’ve written – it definitely helps the editing process! And if you can, leave it untouched for as long as possible – an hour, a day, a week…..the longer the better, as distance will give you a clearer perspective. Sometimes you stumble on something scribbled long ago and forgotten, and can spot the potential lines crying out for a new poem, or the fact that the whole piece of paper belongs in the recycling bin.

Be prepared to write badly. We all do, sometimes. It’s ok, and with hindsight you’ll love some of your work more than others. Some will seem as awkward as teenage diaries, or embarrassing old school photos. 😉 Just keep going, start something new and keep the faith….. my boyfriend is a scientist and uses statistics to say that the chances are the next piece will be better….or something like that, but with several graphs and copious numbers and scientific theories…..

Morning pages are a good idea if you’re stuck in a writing rut – see Julia Cameron and just sit down with bed-head hair, pen & paper and a cup of tea and scribble whatever is in your head to clear it out onto the page.  Then you can mine it for the odd random good thought to work with, or start something afresh later that day with a clear head and a few pages of notes already scribbled – proof you are a writer! Although these pages are never to be read by another, no matter how much they love you. If i’m doing them, I make my handwriting so illegible that even I struggle to re-read them. Or maybe that’s just because it’s too early and my hand was still asleep at the pen…..

pen sarah wilko anderson

Don’t write the same poem. Again. Don’t write the same poem! Of course we’ll all have certain subjects we return to, or familiar themes, but try new things too….which is where a writing exercise or a workshop can highlight a new area for you and will be refreshing. Write about cheese, or your grandmother’s hands, about the first day at school, the urges you have when you order coffee from the cute barista, write in the voice of an excited 5 yr old at school playtime etc. You will still come through quite clearly in any of these subjects by the way, even if you can’t spot it! I did a residency at WBA (West Bromwich Albion) football club and wrote a piece as a small boy and performed it, to be told – ‘Oh that was just like you!’  so we’ll still leave a trace of our own DNA behind. Sometimes writing surprises you. I was introduced at a gig, by the uber talented and lovely Polarbear poet, as being a romantic poet who wrote about love. I was horrified. I thought, hang on – just because I’m the only woman on the bill, doesn’t mean I’m a soppy loved up girl. Then I realised I was, despite my tom boy image. Damn – poetry can do this – it outs you!

Liz Lefroy

  • Say yes to things. Obviously not if it’s unsafe – so don’t agree with you wildest friend to step into a lion’s cage while wearing platform wedges and drinking tequila…..but in the writing sense, say yes. Offer to help at an event, or read at one, or mentor someone, or go on a writing course, or co-write something with someone. Be honest if you’ve not much experience, but go for it and you’ll learn all sorts of things in the process and meet new people and something positive will usually come from it.
  • This is how I began writing, applying for a short writing course – even though the last thing I’d written down was 20 yrs earlier. I discovered I was the only newcomer on a course squished full of extraordinarily talented & experienced people, mostly published and who all seemed to know each other already and were all very knowledgeable about things I’d never heard of. Yikes. But it was fine, they were a lovely bunch, some of whom are now friends. And I was a novelty, so perhaps that was refreshing for them too. Never feel you have to pretend to be anything you’re not – just be yourself – in life and in writing.


  • P.S sometimes you’ll say yes to so many things that there are barely enough hours in the day…… I’ve had one of those months lately and my computer breaking and deciding not to work again, just out of guarantee…..grrrrrrrr….hasn’t helped, so this is being scribbled extraordinarily hastily while doing a radio show….and preparing for the Poets Laureate Takeover day in the LOB (Library of Birmingham)  tomorrow – Sat 25th October.*


Thanks for your input Charlie, especially in light of your busy schedule and technical failing of all technology! Great advice!


* I advertised this on social media and didn’t get a chance with Inkspill and 94th Birthday celebrations to get to the library or advertise it on the blog! Missed a treat I’m sure. It was part of the Voices season.

Birmingham Poets Laureate Take Over

A morning of pop up poetry readings, performances and workshops led by former Poets Laureate

Saturday 25 October 2014, 10.30am – 1pm throughout the Library of Birmingham



Drop into the Library of Birmingham for poetry performances, poetry surgeries, workshops and plenty of interactions from some of the city’s former Poets Laureate and Young Laureates. Join the band of wandering poets to celebrate and showcase the best of Birmingham over the years.

A morning of pop up poetry readings, performances and workshops led by former Poets Laureate including Jan Watts, Charlie Jordan, Roy McFarlane, Giovanni Esposito (aka Spoz), Adrian Johnson, Simon Pitt, Chris Morgan, and Julie Boden.

Former Young Poets Laureate Matt Windle, Damani Dennisur and Lauren Williams will also be on hand to inspire youngsters to take up poetry.

