Featured library – Dewsbury Road

I thought I would do a series of blog posts that casts the spotlight on our individual libraries. Really being a librarian, I should feature them in alphabetical order, but as we have some good new stuff coming up at Dewsbury Road, I have had to go against my instinct!

Dewsbury%20Road%20Library%20Exterior_jpgDewsbury Road library is a modern library situated near to New Bewerley School and the Beeston campus of City of Leeds college. It is part of a multi service building where other council services can be accessed. A list of all the services available in the library here.

But that stuff is the everyday stuff – look what else you can get up to!

fountain-pen-447576_640NEW – Creative Writing Group – last Tuesday of the month, 1.00 – 2.30pm

Find inspiration and develop your own writing style amongst a free, fun, eclectic writers group. Whatever your genre or skill level, come along and enjoy discussing anything and everything to do with writing in a supportive and friendly social setting. The next meetings are 28 July, 25 August, 29 September, 27 October and 24 November.

comics clubNEW – Comics Club – starts 23rd July, then moves to every 3rd Thursday of the month, 3.15 – 4.45pm

Join us every third Thursday of the month to make comics, create characters, draw awesome stuff, write awesome stuff and read all kinds of awesome comics! Suitable for families and children aged 6 – 12 years.

 

 

Mug of coffeeCommunity Coffee Morning – every Friday 10.00 – 11.30am

Come along to our relaxed and friendly coffee morning to meet new people, share stories and community information.

Record Breakers logoSummer Reading Challenge – through the summer holidays

Take part in the challenge and read 6 books over the summer and we will reward you with prizes. This years theme is Record Breakers and we are holding all sorts of events in our libraries over the summer, to find out when and where have a look at our Facebook page.

laptop-820274_640IT Learning Sessions

Do you long to use the internet but don’t know where to start? Maybe you have a new tablet that you just can’t get to grips with? Ask at the library counter and they will register you for a learning session with one of our librarians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry as Healing

writing4Did you miss our fantastic Poetry as Healing workshop last month?

The group that attended found the session hugely rewarding and are looking forward to the next one. If you didn’t attend, new members are very welcome at the remaining sessions over the next few weeks. These are on the 16th May, 13th June and 11th July.

The group explores the healing nature of reading and discussing poetry as well as getting the chance to write and share their own poems. The group is very supportive and there is always an enormous feeling of wellbeing at the end of the session.

The remaining workshops are in The Portal Room in Leeds Central Library from 2.30 – 4pm .The Portal is filled with books from floor to ceiling – in fact just the place for literary inspiration! Ring 0113 247 6016 for further information.

Writers in the Rafters ELFM Experience

ELFM logoLast week two of our members of our Writers group at Central Library were featured on East Leeds FM. They read their stories as part of the Word Salad feature.

Below is what Janet made of the whole experience:-

“In 2012 we produced our second annual anthology of short stories.  We are Writers in the Rafters, a small, but happy band of writers who meet once a month in the attic of the Central Library.

This year, we wrote stories inspired by the artwork in the ArtGallery in the same building.  Our leader, Ben the Librarian, did his usual thoughtful and artistic work to produce the book, but this time there was a difference; an audio book was produced to accompany the paper version.

Recording my story was interesting, but rather hot work in the recording booth, not much bigger than a toilet cubicle.  I had never done anything similar before and was concerned about how my Leeds accent would sound and if I would remember to read slowly enough, and not stumble over my words or lose my place on the page.  However, all went reasonably smoothly, and Ben and I declared ourselves happy with the result.

Later on, Ben emailed us to ask if anyone would like to be interviewed about their stories on the internet-based, local radio station, East Leeds FM.  I said I would, although the prospect of speaking live on radio was a daunting one.  Reading aloud is one thing, but answering questions without sounding like a complete idiot is another.   But of course, doing scary things is supposed to be good for you, so they say.

So that is how I found myself climbing a set of grimy stairs at the back of a run-down parade of shops as the sun set on a cold, gloomy, March evening.  The grey concrete landing was bleak and draughty. The door-buzzer was broken on the scuffed, metal anti-theft door.  I couldn’t see in any of the windows, so I just knocked and hoped someone would hear me.

They did.  Almost immediately, the door was opened by a young man who showed me into a warm, brightly lit room with a long, pale wood, table down the middle, a teenage girl working on a laptop and my fellow writer, Gill from Rafters, sitting at one end, drinking tea and eating, as I discovered shortly after, very nice chocolate chip cookies.

Pete, the man in charge, did the introductions.  Alex had admitted me to the building and Grace was to be our technician for the broadcast.  Pete then produced a mug of tea and explained the procedure.  Shortly before we were due on air, he escorted us into the studio, and asked us both to sit in front of circular, black mesh, microphones, which were placed on a round table covered in blue felt.  The studio, as Gill remarked, looked rather like a rather cosy retro tardis, the blue walls matching the blue felt of the table.

