Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Writing Buddies, 7th May

Southampton Writing Buddies met at the Art House in Southampton on May 7th. The meeting was, if anything, more lively and information-packed than ever.

Jimmy doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet. His book subtitled Someone Else’s Trousers is due out next May, and he is now well advanced with his sci-fi fantasy book and is working on the synopsis for it. He has also been asked to run a workshop for Southampton Writers’ Circle on writing a synopsis. He has learned that his recent feature about the Vindi Boys in Best of British magazine has generated a lot of interest in the Vindicatrix Association.

Tessa has heard from Legend Press that they are interested in her trilogy The Dohlen Inheritance, and she is currently writing the blurb for the second book. She mentioned a useful website on how to publish e-books – www.markchisnell.com (both his novels are now available as e-books).

Catherine continues to write book reviews for WHSmith on the internet after they contacted her via Twitter. She has just had an article published in a national magazine, and has submitted some flash fiction entries for the Bridport prize. She has also begun the second draft of her one-act play, and posts huge numbers of tweets.

New member Jacqui was welcomed to the group. She has enrolled with the Writers’ Bureau, and is studying fiction. She is still considering which path to take with her writing; she has submitted some short stories to women’s magazines but recognises the narrowness of the market. She had a travel article accepted by a magazine, but much later the editor changed her mind about it. The group talked about the fact that the work was initially accepted, which is a breakthrough and meant that Jacqui can clearly write publishable articles.

Christine has been asked for a second edition of her book on child mental health, and the publishers want to convert it to an e-book. She attended the London Book Fair and discussed print-on-demand for her book on bringing up teenagers. Tessa suggested chipmunka. Christine has begun a book on marital therapy; she has also sent two stories to Writers’ Forum for critiques, and both were highly commended.

Eileen joined the group for the first time. Her first novel (crime) is coming out in July, and the second is ready; Robert Hale publishers want to see the second and third books. She was originally a playwright, and submitted a script for the Orange Prize competition; from the critique she received, she decided to turn it into the novel.

Jacqueline was just completing her latest script for the Eastleigh Talking Echo. She had submitted an article to suite101 and was advised that the content was suitable but alterations to picture captions were needed.

Mo has problems with her publisher; her latest book seems not to be publicly available, and there is ongoing discussion about editing it. She feels that her writing has been slow recently but she is now keen to return to serious work.

Penny is currently working on a book, Haunted Southampton, and has been inundated with contacts via Facebook, both national and international. She has the proofs of Folklore of Hampshire, which is out in July, and is working on a book about Winchester. She has successfully joined suite101 as an author, and had already had two articles published.

There followed general discussion about Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and suite101. There are still places on the Ashtara Writers’ Pamper Day on June 26th – time 9.30-4, £35, which the group felt was good value. The newly opened Writing Buddies Anthology Competition for entries of fiction and non-fiction, poetry and one-act plays was discussed.

The next meeting, on Friday May 21st at 2pm at the Art House, marks the first birthday of the Writing Buddies. To celebrate, there’ll be wine and cake! New members welcome, too, of course.

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