Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Writing Buddies, January 13th, 2012

Our first meeting of 2012 was very well attended, and members had been busy over the holiday.

Rich belongs to a London-based writers’ group, and he submitted a piece for them to perform in a pub. They will be performing his monologue/narrative poem in February.

Glen’s commissioned book Voices from Eastleigh (The History Press) has now been submitted and the launch is to be scheduled. She is attending a song writing weekend, and one of her compositions has recently been well received.

Christine D has nearly finished her second novel. Publishers Weidenfeld & Nicolson liked her first book – Jump Derry - but thought it needed some adjustment before being taken up. Christine is working on this. She has entered short stories for both the Fish competition ( and the one run by Chapter One Promotions who have several comps on their site.

Patricia has sent a story to BBC Opening Lines via Writers’ Room. She has also submitted a 30-minute play and a monologue script, and is now working on another play about Adam and Eve. She is trying out some nursery rhyme illustrations with agents, too.

Ray continues working on his memoirs. Through Writers’ Forum magazine he contacted Jean Henderson who said she would be able to advise shortly. Ray is keen to develop this contact, and will send her some work.

Janet was at Writing Buddies for the first time. She has just finished a Diploma in Creative Writing with the Open University, and has submitted to magazines and entered poetry competitions. She would like to start a novel, but is unsure whether she has enough material. This was discussed by the group.

Josephine is about to start a textbook on staff management; this links with her connection to Park Radio (New Forest area). She has been a programme assistant there, but is now promoted to co-presenter. She has been asked to run a workshop on her subject.

Annette is collecting ‘First Day at School’ memories for an article. She is also looking for a possible market for her piece, ‘My First Parachute Jump’, and several magazines were suggested by the group. Her first article for The Scots magazine was published in December, and the next will be in August. She has an article appearing in The Countryman this spring.

Karen told us she has contracted ‘the writing bug’ over Christmas, and is starting to work on a novel, which she’s had in mind for some time.

Catherine has now rewritten 30,000 words of her novel, being advised by the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers Scheme. She has met an agent/editor who wants to see the book. In February she is giving a talk to Writers in Southampton on the subject of social networking.

Member Janet is writing short stories; she has hospital experience and may check some nursing magazines to further inform her work. She is interested in travel writing, too.

Jimmy’s story for preschoolers, Jayden’s First Adventure, has been submitted to The Thorn Press, and he has a sequel in mind. He is planning the last book in his trilogy, Gerry’s Quest. Work continues on his commissioned Southampton Miscellany (The History Press), and he is working with Penny on a book about 1940s Southampton. The magazine Best of British will be reviewing his book Growing up in Wartime Southampton – Someone Else’s Trousers.

Jacqueline will have a short story in Hampshire View. Her poem appeared in the first issue of What the Dickens, and she has submitted flash fiction for the next. As yet she has not had any news about her children’s book, she may approach agents or publish as an ebook. She is giving a talk to Writers in Southampton in March on how to write and sell magazine articles.

Tony published his military history book We Spared Not the Capital of America in September with Authorhouse, and it is selling quite well on Amazon. It is available as a book or an ebook. He is now targeting military history and re-enactment societies to publicise it.

New member Mike has written books about Southampton docks, and has another co-authored book coming out on the subject of Shipwrecks of the Cunard Line.

Penny finished Under the Queen’s Colours for The History Press, and it is to be published in May. Current projects include an Eastleigh archive book and a grisly history of Southampton. She recently launched Life to the Full, a magazine for Age Concern, Southampton.

Vijay continues to work on the novel which he began for NaNoWriMo, and sees his way forward with the plot.

General discussions then worked around the need for blogs and websites as a personal showcase, and how to set them up. On the topic of how to start a novel, suggestions included blogging, setting targets, developing from a short story, creative writing courses, NaNoWriMo, and not stopping to edit but just ‘getting it down’. For marketing, ideas included Facebook and Twitter, making friends with local bookshops, and using LinkedIn (for professional people). The session ended with ideas for where to place particular articles and how to choose and write for a charity. Future meetings focusing on self-publishing and on ebooks are to be considered.

The next meeting will be on January 27th at The Art House, Southampton, 2pm. Anyone interested in writing will be very welcome.

Post by Jacqueline Pye.

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