Artswords News March

Dear Writers and Readers  
The year marches on into March. Snowdrop and snowflakes give way to daffodils, frogspawn, and and the launch of a little old Literature festival.

At midday, as the Town Hall clocks strikes 12, on Thursday 19th March in the town’s prize-winning Central Library, hot off the press, the programme for the twenty-second Swindon Festival of Literature will be launched, provided one of the undersigned stops writing long sentences like this and instead, gets on with solving last-minute changes, challenges, and queries.

But we would like you to know that, as a fully-qualified recipient of this monthly missive, you are invited to the afore-mentioned launch. RSVP

Here’s what else is happening in March.

This month's Mum’s the Word meeting, for mothers interested in writing, takes place at 7.30pm at
Lower Shaw Farm on Tuesday 3rd March.
For further information, contact Karen at

On Tuesday 10th March, the Poetry Swindon Open Mic welcomes you to share poems, stories, or songs, for up to 5 minutes each. Our guest poet this month is George Ttoouli. The ticket cost is £3 BG members and £5 to non-members.  The evening starts at 7pm to sign up and the new venue is the
The Victoria, 88 Victoria Road Swindon Wiltshire SN1 3BD. For further details, please email Sam Loveless at
Eventbrite - OPEN MIC NIGHT with Guest Poet GEORGE TTOOULI

At 7.30pm Tuesday 24th March at
Lowers Shaw Farm the Artswords Reading Group meets to discuss This Boy by Alan Johnson. One man’s story, from post-war to politics, but also a story of two women, a part of London, and England.

For further details, contact:

For other local Reading Groups that take place in Libraries, see HERE

On March 15th at 2pm Poetry Swindon have a workshop: Documentary Poetics with Dr Andrea Brady.  There are only a few places left so please enquire at for details.

To see the full Poetry Swindon Programme, see

The next Writers’ Café and Kitchen takes place from 6pm on Thursday 26th March at Lower Shaw Farm. Cost £2. Starts with pot-luck supper from 6pm. If you can, please bring something to nibble or drink, to share with others. Following acclimatisation with food and friendly chat, we take time to look at our writing. You may simply read your work for up to 5 minutes; or, if you’d like your work to be the subject of helpful comments and discussion, bring 10 copies of one piece of writing. This should amount to no more than 500 words of prose or 40 lines of poetry.

Note. We now also welcome anyone with 5-minute stories to tell. If you have a story, to tell, not read, and ideally a story from your life, please bring it along. At the last Cafe, we had some great stories!

Other News:

On Thursday 26th February at the Poetry Society's Poetry Café, Swindon Poets met Suffolk poets in a joint poetry reading of six poets from each area. It was a great opportunity to showcase the exciting voices coming out of our town and to meet poets from further afield. Maurice Spillane is Swindon's Poetry Society representative and he did a great job in making the opportunity happen. We'll be doing it again we hope. 

In a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary, certain ‘nature words’ were culled because they were deemed ‘no longer relevant to modern-day childhood’. The words removed included these. acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, dandelion, fern, heather, ivy, kingfisher, lark, nectar, otter, pasture, and willow. Their replacements included these. attachment, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail. And, for blackberry, read Blackberry.

According to a recent YouGov poll, being an author is the number one most desired job in Britain. Not only would the most people like to be one (60%), the smallest percentage would not like to be one. The only other one of three jobs preferred by a majority is almost equally as bookish. It’s being a librarian (54%).

If you want to keep abreast of Literature development projects and festivals that Artswords will be organising or supporting, you can follow us via this monthly newsletter, or updates on Facebook and Twitter (See links below the newsletter)

If you have any news or events for April that you would like to share with other readers of ARTSWORDS NEWS, please let us know by the middle of this month.

Happy reading, writing, and spring feelings!

Matt Holland & Hilda Sheehan