Monday, 27 November 2017

Pulp Idol Finalists

With the launch of Pulp Idol Firsts 2018 just around the corner, WoW contacted previous winners and finalists to celebrate the success of Pulp Idol. So why not read and prepare for next year's competition? It could be you added to this list!

John Donoghue: The great thing about Pulp Idol is that it can really get your work noticed. I found my agent and publisher as a direct result of taking part. My first novel was published all over the world. Amazing. I still have to pinch myself. On top of that, it's fun. Meeting other writers, seeing their work, having the opportunity to speak to established writers - what's not to like? 

Clare Coombes: Pulp Idol is an essential competition, a bit like the X-Factor for writers. As well as bringing in London-based literary agents, it's complete with live studio readings and judges asking questions that challenge and improve your work. This might sound daunting, but it’s relaxed, supportive, inspiring and basically brilliant, and it got me published.

Debbie Morgan: Entering the Pulp Idol competition gave me an opportunity to gain more confidence as a writer. I was nervous about reading aloud, unsure that my work would be of interest to an audience. Without confidence and self-belief, it's tricky to move towards your dreams. Seeing my work published in the book of finalists gave me hope. There is no other competition that gives new writers a real chance at getting their work seen by people in the industry. 

Andy Smith: I entered Pulp Idol thinking I had a good idea for a story, one that I’d written reasonably well, but I wasn’t really sure. After all, I haven’t done anything like a creative writing degree: when I was at university (a long time ago!) I studied maths. Reaching the final gave me huge encouragement and convinced me I did actually have some idea what I was doing. I found everyone involved in Writing On The Wall very supportive and helpful; the process wasn’t off-putting at all. You’ve got to believe in what you’re writing, and confidence helps immensely.  

Michael Taylor: I found the whole experience of Pulp Idol invigorating. It was a massive thrill to get to the final and have my opening monologue edited by Mike Morris from Writing on the Wall for inclusion in the finalist's book. Not only did it give me a boost, it gave a publisher the confidence to publish my debut novel and for us to create a piece of theatre for the launch event. My book, 40 by 40, has sold well, received excellent reviews and was definitely sharpened as a result of Pulp Idol. 

Matt Cook: I would never have applied for Pulp Idol if it hadn't been for a previous finalist talking me into it. I had no confidence in my idea but prepping for the heats and the final helped me to see it and myself in a new way. Just being in the competition raises the stakes and makes you more objective, analytical and realistic. Your work is alive, it matters. Being in Pulp Idol gives you a deadline and focus like nothing else.With Pulp Idol you get both a broad audience reaction, and the one-on-one input of a professional editor. The whole experience was fantastic, and the insights I gained from the writers I met have been invaluable.  

Christine Johnson:Being runner-up in Pulp Idol gave me the confidence to start running courses to help folk connect with their creativity through writing.  After its Pulp Idol success, I entered my contemporary ghost story, Fitful Head, into a huge international novel-writing competition where it came eleventh out of 3,112 entries. My self-published first novel, Rowan's Well is now garnering fabulous 5 star reviews. My success with Pulp Idol has certainly boosted my book sales. I'm currently deciding whether to try to get an agent for Fitful Head or to go ahead and self-publish again. Exciting times! 

Helen Dring: I entered Pulp Idol on a complete whim. Without exaggeration, winning Pulp Idol changed my life. Receiving recognition for my writing was a huge boost to my confidence, and I stayed in touch with several people from my final afterwards. I also signed with Laura Williams of PFD Agency shortly after the competition ended, and have been working on my novel with her ever since. Regardless of where you finish the competition, you'll be further along with your novel, and know it better, than when you started.  

Pulp Idol Firsts 2018

To celebrate the launch of Pulp Idol Firsts 2018, WoW talked to this year's runner ups, winner and the judges on their experiences of the competition. Come along to Toxteth Library from 7th December from 6pm to see them perform their work.

Why I Write to Work: My Journey Back Home by Susan England

Susan England, a participant from the 12 week programme - Write to Work, tells us how her experiences about joining the programme, her writing journey and more. 

Little did I know walking into Toxteth Library on 9th May, 2017, my life would soon change and I’d make friends to last a lifetime.

