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News, Views and Inspiration

We are looking for items of interest to our readers including news of events, competitions, book launches, writers’ workshops, readings etc. and also some ideas about the hows and whys of writing.

Hi all, I am looking for anybody who is interested in Open Mic in the Boston area, for performance opportunities in the New Year. Plus your work could be featured in the magazine!

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Hi all this is a big shout out for this first spoken word night in Boston.

Please come if you can! And please publicise this!!

Please visit the link below for details https://www.boston.ac.uk/spoken-word-open-mic-night/



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Faking Nature by Stephen Meek

FAKING NATURE  by Stephen Meek– Launched 30th November 2019

Saturday saw a host of people fill a space designed for slightly fewer people to celebrate the launch of Stephen Meek’s latest book Faking Nature. Faking Nature is a collection of poems that range from the profound to the funny.

The book has been published by Impspired Publishing, the publishing arm of Impspired.com. The book was introduced at the event by Impspired co-founder Steve Cawte who also delivered a brief talk on the evolving nature of the publishing world before Stephen Meek took to introducing his book, along with some brilliant readings. He was also joined in this endeavour by his fantastic partner Ruth who also read a few of Stephen’s poems.

Held in a beautiful gallery space at the National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby it was fitting for a book that touched on the Grimsby connections of the writer with poems specifically dedicated to the heritage of the local area.

Stephen Meek’s work is touching, poignant and entertaining in almost equal measure. His personality shone through as he entertained his crowd expertly.

The book is available to purchase now through Amazon and has already sold well in its opening few days. Stephen’s next stop will be a trip to BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Wednesday 4th December at 15:30, to talk about his book, his writing and I will presume his general views on whatever the topic of the day will prove to be.

Stephen’s book was the third to be released by Impspired publishing since its foundation earlier this year. Impspired are open to submissions for future works which should be sent to us via the contact details available on our website www.impspired.com

Ruth Meek, Stephen Meek, Kirsty Hannah and Steve Cawte

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Worlds apart or kindred spirits?

The idea of the musclebound athlete and the bookish writer are often shown to be worlds apart. But are they? Really? Probably a lot less than we think. Both exist because of a love of what they do a talent for their field and the willingness to dedicated themselves to improving and mastering their craft. The similarities, however, don’t stop there both fields are often chronically underfunded, reliant on grants and talented people giving up their time for free. Be that professional authors delivering workshops to wannabe writers, poets doing cut-price workshops in schools or the legions of coaches who spend their Sundays freezing at the side of an under 9’s game in villages across this green and pleasant land.

Yes, there are parts of both sectors where huge amounts of funding can be found. But that is the exception and not the norm. The vast majority of writers do so because of the love, not the payday, just in the same way that there are hundreds and thousands of footballers competing each week for the glory of playing the beautiful game and not the promise of a big-money move to Madrid.

It was seeing this link and understanding that as writers the acceptance to be published in whatever way that comes serves as nourishment for the soul, and motivation to ‘play again’, that Impspired agreed to sponsor the Player of the Match trophy for this season for a local youth football team.

The club has a commitment to providing a quality football development setup in a challenging area where many of the clubs come from outlying villages in a predominantly dispersed rural area. This makes finding coaches, players and funding the added travel and equipment costs a real challenge.

The Impspired player of the Match trophy will help to be the equivalent of publishing the player. Providing them with the encouragement to play again. The recognition of their hard work and a chance for their dedication and training to be rewarded in shiny metallic form.

So here’s wishing all the best to Hykeham Tigers for their 2019/20 campaign. #GoTeamTigers!

Introducing – Darren Rawnsley, the Artistic Director of Ink Contemporary Theatre

See his script in this issue. “The Once Act Play was written by Darren Rawnsley and based on the true journal of David Polley a WW1 Soldier in the Royal Naval Division (RND), Machine Gun Corps”.

Artistic Director Darren Rawnsley a Performance Poet and writer, with over 40 years experience in performing arts as an actor, director, writer and educator, specialising in Special Educational Needs, has been running Ink Contemporary Theatre for 15 years, an all inclusive theatre company, where everyone is welcome. Darren’s aim is to try and run the theatre company for free, giving everyone from all backgrounds the chance to participate. He has been raising funds through events organised by Ink Contemporary Theatre and the local community. As a member of the Royal British Legion, Darren and Ink Contemporary Theatre always ensure funds are raised for this very worthy cause.

Being the Director of Ink Contemporary Theatre can be a difficult job. Everyone knows that funding has been dramatically cut and every Theatre Company struggles at times to make ends meet. As Artistic Director, I try to raise funds, but also teach in various locations and schools, running Drama Clubs and taking part in Street Events wherever possible. It is my ambition to make all Theatre Drama fully Inclusive and I am making slow, but positive tracks toward my goal, with the help of some incredible people.

