Welcome to Leeds Writers and Poets

Leeds Writers and PoetsLeeds Writers and Poets was founded in May 2012 to provide a forum for aspiring writers and poets to gain quality feedback from other people with similar interests.

We are a small group of writers and poets who get together a couple of times a month to give feedback on each other's writing, take part in workshops and generally share the experience of writing.

We have members of all levels, from those who are just starting out to people with several novels under their belt.

We have an ethos of inclusion and support, and welcome writers and poets of all levels of ability – the only pre-requisite is a positive attitude and willingness to give as well as take.

Newsfeed

  • Adam Wolstenholme

    Adam Wolstenholme: Looks like I can come on Saturday. Any space left in your taxi, guys? Anyone else fancy sharing a taxi from Leeds?

    Yesterday at 10:44

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: I'm sure we can hire one to fit us all. Can you access my contact details on the dropbox?

      3 hours ago


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    Adam Sewell : Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday. Ian and Andrey, I know we mentioned it a little while ago, but are you guys still up for splitting a taxi together?

    Tue 17th Jul 2018 at 19:40

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: Yeah, that makes sense. I've put my contact details in the dropbox with the last link that was sent out. Give me a shout and we can get it arranged. I've no doubt I speak for Andrey when I say that he'll be happy with this arrangement too

      Wed 18th Jul 2018 at 20:07


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    HelenS: Mark - really looking forward to the party next weekend. What do you need us to bring (other than booze)? x

    Sun 15th Jul 2018 at 16:26

    • Richard

      Richard: Yes. I'm off on Friday so I could cook!

      Mon 16th Jul 2018 at 09:33

    • Mark James Barrett

      Mark James Barrett: Thanks Helen and Richard, other than booze, I guess if anyone wants to donate a dessert or something similar that would be welcome, as I usually don't have time for that nonsense. It will be great to see you all :)

      Mon 16th Jul 2018 at 16:25

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: I too spun dessert, but will more than happily bring some kind of leftfield oddity

      Mon 16th Jul 2018 at 22:06

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      HelenS: I shall plan to make a cake!

      Tue 17th Jul 2018 at 16:22

    • Mark James Barrett

      Mark James Barrett: Yay!

      Wed 18th Jul 2018 at 11:09

    • Mark James Barrett

      Mark James Barrett: Hi everyone, I've said from three o'clock on Saturday, if anybody needs the address, contact me on Messenger or WhatsApp or speak to Kat or Keith. I have these names as down to attend: Kat, Tim, Keith, Helen Richard, Adam Sewell, Ian, Russel plus one, Beth, Andrey and I seem to remember maybe Dan too. If I have forgotten anyone else could you let me know please, cheers.

      Wed 18th Jul 2018 at 11:31

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: HI Mark, would you have anything against me bringing a +1 please?

      Wed 18th Jul 2018 at 19:59

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: Also, I don't have your number, so would you minding texting me the address please Kat?

      Wed 18th Jul 2018 at 20:00

    • Mark James Barrett

      Mark James Barrett: Yes that's fine Ian.

      Wed 18th Jul 2018 at 22:00

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: Quality, cheers

      3 hours ago


  • Adam Wolstenholme

    Adam Wolstenholme: I'm afraid I'll be late to tonight's session as it's my little girl's performance of Mary Poppins. She has only one line but I think it might look bad if I leave after she's delivered it, so I'd better stay for the duration. I think I'll be able to make the second half of our session tonight. If it's no trouble, please leave my bit to later, and I'll bring annotated copies of everyone else's stuff. Thanks!

    Thu 12th Jul 2018 at 14:03

    • Kat

      Kat: That explains Adam, but where's everyone else? I'm here all alone...

      Thu 12th Jul 2018 at 19:36

    • Kat

      Kat: I found them!

      Thu 12th Jul 2018 at 19:50


  • Richard

    Richard: The London Review of Books sent me a letter allowing me to nominate someone for a free year of subscription. This seems very generous but I can't see a catch so if anyone wants it let me know and I'll fill in the form.

    Thu 12th Jul 2018 at 13:50

    • Adam Wolstenholme

      Adam Wolstenholme: Yes, that sounds great. If no other takers ...

      Thu 12th Jul 2018 at 14:02

    • Russell Lloyd

      Russell Lloyd: Thanks, Richard...very kind. I ll stand back for someone else...not there tonight but hope it goes well👍😊

      Thu 12th Jul 2018 at 17:59

    • Richard

      Richard: Cool. I'll sort it out at the next session.

      Fri 13th Jul 2018 at 09:10


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    Andrey Pissantchev: I read On Writing by Stephen King the other day. I'd recommend it. It's pretty opinionated in some ways, but with this kind of book I find it's best to take the stuff that works for you and chuck away the stuff that doesn't.

