J.S.Watts, whilst not known for being of a scientific persuasion, has girded her loins and written a guest post for the wonderfully prolific popular science author, Brian Clegg. In his blog, "Now Appearing", J.S. explores her experiences of Mental Health in the UK and shares some personal thoughts on the subject of religious delusion as experienced by some people with severe mental health issues.
"Glass Cases and Curios", an anthology of poetry and artwork inspired by museums throughout eastern England, was launched on 5th December at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge. It contains artwork and fifteen poems, including "At The Courtauld" by J.S.Watts.
Here are some photographs of the wonderfully atmospheric launch. In case there is any doubt, some photos are of poets performing their work, others are of museum exhibits.:
J.S.Watts reading "At The Courtauld"
Pete "Cardinal" Cox
With thanks to Karen Harvey for six of the above performance photographs. You can order your copy of Glass Cases and Curios by contacting Karen Harvey on info(at) karen-harvey.co.uk at a cost of £4.00 (plus 80p post and packing) Payment via cheque or postal order.
"Have you noticed how often writers write about writing? I
don’t just mean blog posts or diaries and autobiographies, but also creative
writing: stories, poetry and novels that deal with or touch upon the craft of
writing. Because we do, you know, spend a lot of time writing about writing
and, yes, the fact that I’m a writer writing about writers writing about
writing is not lost on me.
So why do we do it – write about writing, that is?"
If you are interested in J.S.Watts' answers to this question, you might want to check out today's guest post on The Writers Vineyard blog. In it she talks about why writers write and, especially, why writers just love to write about writing. That's a whole load of writing!
J.S. would like to thank The Writers Vineyard for generously hosting her post "Writers Writing About Writing".
J.S.Watts has written a guest post for the US book website Slashed Reads. Appositely, the post touches upon the complexities and contrasting colours of UK and US English and the issues arising from the words-without-borders approach of international blogging.
"Two nations divided by a common language" or an increasingly mid-Atlantic linguistic coming together? Read J.S.'s guest post to find out. Click here to read on.
Today, J.S.Watts has the honour of having a guest post published on The End of The Pier Show blog, hosted by Cromercrox, also known as Mr. Henry Gee, acclaimed writer of both science and science fiction books, the most recent of which, I believe, is "The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution", published on 21 October 2013 from the University of Chicago Press.
After that extremely long opening sentence, you may be surprised to learn that the blog post in question is all about the need for brevity in blogging! To read the post and check out The End of The Pier Show blog just click on Blogging Briefly: a guest post from J.S.Watts
I know it's only November, but have you started getting ready for Christmas yet? Selected the turkey? Made the mincemeat? Baked the Christmas Cake? Bought all the presents? Well, well done you if you have, but if you're still struggling with what to get people for Christmas, or if you haven't even started thinking about Christmas yet, please bear in mind that a book makes a wonderful Christmas present.
You don't have to buy any of J.S.Watts' books (though she would be extremely gratified if you did), but the best way to support a writer is to buy their books.
If nothing here takes your fancy, go buy someone else's book, but do go and buy
at least one this festive season - make a writer happy this Christmas.
This Saturday, 9th November, there's going to be an experimental evening of arts at the ancient Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road, Cambridge.
Created by the Shindig team, this is going to be an evening of art and story telling in Cambridge's allegedly most haunted building.
There will be art by Blanche Laviale and Naomi Jones-Morris, film, music, story telling and poetry. Amongst the many talented performers on the night, J.S.Watts will be reading some of her darker stories and poems.
The event starts at 8pm and is FREE.
This could well be a night to remember. Don't miss out.
There's lots of stuff taking place between now and Christmas. J.S.Watts will be doing a variety of poetry readings to welcome in the season's festivities and raise funds for some very good causes. Check back here for further updates and keep an eye on this website's Events Page where you can already find details of December's poetry and folk music fundraiser for Bury St. Edmund's Holocaust Garden Memorial Fund.
J.S. will also be writing guest posts for the writerly The Writer's Vineyard blog and the cerebral and scientific Now Appearing , the blog of the talented and prolific science author Brian Clegg (did you know he's even been the answer to a University Challenge question?). J.S.'s guest post for The Writer's Vineyard will be published on 1st December. The date for the Now Appearing guest post will be confirmed shortly.
Further updates will be provided on this website in the run up to Christmas. So, do keep checking back.
