Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Writing Buddies, December 17th, 2010

Despite the big chill, Southampton Writing Buddies met once again at The Art House, and had evidently put in a good deal of writing since the previous meeting.

Jacqueline is working on the ending of her children’s novel, and will go on to do a substantial edit. She has begun approaching critique services to choose one to advise once the work is ready. She has entered the HowTo Books latest competition, and pitched to publishers the idea for a small till-side stocking filler book for next Christmas.

Glen has a poem in the Portsmouth poetry book, This Island City, and she has recited her story about singing turkeys at some events – this was inspired by a soft toy. Now that the Express FM soap Conway Street, for which she was a script writer, has ended, she is in contact with The History Press about a book on Eastleigh.

Elizabeth is setting her goals for the new year, and plans to allocate time every day for her writing. Meanwhile, she has been continuing plotting and writing her novel.

Mo has completed 9000+ words of her novel, a sequel to A Blues for Shindig. She read poetry at the 451 event at The Nuffield Theatre, including two new poems; the evening was headlined by John Hegley. She is now reviewing her previous body of work which includes plays as well as poetry.

Tessa has a new computer. There were problems upgrading some existing programmes but she has found www.zinstall.com very helpful. They provide a way of installing older programmes on new computers, or of putting them on a virtual drive which can be transported to any computer. The first draft of the third book of her trilogy, Ladybird Soar, is completed and Tessa is now editing it. Agents have liked her wildflower book but have not felt able to take it on for practical reasons, and she is also trying publishers directly, but she may decide to self-publish. She is also considering a book on a food theme.

Christine has re-registered with The Writers Bureau, and has already completed the first assignment. She first registered many years ago, but they are happy for her to resume now with just a small payment for updated materials. She is editing the second book on young people’s mental health, and details are being discussed with the publisher. She may submit a piece for the HowTo Books competition, and is considering updating and rewriting a very old book on local walks.

Catherine was pleased to finish NaNoWriMo in good time, and will do further work on the book after the holiday. She plans to spend more time writing short stories again, for magazines and competitions. She has been entering competitions including one for blogs, and has so many followers that she is going to run her own competition. She is also considering joining the Romantic Novelists Association.

Jimmy is now working on chapter 22 of Java’s Revenge, and the proofs of his autobiography Growing Up in Southampton, Someone Else’s Trousers are due just after Christmas.

Lisa recently attended a crime and thriller workshop, and made many contacts. The speaker recommended the book Forensics for Dummies. She has entered short stories on authonomy, and has been blogging; her blog includes music reviews, and some links to it have started up from other sites including Facebook.

John read his poetry at the 451 event at The Nuffield, and thought the evening went well. He also read for a solo session at the Arches Bizarre event at The Bargate shopping mall; the audience at that time was small but there was a very positive response. He has entered the competition for an opinion columnist; the prize is substantial over a period of time.

Penny now has the software working for Wordfall, the Buddies’ Anthology, and it is taking shape. Richard Ashman from Southampton Central Library has agreed to proofread for us. Penny has been book-signing for Southampton Then and Now and Folklore of Southampton, including at Waterstone’s and ASDA. It was the first time ASDA had staged this sort of event; they produced a very good environment for her, and she sold an impressive number of books. She is currently working on Voices of Southampton, and is shortly to interview Carol Cunio, the city’s mayor.

Discussion followed, and topics included obtaining critiques, using #ff (forward Friday) on Twitter to recommend good people to follow, and a magazine Teller, which includes poems and short stories and is prestigious, though it does not pay writers. Marketing for our books was also discussed; it was agreed that Penny’s establishing ASDA as a signing venue could be helpful for Buddies’ future books. Various genres and competitions were also on the agenda.

This was the last Writing Buddies’ meeting for 2010; the next will be on Friday January 21st, at 2pm at The Art House, Above Bar, Southampton. Everyone with an interest in writing is very welcome. In the meantime, we wish everyone a productive and successful new year.
me, Glen, Elizabeth, Mo, Tessa, Christine, Catherine, Jimmy, Lisa, John and you), Writing Buddies, HowTo Books, John Hegley, Romantic Novelists Association, Authonomy, Facebook, Waterstone’s, ASDA, Teller.

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