Grace, wearing headphones, sat behind a wedge-shaped sound board, which was covered in complicated looking knobs and sliders.  She sorted out the CD with our stories on it and did a sound check by asking us what we had eaten for breakfast.  I failed miserably in the healthiest breakfast contest, my coffee and a biscuit coming third behind Gill’s porridge and yogurt and I think Pete’s was muesli and something else,  I can’t really remember, I was far too nervous at this point.  We chatted, until Grace counted down the seconds… Live in thirty…live in ten… Live in five…And then Pete was on the air, smoothly introducing us and linking into a track by a band whose name I was also too nervous to remember.

Grace counted us down again and then Pete asked us about our writing group and our stories.  Gill answered confidently.   She has done this before though, she was interviewed by Alan Titchmarsh when her novel was short-listed in a competition on the telly last year.  I hoped that I had managed to reply coherently to Pete’s questions but I couldn’t be sure.  The story CD was played, my story first, more conversation, then Gill’s story, more chat and then that was it, our work had been broadcast live.  We were thanked and ushered out of the studio as the next interviewee was ushered in.

Although I was really nervous at the time, in retrospect I realised I had enjoyed it and would be much more confident if I had to do it again.  My daughter had listened to the broadcast and phoned me later to say that she was impressed and assured me that I hadn’t sounded like an idiot.

As ELFM is an internet-based broadcast, it can be listened to later, via the computer.   I didn’t dare listen until the next evening.  When I did, I was pleasantly surprised.  I didn’t sound too bad, and I realised that I had taken another couple of steps along my writer’s path, with the help of Ben and the lovely people at East Leeds FM.”

Thank you to Janet for writing this and thank you to East Leeds FM for featuring the work of the writers group on the programme.

Listen again to the programme.

Love the Words

We’re so excited about this. East Leeds FM are airing two of last year’s Writers in the Rafters group stories from Painting by Words on their Love the Words programme which goes out on 19th March at 6pm.
They will also be interviewing two of our writers Gill Moran and Janet Fawdington. Congratulations to both.

Writers in the Rafters meets monthly in the Central Library. Give Ben Clay-Kershaw a ring on 0113 2478270 or email Ben, if you would like more information benjamin.claykershaw@leeds.gov.uk

Costa Short Story Award

Another competition for writers, this time one for the grown ups.

Costa has launched The Costa Short Story Award, a new prize for a single, previously unpublished short story.

The award will run alongside the established Costa Book Awards, but will be judged independently.

The judging panel will select a shortlist of six stories, which will be open to an online public vote from November. The winner will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29th January 2013.

Entries must be no more than 4,000 words, and written in English. The author must be aged 18 or over, and resident in the UK or Ireland since 2009.

You have until 7th September to enter, with the opportunity to win a first prize of £3,500, and two runners-up prizes of £750 each.  

All the information about terms and conditions, and how to enter, are on the Costa Book Awards website.

As Costa UK marketing director Kevin Hydes says, “What’s really exciting about our new short story award is that it’s open to absolutely everyone… you don’t need a publisher or an agent to enter this competition, just an idea and writing talent.”

Don’t forget that writers’ groups meet in libraries across Leeds if you would like to enter, but need a little bit of extra encouragement and support.

Writing success story

Congratulations to Melissa Wuidart Phillips, who recently had one of her stories broadcast on the East Leeds FM programme Word Salad. Melissa is a member of the Central Library writers’ group, Writers in the Rafters, which meets once a month on a Thursday.

If you missed Melissa’s story at the time, you can still catch up on the ELFM website, via their Listen Again facility. It’s well worth a listen.

Stylist Crime Fiction Competition

Stylist magazine have joined forces with publishers Faber and Faber to launch the career of a new crime writer.

The winner of their crime fiction competition will have their debut novel published by Faber and Faber, and will receive an advance of £5,000.

It’s a great prize, and a fantastic opportunity to see your work in print.

Here’s an outline of the competition rules:

“To enter Stylist’s Crime Fiction Competition you will need to complete the first 6,000 words of your original crime or thriller novel. The novel must feature a female protagonist. Alongside this you will need to submit an outline, no longer than 300 words, to show how the story will develop but which doesn’t reveal the ending, plus a 250-word biography of the central character.”

The competition closes on 12th July 2012, and the panel of judges includes bestselling crime author Ruth Rendell.  You can find full terms and conditions, plus the all-important entry form, on the Stylist website.

Don’t forget that if you would like some support and friendly feedback on your writing, we have writers’ groups in libraries across Leeds, and new members are always welcome.

Good luck everyone!