March 2018

Congratulations Helen Anderton for winning this year’s Fullbrook competition with her fun Han Solo-esque piece ‘Craven’s Run’. Seen here with competition judge Jane Sleight (right) presenting the Fullbrook Cup.


December 2017

We had a very pleasurable final meeting of the year with far too much food to eat.

The humorous verse cup was awarded to Mary Prior.


The Monster

A lonely scientist, one deep dark night

Completed an experiment that filled him with fright.

Explosions and sparkles erupted all round

And a strange, green dust appeared on the ground.


For many years later, the house rested in peace,

Silently awaiting a creature’s release.

Behind the skirting board, it bided its time,

Brooding and planning, deeds of dire crime.


A malevolent presence lurked waiting below.

Not one of the household had the wisdom to know

That needle sharp teeth were grinding with glee

Just waiting and waiting for a chance to be free.


One hundred years passed until the time came.

It was cold outside and pouring with rain.

The clock struck twelve and the signal was given,

With loud shrieks and howls, the air was riven.


The monster surged forward, to tear and destroy

And found itself facing a very small boy

Who lifted his foot and pressed his slipper down firmly.

The monster was flattened, all squishy and squirmly.


November 2017

Thanks to Jane Sleight for running a very good quiz.

Helen Matthews has been busy this month with promotional events following the publication of her novel, After Leaving the Village, now available on Amazon.

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October 2017

Retiring Chair Christopher Berry presents the Brenda Rubin Cup to Dean Hollands recognising an industrious and successful year’s writing.

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Mary Prior won the Hyde Short Story competition with: A Better Land.


September 2017

The Boursnell Cup for poetry was awarded to Rachel Kennedy for her poem: The accelerating expansion of the space between us.unnamed-1

July 2017

Well done to Helen Anderton who won the Founder’s Cup for the first chapter of her novel Shadows.


Congratulations to Gary Couzens and Martin Owton, both members of Rushmoor Writers who are both nominated for British Fantasy Society Awards this year.

Jennifer Riddals has an article published in Collections this month.

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June 2017

Congratulations to Helen Matthews. Her novel After Leaving the Village will be published in October.


May 2017

The winner of the Reese Cup was Louise Page. Congratulations!

Chris Berry presents the Reese Cup for the best article to Louise Page.

April 2017

The winner of the Fullbrook short story Competition was Jane Sleight. unnamed

Steve Cosh presents the Fullbrook cup to Jane Sleight.


December 2016

Martin Owton’s second fantasy novel Nandor is now available.


Our humorous Christmas poetry competition was won by Mary Prior. Her poem is below:



A Family Christmas.

The family is gathered, all lounging around.

Their presents are opened, wrapping litters the ground.

Television drones on as grandparents sip sherries,

I collect up the rubbish as nephews flick berries.


It’s Christmas again, how festive and jolly.

The baby starts wailing, she’s broken her dolly.

The fire alarm shrieks. The turkey is burning.

No panic really, just the potatoes need turning.


I gasp as I remember the gluten free specials.

All carefully placed in separate vessels.

I’ve forgotten to put them to bake with the rest.

I’m beginning to feel a little bit stressed.


It’s hot in the kitchen and I’ve got quite a thirst.

I’ll sort out the potatoes but have a drink first.

A nice glass of gin might just do the trick.

I’ll have time to down one, if only I’m quick.


I feel better already so I’ll just tweak my hair

And repair my make up, but then I just stare.

I look in the mirror and my Christmassy glitz,

Has all disappeared. I’m a disheveled old witch.



The winner of the Hyde Cup short story competition was Chris Berry for his story, Rachel can Still See. Runners-up were Steve Cosh and Helen Anderton.

Our ‘literary’ quiz will take place at our meeting on 23rd November. 


Humorous verse competition set – theme this year is ‘Dishevelled’.

12th October – talk by Christopher Fielden

Very enjoyable talk by Christopher Fielden, delivered with humour and generosity. Very helpful to aspiring writers. Thank you.

Our next competition (members only) is the Hyde Cup is for an original short story. The theme this year is  ‘a gain or loss of time’ which must be integral to the story. The competition closes on 12th October.

Our new Chairman is Christopher Berry.

The Poetry Award, donated by Val Waters, was awarded to Sally Davies

The Brenda Rubin Award was presented to Mary Prior.


Gary Couzens short story ‘Junio’ has been accepted for publication in the Fossil Lake IV: Sharkasaurus Anthology.

Mary Prior’s short story ‘Poppy Seeds’ was published in Fiction Feast.

Boursnell Poetry Competition:  Winner – Mary Prior for poem ‘Leap of Faith’.


