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  • Writer's pictureSteve Watts

'The air of Greece ...'

What better place to be inspired to write than the Greek island of Kefalonia. It was here that Lord Byron composed part of his epic poem Don Juan whilst staying in the village of Metaxata. He famously commented that 'if I am a poet, it is the air of Greece that makes me so.' And so it was that in the summer (July 2019) I began to write myself, inspired by the air of Greece. It was also in the summer that the entrants for the Short Story Competition that my colleague Sarah Dobbs and I hosted last week were beginning to submit their stories.

On Tuesday (29th October 2019) we announced the winners of the University of Sunderland in association with Waterstones Short Story Competition at Waterstones in Sunderland. Amongst the winners I was delighted, through my company Watts Coaching, to sponsor the 'Highly Commended' category with Astra Bloom winning the prize for her story 'Heartbreak.'

Announcing the winners of the 2019 University of Sunderland in association with Waterstones Short Story Competition

All of the short-listed stories were published by Bandit Fiction in advance of the announcement ( into an anthology and during the evening of the awards several of the stories were read out and shared with the audience.

Sharing stories from this year's Short Story Competition at Waterstones in the Bridges, Sunderland

It is becoming more and more apparent that writing, whether for competitions and publication or for one's own benefit, has a beneficial effect. To this end I delivered a workshop on 'journaling for wellbeing' during the Sunderland Literature Festival (16.10.19) which was well-received and described as inspiring by more than one participant.

The 'journaling for wellbeing' workshop at the Sunderland Literature Festival on 16th October 2019.

I will provide further details about the workshop in my next blog, but in the meantime I'm hosting a follow-up workshop on Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 1.00pm at Hope Street Xchange Building in Sunderland (SR1 3QD). It is free, but if you would like to attend could you contact me please on 07702 728131 or at Refreshments will be provided and there are a few free parking spaces still available, but to access these they must be pre-booked and you'll need to provide me with your car registration number. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you on the 13th November at 1.00pm

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