Summer Reading List!


Here are some books that I recommend. I have taken something useful from each of these, and would be interested to hear your thoughts on them.


1) Geek Love  by Katherine Dunn

This book juggles some wild ideas, don’t be afraid of the blurb.


2) On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft by Stephen King

Some great tips on the writing process, and becoming a better writer.


3) The White Bone  by Barbara Gowdy

I would also recommend her book Falling Angels which has a fantastic scene in a back garden bomb shelter. You’ll know what I mean when you get to it.


4) The Collector by John Fowles

An epistolary novel split into two parts with two separate narrators.


5) Out Stealing Horses  by Per Petterson

Some brilliantly economic and powerful description in this.


6) Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Home by Ben Fountain

Structure, character, voice.


Writing Competitions in June & July

Aerogramme writers have published a list of upcoming competitions which may be of interest to you.

Some are:

Novella Award 

The Novella Award 2016

(previously known as MMU Novella Award) is a literary competition which celebrates new writing in the novella form. Entries must be unpublished, written in English and between 20,000 and 40,000 words. Entries close 5 June.


American Short Fiction Contest

Now closed: the American Short Fiction Contest

Open to entries between 2000 and 6500 words. It offers a first prize of US$1000 prize and publication and all entries will be considered for publication. Closes 15 June.


Ambit Summer Writing Competition

invites poetry and fiction entries of any subject and in any style. The entries will be judged by Alison Moore and Dan O’Brien. Entries close 15 July.

For the full list see:

5 Interesting, Free Upcoming Events at Sheffield Central Library

Sheffield library runs lots of literary events, has its own underground theatre, and a free art gallery on the top floor. It is also a beautiful building with impressive front doors. Here are some upcoming events that may be of interest or inspiration to you.

Find My Past – An Introduction
Monday 1st June, 11.00am

Carpenter Room, Central Library

A presentation sharing tips and tricks on the popular family history website, highlighting key record sets which are often overlooked and showcasing some of the great Yorkshire records now available free to Sheffield Library and Archives members

Digital Creative Business Intellectual Property Workshop
Wednesday 10th June, 1.30pm – 5.00pm

Carpenter Room, Central Library

This workshop, run by the Intellectual Property Office, is a practical session giving participants a good overview of IP; trademarks, copyright, designs and confidentiality and how it can impact on businesses within the digital industry.

Voyage into Britain with Mike Spick
Tuesday 16th June, 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Carpenter Room, Central Library

An insight into the hidden world of our canals, touching on their history, geography and architecture. An introduction to the 2,500 miles of canals and navigable rivers that criss-cross the country.

The secret green corridors into our towns and cities.

Wellington vs. Nelson as National Heroes
Tuesday 23rd June, 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Carpenter Room, Central Library

200 years on from the battle of Waterloo, Professor Bruce Collins from Sheffield Hallam University makes an informed comparison of two of our greatest military heroes.

Wolf Hall – An Insider’s Guide
Tuesday 30th June, 6.30pm – 7.45pm

Carpenter Room, Central Library

Dr Catherine Fletcher from the University of Sheffield was an advisor to the BBC on the recent adaptation of Wolf Hall. She will discuss the challenges of putting the past on screen and looks at how fiction fills gaps in historical records.

All events are FREE

To book, email –

Upcoming History Talks at Sheffield Library

Hi Everyone,

These talks at the Sheffield Central Library may be of interest to you…


Monday 13th April  1.00pm  – 2.00pm
Sheffield in the Great War with Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch explores WW1 through the experiences of local families left behind as the men marched away. From transvestite spies to ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’, drunken mules to gardening elephants, canaries to Zeppelins, this is the forgotten story of a time when feeding a slice of bread to a duck could land you with the same prison sentence as dealing cocaine and left us a legacy of lipstick – and knickers!


Tuesday 28th April   1.00pm – 2.00pm
A History of Sheffield’s Far East:  Tinsley from 1293 with Sally Rogers

Forgotten battles, lost manor houses and iconic cooling towers.  Learn about the varied and fascinating history of Tinsley from the middle ages to the present day.  A talk by Sally Rogers, Community Heritage Manager at Heeley City Farm.


Thursday 30th April   1.00pm – 2.00pm
Snapshots in Time:  The Changing Maps of Sheffield with Mike Spick

Exploring the wonderful collections of maps available to study at Sheffield City Archives and the Local Studies Library. From the sumptuously coloured county maps of the 18th century to the Ordnance Survey maps of the industrial revolution and present day.  A rich visual journey through the growth of Sheffield during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Friday 1st May   12.15pm – 1.15pm
The Story of JG Graves

PhD student, Rachael Richardson, has been researching the business and civic activities of this prominent and remarkable local figure.   An exhibition detailing Rachael’s research will also run from the 1st – 28th May 2015 in the Local Studies Library,


Friday 22nd May   10.30am-11.30am
Hearts of Oak:  The Oak in History, Legend and Natural History with Patrick Harding

From dryads to druids, Robin Hood to Birnam Wood, buildings, battleships, coopers, and charcoal. Bats, beefsteaks, cow wheat and celandine. Kate Moss and Spike Milligan – something for all.


Tuesday 16th June   1.00pm – 2.00pm
Voyage into Britain with Mike Spick

Join Mike for an insight into the hidden world of our canals, touching on their history, geography and architecture. An introduction to the 2,500 miles of canals and navigable rivers that criss-cross the country.  The secret green corridors into our towns and cities.



How to book a place

All talks will take place in the Sheffield Central Library Carpenter Room.


Places are FREE but must be booked

telephone – 0114 273 4712

email –

New Course Starting 16th April

Hi Everyone,

The next course begins on 16th April! Full details and online enrolment available at

The set text we will be reading this term is Prayers for the Stolen  by Jennifer Clement, plus the usual eclectic mix of fiction extracts.

Happy Easter, and hope to see you all there.