class="post-23285 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry category-opportunities"The Four Ages of Woman: Poetry and Mental Health workshops

Join Young People’s Laureate for London, Theresa Lola, for a series of free poetry workshops exploring different perspectives on mental health and the female experience. Taking place at Bethlem Museum of the Mind, the sessions are for aspiring female writers – if you’re just starting out or are already writing, aged 18-25.

The workshops will use archival artworks, contemporary artworks and poetry to facilitate conversations on women and mental health: from body image to anxiety disorders, and the language of illness used to label women. Participants will be writing poems and elevating their voices to create poetry for display in the gallery; and for performance at a special public event: demanding their voices and stories are noticed.

Workshops: Tuesdays 10, 17 and 24 March. 5:00-6.30pm

Event: Saturday 28th March: 2:00-3.30pm

Location: Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital, BR3 3BX

To register for a place, please contact: Tom MacAndrew,

Participants must be able to attend all sessions in order to take part.

Published 19 February 2020

class="post-23031 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry category-news"TOKEN Magazine special edition launch part on 13 March, Deptford

As part of the first ever Deptford Literature Festival, TOKEN Magazine will be launching their special edition issue at Buster Mantis on Friday 13 March. Profiling pieces inspired by Deptford and Lewisham and / or by writers based in the area, this issue is sure to be a joyous celebration of local talent. 

TOKEN Magazine is an annual literature and arts print magazine that showcases work from under-represented groups. This includes people of colour, LGBTQ, those with disabilities and other minority groups. In this special edition there will be short stories, life writing, poetry, interviews and artwork. Sara Jafari, lead editor of the magazine said: ‘This special edition issue is one really close to my heart. I’ve lived in Lewisham on and off for almost ten years now, and there’s nowhere quite like it, so to be able to curate a special edition issue on it has been a dream. Included in this issue is a real range of pieces; from an account of a date gone wrong, an ode to Deptford and how it has changed over the years, to a poem about unity in community choir singing. This issue is a heartfelt snapshot of an area rich in literature and the arts.’

The magazine will be launched at Buster Mantis in Deptford on Friday 13 March and will be free to attend.  Find out more and book your ticket here:

There’ll be copies available at different sites around Deptford during the festival on Saturday 14 March. Deptford Literature Festival features performances, readings, walks, workshops and more. 14 of the 17 festival events are free. 4 will be BSL-interpreted and there are four free family-friendly events. We hope to see you there!

Published 17 February 2020

class="post-23082 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry category-opportunities"Your chance to take part in
Inua Ellams’ R.A.P. Party Remix
– A Deptford Literature Festival special edition

Poets / spoken word artists – this is your chance to perform at a legendary Inua Ellams’ R.A.P. Party!

As the special closing event of the first Deptford Literature Festival, poet, local resident and literary legend Inua Ellams brings a brand-new open mic version of his R.A.P. (Rhythm and Poetry) Party to the Albany on 14 March at 7.30pm. DJ chooses songs, YOU bring the poems.

The evening features open mic slots for poets to respond to hip-hop tracks from a special R.A.P. Party playlist. Turn up before the gig to put your name in the hat to participate.

The playlist can be found on Spotify here:

The tracklist

1. I Wish – Skeelo

2. Boo – Ms Dynamite

3. The World Is Yours – Nas

4. Doo Wop  – Lauryn Hill

5. Travellin’ Man – Mos Def

6. Can’t Knock The Hustle – Jay-Z

7. Wot Do U Call It? – Wiley

8. Vossi Bop – Stormzy

9. Hotline Bling – Drake

10. Good life – Kanye West

11. Wait a minute – Ty

12. So Rotton – Blak Twang

13. Witness (1 Hope) – Roots Manuva

14. If I ruled the world – Nas

15. Worst comes to worst – Dilated Peoples

16. Final Form – Sampa the Great

17. Best Life – Cardi B

18. M.I.A. – Paper Planes

19. Don’t Rush Me – Jean Grae

20. Did you see – J Hus

Get involved!

