Saturday, 26 September 2009

Writing Buddies - four new members!

The Writing Buddies were delighted to welcome four new members to the coffee table on the 25th September. It was good to see so many new faces.

Writing Buddies are an industrious lot. Donna is over the moon that her poem is to be published on the Poets of Africa website as well as SF Magazine. She now has to come to grips with the technology that will enable her to download her work to the net. The step to becoming a published writer is an exciting one and Donna is slightly apprehensive, but determined! Good luck, Donna.

Jimmy has decided to make his pen name James, as he has discovered that there is an American Rap Artist by the same name. He is about to launch his own website and does not want to be confused with the singer. He is also busy working on short stories, fifteen in the last three weeks, and what was to have been a longer short story, has now become his next book. He is currently writing it as The Far End of the Tunnel a sci-fi/fantasy story.

Tessa hopes the second part of her trilogy, Hobgoblin Gold , will be out soon. She has also submitted a short story, Luxorious Odyssey, to Legend Press. This is a tale based on an Egyptian holiday and is meant for older women's interest.

Fiona's screenplay is being re-written into a political thriller but Fiona has found that the research for the book, set between 1997 and 2007, can take over her writing time. Her neighbours are benefiting from her work, as she has discovered that she gets her best ideas when she is gardening! The Writing Buddies have said that they will draw up a list of those needing a gardener if Fiona runs out of neighbours! Since the last meeting she has written her first two thousand words and has found the BBC's broadcasts of previously un-aired Agatha Christie interviews, in which the great crime writer is revealed as having to write on the kitchen table just like many other writers, a great inspiration. Fiona has also applied to be a full member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and the Writing Buddies wish her well with this application.

Newcomer Ash is busy working on script writing for television. He has written a two part story for Dr Who and is busy creating a new show. He also writes short stories which he hopes to expand to novel length. Ash has just joined the Southampton Writers' Circle.

Our second new member, Jacque, has been working on a novel for the last seven years, following a series of dreams which haunt her even today. She believes that 'we have to have belief in ourselves as writers' and the Writing Buddies agree. Her novel has grown and is in two parts. She has not had the confidence to show it to anyone but hopes that this will change since her decision to join the Southampton Writers' Circle and Writing Buddies. Jacque is currently looking for work in the area and the Writing Buddies wish her well with this.

Sabrina has attended the Southampton University Literary Festival, which featured publisher, MacMillan and agent, Geraldine Cook. Sabrina is working on a fantasy novel but has recently discovered just how difficult writing a short story can be.

Jacqueline has been super busy! She has submitted some pieces on the Second World War with photos to the Daily Echo but there has been no reply. She has filed all her rejected and accepted work away and has decided to rework her radio story, originally broadcast when it won 2nd prize in the South Coast Radio Solent Awards. She now considers it old fashioned and is going to make the central character more sympathetic. She is going to re-write her novel, originally written as part of a Writers' News course. Jacqueline also told the group of the value of listening to people's life stories. They can be the basis of many ideas for written work.

Pamela, our third new writer, used to work for a radio station in Uganda and is currently looking for writing work in England. She told us a little of her journalistic life and the stories she covered. She is currently writing the biography of a nun in 1970s Uganda who was the head of a boarding school where Amin's children studied. She showed no favouritism, which was a courageous thing to do at the time. The Writing Buddies wish her every success with this project and her quest for writing work.

Penny has been busy working looking through archive photographs for suitable shots for her books. She has interviewed the Bagman of the Winchester Morris Men and the historian at the Winchester Theatre Royal. She has been asked to chair a panel discussion at the Bournemouth Literary Festival in October and gave a talk on digital photography and journalism for the Hants/Wilts/Dorset region of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She has also won the Southampton Writers' Circle Scroll Award for Best Writing 2008/9.

Lynn came shopping to Borders and heard some of our discussion. The Writing Buddies were pleased when she came over and joined us. We look forward to seeing her again next meeting.

