Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Writing Buddies Friday 8 July 2011

The Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House Café on 8 July to discuss writing matters and welcomed Penny back after her much earned break.

Elizabeth continues with her Writers Bureau course and is about to start the third assignment.

Jan met Barry Cunningham of Chicken House Publishing at the Winchester Writers Conference and he is reading her book, which is aimed at 8 – 12 year old children. She does not like the title of her book so is considering changing it. Jan expects a response from Barry within 6 – 8 weeks.

Jacqueline entered the Inktastic competition - she didn't win, but enjoyed entering. She has entered a competition in Freelance Market News which calls for a story of no more than 140 characters. She more or less has the plot for her Humble Boy entry and has sent two submissions to Nosy Crow, children's book publishers. Jacqueline has approached Waterstones at West Quay regarding a small self published gift book suitable for Christmas. She was informed that if the book has a good cover Waterstones could, in theory, sell about 100 copies. To help keep her abreast of her writing activities Jacqueline uses a white board on which she has two columns showing the competitions she has entered and her other projects.

Tessa reported that the Inktastic competition has now been judged and the winner picked. There was a disappointingly low number of entries. Tessa is working out a contract with a London Agent who wants 10% on gross sales. Tessa has rewritten the contract and sent it back. The more normal commission rate is 7 -7½% on net sales. She has been working on various projects and the last book of her trilogy should go to print by the end of July.

Mo emailed all Writing Buddies on 10 July regarding a reading of her book, A Blues for Shindig, which will take place at the Vegas Gallery, Shoreditch, London on 14 July.

Rhiannon is re-working a novel she started 15 years ago and has written 12,000 words so far. She is currently aiming at freelance work and has been blogging. She saw two magazines on the internet requesting submissions and is now thinking about what she could submit to them.

Jimmy has sent three chapters of the first book of his trilogy to Legend Press. He is actively promoting his published book, Growing up in Wartime Southampton: Other People's Trousers and has a signing booked for 21 August at Asda, Totton. He has finally secured an answer from the Echo and they will be in contact with regard to reviewing his book. Andy Dyke, a presenter on Radio Solent, will be interviewing Jimmy on 14 July. The blog on his website www.aloejimmy.com is now up and running.

Penny has signed three more contracts with The History Press.

· Eastleigh Then and Now – Penny has recently taken photos of the railway works.

· Bloody Southampton – Penny already has plenty of material for this book.

· Under the Queen's Colours – this will be a commemorative book for the Queen's Jubilee. It will be published in May 2012 and has to be finished by the end of December 2011 to be ready for the publishing date. Donations will go to the Poppy Appeal.

Penny is collaborating with Martin Baum on a new book, which they will consider self publishing. On 19 July Penny will be attending the Queen's Garden Party and she will be at Winchester Cathedral on 15/16 July promoting her book, Winchester: History You Can See. She has been invited to the Society of Authors lunch on 14 July.

General discussion followed. Jacqueline will send another email about the stories required by the Talking Echo. It has been suggested that the writer's record them and Jacqueline advised that this could either be done at her home, or in a quiet room in the Central Library. Penny mentioned that The History Press are now publishing historical fiction whereas previously they only published non fiction. Members were reminded that the items displayed in the Art House Café window will shortly need to be removed.

The next meeting will be on Friday 22 July at 2.00pm, when the Writing Buddies will welcome Chris Litton, from the Eastleigh Talking Pages.

Post written by Elizabeth Streatfield.

Writing Buddy Mo Foster at Vegas Gallery, London

Mo Foster, one of the Writing Buddies, has an exciting night ahead of her:

Vegas Gallery
is this summer embarking on a new era and are proud to present: Storytelling/Chapter One, the first performance event curated by Alexander Vega.

Storytelling is a contravention to the recognized exhibitions at the gallery, aiming to showcase and promote artistic expression in the field of live art, performance, writing and video.

In Chapter One we will visit the darkest alley ways of 1950’s Soho, with writer Mo Foster. Become aroused by the alluring Femme Fatale from the avant-garde music duo, Bother. Then before you wake up, artist J.D.A Winslow will confront you in his interactive performance piece: "I'd Like To Shake You By The Hand"

For our first evening we are pleased to present writer and journalist Mo Foster. Living between Southampton and London, her provocative plays, ‘menopausal punk’ poems and the novel ‘A Blues for Shindig’ have been critically acclaimed. The latter follows the life and loves of a louche London girl in the seedy blues clubs of 1950s Soho. When people speak about the fifties as a dull monochrome time, they were perhaps in the wrong place. And certainly hadn’t met Shindig. She doesn’t go out of her way to find trouble, but it finds her… and gets a welcome. Louche Soho of 1956 is just the place for Shindig. A strange brew of dissolute characters, surround and engulf her. She adapts, but can she survive the turmoil that she’s created? And somehow we do care about this oddly endearing, infuriating bird on a wire. She wanted the blues and she got them!
To read her story this evening, we have invited the London based actress and singer Rebecca Whitbread. She trained at The Guildhall and has since worked in theatre and film. She is currently working on a one woman musical show to take to the US at the end of the summer. She also sings in two bands: the 1940s duo, 'The Bluebirds of London' and a post rock/punk band, 'Motherhood'). She produces and acts within a film production collective, making short films. She also works with various writers and poets to bring their work to the stage.

