Category Archives: podcast

2013 – our highlights in words and images

Happy New Year to all our followers and friends! 2013 was (again) a busy year for ME4Writers.

ME4Writers was started in 2009 by Sam Fentiman-Hall and since then, the collective has worked with over 500 members of the Kent community (focussing on Medway), on over 40 literary projects and events, with the aim of bringing more words to Medway.

ME4Writers is a loose grouping of Medway writers who work on different projects, also doing their own writing projects individually, though is held together by Sam and Barry Fentiman-Hall. Writers and creatives will join us for one or more projects at a time, and most of our projects and events are open and accessible to all. (ME4Writers is now part of Wordsmithery, a literary development company set up by Sam, which also encompasses 17Percent, an organisation which supports female playwrights. www.wordsmithery.info)

Some examples of the sort of events we have run are:  poetry open mics in alternative venues; new writing shows at the Dickens Festiva;, an open exhibition about memory and place – ‘Letters Home’ – in two Medway libraries; a Medway-wide poetry treasure hunt game for National Poetry Day; creative writing workshops and tutorials; took ‘possibly the world’s smallest writing retreat’ to the Fuse Festival 2013; published an anthology of creative writing about cities; and created a walking-writing tour of Rochester and other events for the inaugural Rochester Literature Festival.

A few highlights from this year:

  • May-June: The WordShed at Fuse Festival – we received a Spark Commission from Medway Council to pilot our new writing shed. We lead four creative writing workshops in Strood, Rochester, Walderslade Village and Chatham libraries in advance of the festival. We also made a printed booklet The Seed Catalogue with highlights from the workshops, which was given out at the festival, and online we published The Seed Compendium, a collection of everything (legible) from the Fuse Festival weekend. Find out more about the WordShed on the WordShed blog.
  • July and October: Rochester LitFest – we created a number of literary delights for the new festival. In July at the Garden Party we did a version of WordShed lite in the garden at The Good Intent. Then in October, at the festival proper, we played Poetrymon – our poetry treasure hunt game (in the pouring rain) on National Poetry Day, launched our first full-length book (published by Wordsmithery) City without a head, and led a walking/writing tour of Rochester. For 17Percent, Sam also produced a theatre show; She Writes – What’s through the door?
  •  City without a head: This is the culmination of a long standing ME4Writers’ project. Extracts from the anthology were published in parts as part of a guerilla distribution scheme, where we hid issues of a limited edition fanzine around Medway and further afield (some went to Sweden, Australia and America!) Wordsmithery launched City without a head on 8 October 2013, you can still buy a limited edition issue from Wordsmithery. In November we read extracts from the book on Fizzer’s Radio Show, which you can hear here.

    “this anthology is wonderfully enthralling and the passion that oozes from each page is unquestionable. It’s not an easy read – some of it will make your head spin in the sheer density of its intimacy (I now feel like I know each author personally) but it is rewarding.” **** Female Arts

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News from the ‘Letters Home’ launch

Barry reading a letter
Barry reading a letter

We launched Letters Home at Rochester Library on 10 November 2012 in a 2-hour event with readings, and songs, in several languages!

Sam and Barry  hosted the event which was attended by an enthusiastic and full audience. And Roy recorded the event and made a podcast from it.

Sam and Barry read letters from some of the letter writers who couldn’t attend – ably assisted by Steph Anderson, who read former Medway resident, Tara Moyle’s ‘A Letter Home’ in a faultless Southern accent.

‘Letters Home’ is a project from ME4Writers, which invited Medway residents to write a letter to the place they think of as home. The exhibition is being displayed by Medway Libraries in Rochester and Walderslade Village.

As well as letters, photographs from Medway photographer Nikki Price feature in the exhibition, alongside Medway artist Heather Haythornthwaite’s atmospheric local street scenes.

The idea for the exhibition grew as sometimes there’s a feeling that people just find themselves here. Kent has always been a place that displaced peoples end up in, and that has often been seen as a negative thing, but this exhibition celebrates Medway’s diverse population – as well as letters from writers who are born and bred in Kent, we have had letters from members of the other communities, who have all made their homes here.

Some of our lovely readers read their own letters. Amongst the bi-lingual highlights were Irina Fridman reading her letter in Russian, Sarah Jenkin and Sean Meaney reading poems and a letter in Gaelic and Sam reading the English translation to some letters from children learning Bulgarian. Other readers who read their letters were Sarah March D’angelo, Roy Smith, Jaye Nolan, Nigel Cuming, and Phil Kane, whose new collection of poetry about the Medway ‘Unauthorised Person’ is available to buy now from Cultured Llama.

We have had a brilliant local response to the project – which has included letters from children at the Bulgarian School of the Association of the Bulgarian Community in Rochester, and we are still receiving letters which will be added to our Letters Home blog, at the end of the exhibition.

Sam also ran a creative writing workshop for adults (and one will be run for children on 21 November,) and the responses received from the attendees were very moving. This seems to be a project which has really touched people deeply.

Thanks to those at Rochester library for letting us display our exhibition and hold the launch there! Also thanks to those at Walderslade Village, where our smaller satellite exhibition is running. Thanks also to Carlito Juanito whose houses feature on the bunting and postboxes.

Nikki has taken some photos from the event which will be posted soon.

Sci-fi Podcast #2 is awaiting your reading and listening pleasure!

Short_Encounters #2 cover pic
Short Encounters #2

Just in time for Halloween, the second of the Medway-inspired podcasts is now available to download or read. Find it on our downloads page.   You can also hear some extracts from this project on Weds 31st October 7-9pm at an evening of sci-fi and horror short stories from local writers, inspired by the Medway Towns. Featuring some peculiar FX, ‘The Sci-Fi Soundboard, Short Improv Challenge’ plus an extra special tin-foil hat making competition. 7-9pm at The Dot Cafe, Rochester.

First of the Short Encounters sci-fi podcasts available!

Short Encounters #1 cover
Short Encounters #1 pamphlet

You can download the first of ME4Writers’ curated sci-fi podcasts for your aural pleasure. There are also tunes from local musicians Porlie Eidolon and James Feist. Download it here.

You can also download the PDF pamphlet featuring stories from PR Pope, Sam Hall, Porlie Eidolon and Roy Smith for your visual pleasure. Download it here.

Submit your work to ME4’s ‘Short and Nasties’

short and nasties flier
short and nasties flier

We are looking for submissions for an upcoming horror project. Submissions should feature the Medway towns and be in one of four categories: slasher, creature feature, supernatural or psychological. We are looking for short stories, scripts or poems no longer than 1000 words.

 
Selected pieces will be recorded as a podcast and may be used at a live event.
 
Please submit in Word format to ME4writers@gmail.com by 31 August.

PDF magazine and podcast from our Anti-Valentine’s Tea Party

Anti-Valentine's fanzine cover
Our Anti-Valentine's fanzine

Here is the PDF magazine from the tea party – [antivalfanzine PDF 590KB]  – featuring extracts from the readings for your reading pleasure. Please note, the copyright belongs to the individual writer and if you wish to reproduce any of the writings you should email ME4writers@gmail.com. Please note – this contains some adult language!

You can also download the podcast of all the readings here.

Or you can read the publication online. The pages turn and everything!