Thursday, 29 September 2011

Writing Buddies, 16 September 2011

The Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House Café on 16 September with Jacqueline chairing the meeting in the absence of Penny.

Tessa showed everyone the Echo article about Andrew Jones, author of Inktastic, which was published by her company, The Thorn Press. Ann Roberts' book, The Master's Tale, also published by Tessa's publishing company, is being launched on 20 September. Ann will be on Radio Solent on 23 September, in the afternoon, to talk about her book. Ladybird Fly, Tessa's third book of her trilogy, is now published and she has started a new novel about a Thai girl who marries an Englishman. The book will show the differences in cultures.

Jimmy has completed his questionnaire for The History Press regarding a Miscellany of Southampton. Both Penny and Jimmy had been offered the opportunity to write a book about 1950s childhood and The History Press have confirmed that they are happy for Penny and Jimmy to write it jointly. Jimmy is busily editing his Jayden the Goldfish books, which he hopes to self publish through Lulu. Jimmy is giving talks at Woolston Library on Friday 7 October and Bitterne Library on Saturday 5 November.

Elizabeth is continuing with her Writers Bureau course and feels it has opened her eyes to writing non fiction, as there are so many publications on the market with opportunities for placing work.

Jan has been out and about and gathering ideas for future writing.

Catherine is having a little break from intense writing but has been keeping herself busy with a 75 word exercise: see Catherine has submitted a short story to Writers Forum and will get feedback on her work. She is entering the Harry Bowling prize: see Catherine is also involved in the staff newsletter for employees at West Quay shopping centre.

Emma writes poetry and has been trying to start a blog.

Karen is continuing with her 30 day writing challenge and is thinking of having a go at NaNoWriMo. She is also contemplating blogging.

Pat has been short listed for the Maskers Theatre: see with a play. She has also written 80,000 words of her novel but feels she can write more.

Lottie, joining the group for the first time, has been writing on and off for four years. She recently completed a fantasy novel for teenagers, sent it to an editor and received good feedback. She feels she has more to write so it could turn into a trilogy. Lottie requested help with writing a synopsis.

Mo has a new actress playing her character, Shindig, from her book A Blues for Shindig, as the original one has gone to the USA. Mo has been blogging and entering a life writing competition.

Lisa's first chapter of her romance novel for the Mills and Boon competition is now completed:see The deadline is 10 October, when entries are then filtered by a voting system. There are six categories to choose from and Lisa has opted for 'warm and cosy.'

Jacqueline has pitched an article on How to Keep Your Brain Active, to Woman's Weekly magazine. Hampshire View magazine has accepted a short story and this will be published in the March 2012 edition. Regarding her children’s book, Jacqueline requested that Lisa, with all her expertise in this field, give a presentation at a future Writing Buddies meeting about self publishing.

Vijay has been writing a few flash fiction stories but as yet has not submitted them anywhere. He is still planning NaNoWriMo but feeling unsure where to take it.

General discussion covered the merits of blogging and Emma expressed her need for help in this area. Informative websites are or Literary Agents and magazine editors do look at blogs, so it is well worth blogging. For a hit counter go to The Society of Authors are having a Tweetathon on Radio 4, over a period of five weeks. The idea is to make a story out of five tweets. Ian Rankin has started the Tweetathon with an opening line: see For anyone interested in screenwriting then BBC Talent is asking for 30 minute scripts (minimum) for a drama course. Deadline for submissions is 1 November see and go to Writers Room.

The next meeting will be on Friday 30 September at 2.00pm.

Post by Elizabeth Streatfield.

Writing Buddies, 2 September 2011

The Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Art House Café on 2 September. New faces were present along with regular members to discuss writing matters.

Josephine has finished her last but one book and has ideas coming quickly for the one she is working on at the moment. A local radio station in the New Forest has been asking for volunteers and when Josephine mentioned her text books they showed great interest. They said that they could fit a business section into their programme. The radio station is on 96.9 FM

Lyn came to the last meeting and gained a few ideas. She looked at the suggestions of Suite 101 and Motion on Line for practicing her writing and liked Suite 101. Lyn is working on ideas for newspapers and has started the first assignment of her Writers Bureau journalism course.

