11 December 2017

No Capes!

As this year's Giftmas Blog Tour moves closer to its conclusion (just one more day to go), this is the opportunity to learn of the contributors' unsung heroes.

No Capes! explores what has made Christmas special for many of the writers. In J.S.'s case it was an unexpected visit by the London Ambulance Service.

Read the post in full, here.

9 December 2017

Two Blog Posts for the Price of One

J.S. has volunteered to write two posts for the Giftmas Blog Tour 2017, which is raising funds for the Edmonton Food Bank (that’s Edmonton, Canada if you are reading this in the UK). The link to the fundraiser is here

The second of her two posts, Shining Lights - Part II, has now been published as part of a blog swap on Rhonda Parrish's blog. It includes a seasonal poem from J.S.

Rhonda's guest post, The Opposite of Light, has been published on J.S.'s Goodreads Blog and you can read it for free here. It includes a seasonal piece of flash fiction from Rhonda.

So, two blogs, two creative pieces and all for free (you might even be able to spare a few coppers for the fundraiser??)

7 December 2017

Shining Lights - Part I

J.S. has volunteered to write two posts for the Giftmas Blog Tour 2017, which is raising funds for the Edmonton Food Bank (that’s Edmonton, Canada if you are reading this in the UK). The link to the fundraiser is here

The first of the two posts, Shining Lights - Part I, has now been published on J.S.'s Goodreads Blog and you can read it for free here.

Shining Lights - Part II will be appearing on Rhonda Parrish's blog on 9th December and you will be able to read Rhonda's guest post on J.S.'s Goodreads Blog on the same day.

6 December 2017

Release the Kraken!

J.S. is delighted that her poem "Five Fathoms Down" is featured in the new Lies, Dreaming podcast, Release the Kraken!

You should really listen to the whole podcast (it is excellent), but if you are so eager to hear J.S. reading her poem that you can't wait, you can find her reading around 3.18 minutes in.

Why I Give and What I Celebrate

Giftmas 2017, the blog tour, is up and running.

The posts for 5th and 6th December have allowed contributors to ruminate on why they give to charities and how they actually celebrate the midwinter festival.

So if you want to know why a group of writers, including J.S., are contributing to Giftmas 2017, you can find out here: http://www.rhondaparrish.com/giftmas-2017-why-i-give/

Alternatively (or in addition, if you are so minded) you can find out how they celebrate Chirstmas here: http://www.rhondaparrish.com/giftmas-2017-what-i-celebrate/

Should you feel the urge to donate, you can do so here

2 December 2017

Giftmas Blog Tour 2017

It's December and Christmas is coming.

In honour of the occasion, J.S. Watts is participating in the Giftmas Blog Tour 2017, which is raising funds for charity.

The tour starts on 4th December and concludes on 12th December. In between, there will be posts and raffles and a chance to win prizes, as well as the opportunity to make a donation to this year's charity. J.S.'s first full post of the tour will be published on her Goodreads Blog on 7th December, and on 9th December she will be swapping posts with the tour's founder, Rhonda Parrish

Check back here regularly for further details or keep an eye on J.S.'s Goodreads Blog page.

22 November 2017

A Fix of Fiction in December

J.S.Watts will be reading excerpts from her novel, A Darker Moon.

Other readers include Pete Cardinal Cox and Helen Claire Gould.

2 November 2017

The Hidden and The Divine

A special issue of A New Ulster has just been released. It is called "The Hidden and The Divine" and it showcases female voices writing, emanating from and publishing in Ireland.

It includes two poems by J.S.Watts: "The Effect of Moonlight on the Human Voice" and a previously unpublished poem, "Woollens".

You can read both of them, along with all the other wonderful writing in the magazine, by clicking here

The writers featured in the issue are:

Mary McGonagle Johnson,                           Trish Bennett
Lynda Tavakoli,                                             Shelley Tracey
Orflaith Foyle,                                               Orla Mcalinden
Seanin Hughes,                                            Cathy Donelan
J.S. Watts,                                                    Morna Sullivan
Therese Kieran,                                            Jenny Methven
Beverly M. Collins,                                        Liz Quirke
Fiona Perry,                                                  Frances Browner
Vicki Mullan,                                                 Ellie Rose McKee
Eileen Sheehan,                                           Margaret O'Driscoll
Chris Murray,                                                Moyra Donaldson
Maeve McGarrity,                                         Amy Barry
Gaynor Kane,                                               Eithne Lannon
Yvonne Boyle,                                              Margaret Saine
Anne Mcmaster,                                           Csilla Toldy

24 October 2017

Crossing The Line Crosses The Line

Volume 6 of Ink Stains, as guest edited by J.S.Watts, has crossed the line and got itself published.

