Thursday, 8 September 2016

Writing Buddies' News

Things have been busy for the Writing Buddies recently, hence the lack of posts on this blog. Now it is time to catch up.

We were very sorry to lose a long-standing Writing Buddy, Pauline Cahill in August. It was only March when Pauline joined the Writing Buddies at the London Book Fair and since then she was tireless, publishing a book and launching a new blog. It was a great shock to hear of her death. Penny Legg and Jacqueline Pye represented Writing Buddies at her funeral. Our deepest sympathy goes to her family.

We made the move to the Southampton Old Bowling Green ( and now use their clubhouse for our meetings. This has proved to be a really good decision as we are totally spoilt each month! We have the place to ourselves, have two lovely ladies to serve tea and (jolly good) cake and it is very convenient for parking, so we are all happy.

After nearly eight years existence, we have taken the plunge and joined NAWG - the National Association of Writing Groups. It is early days yet but we are already enjoying the benefits in terms of the information and advice sent out to us. We have always been an informal group but we know now that we should have a Constitution and accordingly are taking steps to put one together. This will lead to an AGM to accept it, make up a committee and then we can go on from there. Watch this space for more of this.

Lisa Scullard has given two talks on social media and using it to market our work recently. Lisa has her finger on the pulse and her advice has proved invaluable. (

Josephine Shaw facilitated discussions on how to succeed in the market with a new book idea; how to use photographs to enhance a book and how to create suspense in a short story.

The role of the literary agent and ideas on how to find one have been discussed at length, with opinion divided about the need for one. Several Writing Buddies have agents and several more are currently looking for representation, with the main reason for seeking one being the superior connections an agent has. It was pointed out that most of the major publishing houses will not look at a manuscript unless it is presented by an agent. This was felt to be the cause of the rise in self-publishing and several Writing Buddies have made the decision to self-publish because they did not wish to go through the long-drawn-out process of battling through the slush pile.

The next meeting of Writing Buddies is on Friday 7 October at 2pm, when multi-award-winning crime writer Peter Lovesey will join us. He will be speaking about thirties crime writer James Cobbett. Everyone is welcome.