It was party time for us at our May 2nd meeting. We celebrated our fifth birthday, with more than thirty members at our regular venue, The Dolphin Mercure Hotel in Southampton. As we were a larger group than usual, the hotel very kindly allocated a delightful upstairs meeting room, one in which Jane Austen once danced the night away!
Penny, who with Pam founded the flourishing group in 2009, treated us all to wine and luscious cake, so it was quite an event. Even Catherine’s young twin girls were able to join us!
Former policeman Jim Brown’s talk on Murder in Southampton was to take place on May 7th at Portswood Library.
Jimmy’s latest book for The History Press, A 1940s Childhood, From Bomb Sites to Children’s Hour, had just been launched, with a foreword by famous crime writer Peter Livesey.
Mo had given a reading from A Blues for Shindig at the Cockpit Theatre in London, and her next reading will be from her forthcoming new novel.
Jim Brown has a new book out, Southampton's Lucky Jim: A County Borough Copper in the 50s and 60s.
Catherine has a story in The Romaniac’s collection of stories and flash fiction, Romaniac Shorts. The Romaniacs are members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA). Catherine recently won a place on a very enjoyable writing course through the RNA.
Gerry, who now lives in Alicante, belongs to a writing group there - Wordplay Writers’ Forum. Not long ago the group won Writing Magazine’s Writers’ Group Award. Gerry recently published his novel Farrell’s Last Case, and offered members a free download. He is currently writing the sequel, Witches’ Mountain.
Lisa informed the group that http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom was accepting comedy scripts for the next few days.
Jacqueline and her husband each entered the local Union Learning Centre short story competition; results are not yet out.
Barbara Dynes has a new book out, Masterclasses in Creative Writing . Barbara writes for Writers’ Forum and for The Voice.
Robin is writing on health and social care, and education. He edits and distributes the internet newsletter The Voice, with articles on the written word from both reading and writing perspectives. Several Writing Buddies have been interviewed by Josephine for The Voice. The newsletter is free to receive by email; contact email@example.com
Bill attends Southampton Sight Writing Salon; he suggested Buddies might consider individual podcasts.
New member Margaret used to write, and is back again now and keen to restart.
John has just released an ebook of his poetry: Love Poems by JPF Goodman. (http://jpfgoodman.wordpress.com and scroll down.) He read some of his work at the final day of the Ship to Shore event at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, and was soon to read again at Write Angle, an event in Petersfield. Podcasts of both these readings can be seen on his blog as above.
General discussions followed. These included whether we should do individual podcasts and who might help with these. Lisa mentioned she had marketed a book she’d written under a different name, promoting it in both names in social media. It was initially offered free, and entered Amazon’s top 100 free books. She recommended low pricing for better overall revenue.
Calvin runs Friends of Portswood Library. He hopes the library will become a community hub including for writers, and any members wanting to promote their books by readings or launches can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Several members had given talks or readings there already, and more are to come.
Our forthcoming exhibition at the Central Library was discussed. Members would jointly set up the books, articles etc on Monday 12th May in time for the opening by the mayor Councillor Ivan White at 2pm. The exhibition would close on the 17th. Christine planned to make a celebration cake for the event and there would be wine too.
Josephine then gave a very helpful talk on administration for writers. She reminded us of the importance of documenting every event and all income and expenditure, and suggested ways of doing so. Questions followed and the group thanked Josephine for her advice.
Writing Buddies will meet again at The Dolphin Mercure Hotel, High Street, Southampton from 2 to 4pm on Friday June 6th. The last half hour will include a talk by Lisa on the topic of copyright.
Blog notes by Jacqueline Pye