Creative Writing Learning Opportunities, Bristol

Posted by Chrissey - 1st April 2015

Workers Educational Association (WEA) logoToday we’re focusing on creative writing courses, seminars and talks in the Bristol area. All of the events listed below take place, or start in April or May.

  • Writing for Change – A six week course with a focus on exploring life changes through writing. Sessions run on Monday afternoons from 13:00. Starts 13th April 2015 at the WEA in Bristol.
  • Beginning to Write Short Stories – A six week short story course hosted by Clevedon Community Bookshop. Sessions run on Thursday evenings at 19:30. Starts 16th April 2015
  • Creative Writing with Amy Spencer – Seven weeks of inspirational writing among the art exhibits at The Royal West of England Academy of Arts (RWA), Bristol. Sessions run from 18:30 on Tuesday evenings from 21st April 2015.
  • Creative Writing – Advanced – An eight week writing study course from the WEA, held at Bristol Central Library. Sessions run from 10:00 on Wednesday mornings from 22nd April 2015
  • Creative Writing – Basic – An eight week writing study course for beginners, run by the the WEA at Bristol Central Library. Sessions run from 13:15 on Thursday afternoons from 23nd April 2015.
  • Express Yourself! – Creative Writing for All – An 11 week WEA creative writing course in Weston-Super-Mare. Sessions run on Friday mornings from 10:00, at the Carlton Centre. Starts 24th April 2015.
  • Writing about Place – A day workshop organised by Clevedon Community Bookshop on Friday 1st May 2015, 10:00 till 16:00.
  • Completing Your Novel – Whip your WIP into shape with this 8 week course from WEA Bristol. Hosted at Windmill Hill City Farm on Thursday evenings from 19:00. Starts 7th May 2015

We hope you’ll feel inspired to sign up for one of these courses, or to seek out courses in your own area. There are many opportunities listed on the WEA website and on Eventbrite. Happy writing everyone!

Events News – April 2015

Posted by Chrissey - 30th March 2015

April is coming up and there’s a lot going on in the worlds of Films, Fiction and Comics. We’ve pulled together a few events from the next month which we think are worth checking out:

Comic Conventions

April is a busy month on the Comic Con scene. We’re particularly looking forward to:

For a full list of conventions in the UK, check out

Film Festivals

There’s a couple of film festivals happening in April for those who enjoy independent film:

If you’re a film maker, the following are open for submissions with deadlines coming up in April or May:

You can find a comprehensive list of UK film festivals on the British Council website.

Fiction Events

The London Book Fair - 14-16 April 2015, OlympiaApril is time for the London Book Fair (Tue 14th April – Thu 16th April, the biggest event in the publishers’ calendar. Also happening in April:

Plus, check back on Wednesday when we’ll be sharing a whole bunch of creative writing study opportunities in our local area of Bristol.

Follow Friday – Microfiction Monday Magazine

Posted by Chrissey - 27th March 2015

Short fiction that packs a punch! Microfiction Monday Magazine publishes a selection of snappy fiction of 100 words or less on the first Monday of each month. You can find a great selection of stories to enjoy in their archive stretching back through more than 30 editions.

Microfiction Monday MagazineThey accept submissions in any genre, on any subject, so long as the piece tells a story. You can find out more about their submission guidelines here.

Editor Gayle Towell is a fiction writer, drummer, and college instructor from Oregon and has her own website at

Follow Microfiction Monday Magazine on Twitter (@GayleTowell)  or Facebook (/microfictionmondaymagazine) for updates.

Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.

Are you ready for Camp?

Posted by Chrissey - 23rd March 2015

The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 is just 10 days away! Writers, are you ready for camp?

Camp NaNoWriMo is run a little differently from the November challenge. Writers are invited to bring any kind of writing project they like, not just novels, and not just new projects but existing ones. If you’ve got a manuscript at the first draft stage, you work on revising and editing it; they even provide a handy conversion rate to equate editing time into a word count (1hr = 1000 words). Or maybe you fancy working on that script idea you’ve been toying with. How about a collection of poems?

Explore new writing territory this April. Get lost. Write.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 - Participant badge

Three reasons why going to camp is awesome

1. Share everything with friends in your cabin

You can choose to be assigned to a cabin with strangers or create a private one with people you already know. Either way, you get to share the whole adventure with people who share your passion and love for writing. What could be better than that?

