Hybrid Meetings

As of October 4th, 2022, Worcester Writers’ Circle is embracing the wonders of technology.

As such, all of our meetings are now operating as a Hybrid of Zoom and in-person gatherings. In this way, all of our members can either enjoy the meetings from the comfort of their homes or choose to meet face-to-face.

Please see the Meetings 2022 page for more details.


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Members News

Several members included in an Anthology

Leena Batchelor, Kevin Brooke, Roz Levens and James Mason have all been included in the Flash Fiction from the Worcestershire Literary Festival, 2022.

The anthology is published by Black Pear Press, a company owned by fellow Writer’s Circle members Tony Judge and Rod Griffiths. Polly Stretton, a former member of the circle, is also part of the wonderful Black Pear Press, a publisher that offers many writers an opportunity to see their work in print.


Success in a variety of places

Congratulations to Derek Hulme, who has recently enjoyed success with a number of paintings displayed at Bewdley Gallery, one of which won a prize in ‘The Great Bewdley Paint Off’

Other members have been performing at various events with Leena at the Ledbury Poetry Festival and Kevin at the Worcester Fringe Festival as part of ‘The Story Knights.’


WWC Poets included in Anthology

Leena Batchelor, Kevin Brooke, Brian Comber and Ade Couper have been included in a very special anthology named Human Writes. Focused on the theme of Human Rights, the poems in the collection were chosen by former Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Ade Couper, alongside Amnesty Worcester and have been published by Black Pear Press.

Human Writes

Kevin Brooke

Kevin’s Young Adult story, ‘The Transformation’ has been selected for publication in the Annus Horribilis anthology, filled with stories set in 2022.

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Leena Batchelor

Leena’s exhibition at The Commandery has gone well with very positive feedback. The original photographs and poems are being auctioned online to raise funds for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which is being matched-funded by the UK Government. The auction runs until 14th May and bids can be placed here:

Space and Shadows – Support Ukraine


 

Kevin Brooke

Kevin has been busy with the Worcester Competitive Arts Festival. Event photographer, steward, adjudicator for the Young Writer competition, he achieved ‘Highly Commended’ in the Open Class Poetry competition. His book, Max & Luchia: The Game Makers was also utilised on the syllabus.

Kevin WCAF


 

Leena Batchelor

Leena will be at The Culture Cafe on Thursday 7th April.

The event takes place on every first Thursday of the month in the Swan Theatre Bar area, at which a different performer will take centre stage. 

Leena


 

Kevin Brooke

Kevin’s story, ‘Rude Awakening’ achieved Highly Commended and was then selected for publication in the Bag of Bones anthology. The Anthology reached Number 1 in the Horror Anthology Amazon Charts.

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Leena Batchelor

Leena’s play ‘Out of the Darkness’ has been picked up by Christopher Whitehead school who are planning to perform it in May. The play is also due to be performed by Pershore High School.

In addition, Leena has launched a kickstarter project to raise funding for her exhibition at The Commandery


 
Tim Stavert

Tim Stavert is still participating in the ‘poem a day’ challenge, now that’s dedication!


 

Kevin Brooke

Two of Kevin’s stories have achieved Highly Commended and have also been selected for publication in the Glittery Literary January 2022. anthology. One of the stories is about The Krampus. The second one is about a shadow of a giant rabbit


 

Brian Comber

Brian has achieved multiple successes.  A poem was published in Spelt magazine in their Winter Issue, two poems have been accepted for publication by Selcouth Station and another, entitled ‘From the Baseball Ground’ has been published on the Football Poets website.

Go Brian!


 

Roz Levens

Roz is still participating in VSS365 on Twitter – Big Alice deserves her own hashtag! Roz also runs writing workshops via Zoom on Saturdays – email rozlevens@gmail.com for more information. These have developed successful writers with many winning entries into Flash Fiction and other anthologies. She is also reading at Ivybridge library this week and has promised to delight us with her pieces in the near future.


 

Brian Comber achieves publication with Cerasus Poetry press

Brian’s second collection of poetry entitled ‘Preparing a Child for the Physical World’ has been published by Cerasus Poetry Press. There are further details on the Cerasus website that includes an opportunity to purchase the book directly.