It's October already and that means it will soon be time for Samhain, All Hallows' Eve, Halloween. Three different names (depending on your belief system), but just one dark night when the veil between existences grows thin and the dead walk alongside the living for a few precious hours, but who knows what else might cross over with our dear departed? Who knows what else may already be here living among us and what exactly do you mean by "us" or "I", come to that?
If your idea of a good Halloween is to curl up with a dark and disturbing story, this may be just the right time to order your copy of A Darker Moon, the dark-fiction novel by J.S.Watts.
A Darker Moon is a dark, psychological fantasy. A mythical tale of light and shadow and the unlit places where it is best not to shine even the dimmest light. Reviewers have described it as:
"a powerful first novel" "very thought-provoking" "a wonderfully poetic novel, as well as a great read" "a seductive book" "a version of the oldest story. The story of what defines human lives in the overwhelming order of creation"
The novel is available in paperback and e-book format in both the UK and the US from a diverse range of outlets including Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
So what are you going to be reading this Halloween?
Whilst you are contemplating the evocation of place in poetry in time for J.S.Watts' location-setting workshop for Royston Arts Festival on Saturday, 28th September, you may also like to think about love and romance and their role in poetry (or at least, western, English language poetry).
What better way to do this than read J.S.Watts' blog post on the topic, which was written for the blog page of the wonderful romantic novelist, Ute Carbone. There's Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Tennyson and Dorothy Parker to name drop just a few of the poets who feature. It's sweet. It's bitter. Go on, read it. You know you want to...
Having published books of both poetry and fiction, J.S.Watts was delighted to be asked to write a guest post for the American writer P.D. Pabst's blog on the subject of both poetry and prose.
If you're interested in the answers to questions such as “Which do you prefer writing, poetry or prose?” and “Don’t you find it a problem switching between poetry and fiction?” then you should follow this link to pdpabst and read the blog post.
If you are looking for updates about individual poems, short stories and reviews written by J.S.Watts as soon as they are published (and who doesn't like to read stuff that's hot off the press?), the best place to go is J.S.'s Facebook Page. Newly published poems, short stories, flash fiction and reviews are announced there and links provided to the relevant web page(s).
For example, issue 12 of Bete Noire has just been released containing a new dark poem by J.S. This was announced on her Facebook page and a link provided to the magazine's website, but okay, as you're already reading this, you can have the link here too: Bete Noire Magazine You'll have to buy a copy of the zine if you want to read the poem, "Down at the Bottom of the Garden", but J.S.'s work can often be read for free and you'll find links to free publications on her Facebook page.
Alternatively, you can always check out the Acknowledgements Page of this website, which lists most (if not all) of the publications that have taken J.S.Watts' work and, in many cases, provides links to the publication and the published piece (where this is freely available).
J.S.Watts has read and performed her poetry at festivals and events across the UK including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. To find out where's she's reading next, check out the Events page of this website.
You can also watch brief video recordings of some of her readings by clicking on the following links:
The wonderful Bardic Picnic is taking place next Sunday, 4th August in Delapre Abbey, Northampton starting at 12 noon. There's going to be poetry, music, story-telling and picnics and (fingers crossed) lots of sunshine and it's FREE.
J.S.Watts will be performing, but she will only be one among many and the many are glorious.The Antipoet will be there, fresh from their Glastonbury triumph and Richard Frost (Bard of Stony Stratford) and Joolz Denby and.... you can read it for yourself below and on the Bardic Picnic website.
If you want to read your own poetry there are open mic opportunities. Hope to see you there!
J.S.Watts will be in the chat room on Wednesday afternoon's Sue Dougan Show, along with Roxanne Pitteway, chatting about the day's hot topic. Listen to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire around 2pm on Wednesday to hear what she has to say.
Bedford Fringe Festival is taking place from 12th July to 3rd August this year. There are a multiplicity of amazing events including drama, film, music, dance, comedy and poetry.
On Saturday 27th July between 11.20 -11.35am on the Lady K's Stage in Silver Street, Bedford, J.S.Watts will be entertaining the passing public and gathered audience with her poetry. It's a totally FREE event, so if you're in the area, come on by.
Later the same day, between 12 noon and 2.00pm in Bedford Library, J.S. will be one of a number of poets, including Bedford poet Ian McEwan, reading their poetry in the round - another FREE event that you won't want to miss.
Looking forward to seeing you at Bedford Fringe Festival this year!
The nature poetry anthology, Words for Wide Skies, is being launched at WWT Welney on Friday, 21st June. It contains poems by J.S.Watts, Elaine Ewart, Leanne Moden and Cardinal Cox amongst others. Most importantly, it is being sold to raise money for the conservation work taking place at WWT Welney.