It has already picked up some grand four and five star reviews:

A great set of stories

A really good read

Wow this was fun

And now you can pick it up in paperback or as an ebook:

Amazon.com - Kindle version

Amazon.com - Paperback

Amazon.co.uk - Kindle Version

Amazon.co.uk - Paperback

In life, we draw many lines — between good and evil, guilt and innocence, real and unreal, life and death.

And having drawn these lines, we cross them because humanity is curious, careless, devious, and, sometimes, downright wicked.

So what happens if you cross the line? Does it change you and what is waiting on the other side?

In Ink Stains, Volume 6, ten authors explore what it means to cross the line and the price we pay to do it.

This is a collection of short stories that range from fantasy through science fiction to horror and from the fantastical to the grit of day to day life. Join writers Monica Carter, George Kelly, Alison Garsha, Ken Goldman, Elana Gomel, Christopher Locke, Morrison, Thomas Olbert, Evan Purcell, and Nicole Tanquary as they step over the line to find what waits on the other side.

Sawbo Writers' - November Event

23 October 2017

Honourable Mentions

J.S. is exceedingly chuffed to have had a poem shortlisted in this year's Bridport Poetry Prize and a poetry pamphlet long listed in this year's Overton Poetry Prize.

Of the Overton pamphlet, the judges said, "The level of observation and description is intense and focussed."

11 October 2017

Frogmore at Ninety

The 90th edition of The Frogmore Papers (Autumn 2017) is a very fine object. It also contains a brand new poem by J.S.Watts, "Maybe Almost Winter".

2 October 2017

Essex Poetry Festival 2017

This Wednesday, 4th October, as part of Essex Poetry Festival, come and hear Katy-Evans Bush and J.S. Watts read from their poetry collections.

Southend Poetry Group
Naval and Military Club, 20 Royal Terrace, Southend-on-Sea, Essex. SS1 1DU

Wednesday 4th October at 8pm
£2 admission

Cover Reveal - Ink Stains Vol. 6 Crossing The Line

Guest edited by J.S. Watts and due out from Vagabondage Press (Dark Alley Press Imprint) on 24th October 2017

22 September 2017

White Noise and Ouija Boards

To celebrate the first day of autumn and the slide towards the waiting October darkness of Samhain, Three Drops Press has published its ghostly anthology, White Noise and Ouija Boards.

Amongst the very many fine stories and poems that haunt its pages, you can find The House That Silence Built, a dark new poem by J.S.Watts.

Be excited and a little scared.

To buy your copy in time for Halloween click here

11 September 2017

Fiction in Peterborough

J.S. Watts is one of the guest readers at October's Fiction Fix. Come and hear her read from her acclaimed novel, Witchlight.

29 August 2017

An Evening in a Brewery

photo by Cathy Pyle
On Tuesday, 26th September J.S.Watts will be giving a talk and reading from her current books in Cirencester. The event is Writers in The Brewery and, most excitingly, the event will be taking place in a brewery (albeit a converted one).

Writers in the Brewery is a ‘pop-in’ social session for everyone who is interested in writing. Poets, fiction writers, biographers and non-fiction writers – all are welcome.

There is a guest speaker/performer each month: an author, publisher, poet, journalist, musician or groups, who share their work and entertain. J.S.Watts is September's guest speaker/ performer. There is also an open ‘mic’ each evening for anyone to read and share their work.

It is an opportunity to meet like-minded people, learn about groups, competitions, classes and workshops and a chance to showcase your own work if you want to. So come along to share your work or just sit back, sip your drink and listen to J.S. read from her books and talk about her work.

22 August 2017

Morpheus Tales Supplement - August 2017

The latest issue of the Morpheus Tales review supplement is out and FREE to read. It contains three reviews by J.S.Watts and is worth reading if only to see why she disagrees with editor Stanley Riiks on the various adventures of Rupert Wong, cannibal chef.

You can read the supplement here

21 August 2017

August's Poetry Gig at The Draper's

This coming Sunday, 27th August at The Draper's Arms, Peterborough:

The Draper's Arms is 29 - 31 Cowgate, Peterborough, PE1 1LZ.         Come listen. Come read.

