Thursday, 26 August 2010

Writing Buddies, 13 August 2010

Another busy Writing Buddies meeting was held at The Art House Cafe, Above Bar, Southampton on Friday 13 August, which saw eleven Buddies around the table for coffee and chat.

Catherine has been busy working on her entry for an Arthritis Care competition, working on her blog and writing for the six word Arvon story competition. She was pleased to announce that she had completed the set number of small projects she set herself and has now started working on romantic fiction.

Mo has had a lesson on how to tweet on Twitter. She has fallen out with her publisher and has started writing her autobiography.

Barbara is still writing her diary. She has written everyday for forty years. She is busy working on the programme for the Southampton Writers Circle for the coming year. She has booked Wendy Hughes to do an article writing workshop. Local author, Nicky Slade, will judge the Scroll Award competition this year.

Sylvie has written all twelve chapters of her children's sci-fi novel and is now editing it. She says she was 'inspired' by coming to the last Writing Buddies meeting!

Tessa's second book in the 'Dohlen' trilogy, Hobgoblin Gold, has just been published and is out now. Her illustrator, Andrew Jones, has several pieces of his work on display at The Art House Cafe.

Jacqueline is on assignment five of The Writers Bureau fiction course. She received a mixed reaction from her tutor to her fourth assignment, which was to write a People's Friend short story. Jacqueline has re-written her piece and has now submitted it.

Glen, with her Writing Buddies Anthology Competition Secretary head on, reported that there had been 7 flash fiction entries, 11 non-fiction articles, 4 non-fiction fillers, 5 plays, 5 poems and 20 short stories.

Glen has been busy working at Express FM in Portsmouth, where she has been involved with writing a soap - Conway Street. She found it an interesting assignment as she was paired with another writer - writing with a partner is new to her - and had to write for other people's characters, which she found challenging.

Eileen is celebrating the publication of her crime novel, Miss McGuire is Missing. She was looking forward to joining other writers at Selsey on 20 August, as part of the Selsey Writing Festival there. She is on the fifth draft of her second novel and half way through her third novel. She was interviewed in Writers' News this month and won a Moleskine notebook from Writers' Forum for her work. She has been invited to judge a short story competition and give a talk in Lee-on-Solent. She will be book signing in Waterstones in Fareham on 11 September and her book launch party will be in Gosport on 9 October.

Bridget joined the Writing Buddies for the first time and was warmly welcomed. Bridget is a poet who has been with the Southampton Writers' Circle for 17 years. She says she has been 'lucky' to be widely published in magazines and, in particular, in South, where she is listed as the Poet of the Year. 18 of her poems are to be showcased by this publication. Bridget tutors on poetry for workshops and also gives public readings of her work.

Jimmy has had a second article accepted by Best of British magazine. He is happy with his website and is pleased to see that his forthcoming book, Growing Up in Wartime Southampton: Someone Else's Trousers is now on both Amazon and WH Smith online for pre-order.

John is busy making corrections to the proofs of his poetry collection, Poetic Imagery, to be published shortly. This will be published using a local printer - George Man Publications. John has been looking at a website giving advice about rejections and found Query Fail useful. He also looked at the Publetariat site, which is useful for general freelance writing tips - including the value of having an agent.

Penny has been dealing with the complete crash of her computer system. As this was just before the manuscript for her book, Haunted Southampton, had to be at the publisher, she was not best pleased. Folklore of Hampshire seems to be well received by the public.

Carol Blake's book, From Pitch to Publication was discussed and was generally felt to be very useful.

There was a general discussion about backing up data on computers and the value of doing so.

The phone-in on Radio 2 on the Jeremy Vine show about self-publishing was discussed and it was noted that the increasing popularity of self-publishing reflects the difficulties of interesting a mainstream publisher nowadays.

The next meeting of Writing Buddies is at 2pm on Friday 27 August at The Art House cafe, Southampton. Everyone is welcome.


As you can see from the blog post below, there are a few problems with the layout of it.

Apologies, but all efforts at sorting it out have proved fruitless.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Writing Buddies, 30th July 2010

Southampton Writing Buddies met on July 30th at The Art House in Southampton's Above Bar Street. This was a really busy meeting, constituting the deadline for submissions for our anthology competition. There were a number of very welcome last-minute entries on the day.

