Many thanks to Six Towns Radio www.6towns.co.uk/ for allowing me to use their broadcast and to photographer Brooksie who compiled the images for this personal video
The first day of freedom from my 40 years as a paid employee - not having to get up at maybe 5.30am to catch the train to Manchester, drive to Birmingham, get to investigations all over the West Midlands and Black Country, Hereford, Worcester.....deal with crappy computer systems and bored trainees who wondered why the IT systems were shit and the training rooms freezing cold or unbearabley hot...not saying that I never enjoyed my time at work, I did. The freedom of the open road and meeting so many different people was great. There were plenty of nice poeople and colleagues who made up for the ass-holes but I'd had enough. I guess I was lucky never to have been unemployed at any point and I escaped redundancy several times, so I am aware that actually being in work all that time was a good thing. Now, I'm free to help animals in my volunteer roles, and to WRITE! I can't believe the things I am doing right now and the amazing people I have met.
For the first time ever I made it to the semi-finals of a slam! Best of all were the compliments I had from members of the audience on my untitled and maybe (for some people) controversial poem. I know that some people dislike the competetive aspect of slams but I just try to treat it as fun and and a great night out. There was much laughter and it was great to see the Trent Vale Poet in action again. Thanks to Gaby and Matt and most of all the wonderful audience. We were 18 slammers in all and felt very much appreciated.
Yep! I have entered another slam despite the MASSIVE amount of "competative" talent around in Stoke on Trent. Got to say though that all SLAMS so far have had a great atmosphere and everyone is friendly and generous in spirit. I have been inspired by Matt Abbott's workshop The New Vic Theatre for #Stokeslam #sot2021 #awesome
In June I attended The Bath Flash Fiction Festival with two writer friends who are FF regulars and winners. There was a great line up of workshop leaders, speakers, writers and teachers of the short and short-short form – Vanessa Gebbie, Paul McVeigh, Tania Hershman, David Gaffney, David Swann, Ashley Chantler, Peter Blair, K M Elkes, Kit de Waal, Michael Loveday, Christopher Feilden, Calum Kerr, Jude Higgins and Meg Pokrass. I was quite nervous but it was brilliant and all attendees were invited to submit upto three entries for a FF anthology. Never expecting to get anywhere I sent off my three festival-inspired Flashes and was truly stunned when I received an e-mail from Jude Higgins, to say that one of my flashes had been accepted for the anthology! “Silent, and soft and slow descends” is a 250 word story. If you want to read it you will have to buy the book, which should be out by Christmas. Can’t wait to see it!
Everyone who knows me, knows that I think of myself first and foremost as a poet. I have branched out into short stories and Flash Fiction, but had only recently entered some Flash competitions. Well, it seems that I am doing something right as I have won a joint first prize for my story 350 word story “Beneath the Ice” in
The Potteries Prize for Flash Fiction Competition. Local writers were invited to submit short short stories of 100 – 350 words length. I have won -Most beautiful use of language in a story Joint First June Palmer for ‘Beneath the Ice’ However the nail-biting has only just begun as all shortlisted entrants have been invited to a prize giving event to be held at City Central library on 18th November where the overall winner will be announced by head judge, Paul Houghton, Senior lecturer in Creative Writing from Staffordshire University. Wish me luck!
I made the top 10 of the 2017 Poetry on Loan Competition with a poem "Carrying the Fire" which goes way back to Jo Bell's 52 Group prompts and which I've never published or entered in a competion before! The theme was Onwards, Upwards, Freedom. As the Staffordshire Poet Laureate was the competition winner and bagged two of the other top spots I guess I am in agood place!
This is what the competition describe as their "long short list"
Bridges, Bert Flitcroft
Uprooted, Lindsey Bailey
Roots to freedom, Ros Woolner
Fradley airfield, Bert Flitcroft
Climbing Helvellyn, Shelagh Wain
Free diver, Brendan Shields
Carrying the fire, June Palmer
Gliding, Shelagh Wain
I can(not), Stephanie Hutton
Bridge, Andrea Mbarushimana
Aspiration, Paul Fraincis
The story, your story, Pauline Woodhouse
High flyer, Anne Harding
Sahara trek, Andrea Mbarushimana
The ladder, Paul Francis
A bid for freedom, Debbi Voisey
The butterfly, Toni Jackson
I rise, Jason Nicholas Smith