Monday, 22 October 2012

Writing Buddies - It's Good to Talk

Southampton Writing Buddies met again at The Art House on October 5th. We were a small group this time but with plenty to discuss.

John was due to see and review a performance of Great Expectations. He has now completed sixteen blog posts, keeping up his plan to blog every week. The previous two posts had been the two halves of a new poem. A4E have accepted his business plan involving his blog; he showed the group his poem manuscript together with the syllable counts to show how they were constructed. 

Jacqueline will have two stories in the next e-anthology by Inkslinger Books; it's called Temporal Tales and each entry involves time-slips. She has a short story in the latest edition of What the Dickens internet magazine. A piece of flash fiction submitted for an anthology was accepted but there is no payment and contributors are asked to order copies of the book at £8. The group agreed that this sounded like something of a scam.

Josephine joined Hampshire Writers' Society; they have talks by well-known writers. A recent guest was P D James, who gave a really excellent talk. Josephine is looking for a publisher for her book about meetings, and is thinking about Manchester University. She is still working on her staff management book, and is considering a book or an article on being an executor. The group felt this would be a really useful book, and Josephine has the experience.

Ray's memoir is nearly completed. He employed someone to advise, and hopes to self-publish it fairly soon. As a title he is considering 'From War to an Iron Fighter'. He has now begun to write some poetry, too.

Jimmy's book Not a Guide to Southampton will be out in January. He is working with Penny on a 1950s childhood book which will be published in May. He is planning to publish his Sundance Gang novels and the Far End of the Tunnel trilogy, and is still working on a book about teenagers. He has had a good deal of positive feedback about his first book Growing Up in Wartime Southampton, Some Else's Trousers.

Penny's latest book for The History PressEastleigh Then and Now is out in hardback; the Echo have requested a review copy and Radio Solent's presenter Katie Martin is interested in the book too. Penny is book-signing in Waterstone's in Eastleigh on Saturday November 24th. She recently gave talks in Southampton area about hauntings.

There was then a lengthy discussion about how to turn a manuscript into a book or an ebook, either through a publisher or self-publishing. Lulu and Amazon were mentioned, and some local printers who will produce print runs on demand, usually with a minimum number ordered. These included George Mann books (Malthouse Close, Winchester), The Sholing Press, and Hobbs in Totton who made a really good job of publishing poetry with photographs for one of our members.

We also touched on how to look for commissioned writing work and - in hope - get paid for it. Writing for no payment can be very good to get known and enrich the CV,while obtaining payment is elusive; even the major publishing houses are drawing their horns in and sometimes asking for advances to be returned if a book is late or doesn't get completed.

Writing Buddies will meet again on Friday November 2nd at 2pm at The Art House, Above Bar, Southampton. Everyone with an interest in writing, whether published or not, is very welcome to join us.

Post by Jacqueline Pye.

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