New Writing Festival .. and the tele’!

asparagusYou know how some things just go together?

Bread and butter, salt and pepper, white wine and soda, Starsky & Hutch (whoops, showing my age) and of course, that old classic: writing and asparagus!

Yes, I have discovered ‘AsparaWriting Festival’ – a new, little-known literary festival which will be taking place from 23rd April – 21st June (!) and is based in Worcestershire, just down the road from me, where they take things like asparagus-growing very seriously.

If you live anywhere nearby, you might like to ‘check it out’, as they say, as they’ve got some good writers coming, like Stella Duffy and Simon Brett, and lots of interesting workshops (prices for which are yet to be revealed!).

I’m trying to get hold of some brochures but no-one’s responded to my request on their website yet (too busy tending the budding asparagus shoots?) and I’ve also, rather cheekily, pointed out to them that £10 is quite steep for an entry to their short story competition, when the first prize is only £100.

Mslexia, for example, also charge £10 for their short story competition and the first prize is £2000, plus a writer’s retreat, plus a meeting with an editor. And there are lots of other prizes too.

Anyway, I hope it all goes well and lots of people attend. A new writing festival in my area is good news and while I may not be tempted to enter their short story competition, I’d certainly like to go to some of their events, so watch this space. I will be reporting back (and eating lots of asparagus!)

The 7.39

Anyone else watching this, ‘The 7.39’, the 2-parter BBC programme, written by David Nicholls of ‘One Day’ fame (a fabulous book, by the way!)?

I am watching more TV (for research purposes) these days because we have a new rule in our house: the PC gets switched off at 8pm! (New Year’s Resolution. It’s 8.10pm so I am a little late but it’s going OFF once I post this, honest!)

As I write, I’ve only seen part 1 (part 2 is on later tonight) and I’ve studiously avoided reading any reviews but I must admit I was slightly disappointed with the-normally-gorgeous David Morrissey.

That beard just didn’t do it for me and I thought he seemed, well, just ever so slightly ‘dull’ as a character?!

Hopefully, things will perk up tonight because I’m finding it difficult to believe that the bubbly Sheridan Smith would really find him that attractive…!

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25 Responses to New Writing Festival .. and the tele’!

  1. Julia says:

    £10? Good grief! I balk at paying a fiver, unless it’s a really good prize. As for Mr Morrissey, I’ve never seen the appeal. I’ve not watched this drama, partly because it made be wish I’d written it. Does that make me mean?

  2. Jackie Sayle says:

    £10 is a lot. I guess they’re only expecting about a dozen people to enter? LOL That festival’s near me, too, so I might check it out if you can get any details. Haven’t watched 7.39 yet, so can’t comment on it. Incidentally, I had a sharp intake of breath when you said white wine and soda go together. I’d never adulterate my wine with anything! 🙂

    • Jackie
      I would agree with you about the wine, in most cases. It’s usually only when I’m in a pub, where the white wine’s likely to be warm and ‘dodgy’,that I have a long, cold (with plenty of ice) white wine and soda. Then it doesn’t matter about the quality of the wine and it’s a nice relaxing drink!

  3. Tracy Fells says:

    How wonderful to find a Lit Fest close to home, Helen. Agree that £10 too steep for a £100 prize fund, though may put off lots of entries so narrowing the field considerably. Ooh, don’t tell me what happens in 7.39 as we haven’t watched the 2nd part yet. I think the attraction is his dullness, if you know what I mean, in he’s genuine and sincere and actually interested in her. But yes I’m not a beardie fan either and prefer him without. Hope it doesn’t all end in tears …

    • My lips are sealed on part 2 of ‘The 7.39’ – suffice to say, I enjoyed it!

      Yes, the £10 entry fee might narrow the (asparagus) field BUT they are going to put 10 shortlisted stories in a booklet, so there’s a risk, not only of paying £10 and winning nothing, but seeing your lovely story printed for no reward. They are clearly aiming this competition at people who want to see their work in print – at any cost!!

  4. PC off at 8pm! I’m having palpitations just thinking about it.

    • Gayle, I know, I don’t know how long this will last but it was making me too ‘hyperactive’ before bedtime!! (ooh err – that sounds a bit racy. I don’t mean it like that!). Also ‘him indoors’ was rightly getting a bit fed up with sitting there on his own, watching the tele’. I do have most of the rest of the day, to pootle around on the PC!

  5. Wendy Clarke says:

    I think turning off the Pc at 8 is a brilliant rule… how to wrestle the iPad from my husband’s hands though? I have the 7.39 taped (also showing my age) and looking forward to watching it). Now off to write a story about asparagus… which, by the way, I hate.

  6. Hi Helen. I loved The 7.39 and actually though David Morrissey was really hot in it – though I don’t normally like beards. Mind you, the last part I saw him playing was the psycho (eventually one-eyed) Governor in the American zombie drama, The Walking Dead, so any other character would an improvement on that!

    • Hmm, I thought I would like David Morrissey and I was all ready for a bit of swooning but no, I’m afraid he just didn’t do it for me. That beard – ugh!! Mind you, Ryan and all those muscles didn’t do anything for me either! (that’s a relief really, isn’t it?)

  7. That should have been ‘thought’. PS I found it a really compelling drama – perhaps due to the fantastic acting.

  8. swanview says:

    £10 does sound a bit steep, you’re right there. Does the writing have to include asparagus?

    • It doesn’t HAVE to include asparagus but I’m sure if you used it in a surprising and interesting and..ahem, literary way, it would probably get you brownie points from the judges!!

  9. Bernadette says:

    I love asparagus, but I can’t say the same about 7.39! Don’t want to spoil it for anyone but I reckon Woman’s Weekly would have given it ‘worn theme, no surprises’!
    And yes – £10 definitely too much entry fee for that competition.

  10. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    I came across a leaflet for this in our local butcher’s shop in Badsey when I went to pick up my Christmas meats! I’ll see if they have any left and if so, pick up some more. If you don’t have any luck with the organisers let me know and we can organise how to get them to you. I agree £10 is high- for that, I’d expect a much higher prize pot. Nice to have some literary activity locally though, isn’t it?

    • Christine
      It is! (nice to have some local activity), so I’d like to support it/them as much as I can (although I draw the line at £10 for a short story competition!). If you go to any of the workshops, let me know and perhaps we could meet up?

      • Christine Steenfeldt says:

        I will! And caught up with The 7.39 last night- I thought it was really good but would have preferred DM not to have had a beard.

  11. philippabowe says:

    I might have better weather but I don’t get any (English) literary festivals round here so envy you that, I hope it takes off. The asparagus-writing link seems a little tenuous, but I do like the idea of focusing on all things writerly while eating asparagus – a favourite veg.
    That fee is definitely too high for what’s on offer, you are right to point it out to them, maybe if lots more people did they’d think again…
    I didn’t know David Morrisey (or that TV drama, not having a TV), just looked him up, and saw he was born in the same place and same year as me, so he must be a good’un… 😉
    PS. I’m only just commenting on the recent posts as recovering from three-day celebration of Significant Birthday – excellent fun but exhausting!

  12. Linda says:

    Very enterprising to link writing with a vegetable (the main crop where I live is potatoes – hmmm, a Writing about Chips festival?) I agree about the £10 entry fee, too high for writers struggling to make even the minimum wage.

    • philippabowe says:

      Potatoes could be tricky Linda…I’m surrounded by vineyards, so a wine-themed literary festival would have obvious benefits…maybe I’ll suggest it!

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