Monday, 31 May 2010

Happy Birthday, Writing Buddies

The Writing Buddies celebrated their first birthday with a huge cake, a glass of wine and a lot of laughter. It was good to see so many of the Writing Buddies all together for the anniversary.

Pam Whittington, Penny's partner in crime when setting up the group, and Jimmy Marsh, who has attended virtually every meeting, brought a blush to Penny's face by telling the tale of how the group was set up and the strides it has made since. Penny replied by thanking them and all the Writing Buddies for the support they have given, which has made the group such a success.

The Writing Buddies welcomed several guests, including Pat Alderman and John Pye, who were made welcome.

Glen was pleased to announce that she has been accepted to the Society of Women Writers & Journalists. She is busy working on a jingle for the Blue Sky Choir and is attending a writing workshop at Chawton House.

Dee has been busy writing her 21st novel. This is about the blitz. As she put it: 'I was evacuated, I describe it first hand.'

John, former science writer for the Yorkshire Post, attended as a guest and the Writing Buddies were pleased to meet him. We hope he will come again to future meetings.

Jacqueline has submitted and been published by Suite 101. She has found getting the style required difficult. The Writing Buddies discussed Suite 101, which offers regular publication but the rate of pay is low until you have built up a large body of work.

Rich had nothing to report but was happy to be at the party.

Mo has two readings at Waterstones in London on 4th July.

Pam is relaxed about her writing at present. She is concentrating on her local history work on Marchwood. She has had a poem shortlisted and another will be published in an anthology.

Christine has written 150 words for The Guardian and has entered the Write Space competition on the theme, 'The Lie'. She will attend Winchester Writers Conference and is looking forward to the publication of the second edition of her book on child and adolescent mental health, to be published by Hodder Headline in June.

Wendy travelled up from West Sussex and reported that she has finished her book, Haunted Worthing and is busy updating her book, Story of Gower, which was first published in 1992. She is now working on a book of shipwrecks on the south coast.

Pat is an editor and writer and the Writing Buddies were very pleased to welcome her to the meeting. She sub-edits The Woman Writer magazine for the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She worked for many years for national magazines and is now much in demand for her proofreading and copy editing skills. She championed membership of the Society of Editors and Proofreaders. Pat has just finished working on a 'Teach Yourself Anglo Saxon' book, which interested her very much as she has studied the subject in the past. In the meantime, she is looking forward to hearing the outcome of a proposal for her book of Buddhist stories, which a Hong Kong publisher has shown interest in.

Elizabeth is busy working on stories to submit to Write Space.

Silma is working on short stories and a poem. Her children's book is under consideration with a publisher, who is looking to fill their 2011 list. She is writing a short story for teenagers.

Jimmy and Penny had been out taking photographs in the New Forest for Jimmy's Sundance Gang website, which will shortly be up and running. Jimmy is now up to chapter 19 of his sci-fi novel and is busy looking for names for some of the demons he has invented for the book!

Peter has a week booked at the Edinburgh Festival, 23-30 August, for his poetry. He has experimented with Microsoft Powerpoint to make displays and presentations and hopes to trial these at his local community centre soon.

John has reviewed a play for the Daily Echo. He is also intending writing for the Writing Buddies anthology. John asked several questions about the Writing Buddies competition and this led to discussion of the competition entry requirements, as not all the Writing Buddies had understood the rules and did not want to accidently find themselves disqualified!

Barbara has decided to edit all her unpublished stories and to submit them with her application for probationary membership of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

Penny is still working on her latest book, Haunted Southampton. She had been on a ghost investigation of Romsey's Plaza theatre. This was great fun and resulted in a lot of material for the book, some of which she intends to use for an article about the theatre.

As much of the meeting was taken up with cake cutting, wine drinking and photo taking, there was not as much discussion as is usual for a Writing Buddies meeting! Subjects which were discussed were how to get into proofreading and copy editing and how the Writing Buddies meetings were inspirational as shared experience was useful to learn from.

The next meeting of Writing Buddies is on Friday 4 June at The Art House, at 2pm. Everyone is very welcome.


  1. It was a very enjoyable first birthday party for a very worthwhile organisation. Well Done Penny and may writing buddies continue for a lot of years to come.
    Jimmy marsh


    A Good Bash.

    Well done Penny and everybody involved.



  3. It was an excellent party and Buddies is certainly the most inclusive and welcoming group of writers that I have ever encountered and, for me the most useful to so thanks very much Penny and all the other Buddies,

  4. This is my third attempt to say how good writing Buddies has been for me so thanks for all your help to Penny & all the Buddies! Good party too!