Published: Friday, 30th September 2022

Are you a budding writer or poet?

Medway Libraries is encouraging residents to send in their stories, essays, poems and prose inspired by six brilliant women with close connections Gillingham to create two books.

The Circle of Six Women project is uncovering local feminist heroes with personal connections to Gillingham.

The six women are Suffragist and peace campaigner, Dame Kathleen Courtney, African princess and friend to Queen Victoria, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, pioneering psychiatrist, Dr Lorna Wing, poet and novelist, Rosemary Tonks, inventor and engineer, Verena Holmes and artist Eileen “Tirzah” Garwood.

Two anthologies will be created using residents’ submissions - one for children and young people aged seven to 16 and the other for residents aged 17 and above.

Budding writers can enter three submissions in any style of their choosing. The world limits for children aged seven to 13 are 200 words for poetry and 500 words for other submissions; for those aged 14 to 16, 40 lines of poetry and 1,500 words and for residents aged 17 and above, 60 lines for poetry and 3,000 words for other mediums.

Poems, stories, essays and prose inspired by the Circle of Six Women

Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am pleased that we are inviting budding writers to send in poems and stories inspired by the Circle of Six Women – all of whom have fascinating stories and close links to Gillingham. I would encourage residents of all ages to discover more about the Circle of Six project and to submit their writings for consideration. I look forward to reading the entries.”

The competition supports Medway’s aspiration to become a child-friendly city – providing more opportunities for young people.

The submissions will be judged anonymously by a judging panel for inclusion in the books, which are due to be published in March 2023.

The deadline for entries is midnight on Monday, 31 October. Submissions can be sent by post, in person at any Medway library or emailed to

Find out more.

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