Christopher Berry had a short story ‘Charlie Chaplin, Time Traveller’ accepted for on-line quarterly magazine, ‘Tigershark’.


Christopher Berry  had a short story ‘Rachel can See’ accepted for publication by ‘Metamorphose’.

Gary Couzens completed a story for the ‘Something Remains’ anthology and his story ‘Through the Floor’ has also been accepted for publication.


Irma d’Souza is on a winning streak!  She won the article competition and took the Reese trophy.


Martin Owton’s book Exile is now available on Kindle.


The Fullbrook Competition was won jointly by Steve Cosh and Irma d’Souza.


Martin Owton’s book Exile is now available from Tickety Boo Press.



Delighted that two of Rushmoor Writers were placed first and second in the SWC International Annual Short Story Competition 2015 especially as there was apparently a very large entry this year. Congratulations to Mary Prior for her story: Green Velvet and Porcelain which came first and to Helen Matthews for her story, Invisible which came second.

Congratulations to the winner of our humorous verse competition, Stephen Cosh. His poem is below:

The Animal Liberation Front’s Grand adventure

Jeremy, Nigel, young Tilly and Pru

Were helping the creatures escape from the zoo


First Jeremy, acting with perfect composure,

Strode manfully into the big cats’ enclosure.

He’d studied the science, of taming wild lions,

‘Bravo!’ Pru says – but they devoured him nevertheless.







Young Tilly, a pleasant and likeable soul,

Was helping the snakes to escape with a pole.

The boa constrictor, just playfully licked her,

Then crushed her and swallowed her whole.

‘Oh dear,’ Pru says, ‘I bet she is hard to digest.’

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And Nigel needed so badly to pee,

And readied himself by the side of a tree.

But a bunch of hyaenas, grabbed hold of his penis,

And pulled… ‘Ooh nasty,’ Pru says, ‘at least they will clear up the mess.’


No beast came to harm or escaped from the zoo,

Though the same can’t be said for the friends, except Pru.

‘Now no names will exist, on my Christmas card list,

Goodo!’ Pru says, ‘so it’s still been a partial success.’


Sally Davis is in the process of negotiating the production of her latest play – more news later.

Chris Berry’s new children’s book, The East Pudding Chronicles: The First Christmas, is out now and available to buy from

Also see:

Congratulations to Martin Owton who has joined Phantasia who will be publishing his duology: The Nandor Tales. The first volume, The Exile of Darien, will be published in Spring 2016. Here is the blurb for Exile. “The Exile of Darien is a fast-moving tightly-plotted fantasy adventure story with a strong thread of romance. Aron of Darien, raised in exile after his homeland is conquered by a treacherous warlord, makes his way in the world on the strength of his wits and skill with a sword.”

Our Christmas meeting and humorous verse competition takes place on Wednesday 9th December. The theme is ‘a grand adventure’.


Congratulations to Gary Cousins winner of the Hyde Cup. Alison Proom and Mary Prior came joint second.


The AGM took place on 30th September and a new committee was elected.

Thanks were given to the outgoing committee.

Incoming committee

Chair – Sarah Coffin

Vice Chair – Gary Couzens

Treasurer/Secretary – Helen Anderton

Minutes Secretary – Chris Berry

Without portfolio – Caroline Horler and Helen Matthews

Brenda Rubin Award for Endeavour

Martin Owton

Val Waters Poetry Award

Not awarded

Current competition – Hyde Cup – see details below.

Hyde Cup competition Closes 14 Oct results 11 Nov. Short story competition max. 5000 words. Prize £25. Judge Helen Matthews.

This year’s competition is an open theme but should include at least two characters of different generations (eg. Grandfather/teenager, teacher/pupil, war veteran/student nurse). The story need not hinge on this relationship; they can be minor background characters, but, at some point, must interact.



Boursnell Cup competition: a serious poem of no more than 24 lines. Deadline and judging 2nd September. Theme this year is: Rain



Winner of the Founders Cup story competition was Chris Berry: Emancipation of Google.


Juliet McKenna, a well known fantasy author visited us and provided a diverting evening on the pleasures and pains of being a dedicated author. She has been writing and being published for many years and it was interesting to learn how the relationships between writers, agents and publishers has changed during this time. Find out more about her and her books here:

April 2015

Martin Owton has signed a contract with Telos publishing who have acquired his contemporary fantasy novel – working title ‘Shadows’ – for their Moonrise line.

The Reese Cup was won by Helen Anderton’s article about sighting a bittern.

Gary Cousins has released a new anthology, Outstack and other Places now available from Midnight Street Press, print and ebook.

