Friday, 27 September 2013

Good News and Lively Discussion from the Writing Buddies

Southampton Writing Buddies met at The Mercure Dolphin Hotel on Friday August 2nd, again with a good attendance. We began with any news members wanted to share.

Pat is elated to have won first place in the Winchester Writers Conference/Hampshire Chronicle murder story competition, and a round of applause was in order. She received a hugely complimentary critique from the judge, a creative writing tutor.

Mo will be giving a reading of her book, A Blues for Shindig, at The Art House, Southampton in September.

Annette has two articles coming out in The People's Friend soon. The first is about her parachute jump and the other describes a microlight flight. She is also still calling for anecdotes about people's early school history for a work in progress.

Christine D mentioned New Writing South, which offers a mentoring scheme which seems really helpful. Meetings take place in London.

Jimmy is about to publish (Aloejimmy publishing) the first novel in his Sundance series, after editing is completed. This will be followed by his picture story book for preschool children. 

Penny and Jimmy attended the War and Peace Revival Show at the old Folkestone racecourse. Both were booksigning and Penny met up with people who had contributed to her books.

Jacqueline received critiques for the two stories she submitted for the Winchester competition. One was Commended and the other was awarded third place. A piece of her flash fiction is currently longlisted in a competition run from Australia by Ether Books, and she entered the Southampton Library short story competition.

Discussions followed on various topics raised. A new site, newsmodo, was mentioned where freelance professional journalists and photographers can link up with, and sell content, to media organisations - and it's free to use. One member wondered if the cover of a 1980s magazine could be used as a book cover; the group felt this was risky as it included a photograph of a person, and that it would be better to find images usable under creative commons licence such as those on flickr

For marketing, Jimmy is using the Neilson site which has helpful advice as well as selling ISBNs. They can also apparently help with getting books into Waterstone's stores. We also discussed possible group marketing opportunities, including a stall on Above Bar on 'arts and crafts' day, next year's New Forest Show, Titchfield Festival Theatre or The Dolphin hotel itself. The Titchfield Festival Theatre's poetry contest is now open, with a cash prize, for poems on a theme related to one of four particular Shakespeare plays. 

Writing Buddies' fifth birthday is not far away now, and a celebration of some sort might be appropriate. A possible second anthology was discussed, perhaps as an ebook, with no need for financial issues. The merits and otherwise of the programme Publisher were discussed.

Writing Buddies will meet again on Friday September 6th, 2-4pm at The Dolphin Hotel, High Street, Southampton. If you have an interest in writing - at any level - we'd love to see you there.

Blog notes by Jacqueline Pye

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