The Writing Buddies helped Jimmy understand the submission guidelines for a short story he wished to send out. E-readers and their benefits once more featured in the chat, as did a warning about Raider Publishers, which will charge to publish work. Marketing featured strongly in discussion and various ways of marketing work were discussed. It was recommended that writers have business cards with them at all times and a web presence is essential. Ash wondered if an anthology is a good way to showcase the range of work a writer can produce, but this was generally considered to work best for those with well known names.

Tessa reminded the Writing Buddies that Writers In Southampton would meet on Thursday 1st October at the Richmond Inn in Portswood, Guests £3 or £10 for a yearly ticket.

In all it was an action packed meeting, with many of the writers present having much to say. This is just what Writing Buddies is all about! If you would like to join us, our next meeting is on Friday 9th October at the Borders Bookshop in Southampton. We look forward to welcoming you.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Writing Buddies, a senior moment

As readers of this blog will know, I usually write up the meetings for those interested in the Writing Buddies chat. The meeting on 11th September is conspicuous by its absence.

Sadly, in a senior moment, I sent my notebook to join my beloved little point and shoot camera and have been searching for them both for some time. I write this then as a recollection of the meeting, rather than as fact. I hope no one minds and I hope I don't get too much wrong!

We welcomed Fiona Vandersluys to our midst, on a day when we had a lower turn out due to illness. Fiona has been writing for business publications and is now working on a novel.

Richard came along and showed us some examples of the framed poetry he has produced, which has sold well in the past.

Jimmy has been busy with short stories and has had non-fiction work accepted by Best of British magazine. This is his first attempt at article writing. Well done, Jimmy.

Donna is looking forward to writing for SF Magazine and busy bee Jacqueline is working on her anthology of short stories and her detective stories, both for children.

Tessa is working on the next books of her trilogy, following the success of the launch of The Dohlen Inheritance, the first book in the series, earlier this year.

I have been busy working in Cornwall for Cornwall Today and This England magazines. She has also spent a lot of time at the Winchester Records Office seeking possible images for her books. After the meeting I was off to the Southampton Old Green Bowling Club to photograph the investiture of the newest Knight of the Old Green, the winner of the recent Knighthood Competition, held there annually for more than 200 years.

The next meeting is on Friday 25th September at Borders bookshop in Southampton at 2 pm. I will have a new notebook by then!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Writing Buddies - another successful meeting!

The Writing Buddies meeting on Friday 28th August was another successful one. We welcomed Tracy to our midst and the chat around the table ranged from the merits of Open Office free software to the possibility of internet theft of published work and the value of Writers' News magazine in keeping up to date with changes in the publishing world.

Mo had been busy writing articles and has engaged a coach to work with her on editing her second novel, to be published by PaperBack next year. Together they are writing an article on coaching.

Tessa bemoaned the fact that she had loved writing The Dohlen Inheritance, but cannot be enthusiastic about selling it. The second part of the trilogy is with a copy editor and she is busy writing the final part.

Barbara has been busy on the Southampton Writers' Circle agenda for the 2009/2010 season and has entered her award winning story, The Spiral for another competition, after editing it following advice from tutors at Lit Up! earlier in the summer.

Patricia brought along her first Maths Trail, set in Watts Park in Southampton. She is now thinking of writing an article on her experiences writing this trail and the rest in the series, for The Times Educational Supplement.

Sabrina, fresh from an exciting trip to Italy, is busy juggling plots and working on her university dissertation.

Donna has had a letter accepted by SF Promo magazine and is considering offering this publication her new poem.

Jimmy is re-writing his Sundance Gang books and has taken to short story writing. He has just entered a Society of Woman Writers and Journalists (SWWJ) competition and has had an article accepted by Best of British magazine.

Tracy is busy working on her Masters degree, studying with the Open University. She has not written for several years but wishes to ease her way back into the writing world. Writing Buddies welcomed her.

The next meeting of Writing Buddies is on Friday 11th September, at 2pm at the Borders Bookshop in Southampton. Everyone is welcome!