Sunday, 7 February 2010

Twelve Writers at Writing Buddies

The Writing Buddies meeting at The Art House on Friday 29th January was an interesting one. Twelve Writing Buddies turned up, including three new writers who were welcomed into the fold.

Fiona had been enjoying the Creative Writing course run by Kate and Greg Mosse at West Dean, near Chichester, Sussex. The first of three, this one was on plot and characterisation and was, Fiona said, a 'huge revelation'. She said that the course had taught her some hard lessons and she was now going to undertake a massive revision of her novel's 30,000 word skeleton.

Jacqueline has set up her own blog and has been busy practising. She has also started working on setting up a website, but has had trouble with the host and is in the process of trying to sort this out. In the meantime, she has been busy and has sent off an article idea to Best of British magazine, about her collection of teddybear postcards. She has also submitted two poems for critiquing by Writers' Forum magazine, receiving mostly positive feedback. She has also written a memoir and submitted it to a publisher for possible publication.

Tessa was pleased about a very enthusiastic review of her book,
The Dohlen Inheritance, in a German newspaper. German readers, she said, love the book. Legend Press want to see it and she is currently working on the second book, soon to be published in the UK.

John was welcomed into the group. He has recently started to write poetry and is 160,000 words into a trilogy. He has a column writing drama reviews for a local newspaper.

Elizabeth has submitted short stories to Write-Space and to Hampshire View.

Bethyn, another new Writing Buddy, writes short stories, poetry and novels. She commented that when she recently reviewed her work over the last five years, she noticed that her style of writing has changed.

The Writing Buddies welcomed Wendy Hughes as a guest. Wendy has been writing since 1989 and has had over 1700 articles published. She is currently working on her next book, Haunted Worthing. She has recently set up her own website and blog, following her move to Sussex from Walton on Thames, where she founded the Walton Wordsmiths.

Jimmy has sent his autobiography to The History Press, at the request of commissioning editor, Nicola Guy, who was a recent Writing Buddies guest. He has also now finished his sci-fi story, which has twenty chapters and 92,000 words.

The Writing Buddies welcomed Carina, an IT teacher in Southampton. Carina has been writing about British history for a Russian language magazine published in London. Her first book, Legends of World History will be published in Russia in March/April. She has also been commissioned to produce a novella on Boudicca's story, the Queen who revolted against Roman occupation. Carina noted that there was keen interest in history and historical fiction in Russia and the New States.

Penny is busy working on her next book, which has been renamed Southampton Then and Now. She asked the Writing Buddies if any of them had archive photographs of any aspect of life in Southampton, or if they knew of any groups which might be able to help. Several suggestions were forthcoming, which she was grateful for.

The Writing Buddies discussed the local newspaper and its limitations. It was felt generally that it was not sympathetic to writers. It was noted though, that times are hard in the publishing world and advertising revenue is vital to the continued survival of many local papers. Other local publications were also discussed and it was felt generally there there was a shortage of arts coverage in the area.

It was suggested that the Writing Buddies might like to put together an anthology of its work, as a vehicle for publicity, with a local launch. This was discussed but will need much further discussion to make a decision as to whether or not it is viable. Wendy said that this was what Walton Wordsmiths had done and it was very successful. This led to a discussion on self-publishing, copyright issues on the internet and the value of Google alerts.

The subject of website publishing was discussed again. Fiona mentioning that she was very happy with the fact that she had entrusted her site to a professional, which meant that she did not have to worry if there was a problem. It would be taken care of for her.

In all, it was a lively meeting. The Writing Buddies would like to thank our guest, Wendy Hughes, for coming to join us and for the staff at The Art House for having us.

The next meeting is on Friday 12th February at 2pm at The Art House, Southampton. Everyone is welcome.

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