Many thanks to Jacqueline Pye for writing up this edition of the blog.
The Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House on October 22nd to swap news, and to discuss individual and group writing issues.
Jimmy continues with his Sundance series of novels. He has an imminent deadline for his autobiography, Growing Up In Southampton: Someone Else’s Trousers; it’s nearly ready but he is having to do more work on the photos.
Elizabeth was pleased with the feedback on her anthology entries. She has spotted a common thread, and is taking this on board to revise her work. She was congratulated by the group on announcing that the magazine Hampshire View has just accepted one of her stories.
Jacqui has just had a blog published in Woman’s Own; she happened to see the magazine while on holiday abroad, and was surprised and pleased to see her piece included. She is making progress on her Writers’ Bureau course for novel and short story writing.
Christine H has begun a writing course with Barbara Large in Eastleigh, which she thinks will be very useful.
Tessa is working on publishing the Buddies’ anthology, Wordfall, through her Thorn Press. She now has an ISBN number for it and a publication date of January 4th. Meanwhile she continues with the third book in her trilogy – Ladybird Soar – and her wildflowers book.
Mo is going to Berlin where an actor will record her work to accompany some art works.
Richard is a new member. He is interested in poetry and children’s books, and has written and filmed a comedy sketch. He has had a piece about Vaughan Williams published, but currently he’s keen to get started on a natural history book about marine life.
Sylvie is still working on her sci-fi book, as well as the publicity for the Portsmouth Chorus choir event. Since last time, she has entered the ‘Spooky Hallowe’en’ 50-word competition, and has provided a short story for the Southampton Area Talking Echo magazine.
Christine (a different one) is working on a new poem. She has entered poetry competitions before, and may enter this piece when it’s ready. She still has an academic article on hold, too.
Joe is another new member. He has been writing for years, including dark horror, fantasy, short stories and novels, but feels unsure about whether his work is worth submitting. The group felt he should be really encouraged that Random House expressed an interest, and urged him to follow this up. It was suggested that, if still unsure, he might try some of his work on writing sites on the internet.
Catherine has added a further 4,000 words to her romance novel. Slimming World magazine has published her letter in the current issue, and she has had interest in her social network project from the publishers of the Bluffers Guides. She is entering a non-fiction piece in the current competition from How-To-Books, and has been improving this blog site, including working on expanding the Shelfari element (see right).
Siobhan was welcomed back to the group. She has a wide interest in writing, from blogs to novels.
Josephine has nearly finished her text book. She is working on the subject of staff management advice for people who find themselves with responsibility for others but no formal authority. The group mentioned work by Karen Brady and also mumsnet as a possible outlet, and felt there was a market for this type of advice.
Jacqueline is ready to deliver another news script to the Talking Echo, and is planning an article on random decisions, while awaiting the outcome of two earlier pitches. She has nearly 50 articles on suite101 now, and revenue is creeping up. She mentioned a useful paperback, 50 Ways to Make Google Love Your Website.
John has written a new poem, which he read at a Candle Club open mic session at Talking Heads. He is now putting Buddies tags on Amazon, and has sent round info on this via the Yahoo Group. He also explained how this works. His poetry book has started to sell on Amazon, and he mentioned the Nielsen booklist where all new books will appear if they find out about them.
Group discussions included how to approach a publisher and make use of contacts, ensuring all members knew how to get to this blog and join the Yahoo Group, and burning CDs. Catherine reminded those of us with published (or about-to-be) books that the cover can be featured on our blog bookshelf via Shelfari. She suggested passing on to her not only the cover but any reviews available. All members can put in reviews of books already on the shelf, and this helps not only people who are seeking a review, but also the author and the general Google profile of the blog site.
The next meeting is on November 5th, 2-4pm at The Art House, Southampton. All writers, published or not, are very welcome.