Friday, 3 July 2009

Writing Buddies - Simon Whaley, our first guest!

Simon Whaley (second from left) joined us for a cuppa for our fourth meeting and a very lively, laughter filled meeting it was too!

A dozen writers gathered to discuss successes and hot topics. Chief amongst these was how to break in to, and have success in, the short story market, with many of the group offering tips and advice on how to approach different publications. It was agreed that the best way forward was to target a publication, read several copies and then attempt to produce stories in the same style. Never send the same story to another publication unless it has been re-written to suit the second's style. Time management techniques for writers also came up. Simon suggested that having a writer's diary, which records not just what has been accomplished in the day, but also how well the writing has gone, was useful.

There were several successes reported and it was great to hear of them.

Robin Dynes (back row, dark blue top), has a new book, part of a long running series for therapists, 'Instant Session Plans', coming out soon. 'Instant Session Plans for Essential Life Skills: Relationships,' is due out in September. To pre-order it click here.

Mo Foster (back row with black scarf), has 'Words Fly' coming out in June 2010, to add to her considerable repertoire of published works.

Pam Whittington (back row, second from right, green top), was Commended at the recent Hythe Festival for her poem, 'A Fall at the Gym.'

Barbara Dynes (back row, fourth from left), has a double page spread in July's Writers' Forum magazine. Her piece is entitled, 'Recruit six honest serving men' and offers advice on how Rudyard Kipling's poem can 'provide a useful checklist' for stories.

Donna Steward (front row, second from left), has just completed an Open University course, 'Understanding Human Nutrition,' and is now full of enthusiasm and ideas to begin her first piece of writing. The group look on Donna as their first project, as she has only recently decided to start writing. Writing Buddies will offer on-going support and advice to Donna in the coming months and we all wish her well with her endeavours.

Penny Legg (back row, third from left, in white), has revamped her website and now offers editorial and writing advice to new writers, students, job seekers and the unemployed, in addition to her freelance journalism and photographic services.

Other news was also in abundance.

Barbara Jackson (front row, first on left) reported that the Southampton Writers' Circle has asked Society of Woman Writers and Journalists' (SWWJ) Chair, Jean Morris, to adjudicate the Greensleeves Award for a short story, in November. The SWC's next meeting is on Wednesday 15th July. Contact Barbara for details through the above link.

Tessa Warburg (front row, second from right) told the group of the previous evening's Writer's in Southampton (WiS) meeting, where Hedge End based author, Daniel Clay, was the guest speaker. 'Broken' was Daniel's first book, after having had two poems and three short stories published in twenty years of writing before his book was published to much acclaim. It has been published on two continents and in three languages and has been shortlisted for two awards. The BBC have also optioned the film rights. It would be great if Daniel could make a Writing Buddies meeting one day.

It was also reported that Writers' News, the magazine for subscribers to Writing Magazine, has a piece on the launching of Writing Buddies. This really is good news. Our little group is now on the map.

In all, it was a fun-filled, lively, advice-ridden and laid back meeting. Writing Buddies thanks Simon Whaley for coming and we hope he enjoyed the afternoon as much as we enjoyed having him join us.

Our next meeting is on Friday 17th July at 2pm, at the Borders bookshop in Southampton. Everyone is welcome.


  1. I am so pleased that this group is so successful so quickly, I just wished I lived a bit closer! But my next UK visit itinery will definitely include Buddies.

  2. Great to hear you say so, we look forward to welcoming you.

  3. Just wanted to say thanks for inviting me - glad I could make it. I wish everyone in the group all the success with their writing!

    Best Wishes


  4. It was a real pleasure having you join us, Simon.
    Penny and the Writing Buddies