16 August 2017

Announcement from Dark Alley Press

Dark Alley Press have just made the following announcement:

"We are proud to announce that Vagabondage Press author J.S.Watts is the guest editor for the next edition of Ink Stains! J.S. is the author of two VBP books: A Darker Moon and Witchlight. Check out her website and be on the look out for more information about Ink Stains Volume 6, which will be out in print and digital versions on October 24th 2017."

Volume 6 is sub-titled "Crossing The Line". More details to follow before the 24th...

10 July 2017

Open Book Timings

The first ever Open Book event, a one-day literary extravaganza featuring top names from the world of words, is taking place in Hitchin, Hertfordshire on Saturday, 29th July.

The times for specific Open Book events have now been published and can be found here.

If you are hoping to attend the creative writing workshop being run by J.S.Watts or listen to the interactive poetry reading she will be giving with fellow poet Rowena M. Love, these are the times you need to know:

Creative Writing Workshop, Writing With Your Senses: 3pm - 4pm

Poetry Reading, Chalk and Cheese: 5pm - 6pm

Hope to see you there!

30 June 2017

Open Book 2017 - Books, Beers and Banter

July is almost upon us, and July sees the return of the annual Hitchin festival.

As part of the festival there is a rather exciting first: the first ever Open Book event, a one-day literary extravaganza featuring top names from the world of words including:

  • London literary agent Ella Kahn, “How to hook an agent”
  • Best-selling author Allan Esler Smith, “Can you retire early, rich and happy?”
  • Renowned speaker Terry Gillen, “Unlock the more confident you”
  • Award winning poet and novelist J.S.Watts, running both a creative writing workshop, "Writing With Your Senses" and a joint, interactive poetry event with poet Rowena M. Love, "Chalk and Cheese".

Plus there will be historical talks from Dr J. D. Davies, Hugh Bicheno and royals expert Jane Dismore, workshops, publishing advice, poetry readings, cake icing demonstrations, fascinating family research tips and murder - how one man made his living from it!

Come and join the writers as we share our passion for books! On-site beer and wine tent, BBQ, book signings and banter with the authors!

For more info on the writers, who will be attending the event and which 'zone' they will be in click here

All day tickets £4. Under 16's FREE

Buy tickets here

20 June 2017

Stem Cells and Poetry

Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute is hosting a special
event: Stem Cell Culture

Thursday 29 June , 6.30 - 8.30pm at Michaelhouse, Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1SU. Admission is FREE.

Join them to mark the finale of the art and stem cell exhibition with an evening of stem-cell inspired performance poetry, including a brand new poem from J.S.Watts and equally shiny new poems from some of Cambridge's stellar performance poets.

9 June 2017

A Rare Chance To Hear The Songs Of Steelyard Sue

As part of the 2017 In Other Words alternative literary fringe festival, J.S. Watts will be giving a performed reading of Songs of Steelyard Sue on Saturday, 17th June.

This will be a rare opportunity to hear J.S.Watts perform the entirety of her award-nominated (Saboteur Awards 2013 and SFPA Elgin Awards 2013) SF poetry sequence, Songs of Steelyard Sue.

Scratching out an existence on a world humanity has trashed and left to rust, Steelyard Sue is a future everyman (or, to be precise, a future-world every mechanoid female) trying to make a place for herself. Expect humour, pathos and robots.

“Funny and sad, these poems are a real achievement” – Handshake

“There’s nothing mechanical about J. S. Watts’ poetry. It has heart and soul, and it sings” – Science Fiction Poetry Association

“poetic parables filled with pathos and wit… the verve and imagination of Watts’s Songs make this pamphlet unique.” Cameron Brady-Turner for Sabotage Reviews

The performance will take place in the basement of the CB2 Bistro, 5 -7 Norfolk Street Cambridge, CB1 2LD, on Saturday, 17th June, starting at 4.25pm and finishing around 5.10pm. Entry is free, but a collection will be taken at the end of the reading. Click here for further details and information about In Other Words

7 June 2017

Another One That Almost Escaped!

J.S. is very chuffed to find that she has a poem in the latest issue of Acumen (issue 88, May 2017). She hasn't received a copy of the magazine yet, but she's guessing the poem is "I am not yet ready to be bird".

If you have seen May's Acumen and therefore know if J.S.'s guess is correct, do let her know.

3 June 2017

One That Almost Escaped

Weirdbook #35 is now available and we hadn't noticed, which is a shame as it has a stellar line up, including a brand new short story by J.S.Watts, "In The Shadows".

