Writer survey 2015 – tell us what you think!

Writer survey 2015 – tell us what you think!

Writer Survey 2015

Help us make our services better for you! Give us a few minutes of your time and you will be entered into a prize draw for a £30 book voucher for Waterstones, plus 3 book prizes.

All personal information provided will be kept confidentially and only top headlines across all data will be shared with our funders (eg percentages). We will not share individual responses with anyone. 

Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/forms/e8bz7tgb22 – yes it is really is that simple! Thanks in advance for your help. 

Deadline for prize draw: Friday 15 January 2016, midnight (we will leave the survey open until 31 January for late responses)


Photo- No Place Like Home Crawley Library 2015. Photo- Bip Mistry.
No Place Like Home, Crawley Library, 2015. Photo: Bip Mistry
We’re taking part in Twitter campaign #DiverseDecember

We’re taking part in Twitter campaign #DiverseDecember


As part of the national #DiverseDecember campaign on Twitter, we will be sharing stories, poems, books and collections by BME authors living in the region.

This year has been an incredible one for South East and Sussex authors, who have taken part in Writing Our Legacy over the years.

Works to look out for:

  • Umi Sinha’s debut historical novel Belonging, published on 17 September 2015 by Myriad Editions, is an evocative and moving account of three generations in India and Sussex, from the colonial times to First World War, as they struggle to understand themselves and . myriadeditions.com/books/belonging/
  • Closure, an anthology of contemporary Black British short stories, was published on 28 September 2015 by Peepal Tree Press, edited by Jacob Ross and Inscribe Series Editor Kadija George. Lynne E. Blackwood, Sylvia Dickinson and Akila Richards sits alongside acclaimed writers Monica Ali, Jacqueline Crooks, Fred D’Aguiar, and Bernardine Evaristo to name a few. peepaltreepress.com/single_book_display.asp?isbn=9781845232887
  • Best British Short Stories 2015, published on 15 June 2015 on Salt Publishing and edited by Nicholas Royle, is part of a new series that aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere. The anthology features Uschi Gatward’s story ‘The Clinic’. saltpublishing.com/products/best-british-short-stories-2015-9781784630270

Published? Let us know and we’ll tweet your publication details –writingourlegacy@gmail.com or @BHWritingLegacy

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 emailshortstory@mslexia.co.uk 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

Writing Opportunities – October 2015

Writing Opportunities – October 2015

Writing Opportunities – October 2015

CALLALOO, the premier literary journal of the African Diaspora

The journal is now accepting applications for the 2016 Oxford CALLALOO CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP (CCWW) until December 13, 2015. We invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for admission consideration for this weeklong workshop, which will be hosted by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) at Oxford University, July 10-16, 2016. Fred D’Aguiar (creative nonfiction), Vievee Francis (poetry), and Ravi Howard (fiction) will serve as the 2016 workshop leaders.

HOW TO APPLY: Applications must be submitted online at http://callaloo.expressacademic.org/login.php no later than December 13, 2015. Each applicant must submit a brief cover letter and writing sample (no more than five pages of poetry, twelve pages of prose fiction, or twelve pages of prose creative nonfiction). To complete & submit your application, go to http://callaloo.tamu.edu/node/240.

For additional information, email (callaloo@tamu.edu) or call (979-458-3108).

Asian writers wanted for event in Portsmouth

Tom Sykes, author of Bradt Travel Guide to Ivory Coast and Lecturer in Creative and Media Writing at University of Portsmouth is organising a public event at the University of Portsmouth called ‘Reviving the Crescent’, which explores Portsmouth’s literary and cultural connections with Asia.

He is looking for writers from an Asian background to read something – whether prose or poetry, fictional or nonfictional – based on their experiences of Portsmouth. This includes Indian, Chinese, Thai, Middle Eastern – anyone with heritage from any Asian country.
For more information about the event, see http://creativespace.cci.port.ac.uk/2015/09/16/reviving-the-crescent-portsmouth-connects-with-asia-being-human-festival-event/

For more information & to register interest in reading, contact Tom on 023 9284 5505 or tom.sykes@port.ac.uk

I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be

Speaky Spokey, the literary cabaret, presents an evening of readings, music and discussion, with a special highlight from Wasafiri Magazine. Pauline Black, Hannah Lowe, Burt Caesar and Colin Grant investigate whether it’s possible or desirable to ‘think black’. Pauline also sings a few songs.

19 October, 7pm
Kings Place, London
INFO & TICKETS http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on-book-tickets/spoken-word/im-black-so-you-dont-have-to-be#.VhdvILRViko

Jacob Ross half day writing masterclass

Join a special one-off half-day writing masterclass workshop with Jacob Ross, who will be coming to Brighton on Tuesday 20 October for a talk with Umi Sinha about her debut novel Belonging (more details below).

The workshop is limited to 6 places, focusing on your short story writing. Jacob will provide one-on-one feedback about your story-in-progress (15 minutes) plus lead the whole group in an intensive session on craft, narrative and character. The session will run 4-7pm on Tues 20 Oct, for a total cost of £30, including tea and coffee.