It is also available to purchase via Amazon

Description

She displaces bath water in the same way a thousand foot container ship displaces the ocean. The characters in a black & white film are unaware of their future. A duelling pistol is like a sea creature. No one whistles cedar-cedar-cedar-sticki-see-pee. You play in a burnt out car, oblivious to its history. A woman is disturbed by the ripples from a Hockney. You search for a lost dog, all the while calling the wrong name. Another woman falls from the sky. You take comfort from the ghost of your stillborn twin. Britten is not compared to Strummer. The touch of hands is one small step for a man… What or who connects all these events and do they prepare you for the physical world?


 

WWC Members published in the Glittery Literary Anthology THREE

Derek Hulme and Kevin Brooke are published in the Glittery Literary Anthology THREE. Both entries were ‘Highly Commended’ in the competition that ran from July to September, 2021.

The anthology is available to order via Amazon and all profit from the writing contest entry fees goes to charities fighting child poverty in the UK.


 

WWC Member awarded second place in a children’s story competition

Kevin Brooke has been awarded second place in the Glittery Literary Cherished Children’s Story Competition and achieved publication in the competition anthology. The competition ran from July to September, 2021 and Kevin’s story is available to view on the Glittery Literary website.

The anthology is available to order via Amazon and all profit from the writing contest entry fees goes to charities fighting child poverty in the UK.


 

Leena Batchelor

Former Worcestershire Poet Laureate Leena Batchelor and Poet-in-Residence for The Commandery in Worcester, has released a play. Combining poetry with dance and rock music, ‘Out of the Darkness – Twilight of Humanity’ focusses on climate change and offers a powerful message for all audiences.

‘Out of the Darkness’ features music by American rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires formed by Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp who commented: ‘with ‘Out of the Darkness’, Leena has created a hugely important and timely piece of work, in which we are honoured to offer our own minor contribution. We salute all those involved, both in front of, and behind the scenes, for their expertise and good conscience in highlighting the concerns we all, as one species, face today. Sincerely, Alice, Joe & Johnny’.

‘Out of the Darkness’ will be performed at Worcester’s Henry Sandon Hall, Royal Porcelain Works on 29th October, 7pm. Tickets can be purchased directly.

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WWC Members published in the Litfest Flash Fiction anthology

Leena Batchelor, Kevin Brooke and Roz Levens are published in the Flash Fiction anthology Carrots, Cream and Death. All of the stories in the anthology are based on entries to the Flash Fiction competition at the Worcestershire Literary Festival 2021. The book of Flash Fiction is available at Black Pear Press at which WWC members Tony Judge and Rod Griffiths are the owners (along with Polly Stretton).

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Leena Batchelor

Leena is very excited to announce that her Worcestershire Poet laureate collection ‘Pearl Blades and Painted Silks’ will be launched by Black Pear Press on the 19th September 2021. The collection combines poetry, history and photographs, and takes the reader on a journey from personal recollections through to the age of debutante balls and surprising hidden histories from around the world. There are further details on Leena’s website.

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Jillian King

Jillian had an article published in the Worcester News on Thursday, 19th August in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section. Jillian headed the article as “Murder Most Fowl”, which was altered to “Why do we indulge gulls?”

“Dear Editor
I witnessed a murder the other evening. The victim, a plump pigeon oblivious to the approaching danger, was pecking peacefully around the base of a feeder situated on the lawn below my first-floor window. Suddenly two huge gulls swooped down. Now I’m used to the twilight screeching of the gang of gulls; unwelcome occupants of our residential building, but this cacophony of sound reached new heights of ear-splitting commotion. I peered out of my window and was horrified to see the two marauders attack the unsuspecting pigeon. They tore at it with their sharp beaks and quite literately pecked the poor creature to death. The gulls’ excited screeching and calling was intensified by the pitiful, very loud screaming of the victim. I stood transfixed by the horrifying scene below me. The gulls, not content with the murder, proceeded to tear the poor pigeon to pieces, devouring it as they did. It would have taken far too long for me to reach the ground floor of our building to try and intercede, and besides, I was quite terrified by the blatant aggression shown by these two gulls…Now, you tell me, are gulls predators or scavengers? This could have been a family pet, a small child, heaven forbid. So why on earth are we protecting such aggressive, fast multiplying, very scary creatures?
Jillian King
St John’s”

Tony Judge

Tony is part of the Black Pear Press team that has supported so many members of the writers circle in achieving publication and in offering them a platform for their writing.

