Frosted Fire Press is an independent online and print publisher run by Marilyn & Howard Timms, who have a combined total of 60 years of editorial and design experience in print and multi-media publishing. Publishing books and its ezine wildfire words, Frosted Fire shares new poetry from many parts of the world, whether from fresh poetic voices or established poets. We also run competitions to encourage emerging poets and to discover poetry to publish.
In book publishing, we specialize in publishing the first collection in print of up-and-coming poets, selecting authors particularly from competition winners but also, increasingly, from individual submissions.
Online, in wildfire words, we give hundreds of poets each year an opportunity to share some of their best poems with the world. wildfire words selects poetry for publication through competitions, submission windows, and features. To date, we have published poets from more than 25 different countries.
From 2019 to 2021, Frosted Fire was one of the largest financial supporters for Cheltenham Poetry Festival in difficult times for the arts. After contracting Covid-19 in 2020, we reduced our voluntary roles in the organization of Cheltenham Poetry Festival events to focus on wildfire words and Frosted Fire. The Festival team agreed in February 2022 that we should now focus our efforts and resources on our burgeoning publishing programme. We now aim to further the reading and writing of poetry, and complement the Festival’s outstanding work providing events for poetry lovers to appreciate outstanding and developing poets.
We currently have three annual competitions running in support of wildfire words and Frosted Fire, and rely on that and donations to cover the expenses of running a voluntary global poetry-sharing community.
Anna Saunders, CEO of the Festival, wrote: “We are more than grateful for your generosity. Your work and financial gifts to the Festival have been immensely appreciated and now we honour you as Life Patrons.”
Howard Timms is publisher and editor of wildfire words and Frosted Fire. A playwright and actor with production credits in the U.S. and Britain, on retirement he followed his wife, Marilyn, into writing poetry. After gaining an MA with merit in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, Howard focussed mainly on poetry. He has had many poems published in journals and anthologies.
Howard’s first book of poetry, Deciphering the Maze (Indigo Dreams, 2020) is a collaboration with Marilyn.
Howard was part of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival management team from 2014 to 2020 until cancer treatment and Covid led to his gradual withdrawal. Since then, he has focused on Frosted Fire and wildfire words, continuing as a financial supporter of the Festival. In recognition of that, the Festival made him a Life Patron in 2022, and encouraged him to develop Frosted Fire as an independent poetry publisher.
Marilyn Timms is co-publisher and co-editor, cover designer, and competitions coordinator for wildfire words and Frosted Fire. A much published author in journals, anthologies, and ezines, she has won many prizes, and appeared six times in the winners’ list of Gloucestershire Writers Network annual competition at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Marilyn’s first published poetry collection was Poppy Juice (2018, Beechwood Press).
Marilyn’s second book, Deciphering the Maze (Indigo Dreams, 2020) was a collaboration with Howard. Two of her plays have reached the stage; the third lies mouldering alongside her novels.
Marilyn supported Howard in his Cheltenham Poetry Festival management roles, and became an equal partner in the development of Frosted Fire and wildfire words. In recognition of that, the Festival made her a Life Patron in 2022.
Annie Ellis is proofreader and usability tester for wildfire words website, and gatekeeper for our online events. In June 2023 she is sponsoring a limerick competition in memory of her daughter, Katrina.
Annie is also part of the team running Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
Annie started writing poetry seriously in January 2014. Her first book Nature at a Cost, was released in February 2021. She has had poems published in eight anthologies and in Dawntreader, Snakeskin, and wildfire words.
You can read all about Nature at a Cost here.
wildfire words judging teams
Frosted Fire Firsts Judges 2023
C. I. Marshall won the 2022 Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Award, with her book The Locksmith Journeys to the Underworld. Full details of book and biography are here.
Helena Goddard won the 2022 Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Award, with her book How Bodies Are Changed. Full details of book and biography are here.
Frosted Fire Firsts Judges 2022
Angela France, the lead judge, has had poems published in many leading journals and a number of anthologies. Her publications include Occupation (Ragged Raven Press, 2009), and from Nine Arches Press: Lessons in Mallemaroking (2011), Hide (2013) and The Hill (2017) and Terminarchy.
The Hill was developed into a live multi-media poetry show which Angela toured, funded by Arts Council England. Angela has an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing and a PhD from the University of Gloucestershire. Angela teaches creative writing at the university and in various community settings,
‘Angela France’s language possesses and is possessed by a gloriously sheared weight and shared music.’ (David Morley) More at Angela’s Website.
Judging with Angela in the 2022 competition are three earlier winners of the Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Award, all of whom have a feature page in wildfire words.
Janet Lees, award winner in 2019, is a short-listing judge working with Angela France,
Maeve Henry & Ben Verinder, both award-winners in 2021, are triage judges who between them consider every entry as a candidate for the long list.
