December 2013

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University of Oxford

Apply by January 24


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Henshaw Press



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Kudos 98: Winter



Kudos 98


                        Runs mainly from December right up to the end of March,
                                                                            and beyond in some cases

£5 (Subs: £18/4 pa)       

                                                                            Once Upon A Time,

                         there lived a writer, and they won an award,

                           and so they lived happily ever after…




Open internationally

1st Prize: £2000

Shortlist: invitation to appear alongside Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

at a special event at the 2014 Manchester Children’s Book Festival

Longlist: anthology publication

Fee: £12. Length: portfolio of 3-5 poems.

Judges: Mandy Coe, Imtiaz Dharker and Philip Gross

Over 16s.

Details on website; postal entry pack can be downloaded.

Or ring 44 (0) 161 247 1787, email, or

SEND SAE: The Manchester Writing School,

Manchester Metropolitan University, Rosamond Street West,

Off Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6LL


And across the seas to Ireland we go for plenty of variety from Fish, Limnisaand Ó Bhéal –
further afield yet, when it’s translations for John Dryden.

With big prizes when writing for little people (not leprechauns, children):Manchester

Back home, Second Light offer an anthology of women’s writing
Her Wings of Glass, and Oxford have an MSt in Creative Writing

Here comes some poetry in the fast lane: Slipstream, or Frogmore, Southport, Ver and Ware, which you could match, with York/YorkMix, David Burland and Poetry Space

Expanding into short stories, we’ve got
Henshaw, Chapter One, Mslexia and Verulam
Or bridging the gap: Bridport and Biography from Earlyworks

And curiously enough, there’s also: The Christopher Salmon Extravaganza; Five ‘n Ten; Papatango; Prole; Sampad; Synesthaesia; Big Moose
and CrazyHorse



The Edwin Morgan Poetry Award

Biennial: for best collection of poems, recently published

or as yet unpublished, by a Scottish poet aged 30 or under:

born in Scotland; of Scottish parentage; brought up in Scotland;

currently resident in Scotland for the last two years.

£20,000 awarded in August.

Three copies to be submitted by poet or publisher

Submissions welcome in Scots, English and Gaelic;

Meg Bateman, Gaelic adviser.

Judges: Stewart Conn and Jen Hadfield.


Theatre Review

December 3-January 11

Unity Theatre, Liverpool

Reviewed for Whatsonstage


‘Is that a pipe in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me’ is of course the kind of thing you would never ever hear in a panto – oh no you wouldn’t. The Unity after all is known for the moral of its tales, and the originality of adaptations. OK, there’s a wee bit of tampering with the ending, although there are various stories and some quite sinister since he’s the Rattenfänger,and in one version, the children have departed with their families, not disappeared – or maybe not, since they have gone to to Transylvania… it’s poor little Orphan Annie kind of thing rather than a little boy but this is one seasonal production which rarely fails to deliver the goods: charming, inventive and completely heartwarming, mastering the art of entertaining the entire family.

Basic scenery and costumes are put to good use with a variety of ingenious touches: the video backdrop and coat rack for props may now be virtually inevitable but the bonus is in the detail, for example, the village of Hamlin cunningly represented by a large mobile. And the songs are brilliant, whether jaunty or poignant – the music, of course, is most enticing.

The cast on the whole are exceptional, with laurels for a hilarious gruesome twosome: super slick mayor (Nathan Smith) and his dozy sidekick, Slime (Emma Hirons). However, while James Micheal Doolan does appear otherwordly as the Piper, he occasionally gives the impression of trying too hard, though the rest of the cast slip easily into their various roles: first rats, then villagers, mad scientists and so on; Edwina Lea is appealing in the pivotal role of the orphan, with a lovely singing voice.

A genuine Christmas treat, the message as ever: you mustn’t miss this magical show.

Overseas: Poetry

The Ó Bhéal Five Words Competition
Weekly closing date Tuesday at noon, until January 28

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Congratulations to Orbis subscriber/contributor Jonathan Edwards (#165, and joint winner of the Orbis 153 Readers’ Award): 2 poems shortlisted for the Basil Bunting Award

An addition to quite a tally, including 2nd in the 2012 Cardiff International Poetry Competition



December 5 – January 11

The Snow Queen
St Mary’s Centre, Chester

Reviewed for Whatsonstage


An interesting choice of Christmas show to play in a church: very gothic.

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StarsNew Image

December 31
WriteStars’ Chapter One competition

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Poetry Business

December 2
Just a reminder that this is the deadline for online entries

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