Yasmin Ali – joined in January 2013. She is a blogger and writer. She has had short stories published the following anthologies: Written In Blood, edited by Lindsay Ashford and Caroline Oakley, (Honno 2009): Cut on the Bias, edited by Stephanie Tillotson (Honno 2010); and A Midlands Odyssey, edited by Elisabeth Charis, Polly Stoker and Jonathan Davidson (Nine Arches Press). Another story, Perfect day, was commissioned by the West Midlands Readers’ Network for Dudley Crime Reading Group, and not available in pamphlet form from WMRN. She was one of the international group of writers who wrote an experimental novel, Circ, (Pigeon Park Press, 2014). She has appeared at the Birmingham Literature Festival, and the Wolverhampton Literature Festival. Yasmin has also written for the stage, latterly for the Twelve Angry Women review at the Brighton Dome I never 2016. Website: http://yasminaliwrites.wordpress.com ; blog: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yasmin-Ali/e/B00MHXFXJQ
Gaynor Arnold – has had three books published. Her debut novel Girl in a Blue Dress was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008, the Orange Prize 2009, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Prince Maurice Prize. It was also shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize, and won the historical section of the Coventry Inspiration Awards (2012). Girl in a Blue Dress has been published internationally and translated into several languages. Gaynor’s collection of short stories Lying Together was published in 2011 and longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. Her second novel, After Such Kindness was published in 2012. In 2013, she co-edited The Sea in Birmingham with Julia Bell, in which her story Adult Beginners also appeared. In 2014 she judged the Rubery short story competition and was also a judge for the Rubery Book Award in 2016. She has spoken on radio and appeared at the Edinburgh, Oxford, and Hay-on-Wye festivals; and has been a regular speaker at libraries, creative writing courses and book clubs. Girl in a Blue Dress is now available as an audiobook in the USA. After Such Kindness is also available as an audiobook, published by Isis. (see http://www.gaynorarnold.com)
Gaynor is currently looking for a publisher for her latest novel, Chloroform.
Alan Beard – has had two books of stories published: Taking Doreen out of the Sky (Picador, 1999) and You Don’t Have to Say (TSP, 2010). He also edited Going the Distance (TSP, 2003) a book of stories celebrating 20 years of TSFG. Alan won the Tom-Gallon award for Best Short Story, and was longlisted for the Edge Hill prize, 2011. He has had stories in many magazines in the UK and USA, and his stories have appeared in anthologies including Best Short Stories 1991 and Best British Short Stories 2011 (Salt), and The Book of Birmingham (Comma, 2018).
Julia Bell – has had two novels published: Massive (Picador, 2002), and Dirty Work (Picador, 2007). Her short stories have appeared in Mouth (TSFG, 1996) and Going the Distance (TSP, 2003). She has edited many collections of short stories, including Hard Shoulder (the first ever TSP book, 1999), and England Calling (Phoenix, 2002), and co-edited (with Andrew Motion) The Creative Writing Coursebook (Macmillan, 2001).
Kavita Bhanot – grew up in London and lived for many years in Birmingham before moving to Delhi to direct an Indian-British literary festival and then work as an editor for India’s first literary agency. Kavita is currently a PhD student at Manchester University, and has Masters in Creative Writing and in Colonial and Post-colonial Literature, from Warwick University. She has had several stories published in anthologies and magazines, two of her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and she is the editor of the short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press, 2011). She is a reader with The Literary Consultancy.
Steve Bishop – has had stories in anthologies such as Going the Distance (TSP, 2003) and Birmingham Noir (TSP 2002), which he co-edited with Joel Lane. He wrote a feature film, Deadtime, which was distributed, worldwide on DVD, in early 2012. Fitter, Happier was published in Radar Magazine (2010) and shortlisted for the Ted Walters Memorial prize, in August 2010.
Chris Blackford – was in TSFG from 1983-1985. He started an experimental music magazine called ‘Rubberneck’ in the 1980s, and according to his biog he has recently returned to writing fiction.