New Voices Judges 2022
The lead judge, who will decide and publish the winners from a long list produced by the triage judges, is Marilyn Timms, whose photograph and biography are here.
Imogen Osborne is a triage judge as a holder of the New Voices First Pamphlet Award 2021. Her judging involves reading half of the entries, and selecting up to 10 candidates for a 2022 award. Imogen’s biography, together with details and sample poems from her book New Year, appear here.
Natalie Perman is a triage judge as a holder of the New Voices First Pamphlet Award 2021. Her judging involves reading half of the entries, and selecting up to 10 candidates for a 2022 award. Natalie’s biography, together with details and sample poems from her book Cataclysm, appear here.
New Voices Judges 2021
David Clarke, the lead judge for the 2021 competition, is the author of two poetry collections from Nine Arches Press, Arc (2015) and The Europeans (2019), and two poetry pamphlets, Gaud (2012; Michael Marks Award) and Scare Stories (2017). His work has featured in magazines including Poetry Wales, Magma, and Long Poem.
Working with David as triage judge to read all entries was Howard Timms.
Every Breath single-poem contest 2022
Ben Ray, the lead judge, makes a final adjudication, selecting award winners from a longlist prepared by the triage judges. Ben is 2019 New Poets Prize winner, Poet in Residence for the Living Levels Landscape Partnership and Poetry Patron Cheltenham Poetry Festival. An accomplished young poet and reviewer from the Welsh borders Ben has ‘a fresh and original poetic voice – full of wit, twists, surprises, echoes and challenges’ (Alan Rusbridger, former editor of The Guardian). His third collection The Kindness of the Eel is due to be published with The Poetry Business in June 2022, and he has two previous collections published with Indigo Dreams Publishing, most recently What I heard on the Last Cassette Player in the World.
Ben’s poetry, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide array of journals, newspapers and websites. From performing at sold-out venues to one-to-one mentoring and from leading poetry groups to giving talks and workshops with young people in schools, Ben is a versatile and consummate poet, performer, workshop leader, and mentor.
He is constantly active in the poetry community, whether it’s running virtual online workshops during the Coronavirus crisis, judging the 2020 and 2022 Frosted Fire single poem competitions, or presenting an academic paper on poetry and climate change at the 2019 World Youth Forum: Rights to Dialogue in Italy. He has also had work commissioned by the EU Commission and performed within the EU institutions, and his workshops and poetry have also been included in the Living Levels Landscape Partnership with the RSPB, connecting people to the historic landscape of the Gwent Levels in south Wales.
Ben also writes analysis and comment on EU affairs for various journals and has appeared on several EU affairs podcasts discussing poetry and European affairs, bringing together his loves of poetry, culture, and Europe. He currently works as a copywriter in the European Parliament and is based in Brussels.
Ben Ray Website
Transformation single-poem contest 2021
Fiona Sampson MBE is a leading British poet and writer, published in thirty-eight languages. Her twenty-seven books include eight poetry collections, the critically acclaimed In Search of Mary Shelley and Limestone Country, and studies of poetry and poetic form. She collaborates frequently with musicians and visual artists and is a broadcaster, critic and literary translator, and was the Editor of Poetry Review 2005-12.
Sampson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, of the English Association and of the Wordsworth Trust; other honours include the Newdigate Prize, Cholmondeley Prize, Hawthornden Fellowship, various awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales, Society of Authors, Poetry Book Society and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Book of the Year selections. Her international awards include the Naim Frashëri Laureateship (Albania and Macedonia), European Lyric Atlas Prize (Bosnia), Zlaten Prsten (Macedonia), and Charles Angoff Award (US). Her Two-Way Mirror: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning appeared in 2021 and Starlight Wood, a study of the Romantics’ rural legacy, in 2022. Fiona Sampson website.
Anna Saunders is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival, a distinguished poet, and a mentor whose workshops, and one-on-one tutoring, attract dozens of poets each year.
Anna’s volumes of poetry include Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams),and Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams). Anna’s latest book is Feverfew (Indigo Dreams, 2021). The collection has been described as ‘rich with obsession, sensuousness and potency’ by Ben Ray, and ‘a beautiful and necessary collection’ by Penny Shuttle.
Anna has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by Wendy Klein in The North, a ‘modern myth maker’ by Paul Stephenson, and ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Anna Saunders website
Zoe Brooks worked with disadvantaged communities in London and East Oxford before returning to her native Gloucestershire to write and grow vegetables. Widely published in print and online magazines, Zoe has also appeared in the anthology Grandchildren of Albion. Her long poem ‘Fool’s Paradise’ won the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition award for best poetry ebook 2013.
Zoe’s first poetry collection is Owl Unbound, published by Indigo Dreams in 2020.