Great to be back in front of the laptop and updating the blog have been spending time recuperating after finishing the epic John O Groats to Lands End trip…a great adventure which I will share with you when the publisher and book come together.

So here’s to another fantastic year for each and everyone it will be the books first birthday next month 20th February I will celebrating this by appearing on stage at All Ears Event sharing the stage with Trevor Baylis OBE would be great to see you there please grab your tickets quick.

My publisher Waterside Press has entered The Little Book of Prison A Beginners Guide for The People’s Book Prize

Its up against some amazing books and I’m honoured that it has been considered and would really appreciate your vote. We have till 28th February please post the link to your Twitter and Facebook pages.

I continue to get tweets from fans of the book from all walks of life and experiences of the prison system from both sides of the wall to staff and support workers…. the LBP is fast becoming the standard issue for anyone with any connection to the sector or coming into it for the first time,

I wrote the tagline for LBP a year ago “If people want to know what life is like in prison LBP is for you. If you need to know what happens in prison its definitely for you” I am delighted to say that this has been proved to be true even the Governor of HMPX has a copy on his desk.

I am continuing to help offenders and ex-offenders through new projects and the diary is starting to fill up with university lectures through The Howard League student groups, will let you know the diary in the next update.

Bye for now and remember…”Have a good time all the time”


Aside  —  Posted: January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Well its 9 weeks till the training is replaced by the real thing 62 days 1160 miles raising money for The Forgiveness Project and like my legs and feet the diary is shaping up nicely. I will be walking into the following towns by day and have evening events planned in each so here’s the confirmed ones we have so far

Monday 18th September Glasgow– University of Strathclyde

Friday 22nd September Carlisle – Cumbria Probation Trust

Monday 25th September Newcastle – Northumbria University

Tuesday 26th September Durham – DISC and Writers In Prison Network Durham Prison

Thursday 28th September Middlesbrough – South Tees Youth Offender Team

Tuesday 2nd October Leeds – West Yorkshire Probation Trust

Thursday 4th October Manchester – Greater Manchester Probation Trust

Friday 5th October Liverpool – Liverpool University & Merseyside Probation Trust

Thursday 11th October Derby – Derby University

Friday 12th October Nottingham – Nottingham University & Nottinghamshire Youth Offender Team

Tuesday 16th October Leicester – Leicester University

Wednesday 17th October Birmingham – Birmingham City University & Writers In Prison Network

Tuesday 23rd October Gloucester – Wiltshire Probation Trust

Friday 26th October Exeter – Story Book Dads

Both The Scotland Howard League and UK Howard League are busy confirming more events in more towns, I am delighted with the response so far looking forward to confirming these.

I am also overwhelmed by the people that have contacted me to join me on legs of the walk, in some cases it will be very Forest Gump with Derby University students and staff joining me for the day. If your an individual please get in touch with me on Twitter @FrankieOwensJnr I would love to have company on as many of the days as possible. You can raise money for your own charity or help me with mine.

If your an organisation please do the same where we have events we can join up with your organisation, where we don’t lets make something happen.

Well trainers on and back out on the march , I look forward to updating you all soon before the final preparations please send the link around and help spread the word donations have been generous (Thank you to you all) now past £750 but looking to raise £10,000 by the finish.

Thanks for all your interest…..Best Frankie

I had the official London Launch of the book a few weeks ago, The Westminster Foundation and Koestler Trust did us proud. During the Q&A one question asked “How can we get the book into the hands of first time offenders?” Funny thing was I had been at HMP Brixton that morning doing an interview for National Prison Radio talking about the book.

I have been working hard to spread the message of The Little Book of Prison before the publish date the support was more than I could of hoped for and continues with the Walking for Forgiveness project

Inside Times ran several articles about the book and I had also worked with Sue Wilkinson at Prison Library Journal to run an article about the book a month before it hit the shelves. All of this helped Prisoners who were already in the system but not the ones that were heading for a prison sentence.

Since the book has been out there I have received tweets and emails from YOT and Probation staff saying how much they have enjoyed the book and how useful it is for their service users. This feedback has lead to me contacting 35 Probation Trusts and 160 Youth Offender Teams through out the UK  introducing the book and offering to deliver the University Guest Lecture to their teams.

You can hear the lecture here

I am delighted to say the first few bookings are being confirmed now and as part of the walk schedule starting in September. If you work in the sector please feel free to pass on this link to your line manager and together lets help as many people as we can, and maybe prevent some from going into the system.

Thank You and look forward to working with you.

