Confluence Writer Development Programme seeking Medway applicants

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Local literary arts organisation Wordsmithery has been granted funding for a year-long writing project which will allow them to enthuse and infuse Medway with words. More details about the project will follow on the Wordsmithery website,  but part of this project will allow them to offer a personalised Writer Development Programme to 6 emerging Medway/Kent-based writers as part of the Arts Council England funded Confluence: Plant; Grow; Nurture project, which starts at the end of October.

If you are an emerging writer, aged over 18, based in Medway, or surrounding areas of Kent, who has had at least one piece of writing published, you are eligible to apply for this brilliant opportunity.

Writers on the scheme will be offered:

  • 1 hour of mentoring advice for 6 months from a local writer-mentor.
  • The chance to attend a Confluence Writers’ Retreat local to Medway, with guest tutors.
  • A bursary for a short group writing visit to Sunderland.
  • The opportunity to organise and host Roundabout Nights, and on another occasion, headline it.
  • Writers will optionally be able to attend a pamphlet and zine making course (3 sessions) and a monthly drop-in workshop to learn how to produce your own pamphlets on a Risograph printer (10 sessions).
  • Writers will have the opportunity to lead/assist with writing workshops and pop-up open mics in Medway Libraries (paid).
  • Writers will be able to contribute articles to the new look Confluence website.
  • Writer Development Programme students will be showcased in Confluence.

* It is important that those applying can attend the majority of the opportunities on offer. Please email confluencemedway@gmail.com if you have any questions about the scheme or your eligibility.

How to apply:

They are looking for emerging writers with some experience, who are serious about developing their craft. You should have had at least one piece of writing published in a literary magazine or journal (online or in print), which is not your own blog. You should be based in Medway, or within an easy commute.

Please send a letter outlining why this opportunity appeals to you and what you’d hope to get out of it (no more than 2 sides), your CV and a sample of your writing (no more than 2,000 words of prose or 5 poems) to the Confluence email.

Applications will be decided by a panel consisting of representatives of the editorial team and an external advisor.

Deadline: 20 October 2017, (applicants to be notified of outcome by 27 October).

Introducing Confluence magazine

Photo of Confluence 1 + 3
Photo of Confluence 1 + 3
Confluence 1 + 3

Confluence is a new writing magazine from Wordsmithery. Confluence aims to introduce writers from the East Kent area to writers from everywhere else and promote artistic exchange. We are open now for submissions of short plays, short stories and poems.

We will be publishing a print copy four times a year (August, December, February and May). See the Submissions page for what we’re looking for and how to submit!

You can order Issues 1 and 3 and subscribe at the Wordsmithery website if you want to get a feel for the type of writing we’re looking for.

Writers we have featured so far include: Issue 1 (all available online)  Janine Booth, sean burn, Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, David Cramer Smith,  Zack Davies, Rachel Davis,  Sarah Hehir, Dan Horrigan, SM Jenkin, Daphne Margolys, Tara Moyle, Katarina Rankovic (illustrations), Angel Uriel Perales, Cameron Williamson.

Issue 2 (all available online) Linked to our ‘An assemblance of judicious heretics; re:imagining Shakespeare’ project – featuring poetry and prose from 33 writers and interpretations of their words by 32 artists.

Issue 3 (some video extracts available online) Stories and poems from Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, Maggie Drury (woodcut illustrations), Barry Fentiman Hall, Sam Hall (a play), Mark Holihan, Shaun Philip Hutchings, Philip Kane, Bill Lewis, Daphne Margolys, Maria C. McCarthy, Katarina Rankovic, David Cramer Smith, Spreken, Jonathan Terranova, and Barrie West.

The magazine is printed using a Risograph machine locally at Intra on recycled paper, using vegetable inks, which gives it a retro feel. “…it’s so satisfying to hold and read! Typeface is fab, paper is perfect magazine weight. Old school printing was an inspired choice…”

See more at the Confluence website.

My Mind is Free – new play about human trafficking touring Kent – October 2015

My Mind is Free image
My Mind is Free image
My Mind is Free

A new play touring Kent and South East venues in October 2015 performed by the Rah Rah theatre company, will let the audience experience a powerful theatrical interpretation of the degradations of human trafficking in an intimate community performance space.

Designed to raise awareness of the issue that is currently at the forefront of the news, My Mind is Free will disturb and provoke in equal measure. Funded by the Arts Council England, the Rah Rah Theatre Company has produced the play with Medway-based playwright Sam Hall to initiate discussion about the injustice of human trafficking within the UK.

There are an estimated 30 million slaves in the world, with approximately 13,000 in the UK. Modern day slavery victims include: women forced into prostitution, ‘imprisoned’ domestic staff, and workers in fields, factories, building sites and fishing boats. London based Rah Rah commissioned playwright Sam Hall to tell the stories of some of the people who have fallen into what can only be described as modern day slavery. Sam has done extensive research with anti-trafficking charities and a percentage of the proceeds from the tour will be donated to them.