The full line up is as follows:

The Pullulations of the Tribe, by Adrian Cole
The Dead of Night, by Christian Riley
Mother of My Children, by Bruce L. Priddy
The Man Who Murders Happiness, by John R. Fultz
A Handful of Dust, by Tom English
Revolution à l’Orange, by Paul Lubaczewski
Fiends of the Southern Plains, by Patrick Tumblety
The Pyrrhic Crusade, by Stanley B. Webb
The Migration of Memories, by Charles Wilkinson
Maquettes, by Paul St John Mackintosh
In the Shadows, by J.S. Watts
“The Spot,” by C.R. Langille
Schism in the Sky, by Donald McCarthy
To Roam the Universe, Forgotten and Free, by Janet Harriett
Rejuvenate, by Lily Luchesi
Vigil Night, by Lorenzo Crescentini
Dead Clowns for Christmas, by L.J. Dopp
The Tale and the Teller, by Darrell Schweitzer

Plus poetry by K.A. Opperman, Frederick J. Mayer, James Matthew Byers, and Jessica Amanda Salmonson

For further details see here     

2 June 2017

Wild Strawberries at Strawberry Fair 2017

J.S.Watts will be performing poems and stories on the Wild Strawberries Stage, TOMORROW, at Cambridge's very own Strawberry Fair.

You'll find the Wild Strawberries Stage in the Eastern Bloco section of the Fair. You'll find J.S. on stage at 14.55, tomorrow, Saturday 3rd June.

Hope To See You There!

31 May 2017

Algebra of Owls - Quarterly Anthology

Happy Birthday to Algebra of Owls, who are now one year old! Don't owlets grow up fast?

They also have a new quarterly anthology out, including poems by J.S. Watts. Further details are available here.

24 May 2017

Sawbo Writers' Club - June Meeting

J.S.Watts is back this coming month at the Sawbo Writers' Club, leading a session on the passage of time. Wednesday, 7th June at 7.30pm.

23 May 2017

The Fairy Feller's Farewell

A new fantasy poem from J.S.Watts via the increasingly awesome Strange Fictions Zine - "The Fairy Feller's Farewell", written with the painter Richard Dadd in mind. 

You can read it for free here.

22 May 2017

In Other Words Anthology #2 - The Launch

J.S. Watts is delighted that her short fairy tale, Across The Bridge, has been included in this year's In Other Words Anthology (along with one of her photographs).

She is equally delighted to be helping to launch the anthology by reading Across The Bridge live at the public launch, which is taking place at the CUC Winebar, The University Centre, Granta Place, Cambridge, CB2 1RU from 7pm until 9pm on Sunday 28th May.

In Other Words Literary Fringe Festival take place this year in venues around Cambridge across 16th, 17th and 18th June

18 May 2017

Lots in the Pipeline for June

There's lots happening in June...

Check back here and on this website's Events Page for further details as they emerge over the next month or so.

10 May 2017


J.S.Watts is delighted that her fenland based poem, "Borderland", has been published in Issue 176 (June 2017) of Envoi, which is celebrating its 60th year in print.

For further details see Envoi at Cinammon Press.

25 April 2017

Hyper-Jump Blues

A new SF poem from J.S.Watts via the awesome Strange Fictions Zine - "Hyper-Jump Blues". You can read it for free here

22 April 2017

Fenland Reed - Borders and Bridges

The Spring 2017 issue (issue 4) of The Fenland Reed is now out there and you can buy your copy direct from the magazine's website

This is a themed issue on the very relevant topic of 'borders and bridges' with poetry and prose by many fine writers including (but not limited to):

Zeina Hashem Beck
Penny Boxall
Gram Joel Davis
Roger Elkin
Marion Leeper "Bard of Cambridge"
Hans Sahl

J.S.'s contribution is a new poem on the subject of "Cambridge".

20 April 2017

Sawbo Writers' Club - now with added J.S.Watts

Following her visit to The Sawbo Writers' Club as a special guest back in February, J.S. will be making more regular visits to the club from May onwards, starting with the 10th May meeting.

11 April 2017

Late Night Up In The Laboratory

A new SF poem by J.S.Watts has just emerged from Strange Fictions SciFi and Fantasy 'Zine. It's titled "Late Night Up in The Laboratory" and you can read it for free here

16 March 2017

Three poets, Three Interviews

This month, South Florida Poetry Journal interviews J.S.Watts as one of its three March poets. The other two poets are: Norman "Buzz" Minnick and J.Tarwood.

