Thursday, 22 January 2015

We need your words!

Emma Jarvis of Hospital Arts at the Norfolk And Norwich Hospital has asked Words And Women to help with finding words and phrases which can be used in art work to transform the Hospital’s Gynaecology Outpatients Department. As you can see from the photograph rooms in the department currently look very businesslike and unwelcoming.

Gynaecology is the branch of physiology and medicine which deals with the functions of and diseases specific to the reproductive system. The Gynaecology Outpatients department offers a range of general and specialised Gynaecological clinics. 

There is no specific age range of those who visit the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Gynaecology department.  Those that visit may be attending for both diagnosis and treatments. 

It is generally understood that any ailment of the reproduction organs can pose specific and intimate sensitivities which can vary greatly from individual to individual.  Visiting the department can be quite stressful for patients therefore the hospital wishes to offer the best caring environment to assist with reducing this stress.

The Artworks

Vicki and Jo of Print To The People will be working on this project with Hospital Arts.  All of Words And Women’s competition flyers and posters are designed by Vicki, so we know the project is in safe and talented hands! Vicki and Jo intend to create beautiful visual pieces on both walls and ceiling panels which will be calming and relaxing, and will offer a talking point in each room. They want to base their work around words and phrases to which they’ll apply different print processes, adding colour and other detailing. First of all though they need words and phrases. Ideally any words of wisdom, empowering words for women by women, statements, Haikus, quotes, facts. Emma says they’re particularly looking for words associated with positivity, reassurance, self-worth, femininity, empowerment.

Please help this worthwhile project and send any words or phrases which you think would be appropriate to This is a Words And Women email address; we will then forward your contributions to Emma.

With many thanks for your help in advance.
Words And Women hopes to give you updates on this project as it progresses.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Our anthology writers – the final four

Julianne Pachico grew up in Colombia and now lives in Norwich, where she is completing her PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at UEA. Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in Lighthouse Literary Journal, and Salt's Best British Short Stories. Her pamphlet, The Tourists, is available with Daunt Books. She is currently completing a linked collection set in Colombia and working on a novel set in Mexico. Julianne’s’s story Kurt Cobain’s Son  will appear in Words And Women: Two.

Bethany Settle has an MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) from the University of East Anglia. She remained in Norwich, where she works at a library. Recently her work has appeared in Words and Women: One and Extending Leylines. She is writer-in-residence at the Rumsey Wells pub in Norwich. Bethany’s creative non-fiction piece For Dave Garner will appear in the anthology.

Avani Shah was born in London and now lives in Norwich. She has a BA in English Literature with Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Her influences include Jhumpa Lahiri, J.K. Rowling, and Mindy Kaling. Avani’s story Mira/Meera will be included in our anthology.

Thea Smiley lives in Suffolk with her husband and three sons. She graduated from the UEA in 2012 with a first class Honours Degree in English Literature. While at university, her short story Smoke was published in Workshop, an anthology of undergraduate writing. Her first stage play was performed at the Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth, in 2012 and, the following year, one of her stories was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Currently, she is writing a play for Wonderful Beast Theatre Company, which will be performed during the HighTide Festival in 2015. Thea’s short story Magazines  will feature in Words And Women: Two.

Don’t forget we will also be publishing the work arising from our About project in our second anthology too. The profiles of Jenny Ayres, Lilie Ferrari, Tess Little and Thea Smiley, the writers selected for this commission, can be found on the dedicated blog page 'About comp'.

Many congratulations to all the writers selected for our anthology. The anthology will be launched on 8th March International Women’s Day at the Fusion Digital Gallery, The Forum, Norwich. Details of the launch will be posted on this blog in February.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Our anthology writers – part 4

Anna Metcalfe was born in Holzwickede in 1987. Her stories have been published in Tender Journal, Elbow Room, Lighthouse and The Warwick Review. In 2014, she was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Short Story Award. She lives in Norwich, where she is working on her first collection. Anna’s story The Professor will appear in Words And Women: Two.

Marise Mitchell’s novel Bunny Slayer was published in 2008. Now she has two books on the go: one a young adult fiction book set within a parallel universe and the other a collection of musings on the menopause, as there is chick-lit and misery-lit but no menopause -lit out there! Marise lives in Dereham with Ian and teaches ESOL locally.  They relocated from Hertfordshire in 2013 and Marise says she is happy to be here in the holiday zone of her childhood with the big skies above.  Marise’s story Now You See Me will be included in our anthology.

Anthea Morrison grew up in Hertfordshire and has lived in London, Cambridge and New York, where she first realised her passion for creative writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Now back in Cambridge, she is an active member of the local Angles writing workshop. Anthea has had stories published online, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway University. Anthea’s short story You Have What You Want  will be published in the anthology.