Most of the shows will be followed by a post-show discussion with a representative from one of the anti-trafficking organisations, and the Rochester Lit Fest show will be followed by a Q and A with playwright Sam Hall.

As part of a tour of the South East, My Mind is Free comes to new cultural venue Margate House in Margate on 1 October, The Horsebridge Centre Whitstable on 2 October, Strood Gospel Mission Church on 5 October, and Rochester Literature Festival on 11 October. Click here for the full list of tour venues and booking.

An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics Litart Exhibition – Rochester Library – September 2015

Wynford Vaughn Thomas for An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics
Wynford Vaughn Thomas for An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics
Wynford Vaughan Thomas for An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics

An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics is a large scale collaborative project from Medway-based literary art organisation Wordsmithery, fusing words and images from writers and artists from Medway and beyond. Last year, in our inaugural year, as part of the Rochester Literature Festival, we teamed up 22 writers with 20 artists. This year the exhibition has grown by a third, as 32 writers will have their work interpreted by 27 or more artists… (we are currently collecting the artworks!)

We asked writers to write a piece inspired by Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’, then we gave these writings anonymously to artists who interpreted them without knowing who the authors are.

The collaborations are revealed in the exhibition which runs until from 1-30 September 2015 at Rochester Library, then will move onto another local library.

Artwork by long-standing and established Medway writers and artists sits alongside the work of new talent in this stunning exhibition. Some of the writers whose work features are Bill Lewis, Maria C McCarthy, Sarah Hehir, Sam Fentiman-Hall, Sally Evans, Philip Kane, and some of the artists include: Peter Reeds (whose art features as the illustration for the exhibition poster), Heather Haythornthwaite, Chris Van Beck, Dianne Reeves and Maggie Drury.

Artists have interpreted the texts in a variety of media – including, photograms, oil paintings, photographs, linocuts, textiles, collage and sculpture.

The texts which inspired the artwork will be revealed in full at an event on 3 September 2015, where the writers will read their work, and leave a booklet of the stories and poems for visitors to read. The event, which is free to attend, takes place at Rochester Library.

Barry Fentiman-Hall of Wordsmithery, who curated the exhibition said: “This is collaborative art at its best. A simple idea passes through many hands and emerges in a way that is completely unpredictable. It is still recognisable in some vague way, like a distant relative, but it has evolved into a different thing, and it is beautiful.”
Exhibition: 1-30 September 2015
Rochester Library, Community Hub Rochester

Launch Event: Live readings from the exhibition: 3 September, 7.30pm, Rochester Library. Please book with the library on 01634 337799.

Coming up at Roundabout Nights

Photo of As long as it takes book cover
Photo of As long as it takes book cover
Maria C McCarthy is our guest on 1 December

We have a busy schedule of guest readings and performances at Roundabout Nights at the Alexandra, Chatham for the rest of the year.

On 17 November, poet Fiona Sinclair joins us for the Medway launch of her first full-length poetry collection, ‘Ladies who lunch’. Fiona’s work deals with the past, family and the peculiarities of life. Her poetry forms little vignettes or stories.

On 24 November, She Writes at Roundabout Nights are pleased to present a rehearsed reading of Alison Mead’s new full-length play ‘Politic Man’. The play tells the story of an extraordinary couple, Alfred and Ada Salter, who were instrumental in improving living conditions in the East End in the first part of the 1900s.

On 1 December, writer and publisher Maria C McCarthy will join us as our guest author. Maria will be reading stories from her highly lauded collection ‘As long as it takes’; ‘Dark, impeccably minimalistic stories about immigrant Irish mothers and their English-born daughters.’ Martina Evans

On 8 December, we will have our last Type’n’gripe of the year, so if you’ve been doing NANOWRIMO, why don’t you bring that along and share an extract! Our final event of the year will be our Christmas Lucky Dip Party on 15 December, where there will be festive mirth and treats aplenty! We hope to see you at some of our literary events!

Roundabout Nights
Doors 7pm, readings from 7.30pm
Upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway St, Chatham, ME4 6RJ

Monday nights are literary at The Alex in Chatham

Roundabout Nights logo
Every Monday - live literature - poster
Every Monday – live literature

ROUNDABOUT NIGHTS is a new free live literary night for Medway, organised by Wordsmithery (the literature development organisation who produce ME4Writers and 17Percent). It will be held weekly on Mondays, upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel pub in Chatham. Getting to the pub is easy – it’s right next to Chatham rail station and about 5 minutes from the bus station. (Many buses also stop at the rail station.)

The event will showcase a rotating schedule of events including the relaunch of 17Percent’s She Writes showcase of short plays by women; spoken word poetry and stories; ME4-rum – a workshop/lit-chat where you can bring your writing and work on it in a shared environment, (think of it as a type’n’ gripe rather than a stich’n’bitch); and special guest programmers who will take over for the night.

