Saturday, 27 August 2011

Writing Buddies, 19 August 2011

The Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House Café on 19 August. Although a smaller group than usual, due to the holiday season, the discussion on writing matters was as varied as ever.

Tessa proudly showed the group the cover of Ann Roberts' book about the Titanic. Her company, The Thorn Press, is publishing the book, The Masters Tale. It will be released for sale on 20 September 2011 and the book explains how the disaster happened. Tessa's own book, Ladybird Fly is due for release and she is thinking about where to hold her book launch.

Karen attended the last meeting and found it to be beneficial. She is, at the moment, thinking about two stories which are half written. One is about her grandmother's life and someone at university has inspired her for the other. Karen has done some very clever illustrations for Alan's story about a mouse which he talked about at the last meeting.

Jan has written about 400 words about growing up in a mining community. She has checked at the library and found an organisation interested in stories from the 50s and 60s so she will decide what to do with her writing. She was congratulated on taking her first steps into writing.

Elizabeth is continuing with The Writers Bureau Course, more slowly than anticipated as she is finding trawling through magazines to be a time consuming experience. She has also sent a letter, via email, to Sainsbury's magazine.

Jimmy mentioned that the Echo are still ignoring him and Tessa kindly said that she will write to them on Jimmy's behalf. Following his email to Best of British magazine they have confirmed that they wish to do a review of his book, Growing up in Wartime Southampton: Someone Else's Trousers. He has now written three stories about Jayden the Naughty Goldfish and received an email from The History Press asking him if he is interested in writing a Miscellany of Southampton. He has accepted and is also continuing to edit his other books.

Debs called into the Art House Café for a cup of coffee and saw the Writing Buddies advert. A friend is putting together a play about Deb's life. Debs has been keeping a journal for some years. She transcribes dreams and is a Life Coach by profession, being paid by a charity to do this.

Lyn has edited charity newsletters in the past and started a journalism course with The Writers Bureau two years ago. However, she needs to get motivated into a writing routine as she feels that she is now ready to start.

Mo has sent the first three chapters of her latest book to two potential publishers. Her new book, her third, is about two women who fall in love. Mo is also writing with a friend and feels she needs to focus more on Southampton instead of London.

Penny has appeared on the Katie Martin show on Radio Solent for five consecutive days. Each day a different one of her books was featured with the book she is currently writing, Under the Queen's Colours, being featured every day. She was able to get a plug in for Writing Buddies. Listeners contacted the show with their stories. BBC radio want Penny to broadcast on location. She interviewed a service man she met in Weymouth for her diamond jubilee book, Under the Queen's Colours.

It has now been agreed that Tessa will typeset the Writing Buddies Anthology Wordfall. Penny's book Voices of Southampton will be launched at Waterstones, Above Bar branch on Saturday 20 August.

During general discussion, self publishing was debated and it was generally agreed that this is changing fast. Penny mentioned that Writing Buddy member Lisa Scullard has very successfully self published on Kindle. Tessa explained that every writer needs an editor but you have to believe in yourself. If you do go down the route of self publishing then you have to be aware that you must approach book shops yourself to get them to stock your book.

Lyn has many interests and the How To articles might be a solution for her. Suite 101 was mentioned as there are masses of articles on all subjects and this may be another idea for Lyn, to practice her writing. Caution is needed, however, with advertisements asking for payment. Lyn mentioned that she has an opportunity to write for an on line newspaper for no fee. Penny suggested that if no fee is offered then she should make sure she has a link to her website or blog. Motion on Line is also a good way of practising article writing.

Penny mentioned to the group that Josephine still requires more Pet Hates for her book.

The next meeting will be on Friday 2 September at 2.00pm.

Blog post by Elizabeth Streatfield.

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