Friday, 3 September 2010

Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House on Friday 27th August.

Thanks to Jacqueline Pye for writing these notes on the last meeting:

Elizabeth is just finishing a story to submit to Hampshire View; after that she will be revamping other short stories and submitting them. Longer term, time will be devoted to her novel.

Jacqui now has a blog – – an interesting read. She has entered a complaints competition, and is having a letter published in Freelance Market News, available on subscription from the Writers’ Bureau - topical information, letters, market info etc. The group agreed this looked useful. Jacqui was complimented on her latest assignment returned from the Bureau.

Mo attended a poetry open mic session at the Nuffield, which went well. Her Hollywood director contact is asking her to write some scenes for a production. She has broken with her publisher, since her second book was accepted but when he took over he rescinded the contract. She is pursuing the legality of this.

Tessa has the second book in her Dohlen Inheritance trilogy out – Hobgoblin Gold – and is working on the third. She plans to write a natural world book for adults and children, and is discussing with her illustrator.

Lisa has joined the authonomy website, and had some useful feedback on her work as well as winning a book through the site. She has entered a sci-fi novel for the Terry Pratchett competition (details on – for a debut novel, deadline Dec 31st).

Jacqueline has stopped writing for suite101, but is left with a useful bank of original work. She now has a basic website – – and is ready to submit a second feature to Best of British magazine if the fee for the already published piece is acceptable, otherwise it will head elsewhere.

Silvie is working on a story set partly on earth, partly in space. She is managing publicity for Portsmouth Chorus choir, especially as it is their 80th anniversary this year.

Catherine now has 10,000 words of her novel completed. ‘How To’ books are putting articles on their site, and she has written for it on using Twitter. She distributed some very helpful information about it to the group, and is considering writing a book on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Jimmy’s book, Growing Up in Southampton: Someone Else’s Trousers, is due to be published in May 2011. Chapter 13 of Java’s Revenge is in progress - “The war is about to start,” he says. His website – – includes information about his Sundance Gang novels as well as a link to his blog.

Glen is enjoying writing for Conway Street, the radio soap at express fm, and attends script meetings. She has been co-writing, but finds it easier to work solo. She has decided to self publish a book of short stories and articles, and is reading up on self publishing.

Barbara is still working on the programme for next season for Southampton Writers’ Circle.

Penny is working through computer problems. She has had book signings for Folklore of Southampton in Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth, and will be at Chapter 1 books in Hythe on the 3rd September from 2pm to give a talk on compiling the book, and to sign copies. Her next book, Southampton Then and Now, will be published in October. Publication of Haunted Southampton is in hand.

The anthology competition judges have now given their verdicts; in addition to the top three in each category, there may be some entries ‘highly commended’ too, and the judges have kindly provided feedback for the writers. Results will be announced at the next meeting. The funds from the competition, which now include an anonymous donation, should be sufficient to allow the anthology to go ahead – Penny will be checking this.

Other matters discussed include contracts, methods of filing ideas, sponsorship for the anthology, members’ writing environments, office chairs, and the thorny problem of changing duvet covers (for some reason). Amazon’s cut was also discussed; their initial claim is 60%, but this can usually be negotiated down, possibly to 35% or so. New Writing South was mentioned; it is related to the Arts Council, and has published a booklet, ‘Word Up’ which looked interesting. They offer creative writing courses, and Fay Weldon is a patron. Website is

The next meeting is at 2pm on Friday September 10th – competition results day – at The Art House, Above Bar, Southampton. All writers, aspiring or published, are welcome.

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