Tony had two local history books, published years ago. He uses Authorhouse to publish his books,, who, he says, do deliver, although they are a little on the slow side. However, they do put things right quickly and are reasonably priced. Tony has given up with The History Press as they quoted him £10,000 to publish his book on the American Civil War.

Elizabeth is continuing with her Writers Bureau course. She received an email from Sainsbury's magazine, regarding a letter she sent for the 'News and Views' page confirming that it would be published in the November edition.

Jimmy brought his book, Growing up in Wartime Southampton: Someone Else's Trousers to the meeting, together with flyers that his publishers, The History Press, have issued for his talk at Woolston Library on Friday 7 October, 12 – 2.00pm. Tickets are available now (contact: He contacted The History Press to accept the commission to write Miscellany of Southampton. He has also been approached about writing a book about 1950s childhood.

Catherine (Miller) is a member of The Romantic Novelists' Association under the New Writers Scheme, where she submits work and receives feedback. Catherine is now in the scheme until her book is published. Although Catherine believed she was more a chick lit writer, she has been informed that she is a woman's fiction writer. She has been published in Prima magazine twice this year. The magazine pays £25 per comment. Prima can be followed on Facebook and will give an indication as to what they are looking for.

Catherine, joining the group for the first time, explained that she was brought up in Zimbabwe and has written 260 pages so far of her memories and reflections of her life there. When she has finished the book she would like to pass it to people for their comments. It was suggested that, as family and friends can often be too 'kind', it be given to friends to ask them to pass to people they know, but are not known to Catherine, for a more critical opinion.

Christine will be performing at the Big Oak Literary & Arts Festival in Derry, Ireland which takes place from 9th - 11th September 2011. She will be one of several featured authors and at the moment is unsure what is expected from her. The street in which the festival is being held was the setting for her book, Jump Derry.

John is still writing amateur dramatic reviews for the Echo. He has thoughts about resuming his play and novel. He is presently assisting Penny typing up her tapes.

Jacqueline is still awaiting a reply from Nosy Crow. She is editing her children’s book, which she now thinks could be a series. She was not short listed for her Humble Boy entry, which was apparently judged by the amount of laughter each entry received. Penny's introduction of the recordings made by Writing Buddies' members for The Talking Echo is to go out on memory stick together, with Mo's two-part story. Half an hour of Writing Buddies work (approx. 3 stories) will be sent out every four weeks. Chris Litton thanked the Writing Buddies for their efforts and they will await feed back from the listeners. Jacqueline's submission to People's Friend has still not been published, although she has been paid. Jacqueline had a letter printed in the Echo and she is also pitching ideas for self marking quizzes.

Alan brought in his story The Adventures of Sniggles, as he needs advice on what to do with it. He was extremely impressed by Karen's art work.

Mo praised Christine’s book, Jump Derry, and mentioned that Christine will be at the next meeting of Writers in Southampton on Thursday 6 October, which will be held at the Richmond Inn, Portswood, (opposite Waitrose).

Alex, new to the group, has been blogging for four years and has had two pieces of work published. Alex has entered a 60 minute play for the Bruntwood Prize for playwriting. It is a send up of cookery programmes. The closing date was in June and the results will be announced in October 2011.

Karen is applying herself to a 30 day writing challenge and everyday she writes a piece based on one word.

Jan is progressing with her writing about growing up in a mining community.

Penny, new to the group, attends a writing course run by Penny Legg at Age UK. She had a blog published in Woman's Own magazine.

Penny (Legg) is running a new class at Age UK and is launching a new magazine titled, Life to the Full. She is still interviewing for her Diamond Jubilee book, Under the Queen's Colours, the deadline of which is 1 December 2011.

Richard is still editing the U3A magazine for his area but will soon be giving it up.

General discussion ranged from how to cut and paste, to the practicalities of running a twitter account from a mobile phone. Christine was concerned about what she should talk about at the Literary Festival and Penny (Legg) suggested that she focused on a particular aspect of her novel. The merits of blogging were also discussed and it was thought to be a very good tool to get your name known. You Tube is also another way of advertising your work.

The next meeting will be on Friday 16 September at 2.00pm.

Post by Elizabeth Streatfield.