7 December 2019

Mslexia #84 - The Undertaker's Daughter

I'm delighted to have a poem (The Undertaker's Daughter) in issue 84 of Mslexia, as one of the runners up in the Mslexia/PBS Poetry Competition 2019. The magazine is out later this month.

20 November 2019

Things I Wish I'd Known: Writing is Not As Sedentary An Activity As You Might Think

J.S. has embarked on a series of, roughly monthly, guest blog posts called "Things I Wish I'd Known". Post number four, "Writing is Not As Sedentary An Activity As You Might Think", is now available to read on the Meier Writers site. You can read it for free by clicking here

Check back here, or direct on the Meier Writers blog, about this time next month (or maybe a wee bit earlier) for the next post in the series - it will have a festive feel to it.

10 November 2019


J.S.Watts has a piece of Sci Fi flash fiction in issue 17 of the Writer's Cafe Magazine, Masks. You can read The Story Teller for free online by clicking here, but you will need to scroll down quite a way to find out whether the tales the story teller tells are real or not.

31 October 2019

Nevermore - Earth to Earth

Just in time for Halloween, Nightingale and Sparrow have brought out their fourth issue, Nevermore. It includes a new, dark, gothic tale by J.S.Watts - Earth to Earth.

"At the end, we all return peacefully to the elements that gave birth to us—unless the element that took us claims us first and for itself alone..."

You can buy the print edition of the magazine, read the online edition or browse the website listing by clicking here

30 October 2019

Listen Again to Poetry Today

If you didn't manage to catch "Poetry Today", the fourth broadcast in the Book Programme series on North Herts Radio, never fear. Just click on the listen again feature at the bottom of the linked page and you can hear J.S. Watts and Rownena M Love talk to Jane Dismore about modern poetry, page poetry v public performance, sources of inspiration and how readers and listeners interact with poems. You can also hear specially recorded readings from some of their own poems and music they've chosen to resonate with them.

Click this link to go to the Book Programme page on North Herts Radio website and then scroll down to the bottom to find the listen again button for Episode Four.

26 October 2019

Poetry Today on North Herts Radio

This coming Sunday at 4pm on North Herts Radio The Book Programme will feature J.S.Watts and Rowena M. Love talking to Jane Dismore about contemporary poetry.

Further details about Sunday's programme and a chance to listen again to the first three broadcasts in the series, including J.S.Watts and Emma Vandore's A Story in the Making, can be found here: https://www.northhertsfm.com/books

23 October 2019

Things I Wish I'd Known: The Future

J.S. has embarked on a series of, roughly, monthly guest blog posts called "Things I Wish I'd Known". Post number three, "The Future", is now available to read on the Meier Writers site. You can read it for free by clicking here

Check back here, or direct on the Meier Writers blog,  about this time next month for the next post in the series.

16 October 2019

Listen Again to A Story in the Making

If you didn't manage to catch "A Story in the Making", the second broadcast in the Book Programme series on North Herts Radio, never fear. Just click on the listen again feature at the bottom of the linked page and you can hear J.S. Watts and Emma Vandore talk to Jane Dismore about writing fiction, creating characters and telling stories. Everyone loves a good story, so listen in to the ones they have to tell.

Click this link to go to the Book Programme page on North Herts Radio website and then scroll down to the bottom to find the listen again button for Episode Two.

11 October 2019

A Story in the Making on North Herts Radio

This coming Sunday on North Herts Radio...

Further details about Sunday's programme and a chance to listen again to the first broadcast in the series can be found here: https://www.northhertsfm.com/books

8 October 2019

What's in a Name?

What's in a Name? Come and join November's Writers' Club meeting to find out, as J.S.Watts explores creating and developing characters from the outside in and the inside out, including the tricky business of naming them.

26 September 2019

The Frogmore Papers #94

Issue 94 of the Frogmore Papers is out and about with a whole host of exciting poets and poems, including the brand new poem Ringed Changes by J.S.Watts and yes, it's a very bright green.

25 September 2019

Things I Wish I'd Known: Getting Rejected

J.S. has embarked on a new series of guest blog posts called "Things I Wish I'd Known". Post number two, "Getting Rejected", is now available to read on the Meier Writers site. You can read it for free by clicking here

From hereon in, posts in the "Things I Wish I'd Known" series will be appearing approximately monthly, so check back here, or on the Meier Writers blog, for the next post round about this time next month.

21 September 2019

October Activities - J.S. in Buntingford

In less than a month's time "Novelist and poet J.S.Watts talks candidly about the journey to becoming a professional writer, with lessons learned and pointers for would-be writers, as well as excerpts from her award winning poetry and fiction."

The event is being held on Saturday, 19th October at Buntingford Library in Buntingford High Street. It will start at 10.30am. Tickets cost £2.00, are bookable in advance and are available online and from the library: https://bit.ly/2lYhmlv and Buntingford Library, 77 High Street, Buntingford, Herts, SG9 9AE

Time willing, J.S. will read an excerpt from each of her published books and may share news about her forthcoming novel, Old Light.


18 September 2019

Things I Wish I'd Known

A while back, J.S. Watts wrote a series of guest posts for Meier Writers called “Questions I Don’t Like Answering”. Now, with Mark Meier’s continued indulgence, she's embarked on another series, this time called “Things I Wish I’d Known.” You can read the introductory post by clicking here.

11 September 2019

Poetry Ireland Review

J.S.Watts is honoured to have a poem in the latest issue (#128) of the Poetry Ireland Review. The poem in question is "Low Flying Buzzards Over The Upper Field" and here is a photo of the poet with the magazine to commemorate its publication.

6 September 2019

Poetry Salzburg Review

J.S.Watts is very pleased to have a new long(ish) poem in #34 of the Poetry Salzburg Review. The poem is titled "Abstractions". To celebrate, here's a photo:

31 August 2019

Shadows of Light and Coffee

London Grip has kindly published a new poem by J.S.Watts in its New Poetry Autumn 2019 edition.

The poem is titled Shadows of Light and Coffee and is a reflection on Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in A Minor RV 419.

You can read the poem, free of charge, by clicking on the title of the poem above. While you are about it, you should probably check out the entire edition, which also includes poems by Marisa Cappetta, Clare Crossman and Jacqueline Saphra (amongst many talented others).

25 August 2019

Sunday Night Lives with the Flying Pig

Sunday Night Lives at The Flying Pig is back yet again with an all new, unique line-up of music and poetry from Threeyearsyounger, J.S.Watts, Dominic Daniels, Daisy T-G and Ffion Rebecca (but maybe not in this order).

An evening not to be missed and its free (although donations will be gently solicited and gratefully received). It all takes place on Sunday, 8th September. Doors open at 7pm and because it's the Flying Pig there will be excellent beer and other beverages.

21 August 2019

Vanguard at Harlow

Vanguard Readings is a London-based reading series that has been running monthly since 2011 and has so far included more than 70 events. Vanguard on Tour started in 2016 and has so far made stops at Grasmere, Birmingham, Hay-on-Wye, Margate, Norwich, Leeds, Ludlow, Manchester, Salisbury, Brighton, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Workington, Bristol - and now Harlow. Its founder, Richard Skinner, is a poet, novelist and Director of the Fiction programme at the Faber Academy - and credited on the back of many best-selling books.

The Harlow event is taking place at the Harlow Playhouse and is curated and hosted by local writer Emma Vandore, and showcases six new writers and established authors, all reading for around 10 minutes each. As well as Richard and Emma, who will read from her novel-in-progress And, Breathe, you will hear from Harlow-born Jason Cowley, editor of the New Statesman, who will read a recent memoir-essay published in Granta called New Town Blues; award-winning local playwright Simon Mawdsley, who will read with an actor; Dunmow-based YA author John Tarrow who will read from his recently published novel The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston; and J.S. Watts, a poet and novelist based in East Anglia, who will read from her second novel Witchlight.


19 August 2019

Everyday Ghosts

Another ghostly tale from J.S.Watts sees the light of day this month.

It's a little early for Halloween, but, in this blackly humorous story, Owen would be grateful if Halloween never came by at all.

Everyday Ghosts is available to read online at Dark Fire Fiction

16 August 2019

Buzz at Survision

Issue no. 5 of Survision Magazine has been published online. Based in Ireland, the biannual online magazine prides itself on publishing the most exciting Surrealist poetry of different trends and schools being written now.

J.S.Watts is honoured that she has a brand new poem, Buzz, in issue 5. You can read it for FREE here

15 August 2019


We tell ourselves ghost stories after dark because it's scarier that way and because ghosts come out at night, but what if they don't?