Email Amy on writingourlegacy@gmail.com to express interest and hold your space and we can arrange payment after the workshop has been confirmed.

#LegacyPopUp – ‘The Forgotten Kingdom’ featuring Umi Sinha, Jacob Ross

Feature film The Forgotten Kingdom (2012, 97mins, Lesotho-South Africa 2014,Subtitled, Cert:TBC) and special guest readings from Umi Sinha (Belonging,Myriad), in conversation with Jacob Ross (Pynter Bender, A Way to Catch the Dust) and Amy Zamarripa Solis (No Place Like Home).

Atang Mokoenya leaves the slums of Johannesburg to return to his ancestral home of Lesotho, where he must bury his estranged father in the remote, mountainous village where he was born. Stirred by memories of his youth, he falls in love with his childhood friend, Dineo, now a radiant young school teacher. Through her, Atang is drawn toward the mystical beauty and hardships of the people and land he had forgotten, and faces his own bittersweet reckoning.

The event will include Indian-British author Umi Sinha, who will read from her epic historical novel debut Belonging, set in India, and Sussex, published in September 2015 by Myriad Editions. Her reading will be followed by a discussion with Grenada-born author Jacob Ross and Mexican-American writer Amy Zamarripa Solis on the themes in the book such as home, belonging, identity as well as the creative process from a diverse writers point of view.

Presented by Legacy Film in partnership with Fabrica and Writing Our Legacy, to celebrate Brighton & Hove Black History Month 2015.

Tues 20 October, 8-11pm
Doors & Bar 8:00pm, Event starts 8:15pm
Tickets £4 advance

Brighton’s Black History Month presents….The Big Big Tea Party

A multi cultural celebration of local arts and heritage. Exhibitions, workshops, films, food and craft stalls. Free entry, drink and refreshment for sale. All welcome!


12pm – Doors open
12-12.30pm – Founders Room – Crossing the Teas launch educational resource, community leaders award
12.30-4pm – Tea Room – serving teas, cakes and snacks from different cultures (cash only) – run by Art Sync’s Crossing the Teas project
12.30-4pm – Children & Family Space – drop in space, plus workshops for under 5s and over 5s – run by Banyan Tree Theatre Group
12.30-4pm – Film & Spoken Word – run by Legacy Film & Writing Our Legacy – featuring No Place Like Home project
12.30-4pm – other arts and cultural activity to be announced closer to the time
4/5pm Close

If you are interested in reading or performing at this event, please contact Amy on writingourlegacy@gmail.com.

Free one-day workshops in Brighton, Crawley, Milton Keynes & Bristol – No Place Like Home

Free one-day workshops in Brighton, Crawley, Milton Keynes & Bristol – No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home UK

We are running free one-day workshops across the South East to help you to explore your childhood home – and bring it to life, in a new project called No Place Like Home.

Travel back in time to that house, town, neighbourhood or country where you grew up, with the help of writer Amy Zamarripa Solis and acclaimed visual artists Larry Achiapong and David Blandy.

You will explore a variety of mediums including oral history, film, drawing, writing, and other visual arts and literature.

Artist Aikaterini Gegisian will create a film about your life and memories.

You will have a chance to share your memories and stories at a sharing later as part of Black History Month. You will also have a chance to share your story on our project website.

Dates and locations

  • Brighton – Friday 25 September, Brighton Dome Founders Room – 10am-4pm
  • Bristol – Friday 23 October, The Station, Bristol  – 12pm-5.30pm
  • Crawley – Friday 6 November, Crawley Library – 12pm-5.30pm
  • Milton Keynes – Friday 13 November, MK Gallery – 12pm-5.30pm

More information and to book 

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. To register your free place, contact Hannah Jarman on 01273 245584 or nospacelike@gmail.com.

While this workshop is primarily aimed at anyone from the diaspora communities, it is open to anyone who feels displaced from their childhood home.

For more information about No Place Like Home, please see nowherelikehome.co.uk/. The project is also on Facebook & Twitter – get involved! 

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Part of Brighton Digital Festival

Arts Council England support for two new projects

Arts Council England support for two new projects

Arts Council England support for two new projects

We recently had some good news: our application to Arts Council’s Grants for the arts was successful!

This summer and autumn, we will be embarking on two new projects: La Llorona R&D and No Place Like Home (UK). Both projects will explore storytelling in the Black and ethnic minority and diaspora communities, examining cultural myths, legends and personal narratives.

We will also strengthen our organisation by creating an accessible community storage and resource of our decor and costumes, working with a community partner (school/venue); conduct participants and audience evaluation; and update our website.

In La Llorona R&D, five multi-cultural arts collaborators will create a new theatrical performance based on the Mexican myth La Llorona (Weeping Woman) over four-day intensive R&D residency.

As part of the team’s research, they will deliver a one-day participatory workshop with Brighton’s Latin-American communities, including children & families workshop.

