Friday, 1 April 2011

Writing Buddies 18th March 2011

The Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House Café on 18 March for a lively discussion to share information on writing matters.

Jacqueline has received a critique for her children’s book and taken note of the comments. She has been busy editing Talking News and is working on a short story for Take a Break magazine. She is entering a humorous poetry competition and has had a letter printed in The Echo. Jacqueline has also been asked to review a book on child abuse. She also mentioned Ether Books .

Sunida joined the group for the first time. She is in her third year at Solent University and wanted advice on how to proceed with writing about the strange experiences she has encountered in her life.

Eileen writes crime books. Her second novel is ready to go to the publishers and she is working on the third. Her first novel, Miss McGuire is Missing, is being reprinted and also being published in large print.

Gunvor is from Sweden and started writing short stories and poems. She wrote a book aimed at eight to twelve year old girls and has also written a sequel. Her third book is different and she is trying to get this one published, so needs advice on this aspect.

Elizabeth has completed the first assignment for The Writers Bureau and is working on the second. She has also been able to write more of her novel.

Jacob has been working on a variety of different things. He is editing one short story and has started another.

Mo has a new reader for her book and has been requested to do a one woman show. She has been actively blogging - see, www.themotiononline.couk and Mo's own blog on

Penny's activities include her launch of her book, Haunted Southampton. The evening of ghost stories Penny hosted at Waterstones was a sell out, and she is considering a repeat performance. Her talk at the Civic Centre was plagued with problems. Penny overcame these and emphasised to the group the importance of ascertaining, before-hand, that the equipment provided at a venue is compatible with your own. The page proofs and cover design for her Winchester book are now through. Haunted Southampton is currently no.1 in Waterstones book listings.

Laurel is working on a short story entry for the Bridport Prize. She is also entering a ghost story for a competition in a writing magazine.

Lisa has finished her proofs for Death And The City, books one and two. A producer, from Lymington, is looking for a script based on a female security officer and is very impressed with Death And The City and has contacted Lisa regarding this. Lisa took her book, The Terrible Zombie of Oz to be passed to Andrew Lloyd Webber for his perusal.

John has written one or two reviews and two poems as a result of his visit to Bournemouth, as mentioned at the last meeting.

A general discussion followed covering various topics including the benefits of having a blog, Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn was mentioned but this is more for professionals.

Sunida was given advice on how to write about her experiences and it was suggested that whether it is written as fact or fiction, is dependent on how much material she has. Another suggestion was a plan for both fiction and non fiction. It was generally agreed that thorough research was needed.

Gunvor is having difficulty placing the two fantasy children’s books she has written, aimed at girls from age 8 – 12. She has been working her way through agents and now contacting publishers. Penny advised her to go straight to a publisher and research those who accept unsolicited manuscripts. Penny stressed the importance of the accuracy of a covering letter and synopsis when sending to a publisher.

Penny confirmed that she will organise a meeting solely about self publishing after Easter. The publication of Wordfall, The Writing Buddies Anthology, is postponed until September.

The date for the group's advertising in The Art House Café window has now been confirmed as being from 15th May to 24th June.

More suggestions for display included:

· Book marks

· Flyers

· Banner

· Flip-chart (stories/articles)

· Book-covers

The meeting concluded with Lisa showing members her E Touch Android Tablet, which is a book reader, not storing as many books as a Kindle, but costing less.

Post written by Elizabeth Streatfield.

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