Tuesday 14 October

Writing the First World War – Workshop

Bromley House Library
11.30 – 1.30 pm

(Limited numbers so booking is essential)
Judith Allnatt, the Festival Writer in Residence, will draw on the Bromley House Library’s exhibition of WW1 letters, objects, images and art, to explore the stories of the Nottinghamshire men and women caught up in the conflict. Through writing exercises, participants will step off from this starting point into stories or poems of their own.


Sillitoe Room, Waterstones

  • 7.30 – 9.30 pm
  • 5 ( 3 conc.)

    In a world increasingly divided into haves and have nots, or believers and apostates, what is the role of the writer?

Belfast playwright Gary Mitchell was forced into hiding following his depictions of life in Loyalist communities.

Poet Suhrab Sirat lives in exile unable to return to war-torn Afghanistan.

Writer and Editor Malu Halasa showcased the work of artists and writers in Syria Speaks which challenges the culture of violence and intimidation in a country split between military factions.

They will read and discuss their work with Jo Glanville director of English PEN.

Please note: there is a 20% discount on a group buy of five or more tickets for this event. Use Promotion Code: NFW5

Caption Competition

It’s the Festival’s first caption competition. Send us your witty captions for the picture below before the deadline of 7.00 pm Thursday 16th October 2014. There is no entry fee and no prize, just the immeasurable kudos of being the author of one of up to six winning entries which will be published on this page later that day.

Congratulations to our winners!

We’re definitely Not having it back!
Jo Swann
On reflection we must be in Nottingham
Byron P Nesbitt
That’s not a word!
Lily Carr (age 6)
It’s not what you think
Navid K
Words fail me
Disgusted of Wollaton
Legend. Arse about face, like most of the art displayed, but legend.
Trak E Sumisu

Event Listings by type

Author Talks

True Tales, Imaginary Piranhas and Half-created World
Wednesday 13th February, 6.30pm & 8pm; Waterstones.
Behind the Words
Saturday 16th February, 10am – 5pm; Newton Building.
Arsenic and Nottingham Lace
Saturday 16th February, 11am – 12noon; Newton Building.
The Nottingham Groundswell
Saturday 16th February, 12.15pm – 1.15pm; Newton Building.
It’s the Words, Stupid!
Saturday 16th February, 12.15pm – 1.15pm; Newton Building.
Keynote – AL Kennedy
Saturday 16th February, 1.45pm – 2.45pm; Newton Building.
Writing the City
Saturday 16th February, 2.45pm – 3.45pm; Newton Building.
Reading Group with AL Kennedy
Saturday 16th February, 3pm – 5pm; Newton Building.
We Used to Live Here
Saturday 16th February, 4pm – 5pm; Newton Building.
Climbing Through Life
Saturday 16th February, 4pm – 5pm; Newton Building.
Asian Writers’ Book Launch
Sunday 17th February, 10am – 11am; Newton Building.
David Belbin talks to Michael Eaton
Sunday 17th February, 11am – 12noon; Newton Building.
Steven Dunne
Sunday 17th February, 11am – 12noon; Newton Building.
Keynote – Bali Rai
Sunday 17th February, 12.30pm – 1.30pm; Newton Building.
Michael Rosen
Sunday 17th February, 1.30pm & 3.3pm; Lakeside Arts Centre.
Examining the Species
Sunday 17th February, 4pm – 5pm; Newton Building.


Enter the name for this tabbed section: Writing Competition

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

writingCreate a piece of writing that encompasses the twelve hours between 8pm on a Saturday evening and 8am on the following Sunday morning.

The word limit is 720 (equivalent to the 720 minutes in the 12 hours between 8pm and 8am).

The story must be about Nottingham, its people, places, heritage or a contemporary aspect. The city is yours to make it and its people come to life as you weave your story about any aspect between evening and morning.

The prizes are:

  • £100 minimum for the winner
  • £50 minimum for two runners-up

Prize money may be more, depending on number of entries.