A brand new, haunting, daylight tale from J.S.Watts is now available on the Dream of Shadows website. Click here to read for FREE

28 July 2019

Six Things I Wish Were Better Known

J.S.Watts has been chatting with Ivan Wise of the Better Known podcast about six things she wishes were better known: the painter Basil Ede, Poetry, The French Horn, Bats, Bartlow Hills and Chalk Streams. You can hear what she had to say for herself by going to betterknown.co.uk/2019/07/28/js-watts/.

For the record, she knows she got the location of the River Piddle wrong and is very embarrassed about it because half of her family come from Dorset...

The Better Known podcast website provides interesting links to all six things talked about, but, if you have the time and are interested, you also might light to check out:

Basil Ede: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Ede

Bartlow Hills: http://wouldbephotography.blogspot.com/2019/04/bartlow-hills.html

Chalk Streams: https://waterlightproject.org.uk

10 July 2019

Double Helpings in August

August's Writers' Club will be doing double, when J.S. Watts leads on two topics instead of the usual one.

8 July 2019

The Seven Faces of Mister Death

Over on The Reaper today there is a brand new and rather dark poem by J.S. Watts, The Seven Faces of Mister Death.

For those interested in the technicality of such things, it is a prose poem with numbers. It may also be disturbingly contemporary.

To read the poem (it is free) simply click on the poem's title above.

3 July 2019

Landscape and Maps

J.S. is pleased to have a new poem, "Timeless", in the land mass of poems that constitutes issue 16 of the Writer's Cafe Magazine, "Landscape and Maps".

You can read the magazine for free and online here

24 June 2019

Children of the Water

J.S. Watts' lyrically dark short story, Children of the Water (first published by Cover of Darkness), is now available to read online at The Reaper.

Click here to link straight to the story.

17 June 2019

Looking For New Words

The Poetry Village has published a brand new poem by J.S.Watts, Looking For New Words.

You can read it for no charge, online by going here.

12 June 2019

Let's Twist Again!

Writers' Club is back at the Twisted Cellar for its July meeting!

3 June 2019


Landmarkings, a new poem by J.S.Watts, has been published in Issue 14 (Summer 2019) of The High Window.

You can read it and poems by:

by clicking on the names above or by clicking here

31 May 2019

Strawberry Fair 2019

Are you going to Strawberry Fair? If so, and if you like poetry, spoken word, music and and a blurring of the genres you should check out the Wild Strawberries Stage in the Arts Area of the Fair.

J.S. Watts will be performing her poetry at Strawberry Fair in Cambridge at around 2.30pm tomorrow (Saturday 1st June). The rest of the rather wonderful line-up is detailed below. If you'd like to sign up to the open mic, you can do so in advance, or just rock up on the day. http://bit.ly/wsform2019 to sign up in advance

Line-up so far (all of which is subject to the whims of chance, weather, traffic, and poets/ storytellers/ musicians, naturally) is as follows:

12:00: Intro
12:05: Open mic
12:10: Open mic
12:15: Micaela Blitz
12:20: Pauline Radley
12:25: Simone Morton
12:40: Open Mic
12:45: open mic
12:50: Beth Hartley
13:05: The Antipoet
13:50: The Ministry of Unplanned Occurrences (tbc)
14:15: Michael Brown
14:30: J.S.Watts
14:45: Lulu Agate
14:50: Open mic
14:55: Janis Ford
15:00: Bertram Holt
15:05: Paul Eccentric (poetry)
15:20: Jessica Law
15:45: Charlie Finn
15:50: Lucy McEleney
15:55: Jude Stephens
16:00: Jody Lee
16:05: Camille McCawley
16:20: Mark McGivern
16:35: Shelly Harder
16:50: Caron Freeborn
17:05: Moth Conspiracy
17:30: Patrick Widdess
17:45: Lee House
18:00: Nathan Smith
18:15: Debbie Luxon
18:30: Open Mic
18:35: Trish Harewood
18:40: Tracey Cracknell
18:45: Open Mic
18:50: Open Mic
18:55: Open Mic

After this you might want to stick around for:

19:00-20:00 2019 Strawberry Slam in association with Hammer & Tongue Cambridge
20:00-finish 2019 Strawberry Jam (poetry/ music/ interpretive dance/ whatever! - please come and play! 

13 May 2019


Based on a parable told by the Venerable Bede over a thousand years ago, J.S. Watts explores a lifetime's flight in the poem Flight online in The Reaper.

1 May 2019

Questions I Don't Like Answering - Part VII

The seventh and final guest post in the blog series J.S.Watts has been writing for Meier Writers is now available online.