Patricia Mullin graduated from the MA Writing the Visual, exploring the relationship between creative and critical writing and visual culture at Norwich University for the Arts. In 2009 she was shortlisted for an Arts Council Escalator Award. Her 2005 novel Gene Genie was republished as an e–book in 2012. Patricia devised and led three short fiction courses for the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts; she is an associate tutor at the University of East Anglia. Her novel Casting Shadows was commended in the Yeovil International Literary prize 2014 and Patricia has just been awarded an Arts Council grant to re-draft it. Patricia’s story The Sitting  was included in our inaugural anthology. Her short story The Siren  will feature in Words And Women: Two.
Radhika Oberoi is pursuing an MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) from the University of East Anglia. She is the recipient of an Asia Bursary, supported by the UEA Guardian Masterclasses. She’s from India and has moonlighted as a journalist for the Times of India, the Hindu Literary Review, and more recently, the New York Times blog, India Ink. Her day job back home required her to sit at a desk and work in an advertising firm. Radhika’s work Reporter will feature in Words And Women: Two.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Our anthology writers – part 3

Hannah Harper was born in Reading and studied literature at the University of Sheffield and creative writing at the UEA. She’s worked as a receptionist, bookseller and copywriter and has almost finished her first novel. Hannah’s story Camera Black will appear in Words And Women: Two.

Caitlin Ingham
was born in 1990 and grew up in London and then Yorkshire. She studied English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London before spending two years working for a literary agency. In September 2014, she moved to Norwich to complete the Masters degree in Creative Writing (Prose) at UEA. Caitlin’s story The Bridge will be included in our anthology.

Jane Martin
completed her first full-length novel at the age of 13. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t find its way into the bookshops! Since then she has written several plays and loads of short pieces. In her mid-twenties, she abandoned creativity for academia gaining a BA in Eng. Lit. and an MA in Children’s Lit, as well as A levels in Psychology and Film Studies. She is now working with the Golden Egg Academy on honing her second novel for children. Jane’s short story Falling  will be published in the anthology.

Holly J. McDede claims to be a 10th generation King's Lynn resident in order to fit in, but really, she moved to Norwich almost three years ago from California for secret reasons. She runs a radio show called the Norfolk Storytelling Project, where she explores hot topics such and new zebra crossings, English banana farming, and new public toilet facilities in Hailsham. Holly’s work The Game Of Love! will feature in Words And Women: Two.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Our anthology writers – part 2

Louise Ells (c) Catherine Holden
Louise Ells spent her childhood beside the Ottawa River in northeastern Ontario, then combined random jobs (chef, roofer, co-pilot on a submarine) with years of travel.  She has a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University and is now pursuing a PhD at Anglia Ruskin University.  Her thesis comprises Lacunae, a collection of thematically linked short stories, and a critical commentary examining Alice Munro’s revision strategies in Dear Life.  She’s recently had stories published in The Masters Review and Harts & Minds. Louise’s short story Push will appear in Words And Women: Two.

Abby Erwin
spent the first eighteen years of her life in India, Germany and the Czech Republic. She now lives in Norwich in a state of perpetual culture shock and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Abby’s story The Oversight will be published in the anthology.

Melissa Fu
is currently writing a collection of memoir-style pieces based on growing up in the Rocky Mountains.  In 2014, she started leading and facilitating Writing Circles, small writing groups in Cambridgeshire designed to create community and cultivate writers' voices.  Melissa’s approach to teaching writing is informed by her experiences in the classroom as well as her studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she earned a Masters in English Education. She welcomes writers of all levels to her workshops ( and also writes a weekly personal blog on various topics  ( Melissa’s creative non-fiction piece Mount Sanitas will be appear in the anthology.

Hannah Garrard is currently studying for an MA in biography and creative non-fiction at the UEA, where she also took her undergraduate degree in English Literature in 2005. She has worked as a teacher in East Asia and West Africa, but Norwich is a place she always seems to come back to.  Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, New Internationalist and Going Down Swinging. Her piece of creative non-fiction Did You Eat Lunch?  will feature in Words And Women: Two.

Four more writers tomorrow!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Our anthology writers

As promised we will be posting short biographies of the writers whose work has been selected to appear alongside Lora Stimson’s story – Cornflake Girl - in Words And Women’s second anthology. Lora Stimson won first prize in our prose competition and if you want to find out more about Lora see our competition page.

Biographies will be posted throughout this week and next. Congratulations to all of the following writers for their success.

Tricia Abraham
is originally from the Caribbean but has lived in Cambridge for the past eleven years. She has an MA in Creative Writing and initially wrote for stage and film. She started to experiment with the short story format when she moved to the U.K. and wanted to reminisce about her cultural memories. Her story The Outside Woman will feature in Words And Women: Two.

Melinda Appleby won Country Living's Best Writer Award in 2011and saw this as a chance to change direction and focus on her writing, exploring the nature and culture of land. She gained an MA (Distinction) in Wild Writing (Essex University) in 2014. She has an essay in Est, the new book of East Anglian writing. Melinda has set up a creative writing programme, Sandlines, with fellow Words & Women writer and artist, Lois Williams. Working with the Brecklands Landscape Partnership, Sandlines will develop workshops to encourage community writing in response to nature, and connect people with their landscape memories.  Melinda’s piece of creative non-fiction Footprints On The Tideline will be published in the anthology.