Working together on this exciting new project are Mexican-British theatre director Rikki Tarascas, costume designer and carnival producer Hannah Barker, digital artist and sculpture Tom Hamilton, arts educator Linda White, and Mexican-American writer Amy Zamarripa Solis.

No Place Like Home comes to the UK in a special project in 2015 to help people from diaspora communities living in England remember and recreate their own childhood homes.

Amy Zamarripa Solis will be working with visual artists David Blandy and Larry Achiampong to deliver workshops in Milton Keynes, Bristol, Brighton and Crawley. Participants will learn how to use a range of digital skills including filming, sound recording, editing and writing to create and publish their stories in a range of mediums.

Artist and filmmaker Aikaterini Gegisian will create a film at each workshop, documenting participant’s lives. We will share these films and also the works created by participants in Autumn 2015.

The workshops are linked to No Place Like Home UK is linked to a wider project examining the loss of home and gentrification around the world, starting with the Mexican-American neighbourhoods of downtown Austin, Texas, where Amy Zamarripa Solis is

A special thanks to our partners on these two projects: Ujima 98FM Radio, MK GalleryArts GatewayMKCrawley Arts Development (Crawley Borough Council), BandBazi, and last but not least Mexican and Latin American Society at Sussex University (MEXSAS).

Literature Tent at Brighton Black History Month Family Day

Literature Tent at Brighton Black History Month Family Day


Literature Tent at Brighton Black History Month Family Day

We are pleased to be running a literature tent this Sunday 9 November 1-7pm at this year’s Black History Month Family Day event at Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange in Brighton. We are part of an action-packed programme brimming with free arts and cultural activity for all ages and walks of life. Very exciting!

Writers of all levels of experience including beginners or non writers are welcome to our events, which range from readings from local Black and ethnic minority writers, to a book club to free taster writing workshops. We will also have badge making (Who is your hidden hero?), calaveras (skull writing) workshop and arts and craft.

Check back here for more detail!

Time slot (30 mins each) Activity
1-1.30pm Creative writing workshop: Akila
1.30-2pm Writing your life story: Colin Grant
2.15-2.45pm Asian Book Club
3-3.30pm Reading & talk: Rounke Coker
3.30-4.30pm Drop in: Badgemaking & calaveras workshop
4.30-5pm Reading & talk: Stephanie Lam
5.15-5.45pm  Open Mic – open to all
5.45-6.15pm   Open Mic – open to all
Latin Voices Live! celebrates with 2 special events in Brighton & Eastbourne

Latin Voices Live! celebrates with 2 special events in Brighton & Eastbourne


Latin Voices Live! 2014

November brings the usual assortment of ghoulish treats, and what better way to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos than to join a traditional Latin celebration, with a modern twist?

This year, we are pleased to be involved with two events – MEXSAS’s Dia De Muertos on 30 October at Sussex University campus and Ghost Worlds on Friday 28 November at Eastbourne’s Towner.

MEXSAS Dia De Muertos

Thursday 30 October 2014
Sussex University, Mandella Hall (Falmer House)

Music, culture, dance, food, this Sussex University society party has it all. Performances will take place from Pollito Boogaloo, dance performance by Eduardo Santiago’s Atlachinolli Pre-hispanic Aztec Dance Group. Plus face painting, Latin readings and Mexican food including the traditional Pan de Muertos. Tickets will go on sale shortly.


Ghost Worlds

Friday 28 November 2014
Towner, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ

Latin DJ party, ghost stories, workshops, talks and films explore photography, cinema and the uncanny across 2 floors at Towner. With a nod to Dia de los Muertos and Halloween, the night will also bring to life ghost worlds through arts & craft, face painting and decor.

  • Spooky storytelling from Umi Sinha, Tara Gould & others in a candle-lit room
  • Latin DJ set from Portuguese DJ AndreiA (http://www.mixcloud.com/andreiabambo/)
  • Facepainting in Day of the Dead style or other Halloween ghouls
  • Plus a specially decorated Mexican ofrenda (altar) to honour the dead

Curated by Amy Zamarripa Solis (Grit Lit , Writing Our LegacyLatin Voices Live!) in partnership with Mexican Students Society at Sussex (MEXSAS)

Tickets now on sale £6/£5 conc./£4.50 members

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 →

Writeidea Prize launches today

Writeidea Prize launches today

Writeidea Prize launches today

First Prize: £500  |  Five finalists’ prizes:  £100 each
and Tower Hamlets Prize: £500      

The Writeidea Prize is a new national short story prize. The six finalists and local winner will be invited to read their stories alongside the judge, Alex Wheatle, at the Writeidea Festival on Sunday 16 November 2014 at 2:00pm.


Judge: Alex Wheatle is the author of several novels including Brixton Rock and Brenton Brown. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2008.  Here’s Alex talking about his work and the Writeidea Festival.

Length: Stories must be a maximum of 4,000 words (no minimum).

Closing date: 31 July 2014

Entry fee: £5.00

For more details visit writeideafestival.org/short-story-competition/
Twitter @writeideafest