Inua Ellams’ R.A.P. Party Remix is one of 17 events taking place as part of the first Deptford Literature Festival on 14 March. You can book tickets to the R.A.P. Party Remix here:

This event is for ages 16+ (includes performers). The event will be BSL interpreted.

class="post-22816 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry category-opportunities"Spread the Word reopens competition in partnership with Bookouture for fiction writers

Bookouture is a fast-growing UK-based digital publishing imprint dedicated to publishing high-quality commercial fiction. Their editorial team is offering to provide written feedback on six fiction manuscripts by writers from under-represented backgrounds based in London, UK.

Bookouture currently has a particularly strong interest in crime and thriller, gripping women’s fiction and compelling historical fiction. The publisher is also keen to find a wide range of new voices across all genres, including saga, romance, suspense and mystery.

We define writers from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in publishing as:

● Having a low household income
● Being working class
● Having experienced a lack of academic and/or vocational training opportunities – i.e. having not been able to study/train to their full potential due to low income, ill health, being a carer etc.
● Being or having been a carer
● Having experienced homelessness
● Being a single parent
● Having a disability
● Being from a BAME background
● Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community

How to apply
Applications will open from 2pm on Friday 29 January 2020 and close at 11:59pm on Friday 28 February 2020.

What we will need from you to apply:

Only one entry per applicant will be accepted. This opportunity is only for complete fiction manuscripts.

You can apply here:

Please note this opportunity is only for writers based in London. 

Longlisting for this opportunity will be on the basis of your two/three line pitch and your 2,000-word extract. Longlisted writers will have all of their submitted material forwarded to Bookouture, who will then choose which manuscripts will be read by a member of the Bookouture team.

Please note that you must have a completed manuscript to apply for this opportunity, though it can be in its early drafts.

Initial selection will be on the basis of your pitch and your 2,000-word extract. Selected writers will have their full manuscripts and pitch read by a member of the Bookouture team. Deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Friday 28 February 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 31 March 2020 with the written feedback to be given to them by the end of April 2020.

Writers selected for this opportunity will receive top-line feedback on their manuscript from an editor at Bookouture on the editorial strengths and weaknesses of their book, and how their pitch could be made more stand-out in order to better appeal to agents and publishers.

Do check out these useful links before sending your submission in:

A Pocket Guide to Writing a Synopsis

Top tips from Bookouture’s editors

If you have enquiries about this opportunity or the application process, please e-mail

Published 31 January 2020

class="post-22716 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry category-news category-news-opportunities"Deptford Literature Festival
Activities for Families

As part of Deptford Literature Festival, our friends at Round Table Books have curated a day of activities for younger festival goers. Deptford Literature Festival takes place on Saturday 14 March 2020, and all our families events will take place in the children’s library at Deptford Lounge. Round Table Books will be selling books by authors featured at the festival and more in Deptford Lounge Library throughout the day.

All family events are free, with booking in advance essential. All family events require a parent / carer / guardian to stay with the children at all times.

The families lineup is:

Hannah Lee ‘My Hair’
Deptford Lounge Children’s Library
Saturday 14 March 2020 10am – 10.45am
Age recommendation 3+
Free, booking essential

Join Hannah Lee as she celebrates all the creativity that can go into finding your own unique (hair) style. Feel the excitement of getting ready for a celebration and explore an array of intricate hairstyles (inspired by one girls’ family and community), as Hannah reads from, and runs special activities around her first picture book; My Hair.
Book here:

Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola ‘Look Up!’
Deptford Lounge Children’s Library
Saturday 14 March 2020 11am – 12pm
Age recommendation 3+
Free, booking essential

Join author and illustrator Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola for an out-of-this-world event about their debut picture book Look Up! Find out all about Rocket, a science-mad chatterbox who is going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller that has ever lived…she just needs to get everyone around her to look up from their phones and up at the stars! So, get ready to look up from your screens and enjoy a lively event full of storytelling, fun facts and top drawing tips from this exciting debut duo.
Book here:

Alexandra Sheppard Oh My Gods
Deptford Lounge Children’s Library
Saturday 14 March 2020 1 – 1.45pm
Age recommendation 9+
Free, booking essential

From the goddess of hunting to the god of poetry, the worship of deities in the ancient world shows us their way of life. But what new gods and goddesses might we need to thrive in 2020? In this workshop, we will imagine our own set of deities designed for our lives today – god of memes, for example! – and what they say about our modern values.
Book here:

mayamada comic workshop
Deptford Lounge Children’s Library
Saturday 14 March 2020 2 – 4pm
Age recommendation 8 – 12
Free, booking essential

Join mayamada for a fun and interactive comic story workshop, aimed at children aged 8-12. Attendees will learn how to create their own characters and stories, and will also be able to draw the first pages of their comic book! This is the perfect event for any budding artist or storyteller!
Book here:

About Round Table Books 

Round Table Books is the only children’s bookshop in Brixton. It officially opened its doors in June 2018 after successfully running two pop up shops and crowdfunding £50,000 to do so. It stocks inclusive titles from underrepresented authors and illustrators for the ages of 0-18 and regularly holds events both in the store and wider community.

Deptford Literature Festival celebrates the creativity and diversity of South East London through stories, words and performance. Most events are free. It is funded by Arts Council England and run as a collaboration between independent producer Tom MacAndrew and Spread the Word. You can read more about the festival and see the full programme at

class="post-22696 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry category-news category-news-opportunities"Deptford Literature Festival
full lineup revealed

Spread the Word and independent producer Tom MacAndrew are pleased to reveal the full programme for the inaugural Deptford Literature Festival, celebrating the creativity and diversity of South East London through words, stories and performance. 

Taking place on Saturday 14 March 2020, Deptford Literature Festival is a day-long festival featuring 17 events – most of which are free to attend. The festival is supported by Arts Council England. 

Deptford Literature Festival offers something for everyone; whether you’re an experienced reader or writer, or just want to have a go. The programme features workshops, walks (including an intrepid guided walk and poetry workshop around Deptford Creek with Ella Frears and a tour of Deptford’s literary heritage with Anna Sayburn Lane), talks, readings and a special open-mic night.

Take a look at the programme, book yourself a ticket and come along and enjoy our wide range of events brought to you by the talented writers and amazing organisations local to Deptford and South East London. The festival features writers, artists and organisations local to South East London including Inua Ellams, Jay Bernard, Jamie Hale, Ella Frears, TOKEN Magazine, Round Table Books, Apples and Snakes, Poetry London, the Poetry Translation Centre and many, many more.

Download the Deptford Literature Festival programme here (PDF)

Our friends at Round Table Books have curated a special programme of family activity for our younger festival goers, featuring immense writers and illustrators for children including Alexandra Sheppard, Hannah Lee, Nathan Bryon, Dapo Adeola and mayamada comics. Our children’s events all take place at the children’s library at Deptford Lounge. Check out our families events here for more info, including recommended ages:

The day concludes with a very special event: Inua Ellams’ R.A.P. Party Remix; an open mic version of his internationally successful Rhythm and Poetry hip hop night. Poets are asked to respond to a track on a special playlist- prep your poem or tune in advance and turn up just before the event to put your name down.

The tracks can be found on the event Spotify playlist:

Deptford Literature Festival Access

Access to great writing and reading is at the heart of everything we do at Spread the Word. So, Deptford Literature Festival has been designed with access at its heart: 

TOKEN magazine 

A special Deptford Literature Festival edition of TOKEN Magazine will be available to pick up for free at The Albany and Deptford Lounge on the festival day. Editor Sara Jafari has curated a special edition of the magazine that features local writers and writing based in South East London.

Get Involved