LBP Walking for Forgiveness

Posted: April 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

After being a prisoner and losing everything I am now an award winning writer with 30 articles published and counting. I have been welcomed by The Huffington Post, Sabbortage Times The Guardian, Works for Freedom, The Justice Gap and The Royal Society of Arts. Numerous Universities have invited me to speak with local newspapers and radio stations running articles and interviews…a fantastic response.

However when it came to my local book launch and local newspaper the focus was on my negative past instead of my positive future work. The book launch was cancelled as someone went into the shop and threatened that there would be trouble. The local newspaper ran the story of my convictions and not the one about the award winning book that helps people. Although they did choose to use the photo I had sent for the book story but did not mention my mental illness!

I decided that I would do something to highlight Forgiveness and how imperitive it is to ex-offenders in order for them to re-integrate into society and focus on a positive future and not fall into social isolation or re-offending the product of focusing on the negative past. Society must contemplate forgiveness and take the opportunity to recognise all the reasons the criminal committed the crime then they can make an informed decision.

I came across the Forgiveness Project and its wonderful work and the die was cast. My challenge is to walk from John O Groats to Lands End visiting towns and cities along the way. Each destination will include visits to Prisons, Probation Trusts, Youth Offender Groups, Universities and Charities that work to help promote understanding, rehabilitation and re-integration of ex-offenders.

The walk begins 1st September in Scotland walking for 62 days until arriving at Lands End 1st November. The target is to raise £10,000 for The Forgiveness Project and raise awareness of the concept of forgiveness in our society. wish me luck and spread the word folks!

Well the official publish date was 20th Feb so its been around for 13 days now, its like having a 4th child . It is always with me and is selling in all sorts of interesting places, the last copy on the train heading to Chichester.

Here’s the latest review

This review is from: The Little Book of Prison: A Beginners Guide (Paperback)

For anyone who reads the red tops and believes their assertion that prison is like a holiday camp, this book is a definite eye-opener – all the televisions and games consoles in the world cannot take the place of freedom. It’s a practical guide to the etiquette of day to day life, from the necessities (tobacco, to trade even if you don’t smoke) to which prison job to aim for. The book is terrifically written; witty, thought provoking and sometimes painfully honest, it is full of laugh out moments interspersed with genuine pathos. Though I hope to never have to use the LBP as a reference text, it should be the first request for anyone unlucky enough to enter the system. A real winner.

Have a look at the rest at

Please add yours if you would be so kind……..

It was a pleasure to meet Erwin James of The Guardian newspaper while at the English Pen Conference at the Free World Centre. A great venue full of organisations doing great work to help people within and across the justice system from all perspectives.

I had read one of Erwin’s books while I was inside and delighted that he liked mine as much as I liked his. My favorite comment from Erwin was

“No-one has ever done this before, it is something very special”

You can read the article here

If not its in the Guardian newspaper tomorrow hope you like it.

Its amazing how these things come together they do say the harder you work the luckier you get well look out Bristol here we come on Tuesday 21st February.

I will be visiting the Howard League Student group at Bristol University in the morning sharing the experience of writing the book and the RSA article about Writing in Prison.

Then onto Hydra Books who have invited me to do a book signing from 4pm until 7pm it will be great to meet with Bristolians and sign copies of the book heres how to find us

My thanks to Vicki at BBC Radio Bristol for giving me the chance to talk to her listeners about LBP and the events on the 21st. My thanks also to Sally at Bristol Creatives for listing the event at Hydra Books on there website

Thank you Bristol really looking forward to the day.

It must of took all of 5 seconds to decide to accept the invitation from The Howard League Student Group housed at Birmingham City University I love Birmingham its a great city. I lived there for 2 years after studying my first degree and the people are fantastic and the sense of humour is on a par with the Pompey boys I have great friends from my time there.

I will be talking to 150 criminology students about the book and the RSA article about the benefits of writing in prison and anything else they wish to know about my time in the system.

My thanks to David Wilson at BCU and Sophie for bringing it all together I am looking forward to the event Wednesday 29th Febriuary and look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

6.30pm, Wednesday 8 February

Venue: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA

There’s a literacy crisis in the UK prison system and we need to do something about it. At the event we’ll be asking what role literature can play in our criminal justice system: What’s being done? What more can we do? Focusing on practical steps forward with a panel of leading experts and writers, this special English PEN action event is for everyone concerned with literature and justice and will involve people from across the charity and prison sectors

The details are on the link

Look forward to seeing you there.

Well the Little Book of Prison A Beginners Guide momentum is moving forwards so fast its like I’m holding on for dear life to a runaway train.

After being a prisoner and losing everything including my mind I leapt on the opportunity to write this article, a huge thank you to Liz and Charlotte for helping me put this together its an amazing magazine talking about Mental Health head on, please let me know what you think