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Welcome to the latest edition of the Pen to Print e-newsletter. 

Our Sci-Fi / Fantasy month is here!

We are approaching an end to what has been a very busy year for Pen to Print. The team have not stopped working and we are delighted to bring you a host of activities in November.

To start off, we have A.G. Riddle, who will discuss the basics of building a world for science fiction and share some of his best techniques. Award-winning Sci-Fi and Fantasy author, Claire Buss, will host a workshop on how to build your own magic system when writing Fantasy Fiction. Write On! page editor and author, Eithne Cullen, will be joined by Sci-Fi and Fantasy writer, Tony Ballantyne, who will be reading and talking about his latest book, Midway.

In celebration of International Men’s Day 2021 and to help raise awareness, Pen to Print are celebrating this year with, A Gentleman’s Evening of Poetry - Open Mic Night. Guest poets, Karl Nova and H.B. O’Neill are inviting men from all communities, whoever you are and where ever you are from, to come together for an intimate and interactive night, featuring spoken word and poetry, those who identify as another gender or none your are also very welcome too!

We are all about encouraging people to put pen to paper and to discover their creative writing skills, so here is a short course for aspiring writers. If you enjoy reading short fiction or have been tempted to write a story but are unsure where to start, then join writer, Claire Buckle, for three workshops focusing on writing short stories and getting them published.

Check out what other FREE opportunities Pen to Print have to offer, go to and explore!

These are just a few highlights but read on for details and more events and competitions to enjoy!
Lena Smith, Library Project Manager for Pen to Print
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Have you read the latest edition of Write On! Magazine?

Pick up a free copy from your local library or alternatively, click here to view the online versions of Issues 1 to 10.

We showcase new and emerging writers, so if you are a writer, poet or illustrator, Write On! Magazine welcome your submissions. Please email to be connected with our daily editors.


Discover heritage information, poetry and stories true and fictional!

The Pen to Print Digital Storytelling Trail is an ongoing project to record and share stories about Barking and Dagenham. Our first trails can currently be found in Barking Town Centre but they are expanding around the borough rapidly. Using the Street Tag App on your smart phone we are using Augmented Reality (AR) technology to help read, watch or listen to stories new and old.

We have been working closely with our partners to include images, written poems and stories, videos and audio that will inform and entertain.

For full details visit: 

To access the Digital Storytelling Trail firstly download the Street Tag App on your phone or mobile device.

To find out more about Street Tag and its Terms and Conditions please visit
Love Letters to the World - A Year in Postcards Showcase
Monday 8 November, 7pm to 8.30pm

Love Letters to the World has been a creative response to the challenges of isolation during the global pandemic of Covid 19, moving in and out of the different lockdown periods and keeping the faith with the importance of connecting to our communities in creative ways.

Throughout the eighteen months there have been regular writing prompts on social media and every week, a two-hour public workshop was held for people to come and write around the themes of love, community and identity.

Hand-written love poems from this project have been distributed in the outside world, spreading the love, finding their way into the hearts of random strangers. They have adorned trees and railings, benches and fences, across Britain and as far away as the USA and Canada.

Some of the many poets and writers who have participated in this project are now delighted to have been invited to share their work in a different way, and to take part in this special occasion, reading live their Love Letters to the World.

Book your free ticket
Road Stories with Tyler Keevil
Tuesday 9 November, 6.30pm to 7.45pm

Join Tyler Keevil to learn more about stories on the move and why these stories move us.

Tyler Keevil will be joined by Georgina Brown of The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation to discuss the history behind road stories and explore some of the techniques writers use to keep the plot moving along with the characters. Send any questions you have for Tyler in advance to

A road story is a type of plot used in films and novels, in which the hero embarks on a trip and changes and grows over the course of their travels. It is a story that is as much about the journey as it is the resolution.
Book your free ticket
Fantasy Workshop - The Rules of Magic with Claire Buss
Thursday 11 November, 6pm to 8pm

In this workshop from award-winning Sci-Fi and Fantasy Claire Buss, you’ll look at the rules of magic and how you can use them to build your own magic system.

When writing about magic, unfortunately, it’s not all about waving a wand and going abracadabra. There have to be rules and consequences otherwise your magical system won’t be believable. An interesting and innovative magic system is a huge world-building block when writing fantasy and adds so much to your story, your characters and their journey.

Book your free ticket
The Roshaven Books – Humorous Fantasy, including The Rose Thief, winner of the 2019 Raven Award for favourite Scifi/Fantasy novel.
Buy The Roshaven Books
Building a World with A.G. Riddle
Tuesday 16 November, 6.30pm to 7.40pm

A.G. Riddle will share his experience building worlds for Science Fiction novels.

