Saturday, 24 April 2010

Writing Buddies - 23 April 2010

The latest meeting of the Writing Buddies saw 11 writers at The Art House Cafe in Southampton on Friday 23rd April.

Glen, fresh from a break on the Isle of Wight, had been to a New Forest Writers meeting, where she was tasked to write a piece on the subject of 'the lady'. She is now looking for a market for the resulting piece. Glen has also applied for membership of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

Elizabeth has had to reschedule her trip to Spain, due to the volcanic ash in the atmosphere. She is making the best of it and is busy working on a short story, that has grown from the original 1000 words and will now be much longer.

Jacqueline is still awaiting feedback from her query about a sleep article which she has pitched to three magazines. She is also working on the outline of an article about improving memory. In January she sent a hard copy story to Weekly News and, as she had heard nothing, decided to call the magazine. She was told that a 'typed story' will take at least six months to receive a reply. It is a quicker by email. Jacqueline has also won a prize for her limerick sent to the Hedgehog Preservation Society. She wonders if she is now a 'Hedgehog Laureate'!

Tessa, also suffering from the volcanic ash as she should have been in America, has uploaded her novel to Authonomy and has found the whole thing 'depressing'. There are thousands of entries and she is convinced there are too many for hers to be found. She thinks it a 'mutual appreciation society' as you have to spend a long time reading other people's work. Tessa has launched her own website and one for The Thorn Press.

Kate has posted her Twitter list of 50 publishers as promised. She is now writing book reviews on behalf of WH Smith, who send her the books to review. Kate is also working on the rough draft of a new One Act Play, which is a new departure for her as she is used to working to word counts in short stories, rather than timings. She told the group about the TV channel, Alibi, which is running a competition for the first line of a crime short story. The winning line will be written into a book by crime writing duo Nicci French. Kate is busy blogging and is awaiting her article to be printed in Pick Me Up magazine.

Peter has had one of his poems accepted by Forward Press. It will be published with his bio. Peter has a week-long 50 minute slot at the Edinburgh Festival to present his poetry. He is now thinking about how best to present his work and the Writing Buddies suggested various options to consider, including how he could incorporate powerpoint and video into his show. In the meantime he has copyright issues with the photographs he is using for his booklet. The Writing Buddies suggested that he track down the copyright holders of the photos for permission to use the shots. The merits of Flickr were also discussed.

Jimmy has signed a contract with The History Press for Someone Else's Trousers. He has to edit it by ten thousand words and sort out the photographs, whose copyright lies with the Southampton City Archives. He has contacted Keith Hamilton at the Daily Echo and wishes to publicise the fact that he would like former residents of Belgrave Road and former pupils of Portswood School to attend the book launch next year. He is about to launch his blog and website. He has joined Twitter and Facebook. He is busy organising the first of his Sundance Gang books ready to send to Legend Press and The Far End of the Tunnel for Authonomy.

The Writing Buddies welcomed Siobhan to the meeting. Siobhan writes fiction and blogs. She is one of Mo's former pupils. It was good to meet her.

Christine says, 'She has lots going on in her mind!' Since her last Writing Buddies meeting she has decided to make her book fiction and is thinking about her characters. She has also ideas for a sequel to the first book and another book, which will appeal to both the US and UK markets. It was noticeable that her confidence has grown a lot in the short time since she was last at Writing Buddies. She is now thinking of a blog and website.

Mo loves blogging! She has also joined Facebook but is less enamoured with it. She has been offered the opportunity of reading her work at a London art show, 'Art and Publicity'. She is looking forward to the re-launch of her book, A Blues for Shindig, by Exclusively Independent. Mo has recently been offered readings at Houseman's and other radical bookshops in London.

Penny delivered her latest book, Southampton Then and Now, to the publisher just before Easter. She attended the York Festival of Writing , where she was part of a contingent of SWWJ Ambassadors talking to delegates about the Society, and she also co-presented a workshop, 'Writing Groups To Get You Published' with Silja Swaby and Jay Cole. Penny was at the London Book Fair, where she spoke to several publishers about ideas she has for future books.

Discussion around the table covered the question of confidence and women's reticence, which was seen as a drawback to a writer. You have to believe in yourself and your work. It was also felt that some educated writers were too analytical of their work, which held them back.

Writing routines and the point at which excitement takes over was also discussed. Many at the table found activities such as walking, swimming and gardening helped them to overcome problems in their work, giving them time to think their work through.

Peter commented that it was difficult to set up book signings for his self published booklet of poetry. Mo mentioned that it was easy to get book readings in Berlin when she was there recently.

The value of local writing events was discussed and it was hoped that the Poole Lit Up! event would be held again this year.

As Writing Buddies is about to celebrate its first birthday the group would like to publish an anthology of work by group members. A Writing Buddies competition was discussed at length and terms were agreed. The top three writers in each category would be published in the anthology. Penny would edit it and design/lay it out to keeps costs down. Quotes to print and publish it were to be sought. As the competition would only be open to members of Writing Buddies, it would only be a viable proposition if enough members took part. It is hoped that the book would be ready just before Christmas.

The visit to Ashtara for the Writers' Pamper Day is looming - Saturday 26th June 2010. The programme is as follows:

09.30 Meet and greet with tea/coffee
10.00 Talk with Andrew Hobbs on inspirational writing
10.30 - 12.00 10 minute taster sessions - with a medium or Tarot card or Angel card reading
30 minute Holistic Therapies - choose from Indian head massage, Crystal mini facial massage, feet treat, moisturising hand massage or Crystal Back massage
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch - bring your own or finger buffet for £6
13.00 - 15.00 10 minute taster sessions - with a medium or Tarot card or Angel card reading
30 minute Holistic Therapies - choose from Indian head massage, Crystal mini facial massage, feet treat, moisturising hand massage or Crystal Back massage
15.00 - 16.00 Interactive talk with Barbara Saph on EFT

The cost is £35. Contact the Ashtara Centre, near Beaulieu in the New Forest, to make a booking.

The idea of this day, open to both sexes, is to allow writers to have a day where they are free of their normal worries and can relax, whilst trying out therapies which may help to inspire. The day will give space to think and to meet other writers to chat. There is a pretty garden, which will be open to participants. It promises to be a day writers will not forget!

Writing Buddies would like to wish The Art House Cafe a very happy birthday!

The next meeting will be on Friday 7th May, at 2pm. Everyone welcome!


1 comment:

  1. There they are again! Writing Buddies - pg 20 Writers News, May edition. Well done!

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