the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Young Writers’ Story Slam, Dorchester

Story SlamAs part of the first Dorchester Literary Festival, the Dorset Writers’ Network are hosting a Young Writers’ Story Slam at Dorchester Library on Saturday 24 October, 2pm. Writers from 11-16 years are invited to enter the story slam by reading a story of up to 500 words. Please email to register and turn up on the day. Names will be drawn from a hat and, when everyone has read, the three judges will withdraw to decide on the winners. Every reader will get the judges’ feedback on their story. The winner will become Young Story Slam Winner 2015. (Parental consent is required.)

Leave a comment »

Open Story Slam, Poole



Here are details of an exciting new story slam which is offered by the Dorset Writers’ Network as part of the Poole Festival of Words 2015.




Thrill and surprise the audience with your 500 word story (to be read within 5 minutes).

The finest writer will become Poole Festival of Words’ Story Slam Winner 2015.

Your judges: writers Michael O’Byrne, James Cole and Jennifer Bell.

Your MC: prize-winning poet Ben Johnson


SATURDAY 25 JULY 7.00 – 9.30pm

Tickets £5.00 on the door for readers and audience

Register in advance by emailing to give your name or turn up on the night. Ten names will be selected from a hat to fill the reading slots scheduled for the evening.

This event is of interest to readers and writers alike. You will be able to listen to a range of stories and experience something a little different.

I look forward to seeing you there!



Leave a comment »

Spring Story Slam in Bridport

Bridport_Arts_Centre_As a fund raiser for the Bridport Arts Centre , Frances Colville is organising a spring story slam. This is in addition to the annual story slam that features as part of the Open Book Festival in October each year. Held in the Arts Centre Cafe, the story slam will take place on Thursday 23rd April from 7.30 pm. All entrants are required to read a story of no more than 250 words (the same length as required for the Bridport Prize flash fiction competition). There will be three judges (chosen by the BAC)  and prizes for the top three entrants. It is hoped that twenty people will read, but  if there are more wanting to do so,  names will be drawn from a hat. (This method will also be used to decide the order of those reading.) The charge is £5 entry on the door for both readers and listeners alike. You can register in advance by emailing or just turn up on the night. Prose only, please.
























Visual to support the framing of ideas for story writing





Leave a comment »

Bridport Story Slam: the results

Together with local author Kate Kelly and publisher Julie Musk, I was delighted to be a judge at the second Bridport Story Slam on 18 October. The event was held at the Beach and Barnicott where the front bar was given over to seating and a stage. Organised by Frances Colville (with the help of Kathy Hallsworth, and drawing on the experience of Jennifer Bell) the story slam offered ten writers the opportunity to share their work. Each story was read within a five-minute time frame to a large audience of friends and supporters. Annie Freud acted as compere.

The stories included complex issues such as loss of hearing and vision, transgender, straight and gay relationships, there were some challenging and intriguing settings and a story with murderous intent.  Much discussion amongst the judges resulted in the following winners:

First place, Denial by Gill Smith: a hugely enjoyable story about Hilda, who suffers from hearing loss which gets her into all sorts of difficult situations.  A beautifully crafted story with a satisfying ending.

Second place went to Ged Duncan for his intriguing story, with strong imagery and an unusual setting.

Third place, Unravelling, by Maya Pieris: an intense story with a sinister twist.

Very well done to all the contributors. Each story had a unique element and some were very professionally delivered, in some cases adding to the humour.

Have you ever entered a story slam?

Leave a comment »

Excellent repeat event: Story Slam, Briport 2013


With the success of last year’s event, the Dorset Writers’ Network are hosting another story slam as part of the Open Book Festival in Bridport. Organised by Jennifer Bell of Storyslingers, the evening will be modelled on previous story slams where participants are asked to register in advance through (or turn up and register on the night). If there are more registered writers than time slots, the names will be entered into a draw. Each time slot is five minutes maximum (about 780 words). All genres and styles of original prose welcome. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your talent so get writing and share your work with a supportive and enthusiastic audience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment »

A splendid story slam in Shaftesbury

I wrote an earlier post promoting the story slam in Shaftesbury here and I’m now delighted to share with you details of this great event.  Organised by  Jennifer Oliver and Jennifer Bell who run Storyslingers a creative writing group held at the Shaftesbury Arts Centre, the story slam offered the chance for writers to read their work to an audience and gain feedback.  Five writers put their names forward for the competitive element of the evening, and five others took the microphone to showcase their work.

The judging panel comprised Allie Spencer author of romantic comedy novels including Summer Loving and Summer Nights and myself (recently awarded first prize in the Winchester Writers’ Conference ‘Slim Volume, Small Edition’ competition).

Allie Spencer (left) and Gail Aldwin (right)

I was thrilled to be invited to judge the event and I’d love to see more story slams taking place across the county. Allie was a great person to deliberate with in finding the winner and runner-up, particularly as the standard of all the stories was very high. We finally agreed that James Broomfield’s story should win due to its extraordinary content (about a man trying to find his brotherhood in North Devon by experimenting with smoking beard trimmings).  Technically the writing was superb with a strong and unique voice.  Runner up came Andy Hamilton’s ‘Stage Fright’ a classic ugly duckling scenario told in a fresh way.

Read the rest of this entry »


Story Slam in Shaftesbury, North Dorset

In the tradition of a poetry slam, where poetry is recited, a story slam encourages prose writers to take the stage and read their work.  Events are informal and fun, with feedback from judges and applause from the audience.  The idea is to enjoy sharing stories from a range of genres with a wider audience and prizes are awarded.  In July, Storyslingers in Shaftesbury are holding their first story slam event and would be very pleased to have you join them.