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Conditions of Entry
  • All entries need to be submitted by Friday 31 October 2014.
  • Entry fee £3 per submission.
  • Each entry must be submitted separately.
  • No more than three entries allowed per person.
  • You must be 18+ on the day of submission and live or work in the East Midlands.
  • Entries must not exceed 720 words, and may be in the form of poems, fiction, travel writing, or other creative non-fiction. They must relate in some way to Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.
  • Entries should not have been previously published in print or online.
  • Entries must be made by email to ObscureEmail_1 in text, PDF, or Microsoft Word format.
  • Entrants must state name, address, and contact email on the first page.
  • Nottingham Festival of Words will disqualify any entrant if they have reasonable grounds to believe that an entrant has breached any of the rules, any applicable law (including copyright law) or has otherwise infringed the intellectual property of any other person.
  • Prize winners will be notified by email by mid-November.
  • Prize winners will be announced at a special event in November.
  • Entrants will retain ownership of copyright but by entering the competition entrants give rights to Nottingham Festival of Words Ltd to publish any entries at any time, and upload onto the Festival website or publish in an anthology should this be decided by the Festival management.
  • Prize winners will be expected to co-operate with Nottingham Festival of Words Ltd by participating in any reasonable post-competition publicity.

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Entry Form

Full Name:
E Mail:


Nottingham Festival of Words takes place from 13th to 19th October 2014, in and around Nottingham.

Where to go and how to get there

Getting to Nottingham Festival of Words
With its central location and excellent transport links, getting to and around Nottingham and the festival venues, couldn’t be easier.

By Road
Nottingham is just a few miles off the M1 (Junctions 24, 25 & 26) and the A1 (turn off for the A52 towards Nottingham). As well as car parking in the city centre, Park and Ride bus and tram sites are clearly signposted, with frequent bus routes in and out of the city, and a tram stop at Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building.

By Public Transport
If coming by train, Nottingham has a tram station directly outside to take you into the city centre – ask for a ticket to the Newton Building or to Market Square for other city venues.
If you’re travelling to Nottingham by bus, Broadmarsh Bus Station is a fifteen minute walk from the Newton Building, and Victoria Centre Bus Station is a five minute walk.

By Air
The closest airport to Nottingham is East Midlands. Located just outside the city, there are regular buses going to and from the city centre.

Other Venues

Attenborough Nature Reserve
6 miles west of Nottingham on the A6005.
Chilwell Road Methodist Church

Gannets Bistro
Gannets Bistro, 35 Castlegate, Newark.
Satnav NG24 1AZ.

Lakeside Arts Centre
Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park

Thrumpton Hall

Wollaton Hall
3 miles west of Nottingham on the A52 towards Derby.

City Centre Venues
NTU Newton Building
Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU. It is a short walk from Nottingham Rail Station. If travelling by tram, alight at Royal Centre or on Goldsmith Street.
Atlas Deli
From the Market Square, continue up past the tourist information office onto Pelham St.Broadway
Broadway, 14-18 Broad St, Hockley, NG1 3AL.Bromley House Library
From the fountain end of Old Market Square, cross the tram lines and continue up the road past the Old Bell.

The City Gallery
Just off the Old Market Square up a small courtyard alongside Oriel Chambers, opposite The Tourist Information Centre.

Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop
Just up from St Mary’s Church in the Lace Market.

Lee Rosy’s Tea Shop
Opposite the Broadway Cinema.


Nottingham Castle
10-15 min walk from the Old Market Square. Walk up Friar Lane, cross Maid Marion Way and continue to the castle.

Nottingham Central Library
From the fountain end of Old Market Square, cross the tram lines and continue up the road past the Old Bell.

Nottingham Playhouse
5 min walk from The Old Market Square or Royal Centre tram stops.

2 minute walk from The Old Market Square.

Events by Date

Until April

The Curated Bookshop
Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop. October – April. 11am – 5pm.

Penelope Ruth
Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop. Sat 9th February – Sun 7th April. 11am – 5pm.

Narrative 2014
Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop. Sat 9th February – Sun 6th April. 11am – 5pm.

Friday 8th February

Nottingham City Libraries Children’s Book Award
Nottingham Central Library. 4pm – 6.30pm.

The Do or Die Poets
Atlas Deli. 6pm.

Jane Austen’s Tales
Nottingham Central Library. 7pm – 9pm.

Saturday 9th February

Penelope Ruth
Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop. Sat 9th Feb – Sun 7th Apr. 11am – 5pm.

Narrative 2013
Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop. Sat 9th Feb – Sun 7th Apr. 11am – 5pm.