He will be launching his children’s novel, Lost, on Sunday, 22nd August at 4pm alongside Polly Stretton. Further details are available on the Facebook events page

Synopsis

When Jack and his friend Barney find a mysterious sword at the bottom of the lake, they stumble into a strange quest to return it to its rightful owner. On the way they encounter a confused knight who doesn’t seem to understand the modern world. Did we mention the furious French woman, the dangerous dog, the terrifying tiger and the petrified parents?

 

Lost - front cover-page-0


Polly Stretton

Polly is a recent member of Worcester Writers’ Circle. She is part of the Black Pear Press team that has supported so many members of the writers circle in achieving publication and in offering them a platform for their writing.

Her poems have been widely published in previous collections, online, and in anthologies. Polly’s first collection, Girl’s Got Rhythm, was followed by Chatterton, a series of poems about the tragic young poet Thomas Chatterton. Between 2016-2018 she collated and edited four anthologies of WWI poems. The Alchemy of 42, a collection of poems written to prompts for the spoken word event ’42Worcester’, was published in 2020. Polly is the Chair of the Open University Poetry Society.

Polly will be launching her poetry collection Growing Places, and as described by former Staffordshire poet laureate, Gary Longden as “a beautiful collection of place, some real, some imagined, and of identity” on Sunday, 22nd August at 4pm alongside Tony Judge. Further details are available on the Facebook events page.

 

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Roz Levens

We all know that Roz is the Queen of Flash Fiction and this has been proven once again in yet another victory in the Worcester Litfest Flash Fiction Slam in June 2021. She really is a marvel and we will miss her greatly as she moves away to a seaside surroundings of Yelverton.

Her victory means that she possesses not one, not two, but THREE, litfest Flash Fiction Slam trophies. Will this record ever be beaten? We suspect not! Further details about the competition are on the Worcestershire Litfest website

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Kevin Brooke

Kevin has been published in the Glittery Literary July Anthology after two of his stories were highly commended in the Spring/Summer competition. ‘The Immortal’ told of a pact with the Mountain King. ‘Open Wounds’ focussed on a self-harming adult, abused as a child, who was seeking peace in later life


 

Leena Batchelor

Leena is venturing into the world of slam poetry and will be participating in the Ledbury Poetry Festival slam on 10th July – if you’d like to support her, the details are available on the Ledbury Festival Poetry slam webpage.

Leena is also taking part in this year’s PoArtry event being run by Rick Sanders. There are many, other familiar names on the list.


Kevin Brooke  

Three years in the making, Kevin’s YA novel, The Objectors, is due to launch on Sunday, 18th July at 4pm. In these dystopian times, the Young Adult novel with 42 chapters, and set in 2042, will enter the world via the medium of Zoom. Details of the launch can be found on the Black Pear Press Facebook events page.

If you’d like a sneak preview before the launch, it’s available to pre-order now.


 
Brian Comber
 
Brian Comber will be launching his debut poetry collection on 13 June 2021. Details appear on the Black Pear Press Facebook page, or email Black Pear Press for details and the zoom link. The books is now available for pre-order and will be despatched as soon as possible.
 
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Roz Levens  

Flash Fiction extraordinaire, Roz Levens, has been shortlisted in the Worcestershire Litfest Flash Fiction competition. It is the fourth year in a row that Roz has achieved this feat. She is also a dual winner of the Worcestershire Litfest Flash Fiction Slam that takes place at the end of the festival.


 
Kevin Brooke
 
A poem entitled ‘Death of a Forest’, and based on a once beautiful forest destroyed in the name of progress, is shortlisted in a Word Stafford competition on the theme of ‘places.’    
 