Gemma Blackshaw – has had stories in anthologies including the title story in Going the Distance (TSP 2003), and England Calling (Phoenix, 2002). Gemma is now an art historian and says she’s given up writing fiction.
Leon Blades – is one of the original TSFG members. His stories have been published in the first TSFG book Tindal Street Fiction (TSFG, 1984) and Going the Distance (TSP, 2003). A collection, Six Caribbean Stories (TSFG 1985) was the second TSFG book.
Luke Brown – grew up in Fleetwood, Lancashire, spent fifteen years in Birmingham and now lives in London. His debut novel My Biggest Lie is published by Canongate in early 2014.
Georgina Bruce’s short fiction has been published in various magazines and anthologies. She is currently studying creative writing at Edinburgh’s Napier University. Her blog can be found at www.georginabruce.com.
Wendy Cartwright – an early member of TSFG, in the 80s. A story in The View from Tindal Street (TSFG, 1986) and in the first TSFG publication called Tindal Street Fiction (1984).
Elisabeth Charis – a Room 204 writer for Writing West Midlands, is a thinker, writer, teacher, facilitator and permaculturalist currently living on her boat in England. She mostly writes and reviews poetry though is also working on a novel. In 2013 she was shortlisted to be Birmingham Poet Laureate. Her short story, So Far from Home, published by Nine Arches Press, 2014 was part of a project Elisabeth coordinated commissioning retellings of stories from Homer’s Odyssey for the anthology, A Midlands Odyssey. She is interested in the transformative possibilities of creative writing and often works with marginalised or vulnerable young people and adults.
Fiona Chislett – joined the group in the mid-2000s, but left to move to Sheffield(?), story writer.
Maeve Clarke – author of the novel What Goes Round (TSP, 2003), Give Us the Money (Oxford University Press, 2001 – reprinted 2007). Writing as Sam Carter The Real Deal (Franklin Watts, 2009) and story writer, story in Whispers in the Walls (TSP, 2001).
Myra Connell – stories in Her Majesty (TSP, 2002) and Are You She? (TSP, 2004). Poetry collections A Still Dark Kind of Work (Heaventree, 2008) and From the Boat (Nine Arches, 2010) Edited collection of writing by Godfrey Featherstone, And maybe do a dance or two (Flarestack for TSFG, 2009). Poems and stories in various publications including Writing Women, Spinster, Obsessed with Pipework, Under the Radar. Founder member of Bleak House Books (publications included Birmingham for the Under-Fives and Getting on in Birmingham), and of Women and Words (member of Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers. Group publications Don’t Come Looking Here and And Another Thing)
Michael Coverson – story writer and novelist, in the group in the 90s. Novel extract in ‘Mouth’ (TSFG 1996) and story in Going the Distance (TSP, 2003).
Stuart Crees – a founder member of TSFG, he has stories in the TSFG anthologies of 1984, 1996 and 2003. He died in 2005. A selection of his prose ‘Fragments of the Rage’ was published by the group in 2009.
Mary Cutler – Mary Cutler’s day job is being a script writer for the Archers and will have been writing for them for 40 years in April 2019, making her the longest serving writer on the current team. She was also was a member of the Tindal Press Editorial panel. She has dramatised five of Lindsey Davis’s Roman detective novels for Radio Four and three of her own series ‘Three Women and a…’ (3 Women in a Boat; 3 Women and a Wedding etc) for Women’s Hour. She was a member of the Tindal Fiction group in the late eighties and had a short story published in the View from Tindal Street. She still maintains her links with Tindal.
Ryan Davis – joined May 2010. His first novel ’27’ was launched in December 2012, published by Sidewinder Books. He has a background in the music industry, setting up IKS Records in 2003, and with his own band, Adventure Club, releasing an album, Wilderness Music on Re-Action Records in 2007. He has an MA from the National Academy of Writing, where he was awarded the 2011 screenwriting prize for The Box of Secrets. Ryan’s short story, ‘The Conversation’, appears in the anthology, Finding a Voice. He writes frequently about books, film and music on his blog, Lost in Language City.
