Call out for Poets of Colour for Waterloo Press mentoring & publishing scheme

Brighton & Hove based publisher Waterloo Press invite submissions for LIT-UP, their new Arts Council England-funded mentoring and publishing scheme for emerging poets of colour. The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2018.

The two-year project will provide 10 poets with a digital platform on their new website as well as the necessary mentoring and editorial support to produce a pamphlet or poetry collection, all to be celebrated with a live closing event in the Spring of 2020.

Waterloo Press encourages submissions from faith, LGBTQI, disability, Roma, working class and/or additional perspectives.

There is no age restriction (from 18+) and no entry fee. Poets should have a track record of publishing and/or performing, and a portfolio at least 20 publishable poems.

  1. In the first instance please contact LIT-UP Project Manager Monika Richards on and request the application form for completion, stating LIT-UP in the subject line.
  2. Along with the completed form, submit up to 5 poems in no more than 8 pages in a pdf format. Each poem must be single spaced (except for stanza breaks) and start on a new page. Font type must be 12. Please do not write your name on the poetry pages. Please number and state LIT-UP! in your header/footer on each page. State your name and LIT-UP in the subject line of the email.
  3. The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2018.
  4. The shortlist will be decided by 15 September.
  5. Shortlisted poets will be asked to submit a further 15 – 45 poems. The final decision and the successful 10 poets will be announced on 15 Oct.
Opportunities & news for writers – December 2015

Opportunities & news for writers – December 2015

Opportunities & news for writers – December 2015

Word Factory Apprenticeship 2016

Deadline: 15 January 2016

Word Factory is accepting applications for our 2016 apprentice scheme. They have places for four writers and will, this year, seek at least one applicant from the north of England and one from a BAME background. Applicants must be over 18, serious about developing their short story writing and passionate about working with the Word Factory team.

Apprentices will:

  • Have one-on-one mentorship with one of our four leading authors: Ailsa Cox, Jacob Ross, Paul McVeigh and Vanessa Gebbie
  • Be invited to read with your mentor at a Word Factory event. The film of that event will be available to you.
  • Be offered additional support from Conville and Walsh literary agent Carrie Kania. Receive vouchers from Waterstones.
  • Be invited to attend our salons for free and a selection of masterclasses. Have access to the brilliant Word Factory team.
  • Be promoted by us on our website and on social media. In exchange, we expect your dedication to your craft and to the ethos of the Word Factory.

We are an organisation founded on a passion for excellence in short fiction. We are looking for writers who will contribute their time in helping us run and promote events, work with us online and offer their skills to the team. Previous apprentices – Rebecca Swirsky, Holly Dawson, Uschi Gatward and Kerstin Twatchmann – have been published in a wide variety of journals including The Best British Short Stories annual anthology (Salt) and have won numerous prizes and continue to work with the Word Factory.


Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award

Deadline: 31 January 2016

An award of £10,000 will be presented to a first-time writer whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who needs financial support to complete their work:

  • Submissions should take the form of 20-30,000 words of a work in progress, fiction or non-fiction, which is not under option or contract
  • Applications are only open to writers who have not previously published a full length book
  • Entrants must write in the English language and reside within the British Commonwealth and Eire
  • Submissions should be accompanied with a brief synopsis and a short biographical note

The judges will be comprised of three writers and two RCW agents. The winner of the Award will be announced by Ian McEwan at the 2016 Hay Festival.


Aurora Poetry & Short Fiction Open Competition

Deadline: 1 February 2016

Enter Writing East Midland’s inaugural writing competition and let them light up the skies with outstanding poetry and short fiction. Judges are renowned poet Pascale Petit and acclaimed short fiction writer and novelist Paul McVeigh.

Prizes are: 1st £500 , 2nd £100, 3rd £50, and the Stonewood Press Regional Prize £70 which includes a Writing School East Midlands course*, and an invitation to read at the prize-giving event in Nottingham.

Entry fees £7 for first poem or story and £5.50 for subsequent entries. Poems up to 40 lines (excluding title) Stories up to 2000 words (excluding title).


Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition

Deadline: 14 March 2016

Mslexia’s 2016 competition welcomes writers of all levels of experience, writing stories on any subject – in any style. Up for grabs is a sumptuous £2,000 first prize, publication in the June 2016 issue of Mslexia and the fantastic exposure that this competition gives its finalists.

So if you’ve got a story – or an idea – that could fit into the 2,200 word limit, they’d love to see your work.

  • 1st prize: £2,000 Plus two optional extras: a week’s writing retreat at Anam Cara, and a day with an editor at Virago Press
  • 2nd prize is £500
  • 3rd prize £250
  • Three other finalists will each receive £100. All six winning stories will be published in the June issue of Mslexia.

Entry fee: £10 per story. Judge: Michèle Roberts. Please read the competition rules below before entering. If you have any questions please or call 0191 204 8860.


Arvon 2016 course programme

Check out Arvon’s new 2016 programme & if you need financial assistance, there are also grants – but note: once they’re gone, they’re gone, so apply early!

Arvon offers grants for writers who are unable to afford our full course fees and would otherwise be unable to attend an Arvon week. Writers can apply for any amount up to the full course fee, and most receive between £200 and £400.

Go to Arvon’s website

For Irene Mensah: a life remembered in poetry

For Irene Mensah: a life remembered in poetry

Irene Mensah (1963-2013)

Here at Writing Our Legacy, we’d like to take a moment to remember one of our members, Irene Mensah. Irene was a well-loved Brighton artist, poet and dancer who sadly passed away a year ago today, just short of her 50th birthday.

Irene left behind many legacies. A strong tree, she had many deep roots and branches. Friends, family, art works and writing, not to mention beautiful memories shared by many.

The community she created has been indelibly enriched by her life and her legacy. There’s not a day that goes by when someone isn’t posting lovely images on Facebook of Irene or reminiscing about her spirit, fun times in the past.

Today we’d like to honour her poetry. Continue reading →

Latin Voices Live! festival starts today

Latin Voices Live! festival starts today at Jubilee Library with free bilingual storytelling for kids 11.30-1.30pm, plus face painting.

Come see the incredible decoration at the library all week, including a Borges tapestry across the whole front of the library, a tree of life decorated by Brighton school children and skeletons!

There’s lots of free and low cost activity for all ages in Brighton throughout the week:

  • Free bilingual storytelling at Jubilee Library for the kids on 2, 4, 9 November
  • A Day of the Dead adult only party at Brighton Museum on 7 November £5 advanced
  • Free all-ages family day on Saturday 9 November at Jubilee Library, Brighton Museum and Brighton Dome

We are pleased to present Chilean author Luis Munoz, who will be doing a special reading on 9 November, 3-4pm, from his memoir Being Luis: A Chilean Life. Luis was a political activist who was held prisoner and tortured by Pinochet’s government. He lived to tell the harrowing tale.

Copies of his book will be on sale for £10 each and your ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable, inspiring story! Tickets £4/3 through Eventbrite. All proceeds from the ticket goes to a torture charity.

To read the full programme for this year’s Latin Voices Live!, keep reading…..

We look forward to seeing you in the coming week!

Writing Our Legacy team Continue reading →

Mother Tongue, 24 October, Brighton

Spliff Richard, Countdown Social Club, 2010. Photo: Paul Jackson
Spliff Richard, Countdown Social Club, 2010. Photo: Paul Jackson

Come join an evening of some of the South East’s finest poets, rappers & storytellers on Thursday 24 October, 5-7 at Jubilee Library, Brighton.

The event features acclaimed poet Patience Agbabi and Mrisi Shrapnel, Spliff Richard, plus authors from the Ink on My Lips anthology, soon to bepublished on Brighton-based Waterloo Press.

Free entry, plus free wine from Barefoot wine. Benjie’s Caribbean Kitchen’s will be selling plates of Caribbean food for £7 – pre-booking advised to avoid disappointment.  Continue reading →

Poetry workshop with Patience Agbabi

Patience Agbabi. Photo by Paul Jackson
Patience Agbabi. Photo by Paul Jackson


Come learn the art and craft and poetry of one of the UK’s finest poets on Thursday 24 October, 1.30-3.30pm at Jubilee Library, Brighton.