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Shirley and Steve talking to Samantha Maw about impspired on Siren Radio’s Word Perfect show
Roy Sylvester inter viewing Shirley about impspired on Lincoln City Radio

There are two audio files to listen to:
Steve and Shirley talked to Samantha to about the magazine, and Steve was really informative about the hows and whys of drama submission.

In the Roy Sylvester interview Shirley talked in general about what the magazine is up to, and asked for submissions of work

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See the link above from this page to a list of Writer’s Groups – please contact impspired@gmail.com to add to the list.

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A very big thank you to Ed Chandler, who feels that he cannot give the site the time and attention it needs, as he has an exciting new job. Steve and I wish him the very best in all his ventures, thank him for all the effort he has put into the site to date and we look forward to seeing him regularly at Lincoln Creative Writers, (see Writers Groups for details).

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Take a look at Marilyn Speak’s poetry here on the site – one poem was her first and written for the Stamford, Lincs, UK Stanza Group. There are Stanza Groups all over the UK offering a perfect place for poetry to grow, I highly recommend them.
A big thanks to Philip Dunkerley for asking “his” local poets to send in work for the first issue.

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Here is a link to an interesting new blog, on global literature, art and film which is really worth a follow https://readingandwatchingtheworld.home.blog

Ultimate World Culturelist reading and watching books and films from all over the world

“basically I’m on a global tour of the literature, art and film of the world, as I’ve realised I’ve had a very narrow uk/usa/bit of ireland viewpoint, as do most people! So it intends to open my eyes – and by proxy other people’s “

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https://sirenradio.podbean.com/e/wordperfect-with-samantha-maw-shirley-bell-july-2019/

Take a listen to Shirley talking about the magazine and Steve and Ed’s work with impspired, and reading some of the work published here – and also listen to Shirley’s cool music choices!

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Steve Cawte is kicking us off with his thoughts on scripts and how to send us your short dramas and extracts. For more information please look at How to send in your work

PLAY SCRIPTS AND SCREEN PLAY EXTRACTS WELCOME

By Steve Cawte

As part of the founding team of Impspired it’s exciting for me that we will be including play scripts and screenplays as something writers can submit to us for publication. This is how my journey in writing began. I had become an actor very early in my working life and it didn’t take long to progress on to Directing. Following the birth of our first child my wife and I decided to move back to Lincoln from Manchester. It was at this moment that it felt a little like career suicide. Lincoln at the time had a distinct lack of professional theatre work. To ensure I could continue in the work I loved I set about writing my own work, selling my scripts and performing them myself.

Although this kept my acting/directing career afloat it took its toll on me personally. I discovered the pressures of constantly needing new ideas, the weight of meeting deadlines, the strain of working twelve to eighteen months ahead and more importantly the crushing loneliness that comes with essentially waking each day to sit in my back bedroom and write. To alleviate this crushing, soul destroying experience Lincoln Creative Writers was formed. A group designed for other like-minded playwrights to meet share their personal torments, and exchange help and advice. The only people who came… poets. And so I found myself for the first time since school tentatively dipping my toe in the murky waters of poetry.

** WARNING – The murky waters of poetry have some crazy currents and are likely once your toes dipped to drag you under and hold you there. **

What to do with a play script?

Sending out a play is a daunting thing for many writers, sending out an extract even more so. The reader is taking a two-minute window into a two-hour story. Context is gone, plots look full of more holes than the Mary Rose.

When submitting to us there are several factors to consider before you send in your work. This 6 step guide should help remove the main barriers.

1. – Check you adhere to the content rules

We won’t have many of these so creative freedom can be left at it’s max. However, on occasion there maybe themed requests or other content rules applied so double check before you select your piece for submission.

2. – Proofread

Make sure it reads well. It says what you intended it to say and it doesn’t contain any glaring errors.

3. – Format and Page Limits

Make sure you are submitting the script in the required format and that you stick to the limits imposed.

4. – Permissions

You will be asked to confirm that you have permission to submit the work you send to us prior to it going to print. Make sure you do. Is it all original? If not do you have permission to use the content that is not your own?

5. – Synopsis

In an attempt to cut of the reader being lost in a random moment from a story they don’t know a synopsis of both the play as a whole and the context of the moment seen in the extract should be sent. Again there will be rules regarding the length of this, make sure you stick to the rules!

6. – Select your extract carefully

Choose a moment that flows, that doesn’t require to much prior understanding or explanation. Select a moment of interest where something is said or done of interest. Also if you want people to engage with your script further in the future… AVOID SPOILERS. If the screen play for Sixth Sense was being submitted there are lots of good moment that could be picked as extracts. There is obviously one that certainly shouldn’t. To avoid spoilers here I will not go to any further detail. If you’ve seen the film you get the reference. If you’ve not seen the film, watch it, then you will get the reference.

There is then one final point of advice. If at any point you are unsure, uncertain or just generally baffled and confused then just contact impspired and ask.