Monday, 15 February 2010

The latest from The Writing Buddies

The Latest From Writing Buddies - thanks to Jacqueline Pye for writing this in Penny's absence.

On February 12th, ten members met at the Art House, and once again the meeting was lively, interesting and enjoyable. Founder Penny was unable to join the group this time, and was greatly missed.

Christine had sent a short story in for the regular Writers’ Forum competition; she received a critique which was very favourable, and which said the story should find a market. A story has also been submitted to Write Space, and she had read at the short story slam held at the Discovery Centre in Winchester. She continues to look for a market for her book on bringing up teenagers, and wonders if it is too long; possible markets were discussed with several ideas suggested. Christine also mentioned that Writers’ Forum magazine is welcoming its new fiction editor currently by offering free entry to their short story competition and a free critique – well worth a try for anyone working on short stories.

Elizabeth continues to write short stories, and is concentrating on competitions and also – for now – smaller circulation magazines. It was generally agreed that the national magazines provide only very limited markets for short fiction these days. Elizabeth has also been writing poetry of late.

John has written many poems over the past year, and has recently been to a number of open mic poetry evenings. He has been meeting with artists who are producing work inspired by his poetry; an exhibition of both is planned to open on March 16th at Goblets, which is just a few doors away from the Art House.

Richard has been asked to edit the newsletter for the Totton branch of the University of the Third Age. He is confident with this, as he has previously edited similar publications, and he plans to contribute the odd poem or short piece of his own. He talked a little about his poetry and how he presents and frames individual poems.

New member Sharon was warmly welcomed to the group. She is keen to write and be published. She works in complementary therapy, and already produces information on this in written form for interested groups, so this is an area she would like to develop more widely. She also feels drawn towards writing children’s fiction.

Glen has now set up her blog and is keeping it up. She has read one of her poems at a recent meeting, and this was well received.

Jimmy still awaits payment for his feature in January’s Best of British magazine. He sent his autobiography, to the History Press; they recommended reducing its length and resubmitting, and he is working on adjusting it to the required word count. Meanwhile he is working on a short story with a paranormal theme. Nicola from the History Press discussed with him the possibility of a book on the history of Eastleigh; the group noted that this had been done a number of times by other publishers, but the History Press still seem interested.

Marsha was another new member, and again the group were very pleased to welcome her. She is currently working on a book which was outlined to the group, and possible approaches, markets, and sources of information on agents were discussed.

Pam distributed leaflets about the Ashtara pamper day for writers on Saturday June 26th, 9.30am-4pm. Any writers interested can e-mail Pam attended the central library talk by Gordon Griffin and his publisher about his work recording audio books. Gordon has a long and distinguished CV as an actor and has recorded around 500 books – the full unabridged texts. Pam has learned that two of her poems were read out in Coventry cathedral just before Christmas, and one of these she knows has been sent from person to person all around the world. She is thinking of having more copies of her booklet of poems printed as she has sold almost all of the first print run.

Jacqueline had also been at the talk by Gordon Griffin, and found it interesting and enjoyable. Gordon works often in Hamburg, where audio books in English are popular, and he agreed to provide contact details for another member of the group who attended his talk, and whose work is proving popular there. Jacqueline has had her feature on comic teddy bear postcards “accepted for possible publication” by Best of British magazine. They will not commit to what payment might be if the piece were used, as apparently “the editor decides on publication”.

The group discussed areas such as the legal implications of using slightly altered but possibly recognisable names of friends in books, even with written consent, and the desirable length of novels, as well as possible markets for individual members’ work. Unhelpful website hosts were given the ‘thumbs down’, and other hosts mentioned, and the difference between blogs and websites was again of general interest. The meeting was lively and very positive – with hopefully more of the same next time – Friday February 26th, 2pm.

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