Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Honorary Patrons
Dame Beryl Bainbridge
Baroness James of Holland Park
Jacqueline Wilson OBE
Maureen Lipman
Colin Dexter OBE

2010 was the year I decided to become a serious writer and Winchester was my foot up.

Don’t get me wrong, i’ve been writing poetry and stories from around the age of five, but 2010 was the year to take my writing seriously; to be brave and let other people read my work.

Two years prior I had been involved in a car accident that left me with fairly minor injuries…….at the time! The injuries became more serious as time went on. Last October I spent almost four long weeks in two hospitals, and many more months sick and weak; not nice! But it was the kick up the butt I needed to release my inner creative genius, ahem. Boring back story over and done with; exciting future beckoned.

Where do I start? I mean, it’s obvious you take the first step on a ladder, but which ladder?

So, first things first – the internet. Research into other writers I like, read and respect; Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, James Herbert, Tolkien, Kate Morton, Dickens etc, etc to name but a few (I have eclectic taste in everything!!).

Stephen King had published a book on writing called, well, Stephen King, On Writing; what a perfect place to begin. His “memoir of the craft” was inspirational (a fellow accident survivor) and brilliant, just what I needed to read.

Wise words!!

Amazon was my next port of call; books on grammar, writing and publishing.

Finances and my situation at the time did not allow me to attend a course / college, so books and websites were my only option. Within minutes of searching (books on writing) I found the most brilliant and comprehensive book; Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff. This book covered pretty much everything, so became my bible.

Jurgen Wolff recommended that I attend the Winchester Writers’ Conference, so, I checked out their website. Wow, this year they had the one and only Sir Terry Pratchett giving the Plenary Speech. SIR TERRY PRATCHETT!!! I love him….. ticket sold. Saving every penny I had, I bought my place and entered a couple of the competitions detailed on their website.

Attending this conference was the best decision I had ever made. Winchester guided me to a doorway into a world I never knew existed; a world of words and wordsmiths, aspiring authors just like me. For the first time in my life I felt like I was somewhere I belonged, with people just like me.

“Hello, my name is Kirie and i’m a bibliophile.”

Hundreds of delegates from all corners of the globe attended the 2010 conference, I am honored to call some of these budding writers my friends. We keep in touch, moan and support each other in our otherwise solitary fantasy lives.


“The Winchester Writers’ Conference offers a wide range of courses, workshops and one to one appointments for the aspiring or established writer.”

The 2011 conference is a must! I recommend that all budding writers reading this do their best to get there!

Barbara Large MBE FRSA HFUW
Founder-Director Winchester Writers’ Conference

In the words of the organisers; 

“Writing West Midlands is the Literature Development Agency for the West Midlands.”

“We focus on work to develop opportunities for writers, including supporting young writers and building audiences for writing. We exist to help good writing and literature activities flourish in the West Midlands.”

(Event held at South Birmingham College, Saturday 20th November 2010)

This was the first time that I had attended a Writers’ conference in The Midlands, though it was their third gathering; I have always had to travel further afield as I didn’t realise there was such a vast and enthusiastic pod of writers in my area (what is the name for a group of writers?? Suggestions in the comments box please). I came across the conference details purely by chance whilst reading about funding information on The Arts Council UK website; i’m so glad I did!

The event is organised by and hosted by Writing West Midlands; Jonathon Davidson, Chief Executive and Sara Beadle, Director. The day is extremely well organised and thorough, covering a wide range of topics with each Panel Session. They welcome writers of all kinds as well as publishers, agents, producers (Radio, Film and TV), teachers and literature development workers.

The Panel Session Topics were as diverse as they were informative: Writing for Broadcast, Real Writing Lives, Writing and Reading in the Mental Health Sector, Different Fictions, Understanding Publishing, Creative Writers in Schools, The Rights of Writers, Doing Digital, Writing and Science, Writing in Places, The Future of Theatre Writing, Building Audiences for Poetry, Creative Writing and Higher Education.

The speakers / panel members for each session appeared to be both enthusiastic in promoting the aspiring writer / established writer, and encouraging and forthcoming with help and advice. The question and answer sessions at the end of each panel member introduction (of which I seemed to dominate slightly) were helpful and stimulating. Not wanting to come across shy or self-promoting (ahem), I made sure that I asked any questions which I thought could potentially help others, I hope that this worked!

The keynote address: No Messages, Jim Crace, novelist, was humorous and enlightening. I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of Jim but have now ordered some of his books from Amazon!

Book Titles: Continent, The Gift of Stones, Arcadia, Signals of Distress, Quarantine, Being Dead, The Devil’s Larder, The Pesthouse.

The Closing Address: The Writer’s Smoking Jacket, Graham Joyce, author. This was an informative and concise speech by Graham and opened my eyes to many possibilities and opportunities.

Book Titles: The Devil’s Ladder, Simple Goalkeeping, Do the Creepy Thing, Memoirs of a Master Forger, The Limits of Enchantment (and many, many more!).

In conclusion, I would recommend that you look for future events held by Writing West Midlands and come and connect and socialise with “others in the business of writing”.

On the anniversary of the passing of my Nanna (Vera Kitson), I decided to write a short but sweet dedication;

Your face is now a still; 5 x 7 in my mind.

Your voice a distant sound my ears struggle to find.

The scent of you has gone from all you left behind,

But within my heart you’ll always be, you were one of a kind.

Lots of love Nanna, you are truly missed xx

As I get out of my Dad’s van and look into the sky, what do I see?

But a huge black and yellow furry thing, flying straight at me

Tiny lacy wings vibrating either side,

A humongous dangerous sword attached to it’s rear hide.

How does it keep that body flying through the air?

As the bumble bee gets closer, I find I do not care.

With a deafening buzzing sound filling up my ears,

My legs begin to move fast, cranking up the gears.

Running doesn’t help, the buzzing is close behind,

There’s no way i’m looking back, i’m scared of what i’ll find.

That poisonous sword, thrusting, stabbing for my rear,

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, that buzzing is so near.

Running round the nearest tree and peeking through a branch,

I find I cannot see the bee and decide to take a chance.

Hands at the ready, one on each bum cheek,

Heart pounding in my chest, thumping out each beat.

“Go!” I shout at myself, and run as fast as I can,

How long will it take me to get back to Dad’s safe van?

Breathless, hot and sweaty, with hands shielding my butt,

I charge across the green so hard I cause pains inside my gut.

Twigs and branches all around, broken on the ground,

Tripping over one of them, I land with a thwumping sound.

Buzzing close overhead is some black and yellow fur,

Not one, not twenty, but hundreds of them creating a smoke-like blur.

Not looking seems like a good idea, so I close my teary eyes,

When all of a sudden someone talks to me and takes me by surprise.

“Why are you running? And what is your name?” A tiny voice squeaks,

Opening my eyes and looking around, I find I cannot speak.

On my chest as bold as brass and the size of a small rat,

Is the cutest, fluffiest bumble bee wearing a furry high top hat.

“I’m pleased to meet you, my name’s Buz” He says with a friendly smile,

Were he not sitting on my chest, I would’ve run a mile.

“J-J-Jay” I reply, trying to be brave but quivering all over,

“Friends?” He calls as he’s taking off, waving over his shoulder.

What was I scared of? I think to myself as I stand and watch the bees,

Flying off towards their hive, high up in the trees.

K L Hansen