Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Writing Buddies Carries On!

After last meeting, when the tables on the Borders shop floor were in use and there was nowhere for the Writing Buddies to go apart from in the noisy coffee shop, I am pleased to report that this time we had a spot back in the relative peace and quiet of the shop itself.

Nine Buddies turned up and it was good to meet two new additions to the group.

Jimmy, as usual, has been very busy. He has sent off competition entries to Legend Press, Bridge House, McKitterick, the BBC My Story Competition and the Southampton Writers' Circle and now had his fingers crossed as he waits for the results. In the meantime he is writing chapter 11 of his latest book, a sci-fi/fantasy and is editing the first three chapters of his first Davy Collins novel so that it can be sent out to a publisher.

Richard has not been writing recently but was happy to join in the group again as he can only come along every so often.

Tessa has been busy editing her second novel.

Donna reported more success, this time with the Poets of Africa Institute. She is now working on a collection of short stories, to be illustrated by her husband. She has tried her hand at the Hythe writing group 250 word exercise, which was challenging.

The Writing Buddies welcomed Jenna, who writes fantasy fiction and James, who wants to write scientific articles or crime stories.

Patsy is busy editing her latest book on dog training. This will be her fourth book. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association new writers scheme and has submitted twenty thousand words to them for appraisal. She is waiting for feedback. In the meantime she is studying with Sophie King through Writers' News and is a member of the Chandlers Ford Writers' Group.

Barbara had been six days with out a computer thanks to a hard drive failure. This had caused a lot of stress and we all noted how our lives have changed since the advent of the home computer.

Penny went to Manchester to meet other tutors at the Writers' Bureau head office. It was an interesting insight into the college and a chance for her to meet some of the other tutors. In the meantime, she is busy finishing her book, Folklore of Hampshire, which has to be at the publisher soon. She has been asked to appear on the radio, on Rob Richardson's show on Express FM on Wednesday 18th November, which she is looking forward to. She is busy trying to think of suitable music for the show.

Peter and Jacque R both sent regrets as they were sick. Philippa was swamped with work, as was Dee. They all said 'Hi' and hoped to be along to the next meeting.

The discussions this meeting were as varied as usual. The question of e-books and the Kindle book reader came up again. It was noted that the e-book readers were getting better in terms of quality and the price had come down considerably. It was felt that the chief advantage to having one was when travelling, when instead of dragging a heavy book around you could have a whole library in one lightweight unit.

The Writing Buddies were interested in proof reading and copyediting courses and Penny noted that she had just been sent the latest such course offered by the Writers Bureau, with a view to tutoring that course in addition to the non-fiction courses she currently covers. The merits of learning about proof reading were discussed and it was felt that this was a vital skill for any writer.

The merits of the new Windows 7 as compared to Vista were also discussed. Some of the group had already made the jump, whilst others were waiting to see what bugs there were to be ironed out first.

Richard had brought along an advertising piece from a publishing agent and the group talked about such advertising and the merits of agents looking for writers in this manner. It was felt that companies have to start somewhere but it was wise to research what they were offering before plunging in.

In all it was another information and advice packed session.

If you fancy coming along and joining in you are most welcome. The next meeting is on Friday 20th November when we will be welcoming crime writer Peter Lovesey to the coffee table. The meeting is at 2pm in the Borders bookshop in Southampton.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding Barbara's hard drive failure. I hope she had backups of all her important files. This is a MUST for all writers and various options are available. If you have not considered it please do so before a hardware incident occurs and all that precious work is lost.