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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Writing and Wellbeing

DH Lawrence famously observed that "one sheds one's sicknesses in books", which in his case was demonstrably true. But for the rest of us, what is the relationship between writing and wellbeing?  

Last week, I delivered a presentation at Reminiscence Network East’s annual conference, on the subject of Creative Writing and Dementia.  My literature research into this area had been inspired by Writing Home, a project I am currently involved with which takes place between May and July this year and is a partnership between Essex County Council and Essex Dementia Care.  Writing Home explores the impacts of creative writing and reminiscence on the wellbeing of people with early stage dementia who already meet regularly to enjoy other social, arts and crafts activities. 

For the past year or so, I have also been facilitating a series of monthly writing workshops alongside a storyteller and an audio artist at a hospice in Essex, as …

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Writers' & Artists' Short Story Competition 2014: the winners


The time has come. Author Roshi Fernando, guest judge for this year's spectacularly popular 'The Visit' short story competition, has chosen her winner. So without further ado, here we go....


The first runner up, who will receive a copy of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014 is...  'A Visitor' by Kevin Franke. 

Feedback from Roshi Fernando:

I loved this story: the concept was brilliant.  A two foot tall Joanna Lumley rings the protagonist's doorbell one day, and comes to stay.  The writer has a playful imagination, and the skills to people the story with good characterisation, setting it in a realistic scenario while telling the story in a spare, lightly humorous manner.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and felt it was beautifully carried until the penultimate sentence.  We all struggle with bringing our stories to a close.  Read endings, is my advice.  Read good short stories - Ray Bradbury, for instance, would be a very good teacher for …

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Firewords Quarterly: An exciting opportunity for emerging writers

Firewords Quarterly is a newsprint magazine packed full of powerful fiction and poetry - all enhanced by bold design.

This independent publication was set up by a small group of creatives who were frustrated with writing magazines that concentrated on substance over style, or vice versa. Firewords Quarterly aims to have an abundance of both: fantastic creative writing enhanced by original design and illustrations. The team strives to make short fiction and poetry more accessible and, above all, provide a stronger platform for new writers to have their writing seen and remembered.

As well as the teaser issue (shown here), the first edition is already in production, with submissions currently open, until 15th April, for short fiction (under 2000 words) and poetry

Each quarterly will be based on an exciting theme, although any topic is accepted. What counts is the originality and flare of the work in question. Click here to read the submission guidelines.

The first …

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Writers' & Artists' Short Story Competition 2014 Shortlist


We've had an overwhelming response this year - better than ever before. With nearly 3,000 entries of an extremely high standard, our judge has had her work cut out trying to narrow down so many great entries. Thank you to everyone who submitted their work!

However, tough as they were, decisions have had to be made. 

The shortlist of writers whose stories are being considered for a cash prize of £500 and a place at an Arvon writing course are as follows:


The Visit by Nathan Indarsingh

Substitute by D J Prince

The Quack Seat by Jonathan Smith

Just Visiting by Kelly Snow

Fallen 1 by Bernadette Steadman

When Sleeping by Vanessa Wilson

A Visitor by Kevin Franke

Minute Music by Amanda Oosthuizen

Visit to the Oracle by Don Nixon

The Visit by Kate Sheehy 


The winner and two runners-up will be announced here a week from today - on Friday 28th March. Good luck to everyone on the shortlist and again, thank you for such a positive response. It's a privilege for us to read the work of so many keen …

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How To Publish An E-book

We recently collaborated on the organisation of a day on self-publishing in Portland, Oregon – at Portland State University – and were proud to host ebook guru Mark Coker of Smashwords. We announced the event via www.writersandartists.co.uk and had many responses from eager self-publishers in the UK who said that, while they would love to hear Mark Coker speak, a venue closer to home would be appreciated. 

Good news. We are happy to announce that on Monday 7th April, just prior to the London Book Fair, Mark Coker will indeed be speaking closer to home – at Kingston University. Kingston is very well linked through various transport connections – the Penrhyn Road site where it will be held is close to Surbiton railway station and major roads. The cost is being kept as low as humanly possible to ensure wide participation - all bookings can be made here.

Mark’s approach to e-book management and sharing is, of course, technologically up-to-the-minute, but he is also …

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