Richard continues to work on his poetry. He recently entered a competition in a local news magazine; his poem was highly commended, and he received a certificate which we all admired.

Jimmy now has his website up and running - - which gives information about his writing career and current writing activities, as well as some good links. Best of British magazine, which published one of his articles earlier this year, has accepted his latest feature on a long-gone butcher's shop in Southampton. His book Growing Up In Wartime Southampton: Someone Else’s Trousers is due out in May next year. Java's Revenge, the latest novel in his sci-fi series, is not in Chapter X.

Rob was visiting from Spain. He is a successful writer, photographer and editor, and is involved in managing the Torrevieja writers’ circle. He belongs to Writers Abroad, an online site for ex-pats ( ). He mentioned that Writers Abroad plans to compile an anthology of stories for November; entry is for current or past ex-pats, and work must feature something about ex-pats in up to 2500 words. There is more information on the Writers Abroad site. Rob’s blog can be found at, and his website at

Stu writes horror mystery short stories; this is so far a hobby, but the group encouraged him to consider trying to get them published.

Catherine was welcomed as a new member. She has written fiction since age three! She was an editorial assistant for, among others, the Tesco magazine, and was involved in a current book by John Simpson in which she is credited. She has recently finished her first novel, and is now working on a historical romance aimed at Mils & Boon. She also writes short stories.

Tony is back writing again after a prolonged absence. He writes mainly poetry and for children, and had recently performed two of his poems in an open mic session in Petersfield.

Glen has been busy logging the entries for the anthology competition. She has been accepted as a writer for the ongoing ‘soap’ on Portsmouth’s radio station Express FM. She has also been interviewed by e-mail for a writing magazine’s feature on people who have won writing competitions.

Josephine writes non-fiction, and has nearly completed her book on managing meetings. She is one of the many members who have submitted entries for the anthology.

Mo is considering putting on a one-woman show at Edinburgh – this would be her own work read by an actor. The format worked well at a recent show in London. She has also written a piece for
The Woman Writer, the magazine of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

Jacqui continues with her Writers’ Bureau course; she is nearly at the end of the short story modules, and will then move on to the novel writing component. She has submitted a short travel piece to The Daily Telegraph online, and has started work on a novel.

Jacqueline was just finishing a script for the Eastleigh Talking News, and her feature on early teddy bear postcards was published in the August edition of Best of British magazine. She has also had some business cards printed, and was up to 33 articles on

Sylvie is another new member of the group. She is writing a sci-fi adventure book aimed at children aged 9-12 - she has been keen on writing since childhood. She has submitted short stories to magazines; although not published, they attracted individual advice, which the group thought a very encouraging outcome. She had a letter published in Writers’ Forum earlier this year, and has been asked to write the publicity for a choir to which she belongs.

Elizabeth started a book a few months ago, and plans to start working with it again. She has decided to start submitting short stories to magazines; even though the market has shrunk, there are still openings worth aiming for.

John has started writing his diary again after a gap. He has found a suitable printer for the booklet of his poems exhibited in the recent art/poetry exhibition at Goblets, and he hopes it will be ready by the end of August.

Christine was pleased to learn that the story she submitted to the Southampton Area Talking Echo was recorded for their magazine and sent out during July. She has submitted a story for a competition on Write Space ( ). She has written a book on young people’s mental health and is looking at publish-on-demand for it. She co-wrote a published book on mental health and has been working on a rewrite for a second edition; a mainstream publisher has shown interest in her contribution.

Barbara continues to write her diary. She had prepared an entry for the anthology competition.

Penny attended a book signing in Portsmouth for her new book
Folklore of Southampton, and has other signings planned. At Portsmouth she met a pagan priest who is very knowledgeable about folklore in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, which was interesting as her publisher The History Press are discussing the idea Folklore of the Isle of Wight. She was looking forward to the launch party for her book two days after the meeting. Waterstone’s are stocking it, as is Milestones museum in Basingstoke. She has just seen the cover for her next book, Southampton Then and Now, due out in October.

As these proceedings were longer than usual, there was little time for discussion. However, we did cover the ethics and method of researching details of a serious crime, the Writers’ Bureau ongoing writing competition for students, and the availability of various archives and dictionaries through the library’s website. The route is then click ‘online resources’ for the list.

The next meeting of Southampton Writing Buddies will be on August 13th at The Art House.