This is my monthly-ish newsletter landing in inboxes to tell you everything I'm up to and how you can get involved. I also share some writing opportunities so stick with me. I'd love to connect with you so please feel free to drop me a line or follow me on my social media platforms as we journey life together.
2023 is dead and 2024 is here and now. Whether the New Year celebrations fill you with dread or a love of change and all things starting afresh, there's no denying it is a bit of a weird time. I have spent too long this week watching everyone in the creative writing community throw themselves into work. Launching new workshops, promoting their services and their books and merchandise. It is a joy to see creatives launching themselves into the new year in this way. I should be doing the same and normally love to get stuck into the start of a new year but alas, this year, I find myself still eating my body weight in cheese and chocolate and trying not to think about anything work-related. I love writing, I do, so why am I procrastinating? Good question and the answer is - I have no idea but I am sure I cannot be alone. I think I just need to put on my big girl pants, flush the imposter syndrome down the loo, put the cheese in the fridge (or maybe the bin), and get to it!
You may recall from last month's newsletter that I published my book just before Christmas! Yes, that's right, my debut collection 'It's Just Me' is available to purchase from Amazon for £10.50 or £8.50 from me (£10.50 inc P&P) and I will gladly sign it for you!
The book includes poems on grief, relationships, addiction, parenting, neurodiversity, faith, disability, and more. If you are not in a position to buy a book but would like to support me, I would love it if you could share the odd post about it online.
I'm rubbish at self-promotion and feel massively out of my comfort zone so any support would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and I also just received the news that my book will be available to borrow at Bradford Libraries real soon, eeek!
I hate to ask but if you have already purchased the book please consider leaving me a review on Amazon. It would help me with promotion. I mean if you hated it maybe don't bother ;-) but if you have read it and want to leave me a review I'd be really happy and you would be helping me to promote it.
As promised my writing for wellbeing course is here for the new year BUT it will be online. I'm sorry to those who requested an in-person group but unfortunately, wheelchair access in 2024 is just as bad as in 2023 ;-) so for now the course will be online. Watch this space for an in-person group later in the year when I have hopefully secured funding to rent an accessible space. In the meantime, if anyone knows of an accessible, preferably free, space in the centre of Bradford, do let me know!
So, online Writing for Wellbeing group, where's the deets? The group will run Tuesday evenings from 13th February until 5th March at 7 pm on Zoom. The cost of the whole course is just £40.00. Tickets will be available shortly but to secure your place drop me an email and let me know.
What is Writing for Wellbeing? We'll be exploring our emotions and reactions to the world through poetry and writing out what we didn't know was trapped inside. Expect to be pushed ever so slightly out of your comfort zone before relaxing into the warm arms of comforting poetry only to find challenging words waiting to bring out the best in you. With reading and writing exercises and prompts we will explore who we are, why we are here, and what we intend to do with this information.
If you would like me to facilitate a writing for well-being course for your group do drop me a line. I'd be happy to discuss hosting a course at your premises or online.
Throughout January, I'll be facilitating my Writing for Wellbeing clubs for the National Literacy Trust in a Bradford secondary school. I'm excited about the prospect of working with young people in a cathartic way and putting into practice the skills developed during my training with Poetry Therapist Charmaine Pollard. In next month's news, I'll be feeding back my thoughts on how it went.
With the start of the new year comes more rejection. Part of being a poet and submitting work and applying for funding means we face rejection regularly. The funding ones can be really hard to take when so much effort goes into the application process and you are excited about a potential project only to receive a polite decline and be forced to either abandon the idea or look for alternative funding opportunities and start again. It is time-consuming and draining but onwards and upwards. For each rejection, other paths have been presented and they just weren't meant to be!
All My Relations - Vol 6. Deadline 15th Jan 2024 (or when they reach 100 subs whichever comes first) Submissions from racially and ethnically marginalized, gender variant, and disabled creatives only. US-based but open internationally to those writing in English.
The Passionfruit Review - Being in Bodies Deadline 31st January 2024 There is a fee to submit to this international lit mag but they state; "The entry fee (per submission of up to 3 poems) is £4. If the fee prevents you from entering the contest, get in touch with us at email@example.com"
Tower Poetry Comp - Prompt 'Mirror' Deadline 23rd February 2024 Poetry competition for 16-18-year-olds. The competition is free to enter and has a first prize of £5000, a second prize of £3000, and a third prize of £1500! Not to mention 10 x runner-up prizes of £500.
Guernsey International Poetry Competition Deadline 15th January Poetry competition with three categories (Open, Young People, and Channel Islands residents) Cost: £4 per poem per category or 3 poems for £10 per category. Good prizes on offer and the chance to feature at the festival.
Thank you for sticking with me to the end. Don't forget to connect with me on all the usual platforms and thanks for sticking it out to the end - love you guys and Happy New Year!
of Laura Speaks
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Hello and happy December. This is my monthly-ish newsletter for me to tell everything I'm up to, to anyone who'll listen. If you make it to the end of the email, you'll find a few writing opportunities I have spotted recently. I'd love to connect with you so please do follow me on my social media platforms as we journey life together. Christmas! We are now in the month of Christmas so whether you are a lover or a hater, we are now officially allowed to celebrate. I love Christmas but I didn't...
Birthday Month Hello and happy November. This is my monthly-ish newsletter for me to tell everything I'm up to, to anyone who'll listen. If you make it to the end of the email I also like to include a few writing opportunities I have spotted recently. I'd love to connect with you so please do follow me on my social media platforms as we journey life together. This month includes my birthday which is lovely because in my experience people tend to smile at you more on the anniversary of the day...