You can read more about it at Flightfeather, former Fenland Poet Laureate, Elaine Ewart's blog.
Blogging hasn’t come naturally to me. This website may be
hosted by Blogger, but it’s first and foremost a static website, rather than a
chatty blog. My posts tend to be brief news items and updates, not opinion
pieces or diary entries. Until 9th June 2011 I had never
actually written a real blog post.
My first post, written for a writers’ online colony that I
belong to, actually focussed on my blogging virginity and the losing of it. It
was fun. I enjoyed writing it, but it didn’t exactly unleash a torrential flow
of pent-up blogs.
It was a month until I managed another post. In fact,
spurred on by an imminent trip to the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival to read
some of my poetry, I managed two posts in July and one in August. Then my usual
blogging lethargy returned and I didn’t write another post until December.
Almost a year later and by the beginning of October 2012, I
had written the grand total of just six blog posts. That’s less than one piece
every two months. I clearly wasn’t at risk of writer’s cramp, or its modern
equivalent, RSI, when it came to blogging. So what was the problem?
Obviously, it’s not that I don’t like writing. I’m a poet
and author; it’s what I do. I love writing, but blogging somehow worried me. It
seemed to require an opinion, something factual to comment on and I didn’t
think I had that much to say that would interest readers in the Blogverse.
Plus, with so many blogs already out there, why write even more?
I was happy writing book reviews for various literary and
genre magazines. There were my poems, poetry books and short stories and a
brand new novel. I wasn’t exactly short of things to write and publish.
Blogging was a worry I didn’t need.
It was the novel that finally propelled me into the world of
blogging: the novel and its publisher, Vagabondage Press. Thanks guys…
To read the full version and conclusion of this guest post on the Battered Suitcase Press blogsite click here
This month, author Jennifer Bogart is blogging on the subject of book covers and has asked all her guest bloggers to do the same.
Today, it's the turn of J.S.Watts, who has written about the impact of book covers on both reader and author. She also explores the thinking behind the striking cover of her novel, A Darker Moon.
Read what J.S. has to say here.
With thanks to Pete Cardinal Cox, who's always in the know (you really should check out his poetry blogs), "Steelyard Sue Builds a Baby", from J.S.Watts' poetry pamphlet Songs of Steelyard Sue, has made it through to the short list for the Data Dump "Best SF Poem of the Year" Award.
J.S.Watts' poetry pamphlet Songs of Steelyard Sue has scored a hat-trick of award nominations this year, including two for best poetry pamphlet: SFPA Best Poetry Pamphlet Award 2013 and The 2013 Saboteur Awards: Best Poetry Pamphlet. The 2013 Saboteur Awards are voted for by you, the readers and appreciators of poetry. Voting for the 2013 shortlist, including for Songs of Steelyard Sue as best poetry pamphlet, is taking place NOW. If you haven't yet voted for Songs of Steelyard Sue, or any other of the fantastic nominees who are up for a Saboteur Award this year, you can remedy this by VOTING HERE up until midnight on 1st May 2013, which is when voting closes. Voting has allegedly been quite close, so your vote does count.
Winners will be announced on 29th May at the Book Club, London. It’s going to be a big celebration of indie lit in all its glory and it would be great if you could attend. There’ll also be performances by award winners, a mini-book fair, music from LiTTLe MACHINe and a critique booth for your own writing. Regardless of voting outcomes, J.S.Watts will be there and she will be womanning a book-fair stall with Fay Roberts, who is one of the extremely talented nominees for Best Poetry Performer. Fay runs Allographic Press and will be selling its books, magazines and other publications alongside J.S.Watts' books. So if you are in London on the night, why not come along and soak up the indie lit vibe?
There is an interview with J.S.Watts on the Dan O'Brien Project. Read it to find out what J.S.'s favourite fruit is, whether or not she has ever found true love and what projects she is working on currently. She also talks about her novel, A Darker Moon and the occupational hazards of being a novelist.
Another singing review for J.S.Watts' acclaimed poetry pamphlet, Songs of Steelyard Sue.
Cameron Brady-Turner reviews Songs of Steelyard Sue for Sabotage Reviews calling the poems a "clutch of poetic parables filled with pathos and wit" and going on to say that "the verve and imagination of Watts’s Songs make this pamphlet unique".
It's a generous and erudite review and you can read it in its entirety here .
If you want to pick the pamphlet up for yourself, as Brady-Turner recommends, then you can do so here.
