The George Garrett Archive

The project, run by Writing on the Wall with the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund, is designed to celebrate and preserve the legacy of the Liverpool born writer, activist and Seaman, George Garrett (1896 - 1966)

Click here if you would be interested in taking part in the workshops.

Course participants will play an active role in researching his life and bringing his work back to Liverpool for display in the newly refurbished Central Library and Records Office. (Please note places limited.)


Welcome to the WoW Team!

Writing on the Wall is pleased and proud to welcome our new Social Media Co-ordinator, Rosa Murdoch, to the WoW team. Rosa will be working to bring the latest news and information about WoW projects and events straight to your digital doors, while also blogging and updating about writing opportunities and other cultural events in Liverpool. Rosa is a LIPA graduate who also sings in the band Wonderlust. We'd like to thank the Creative Employment programme and the DWP for helping to make this employment possible.

We'd also like to welcome Bethany Garrett, who is helping to develop the George Garrett Archive Project. Bethany joins us a volunteer, but also as Garrett's great-grandaughter! Bethany is joining us for two days a week during her summer break from Oxford University and is researching and updating the timeline of George Garrett's life and works for the project.

What's Your Story?

What's Your Story? 

Everybody has a story to tell. What’s yours?  

Writing on the Wall’s unique writing project, What’s Your Story?, is a creative writing initiative which aims to uncover new stories from unheard voices.

Our latest set of workshops is a collaboration with Liverpool Mental Health Consortium, and the response has been overwhelming. 

We are delighted to announce that Clare Shaw, a dynamic and powerful poet, will be leading the workshops. Clare has two poetry collections Straight Ahead and Head On, has been anthologised by Faber and Faber and Some Girls' Mothers, has been published in several national journals and newspapers including The Guardian and The Daily Mail, and was awarded Highly Commended in the Forward Prize 2006. She is a popular performer of her own work. She is also a self-harm trainer and consultant, working independently and in partnership to enable services to respond helpfully to people who self-harm.

"I love performing my own work and running workshops to enable other people to discover what a wonderful experience it is to find your own voice. I have a particular interest in the links between self-harm and language, or more widely, mental health and creativity" - Clare Shaw

Liverpool Mental Health Consortium was set up with the aim of improving mental health services in Liverpool. The Consortium offers valuable opportunities for those who have experienced mental distress to develop a collective voice.

David Peace Book Launch

David Peace
'Red Or Dead' Book Launch

WoW had a fantastic night celebrating the launch of the fascinating novel Red or Dead, exploring the life of legendary LFC manager Bill Shankly.
The Epstein Theatre was filled with Liverpool flags, shirts and banners. Peter Carney’s provided a iconic backdrop for the stage, with Shankly standing proud for his audience. This banner has travelled all around the world appearing at some of the most historic Liverpool games. We were proud to have it for our event.
George Sephton, the voice of Anfield since 1971, introduced Brian Reade and David Peace onto the glowing red stage. David gave two readings from his novel, to laughter and cheers from the audience, followed by a fascinating interview by journalist, writer and long-life LFC fan Brian Reade.
The night was light hearted, but full of pride and love for Shankly. David took questions from the audience and was keen to hear any points or anicdotes they wanted to share. The audience took up the opportunity of talking to him and reminisced with personal stories.
The bar quickly filled up with people queing up for their books to be signed by David Peace. This must have been the longest queue for a book signing in WoW history! Peter Hooton provided a great musical backdrop to the night, with his eclectic DJ mix including Shankly’s Desert Island Discs.
The night was a huge success, thanks to everyone who came down!
We’d like to give a huge thanks to Briane Reade, Peter Hooton, Peter Carney, George Sephton, Karen Gill, The Epstein Theatre, Faber Books, News From Nowhere, Gerald Murphy, Paddy O'Shaughnessy, our WoW volunteers and of course David Peace

Photographs taken by Paddy O'Shaughnessy 

Kate Haldane Meets Pulp Idol Winner

Sarah Tarbit, winner of Pulp Idol 2013 was the unanimous choice of our final judges beating 53 other entrants to gain the top spot. 

This was no easy contest and the overall quality of all the finalists is itself a testament to the strength of Sarah’s work.
 She was awarded a prize of meeting the agent Kate Haldane from PBJ Management for dinner to discuss Sarah's novel in progress, Snatcher

Sarah has recently moved back home to Ashington to work on her writing, and as part of Liverpool's Everyman’s Young Writers Group she is looking to adapt Snatcher into a play. Kate has offered to read her work in progress and will help look for right contacts to develop her writing career. 


Pulp Idol Winners 2013!