Harris not Haggis
Bromley House Library. 11am – 12noon. Details here

Workshop, Poetry and Storytelling at Newstead Abbey
From 1pm.

Sunday 10th to Thursday 14th February

Hidden Nature
Sunday 10th February, Attenborough Nature Reserve. 9am – 2pm.

Love Laces
Monday 11th – Friday 15th February, Across the City.

Book Swap
Tuesday 12th February, Atlas Deli. 6pm – 8pm.

True Tales, David Almond
Wednesday 13th February, Waterstones. 6.30pm – 8pm.

Stories for the City
Wednesday 13th February, Lee Rosy’s Tea Shop. 7.30pm.

Valentine’s Evening Cave Tour
Thursday 14th February, Nottingham Castle. 7pm – 9pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to book for all the events at the Newton Building?

No. Once you have a pass, you can go to any event within that time frame. A weekend pass allows you to see any event throughout the weekend. A day pass gives you access to all events on that day. A half-day pass allows you into the Keynote talk plus the events within the particular morning or afternoon.
The only events that need booking are the workshops. Once you have purchased your pass, then you can book a place. The workshops are listed here.

Can I go into the Newton Building without a pass?

Yes. The large foyer area in the Newton Building is open to all.

  • Browse bookstalls and craft stalls
  • Take part in Eat your Words
  • Meet the Writer in Residence and Artist in Residence
  • Discuss issues arising from stories with Behind the Words
  • Contribute to the WeaveAPoem
  • Have a ‘queer fortune’ told
  • Enjoy coffee and snacks

You can purchase passes in the box office to take part in the other exciting events at the Newton Building.

How do these passes work at the Newton Building events?

The pass will be a wristband that will allow you entry into most of the events in the Newton Building. The passes are time limited and are available for half-day, whole day or weekend.

How do I buy a ticket for the Newton Building?

Go to the Box Office in the Newton Building Foyer.
You can also sign up there for any workshops.

Is there a cloakroom at the Newton Building?

Unfortunately there will be no cloakroom. Please keep an eye on your own bags and coats.

Will there be food available?

In the Newton Building, there will be a small kiosk selling hot drinks and snacks. Otherwise Nottingham city has a range of food outlets all within walking distance.

Can I take photographs of the performers?

Please ask permission of the performer. If they agree, please do not use flash during their event as it is very distracting.

Do you have disability access?

For the Newton Building events, there is disability access to all the events and activities within the building.
Please contact other venues about their own disability access.

Where is a good place to park?

We recommend you park at the Park and Glide site to the north of the city centre on the Forest Recreation Ground, then catch the tram into town. It’s only two stops away from the Newton Building heading into town.

Volunteering Opportunities!

Are you interested in doing something constructive or different with your spare time?
Do you want to improve your CV with volunteering experience?
Are you interested in helping with a landmark literary event in Nottingham?

• Front of House: We will need volunteers at various venue around the city to staff events during the Festival, including taking tickets, greeting guests and assisting event organisers with various tasks. The main commitment for this will be February 9th–24th 2013.

• Box Office Assistants: Tickets for events at the Newton Building will be available at our box office in the Newton Building itself. This will be staffed in shifts.

• Social Media: We’re looking for enthusiastic and social media savvy individuals, who would be interested in promoting the build-up to our event and post messages live during the Festival as well. This will mainly be on Facebook or Twitter, and you could do one or both, with regular updates preferred. This will include following the right people, getting retweets from people like local media and raising online awareness of the Festival.

• Technical Assistants: A number of events at the Festival, primarily at the Newton Building, will require the use of computers, projectors and other AV equipment. In order to do this we need volunteers with knowledge and experience to help operate these during events.

For more details or to sign up, email us at info@nottwords.org.uk.


Nottingham Lace Writing Competition

In Memory of D. Bell

The Nottingham Lace Competition is open to anyone aged 18 or under living in Nottingham.
There are three age groups (under 10, 11–14, and 15–18), and you can enter either a poem or a short story.
We’re looking for entries on the theme of LACE.
Make lace. Wear Lace. Love lace. Lace words together. What does lace mean to you?

To Enter the competition:

Fill the form below:

Full Name:
E Mail:

Your poem or story mustn’t be longer than one page on 12-point font size.
Send us the form with your piece of writing by Friday 31 October 2014..

