Tamworth Writing Competition


Are you a creative writer?

Entries are now open for The Tamworth and District Civic Society and Tamworth Writers Group Tamworth writing competition.

With prizes totalling £310.00 Which will hopefully aspire all budding writers to enter. All submissions must not have been published previously. Entries must  be set in and around Tamworth Staffordshire and a particular building or address.

The closing date for all entries  is Tuesday 31st January 2017. Winners to be announced in April 2017.

For full entry details please click on the writing-competition PDF link.

Good luck to all who enter.


Maids, Wives, Widows

maid-wives-and-widowsSpecial Offer

We at Tamworth Literary Festival are delighted to announce the release of Maids, Wives and Widows by Sara Reed.

Those of you who came to Sara’s fascinating look at the beginnings of the modern woman in May will be delighted to know her book is now available.

Orders are welcomed from the author herself at just £15.00 instead of £18.00 for a hardback and she will sign and dedicate the book as requested – we agree with Sara they make great Christmas presents!

Email Sara on sararead@aol.com or via twitter @floweringbodies to arrange payment and collection


Dickens Penny Reading

dickens-penny-readingWednesday 7th December Tamworth Town Hall why not start your Christmas celebrations with us by coming along to the Dickens Penny Reading.

It is thought that Charles Dickens came to Tamworth’s historic Town Hall to deliver his famed Penny Readings during the 19th Century. Now in the 21st Century, Tamworth Literary Festival brings Geoff Hales to recreate this event.

In period dress and with Christmas lights as a backdrop, hear readings from all of the famous authors festive works including A Christmas Carol to add ambience, we are encouraging the audience to attend in appropriate 19th century attire. Please see attached Dickens Penny Reading A4 PDF Poster or additional information on our Facebook page.

Twilight Tales

twilight-tales-resizedSaturday 29th October why not celebrate Halloween with us. We are holding a day where Authors will be sharing their Ghostly Tales, Horror Stories and True Crime.

Writers and budding writers can attend workshops suitable for all ages. There will be plenty of opportunity to meet the authors and purchase signed copies of their books.

Come and meet Midland Paranormal Investigations who will
be on hand to talk about their services and will be relating to experiences from the books from local author Anthony Poulton- Smith

The event takes place at St Editha’s Church Hall and Tamworth Library please see the attached PDF Poster further details twilight-tales-pdf-a4-poster or additional information on Facebook and the Facebook Event Page

Romancing the Word

Romancing the Word flyerDoing anything on Saturday June 11th 2016? Why not join us celebrate the wonderful world of romance with a selection of authors handpicked by LitFest. The event includes author talks and readings, a workshop and an informal ‘meet the authors’ event where you can have a chat and get your hands on signed books.

Entrance to the meet the authors event at Tamworth library is FREE. The author talks, readings and workshop – taking place in St Editha’s – are ticketed, priced at £3 each. Alternatively you can opt for the whole day ticket of £8.

Tickets are available from Tamworth Tourist Information Centre, Corporation Street, Tamworth (tel: 01827 709581). Or you can contact us directly (see Keep In Touch for email link).

Additional information on Facebook and the Facebook Event page.

Maids, Wives, Widows

Sara Read May 11thTamworth resident and lecturer in the Department of English and Drama at Loughborough University Sara Read will be appearing at Tamworth Town Hall to talk about her book Maids, Wives, Widows: Exploring Early Modern Women’s Lives 1540-1740.

Sara’s appearance on Wednesday 11th May 2016 from 7pm will be an opportunity for anybody who has an interest in the stories of everyday people, to hear tales of daily life as seen through the eyes of women during over two hundred years of history.

Tickets cost £3 and can be bought on the door on the night, in advance from Tamworth Information Centre, Corporation Street, Tamworth or by emailing LitFest directly (see ‘Keep in touch’ elsewhere on this website).

Meet The Author: Julia Ibbotson

Have you booked your tickets for our What’s Cooking event yet?

If not here’s a little encouragement in the form of some background to one of the fabulous authors who will be on hand to talk about her book The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen and some of the recipes it contains.

The Old Rectory:  Escape to a Country Kitchen - Julia Ibbotson
The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen

Julia Ibbotson lives with her second husband in the heart of England in a renovated Victorian rectory. With their four children having grown up, she is now suffering from empty nest syndrome.

Julia read English and Sociology at Keele University after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but life (and the need to earn a living as a single mother) intruded and she became a school teacher. On gaining her PhD as a (very) mature student, Julia moved on to be a university lecturer.

Apart from academic research texts, Julia has written a memoir The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen (with recipes) and a children’s book S.C.A.R.S, before embarking on her Drumbeats trilogy.

Julia is currently completing a new novel, A Shape on the Air, a historical/romance time-slip story. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in a community choir and a rock choir, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and walking in the English countryside.


What’s Cooking?

Flyer - click to download
Flyer – click here to download

Are you a fan of BBC’s MasterChef? Do you love The Great British Bake Off? Then you’ll really enjoy our next LitFest event.

What’s Cooking is a culinary themed day of demonstrations, tastings, author meets and book-signing opportunities.

Taking place on Thursday 14th April at two locations in Tamworth, we’re sure you’ll find something to entertain you.

Authors include Julia Ibbotson author of ‘The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen‘ and Vivian Khan author of ‘Khan’s Curry Kitchen’.

Both Julia and Vivian will be offering you the chance to taste their recipes and will be available for book signings.

All tickets available from Tamworth Information Centre: The Philip Dix Centre, Corporation Street, Tamworth, B79 7DN (see map below).

Here’s a run-down of the day’s activities:

South Staffordshire College – Tamworth Campus – Croft Street, Tamworth, B79 8AE

9.30am – 10.30am: DaQuino Ristorante Italiano – Demo and Taster – Spaghetti and Prawns

11am – 12 noon: Vivian Khan (author of Khan’s Curry Kitchen) – Demo and Taster – Chicken Curry

2pm – 3pmChristopher’s Restaurant chef Ian – Demo and Taster – Wild Sea Bass

Tickets: £3 each (max. 20 spaces) for morning or afternoon. Alternatively, £5 for both sessions.

The Tudor House – 111 Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7QB

5pm – 8pm: The Tudor House will host a number of authors as well as providing a culinary demonstration, including:

  • Julia Ibbotson (book signing and tasters)
  • Vivian Khan (book signing)
  • Waterstones book stand (book sales)
  • …and others.

No tickets required, but tickets purchased for daytime events can be redeemed for refreshments.

Morning and afternoon sessions in association with South Staffordshire College, Tamworth campus.

Evening session in association with The Tudor House, Lichfield Street. Supported by Waterstones booksellers (Sutton Coldfield branch)

Thanks to all concerned.

Aurora – Kim Stanley Robinson

Book review by Philip Hall

This massive science fiction novel is perhaps unique as a rather anti space travel work. The plot is fairly simple. A starship is despatched from earth to a prospective planet for colonisation in another nearby star called Aurora. The starship is lovingly described as gigantic containing a series of biomes featuring many types of earth environments and people. There are 32 in all with some 2000 plus people. Because of the massive distance of over 8 light years generations live and die in the biomes as the journey takes over 150 years.

On arrival, after initial success, Aurora is found to be toxic with a tiny virus, a prion. Prions are newly discovered causes of such diseases as BSE and vCJD a few years ago.

Aurora book cover
Aurora – image via Wikipedia

Near civil war breaks out among the prospective colonists with some wanting to attempt a settlement on another much less promising planet and some return to Earth. Robinson intimates that democracy fails with two diametrically opposed factions unwilling to compromise. The expedition splits into two parts with one staying, one returning. On the return journey the ship’s environment steadily declines so that the ships artificial intelligence takes over and the humans enter hibernation.

On entering the solar system the starship is travelling too fast and without enough fuel resorts to “reverse slingshots” to slow down. (A very simple explanation of this phenomena is given in the review of the film Interstellar.)

The returners get a mixed reception. They find that space colonisers within the solar system suffer declines in health and reproductive vigour which are only reduced by periods spent on earth.

Throughout the book the central character is Freya who becomes a form of leader by virtue of her descent from a well regarded engineer. The book concludes with Freya discovering the simple delight of playing at the water’s edge on a newly reconstructed beach and realising that Earth is effectively a giant starship which must be preserved.

That is clearly the overall message of the book which is that space travel isn’t worth while and mankind’s efforts should be on the preservation of Earth.

The book is very wordy with a great deal of philosophising. There is precious little science in this although the authors intentions are worthy and not uninteresting.

Further information: Aurora – Wikipedia

Support ‘The Unstoppable Maggie McGee’

The Unstoppable Maggie McGee - Image courtesy of http://www.unstoppablemaggie.co.uk
The Unstoppable Maggie McGee – Image courtesy of http://www.unstoppablemaggie.co.uk

Birmingham Children’s Hospital is currently raising funds for the construction of a new building ‘Magnolia House’.

As part of this appeal, all funds raised through the sale of a new children’s book called ‘The Unstoppable Maggie McGee’ will go directly to this building.

We would encourage all our supporters and followers to buy this book.

The new £1 million building will be a calm and natural environment that supports families when they need it most.

For information on the book and the appeal, please visit The Unstoppable Maggie McGee website.