2. Special offers and discounts for participants

Camp NaNo’s sponsors are offering up a whole bunch of cool deals you can take advantage of. For starters, you can get 20% off Scrivener which, if you don’t already use it, will change your writing life!

3. Anything you achieve is awesome!

You can set your own target from 10,000 to 999,999 words, so you can choose a realistic goal. But even if you do you fall behind on reaching your target, just keep writing and loving what you are writing. Camp is all about having fun.

What will you write?

TGE’s Chrissey Harrison will be taking part with a lofty 60,000 word goal spread across 50hrs of revision/editing , 3 short stories and 30 pieces of micro fiction. You can follow her progress on her blog Chrissey’s Great Escape.

What project will you be taking to camp? Tell us in a comment below!

Follow Friday – CineMe

Posted by Chrissey - 20th March 2015

CineMe - A platform for independant film makersFilm makers in Bristol and the South West should definitely check out CineMe. CineMe provides a platform for short and independent filmmakers to showcase their work both on-line and at regular screening events in the area.

Since they began back in 2008, founder James Ewen and his team have been slowly expanding CineMe to include film making workshops and interview/Q&A sessions with media professionals.

Eliminate: Archie Cookson - Cineme Screenings April 2015This April 2nd and 14th they have two special screenings of feature film Eliminate: Archie Cookson, which was shot locally in Bristol. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with Director Rob Holder and his team. Find out more.


You can follow CineMe on Facebook and Twitter.


Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.

A Rundown of UK Zombie Experiences

Posted by Chrissey - 18th March 2015

Have you ever been up close and personal with a bunch of zombies? You might be surprised at how many opportunities there are! We’ve pulled together a few events from across the UK where you can run, scream and generally scare yourself witless. Zombies

2.8 hours later (Various dates in 2015) – Sling Shot

The original Zombie chase game is now in more cities, with more dates than ever. This month the undead will be terrorising Cardiff. What’s more, there’s new story elements and objectives, so even if you’ve run it before, there’s more to discover.

Are you more into chasing than being chased? You can also volunteer to be a zombie and receive full training at Zombie School.

You can find all the details, including a full list of cities and dates on their website. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Zombie Chase – (April 2015) – Backyard Cinema

This April in Weston-Super-Mare there’s a new Zombie chase game with a twist; an outdoor screening of Shaun of the Dead once you reach the safe zone at the end! Last we checked there were only 33 tickets left! Full details are available at

We’ll be keeping an eye on Weston’s Backyard Cinema to see what other events they come up with for 2015. Find their latest updates on their Facebook page.

Resident Terror – 5k Zombie Run (October 2015) – The Milk Run

This one is more hard-core. A 5k chase, complete with obstacles and mud, and of course, Zombies. Survivors have one chance to make their way to the safety of the base before they are caught and devoured.

The Mud Run, (part of The Milk Run), runs events throughout the year with different themes and challenges. All take place in and around the Arena Essex raceway in Purfleet. Check out full details on their website or Facebook page.

The Mall – (Various dates in 2015) – Zed Events

Are you a traditionalist? In true Dawn of the Dead style, Zed Events run a zombie survival experience in a disused mall near Reading! “The first part is a 2 and a half hour ‘movie experience’ in which you and your friends star in real-time, while the second sees you and your group pitted against the horde in a series of missions in a full-on ‘run and gun’ gore fest.”

They also run a survival weekend in the great outdoors, for those who prefer more room to spread out, and a Manor House experience for those who like the Resident Evil vibe – check out the teaser trailer below.

Find events listings on their website or check them out on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Prison Break – (Various dates in 2015) – Zombie Earth

A Zombie prison break? 60-90 minutes to break out of disused HMP Ashwell, hounded by the undead. Pretty cool.

But wait, there’s more. Zombie Earth also run an overnight experience in the prison. This intense 13 hour survival experience will see you attempt to survive a night in the cells of the prison as a zombie apocalypse is raging around you. In order to stay alive you will need to work in a team to retrieve things for your survival. This has got to be one of the ultimate zombie experiences out there!

Zombie Earth run two other experiences. In Apocalypse you have to make your way across a city in chaos to the relative safety of your base, while in Origin you’re part of a team investigating the virus behind the outbreak in a post-apocalyptic aftermath.

