The Pen Nib International Writing Competition 2021

Your Présidente, now a fifth of my bodyweight lighter. Mind you, I don't recommend going through what I went through to lose weight. I kind of miss my old chubby self. After all she'd been there for a long time.

Keep writing. You're more talented than you think you are.

Love and kindness to you all.

Our first cool day for months and it's Corgnac's local 'Soirée magrets' by the River l'Isle. It's good to see the tourists again.

I'd like to say we thoroughly enjoyed running the competitions. We did, we loved reading your entries, we loved your originality and we learnt a lot. Thank you

So where did it go pear-shaped? Covid didn't help, of course, and I'm sure reduced the entry we would have had otherwise. Then again, nobody goes round anticipating that they will tear a ligament, break two vertebrae, break a hip and a collar bone within  6 - 8 months, yet that's what happened to me.

The final straw has been the Bank. We have had nothing but problems. Is it really so demanding of us to be able to pay out the winner's prizes by cheque or wire from our account? For our treasurer to be able to access the account on line? If you hear of a Treasurer and President of an Association murdering a bank counsellor you'll know where to look.

So while we tie up the ends, where to now? The Association was set up so a number of projects could be had under its umbrella but in order for that sort of thing to happen there would need to be serious commitment from a younger, determined team.

We plan to have our AGM, probably in September now. If you have any ideas please feel free to contact me or one of the team to discuss them.

Brenda Henderson,

Your President

Feel heard: feel read: feel free: feel you matter.

Competition now closed

Poetry:- under 50 lines  First prize £150

                Essay: A matter of concern - 1500-2500 words  First prize £150

Amuse bouche: A short piece, possibly illustrated  First prize £50

Also a selection of prizes including 

2 nights gîte accommodation for two (As seen on TV) for the price of one night's stay,

Signed original paintings, books and cards plus further cash prizes if numbers warrant.

Results will be announced early February 2022. Winning entries will be published on this site.

(Copyright remains with the authors.)



Sponsors and Friends          Meet the Judges                              The Team

Mark Ring

No5 Chambre D'Hotes et Glamping

Carolyn Chamberlain
Bed and Breakfast Villefranche en Périgord;label=New_French_FR_FR_21427170505-oa8xWkWsUPqfDcpOzCbMcQS217273320392%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap%3Aneg;sid=04
Howard McCann
Bookstop Café @bookstop24
Steve Kiernan
The Patio Café, Excideuil
Mark Shaw,
Les Stables, Triathlon Training Centre
Mike Harries, Greece,
Writer, artist
Gordon & Joc Simms, Segora
Brenda Henderson, Présidente
Rebecca Merry Artist
Sarah Hambly, Artist
Roger Elkin, Poet,
Katherine Gallagher, Poet,
Isabel llasera Writer

I'm pleased to share our list of prize-winners and prizes now available on its own page. We hope to have all prizes out by the end of July.

Our condolences to the family and friends of Angela Gilligan, who came third in the 'Amuse Bouche' competition. Sadly Angie is no longer with us.


Brenda (Présidente) July 2022  


Katherine Gallagher

Poetry Judge


Katherine Gallagher is a widely-acclaimed poet with eight books published as well as four chapbooks. Born in Australia, Gallagher has lived and worked in London since 1979. She has been an active force in the community, giving poetry readings, running workshops (for adults and children), judging poetry competitions, and participating in poetry festivals.
Her work has been widely reviewed. In addition, Gallagher has undertaken translations (from French) and her reviews of the work of other poets have been extensively published. Gallagher’s own poetry has been translated into French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Romanian, and Serbo-Croat. 


Liv Rowland

Essay judge

Liv has been working in journalism for over 20 years, previously on  newspapers in the UK then for 14 years with The Connexion, the national newspaper and website for English-speakers in France.

At The Connexion she works as sub-editor and chief reporter on areas including practical information and French current affairs. She has enjoyed doing many interviews, from ambassadors and MPs to charity presidents, Académie française members and TV presenters or chefs.

In the last five years she has written over a thousand articles on Brexit alone – the biggest single issue to have affected the paper’s readership.

Liv originally studied French language and literature at university and enjoys using both French and English in her work and helping the English-speaking community in France.

Brenda Henderson - Présidente

Author, poet and screenwriter


Howard McCann Trésorier 


Owner of one of the favourite watering holes for local writers and creatives, hence our Association title  Assocn. Les Projets Bookstop/ The Bookstop Projects.


Mike Harries 

Writer - Greece

Jocelyn Simms

Prize-winning poet, tutor and judge

 Gordon Simms

Prize-winning playwright, judge and tutor

Dan Bessie

Retired Hollywood cartoonist and director. Tutor and author


Joy Milton