    Here's some interesting bits:

    - Story is not plot. Stephen King sees a story as a seed that you build your work from, and doesn't do a lot of planning. He says you can easily kill off a good story by trying to plan out every single plot detail. This really rang true for me but I know it wouldn't work that well for the rest of you guys.
    - Following on from that, don't try and purposefully work themes into your writing. You should instead wait until your first draft is finished, and then you can go through it and emphasize on the themes that have cropped up on their own accord.Otherwise it looks forced.
    - When multiple test readers disagree (e.g. test reader A likes part X, whereas test reader B hates part X), ties go to the writer.

    I also recommend getting the audiobook narrated by Stephen King himself. It's like having the guy right there in front of you, ranting his mind out.

    Mon 9th Jul 2018 at 15:56

    • Mark James Barrett

      Mark James Barrett: I listened to the audio book a couple of years ago and I agree, it is excellent. As you say, I didn't necessarily agree with everything he had to say, but a lot of it. It is very useful to any writer and also, very interesting to anyone who reads.

      Mon 9th Jul 2018 at 17:41


  • Russell Lloyd

    Russell Lloyd: Cheerful Chilli above Otley about 1 mile...vegetarian stuff, curries really good.

    Wed 4th Jul 2018 at 14:00

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: Great, cheers

      Thu 5th Jul 2018 at 19:16


  • Ian Sietniekas

    Ian Sietniekas: Hi all, slightly (okay, entirely) non-writerly question.

    Does anyone know anywhere good to eat in Otley? A friend is passing through there and I've agreed to arrange a meal but have no idea of what's available, and would rather trust your opinions than Trip Advisor

    Tue 3rd Jul 2018 at 21:47

    • Kat

      Kat: The Italian by the river is gorgeous but a bit pricey in my opinion (and I definitely found my thrifty kindred when I moved to Yorkshire, I've been known to utter 'Ow much? Each!?' without the slightest hint or irony). The Jewel of India is pretty good if you like Indian. There's a really nice looking Thai place (don't know how late it's open) but I haven't actually tried it yet. The Black Horse does great pub food at reasonable prices. The wetherspoons is exactly the same as all the other Wetherspoons, so I would largely avoid that, but it is cheap. That's all I got for the moment, and not sure if it's too late already anyway...

      Wed 4th Jul 2018 at 20:15

    • Ian Sietniekas

      Ian Sietniekas: Cheers Kat

      Thu 5th Jul 2018 at 19:17


  • Kat

    Kat: Lichfield Arts Press Release - L2F Songwriting competition
    Following last year’s inaugural competition, Lichfield Arts are proud to announce that this year’s L2F Songwriting competition is now open for entries.
    Writers, musicians, singers and performers are urged to get their best sonic efforts down on tape for the chance to win some astonishing prizes, including cash prizes of £150 for Best Overall Song, and £50 for Best Song in the under 19 category, studio time to record the best overall song, whilst all finalists will be invited to attend a song writing masterclass led by the internationally acclaimed John Tams
    Last year’s overall winner, Corrine Stratton and under 19 winner Luca Vincent performed their prize winning songs for an enthusiastic audience at L2F 2017, whilst Corrine Stratton will also be performing at this year’s Fuse Festival on July 14th.
    The competition aims to support, encourage and develop new folk song writing talent, whilst giving a platform to writers of all ages, abilities, and to be heard by an appreciative, and knowledgable audience and judges. For purposes of the competition, Lichfield Arts defines ‘folk’ in the widest sense of the genre, encompassing both traditional and contemporary styles.
    The songs will be judged on compositional strength of lyrics music, rather than on any technical basis, so songs can be recorded on professional 4,8 and 16 recorders or on basic cassette players. Songs shortlisted for the final will be performed at Lichfield Festival of Folk (L2F) on Sunday 21st October, where awards will be made for the overall winner, and a separate award for the winner in the Under-19 category.
    L2F Spokesman Stuart Davies said: ‘Last year’s Songwriting competition had dozens of entries, and produced two very worthwhile and talented writers in Luca Vincent and Corrine Stratton. We are hoping that this year’s competition will attract as many, if not more entries, and built on the good work that we have already done’.
    For further details, and to download the application form visit https://l2f.co.uk/l2f/song-writing-competition-2018/enter-the-l2f-song-writing-competition/

    Mon 2nd Jul 2018 at 19:38


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    Adam Sewell : Hi all. For those coming to the critique tonight we’re outside in the beer garden.

    Thu 28th Jun 2018 at 19:42