The workshop is only £15/10. Book your place now

Patience Agbabi’s poems have been broadcast on television and radio all over the world. Her work has also appeared on the London Underground and human skin. In 2004 she was nominated one of the UK’s Next Generation Poets. Continue reading →

We launch Black History Month with Inner Visions at Jubilee Library, 10 October 2013

Linos Wengara. Photo by Bip Mistry
Linos Wengara. Photo by Bip Mistry

October kicks off our fantastic programme of activity this autumn. We are delighted to bring you a special night of live music and readings from authors who have been inspired by the rich musical culture of Africa, Caribbean and beyond.

Inner Visions takes place on Thursday 10 October from 5pm to 7pm at Jubilee Library in Brighton. The night brings together master Mbira player Linos Wengara Magaya and esteemed  historian and author Colin Grant, along with special guest London-based poet Hannah Lowe,  whose first collection Chick was recently shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize. Continue reading →

Reading and Reviewing Poetry With Fred D’Aguiar

logoWe’ve really pleased to be working again with the Sable/INSCRIBE programme to bring you a full day poetry workshop with Guyanese/British poet Fred D’Aguiar. The workshop includes an optional lunch with award-winning Guyanese poets John Agard and Grace Nichols

The workshop will take place on Saturday 22 June 2013, 11am-5pm at Jubilee Library, Brighton. To book your place on this Sable/INSCRIBE masterclass, go to

Writing Our Legacy members get a special discount price of £35. The price includes a copy of either John Agard’s new poetry book or Grace Nichols book for teenagers and a second new poetry book to be reviewed and published. Lunch with John Agard, Grace Nichols and Fred D’Aguiar is an optional extra at a nearby restaurant.

Here’s further information about the one-day workshop:

Reading and Reviewing Poetry With Fred D’Aguiar

Do you want to have a better understanding of reading and critiquing poetry? Do you want to know how to write good book reviews? This workshop unravels the ‘imagined mysteries’ of reading and writing about poetry.

This will be a practice-based masterclass that will guide your reading and your writing about poetry, with confidence. There will also be the optional opportunity to discuss poetry over lunch with Fred D’Aguiar and award-winning poets, John Agard and Grace Nichols. John Agard has a new publication, Travel Light, Travel Dark [Bloodaxe] and Grace Nichols has a new book for teenagers, Cosmic Disco [Frances Lincoln]. Lunch will be at a nearby restaurant. All participants will receive a copy of Travel Light, Travel Dark before the Masterclass and given support post-session to write a poetry review for publication.

Fred D’Aguiar draws on his dual Guyanese/British heritage throughout his writing which incorporates poetry, novels and plays. Although born in London, he lived in Guyana until he was twelve before returning to England where the highly politicised atmosphere of the British black community of the 70s became a major influence on his work. His first collection of poetry, Mama Dot, was published to great acclaim and was followed by a further four collections and a new and selected poems, An English Samplar, published in 2001. A new collection, titled The Rose of Toulouse, is out from Carcanet in May. His position between two cultures is reflected in the many prizes his work has won including the Guyana Poetry prize (twice) and the Whitbread First Novel Award. D’Aguiar teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing at the Virginia Technical Institute and State University. He reviews poetry for Poetry London.




Mine is many colours of the same.
It is light, dark, caramel and cane,
Melodious, ever-undulating waves
Of rich, smooth, café-mocha shades.

Chili cocoa, sweet and tan amaze,
Terra cotta, ruddy reds ablaze;
An ebony cacophony of ways
To fade to walnut latté as it plays.

Pale, white chocolate swirly-whirls always
Soothe copper browns and tawny peats and maize;
Mahogany, deep coffee beans on staves
Glissando into marble-fudgey glaze.

Many, many colours of the same …
My Legacy.

—Jodi Stelzer, Rottingdean, UK