These have been strange times for Spoken Word, as for all the performing arts. It’s now over a year since I last stood on a stage and made eye-contact with an audience. Yet we’re a resilient community – poetry and spoken word events have moved online, and have been thriving on Zoom despite the limitations of the technology. Indeed, there have been positive consequences – poets from all over the world have been performing at Worcestershire-based events, along with writers who would not usually be able to attend a live show due to disability, transport issues, or not being comfortable in a venue that sells alcohol. This gives us all an opportunity to hear different voices, and learn of different human experiences, and I think we’ve all gained from this.
The vaccine rollout now gives us some hope that physical performances will begin again over the course of the summer, and there has been a lot of talk of doing ‘blended’ events, combining live and online performances so as to retain the advantages of each. How the post-pandemic scene will function is something we’ll all be learning over the next year or two. It’s bound to be interesting!
Worcestershire LitFest’s 2021 festival will be happening online in early June, and we have a new website – worcestershirelitfestfringe.wordpress.com
Details of the festival will be coming out nearer to the event, but in the meantime we have our annual competitions!
First of all – could you be the next Worcestershire Poet Laureate? We are open for submissions – send us two poems of up to 40 lines, one on the theme of ‘Changes’, the other on any topic. Full details of how to enter are on our website. Closing date is Monday 10th May.
If you prefer writing prose, our Flash Fiction competition is open. This is for a story of up to 300 words, on any subject. There are cash prizes, and the finalists will be published in our annual anthology. Closing date is Friday 30th April. Once again, all the details are on our shiny new website.
For writers aged 7-17, we have our Young Writers Competition. This is for a story of up to 300 words, on the theme of ‘Gods and Monsters’. There are three separate age-categories, and prizes of book-vouchers – and the finalists will be published in a real book! The closing date is Friday 30th April. For full details of how to enter, have a look at our website – worcestershirelitfestfringe.wordpress.com
By: Suz Winspear