You can read the interviews here

15 March 2017

Small Words

J.S. is doubly delighted that the rather fine Algebra of Owls have chosen to publish a second new poem by her, "Small Words".

You can read it for free, as well as the other fine poems available on the site (including J.S.'s poem 'Baking a Muffin Morning'), by clicking here.

8 March 2017

Telling It... Springs Forward

J.S.Watts will be performing it at Telling It ... Springs Forward in St. Ives this month.

25 February 2017

Location, location, location

J.S.Watts is delighted to have four of her poems on the map for Poems about Places - Poetry Atlas : three UK locations - Bassingbourn (Cambridgeshire), Branscombe (Devon) and Much Hadham (Hertfordshire) and one in the South of France - Nezignan L'Eveque (Languedoc). Check them out here and see if your favourite place has had a poem written about it. http://www.poetryatlas.com

Henry Moore Sculpture at Much Hadham, Hertfordshire

21 February 2017

Dark Review

J.S.Watts reviews "The Wolf in The Attic" in this month's Morpheus Tales Review Supplement. Read what she has to say about the Oxford-based novel by clicking here.

18 February 2017

Folk All Dayer

Including a poetry reading by J.S.Watts at approximately 6.15pm, plus performances by other fine poets (and musicians too, of course).

9 February 2017

Baking A Muffin Morning

J.S. is delighted that her poem, 'Baking a Muffin Morning' has just been published by the rather fine Algebra of Owls.

You can read it for free, as well as the other fine poems available on the site, by clicking here.

Go on. It'll be a hoot! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist it.)

8 February 2017

6 February 2017

STOP PRESS! Sawbo Writers' Club Special Guest

There’s a special guest-tutor at this week’s February meeting of the Sawbo Writers’ Club.

Normal host Emma has a bad case of laryngitis and can’t make it this Wednesday, but J.S.Watts has agreed to step into the breech at the last minute and take over the meeting for this one night. Somewhat ironically, given Emma’s condition, she will be discussing ‘Voice’ (in all its various meanings).

The meeting is taking place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 8th February at Sawbridge Words Bookshop, 47 Bell Street, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire (opposite the Café of Angels).

£10 for the session (or £5 for the unwaged )
For further information contact Neville on 01279 248336 or sawbridgewords@gmail.com

4 February 2017

Folk is Slack in February

SlackFolk is taking place on Saturday 11th February between 2.00 pm and 4.15 pm, at the Piatto Café, 17-19 Priory Walk, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1LG, at the corner of Queen Street and the Priory Walk pedestrian precinct. Entry is Free. Coffee, tea and food are available at commercial prices. 

February's SlackFolk session will feature music from Yael Bebb - a folk singer who performs a mixture of traditional folk from the British Isles and beyond on accordion and whistles; Trevor Attwater - a gifted singer and acoustic guitarist from Romford, who sings blues and traditional and contemporary folk interspersed with pop; Elaine Watson - a solo set from a gifted guitarist with a beautiful voice; Violet’s Bunch - Denise, Brenda and Alan with their own special blend of folk, pop and jazz; plus poetry from J. S. Watts - the Cambridge poet and author reading from her own works. 

For more information, contact info.slackfolk@gmail.com

23 January 2017

A Wonderful Tale on Plastic

Issue 17 of Three Minute Plastic is now online. It contains, amongst other pieces, a flash story by J.S.Watts, which you do not want to miss. Oh my paws and whiskers, no you do not!

So click here to read J.S.'s "Snapshoot Down The Rabbit Hole".

10 January 2017

Ouse Muse

Just a little reminder that J.S.Watts is the guest reader at Ouse Muse on Wednesday, 25th January. And, of course, there's Open Mic.

5 January 2017

Guest Editor - Ink Stains Anthology

J.S.Watts is extremely excited to announce that she will be guest editing the October 2017 edition of the dark fiction Ink Stains anthology series (followed by some rather awesome author/ guest editors in January, April and October 2018, including Kristi Petersen Schoonover and Tamela J. Ritter).

For further details about the anthology series, which is published by Dark Alley Press, see http://www.darkalleypress.com/inkstainsanthology/

3 January 2017

New Year's Wishes and Future Events for 2017

Happy 2017 to you all! May it be peaceful and productive.    

Over on the Events Page of this website, I'm starting the process of listing events, readings and workshops for 2017. My first reading of the year will be at Ouse Muse in Bedford on Wednesday, 25th January. It would be great to see you there.

If you can't make Bedford, however, no worries. Keep checking back to the Events Page. New events will be added as the New Year unfurls.