Artswords News September 2016

Dear Writers and Readers

Summer’s sort of over. September’s here. As one season ends, another begins.

And Artswords kicks off with these offerings.

Mum’s the Word, a friendly, informal group for mothers interested in writing meets on Tuesday 6th September at 7.30pm at Lower Shaw Farm. Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to write anything, yet. The group will help you get started, if you want it to. For further information, please contact Monica at 

The Artswords Reading Group meets at 7.30pm Tuesday 13th September to discuss A Start in Life by Anita Brookner. How does being lost in good books compare with having good relationships? What does literature do for life: make it or ruin it?
Further details about the group from

For other reading groups, run by Swindon Libraries, see

An Artswords Writing Group, with Jill Sharp, will offer prompts and activities to stimulate fresh ideas and approaches to your writing, and tone the writing muscles in time for NaNoWriMo in November, meets at the Richard Jefferies Museum for 5 weekly sessions beginning 10.30 am Tuesday 13th September. Other sessions on 20thSept, and 4th, 11th, 18th Oct. To find out more or to book your place in this friendly and enthusiastic group, contact

Artswords Writers' CafĂ© & Kitchen, a meeting place for new writers, experienced writers, and anyone interested in writing, takes place on Thursday 29th September at Lower Shaw Farm. Starting at 7pm and finishing at 10pm, it is a reflective and, whisper it, a slightly rebellious writers’ group! The emphasis is on feeding back on people’s writing, rather than focusing on the ‘rules’. If you’d like your work to be the subject of helpful comments and discussion, please email said piece to by Thursday 22nd September, so that group members can read and reflect in advance of meeting. This should amount to no more than 500 words of prose or 40 lines of poetry. Please also bring a little food to share, if you would like to.

If you wish to forward this newsletter, please do; and like us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

If you have any news or events for October and you would like us to mention them in the next Artswords Newsletter, please let us know by the middle of this month by emailing or calling 01793 771080

Happy reading and writing!

Matt Holland & Annie Vickers

Artswords News August 2016

Dear Writers and Readers 

In Europe, even though we may no longer be part of it, according to certain voting and thinking, they take a break in August. So shall we, in a manner of speaking.

So, please note. This month, there will be no Artswords Reading Group, no Writers’ Cafe, no Life Writing, no Poetry Swindon workshops, and no Mum’s the Word.

But there will be the launch of this year’s Poetry Swindon Festival!

Yes, hot off the press, the new Poetry Swindon Festival programme will be unveiled, with appropriate Dadaist fanfare, at 12.30pm on Thursday 11th August at Swindon Central Library. All readers of this Newsletter are welcome!

And if you want to keep your hand in at writing, note this. There are just a few weeks to go to enter the 10th Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.
Prizes include:

  • £500 each (Poetry Winner and Short Fiction Winner)
  • Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual
  • One year subscription to Granta
  • Selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage
  • Consultation with Redhammer Management (Short Fiction Winner)
  • Full Membership to The Poetry Society (Poetry Winner)

Short Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines. Works previously published are accepted.
Deadline for submissions is 31 August 2016. To enter, visit 

If you have any news for September that you would like us to put in the next issue of this Newsletter, please send it to us by the middle of this month.

Have a good August!

Matt Holland & Annie Vickers