This month it's the turn of the often asked question, "How Many Books Have You Sold?" It turns out this can be an unduly personal question and, yes, size does matter.

To find out J.S.' thoughts on this personal and, at times, very basic question, click here.

29 April 2019

The Painter and The Angel

A gifted, but obsessed painter meets an angel and is given a life-changing choice. Read J.S.'s short story, The Painter and the Angel , over on The Reaper.

25 April 2019

Pale Fire

Fifty years after the first moon landing, The Frogmore Press is pleased to announce that Pale Fire, an anthology of new writing on the subject of the Moon, will be published on 31 May 2019.

It will feature new work and some new translations of classic poems by more than 60 poets, including George Szirtes, Ruth Aylett, Fiona Moore, Patrick Widdess and a new poem by J.S. Watts. It is edited by Alexandra Loske and illustrated with paintings of the Moon by Fergus Hare.

15 April 2019

Dead Certainty

In The Reaper J.S. explores the Dead Certainty of life as a poem.

8 April 2019

Editing Galore - May Writers' Club

In Bishop's Stortford the first Sunday in May...

1 April 2019

Questions I Don't Like Answering Part VI

No, this isn't an April Fool. This is the sixth and penultimate guest post in the blog series I'm writing for Meier Writers.

This month it's the turn of the often repeated question, "What do you think of my writing?"

To find out my thoughts on what I consider to be a rather painful question go here

11 March 2019

Swapping Words

J.S. is delighted to be returning to Stamford's Poetry Swaps on Wednesday 20th March as the headline act. She's also rather looking forward to hearing Sally Mitchell, who is on the bill with her.

Poetry Swaps is Stamford's regular poetry-exchange every second month where top poets from the town and the surrounding area are invited to present their poetry. Come and enjoy a drink while you listen or bring your own poems to read. There is an open mic opportunity at the start of the evening.

The event is taking place at The Cellar Bar, Stamford Arts Centre starting at 8pm. Entry is FREE.

5 March 2019

Questions I Don't Like Answering Part V

It's early March and time, once again, for the next guest post in the series I'm writing for Meier Writers.

Most writers will tell you there are questions they don’t like having to answer: often they are the ones we get asked the most. I'm writing an occasional series of lighthearted blog posts looking at some of my “oh no, not again!” questions and exploring why I, personally, don’t enjoy having to respond to them.

This month sees the fifth question in the series, the compound: “What do you do? A writer? No, what do you really do?” You can read my multiple responses to this challenging question by clicking here

4 March 2019


Over on The Reaper's website there is an opportunity to read Jenny, the short story by J.S. Watts that won third prize in The Wells International Literary Festival in 2009.

When a little girl shares a house with an elderly man, he finds both worry and comfort.

Click Here To Read...

2 March 2019

Oral Starscapes

Shoreline of Infinity has brought out episode one of the Shoreline of Infinity podcast Soundwave.

In the opening episode there is superior science fiction from across the art forms: with spoken word linked by death and starlight.

There is the haunting and poignant story The Starchitect, written by Barry Charmon and narrated by Sue Gyford.

That’s followed by sci-fi poetry in the form of the deceptive Starscape by J.S. Watts, narrated by Debbie Cannon.

Sonic Space makes its debut, hosted by RJ Bayley, in which he's interviewing the award winning author Anne Charnock.

Japanese SF inspired music ends the podcast with one of the giants of symphonic metal.
You can hear it all here or here (if you'd like to read a bit more about it too.)

1 March 2019

Teaching Creative Writing

J.S. has been talking to Kerry Hammerton about why teaching creative writing matters. Check out what she has to say over on Kerry Hammerton's blog.

25 February 2019

In The Immortal Words of Kilgore Trout...

A classic tale from J.S. about suddenly finding yourself in life's deep end. In The Immortal Words of Kilgore Trout... resurfaces in The Reaper today.

Click here to read

20 February 2019

Latest Morpheus Tales Supplement

The latest Morpheus Tales free supplement is out. Heaving with book reviews and more, it includes reviews of "Moonshine" (author, Jasmine Gower) and "Terminus" (author, Tristan Palmgren) by J.S.Watts.

You can read it by clicking here

19 February 2019

We Are...

Issue 103 of Awen has been published with a very short, but very new poem by J.S.Watts in it. The  poem is called We Are... and you can find it and Issue 103 by clicking here

18 February 2019

Last Taboo

Over on The Reaper today, J.S. explores the Last Taboo in poetic form. Dare you say it?