Sunday, 25 October 2009

Writing Buddies on 23rd October 2009

Thanks to Jacqueline Pye for writing up the meeting on the 23rd October:

The group were moved this week to a corner of the Starbucks coffee shop in Borders, where we’ll probably be found each time until after Christmas. Apologies received from Penny Legg who was at a meeting up north; Pam presided for us.

Peter, a new member, has been writing a good deal of poetry, but has not yet submitted it for publication. He is considering various options including self publishing, and plans to join a group in Bournemouth. Other members recommended the groups Flair for Words and New Forest Poets.

Jimmy has been to the Bournemouth Literary Festival – he picked up some good tips and advice. The first part of one of his novels is almost ready to submit, and he is also well into work on a sci fi novel.

Glen has been tidying up her office! She mentioned that the BBC short story unit has changed its system; from now until the end of November only, they will consider short stories from new writers – info available from the BBC website.

Patsy is currently working on the proofs of her latest book on dog training, and also writing another. She is keen to write fiction, and is currently studying on two courses to this end.

Fiona J belongs to Wyvern Writers, who meet on the second Friday of each month (see below). She writes training materials professionally, but also poetry and various types of fiction for her own interest. She recently had a poem published in one South African magazine as well as a short story in another – there are plans to make her short story into a film in S Africa – the group was impressed, and we congratulated Fiona on her success.

Phillippa has been promoting her latest book of poetry since our last meeting. She recommended to the group the book “Writing Your Self” by Maria Schneider and John Killick.

Fiona van der S has now completed 10,000 words of her novel, though she finds the work will need adapting if she is to submit for the Harry Bowling prize – apparently it needs more romance! She has formally applied to join SWWJ.

Donna has written more poetry since last time, and is working on refining it – it sounds as though she is a natural.

Pam has returned to working on her novel, taking into account some advice given earlier. She mentioned that a short story for children written in the past was described by a critic as being more an adult book, and she was uncertain which way to jump on this. Other members of the group identified with this problem and we discussed it for a while.

Jacqueline has now written up the plot for her children’s detective story, with chapter-by-chapter detail.

Other points and recommendations which came up include:
• novelist Alan Tate is running a workshop for Wyvern Writers at Chandlers Ford library on Nov 13th -
details of content from

• fiction guidelines for The Lady were circulated, and can be requested from – note
they require submissions on CD

• Pam’s ‘slim volume’ of poetry was printed for her by Louis Ross in Totton quite reasonably. Info from

• Motivation Reaction Units were mentioned as a source of inspiration for fiction – Google has various

• some writers have found that pitching their work directly to celebrities or their agents was often
effective, bypassing the ‘doorman’ and leading to acceptance or at least further useful contacts. We
also discussed the usefulness of creating a monologue by our fictional character to flesh it out

• the 2010 Hampshire Poet competition is running until December 11th – two poems to be submitted,
with a personal statement – prize is four paid commissions with local relevance. Applies to those
living, working or studying in a Hampshire CC governed area (likely to exclude So’ton and Pompey).
Info from and click on Hampshire Poet 2010.

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