Check out the full details on or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Zombie Experience, Wolverhampton (Various dates in 2015) – Events2Scare

Events2Scare is a zombie and scare actor rental service which also runs some truly exciting horror attractions. Based in Wolverhampton, their Zombie Experience is a 3 hour immersive experience where survivors delve into infected zones to carry out objectives.

Although it’s not zombie themed, we couldn’t resist mentioning that they also run a horror themed camping experience in Shropshire – Woodland of Terror – set among medieval ruins and spooky caves.

All the details about these and other Events2Scare attractions can be found on their website and they are on both Facebook and Twitter.

Monthly Mention #1 – March 2015

Posted by Chrissey - 16th March 2015

Monthly Mention is our new monthly featurette where we give a shout out to a bunch of great stuff and projects in the world of indie films, fiction and comics. It might be new, it might have been around for a while, but it is all cool.

Here’s some stuff we’ve come across recently that we think you should check out:

Run & Cold Calller

Two films currently funding on Kickstarter from film makers based in our local area; Joshua O’Connor and Philip Cook. Both look really good and are well worth checking out. Run has already blasted past it’s £600 target but Cold Caller is struggling a little.

RunIn a dissipated Britain terrorised by mysterious creatures, one survivor must reach the coast and make it out alive. Run - Movie

Cold Caller
An elderly lady reluctantly welcomes a door-step cold caller into her home with unexpected consequences.

Cold Caller - Trust can be Misplaced - a film by Philip Cook

The Fitzroy

Congratulations to Andrew Harmer, James Heath and the rest of the team at Dresden Films! The Fitzroy title sequence has been selected as a finalist for the South by Southwest (SXSW) ‘Excellence in Title Design Award’. Good Luck!

Out Now – North By Southwest

Newly released from North Bristol Writing group is North By Southwest, an anthology of 15 stories by 10 Writers from the Bristol area.

The stories are original, never-before published, inventive, and have a great variety. Here lies the strength of the book, showcasing as it does the work of the writers after a year or so of collaboration.

 Join us for an eclectic and unlikely series of journeys through landscape and story.

Spark and Carousel - book cover

Spark and Carousel cover revealed

On a related note, Bristol based writer Joanne Hall revealed the cover of her latest novel recently. Check out the amazing cover art from Kristell Ink!

The book is due for release later this year, so we’ll be watching out for it!


Ask Flimsy

We crossed paths with comic writer and illustrator Rachael Smith at True Believers, Melksham last month and picked up a copy of Ask Flimsy, wherein a blue kitten who likes red wine answers questions about love and romance.

You can ask Flimsy a question too, on Racheal’s Ask Flimsy tumblr.

The Princess Who Saved Herself

Elsewhere in the land of comics…The Princess Who Saved Herself

The Princess Who Saved Herself is a children’s book written by comics writer Greg Pak, based on the beloved song by internet superstar musician Jonathan Coulton, and illustrated by artist Takeshi Miyazawa. A digital version was originally created as a stretch reward for Coulton’s and Pak’s Code Monkey Save World graphic novel Kickstarter, and the creators are now funding a wider release.

It tells the story of an awesome kid who lives with her pet snake and plays rock ‘n’ roll all day to the huge annoyance of the classical guitarist witch who lives down the road. Hijinks, conflicts, and a fun reconciliation ensue, all showcasing determination, bravery, and understanding.

There’s just over a week left to grab yourself a copy – The Princess Who Saved Herself

I’ll Be Right Back takes “Faustus” to London Horror Fest 2014

Posted by Chrissey - 20th September 2014

The Great Escape recently joined forces with new and upcoming theatre company I’ll Be Right Back to produce a trailer for their forthcoming stage production, Faustus.

Here at TGE we’re really excited about I’ll Be Right Back. The new theatre company features several amazingly talented actors we’ve worked with on productions of Gabriel Cushing: David Curtis, who plays Gabriel himself, and Serena Chloe Gardener and Kate Danbury who both feature in our most recent production, Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows (Coming 2015).

Faustus is a dark, brooding re-imagining of Christopher Marlowe’s classic tale of demons and sin. Set in a corporate office, rife with ambition and back stabbing, the play takes a new look at the meaning of repentance.

I’ll be right back are currently raising funds for the performance which will début at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden on 29th, 30th and 31st October as part of the London Horror Festival 2014. You can support them on Kickstarter and choose from rewards including a download or DVD of the performance video and tickets to a special, intimate, dedicated performance, complete with goodie bag and a chance to meet the cast and crew.