If you want to vote for Songs of Steelyard Sue as Best Poetry Pamphlet in the 2013 Sabotage Awards then you can do so up until 1st May by clicking here.
April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets
everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary
journey, the author Jennifer Bogart will be posting poetry on her blog each day for the month of April. Today it's the turn of J.S.Watts. Three of her poems (with accompanying photographs) can be read by clicking here One of the three poems posted is "The Making of Steelyard Sue" from J.S.Watts' acclaimed poetry pamphlet Songs of Steelyard Sue. So if you want to get a feel for why Songs of Steelyard Sue is up for a hat-trick of awards nominations be sure to check it out and then keep checking back to Jennifer's blog to read all the other wonderful poems she is going to be posting this month.
First,"Steelyard Sue Builds a Baby", from J.S.Watts' poetry pamphlet, was long-listed for the Data Dump "Best SF Poem of the Year" Award. Second, Songs of Steelyard Sue was nominated for the 2013 Elgin Award for best SF poetry chapbook. Now, Songs of Steelyard Sue is one of five poetry pamphlets shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards 2013 Best Poetry Pamphlet.
Steelyard Sue is singing and we are singing with her!
The 2013 Saboteur Awards are voted for by the reading public. If you want to vote for Songs of Steelyard Sue or any of the other wonderful nominees, you can do so up until midnight on 1st May by going to the Saboteur website and voting here
If you want to buy a copy of Songs of Steelyard Sue you can do so at Amazon UK or from this website or direct from Lapwing Publications.
Did you miss J.S.Watts being interviewed by the awesome Kristi Petersen Schoonover on the last ever Scary Scribes broadcast? Would you like to listen to the first two chapters of A Darker Moon being read by Kristi? Do you want to hear J.S.Watts talking about A Darker Moon, her poetry and her writing in general? Do you want to get the inside scoop on J.S.Watts' next novel?
If you answered yes to even just one of these questions, you should listen to this in depth interview with J.S.Watts on Scary Scribes.
Songs of Steelyard Sue by J.S.Wattsis one of the poetry chapbooks nominated for the 2013 Elgin Award.
The Elgin Awards, named for Science Fiction Poetry Association founder Suzette Haden Elgin, are presented annually by the SFPA for books published in the preceding year. There are two categories, Chapbook and Book.
Books are nominated by members of the SFPA, who may not nominate their own books, but may nominate multiple books, and the books need not be by members in order to be nominated or to win. J.S.Watts is not a member of the SFPA, but is delighted that Songs of Steelyard Sue is a candidate for this award. A list of nominated books is posted on the SFPA website.
The nominations' deadline is May 1; the voting deadline is July 1. Winners will be announced on July 15 and the awards will be presented at WorldCon (LoneStarCon 3, San Antonio, TX, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2013), with the Rhysling awards.
We have been reliably informed by those in the know that the poem "Steelyard Sue Builds a Baby", from J.S.Watts' poetry pamphlet "Songs of Steelyard Sue", has been longlisted for the Data Dump "Best SF Poem of the Year" Award.
This is gratifying news and we are gratified by it. Thank you Data Dump.
Hoping to get your work published? Getting published is an art, not a science.
J.S.Watts has had three books published and has been poetry editor and poetry reviews editor for two magazines, so knows all about rejection from both sides of the fence. She will be talking about her experiences, and sharing the lessons learned, at an Allographic workshop on Sunday 24th March at 3pm at The Fountain, Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1DW.
As far as practicable, the workshop will be customised to the needs of those attending, so whether you want to publish your first short story, a single poem, a collection of poems or a full-length novel, this could well be the workshop for you. Book early here to be sure of your place.
January seems to be the month for interviews. If you look through the previous posts on this page, you'll find that J.S.Watts has already done two interviews which have appeared in written blogs this month. Now it's the turn of talk radio.
If you're into the legal complexities of writing and publishing, Radio Litopia's latest "The Debriefer" podcast, "Lance The Boil" is worth a listen and if you listen all the way to the end you'll find J.S.Watts talking about "A Darker Moon" with Radio Litopia's Peter Cox.
Niteblade Horror and Fantasy Magazine has also interviewed J.S.Watts this month (see the previous post for J.S.'s interview with Battered Suitcase Press).
Niteblade was keen to know about J.S.'s work as a poet, her attraction to speculative fiction and the inside story on her poem "Lycanthropist", which was previously published by Niteblade. Her new novel, "A Darker Moon", also gets a mention.
If you want to read the full Niteblade interview, click here.
Also, check back here over the next day or two for news of further January interviews.