Friday, 17 November 2017

'Hope and Two Sugars' Book Launch

On Thursday 17th November, we launched our fabulous new book Hope & Two Sugars which was the culmination of the What’s Your Story project delivered with artist Deborah Morgan and the Family Impact service at PSS. Family Impact supports whole families affect by a parental substance misuse including grandparents, children and young people as well as parents.

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Business of Being Creative: Looking to start a copywriting business? Interested in marketing? Want to make a profitable blog?

Writing on the Wall are delighted to be a part of Enterprise Hub, the enterprise gateway for business start-up support in Merseyside. Writing on the Wall is the only arts and cultural organisational partner of Enterprise Hub and would like to see as many of our creative participants to develop and be part of this innovative opportunity. They offer expert advice and support to those who are thinking about starting a business including help to understanding the process of starting a business, researching a business idea, building a comprehensive business plan, developing a marketing plan, creating financial forecasts to understand the costs of running your business and potential income and identifying sources of finance to get started. For further information, check out their website here.

In the last seventeen years, Writing on the Wall has thrived working with diverse creatives who have been supported on our year round projects including What’s Your Story?, Young Writers and more. WoW recognised the need to support writers developing their skills for employment, whether through freelancing, setting up their own business, possibly with others, or finding work within which they could make use of their writing skills i.e. blogging for other organisations and businesses.

 Co-Director Mike Morris and Social Media Editor Alice Mason presenting to business partners of Enterprise Hub

To address this need we developed Write to Work. Write to Work is a 12 week project aimed to unemployed learners who want to develop their writing skills and pathways into creative employment. Writers from this project have the desire to become freelance and work on their artistic output. However, due to funding cuts, family commitments and a lack of knowledge, this isn’t always the easiest step to take.

Liverpool is a very creative and cultural city, where our arts scene is always buzzing with up and coming artists. Unfortunately, many artists are asked to work for free – getting told it’ll lead to other opportunities in the future.  Whether it’s down to artists not feeling confident in their pricing structure, or a business plan not in place, these situations happen too often. With the help of Enterprise Hub, they can play a key role in creating a suitable business plan as well as a marketing strategy for you.

Co-Director Mike Morris and Social Media Editor Alice Mason at Enterprise Hub quarters 

In 2017 during our annual festival at a day devoted to independent writing and publishing, Writing on the Wall delivered a new, highly popular initiative, The Writer’s Marketplace. This brought together publishers from across the region, including the award-winning Comma Press and new publisher Dead Ink, and professional writers who spent the day discussing and offering advice to new writers. This advice covered aspects of writing itself, but also the possibility of gaining a living through writing. This was a very successful event, and will become part of our annual offer in partnership with Literature Hub in 2018.

Writing on the Wall will also be offering regular information sessions for writers and creatives, to act as a gateway for creatives into the Enterprise Hub, where they will be able to be referred to Enterprise Hub for formal advice and guidance on developing their businesses. 

Our first session is on Friday 10th November between 10am- 1pm at Toxteth Library, Windsor Street, L8 1XF (appointment only). 

Email to book your 15 minute appointment.

Congratulations to everyone involved with Enterprise Hub. We’re looking forward to be involved, helping people to find pathways into employment and successful creative business development.

-          - Madeline Heneghan, Co-Director 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Katrina Paterson: Superheroes and more

Written by Katrina Paterson, Designer & Project Assistant

Last week, Writing on the Wall kicked back into action our Super Heroes: Words Are Our Power project, after a summer break. We created over sixty new superheroes with Bishop Martin Primary School’s years 5 and 6. To start with we played a game of naming as many superheroes as we could think of in groups, with a special emphasis on female superheroes to which the classes did incredibly well, naming from Wonder Woman right down to X-Men’s Storm!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Daphne Does Good: New blog by writer Mandy Redvers-Rowe for Disability Arts Online

Check out Daphne Does Good, a new blog written by Pulp Idol Finalist Mandy Redvers-Rowe.

I first started writing Disability comedy back in 1989, when I joined two other disabled writer/performers Mandy Colleran and Natalie Markham – replaced later by Ali Briggs, to found  ‘No Excuses’.  In those days Disabled People had no rights and we were all involved in the political movement to gain legal recognition.