News and Events

Barabara Large, MBE

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death on Monday 4th March of Barbara Large MBE, Founder, and for 34 years Director, of the Winchester Writers’ Conference. In the mid-80’s Barbara wanted to gather a supportive community of writers, editors, agents and publishers in one place to produce great writing.  Under her Directorship the Writers’ Festival weekend and week-long workshops that followed saw up to 500 delegates and 70 speakers gather annually to share their knowledge and love of writing. Known for her unfailing energy, her charm and old-fashioned courtesy, her incredible ability to harness enthusiasm in even the most dispirited writer and her knowledge of every aspect of writing, publishing and who to contact, Barbara’s expertise won her countless friends and fans.  In addition to the Writers’ Festival, she also founded the Hampshire Writers’ Society in 2011 and Creative Words Matter – bringing those who know about writing together with those who want to write.  She retired from the Winchester Writers’ Festival in 2014.

Her death leaves a space in the world that will be filled in time with  good memories and so much gratitude for a unique and very special lady.

Barbara left a legacy in the Winchester Writers’ Festival that continues to support, promote, encourage, educate and inspire writers at every stage in their journey.  We will be collecting tributes to Barbara for her family.  If you would like to share how Barbara touched your life, please send your stories to with ‘Barbara’ in the title.

A special ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held to honour Barbara during the Winchester Writers’ Festival weekend, on Saturday, 15 June, from 6 – 7pm in the university chapel.  All are welcome and you do not need to be attending the Festival to come.



Winchester Writers’ Festival Short Story Adjudicator and University of Winchester Lecturer, Claire Gradidge, wins Richard and Judy ‘Search for a Bestseller’ competition

Full story here


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The Hampshire Writers’ Society

The Hampshire Writers’ Society welcomes all writers in Hampshire and reaches out to the broadest community, interacting with a unique and growing sector of aspiring writers, identifying new writers and engaging young people by encouraging an interest in writing creatively and critically.

Hampshire Writers’ Society Writing Competition

(Open to both members and non-members)
Click here for details:  HWS Writing Competition
Celebrate the 200 years since the publication of Keats’s ‘Ode to Autumn’ by entering a special competition.  ‘In 300 words, write a poem,  short story or play scene inspired by the opening line: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness …”‘  The competition will be officially announced at the HWS April meeting with a deadline of midnight on 25th June.  The winning entry will be performed at the Theatre Royal, Winchester, on 7th October by members of the University of Winchester Performing Arts Department.  
Entries to: Helen Adlam, HWS Competitions Manager at:  Please attached your entry to an email which gives the title of the piece and your name.  Please DO NOT include your name on the entry itself.Regular HWS Meetings
For information on the next Hampshire Writers’ Society event and to book a place, please visit:


 Hampshire Writers’ Society Meetings


11th June, 2019

Venue: The Stripe, University of Winchester

Starts 6.00pm: Book Fair with stalls displaying books from published HWS members; networking; wine bar, strawberries, nibbles.

Speaker at 7.30pm

Speaker: Simon Hall

Writing Crime, Reporting Crime

Simon has been a BBC TV and radio news correspondent for twenty-five years, covering some of Britain’s biggest ever stories. His seven books comprise the TV Detective series.

Stories, anecdotes, and insights from the life of a crime writer and former BBC television crime correspondent. Includes the poignant, like Simon’s reflections on being sent into London to cover the first suicide bombings on British soil, to the ridiculous, such as what to do when you really need a dead otter. And why there is absolutely no sex in his books.

Special Guest – Professor Joy Carter, DL, Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester

Competition:  Write a journalist’s report of a crime involving an unusual criminal. 300 words

Adjudicator – Allie Spencer, novelist