Fifteen members braved wind and rain to attend the meeting on 9 January. Nine of these read out their proposed entries for Strandline 11 – the Group’s two-yearly anthology of original work. Remarkably, this year the Group celebrates its 70th birthday. Accordingly, many of the pieces featured the year 1947, either in autographical accounts or as the setting for works of fiction. We heard of life as a nineteen-year-old in the RAF and of a childhood poor in material possessions but rich in the warmth of a close family. We also heard of goings on among ex-members of the SS, the actions of a jealous child and of a sinister orphanage. Non-1947 related pieces included poems and tales as disparate as that of an alligator in the bath, the travails of DIY enthusiast and the unhappiness of an army wife.
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
On Friday 9th December, group members, plus a number of very welcome guests, celebrated the successes of the year. After a substantial buffet and a glass or two of wine, the winners and runners-up of all competitions held throughout 2016 collected their certificates. After an extremely impressive year of writing that saw her winning or placed in all competitions, Vicky Armstrong won the writer of the year shield. The outcome of the judging for the annual Catherine Cookson competition was announced. This year the cup was awarded to Sandra Daniels for her short story ‘Boy’, a story of a young girl tormented by an annoying cousin, which leads to chilling consequences. Second place went to Sam Davey for ‘The House of Her Dreams’, third to Jill Fricker for ‘The Second Life of Amina Choudbury’ and fourth to Vicky Armstrong for ‘And Then There Was Silence’. The judge felt that the standard of submission has been so high this year that a highly commended mention was made for ‘The Jar of Ideas’ by Marcia Woolf.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
On 28th November we held an extremely successful ‘new members’ evening. Prospective members were invited to come and see exactly what we do at the Hastings Writers Group. The event was very well attended and began with a lively period of introductions and discussion. Having been plied with nibbles and wine, the prospective new members were given a baptism of fire in the form of one of our most challenging, but most fun, writing exercises. Organised by our vice chair, Kate O’Hearn, the activity saw those present scribbling frantically for the 15 minutes allowed to create tales that all began with the same nervous wait in a restaurant to meet a blind date. The challenge of incorporating the random items Kate brought in led the stories in weird, wonderful and mostly comedic directions. Everyone coped admirably as they ingeniously managed to weave in a pirates eye-patch, a crocodile, two pocket watches, a pair of sun glasses, a toothbrush, hatpins and the characters from the 70s children’s TV show, The Banana Splits! Overall, it was a great evening that once again demonstrated the tremendous wealth of creative talent to be found in Hastings.