Join A.G. Riddle and Georgina Brown, Manager of The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation to discuss the basics of building a world for science fiction and learn some of the author’s best techniques. Send any questions you have for A.G. Riddle in advance to

Writers build a world every single time they sit down to write. Those worlds are sometimes fictional, and other times embedded in our world, either past or present. While any novel requires world building, it is a greater task for many Science Fiction and Fantasy authors as their worlds are less likely to have recognisable points of reference.

Book your free ticket
Visit Tony Ballantyne's website
A Conversation with Tony Ballantyne and Eithne Cullen
Thursday 18 November, 1pm to 3pm

Join Eithne Cullen in conversation with Sci-Fi and Fantasy writer Tony Ballantyne

Tony Ballantyne has written in a variety of genres during his writing career. He’ll be reading from and talking about Midway, his latest book, described as Literature, Fantasy and Science Fiction coming together in a very personal piece of writing. Tony will lead a writing exercise in the session.

Tony has built a reputation for creating SF novels, Twisted Metal and Blood and Iron, as well as the groundbreaking and surreal fantasy novels Dream London and Dream Paris. So there will be plenty for him to talk about and plenty of variety in this session.

Eithne Cullen was born in Dublin and moved to London when she was six.  She has had poems published in anthologies and magazines and has written two novels: The Ogress of Reading and Never not in my Thoughts and a collection of short stories, Pencils and Other Stories. Her pamphlet, The Smell of Dust was published in September 2021, supported by Pen to Print.

Eithne is a page editor for Write On! Magazine’s weekly Extra page, Thoughtful Tuesdays and was Poet in Residence for Hysteria Writing competition.

Book your free ticket
A Gentleman's Evening of Poetry - Open Mic Night
Friday 19 November, 6.30pm to 8pm

Pen to Print bring you this event in celebration of International Men’s Day 2021

Celebrated around the world, International Men's Day (IMD), is an occasion to recognise boys' and men's achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to country, society, community, neighbourhood, family, marriage, and childcare.

Guest poets, Karl Nova and H.B. O’Neill, are inviting men from all communities, whoever you are and where ever you are from, to come together for an intimate and interactive night, featuring spoken word and poetry.

Bring your favourite poetry works , reading in any form, including Free Verse, Rap or Limerick, encouraging more men to confront their innermost thoughts and feelings.

Suitable for anyone aged 16+ as there may be colourful language!

Visit Karl Nova's website
Visit H.B. O'Neill's website
Book your free ticket
An Introduction to Write On! - What Makes a Magazine?
Tuesday 23 November, 6pm to 7pm

 An Introduction to Making a Magazine. An insight to the process of putting a magazine together and publishing it.

Write On! Magazine, first published in June 2019, is a quarterly magazine published by Pen to Print, encouraging writers from all backgrounds, to contribute and share skills through our creative writing publication.

Madeleine White, Editor of Write On! Magazine, invites you to join this session, an introduction for anyone interested in participating and contributing to Write On! Extra or Write On! Magazine process.

We are in partnership with self published writers, traditionally published authors and industry experts, bringing the best advice, views and contributions to the creative writing world.

If you are unable to join the session, take a look at Write On! Magazine online and feel free to send your submissions to

Book your free ticket
Overview of Grant Writing for Creatives
Wednesday 24 November, 6pm to 8pm

If you’re a writer, artist or musician, did you know that there are funding opportunities from local councils and central government that could be helping you fund your creative project?

But what does grant writing entail?

What is a grant opportunity, and where can you find them?

What do you need to consider when writing a grant?

Through this workshop, lead by professional Bid Writer, Holly King, you will learn how to:

- Submit a winning grant proposal
- Find the right opportunity
- Key aspects to a successful application
- The importance of the review process
- How to gather and utilise resources.

Write On! Associate Editor, Holly King is in charge of Monday Moments

Book your free ticket
Writer’s Introduction to the Publishing World with Scott Pack
Thursday 25 November, 6pm to 8pm

This workshop is everything a new writer needs to now about how the publishing industry works, with lots of trade secrets revealed.

In this two-hour workshop, veteran publisher Scott Pack will explain how the publishing industry operates, so that new and emerging writers can learn how to stand the best chance of succeeding within it.

Scott will cover the life-cycle of a book from Word document to bookshop, explain the workings of the various business models the industry employs, reveal how many copies books actually sell, what they cost to make and how much authors can expect to earn, and also talk a little about the realities of life as an author.

This will be an honest and eye-opening look at the inner workings of the book world, with more than a few trade secrets revealed. It will include a Q&A to address any questions you have about writing, finding an agent or publishing.

Buy Tips from a Publisher
Book your free ticket
Short Story Workshop with Claire Buckle
Tuesday 30 November & 7,14 December, 6pm to 8pm

How to Write Short Stories and Get Published

Do you enjoy reading short fiction?