Pictured Charlie Jordan and Jan Watts poets

More from Charlie Jordan soon – look out for Part 2


INKSPILL: The Journey



Whether you like the term journey or not, it describes the trials and tribulations, the fast lanes and windy Country Lanes of what we go through when embarking on a writing life. My journey itself has been referred to (mainly by Fergus McGonigal – Worcester’s Poet Laureate) as a Poetry Odyssey! Something that when I first heard I didn’t really agree with, nowadays – I DO!

I decided to start the blog to almanac the beginning of my journey in 2013, so hidden in the archives are all you will ever want to know about my journey, we found out in Charlie Jordan’s Biography yesterday that she wrote poetry for just one year before becoming Birmingham’s Poet Laureate (2007) and Heather Wastie has been kind enough to prepare an entire post about her own journey.

Your own personal journey serves such interest that it could become an article, blog or book all of its own.

Please feel free to share YOUR journey here with us and look out for Heather’s post about her own journey in INKSPILL this morning.

open road

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 williamgallagher.com 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: http://amzn.to/1dO1nue




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

INKSPILL 2014 – Programme of Events




Welcome to  INKSPILL 2014, here is the programme of what’s coming up over the weekend. Remember you can follow in real time (GMT) or just dip in at your leisure.

If you are currently working on a writing project or preparing for NaNoWriMo, then gather your notes and start by giving yourself some time to write.



AM Session from 09:00

9:00 Programme of Events

9:15 Welcome  to INKSPILL – Motivational Video

9:25 Introductions – Let us know you are here – no matter when you decided to dip in!

inkspill coffee

9:50 Morning Activity – Pens at the ready

10:50 Meet Our GUEST Writers (Bio)  – William Gallagher, Charlie Jordan & Heather Wastie

11:30 An Article on EDITING

12:00 Freewrite Activity


LUNCH donuts_sweet_glaze_chocolate_nuts_45096_480x800


PM Session from 14:00

14:00 A video from a Master to get you back in the mood – Stephen King on writing – Running time 55 mins. Enjoy!

An Afternoon with William Gallagher – Guest Writer

15: 00 A Video From our Guest Writer William Gallagher

  • How to Get Rejected


  • Making Time to Write


  • Writing Doctor Who


  • What You get from Writing
 inkspill coffee
Evening Session from 20:30
20:30 SpeedWriting – How to Write an Article in under 30 minutes
21: 30 Night Write
AWF circle WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED DAY 1 – Sleep well!


AM Session from 09:00
9:00 A Video for the Morning – Write! (6 minutes – or possibly 18 – you will want to watch it over) Guaranteed to fire you up!
9: 30 A Breakfast Book Discussion
10:30 Feedback on DAY ONE
 inkspill coffee
11:00 The Journey
From 11:30 A morning with Heather Wastie
  • Guest Writer Heather Wastie shares her writing journey
  • Heather Wastie Editing a Poem
  • Heather Wastie’s Poetry: Histrionic water
  • Heather Wastie’s Poetry: Spaghetti hoops
LUNCH pancakes
PM Session from 14:00
 AWF retreat2
14:00 Motivation – a little of my story and a video
 14: 30 An Afternoon with Charlie Jordan
17:15 Preparing for NaNoWriMo – Archives
18:50 A Delve into the Archives (AWF  Online Writing Retreat 2013)
  – Including articles on Writing Short Stories, Research & Historical Fiction.
 AWF emboss
From 20:00
20:00 The Final Writing Session
21:30 Evaluation and Feedback

22:00 INKSPILL SHOP – Open 24/7 fs open

Come and buy products featured in INKSPILL or written by our 2014 Guest Writers, who have given their time and words to us all this weekend FOR FREE! Support them back if you can.

One Day Away! INKSPILL 2014



I am sooooooooo excited now! Like a child on Christmas Eve! This year’s writing retreat is going to be even better than the first event I ran last year.

The initial idea came when I found out about Iyanla_Vanzant’s Wonder Woman Weekend.

Ianyla PilotimagesCABXRBCK


I couldn’t afford to go, although it would have been a great event to attend, I decided I could facilitate my own special weekend in place of this and Inkspill was born.

This year, you not only have me but also three very special Guest Writers who have prepared all sorts for you to enjoy and DO! Yes INKSPILL is your chance to write and we hope that you will accept the challenge and join us over the weekend.

Thanks again to William Gallagher, Charlie Jordan and Heather Wastie, who all accepted my invitation in February to be part of this year’s INKSPILL Writing Retreat.

©2014 Lee Allen Photography charlie jordanHeather Wastie headshot

© Lee Allen Photography


For those of you who simply can’t wait until tomorrow here are some links to INKSPILL 2013: Go play!

How to Write Short Stories

Getting Organised How to be a Productive Writer

Writing Comedy

Ideas for Writing Everyday

And much more – use the menu TABS at the bottom of the Blog – Find INKSPILL and then click 25th October 2013 on the sidebar calendar to begin!