News and Opportunities for Writers: May 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:

Jean Atkin’s latest pamphlet Fan-peckled is published by Fair Acre Press in time for Easter. An old Shropshire dialect word, ‘fan-peckled’ just means freckled, and was collected in the little towns of Wem and Whitchurch.

Jacqui Rowe’s new collection, new collection, Other Things I Didn’t Use To Know which was joint winner of the Indigo Dreams Collection Competition 2019 is now available here. The collection is a response to the anguish and absurdities of having blood cancer, address the new knowledge Jacqui gained and the new world she found herself in, as well as reflecting on childhood, family, and places, seen from a new perspective.

Louise Stokes’s Let’s Create programme continues to run, with a writing & mask making project with adults as well as a puppet making and storytelling project. Lousie has been funded to work with a the group, Aspergers Heroes. She is delivering small group counselling sessions and making a short film called This is My story. You can find her music and videos here. 

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.


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.


The Birmingham Literature Festival has come to an end, however we are continuing to publish a podcast each week. Follow us on your podcast provider to stay up to date on the conversation!

Stay At Home Lit Fest starts this week. Check out their programme of free events here.

Arvon at Home’s sping 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.

Are you, or do you know, a young person aged between 14 – 20 who loves writing? Spark Young Writers is running a Teen Writing Series. Each month we will be hosting a session on a specific genre or area of writing from crime fiction to performance. Tickets are just £10 for a 2-hour session (online) and bursaries are available.

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.


Competitions and opportunities

Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency is running a 6-month mentorship programme for the second year running for unpublished novelists and non-fiction writers worldwide. The programme will include a comprehensive introduction to how publishing works, editorial work on the author’s manuscript and guaranteed representation from an MM Agent during and after the mentorship period. This year, they’re offering eight places and at least four of them are reserved for writers underrepresented on the nation’s bookshelves. You can read about it in more detail and find out how to apply here.

Creative Future Writers’ Awards 2021 Competition is open or submissions. A free to enter writing competition open to all underrepresented writers, submit a short story or poem on the theme of ‘Essential.’

Deadline: 6th June 2021 Find out more.


All Stories is a free mentorship programme for underrepresented children’s book writers unable to afford support to develop their talent.
Deadline: 31st May, Mentorship running from September 2021 to February 2022 Find out more about the project and how to apply here.