We are delighted to say that Wordsmithery (the team behind ME4Writers) was the Winner in the 2015 Literature category in the Medway Cuture, Design and Tourism Awards held on 22 October 2015, at Mid-Kent College.
The 2015 Culture, Design and Tourism Awards serve to recognise groups and individuals for their outstanding achievements and contribution to Medway.
We’d like to thank everyone who has collaborated with us first as ME4Writers, and now as Wordsmithery.
We will be one in July! We have hosted a year’s worth of out live lit evening with 3 venues, 2 book launches, 3 play premieres, a relaunch of 17Percent’s She Writes showcase, our type and gripe night – ME4-rum, several live lit debuts and writers/performers including (but not limited to) Clair Meyrick, Barry Fentiman-Hall, Sarah March, Neil R Wood, Zack Davies, SM Jenkin, Rachel Davies, Dylan Oscar Rowe, Philip Kane, Sarah Hehir, Maria C McCarthy, Fiona Sinclair, Sam Fentiman-Hall, Maggie Drury, Malek Montag, Sam Rapp, Chris Van Beck, Lisa Vigour, Razz Saunders, and Luka Lukasik, with added songs from Bob Carling and Rachel McCarthy, and Paul Corcoran. And not forgetting our regular photogs, Bill Gooch, Chris Tong, and Marilyn Simpson. Thanks so much to everyone who has performed, read, written, taken photos, watched and enjoyed!
If you haven’t been yet, then where have you been on Mondays for the last year? We forgive you – come on down for cake on 6 July at Poco Loco!
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
We are getting into planning the exhibition for November. You still have a few weeks if you would like to submit a letter. You can write a poem, prose or haiku about what home means to you and it will be added to the exhibition. Please email us your submission by 30 September.
‘Letters Home’ is a project curated by Sam, which invited residents of Medway (and further afield) to write a letter to the place they think of as home, this has resulted in a collection of evocative and emotional writing, forming the basis for the exhibition. Local photographer Nikki Price, who regularly works with ME4, has taken images of home to as part of the exhibition, and a selection of local artist Heather Haythornthwaite’s atmospheric scenes of Rochester streets will also feature.
In words, artwork and photos, the exhibition takes you on a journey from the internal (the letters), to the external (Heather’s prints), then back again (Nikki’s photos).
‘I hope that visitors to the exhibition will be inspired to look again closely at where they live and find the beauty in the little things we like about our homes,’ says Sam.
Sam is also running some writing workshops, where you can come along and contribute your own letter to the exhibition.
Launch A launch event where writers will read their work will take place at Rochester Community Hub on 10 November from 1.30pm to 4pm.
Exhibition: Letters Home
Saturday, 3 November – Saturday 15 December: Rochester Community Hub
Saturday, 10 November – Friday, 7 December: Walderslade Village library
Get involved: Workshops
Wednesday 7 November 2-4pm. Rochester Community Hub. Letters Home: Writing workshop for adults.
Wednesday, 21 November 3.45-4.45 pm. Walderslade Village library. Letters Home: Workshop for 8-12 year olds.
Writers – did you know you can submit a PDF of your work and have it available from Medway libraries’ website? No, I didn’t either, but I do know now. Check out their Customers’ Own page – http://www.medway.gov.uk/leisureandculture/libraries/customersown.aspx, where you can find writing submitted by local authors, and guidelines on how to submit your work.
ME4 Writers held our open mic Republican picnic on Rochester Esplanade this afternoon. Although the weather was initially overcast, the sun broke through for a couple of lovely hours, as we listened to new writing in the picturesque setting underneath historic Rochester Castle, looking out over the River Medway.
In order to offer an alternative to wall-to-wall saccharine media coverage of all things weddingy, we held an open mic, where we invited local writers to have their say on weddings (royal or not), or the concept of republicanism.
This led to a selection of humourous, and thought-provoking new writing. Not forgetting our red, white and blue cupcakes! Thanks to everyone who contributed.
from the people formerly known as ME4Writers. Head over to www.wordsmithery.info for the most up-to-date stuff!