Have you ever been tempted to write a story but are unsure where to start?

If so, join writer, Claire Buckle, for three workshops focusing on writing short stories and getting them published. There'll be the opportunity to take part in writing exercises, aimed at unlocking your creative potential, and the chance to share the results with the group and receive feedback. 

Claire Buckle is a regular Guest Contributor to Write On! Magazine.

Book your free ticket
The Challenge is to write a novel in a year!

If you have an idea for a novel that you would like to write or have written a book and not sure what the next stage in the process is, this is for you. To enter send in your book idea we will review the entries with industry experts and select for best 10 ideas to be paired with a professional writer as a mentor to work with you to complete your book to get it ready for publication.

Click here For full details and terms and conditions

Pen to Print Speech and Drama Festival

Write and perform a Poem, Monologue or Short Play of no more than 3 mins long as part of our new online Speech and Drama Festival on 25 and 26 March 2022.

The best overall piece of writing and performance by young people aged 7 to 16 years old living or going to school in Barking and Dagenham will be eligible to win the Michael Feld Memorial Award.

Click here For full details and terms and conditions
Poetry and Short Story Competition

Write a Poem in any form but no longer than two A4 pages long or write a Short Story no longer than 2,000 words.

Click here For full details and terms and conditions
Audio Play Competition In partnership with Alternative Stories

First Prize: A fully produced audio drama which will go out as an Alternative Stories podcast edition to their global audience.

Click here For full details and terms and conditions
Digital Photography Competition 

A picture is worth a thousand words, so enter our Digital Photography Competition to tell your story in photo images.

Click here For full details and terms and conditions
For a full listing of the previous winners and runners up or if you would like to read, listen or view the previous Poetry, Short Story and Digital Photography winning entries, please visit our website
Playwriting Classes

Beginners: 3 November 2021, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Advanced: 17 November 2021, 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Lucy Kaufman guides you through all the vital aspects of writing a play, from the initial idea to the finished play on the stage. 

This comprehensive monthly Beginners course over 11 sessions, guides the aspiring playwright through all the basic and most important aspects of playwriting, from generating ideas and creating characters, to structuring a story for the stage. Each workshop explores one or more aspects in depth, including creating conflict and drama, developing themes and message, engaging your audience throughout, how to format a play as a written script, and writing sparkling, purposeful dialogue which leaps off the page.

The monthly Advanced course over 11 sessions delves deeper into each topic, as well as introducing some new and highly relevant concepts for the emerging playwright. The aim of this course is to nurture the writer as well as their work, encouraging individuals to examine their writer identities and experiment outside of their comfort zones by exploring unfamiliar genres and forms.
Book your free ticket
Screenwriting Class

10 November 2021, 6.30pm to 8.30pm

An introduction to the illusion that is the silver screen, guiding you through the fundamental principles of writing a film screenplay.

Writer and former Film Studies teacher Lucy Kaufman examines some of the most important concepts in writing for the screen, encouraging beginner screenwriters to delve into their own human resources in order to create visual stories, scenes, plots and characters that will work well on screen, and will have a powerful emotional impact on a cinema audience.

Introducing basic film language and how to format a screenplay on the page, the workshops combine analysis of film clips and scripted screenplays with practical written exercises and discussion.  With ten monthly sessions aimed at anyone new to Screenwriting, we take participants back to the humble beginnings of Cinema to explore the very essence of what Film is and what it can do.

Book your free ticket
Creative Writing
Creative Writing Classes

Beginners: 6 November 2021, 10.30am to 12.30pm
Advanced: 20 November 2021, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Are you an emerging writer? Do you aspire to be a novelist or short story writer?

If you are just starting to write and need to build up your skills and confidence then this Beginners course is for you, with eleven sessions held monthly. Join Ian Ayris for guidance on your initial approach to writing and developing your ideas. Whether you want to start a new career or want to write for pleasure, kick start your ideas for your novel or prepare your work for entering competitions.

The Advanced course is consists of eleven monthly sessions aimed at previous Pen to Print participants or people who have more experience of creative writing. Join author Ian Ayris to hone your writing, share and give feedback with peers and learn more about refining your writing. This could be ready for publication either as a novel or for submission to magazines or entry into writing competitions.

Book your free ticket
Poetry Class

Beginners: 6 November 2021, 1pm to 3pm

If you are just starting to write poetry and need to build up your skills and confidence then this curse Beginners course is for you. Featuring eleven monthly sessions. Get the basics and have the opportunity to obtain guidance on your initial approach to writing and developing your ideas. Whether you want to write for pleasure or prepare your work for entering poetry competitions.
Book your free ticket
ACE Grant
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