Colors: Cyan Color

Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage, one of the UK’s leading arts development agencies, announces the launch of MY CITY, MY HOME, a major, specially commissioned, international writing competition for women and girls from diverse communities in Birmingham (UK), Bangladesh and Pakistan.

MY CITY, MY HOME is part of Transforming Narratives, a ground-breaking three- year project to establish Birmingham as a global centre for contemporary arts from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

MY CITY, MY HOME will reach out to emerging female writers from all three locations resulting in a publication of selected works, together with live readings at events in the UK and other countries.

Piali Ray OBE., Director of Sampad said: “The identity and role of women is as diverse across cities and countries as is 21st century society. Cities are a melting pot of cosmopolitan cultures yet, there is a distinctiveness and roots that connect to the past.


“By launching MY CITY, MY HOME in what is Sampad’s 30th anniversary year, we want to give women and girls the chance to tell their story. We need to hear it from them.”

The competition is open to women and girls aged 16 and over and can be a response to, or a reflection on the phrase MY CITY, MY HOME. Run online, women can enter a poem, short-story, or other prose.  A maximum of two pieces of work can be entered and will be accepted in English, Urdu, and Bangla languages.

MY CITY, MY HOME will work with Project Associates in Pakistan and Bangladesh connecting online with diverse groups of women and girls in their countries and supporting them to participate.

Sophina Jagot, Transforming Narratives Project Manager added: “The Transforming Narratives programme is all about making connections between artists and creative practitioners in Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and it seemed to us now more than ever we needed to support the cultural sector in making those connections.

“Sampad’s MY CITY, MY HOME promises to make and develop many new connections with groups of women and girls creating opportunities for them to participate and create for themselves. We look forward to hearing their stories.”.

Closing date for entries is 30 December 2020. Winners will be informed between 22-26 February 2021 and will each receive £200.00. Publication of winning entries and further selected pieces will be launched in Birmingham, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in summer 2021.

Supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, British Council and Transforming Narratives, MY CITY, MY HOME, is part of Sampad’s Sakshi (meaning Witness in Hindi) strand launched in 2018. Running until 2022 Sakshi will deliver a series of projects which focus on girls and women, to involve them in creative projects and to get their voices heard through the arts.

The Festive Gift Fair, the fabulous Christmas Shopping Fair is coming back to the NEC in Birmingham from the 16-19th Noveber with even more new and exciting stalls than ever!

Christmas means gifts for your loved ones, hanging decorations on the tree, excitement on children’s faces, party games, movies by the fire and a table fit for a festive feast…! Often the most time-consuming part is finding clever presents. There’s no need to be stuck for ideas, start with a trip to the Festive Gift Fair and you’ll see how fun and easy Christmas shopping can be!

From the moment you arrive, you’ll be caught up in the excitement of the day, exploring 350 stalls overflowing with thousands upon thousands of cracking gift ideas and decorations that don’t cost the earth.

The variety is HUGE, with presents for all ages – from babies to teenagers, and parents to grandparents.

When your bags are full, you can drop them off at the Present crèche and continue to shop, or stop for a bite to eat in one of the four sparkly catering/entertainment areas, where you can enjoy watching a great line-up of live musical acts – to get you rocking round the Christmas Tree!

No wonder The Festive Gift Fair is one of the most popular Christmas shopping events in the UK!

We’ve teamed up with the Festive Gift Fair to give away 10 pairs of tickets to the event to our lucky readers.

For your chance to win a pair, get your Christmas brain into gear and answer the question in the box below via email!


For your chance to win one of 10 pairs of tickets to The Festive Gift Fair at the NEC Birmingham, just answer this simple question!

Which Famous Reindeer had a very shiny nose? a) Prancer b) Blitzen c) Rudolph

Just email your answer, with your name, address and contact number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject “Festive Gift Fair Competition”. Competition closes at 23.59 on 3rd November 2017. There is no cash alternative.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters may sue the Metropolitan Police after the protest ban was ruled illegal by the high court, said Dr Rupert Read, a spokesperson for XR and a lecturer at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The ruling that was handed down said the section 14 order imposed on XR protesters last month was unlawful.

Dr Read, a reader in philosophy in UEA’s School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, is also a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion.

He said: “The ruling emphasises that assembly for peaceful purposes is not a crime.

“We are in an emergency. The right to peacefully assemble is therefore more crucial than ever. This judgement vindicates that right.”

Mekazoo, which we first looked at back at EGX 2016 at the NEC earlier this year, has now launched onto Playstation 4 and Xbox One in Europe. The free-flowing neon-infused platformer takes inspiration from the great and nostalgic platformers of old, giving players access to 5 Mekanimals, each with their own individual strengths. From Frog, to Armadillo, Wallaby, Panda and Pelican, you are able to swing, boost, bounce, climb and fly your way through each level.

The film that gave the world one of its greatest movie heroes, Indiana Jones, is back and better than ever before! Relive the magic on the silver screen with the original great adventure… Raiders of the Lost Ark, with John Williams’ epic score performed live to picture by a full symphony orchestra!

For your chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark in Concert! at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham on the 21st September, just answer this simple question!

Which actor portrayed Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark? a) Tom Hanks b) Harrison Ford c) Sean Connery

Just email your answer, with your name, address and contact number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject “Indiana Jones Competition”. Competition closes at 23.59 on 19th September 2018. There is no cash alternative.

It is being plugged as the most exciting reunion of the decade, with Matt and Luke Goss announcing their show at The O2 Arena in August 2017. It will be their first show together since they performed to 77,000 at Wembley Stadium back in 1989. Demand has been unprecedented with tickets for the show selling out in seconds, breaking O2 box office records in the process.

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