Month: March 2024

Making History

Making History. Saturday April 13th 11am – 1pm

A workshop aimed at those interested in historical writing.
2 hour workshop led by Michael Manson
12 participants max
Cost £20

The workshop will help participants:

  • Consider how they might move their project forward.
    Widen their scope for research.
    Find possible routes to publication.

This workshop is aimed primarily at non-fiction writers but it will also be of use to those writing historical fiction

Suitable for all writers.

Mike Manson is a Bristol based writer and historian.

Mike is the author of six history books on Bristol (as Michael) and three published novels.
He studied sociology at Leicester University. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and a Post Graduate Diploma from Bristol Polytechnic in Local Studies.
Mike was a co-editor of the Bristol Review of Books (2006-13), a co-founder of the Bristol Short Story Prize (2008) and an organiser of the Bristol Festival of Literature (2010-2020).
He currently edits Bristol Civic Society’s magazine Better Bristol.

If you want to know anything more about me have a look at

About The Workshop Venue

The John Sebastian Lightship, currently the home of Cabot Cruising Club, was built in 1885 and was responsible for saving hundreds of seamen in her hard-working life. Built in the same dock as the SS Great Britain, she was never meant to be grand or glamorous and was certainly not unique. Without an engine, she was towed to the areas of greatest need and her crew lived there to keep her light in good working order and make sure no ships floundered on the hazards she marked. A welcome sight for sailors on their way back into port.

There is plenty of history on the Lightship to inspire you. 

Full central heating. 
Tea and biscuits provided. 
There is a fairly steep flight of stairs down to the workshop area. 

Home » Archives for March 2024

Community Poem March 2024

Overcaffeinated Princess Leia chats shit backstage
while waiting for her cue at the village panto

When Darth Vader was the dame
I never did master the art of the gag reflex
on his “microphone of love” –
he’d say, “as anyone seen my “Barbie?”
Even my Grandma does burpees.
Oh, she’s like fish with a coral allergy!

My cat makes an excellent meringue
with her moles! Deep underground, coming up
when they hear a sound, from all around.

Last week, kneeling on the cocktail bar
with my fingers down my throat, I thought,
how darling, how Y2K, how B-Lister in a black dress
and Giotto Turbo Maxi Bob was in it saying
“I wanna stick it up your jacksy in a minute!”
and “All I need is another man to break the law!”

I was hoping to be inspired in the toilet.
I wandered lonely as a cloud savouring
memories of mammaries rarely found.
Summer’s earth doth seldom claim the frigid
mirth of my worn name…
It’s like they took the embodiment of literature
and made it take a piss behind the lonely
fucking curtain. Shit! It’s time.
Somebody got the shouty man.


In all these falling scraps of paper,
what words can we manage to catch?
A girl from Ecuador blowing cigarette
smoke into her best friend’s tear-gassed eyes.
Wild jasmine: approximate burning time
25 hours. A cormorant alights the ship,
confused by the pretty lights.
The dead cling to my skin like rain-sodden silk.
Leo’s full moon, new transit for Pluto.
Bright burn with realisations – I pray it’s done
How was it? she asks
and the stars shuddered as one.

Home » Archives for March 2024

Community Poem January 2024

Everyone say glove
I really dropped the ball today – wonder if anyone will notice
I am flippantly tossing tables as the barman pours another whiskey shot – sing to me
Do you like guacamole? I am scaling furniture when the beds break
I’m carbon dating my journals
Mr Blobby, dead at 53
Paul’s being a poopy poop
Mouldy bananas
Bodies of water
Paul loves wrestling
Not very relatable is it
My glasses are a shield and I can’t take them off
After sixteen years of appropriate onstage attire
the Satellite team finally stopped mentioning the nudity rule
A rainbow flag runs up the stairs


Cold nights drawing in reflected in dark waters
We are finger bitten
Afloat in a sea of memories
I am out of words. I have scraped the jar clean,
licked the lid, and sit here full and silent.