Friday, 19 June 2009

Writing Buddies - A Successful Meeting Indeed!

Our third meeting at Borders and we had to breathe in to fit us all around the table! There were five new writers to welcome, three professionals and two aspiring. It is great to see that news of our little group is spreading.

The talk over the mugs of coffee ranged from the sad demise of the semi-colon to the fate of those who succumb to the flattery of some of the more unscrupulous vanity publishers. Tessa Warburg told us about her book launch and how pleased she had been with the way it was handled at Waterstones and Julia Painter was congratulated for her win in the recent Write-Invite competition (see previous blog entry). How to cope with distance learning students with poor English formed a major part of the decision at one point. Several of those sipping coffee today were tutors who had not visited Africa or India, where many of the students came from, and they sought advice on the kind of English being taught there. It was interesting to note that there was enough experience around the table to be able to offer advice. Dee Williams told us of how she started the first of her nineteen novels and the trials and tribulations she went through to get it to a publishable standard.

In all, there were fourteen writers present, representing both fiction and non-fiction, brand new and nervous to seasoned veterans. It is really good to see that Writing Buddies is becoming so popular.

Our next meeting is on Friday 3rd July at 2pm at the Borders Bookstore in Southampton, when we will be welcoming Simon Whaley with a cuppa. You are welcome to join us.

Writing Buddies - Our first book launch

Tessa Warburg launched her latest novel, The Dohlen Inheritance, the first part of a trilogy, at Waterstones, Southampton, last night. Well attended, the launch saw part of the novel being read and many copies being signed by the author.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Writing Buddies - Taiella, a new blog

Tessa Warburg, one of the Writing Buddies, has started a new blog following our discussion of blogging and its many and various merits at the last cuppa and a chat session in Borders.

To read her blog click here. As you can see, it is interesting and entertaining. I wish her luck with it.

The next meeting of Writing Buddies is on Friday, 19th June, at 2pm at the Borders Bookshop in Southampton. See you there!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Writing Buddies - Our first guest...

I am pleased to announce that Simon Whaley, author, writer, photographer and traveller, will be coming for a cuppa and a chat with the Writing Buddies on Friday 3rd July. As usual the group will meet at 2pm in the Borders Bookshop in Southampton. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Writing Buddies - We Have a Winner!

Hot off the presses is the news that Julia Painter has won the WriteOnSite competition held on Saturday 30th May.

The announcement is as follows:

We are pleased to announce that a winner has been chosen for the WriteOnSite competition held on Saturday the 30th May 2009.

Congratulations to Julia Painter who has won the competition with the entry 'Man-made fibres'!

Julia won with 45% of the votes, taking home the prize fund of £40.00. The runners up were Simon Hall with ‘The free climber’ and Joanna Campbell with ‘The Scarlet Ribbon’.

Themes: 1 Scarlett 2 Footsteps 3 Chaz's 1970's polo-necked cardigan 1 'Blending' contained 'The colour of our love blistered into a pale bubble' This was a strong contender. 'The Scarlett Ribbon' was about men - 'an assortment to dip into'. A social scene well-evoked about women following men, containing also ...'a storm cloud of mosquitoes'. And then at the end something really happened. Was short-listed. 'Scarlet' featured a man's transformation via make-up and more. 'Strawberry' had an immediately fast pace, clever use of a reflective tone in conjunction with the practicalities under the make-up artist. 'Scarlett' had a girl working for an auction house who gets very interested in a figure in her own image. Clever and a good idea. 2 Featured 'Following' - a woman thinks she is being followed, perhaps she has done something wrong? She hasn't. A good twist. 'Running' was somebody definitely escaping their pursuers, exciting! 'The free climber' was highly descriptive, we were guessing a combination of themes 1 and 2.' With 'Footseps:' we wanted to know who was on the other side of the door. 'Footsteps' was simple, good strong writing - poignant and a clever idea: the footseps of a blind person. 3 'Man-made fibres' had pace, with sentences cracking along. We liked the intimacy with the father and the child, and the minatue of clothing described. Cloying. Claustrophobic. Enoyed the Basil Brish inference too! You voted this your winner! 'The Music Man' contained 'Call me Chaz. I didn't.' Funny, good dialogue. 'A comfort' was the tale of a man clinging to the memory of his wife through a cardigan - plausible writing here. And with 'Unpicking' a woman recycles a cardigan for the next generation. Plausible and moving.

You can read this and previous winning entries on the WriteInvite website.

The next competition will start at 5:30pm on Saturday the 13th June 2009

Entry is just £4.00 with the winner taking home half ‘the pot’ (with a guaranteed minimum win of £5)!

Congratulations, Julia.

Writing Buddies - From One of Our Writers

This has come in as a comment from one of our members, James Marsh.


just to say how much everyone seemed to enjoy the second meeting of writing buddies. A new member turned up and obviously enjoyed the experience. I have gained so much from the first two meetings of this group.

Listening and talking with other writers, many of them published authors. It lets me know I am not alone as I sit and pound out my ideas in the seclusion of my home.

Turning up at Borders and enjoying a cup of coffeee with these people lifts me up to another level.

So why not come along to the next meeting on the 19th of June and enjoy the afternoon with all of us. You will be made very welcome indeed.

Jimmy Marsh

Thanks Jimmy. There has been a flurry of comments on this site from our writers recently. After two meetings, we are going strong!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Writing Buddies - A Great Meeting of Literary Minds...

One of our writers, Julia Painter, has summed up today's meeting, our second, at Borders. This is what she says:

'A great meeting of literary minds took place this afternoon at Borders! Wonderful to be able to link up with other writers - published and aspiring - representing a multidude of genres. This afternoon we talked latest news writing-wise, including competitions, writing conferences and other local groups. What is good about this new group is its informality and the participants' desire to share information, news and hot tips. Looking forward to the next session! And another Starbucks Caramel Latte and Chocolate Cake...'

Come and join us. It really is fun! the next meeting is Friday 19th June at the Southampton Borders bookshop at 2pm.