February/March 2015

Current competition (open to members only) is for the Reese Cup. This was donated by Peter Reese in 1997. It is a competition for an article, maximum length 2,000 words, judged by the previous year’s winner.

The competition subject is: Animal, Vegetable or Mineral.

Closing date – 15th April.

The Fullbrook Travel Story Competition 2015 was won by Alison Proom.


Alison Proom’s ghost story was published by Writing Magazine in their March edition.

Gary Couzens’ short story “Noon in Krakow” has been published in Wordland 5, and “Spinning Fast” in punkPunk!, an anthology of stories inspired by punk. His short story collection “Out Stack and Other Places” is due out from Midnight Street Publications in the next couple of months.

Gary Couzens and Martin Owton have a story published in Mind-Seed – a Science Fiction anthology inspired by the work and writing of Denni Schnapp, Biologist, SF writer and traveller. All profits will go to Next Generation Nepal, an anti-child-trafficking charity. Available from all bookshops and on-line stores
Paperback £7.99
E-Pub £2.99


Mary Prior was awarded first prize in Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Millennium poetry competition for Railway Bridge 1915. There were over 300 entries which were judged by Joan McGavin, the ‘Hampshire Poet’ and poet and writing tutor Aoife Mannix (writer in residence at the RSC and Radio 4’s Saturday Live show). Joan McGavin commented,“it encapsulates a striking moment and uses that as a way to access emotion and ideas effectively. What starts as a careful description of a moment where some boys peer down at a passing train turns into a realisation of the effect of war both on those directly involved and on those at home. A thoughtful, well-crafted poem”.

January 2015

Two of our writers, Helen Matthews and Mary Prior, currently have poems on display in the  ‘Dementia Friendly Hampshire: The Story So Far’ exhibition touring the county.

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Fullbrook Travel Story Competition 2015

This is awarded in memory of Gladys Fullbrook, a successful writer who died in 1984, an anonymous donor gave a cup for this competition. The subject of the story is set and judged by the winner of the previous year’s winner and should include travel. It may be up to 3,000 words.

This year, the theme is based on the sub-title of  ‘The Hobbit.’  Produce a gripping story on the theme of ‘There and Back Again’ between 50-2000 words (not a typo), with well developed believable characters, a good plot and  a script which contains no typos, grammar or punctuation mistakes or spelling errors. Check the entry rules in your Rushmoor Writers Members Pack.

Open to paid up members only. Closing date: 4th March 2015


December 2014


We had our final meeting of the year on Wednesday, 10th December with a humorous poetry competition on the theme, ‘Surprise’ followed by a seasonal buffet meal. Our next meeting is on Wednesday 7th January 2015.

The winning poem was ‘Santa’s Surprise’ by Helen Anderton.

Santa’s Surprise.

So we come down one cold Christmas morning to find the hearth and the stockings are bare,
No parcels or sweets at the fireplace, and the mince pie and sherry still there.
Well, Daughter’s distraught, as you would be. “I’ve been good all the year,” wails she,
“I thought I deserved at least one gift, or two, or possibly three.”
Well, I am furious but what can you do? There’s no helpline for the fella in red,
But before I can so much as grumble there’s a bump from the roof overhead,
And out of the fireplace falls Santa, and I’m obliged to cover D’s eyes,
Santa’s drunk! He flashes a bum cheek, and burps and yells out, “Surprise!”
I grab at the sack in a fury and shove all our late presents under our tree.
Santa’s spotted the plate on the fireplace. ‘Oh, a sherry, how kind, just for me!’
I snatch at the glass and propel him with an effort back into the grate,
“No-one should see you, you fool! You’re in such big trouble now, mate!”
I put my shoulder under his backside and shove him right up to the roof.
The reindeer roll their eyes in disgust and Rudolph kicks out with his hoof.
I haul Santa into the sleigh seat, ignoring his slurred, “Ho, ho, ho!”
And shake up the reins with a flourish and shout to the deer, “Go go go!”
As we zoom up into the dawn light, Santa burps, tries to give me a kiss.
I shove him off – he reeks of cheap alcohol – and he vomits and then starts to piss.
Well, I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Is this Santa, so jolly and wise?
He’s not nice, he’s a git and a bastard. I’ll give him a bloody surprise.
I tilt the sleigh to a steep angle. Santa slips and he falls and is gone.
There’s silence, then a splash from the North Sea, and I know that his swim will be long.
The elves tell me Santa is dry now; Royal Mail does the deliveries, I hear.
My daughter is thrilled with her present. Not all girls get a sleigh and eight deer.

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