Tickets to the main festival performances are available from the London Horror Festival website.

Faustus at The Etcetera Theatre October 2014


Carnival of Sorrows update: Preliminary filming is done!

Posted by Rich - 21st July 2014

Our apologies for the lack of updates on the film shoot and the campaign – it turned out the strain of filming left no-one to write updates on what’s been happening! So, here’s the summary:

  • We have officially wrapped the main shoot of the film – over 6 weeks of constant shoots, late nights, early mornings and frayed nerves.
  • In total, there were over two-and-a-half thousand takes, over 25 hours of footage and over 240 hours of on-set time logged!
  • Already, the first draft of the film is coming together, and last weekend the team sat down and watched the first rough edits of core moments from the shoot. Suffice to say, the hard work is certainly paying off, as even in this truly rough form, the film feels tighter and more refined than many of our prior films!

Over the course of the next few weeks, we hope to bring you regular news on our progress, behind-the-scenes updates from the shoot, and much more – many of these will be exclusive to our Kickstarter backers so, if you backed us, make sure you check out our Kickstarter page as well!

Filming a scene from the Carnival of Sorrows. Pictured L-R: Barry Davis (boom, off-camera), Mark Adams (Director), Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP), Antonia Tootill (Jenny Marwick), Matt Warner (Script Editor and Production Assistant)

Filming a scene from the Carnival of Sorrows. Pictured L-R: Barry Davis (boom, off-camera), Mark Adams (Director), Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP), Antonia Tootill (Jenny Marwick), Matt Warner (Script Editor and Production Assistant)

Once again, thanks to everyone who supported this production. We hope to make you proud.

Mark, Felek, Rich, Chrissey, Ben, and the rest of the team.

David Curtis (Gabriel Cushing) and Vicki Glover (Melanie Lancley) acting (up) off camera whilst filming the Carnival of Sorrows. Also pictured, Barry Davis (boom) and Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP).

David Curtis (Gabriel Cushing) and Vicki Glover (Melanie Lancley) acting (up) off camera whilst filming the Carnival of Sorrows. Also pictured, Barry Davis (boom) and Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP).

The Carnival has come to town!

Posted by Rich - 27th March 2014

Hello again, especially you wonderful people who supported us on Kickstarter. We may have been quiet for a while, but rest assured that since we’ve last posted a huge amount of work has gone on about our latest production, Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows – so much so that we are actually now through pre-production and are now filming! So let’s recap what’s happened since we last spoke…

Casting – done!

Between September and March, we ran three full casting calls, one recall session and a few one-on-one casting sessions. Thanks to everyone who applied for a role, but in the end we only had a certain number of roles to fill – so congratulations to all! (If you are a Kickstarter backer, check out the updates on the Carnival of Sorrows page for more details about the castings!)

Script – locked!

There have been several rewrites to the script since the Kickstarter began all those months ago, including a beautiful day in August where the entire script was taken to pieces, inspected and rebuilt to make sure we had a script better than anything we’ve ever had before. Honestly, everyone loves it and we hope we can do a good job to convert this passion to the screen.

Planning – done!

A huge amount of planning has been happening behind the scenes, with shot lists, breakdowns, storyboards contracts, insurance paperwork, receipts and endless department plans raining down on us like the British weather.

To say this is the most complex production we’ve ever done is an understatement – this really is the biggest shoot we have ever done!

We’ve also acquired several new crew members (including several new faces to our make-up, sound, and production departments)! Sadly, some previously engaged people have found themselves unavailable, but luckily we’ve managed to work around the issues faced and come out the other side bright and smiling!

Locations – secured!

We’ve scouted, located, locked-in and bolted shut many of the locations required for the shoot, with a small number of locations for later in the shoot still to get.

The future – certain!

As we said at the start, we actually began filming this week! Last Monday provided 2 and a half scenes completed – strangely, due to the way production has panned out, the first scene filmed was actually the last scene in the film.

We hope to be bringing you regular updates from the set along with behind-the-scenes photos (avoiding spoilers, of course!), inside news, cast and crew updates, and much more … but only for backers! Everyone else – you’ll get less frequent updates, but we’ll keep you updated on exciting news too big to hide!

So stay tuned for more from the Carnival of Sorrows!

Clapper from Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows