Worcestershire Lit Fest & Fringe

Cyber-Slap Lockdown Update – April 22nd 2020

In this past month Spoken Word, like all the performing arts, has been thrown into chaos. The lockdown was announced, and our entire scene, along with all our plans, simply disappeared overnight. We still don’t know how long this is going to last for, when we’ll all be able to mix and mingle again, or when our wonderful venues will be allowed to re-open.

Yet in these past four weeks, the scene has returned in a different form. It still exists, but is now happening online. When all this began, I’d never heard of Zoom, but now it has become a necessity for daily life. Spoken word events have resumed. 42 Worcester has been running for nine years, our event at the end of March was our 9th Birthday night, and we have never yet had to cancel an evening – our record still stands! 42’s 9th Birthday happened – it went ahead online. We brought our own drinks and got to see one another’s living rooms, and it was a thoroughly good evening. I’ll soon be going to as many Spoken Word events as I ever did, all without leaving my own sofa. It isn’t the same as a proper physical event, of course – it’s odd to perform without seeing or hearing the audience, or being able to respond to their reactions, or to be able to chat and interact with one another, but nevertheless, it is keeping the scene alive.

One casualty of the lockdown, however, is the June LitFest. This will have to be postponed, along with the event to find the next Worcestershire Poet Laureate. We hope to hold a mini-festival later in the year. In the meantime, all three LitFest competitions are open, their closing dates extended to June 30th 2020. If you’re looking for a writing project to keep yourself occupied during the lockdown, why not have a go at these? All of them have worthwhile prizes!

First of all, there’s the Young Writer Competition. This is for writers aged between 7 and 17 in three age-categories, for stories of up to 300 words on the theme of ‘Words and Pictures’. Winners get book vouchers and the opportunity to be published in a real book! With schools closed, this could make an at-home writing activity for enthusiastic young writers!

The Flash Fiction Competition is for stories of up to 300 words on any theme. Again, the winners and finalists will be published in an anthology, and there are cash prizes.

And finally – the big one! We are looking for the 10th Worcestershire Poet Laureate! It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase your work and promote poetry across the county and beyond. We need two poems of up to 40 lines, one on the theme of ‘Masks and Portraits’, the other on any theme.

A reminder – the closing date for all these competitions is now June 30th. For further details, terms & conditions go to worcesterlitfest.co.uk

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