Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Writing Buddies in April 2014

21 Writing Buddies came together at the Mercure Dolphin Hotel this month.

Good News

James, reminded us about his new publishing company, Aloejimmy Publishing, which has just published its first two book:  Jayden The Naughty Goldfish, and Davie Collins and The Sundance Gang, The Great Kon-Tiki Challenge, copies of which were passed around. Two more books are expected soon.
Eileen, who is also a member of the Bevois Mount History Group, has had pictures of her grandmother (from Victorian times), entered on to their website and Facebook Page.

Jacqueline won a prize in a Writer's News Competition and gave a reading at Portswood Library. She has been invited to be a judge at the Southampton Writers' Circle Competition, and she has also won a seat at a literary Lunch in London.

Penny has been finishing her book on military wives. She has also been giving talks: at Portswood Library, Southampton Sight, and Rownham and Nursling History Society. She also introduced us to Calvin Smith, attending his first Writing Buddies meeting, of the Friends of Portswood Library Group (more later). 
Emma and Sue have an Arts Exhibition at Harbour Lights cinema, Ocean Village, Southampton from 1st to 28th  May, all invited to attend. Emma also has stands at Hobbycraft, the last one was on Tuesday 8th April.
Josephine reminded us of her publication The Voice. Issues one and two are already out, with the third issue out shortly. She is involved with the Wessex Writers' Newsletter, where she has interviews and book reviews. The editors Robin and Barbara Dynes, who are working hard on promoting this to both writers and readers.
It was suggested that Writing Buddies should do a podcast, which is being looked into, after having 63 'likes' on the Facebook page.


Calvin (Friends of Portswood Library) created the group to promote education through writing. Penny, James and Jacqueline all voiced their support, especially for talks and arts exhibitions. 

Tom, a former postman, was at the meeting to make contacts, in order to make a proper attempt at getting published. His genre is sci-fi and fantasy.

Sherrie is a retired university lecturer. She is right at the beginning of her writing journey, specialising in novels and short stories.

Sue said she had lots of false starts, but the others re-assured her that they had also been in the same situation, and gave her some encouragement.

5th Anniversary Exhibition

Consultation with library manager Richard Ashman has resulted in exhibition space at the Central Library being secured and advertising the event has begun. The exhibition will be opened by The Right Worshipful The Mayor, Councillor Ivan White and Mrs Mary White at 2 o'clock on 12th May 2014. Copies of the Writing Buddies' anthology Wordfall, produced for the first anniversary will also be sourced. The flyer competition resulted in Jacqueline winning and a number the winning entry have been produced and are ready for distribution. Eleven members have selected pieces to be included in the exhibition. 

Other discussion points

Tessa is still looking for an illustrator, and she exchanged e-mail addresses with Emma.

Jane asked if any having experience of pod-casting could talk to her.

Calvin advised the group of  World Book Night on 23rd April. The aim was to facilitate the donation of books  via a stall in Portswood library and to raise money for local good causes. He said he also wanted to promote reading and writing and the local libraries.

The London Book Fayre was discussed. Jimmy said chaos and confusion reigned when he visited.  Tessa found it too exhausting and Penny added that there was a lot going on, with frenetic book activity and there was a lot of useful information to be picked up.  Publishers and agents were present,  companies gave instructive talks and merchandise was available. The event runs from Tuesday 8th April through to the 10th April at Earls Court.

The Winchester Writer's Festival was highlighted, on 20th June 2014, and described as being more author based and local. They are now accepting registrations for their 12 different competitions, and it could be a useful experience. 

Jacqueline mentioned that it is useful to join the ALCS (Authors Licensing and Collecting Society) which is free to join (just fill in a form) and they will collect royalties for anything of yours which was published, copied, used etc,  - they take a fee and send you the rest.

PLR (Public Lending Rights) was also highlighted as being a source to collect royalties for anything that went into a public library. 

Guest speakerWriting articles for magazines – by Jacqueline Pye

Her advice was:
  • Pick a subject you have knowledge of (hobby or interest), and it should take less than a day (a few hours) to produce, but don't do it for nothing (unless you need the experience, for your writing CV). 
  • You can use bullet points, but do so sparingly.
  • 'Beef up' your experience, Eg. “I've been keeping cats for years”, “I have had numerous articles published in newspapers” or “I am an experienced writer on this subject”.
  • Be cagey about asking for a fee, use phases like “offered at your usual rates”.
  • Once completed have it analytically proofread      
Jacqueline gave out a handout of more information.

It was noted that Richard Ashman (Library Manager) has recently completed training as a proofreader and is now looking for clients.  Please contact Writing Buddies for contact details.

The next meeting will be the Writing Buddies' fifth anniversary.  At that meeting there will be a collection for the Mayor's charity, Southampton Women's Aid.

The next meeting will be at 2 p.m on Friday 2nd May 2014, at the Mercure Dolphin Hotel.  Everyone is welcome.  

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