The Room 204 writers have had a very successful 2018. After some prompting, they shared with us some of the brilliant work they have done this year. It seems to have been a very busy year for the cohort and we are more than proud to share their good news with you. Applications for Room 204 are now open, you can apply here.
Deborah Alma edited #MeToo – a women’s poetry anthology published in March by Fair Acre Press. Deborah won the Saboteur Awards Best Poetry Anthology of 2018. This year she was invited to be the Key Note Speaker at the NAPT conference in Minnesota and has taken a teaching role at Keele University.
Romalyn Ante, whose pamphlet Rice & Rain received the 2018 Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet, recently won the Poetry London Clore Prize judged by Kwame Dawes.
Casey Bailey has spent this week as Writer in Residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stafford. He is currently developing his play, Grime Boy, and this year released his Debut Full Collection, Adjusted, with Verve Poetry Press.
Matt Black’s main news is that this year his first play The Storm Officer, inspired by Storm Desmond and the flooding in Cumbria in 2016, is touring, and his book of travel haiku, Tales from the Leaking Boot (Iron Press) was published in May.
Lisa Blower’s collection of Short Stories, It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s will be published this coming year in April 2019. It is available to preorder now.
Carol Caffery received a commendation in the Verve Poetry Festival Competition and will be published in their Anthology in the new year. Carol will be performing Music for Dogs at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival on 2nd February 2019 at the Lychgate Tavern, at 3pm.
Maisie Chan has been signed by Alice Sutherland-Hawes of Madeleine Milburn Literary, Film and TV Agency. Maisie has also received commissions from Ladybird (Penguin) for a children’s story for a new anthology.
Jan Edwards won the Arnold Bennett Book Prize back in June, with her crime novel Winter Downs.
Nick Fogg was delighted to be invited to join the BAFTA Crew Film & TV programme 2018 as a writer.
William Gallagher now gets to write remarkably geeky articles on AppleInsider.com and takes every chance to slip in references to drama and the Birmingham Literature Festival. He’s running six fortnightly writing sessions for the Billesley Writing Group and a day-long workshop for Authors Abroad.
Rob Ganley has had a short story published in Under the Radar in February 2018. Rob was published in an anthology by Comma Press in September and was invited become a member of the prestigious Tindal Street Fiction Group.
Jasmine Gardosi received Honorable Mention for Outstanding International Entry in the Button Poetry Contest, the world’s largest spoken word platform. In the summer, Jasmine performed at Nozstock Festival, Shambala Festival, and All Together Now Festival in Ireland. She is currently working on a theatre piece following the story of a reluctant supply teacher.
Liz Hyder signed with Bird Literary Agency, won the Bridge Awards/Moniack Mhor Emerging Writer award and got a book deal with Pushkin Press. Her debut novel, Bearmouth, a YA thriller, will be published in hardback in September 2019.
Kate Innes’ poetry collection Flocks of Words was shortlisted for the International Rubery Award in July.
Helen Kara’s Research Ethics in the Real World was launched in November.
Liz Kershaw published her short Novella, The Music Maker, with Mantle Lane Press in April. Liz has been appointed as writer on a Heritage Lottery Funded project: The Man in the Moone. This project will explore the first science fiction book written in English (in 1638) through a series of workshops and will culminate in a publication and performance in Summer 2019. She has also joined the Tindal Street Fiction Group.
Nadia Kingsley has had 2 poems from her ACE-funded performance e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g: The History of the Universe in 45 minutes accepted in a new biannual Astronomy Magazine, and had 3 poems accepted onto Arts Foundry website. Books and pamphlets from Fair Acre Press this year have all attracted great endorsements and reviews, including Beyond Spring by Matthew Oates, which was shortlisted for both the BBC Countryfile Magazine’s Country Book of The Year and the Richard Jefferies Award.
Emma Lannie‘s stories written as part of her Coalville Writes Residency have been published by Mantle Lane Press in the Lionhearts Anthology.
Sarah Leavesley’s poetry pamphlet How to Grow Matches was shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards 2018 and ‘His Secret Daughter’ from the pamphlet was Guardian Poem of the Week. Her poetry and flash imprint V. Press was shortlisted for The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award 2017 and individual V. Press titles won or were shortlisted in awards in 2017/2018. She now reviews for Riggwelter and has started a small online journal LitWorld2 combining photography with poetry and short flash fiction.
Nina Lewis was an International Guest Poet at Perth Poetry Festival in Australia this summer.
Malachi McIntosh has been commissioned by the Colonial Countryside project, in association with the National Trust, to write a series of linked short stories about Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, next year.His short story, ‘A Game of Chess’ was published in The Book of Birmingham, edited by fellow Room 204 member, Kavita Bhanot.
Cynthia Miller is the Newest Trustee member for the Forward Arts Foundation, the organisation behind National Poetry Day and the upcoming Forward Prizes.
Louise Palfreyman’s Once Upon a Time in Birmingham: Women who Dared to Dream, a YA collection of inspirational stories was launched in conjunction with Birmingham City Council at the Birmingham Literature Festival. Louise also embarked on two new community projects in the Black Country and Shropshire, involving life-writing and local archives.
Emma Purshouse has been selected as one of the writers in the Common People Anthology. Emma has won the Shambabla Festival Poetry Slam 2018. The poetry collective ‘Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists’ were longlisted for a Saboteur Award in 2018 for their poetry show of the same name. Emma’s first full collection of poetry, Close, was published by Offa Press this year.
Stephanie Ridings’ play, The Road to Huntsville, was published by Nick Hern Books as part of an anthology. Stephanie’s show Fear of Fear opened at the Warwick Arts Centre this October.
Jane Roberts has been published in University of Birkbeck’s “Mechanics’ Institute Review” (15) – September 2018 with her piece ‘Our Lady, the Sheela Na Gig’. ‘Blind Date‘ appeared in the first print edition of “The Nottingham Review” (Issue 11) and the “Blue Planet Collection” in Retreat West Cli-Fi anthology Nothing Is As It Was. This has also been used for academic research into reader responses to climate change represented in fiction.
Louise Sarabadzic’s poetry appeared in Atherns based journal A) Glimpse #2. From February to September 2019, Lou will complete a travelling writing residency with the libraries of Agglopolys (Blois, France). This residency will lead her to go on the same trip as Montaigne in the 16th Century, which is recorded in his travel diaries: Montaigne’s Travels in Italy by Way of Switzerland and Germany.
Martin Sketchly this year became the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Aston University, mentoring students on all aspects of academic and business writing.
Louise Stokes attended The Royal College of Psychiatrists Forensic Annual Conference to demonstrate the use of drama, writing and the Arts in secure psychiatric in-patient settings. Louise received funding from BCC Arts Commissioning Team Next Generation Fund to deliver This Is Me, a creative writing and book project, with Home Group Young Carers, resulting in a printed book with the young carers’ poems, stories, personal accounts and art work.
Liz Xifarias has been selected for the Marian Keyes Curtis Brown Creative scholarship.