 
Leena Batchelor

Leena has been asked by BBC Radio to perform in their Airwaves Festival over the May Bank Holiday weekend, 2021. This is a virtual festival which will be showcased across all local BBC Radio stations. The bill includes not only many well-known local poets (Charley Barnes, Spoz, and many others) but also the likes of Rag ‘n Bone Man, Gabrielle, Deacon Blue – a huge honour and great opportunity to get spoken word into mainstream performance art.


 

Great news for members of Worcester Writers’ Circle

Roz Levens won 2nd prize in April 2021 Glittery Literary’s Long Story competition, with Derek Hulme and Leena Batchelor receiving ‘highly commended’ for their entries. All have had their submissions printed in an anthology which is available from Amazon – the collection is raising funds to tackle child poverty.


 

Leena Batchelor

Fantastic news for Worcester Writer’s Circle Member (and Secretary) who has become the 10th Worcestershire Poet Laureate for 2020-2021. In a tense final, Leena read a fantastic poem on the theme of Masks and Portraits, along with a poem about her family that had us all in tears!

She is a very deserved winner and further details can be found here.


‘Pack of Lies’ by Roz Levens

Roz Levens

Writer, storyteller and encourager of writing in others, our wonderful chairperson, Roz, has been published by Black Pear Press. After many successes in short story anthologies, publications such as People’s Friend and after winning several writing competitions, Pack of Lies, is a wonderful full-length novel.

A synopsis is as follows:

“Graham has taken one risk too many. Now he owes a lot of money to the wrong people, and he is running for his life. Will the women he has duped unite to save him? Is he even worth saving?”

Congratulations Roz Levens. We suspect there will be many more books to come.


 

COVID-19 announcement

In the light of this virus and its potential contagiousness, we would be foolish and irresponsible not to cancel the Worcester writers meetings at Dancox house for the foreseeable future and until the peak of the virus has passed.

We believe we should postpone further meetings until we are sure we’re not bringing infection in with us, or indeed taking it away to our nearest and dearest.

It has been suggested that we email our stories around and I would encourage members to do so and to read and send comments back to the writers.

Further information about how to do this, will be posted in the near future.

Mogs on the Road

Children’s writer and poet, Mogs, has a busy few weeks coming up.

This Saturday, 26th November from 11.00am, he is involved in a ‘book signing’ at the St. Richard’s Hospice shop in Kidderminster.

Details can be found at the St. Richards Press Release.

Next, he is off to the same Independent Aurthor’s Book Fayre as fellow Writers’ Circle member, Leena, in Henley on Sunday 17th November.

Finally, he will be at the Xmas Fayre at Dudmaston Hall, Quatt, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV15 6QN on the weekend of 23rd/24th November.

We wish him all the best on his travels and are sure he will sell a few books!

Pathway to Love by Dennis Loynes

Exciting news!

Dennis Loynes, a member of Worcester Writers’ Circle is about to achieve publication once again. His Young Adult Novel Pathway to Love is a sequel to his previous novel Trials of Love. The new book is currently in the early stages of publication with Silverwood Books and is described by Dennis as ‘Highly Enjoyable’.

Congratulations to Dennis on his publication and what will be, no doubt, a fantastic book! At his request, Pathway to Love will now be promoted on BBC, SKY and perhaps even given a mention in the House of Commons to make a delightful change from Brexit.

Henley-in-Arden Independent Authors’ Book Fair

Leena Batchelor, a member of Worcester Writers’ Circle will be at the Henley-in-Arden Independent Authors’ Book Fair on Sunday, November 17th, 10am – 4pm.

The Book Fair is in the Memorial Hall on Station Road, in the historic Henley in Arden, one of the oldest market towns in Shakespeare’s England. The one mile long High Street is a conservation area and contains over 150 buildings of Historic Interest. Notable among them is the Guild Hall, a timber-framed building standing to the north of St. John’s Church. The high street is host to a wonderful collection of shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. The Book Fair is free to the public. There will be refreshments there all day and there is free parking nearby.