News Items

Kathryn Bell

On Monday 20 May 2024 the secretary of the Gay Authors Workshop, Kathryn Bell, celebrated her 90th birthday with a visit from two members, Hastie Salih and Peter Scott-Presland.

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Peter presented her with the Sappho in Paradise 2024 Award (from the Stockholm-based International Lesbian and Gay Culture Network [ILGCN]), in recognition of nearly fifty years with the Workshop since its founding, most of them as secretary. It also acknowledged her support for her life partner, poet and writer Elsa Beckett, who died in 2015.

The two of them were also tireless campaigners for the rights of older and disabled lesbians, through the organisation GEMMA.

After the presentation, all three demolished a magnificent strawberry and cream cake in a disgusting display of self-indulgence, before Kathryn went back to work on the GAW June Newsletter. Some people never stop!

Kathryn 90th Cake

Patrick Notchtree
Maxym book cover

GAW member Patrick Notchtree, a regular contributor at the monthly Zoom gatherings, has been shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize 2024 for his novel Maxym.

This is a major American award for 'independent salient writing as well as the independent spirit of small publishers'. It carries a prize of $5,000.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) was a moral philosopher and novelist with working class roots who had a passionate interest in good new writing. We wish Patrick good luck.

Maxym got an honourable mention? We wish Patrick good luck.

Forty for Forty
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We've discovered there's real talent and appetite for what is called micro-fiction; stories even shorter than flash fiction. 

Stories in six words are popular. For example ‘Met on Demonstration’, ‘Married’, ‘Still Protesting’.

In response to this we are instituting an additional prize in the Flash Dances competition. Forty for Forty will award a £40 prize for the best story under 40 words, i.e. £1 a word. That would have made Proust a millionaire!

If you're lured by this vast wealth and would like to submit your forty-word story, use the Submission Form below.

Deadline for all submissions is 30 June 2024.

Memories of Ivor C Treby
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Ivor C Treby (always with a C) was writing queer poetry from the late 1960s onwards. 

He became a founder member of Gay Authors Workshop along with Mike Harth in 1978.

It became a natural home for him, along with The Performing Oscars, a poets' roadshow of the early 1980s which also appeared on the Cabaret Stage at Pride. 

This memoir, which is not complete, shows his racy opinionated style, and references many of his poems. He wrote four volumes which are now only available in archives.

Ivor himself was very conscious of creating a legacy, was meticulous in his record-keeping, and has a small but very well organised archive collection at the Bodleian Library.

Whilst ferreting around I discovered that he also turns up on IMDB as a scriptwriter for a 1972 series, But Seriously, it's Sheila Hancock. He was in good company since other writing credits went to Harold Pinter, John Betjeman, Michael Frayn, Germaine Greer, Ogden Nash and Roger McGough.

Like so many older lesbians and gays, he had a fascinating history and hinterland, if only anyone could have bothered to ask. I'm hoping this will encourage other GAW veterans to put their memories to paper for this archive section while there is yet time.

If you are, please email

Ivor’s notes and memories

Peter Scott-Presland