Following our enforced move from our home at Borders bookshop, we held a meeting at the central library in Southampton. The room was great but very chilly and so we are thinking about our options for the future. Watch this space...
In the meantime, it was a small band of Writing Buddies who turned out to welcome our guest, Nicola Guy, the Local History Commissioning Editor for The History Press. Nicola came armed with some great advice for all writers, 'Make sure you have a web presence in this day and age.' Several of the Buddies have either webs or blogs, some both, and several others are in the process of setting up one or the other. All agree that it is an invaluable marketing tool.
Poet Peter joined an open mic session in Swindon recently, which is now on YouTube. You can listen to two of his poems here. He is currently working on a proposal through a poets literary agency and will be at both Poole and Wimborne poetry groups in the near future.
Tessa distributed Writers in Southampton bookmarks to all the Writing Buddies. These she has been involved in designing. She is still working on the second book in her trilogy, to follow The Dohlen Inheritance published earlier this year.
Jacqueline P has started a voluntary job in Eastleigh working for Talking News, which brings the news to those with sight problems.
Chris has written a short story and now has to decide on her market. She is also undecided as to what to do with the manuscript of a book on bringing up teenagers which she has taken four years to write, in conjunction with a co-writer. The script is too long as it stands and she is wondering how to take this forward. Various options were discussed.
Philippa has been to the Second Light Network for older women poets. She had previously met a Rumanian poet there and this led to her poems being translated into Rumanian. Philippa has just finished work on bringing Rumanian poetry into a readable English format, which she admitted was difficult. She has just judged the Christmas Poetry Competition at the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and she also discussed letters she has which she may offer to the Imperial War Museum or the British Legion as they were written during the Second World War by a friend.
Jimmy is busy waging war in a parallel universe in his sci-fi novel. He has sent in an entry for the Biscuit Publications International Fiction Competition and looks forward to the feedback he will receive from this. He is about to launch a Davy Collins and the Sundance Gang blog to publicise his ten novel series on the adventures of a group of boys growing up in the 1950s. He has also put part of one of the novels on Authonomy and is keeping his fingers crossed.
The Writing Buddies welcomed Nicola, who said that The History Press were looking for authors to take on various projects, including writing the history of Eastleigh, writing on the Second World War and in particular, on its effects on Southampton, crime history and genealogy. She said too that the 'Voices of ' series is popular.
Penny is just coming to the end of her work on folklore and will be forwarding the manuscript to The History Press soon. She has been tutoring for The Writers Bureau on both their non-fiction and their proofreading and copyediting courses and has just completed a PTLLS teaching certificate.
In all the meeting was short but packed with interesting information. The Writing Buddies are a busy group of diverse talents.
The Writing Buddies would like to thank the staff at the Central Library for stepping in to provide us with a home at short notice. It is appreciated.
Watch this space for details of the next meeting, in January 2010.
The photo shows Jimmy Marsh, Nicola Guy and Peter Farr.