Congratulations to Sarah Tarbit, winner of Pulp Idol 2013, and Nina McCallig who was awarded the Judges Prize.
Sarah Tarbit was the unanimous choice of our final judges beating 53 other entrants to gain the top spot. This was no easy contest and the overall quality of all the finalists is itself a testament to the strength of Sarah’s novel in progress, Snatcher: A brutally honest portrayal of how the closure of the mines still affects the small town of Ashington.
On winning Pulp Idol 2013 Sarah said:
‘Entering Pulp Idol was a great opportunity to network with other writers and people involved in the industry. Mike and the judges championed new writing and offered invaluable support and feedback. I entered in order to practise reading aloud and to see how others would react to my work - but I never thought I’d win! Being one of the winners has given me confidence and encouragement to keep writing. It’s a fantastic opportunity for any new writer – well worth entering!’

In Conversation: Horace Panter of The Specials

In Conversation: Horace Panter of The Specials, with Carl Hunter of The Farm. Preceded by a showing of the cult Mod film Bronco Bullfrog (1970) in the Studio Theatre.

‘Sir Horace Gentleman' Panter, bass player with legendary band The Specials, takes centre stage to look back on his life so far: from member of the most dynamic rhythm section on the Two-Tone scene, to artist, and back again, when the band reunited for tours in 2008 and 2013.

Horace will be in conversation with The Farm's bass player, Carl Hunter, while The Farm's lead singer, Peter Hooton, will be spinning ska and Two Tone classics throughout the evening.


Dragon's Pen

This Wednesday, entrants to the Dragon's Pen competition, will face our four dragons and you are invited to see who survives!

Dragon's Pen is a competition Writing on the Wall has launched this year and will allow new writers to pitch their writing projects in any form to a panel of 'dragons' -  Al Kennedy (Costa award-winning novelist, Day, The Blue Book), Kate Haldane (multi media agent at PBJ Management ), Esther Wilson (playwright, Ten Tiny Toes, Tony Teardrop) & Gordon Wise (literary agent, Curtis Brown).

Who will be the hard-nosed Deborah Meaden? The tough talking Hilary Devey? Will anyone leave as lucky as Levi Roots? (No money will be changing hands, of course!)

AL Kennedy will also be talking about her new book On Writing, a kind of companion to all writers full of advice and motivation.

A fantastic event for writers of all experiences and interests, and well worth watching!

Howard Marks is Mister Nice

Howard Marks is Mister Nice
Thursday 30th May, 7.30pm
Secret Space, Water Street

Howard Marks is a Welsh author, raconteur and ex-international drug smuggler. Notorious for his audacious exploits in the 70's and 80's, Howard avoided the grasp of international law enforcement for two decades, while building one of the biggest smuggling rings in history. The law finally caught up with Howard in 1988, whereby he served out seven years of a 25 year sentence, before being released in 1995.
Immortalised in his best-selling autobiography and film 'Mr Nice', this counterculture icon now authors crime novels and speaks publicly, talking to rapt audiences about his amazing experiences.

Flash Fiction Longlist Announced!

The entries selected by our judges for out Flash: In the Dark competition are back and we are pleased to announce the longlist. Congratulations to the below entrants:

Eating Darkness - A.J. Reid
1945 - A.E. Pearsall
Tea with the Dead - Neil Howard
Undercover - Shirley Golden
Insanity - Kerry Fisher
Weak - Julie Hunter
Homecoming - Clare Kirwan
My Turn - Clare Doran
The Driving Examiner - Allan Watson
Sweet Dreams - SJI Holiday
Walking to Work - Stella Turner
Your Turn - Karl A Russell
Scratcher Catcher - Mark Allerton
The Segway Avatars - AJ Walker
The Weary Traveller - Michael Jackson
Appeasement - Pat Fearon
Every Little Helps - Anna O'Rourke
The Hostel - Katie Smith
Kiss Kiss - Andrea Davies
Consequences - Guy Garrud

Under Pressure! Festival 2013 Programme Announced

Under Pressure Festival dates: 1st – 31st May 2013

Writing on the Wall announces radical festival line up featuring:
Janet Street-Porter / Brian Reade / AL Kennedy / Howard Marks / Kevin Sampson / Bidisha / Helen Walsh / Rahila Gupta / Esther Wilson / John Burnside / Levi Tafari / Rita Ann Higgins / Bolshy / Dave Haslam / Peter Hooton…

Click here for full listings

Bedroom taxes, boardroom bonuses, foodbanks growing bigger than a banker’s wallet: The pressure is on in Aspiration Nation, but we’re all in it together, aren’t we? Writing on the Wall presents a radical programme featuring today’s best writers, ranters, artists, thinkers, commentators and activists, designed to challenge, provoke and inspire you to pick up your pen, change the world and…bake bread. We’ve got Rebels and Radicals, Port City Writers and Old-Fashioned Football Fans, Lockouts and Launches, some Nice Men and Billions of Women, Flashes of Horror, Circus Performers and Curious Stories, and word upon word upon word...all designed to help the pressure drop.

Contact WoW

Address:  Toxteth Library, Windsor Street, Liverpool, L8 1TH
Map: Click Here for our location page

Tel:  0151 703 0020

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