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.


  1. Hola to all Buddies - really enjoyed joining in with your meeting - and I have delivered your entries to Nik Morton to judge - good luck everyone!

    PS slight error on my web site address in the postabove:

  2. Enjoyed meeting you all, and good luck with all of your writing endeavors.
    Small correction to my web site address