Catch up on all the latest from ArtfulScribe

Play on Words Literature Festival 24.10.23 - 6.11.23

03 October 2023

News and Opportunities for Writers and Writing
Play On Words Literature Festival 24th Oct - 6th Nov
For local residents and visitors to the New Forest and the surrounding area.
ArtfulScribe is proud to present Play on Words, a festival for writers and writing based in New Milton as part of NEWRITE, a literature development programme for the New Forest funded by Arts Council England and delivering a range of writing-based activities over the next two years. 
Writers' Day: Writing for Children
Sunday 29th October I 10am - 4pm I £45

Ali Sparkes [My Sister is a Dog, Stairwell Books], Yarrow Townsend [Map of Leaves, Chicken House Books] and Carole Smith [Have You Seen the New Forest Unicorn?] feature in the Writers' Day at Forest Arts Centre in New Milton.

Tickets include two workshops exploring techniques for generating new work, opportunity for 1:1 feedback on a short extract of a work in progress, a 'writers in conversation' panel discussion and an open mic where you can share an extract of your work with other participants.

Tickets available here

Funding Routes for Writers 
Thursday 26th October I 6-8pm I FREE
With only 13.7% of authors earning a living solely from writing, it can help to access funding streams to support a creative practice or to get paid for creative projects based in the community.

Join Kate Offord, Relationship Manager for Literature, Arts Council England and ArtfulScribe for an overview of potential funding routes, with time for Q&A and networking afterwards. 

Register for tickets here

Poets, writers and storytellers take centre-stage, accompanied by the quick-witted musicians of the Tongue Fu band.

One of the the UK’s leading spoken word and music shows for over a decade, Tongue Fu is led by poet, musician and founder, Chris Redmond (BBC Radio 1, 2 and 4, Sky Arts) and features musicians whose credits include playing for Jamie Cullum, The Last Poets, and Massive Attack. Tongue Fu is part gig, part experiment; a high energy, big hearted show with a wide appeal.

Book tickets here 

Saturday 28th Oct I 10-11:30am I £5
Follow a guide round Milton Village and learn the stories behind buildings and sites of interest, like the poor house, the churchyard and the graves where notable Miltonians lie at rest. The walk starts and ends at Forest Arts Centre where there will be opportunity for questions, refreshments, and conversations.

Running time: 90 minutes, weather permitting 

Book tickets here
In-Person | Forest Arts Centre, New Milton
Play On Words: Open Mic - a regular open mic at Forest Arts Centre, where both seasoned writers and newcomers can share work and celebrate the art of poetry and storytelling in an inclusive and supportive environment. Bring your words, or just yourself; both are welcome.

Open Mic Dates: 24th OCT | 21st NOV | 5th DEC

Register for tickets here.

Photo by Brandon Otto
Writers of The New Forest 
Found out about writers who have lived or based their writing in the New Forest 
Wednesday 25th October I 7pm I £5
Local historian Nick Saunders is a raconteur with a talent for telling local stories.

Join Nick for an hour exploring writers who have lived in, or based their writing on, the New Forest. This event features famous authors working in genres including gothic horror, historical fiction, comedy, and writing for children.

Can you guess who they are? There will be no prizes, but there will be room for a Q&A and general discussion after the event.

Register for tickets here
Historical Facts, Inspiring Places
Using local history to inspire new writing
Saturday 4th November I 11am I FREE
Customs men shooting smugglers, smugglers murdering riding officers, and Indian army hospital camps form some of the treacherous tales young writers will explore in this interactive creative writing journey.

Running time: Approx 2hours

For young writers aged 7-14

Register for tickets here 
New Forest Writers Group 
  • A regular writing group meeting on the first Monday of each month, and founded to encourage people to keep writing. All writing is welcomed; flash fiction, short stories, memoirs, novels, poetry and prose.  
Story Quest
  • Explore Ballad Water Meadow with Story Quest, a brand-new interactive adventure for the whole family. Keep your eye on the Play on Words website for all the details which will be released during October half term. 
Writing for Wellbeing 
  • This gentle workshop will explore some existing poems and use these prompts for creative new writing aimed at mental clarity. Participants need to register here with Solent Mind and be over 18, living in the New Forest, and struggling with their mental health. 
    Thursday 2nd November I 1:30pm - 3:30pm I The Hollies, New Forest Wellbeing Centre I FREE 
Stairwell Books
  • Author Talks - A team of writers from Stairwell Books make for a lively evening of inspiring talks, discussions and networking, featuring poetry and fiction for all ages with authors including Simon Culleton, Rebecca Smith, Victoria L. Humphreys and others.
    Friday 3rd November I FREE
  • Book Fair - Representing genres including literary fiction historical fiction, writing for middle grades and young adults, LGBTQ+ fantasy, and poetry, this book fair has something for everyone, including author workshops and readings. 
    Saturday 4th November I FREE
Download the Play on Words Programme 2023
News from around the Solent Region
Events and Opportunities in Hampshire and Dorset
CALL OUT for BCP-based rappers/hiphop artists for potential school work in the region. For more information please get in touch with

October Books
  • Open Mic Night - Whether you're a poet, playwright, essayist, or novelist, reading your own work or someone else's, all are welcome.
    18:30-20:00 I 20 Oct 23 I £5
  • Out of the Darkness: Greenham Voices 1981 - 2000 - Join author Rebecca Mordan for a talk about Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, her book, the organisation she founded and a few Greenham songs.
    18:30 I 16th Oct 23 I £3
Hampshire Writers' Society
  • Author Talk - Join novelist Jane Sanderson and her husband, Brian Viner.
    9th May 23 I 7pm I Tower Arts Centre, Winchester I £10 for non members, £2 for students
  • Coffee and Writing Chat -  join us once a month in the cafe at the Winchester Arc (also known as the library) for writerly chat and mutual encouragement — all writers welcome.
    10:30 I 20th Oct 23 
The Waste Land By TS Eliot 
  • Directed by Rachel O'Neill, in association with 2TimeTheatre and with the support of the TS Eliot Estate, only three performances will take place in St Lawrence's Church in central Winchester on 11th, 12th, and 13th October 2023.
Winchester Poetry Festival 2023 
  •  A festival showcasing poetry locally, nationally and internationally.
    Friday 13th - Sunday 15th October
Bournemouth Writing Festival 
  • A weekend extravaganza of free and ticketed talks, agent 1:2:1s, seminars, panels, performances and workshops for writers wanting to write.
    Friday 26th - Sunday 28th April 2024

We work with people from primary years to life's later stages. Help us help others make the most of life's opportunities by contributing to our cause to improve literacy levels in Hampshire and Dorset. Thank you.
If you'd like your events or opportunities for writers in the region to feature in our newsletter or social media, please drop a line to


Back to news

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest news on events, workshops and upcoming projects

*We never share your details with other businesses and promise not to swamp you with emails. You can also unsubscribe at any time.

What's on

Find out more

Our projects

Find out more


Find out more

Our blogs

Find out more

Our films

Watch now

Headlight Press

Find out more

Our blogs

Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

Find out more


Why not get in touch?