Sarah Baxter returned to Colchester, the town of her birth, a decade ago after living in Australia and Scotland. Sarah has been successful with her flash fictions, which have been published in the Bridport Prize anthology, and online by InkTears and Flash500. In 2014, Sarah’s work-in-progress first novel was longlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association’s ‘Debut Dagger’ prize and went on to win A.M Heath’s ‘Criminal Lines’ competition. Sarah’s memoir The Girl I Left Behind was included in our inaugural anthology. Her short story Lucky, Lucky Girl  will feature in Words And Women: Two.

Ceridwen Edwards (aka. Satyagita) was born in Great Yarmouth in 1958. She's a practising Buddhist and writes to try and make sense of the world. She wrote her first book when she was five, 'Wendy and the Witch'. Her story The Duolitary will be published in the anthology. 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Lora Stimson wins our prose competition!

Congratulations to Lora Stimson who has won Words And Women’s second writing competition with her wonderful short story Cornflake Girl.

Lora studied creative writing at Norwich School of Art & Design and UEA. She’s published stories and poems with Nasty Little Press, Unthank Books, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Streetcake Magazine. In 2014 she was mentored by novelist Shelley Harris as part of the WoMentoring scheme. Her first novel, about sex, grief and model villages, currently hides in a drawer but she has higher hopes for her second novel, about twins, which received an Arts Council England grant and is now in its final edit. Lora works as a programme manager for Writers' Centre Norwich and sings with the bands Moonshine Swing Seven and The Ferries. She lives in Norwich with her husband and son.

Lora wins £600 and her winning story will appear in our second anthology Words And Women: Two published by Unthank Books, which will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March, this year.

Our competition was open to women living in the East of England over the age of 16. We asked for prose – fiction or non-fiction – under 2,200 words, and are pleased to say we received 170 scripts from writers based all over the region. The scripts, like last year, covered a variety of subjects: chance, fan fiction, ill health, old age, growing-up, sex, monkeys, writing, mountains, the menopause, Buddhism. They were set not just in this region but all over the world . This year we received more fiction than non-fiction; also many of our winners studied creative writing at university or are currently doing so.

Our guest judge for this year was Sarah Ridgard, author of Seldom Seen. All entries were judged anonymously and the unveiling of the names of the winning writers at the end of the process was very exciting! To quote Sarah: “There was such a diverse and dazzling array of submissions for the competition, it was clear at the outset that the task of judging the winners was going to be a really difficult one. But as the reading got underway, it was a joy it to discover those short stories or works of non fiction that made me sit up a little straighter and demanded to be read, re-read, and then read again. I'm delighted that those writers will have the chance for their work to be published in the anthology and read by many others.” 

Lora is our worthy overall winner. There are also 21 other writers whose scripts will be published in our anthology, along with the 4 pieces of work which have been created for our About project.

Over the next few days Words And Women will be posting photos and short biographies of all of our successful writers. Also Words And Women will be busily editing and shaping the anthology for publication. More news about this will be posted on our blog in due course.

Finally, Words And Women would like to say thank you to everybody who entered the competition. The quality of work was outstanding and very encouraging. 

The winning entries:

Lora Stimson for her short story Cornflake Girl. Lora lives in Norwich, Norfolk. 

Tricia Abraham – The Outside Woman – Fiction - (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)
Melinda Appleby – Footprints On The Tideline – Creative Non-Fiction - (Eye, Suffolk)
Sarah Baxter – Lucky Lucky Girl –  Fiction - (Colchester, Essex)
Ceridwen Edwards – The Duolitary - Fiction  - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Louise Ells – Push – Fiction - (Milton, Cambridgeshire)
Abby Erwin – The Oversight – Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Melissa Fu – Mount Sanitas - Creative Non-Fiction - (Haslingfield,Cambridgeshire) 
Hannah Garrard – Did You Eat Lunch? - Creative Non-Fiction – (Norwich, Norfolk)
Hannah Harper -  Camera Black – Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Caitlin Ingham – The Bridge -  Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Jane Martin – Falling –  Fiction - (Lowestoft, Suffolk)
Holly McDede – The Game of Love!  -  Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Anna Metcalfe – The Professor -  Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Marise Mitchell – Now You See Me  -  Fiction - (Dereham, Norfolk)
Anthea Morrison – You Have What You Want –  Fiction - (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)
Patricia Mullin – The Siren -   Fiction - (Syderstone, Norfolk)
Radhika Oberoi – Reporter -   Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Julianne Pachico – Kurt Cobain’s Son  - Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Beth Settle – For Dave Garner- Creative Non-Fiction –(Norwich, Norfolk)
Avani Shah - Mira/Meera -   Fiction - (Norwich, Norfolk)
Thea Smiley - Magazines  -   Fiction - (Halesworth, Suffolk)

Deborah Arnander – Babies – Fiction -(Norwich, Norfolk)
Jackie Bartlett – Something Big – Fiction -(Saffron Walden, Essex)
Patricia Debney – Multi-storey – Fiction - (Ely, Cambridgeshire)
Molly Morris – How To Break – Fiction -(Norwich, Norfolk)