Bother is the brainchild of Adam Perchard and Ian Godden, and is a chaotic fusion of performance art and pop with a flair for the ridiculous. Born in 2008, amid despairing games of 'Exquisite Corpse' played in country pubs and gin-fuelled jams in Ian's mother's garage on their home island of Jersey, Bother's distinctive blend of film, music, satire, fashion and performance has since become a familiar presence at the Branchage International Film Festival and in the streets of East London. In 'The Dreary Mademoiselle’, Bother is blending candy-pop camp with eighteenth-century fall from grace narratives like Defoe's Roxana and de Laclos's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, 'The Dreary Mademoiselle' is a joyfully anachronistic fusion of wanton Enlightenment sexuality and MTV raunch. Watch as the shameless, proto-feminist mademoiselle, swept along on a sea of eighties montage, masquerade, melodrama and bubble-bath, sleeps her way to the top and then completely loses her head...

Coming all the way from Edinburgh, artist J.D.A. Winslow will be enacting a performance piece throughout the evening. "I'd Like To Shake You By The Hand" is based around the concept of a conversation being more life-affirming than most works of art and certainly more life-affirming than his own art. By blurring the boundaries between existence and art it emphases on the idea that mundanity is necessary. The piece celebrates quotidian and how the simplest pleasures are often only a hello away.

So it is our pleasure to invite you to the first night of storytelling at Vegas.






Friday, 8 July 2011

Writing Buddies, 24 June 2011

The Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House Café on 24 June to discuss writing matters. In the absence of Penny Legg the meeting was chaired ably by Jimmy Marsh.

Eileen informed the group that her book, Miss McGuire is Missing, is now available in large print. Her second novel, Blackmail for Beginners, will be out soon. She was very pleased to inform everyone that the Canadian Publishing Company, Harlequin, have made her an offer on the paperback rights.

Rhiannon joined the Writing Buddies for the first time and hails from Fareham. She has been writing all her life and has had two short stories and one poem published. She was short listed for the Ashmore Award. She is currently working on a novel she conceived 15 years ago when she was in Sheffield.

Mo is in talks with a potential new collaborator and has a reading at an art gallery within the next month.

Jacqueline has finished the short story she was working on and sent it to Take a Break (Fiction Feast) magazine. She has entered a flash fiction competition (500 words), which closes at the end of June. Jacqueline went to the Inktastic launch, organised by Tessa Warburg the owner of the publishing company The Thorn Press, and bought a book. There is a competition in the book for a story constructed around one of the pictures contained it, the prize being the original picture. Jacqueline also has plans to start on Humble Boy and is writing non fiction articles.

Veronica showed the group a book containing photographs, which are currently on display in The Art House Café.

Lisa has been in talks with a representative from Rebellion publishing who she met at The London Book Fair. She is trying to challenge herself away from the zombie theme and would like to write more romance. Lisa feels she does not want to be involved concerning production of her novels unless she is being paid and she might possibly sell the rights.

Suneda has finished university and this is her last visit to the group. She will now start writing her book – a ghost story.

Tessa reported that the Inktastic book launch went well. Unfortunately, the interview Tessa had set up with the Echo did not take place as the author changed his address. Tessa has finished her third book, Ladybird Soar. She is preparing the contract for Ann Robert’s book, The Master's Tale, which is due for publication on 20th September 2011.

Elizabeth has finished her second assignment for The Writers Bureau.

Laurel is still submitting her stories to competitions and she has entered 2 poems, 1 short story and 1 flash fiction for the Bridport Prize.

John advised that Apples and Snakes are offering a free seminar for poets. He has written two more reviews for the Echo and reminded the group about the email he sent to members about the Bush Green Theatre.

Jimmy has 13 books still to be published and is working on them with a view to sending them to a publisher. His published book, Growing Up in Wartime Southampton: Other People's Trousers is now on sale at Tesco's at Bursledon.

Ivor joined the group towards the end of the meeting. He is not a great fan of typeset and prefers to write in longhand. On his way to the meeting he found himself writing down his observations, viewed from the bus.

Various topics were discussed including being consistent with your writing and the need for many proof reading sessions. John was keen to learn the proper way to lay out a script and Jacqueline mentioned that even Ian Rankin has had to do re-writes due to mistakes in his writing.

The next meeting will be on Friday 8 July at 2.00pm.

Post by Elizabeth Streatfield.