Literary Festival Competition 

Hastings Literary Festival is offering 12 writers the chance to see their work published 48 hours after a unique workshop with experienced editors. Winners of a competition for poetry, short stories and life writing based on current events since last April will attend an all-day workshop, working with experienced editors to get their pieces ready for the printers. Three prizes of £100 are available on the day.

The resulting anthology, Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 will be launched by leading play-wright and Hastings Literary Festival patron, Sir David Hare, on 25th September, at a special event after the workshop. Entries can be a mix of fiction and life writing, expressed through poetry or prose inspired by local, national or international events after April 2021.

There are limited bursaries available to help cover the entry fee, provided by sponsors Magdalen and Lasher. The competition deadline is midnight on 24th July, 2021 and full details of how to enter are available at Winners will be contacted in
the week of 16th August to finish their drafts before the 23rd September workshop.

Organiser Wayne Herbert says: “We wanted to provide writers with an opportunity to come together and work on a unique project involving what they see around them right now and have a book to hold two days later.”

Let’s Do An Art

Let’s Do An Art is a four-part weekly online art workshop aimed at kids aged 3-9, with themes and projects to get kids expressing themselves and having fun. 

It’s been commissioned by The MAC, a cultural hub for the regeneration of Belfast, but made in Hastings by locally based-artists Miguel Martin
and Isobel Anderson. Weekly episodes introduce children to the colourful world of Miguel and his sidekick Teddy Bear Friend, with art activities, songs and a selection of children’s artwork shown in the Fridge Gallery. Let’s Do An Art host and Belfast-born visual artist, Miguel, says, “When
I was a kid, I loved watching Art Attack, but this is the art show I wish I’d had growing up. It’s the most ‘me’ I’ve ever been!” Sussex-born musician and co-creator, Isobel, adds, “The ethos of the show is to encourage children to find creativity all around them, in the everyday. That’s a life skill that will always keep you sane!”

Episodes go out 24th June – 15th July, every Thursday at 4.00pm on The MAC’s website and on The MAC’s YouTube channel

Live Music by the Seaside

The Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival is celebrating the Best of British Jazz, Soul, Funk, Gospel and Contemporary music at the great British seaside in a series of headline concerts on an outdoor stage on the South Lawn of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill from 26th to 30th August. 

Limited tickets are available for the five-day line-up which includes Paul Carrack, former front man of Mike and the Mechanics; acclaimed Soul singer Gabrielle; Incognito, Courtney Pine; MF Robots; Snowboy & The Latin Section; Hastings DJ Libby Ashdown; acclaimed singer Rumer; UK Queen of Soul Mica Paris; world-renowned Kingdom Choir, and two of the finest contemporary jazz singer-songwriters and pianists of their generation, Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll. 

For updates, information and to purchase tickets please go to 

Bach by Candlelight

Following Patrick Glass’s review in HIP Issue 179 two more concert dates have been announced by St Leonards Concerts at Holy Child, Magdalen Road. Saint Leonards-on-sea. Bach’s Goldberg Variations in its wonderful incarnation for string trio will be performed by candlelight on 9th July with Max Baillie and cellist Laura van der Heijden (BBC Young Musician 2016) this time in collaboration with star violist Hélène Clément (Doric Quartet).

Watch out for a further concert at the church on 22nd July. 

Stephen John in Why Will?
CREDIT: Peter Mould

Crabby Shakespeare

Bowler Crab’s outdoor performances  of Why Will? at the 16th Century Half House Farm in Three Oaks will continue in July and August. It’s a one-man show from Stephen John that explores Shakespeare’s most famous speeches and answers twenty questions, the main one being: “Why Will?” Stephen John says: “Following our opening weekend, we’ve had fantastic reviews from our small but appreciative audiences which have reassured me that opening our doors for the first time in two years was the right thing to do.”

Tragic Shakespeare

Do you believe in love at first sight? The Duke’s Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is coming to Fairlight Hall on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th July as part of a tour of 22 open-air theatres this summer.

“Packed with live music, uproarious comedy and heartbreak, this vital and energised theatre production promises to pack a punch, whilst delivering the classical text with modern clarity and relevance. This is a story as current and relatable today as it was when it was first performed over 400 years ago. Be prepared to fall in love all over again.”

Pushing Boundaries 

An exhibition that seeks to dispel the perception that watercolours are simply a sketching medium for amateurs and the long-held belief that watercolour is inferior to oil paint or acrylic. It’s at Hastings Arts Forum from 13th – 25th July and aims to inspire the next generation of watercolour painters. There are “bold, colourful works that explore our relationship with nature; large images that reflect on our hopes and dreams in this time of uncertainty along with smaller, delicate works that explore human failings”. 

The exhibitors are professional watercolour painters from across Sussex – Lucy Marks, Christine Forbes, Jan Irvine and Susan Miller. All are passionate about the medium and wish to share their enthusiasm through their very varied subject matter. 

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