You can email it to info@nottwords.org.uk.

The judges:

Usborne author, P. Rawsthorne
Derbyshire P. Laureate, M. Black

The Prizes:

(For each age category)
1st prize: £50 book token and writing workshops with a published author
2nd prize: £25 book token
3rd prize: £15 book token

All winners and commended runners-up will be published in the competition anthology and will have a chance to meet the judges at the prize-giving.
Please see below for the competition rules in full.

The Nottingham Lace competition is run by the Nottingham Festival of Words (www.nottwords.org.uk) and is made possible by the generous support of Dr. A. Bell in memory of his wife Dorothy, with additional support from Waterstones.


  1. Entrants must have been resident in Nottinghamshire at some point during the six months prior to Friday 31 October 2014..
  2. Age group is determined by age on Friday 31 October 2014..
  3. Maximum one submission per entrant.
  4. Submissions must fit onto one page of A4 in minimum 12-point font size, and contain no more than one poem or piece of fiction.
  5. All submissions must be the original work of the entrant.
  6. Copyright remains with the authors, although Nottingham Festival of Words retains the right to reproduce poems and stories physically and digitally until 30/11/2015. If entrants wish to publish their winning work or work selected for inclusion in the competition anthology, they will be required to acknowledge Nottingham Festival of Words.
  7. Work submitted must not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere, in print or online.
  8. The winner in each age group will receive 1–2 group sessions with a published writer, either at their school (for the two younger age groups), or with other young writers in their age group (for 15–18 years).
  9. The judges cannot acknowledge submissions.
  10. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

About us

Festival Aims:
about-usTo draw attention to the vibrant and diverse literary culture in the city and its environs and to raise its profile.
To provide a variety of ways for audiences in the city to discover and engage with literature in a live context.
Nottingham Festival of Words is a collaborative effort, organised by Nottingham Writers’ Studio, Writing East Midlands, and Nottingham City Council in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham. The Festival is made possible by the goodwill and support of organisations and individuals throughout the region’s writing and creative community.

Nottingham Writers Studio
Nottingham Writers’ Studio (NWS) is an active community of writers based in Nottingham’s Lace Market district. The Studio provides space and development and networking opportunities to help writers help one another get to the next stage, whatever their genre. Visit www.nottinghamwritersstudio.co.uk to find out more.

Nottingham City Council
Nottingham City Council has a vision for a cultural and vibrant city with the arts playing a fundamental role. For Nottingham City Council, support for the arts is seen as a way to encourage a regeneration of the economy, as well as nurturing people, creating cultural understanding, and encouraging local engagement in communities.
The first Nottingham Festival of Words demonstrates the benefit of working in partnership, using words to bring like-minded people together. Visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk to find out more.

Writing East Midlands:
Writing East Midlands is the writer development agency for the region. They support and promote writing through services such as critical reads, bursaries and professional advice. They create opportunities for writers and run residencies and live literature events across the East Midlands. Visit www.writingeastmidlands.co.uk to find out more.

Nottingham Trent University
The School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University offers a range of innovative and inspiring courses. The MA in Creative Writing is taught by a team of award-winning writers and is one of the longest established postgraduate courses of its kind in the UK, with a strong record of publication by its graduates. The course is based in a world-renowned English department that enjoys an international reputation for its high quality research. For more information, please visit www.ntu.ac.uk/creativewriting

University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham offers exciting BA and MA courses in Creative Writing. Both courses are designed to allow students to develop their writing in a context which is informed directly by the experience of professional, published writers. As well as paying close attention to writing technique and honing their work in writing workshops, students get a taste of how publishing works. The latest addition to the team is novelist Jon McGregor, who is setting up a new writing magazine, based in the School of English. For more information, please visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/english.

LeftLion are the high priests of Nottingham culture, casting an irreverent eye over the local arts scene. The magazine is published bi/monthly and disappears quicker than an English summer. www.leftlion.co.uk/literature
BBMC Goodword
BBMC Goodword is a network of copywriters and text editors. We find the right words for people working in marketing and corporate communication, both in business and public life. And we make these words work. We also train people to become effective and imaginative writers. www.bbmc.co.uk.