News and Opportunities for Writers: August 2021

With many events and festivals cancelled, the writing community has transferred a lot of its activity online. Search on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #amwriting or similar and you’ll find lots of resources. 

News from Room 204

News from Room 204:


BOLDtext, a playwright group Helen Kelly and Nicola Jones are members of, have a number of shows at Soho House in Birmingham starting 30th July. Find out more. 

Rob Ganley has been shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize, and has recently published ‘111 Places in Coventry You Shouldn’t Miss’

William Gallagher has been awarded an Arts Council grant to develop his 58keys YouTube series for writers.

Gulara Vincent’s debut novel ‘Hammer, Sickle & Broom‘ was published in May and has reached #1 on the Amazon UK bestseller’s list.

Friend of WWM Najum Qureshi has published ‘Not A Wall In The Desert‘, a “moving, truthful” account of the dark side of the medical world.

Louise Stokes will be bringing her stage play ‘What Myra DID’ to Ludlow Fringe Festival this June. She has also secured Arts Council funding to improve her songwriting for future stage endeavours.

Chris Akers has collaborated with boxer Peter Buckley to write his autobiography, King of the Journeymen.

Annabel Brightling has completed writing for upcoming TV series SeaLife and for the EastEnders BBC writers shadow scheme. She is currently working as a PA for Kit de Waal.


Writing Support and Resources

The Word Association works with marginalised groups and isolated communities, offering free writing workshops and support.  In 2021 they will be running writing courses for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as those who have battled long term mental illness – if you’d like to find out more information on either course, please do get in touch.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) host regular events for children’s writers, on craft and the industry with a variety of guest speakers, and members can participate in critique groups, competitions and events. Bursaries available. In Autumn they will be holding a series of zoom conversations with literary agents representing children’s authors. 

Writing West Midlands is hosting friendly informal networking and information sessions online. Find out about writing, meet writers local to you, and hear more about what Writing West Midlands does. Find a session near you

Room 204 alumna Bethany Rivers is hosting multiple 5-week writing courses throughout the summer, helping you refine your writing and get that project finished. She will also be running a ‘Free Mindful Words’ course in October, teaching writing as a release from bereavement. Visit her website for bookings, testimonials, and more information.

The Arvon Foundation have announced a whole new season of creative writing workshops and writing weeks for writers of every level. In addition, they are once again running in-person residentials and retreats. Find out more.


The Spark Young Writers groups run throughout the year. With workshops across the region, as well as new online only sessions, this is the perfect opportunity for creative young people aged 8 – 18 years old. Find your group.

Arvon at Home’s season is now open for booking – a jamboree of writing masterclasses, courses, craft sessions and readings you can attend from the comfort of your home. Arvon at Home Events.

Fair Acre Press has run several zoom events launching books and pamphlets. They are recorded and can be watched on youtube here. 


Competitions and opportunities

The seventh edition of The Studio21 Drama Series Script Competition has opened for entries. The competition is looking for a pilot script for an original international drama series. It connects emerging writers with the global content business, offering the winner a £10,000 development option and unique oppportunity to connect with the global drama business. Closing date for your submission is the 1st October. Find out more and apply.