Tag Archives: stairwell books

Airing It For The First Time

I have been writing some new poems lately for my ‘poem a day’ project which isn’t exactly working out as a poem a day but it still makes me stop and write something more than I was doing before.

I have written some terrible stuff, don’t we all! (please, tell me you all do too…) but I have also been able to edit together some interesting and even audience-worthy work. I will be reading out a new poem at a book launch tomorrow night (details at the end of this post) and I have to say I am rather nervous about it.

I have been re-reading the same stuff for quite a while now; poems that I have been told are good by the audience, or poems that have been published and so (I feel) hold some kind of credibility. It has been quite a while since I have shared something completely new.

I have had a friend look through it, give me some feedback and I have edited and tweaked until I felt I was fairly happy with it. Truth is I am never really happy with most of my work. It seems it can always be edited just a little further. I have been practicing reading the poem out loud to ensure I don’t stumble, that the flow and rhythm roll easily from my tongue.

I was told to think of it as a good chance to find out how the poem feels, how people react to it, and whether it works or not. I was advised to think of it as a good thing. But I am so worried that my best work is behind me. Have I peaked too soon? This could be the poem that flops and ruins me!

I don’t know why I am so nervous. Do other writers get this? How do you feel about airing new work (poetry or prose)? Is it exciting or do you fear you’ll be looked upon as a fool?

Would be nice to hear how you guys cope.




Pressed By Unseen Feet


If any readers are in the Yorkshire area tomorrow then I strongly recommend stopping by the Pressed By Unseen Feet (published by Stairwell Booksbook launch. Many great local writers will be performing their spook-filled work including Steve Nash, Helen Sant, Tim Ellis, Andy Humphrey, Rose Drew, Alan Gillot and myself. There will also be a few open mic slots available (limited so please comment on the facebook page if you are interested). Details can be found on the facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/VickiBartramWriter#!/events/395269667209662/


Hotel Dun Vin

The Mount


YO24 1AX

Doors open at 7pm

£6 entry (includes a copy of the book)


Hope to see you there!






Poetry for the Olympic Torch – The Event

On the 19th June the Olympic torch made its way through the streets of York.

A few writers in the area were asked by the City of York Council to tweet poetry in order to make a poem, or collection of poems, to appear in the York800 anthology (published by Stairwell Books).

I found myself a nice little spot on Coney Street, opposite the Spurriergate Centre, where I had free WiFi access and was able to soak up the atmosphere and tweet my thoughts and observations of the event.

It started off fairly quiet. I was nearly an hour early! I grabbed a coffee and a sneaky bit of carrot cake and joined the few others who had started to line the street. There were lots of people expecting the torch to be making an appearance fairly soon, but of course it wasn’t scheduled to pass us until 6.08pm.

The masses soon began to gather and the police seemed to have a more obvious role at this point. A few people hurrying home from work didn’t seem to understand they couldn’t cycle down the road or cross over with gay abandon. Shouts and manhandling occurred on at least three occasions. Ooooo the excitement!

When the coaches and the cars passed (no free bottle of coke for me sadly!) people cheered and started to lean forward in anticipation. I was surrounded by urgency and arms. Elbows digged into my ribs and hands holding cameras hovered over my shoulder at regular intervals.

Then there was another lull. Children shuffled and literally ran circles round their mums. Dads fiddled with lenses and video recorders. Old folk waved their flags to entice the runner round the corner for a desperate glimpse of the gold.

The police signaled this was it. It was coming.

A huge coach rounded the corner and just as I was setting up the camera on my phone the runner flashed past, way too close to the coach to catch a proper looksie.

I literally blinked and missed it!!

Still, the view from the back served, and I am glad I got chance to be there.

I am not overly bothered about the Olympics really, even though I have taken up running, it’s all a lot of nonsense if you ask me. I was hugely disappointed to find out that the torch isn’t even the same all the way through. That the runner gets to keep each torch they hold…and flog it on ebay if they so wish!

Shame. I kinda liked the idea that it was the same torch…the same flame burning. It seemed romantic and symbolic somehow.

It was something I can say I saw, something I was a part of. Trying to come up with some poetry was fun too.

You will be able to catch my words, and the words of others, in the York800 anthology*.

*More details will be available once the publication is finished.

Publications are occuring…oh yes!

Well, I am uber excited!

I have just had my poem ‘Cot’ published by a great magazine called Pastiche. It’s a really great publication and I have the pleasure of appearing alongside some great writers, namely Steve Toase whose prose is amazing!

I have also discovered that a short story I wrote a while back called ‘Poison’ will be making an appearance in Issue 6 of Beautiful Scruffiness. This is another great magazine that is filled with really cool artwork, as well as some crackin’ poetry and prose.

Alongside all this I am currently putting together a small collection of three short stories for a Creative Writing portfolio assigned as part of my degree and I am also working on some exciting publications and events with Stairwell Books, including a York800 anthology, a Ghost anthology and the Ryedale Literature Festival (and that’s just to name a few!)

Yep, it’s all go here. I will post more details about the anthologies and events nearer the time.

Watch this space!

Exciting News

I have been given the amazing opportunity to work along side a small publishing press called Stairwell Books.

Stairwell Books are based in York and publish some great poetry anthologies and are now branching out in to novels. I have the honour of helping with the growth of this great publishing company and would urge you to check out their website and purchase a book or two…or three…or more! They are great value for money and exhibit work from popular local writers.

I have been lucky enough to have appeared in Along The Iron Veins – a collection of railway/train themed poems and short stories. I also highly recommend Frisson – for those who like their poetry a little more tantalising and erotic. They also publish the fabulous Dream Catcher magazine and you can order your copy through their website as well.

You can find details of Stairwell Books  and their publications at their website http://www.stairwellbooks.co.uk/