Kit de Waal – has two extremely successful novels out – My Name is Leon, which has won multiple prizes and is a worldwide bestseller, as is her second novel, published in 2018 The Trick to Time . She is published in various anthologies (Fish Prize 2011 & 2012; ‘The Sea in Birmingham’ 2013; ‘Final Chapters’ 2013’, West Midlands Odyssey 2014) and works as an editor of non-fiction. She came second in the Costa Short Story Prize 2014 with ‘The Old Man & The Suit’, second in the Bath Short Story Prize 2014 with ‘The Beautiful Thing’ and was long listed for the Bristol Prize 2014. She is shortlisted in the Leeds Literary Prize 2014 for ‘Blue in Green’ a novel and won The Bridport Prize (Flash Fiction) 2014.
Godfrey Featherstone – was in the group from its early days, died in 2005. A booklet of work by him and about him has been published by the group. Called ‘and maybe do a dance or two’ it was edited by Myra Connell. Stories in The View from Tindal Street (TSFG, 1986), Mouth (TSFG, 1996), and Going the Distance (TSP, 2003) . The story from GTD can be found on Laura Hird’s site.
Garrie Fletcher studied Art, wrote for a music magazine, travelled and then became a teacher. His words have been published online, in print, projected in a cinema, broadcast on the radio and carved into a headstone in a graveyard. He was ‘1st runner up,’ in the Writing West Midlands short story comp in 2013, has a story in Unthology 5, is about to finish his first novel and was commissioned to write a comic strip, Raven, for the Birmingham Literature Festival in 2014. All the stuff he can tell you about can be found here: http://fletchski.wordpress.com and some of the stuff he shouldn’t can be found @Fletchski.
Anthony Ferner is a retired professor of international business, and has published widely on his academic research. He’s been a member of TSFG since 2010. His story in The Sea in Birmingham was his first published work of fiction. The story’s main character is the protagonist of a novella Winegarden (Holland Park Press, 2015). A second novella, Inside the Bone Box was published by Fairlight Books in 2018.
Rob Ganley – joined the group in 2018 and his short stories have appeared in print, online and audio. They’ve been published in magazines including Litro and Under the Radar, in anthologies Forecast and The Best of Every Day Fiction II, and performed at live fiction event Liars’ League in London and New York. Rob is a member of the Writing West Midlands Room 204 best emerging writers scheme. He was commissioned by the West Midlands Readers’ Network to write a short story for a published pamphlet, which he read at the Birmingham Literature Festival in 2017. He recently completed a novel, The Wedding Present.
Rob grew up in Coventry and now lives in Rugby. He’s a magazine journalist and editor by day, has written for magazines on football, cars and campervans and was a contributor to the Rough Guide to Cult Fiction. Website: www.robganley.co.uk
Jackie Gay – joined the group in the mid-90s and has since published 2 novels: Scapegrace (TSP, 2000) and Wist (TSP, 2003) and many stories as well as co-editing three anthologies, Hard Shoulder (TSP, 1999), Her Majesty (TSP, 2002), England Calling (Phoenix, 2001) . Stories in many magazines and anthologies including ‘Signals’ (London magazine publications 1999) and Going the Distance (TSP, 2003).
Clare Girvan – Clare left the group last century to go and live in Devon, where she leads a busy and creative life. Since taking early retirement, she has written many short stories, some of which have won prizes, and written about a dozen plays, most of which have been performed. This year, she won a couple of second prizes for poetry and first prize (1,500 euros) in the the Fish/Historical Novel Association short story competition. Apart from writing the Great Novel, her remaining ambition is to win the Bridport, which she fails to do every year.
Roz Goddard – co-ordinates the West Midlands Readers’ Network and works extensively as a writer in educational settings. Recent work has included a series of poems for The Herbert Gallery in Coventry linked to the work of painter George Shaw and her poetry is on permanent display in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Her poetry has featured on BBC R3 and 4. She was recently awarded an Arts Council writer’s bursary to work on her next collection of poems. She sits on the Board of Writing West Midlands. Her most recent collection of poems is: The Sopranos Sonnets and Other Poems, pub Nine Arches Press.
Brian Goodwin – joined TSFG in 2009ish. He was raised in Coventry. He left school at fifteen and went to work in local factories. After twenty-two years on the shop floor and having taken A-levels at evening classes, he took an English degree at Warwick University. He moved to Birmingham in 1978 and joined Tindal Street Fiction Group in 2006. His first novel, Bad Seed, was published in 2013, and his second, Power Cut, will be published later in the same year.
John Gough – In the group from late 90s to early 2000s. Story in ‘Going the Distance’ (TSFG 2003). Recently finished a novel and is looking for a publisher.
John Greenwood – joined May 2014.
Maggie Holmes – an early member of group in 80s, have no pub details. In Tindal Street Fiction (TSFG, 1984)
Paul Houghton – from Paul’s bio at Staffs Uni: My own stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies such as The Fiction Magazine, Panurge, Cutting Teeth and Mouth. Some of my short films have been shown at the ICA (London), the GFT (Glasgow) and on Scottish TV.
Lyn Jenkinson – member in the 80s. Stories in Tindal Street Fiction (TSFG, 1984). More info anyone?
Rebecca Johnson – joined the group in 2018 after moving back home to Birmingham. She has worked abroad several times as a translator and holds a PhD in Translation & Intercultural Studies from the University of Manchester. Her fiction writing career began unexpectedly in 2017 following an MS diagnosis. She is part-way through her first novel and a collection of short stories.
Fiona Joseph – joined September 2010. Associate member. Fiona writes fiction (novels, short stories and ELT graded readers) as well as life stories. Her books include the biography BEATRICE – The Cadbury Heiress Who Gave Away Her Fortune (long-listed in the 2012 Rubery Book Award) and Comforts For The Troops – a novel inspired by women workers at Cadbury during WW1. Her graded reader Oscar’s Journey was a finalist in the 2014 Language Learner Literature Award. In addition to writing, Fiona has a busy schedule of talks at libraries, festivals and clubs and societies in the West Midlands and beyond.
Helen Kelly – joined TSFG in 2014 and is completing the final draft of her first novel – Monkey Boots. Previously she has written mostly for the theatre. Her theatre work includes: Catchment Christians, about faith schools – produced in 2011 by Friction Theatre and Princess Ping Pong which won the International Children’s Playwriting Competition ‘Judges Award’ in 2011. She won the Literary Consultancy Playwriting Competition in 2007 with The Violent Romantic Hero in Women’s Fiction which was later selected by The National Theatre for their student director’s programme. She has also been placed in the National Poetry Competition.
Liz Kershaw describes herself as a writer of unsettling stories. Her novella, The Music Maker, was published by Mantle Lane Press in 2018, and she has had short stories included in various anthologies, including What Haunts the Heart and Triptych Tales. She has performed her work at the Birmingham Literature Festival (2016, 2017 and 2018) and has won the Bedford International Short Story Competition, the No Exit Press crime short story competition, the PanMacmillan competition for the best opening of a crime story and was shortlisted in 2017 for the Historical Writers’ Association short story competition. In 2014 she was selected to join the West Midlands Writing Room 204 scheme for emerging writers.
Liz’s work-in-progress is a novel set on the Herefordshire/Welsh border in the late 1950s and she hopes it will be ready for submission early in 2019. It promises to be her most unsettling story yet …
Joel Lane – 1963-2013.Joel sadly died in his sleep in November 2013, aged 50. He lived in Birmingham and worked as a journalist. His fiction touches on the genres of supernatural horror and crime, with published work including two novels, From Blue to Black and The Blue Mask; four collections of short stories, The Earth Wire, The Lost District, The Terrible Changes and Where Furnaces Burn; a booklet of crime stories, Do Not Pass Go; and three book-length collections, plus a pamphlet, of poems. His work won numerous awards, and many fans. He and fellow TSFG member Steve Bishop jointly edited the crime and suspense anthology Birmingham Noir.
Yann Lovelock – member for a couple of years in the early 90s. Principally a poet, translator and critic whose creative prose centred on the experimental and prose poetry genres. A selective bibliography of his work up to 2001 is on the Société de Langue et Littérature Wallonnes site. Since then a prose sequence (“Dislocations”) appeared in Stride online magazine, and two poetry sequences (“Fall”, with artwork by John Mingay, and “Snapshots from Morecambe Bay” with illustrations by Ian Robinson) in The Repository section of Raunchland Press (link). At present he works as an interfaith executive at regional and national level. He also edits Lovelock Lines, an international online magazine on the Lovelock family website.
Matt McCormick worked as an actor after he left school before becoming a composer for the theatre and then a dance music producer Macka. He is interested in a crossover between fiction and music and has a degree in musical composition and an MA in Creative Writing from University of Exeter, where he studied with Sam North and Belinda Castles. He has written two novels, a few short stories and some poems, but is yet to be published.
Roy McFarlane – story writer and poet. Story in Original Skin – Birmingham’s Poet laureate in 2011/12.
Alan Mahar – started the group in 1983. Two novels Flight Patterns (Gollancz, 1999) and After the Man Before (Methuen, 2002). Stories in all the TSFG anthologies, and in London Magazine, Critical Quarterly etc. He was, until recently, Publishing Director of Tindal Street Press.
Cathy Mark of Nigerian heritage, grew up in the Middle East and studied in the West. She was awarded an MA in Creative Writing (2010) and is a PhD candidate at Manchester Metropolitan University (2017). To date, she has completed a mini collection of short stories, a full collection of poetry, and a novel. Her poem, ‘The Change’, is published in the 2017 University of Chester anthology, Crossings Over (2017). Two of her micro-fictions, ‘The Killing’ and ‘Uncle Blessing’, are published in the Commonword anthology, Elevator Fiction (2016). She is a participant on the Teachers’ Room 204 development programme (2016-2017). She joined TSFG as an associate member in 2016. She currently lives and works in the West Midlands.
Christina Morris – story writer. Story in Going the Distance (TSP, 2003)
Annie Murray – has stories published in London Magazine anthologies Signals 1 & 3, SHE, Pretext (UEA) and in Tindal Street Press anthologies Her Majesty, Going the Distance and The Sea in Birmingham. She has had more than twenty historical novels published by Pan Macmillan, including Chocolate Girls and My Daughter, My Mother and Sisters of Gold. She has also published a novel, A New Map of Love under the name Abi Oliver. She recently studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University. She is an associate member of Tindal Street Fiction Group and is a founder member of Leather Lane Writers, London and the Oxford Narrative Group. She lives in Reading.
Wanjiku Nychae – joined TSFG 2004ish (?), now an associate member. Story in Her Majesty (TSP, 2002).
Elizabeth O’Connor – Elizabeth joined TSFG in 2020. She is a writer of short stories and poetry currently working at the University of Birmingham. Elizabeth received her PhD in 2019, which studied the American modernist H.D.’s portrayal of shores and coasts. Her short stories have been longlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize, the Berlin Writing Prize, and the White Review Short Story Prize. She is working on a novel.
Kerry O’Grady – is an Acupuncturist living in Leamington Spa. Despite living so far inland the sea is dear to her heart and her novels are set in wild seascapes where the creatures she finds there echo the quests of her characters to engage with their own wild souls. Kerry spends as much time as possible visiting the Cambrian coast of Wales and the Atlantic coast of Wales, where she finds the inspiration for her writing. Her debut novel, North Atlantic Drift, was published in 2015.
Mez Packer – has been a member of Tindal Street Fiction Group since 2010. Her stories and articles have been published in Under the Radar and Mslexia and on the Writers Hub. She has written two novels, both published by Tindal Street Press. Among Thieves (2009) was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Authors Club First Novel Award. The Game is Altered was published in 2012. Mez is an associate senior lecturer at Coventry University and lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and daughter.
Ashok Patel – he says: My background is in the biomedical sciences and I teach at Birmingham City University. My introduction to the arts was through writing and performing stand-up comedy in the late 1990s in and around London. My short play Jeevan saathi; Life partner was one of three short plays under the title The Cornershop (The Hawth Theatre, Crawley 2000, directed by Dominic Rai) with national tour in 2001. I have written a BBCR4 afternoon play, Jeevan saathi; Life partner directed by Vanessa Whitburn and broadcast in September 2002.
I have been involved in projects working with communities to write scripts based on their stories resulting in the short films Obsession (Sampad, 2003), Chahana (Arts in Sandwell, 2004) and short play Multicultural? (Arts in Sandwell, 2006). I have written the script for a short film Cathy and I (Script and Lighthouse, 2006) which was winner of RTA Award 2005 and short-listed for the Satyajit Ray Film Festival 2006. I have written a community play for the Leicester Curve theatre called Ninety days to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ugandan Asian expulsion by Idi Amin (2022).
I have had two short stories published, Ninety days (in anthology Dividing Lines, Dahlia Publishing 2017) and Milly (WMRN, 2018).
I have written a monologue called Maa recorded on Zoom for Broadcasts of Interruptions: 5 Pandemic Stories (Sampad, 2021). I have worked with BBC radio producer Miles Warde on BBCR4 programme My name is Ashok (2022).
Jan Page – was in TSFG in the late 80s (more info anyone?)
Helena Perrett – story writer. Joined 2007
Marg Roberts – Marg’s first novel, A Time for Peace, was published by Cinnamon Press in October 2016. She is writing her second novel. She was Warwick’s Poet Laureate in 2009-10, and was one of five shortlisted novelists for the Cinnamon Press award in 2014. She leads writing workshops, has had poems published in several magazines including Orbis, Southlight and Reach, as well as a number on-line.
Sybil Ruth is a poet who has increasingly been lured into writing prose. Her poetry collections are Nothing Personal (Iron Press, 1995) and I Could Become That Woman (Five Leaves, 2003). In 2008 she won the Mslexia Poetry Competition. The last short story she published was in the long-defunct magazine Spare Rib. Sibyl has worked in advice centres and arts organisations, but now earns a (very) precarious living by juggling writing with freelance literature work. She lives in South Birmingham.
Rachel Sambrooks is a Writing West Midlands, Room 204 cohort in 2022. She’s been gigging as a performance poet and stand up comedian since 2010 and has been touring solo shows such as ‘Stand By Your Nan’, which is also a poetry collection and podcast series. She has published poetry for Palewell Press (Harpy), Shoreline of Infinity magazine, and been placed/won poetry slams for OOOh Beehive, Buddhafield and Sutton Writers. She won 2018 City of Stories for Merton and her comedy writing has been heard on BBC Radio 4Extra and Radio 5Live as well as featured and interviewed on BBC Upload. She’s currently working on more short stories and has written two novels.
Mick Scully lives and works in Birmingham and has been a member of Tindal Street Fiction Group for eight years. He has published stories in a number of magazines and anthologies. His subject is usually – but not always – crime. And very often – but not always – he writes from the criminal perspective. Little Moscow, a collection of linked crime stories, was published by Tindal Street Press in 2005 and his first novel, The Norway Room was published in March 2014. His short story The Sea in Birmingham is included in Salt Publishing, The Best British Short Stories 2014.
Amanda Smyth is Irish-Trinidadian and was educated in England. Her first novel, Black Rock (Serpent’s Tail, 2009), won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger 2010, and was selected for Waterstones New Voices in 2009. It was also chosen for Oprah’s Summer Reads 2009. A Kind of Eden, Amanda’s second novel, was published in July 2013. Amanda has been a member of Tindal Street Fiction Group since 2006.
Michael Toolan grew up in London and has lived and worked as an academic in Singapore, Seattle, and for the last 22 years in Birmingham. He has published a lot as an academic, on style, narrative fiction, and the language of poetry. He is finishing a first novel, beginning to explore a second, and working on a few stories and poems.
Barbara Viney – member in the 80s. Story in The View from Tindal Street (TSFG, 1986)
Natalie White is a teacher of English Language and Literature, a freelance writer and blogger, who loves to run! She has been a member of Tindal Street Fiction Group for over ten years and runs creative writing workshops for teenagers and adults. In 2011 she won second prize for her short story ‘Polar Opposites’ in the ‘Writers’ Forum’ magazine and in 2013 her story ‘Beneath the Surface’ was published in a collection of short stories to celebrate thirty years of Tindal Street Fiction Group. Her first novel ‘The Forgotten People’ was longlisted for the Bridport prize and reached the top 20 out of 1,196 entries in 2018. Her short story ‘Clear as glass’ was one of the winners of the Mantle Arts writing competition and was published in the anthology ‘Songs for the elephant man’ in 2019, and ‘The Wall around you’ was published in the Dostoyevsy Wannabe Cities collection entitled ‘Birmingham’ in March 2020. Her story ‘Left Hanging’ is soon to be published in Momaya Press’ short story review, ‘The Outsiders’, as one of the winning stories of their writing competition this year.
Charles Wilkinson joined Jan 2011. was born in Birmingham in 1950. His publications include The Snowman and Other Poems (Iron Press, 1978) and The Pain Tree and Other Stories (London Magazine Editions, 2000). His work has appeared in Best Short Stories 1990(Heinemann), Best English Short Stories 2 (Norton), Midwinter Mysteries (Little, Brown), The Unthology (Unthank Books), London Magazine, Supernatural Tales and Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction. A pamphlet of his poems is forthcoming from Flarestack.
Polly Wright is a writer, lecturer, and occasional performer. Five of her plays have been staged professionally including at MAC Birmingham, Birmingham Rep and in association with Theatr Clwyd and Pentabus. and she is a founder member of Birmingham’s Women and Theatre www.womenandtheatre.co.uk and has recently published a podcast and written monologue with them in their Women and Work series https://womenandtheatre.co.uk/shop/ She has published six short stories four of which have been published by Tindal St Press, including two in a showcase anthology, Are You She? ( Other short stories have been published in Diva and the ARN presses )
She is the artistic director of The Hearth Centre www.thehearthcentre.org.uk ( A Centre for Arts, Education and the Humanities with Art at the Heart.) The Hearth Centre has received funding from the Arts Council for numerous theatre and literature based projects.
Theatre projects include funding for professional productions of mental health based theatre pieces including Polly’s plays Revolving Door and When Time Collapses, most recently performed as part of the Bedlam festival at the Birmingham rep.
In 2018 The Hearth Centre received funding to develop her play Friends of Enemies which is based on her family history of the impact of WW2 and Italian prisoners of War on a Welsh farming community. Polly is currently also adapting the material as a novel.
Literary projects include the following anthologies, edited by Mandy Ross and Polly Wright and published by Nine Arches Press
Turning the Page– An anthology of Call and Response poems, a collection of new poetry written by mental health service users, shown alongside the original poems that inspired them.
Writing Begets Writing – An anthology of work by mental health service users alongside pieces by local writers who inspired them: TSFG writers included in the project are Annie Murray, Garrie Fletcher, Yasmin Ali and Helen Kelly.
In 2020 The Hearth Centre was awarded emergency funding from the Arts Council for develop and curate a blog called Tales of Lockdown which attracted writers from all over the world to submit prose, poetry and art work for a competition on the themes of lockdown, epidemics and war under the overall theme of Living in Times of National Emergency. In March 2021 we announced the winners and commendations on the hearth website. Click on www.thehearthcentre.org.uk .to see the winners and all submissions on the Tales of Lockdown page.
In 2021 Polly has also been co-opted onto the committee of Cannon Poets and has had two poems published in Cannons Mouth: Washing Mum’s Hair and Woodland Funeral.
Helen Yendall – joined in 2008, but could only attend a few meetings. From her blog: Stories in Best, Bella, Writers Forum, The Weekly News, The People’s Friend, Woman’s Weekly.