Roundabout Nights offer an opportunity for writers to showcase their work, get feedback and talk to other writers. If you don’t call yourself a writer you are also welcome too to come along and be part of the audience!

Coming up, we have:

~ 18 August: Spoken word
~ 25 August: Bank Holiday – No show tonight
~ 1 September: She Writes – short plays about holidays
~ 8 September: Type’n’gripe at ME4-rum
~ 15 September: Spoken word
~ 22 September: Guest slot: Politics, plays and policies. Plays inspired by political themes
~ 29 September: She Writes – plays on a Byronic theme
~ 6 October: Type’n’gripe at ME4-rum

ROUNDABOUT NIGHTS
7-10pm
Upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway St, Chatham, ME4 6RJ
Find us on Facebook: Roundabout Nights

*Please note that, regrettably, the upstairs room is not currently accessible for wheelchair users.

Funding with approaching deadlines

Musical  instrumentsHere are a couple of funding opportunities that might be of interest.

Funding for youth music making activities (England)
Youth Music, the UK’s largest music charity, has announced that its grant making programme has re-opened for applications. Through its funding programme, Youth Music makes grants of up to £250,000 to support projects that provide music-making activities for children and young people, especially those young people in challenging circumstances. Youth Music will fund non profit-making organisations committed to music-making activities for children and young people up to 18 (or up to 25 if they have special educational needs, disabilities or are in detention). Youth Music aims to support music making activities principally in out of school hours such as during weekends, holidays as well as in breakfast and after schools clubs. Youth Music understands that programmes may need to begin in school hours especially if the proposal involves encouraging first time participation in music. To help with this, Youth Music will consider applications for programmes where up to 25% of the time is spent in school hours. The proposed programme should aim to encourage children and young people to eventually make music outside of school hours.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 3rd April 2014. Read more at: http://network.youthmusic.org.uk/funding/what-youth-music-programme

Arts Council England Strategic Touring Programme (England)
The next closing date for grant applications to the Arts Council, England Strategic Touring Programme is the 2nd May 2014. The £45 million Strategic touring programme provides in excess of £15,000 for projects that encourage collaboration between organisations, so more people across England experience and are inspired by the arts, particularly in places which rely on touring for much of their arts provision. The funding is available to both organisations and individuals. Partnerships, networks and consortia can also apply. These can include:

  • Promoters
  • Producers
  • Artists
  • Agencies
  • Companies
  • Marketing or audience development specialists
  • Local authority representatives or any other kind of organisation or individual.

Read more at: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-funding/apply-for-funding/strategic-touring-programme/

City without a head – New book by ME4Writers published

City without a head cover
City without a head cover
City without a head

“…this anthology is wonderfully enthralling and the passion that oozes from each page is unquestionable.” **** Femalearts.com

Medway-based ME4Writers are proud to present their new book – City without a head – an anthology of creative writing written over several years, which was launched on 8 October at the Rochester Literature Festival.

City without a head is based on ME4Writers’ long-running writing project: The City Project aka Encyclopaedia Citaecephale, where they created non-definitions for an alternative encyclopaedia which was printed in a series of 8 limited edition zines and left around Medway (and further afield).

The book is a collection of poems, stories, interlinked sci-fi fragments and found writings collected in the form of an index by ME4Writers’ regular authors Barry Fentiman, Sam Hall, SM Jenkin, Anne-Marie Jordan, Sarah March, Tara Moyle and Roy Smith. It also features illustrations by award-winning artist Victoria Wainwright.  The aim of the book is to try to define what the authors feel about living in cities, and take a sideways look at our urban predicament. This is a theme which many of ME4Writers’ projects respond to.

City without a head has been published by Wordsmithery and costs £12. You can order a copy from www.wordsmithery.info

She Writes – Crowdfunding Campaign – Plays by women – Please support!

Image of She Writes actors
Image of She Writes actors
She Writes – at the Rochester Literature Festival

She Writes is a showcase of new writing by women playwrights, produced by 17Percent, an organisation set up in 2009 by Medway-based Sam Hall to promote and support women writers (who write approximately only 17% of the plays produced in the UK). The night ran for just over a year at the Horsebridge in Whitstable, but recently had a well-received re-launch at the Rochester Literature Festival in October, and at the Canal Cafe in London. She Writes: What’s through the door? was a sci-fi slanted series of 3 short plays inspired by a story by HG Wells.

“Three plays in one, each delightful and mysterious. The pieces are beautifully and intelligently connected by an overarching narrative.” **** Everything Theatre

“I loved everything about She Writes: the concept; writing; performances and the whole collaborative process – brilliant!”

Now 17Percent are fundraising to develop She Writes further. We want to establish a regular night locally, so Medway residents have the opportunity to see top class new writing, and also to showcase our talented Medway writers in London. If you can help by donating anything – please go to our fundraising page: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/she-writes-showcasing-plays-by-women

For more info on 17Percent and She Writes – visit http://17percent.wordpress.com, or follow us on Twitter: @17percent, or on Facebook: 17Percent.