Thursday, 13 September 2018

Crime Writing Workshop - 3 September 2018

Members enjoyed a very interesting talk from crime writer Robert Crouch this evening. Robert advised of the importance of being accurate when writing about, or relying on, police or legal procedures. He explained that, from his experience, the police are generally happy to provide information. We considered the almost endless ways to create our ‘investigator’ and how to exploit the special skills that their training, experience and profession offers. We concluded the meeting with a writing exercise, completing story ideas from an opening paragraph that Robert had created especially for the group. As always, members rose to the challenge, with an incredibly diverse range of weapons, sleuths, killers as well as alternative explanations for potentially incriminating evidence.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Meeting of 30th July - Literary Agent Louise Buckley

This evening we welcomed Louise Buckley, literary agent. Louise told us about her role and gave a lot of valuable advice based on her knowledge and experience. She explained that, in addition to promoting completed work, a literary agent will also act as a ‘manager’, offering mentoring and guidance to authors. Another important aspect of the role being ‘author expectation management’. Writers learnt about the importance of following presentation guidance when submitting work to agents and the potential benefits of having a strong social media presence. Louise answered our numerous questions and gave us a lot of extremely useful tips.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

16 July Meeting report: 'How To' Results

This week’s meeting saw the results of the competition to write a ‘How To’ guide. The competition was judged by John Dowling, previously a journalist with 48 years of experience at the Bexhill Observer. The results were as follows: In fourth place, Roz Balp, ‘Packing for a Budget Airline’; third place went to Maddie Blake, ‘How to Make Friends with the Stars’; second place went to Lorna Thompson ‘Chemo and the Disappearing Hair – a Black Woman’s Tale.’ Our winner was Godfrey Forder, with a charming and very fun guide on ‘How to Potter’.

2 July Meeting Report: Drama Workshop

This was a very enjoyable and interactive meeting. Members each brought in a short abstract of their own prose and took part in an exercise to convert their work into a dramatic piece. With guidance from Amanda Giles and Hilary Mackeldon, members considered how to prepare a scripts, including practical aspects such as staging instructions, dialogue, lighting and sound effects.

18 June Meeting Report - 'How to' entries

18th June saw the reading of the entries for our ‘How to’ guide competition. The meeting was hugely enjoyable and informative. Members left the White Rock Hotel with heads full of new information and new ideas. Most of us had certainly not previously given enough consideration to how important (and potentially expensive) it is to create just the right environment, including the hiring of a fen shui expert, for writing that novel. Nor had many of us realised the preparation needed to attend a comic convention safely and without embarrassing ourselves. We learned about picking locks, and how to pick a martial art. Probably not too late for some of us, we received advice on how to plan our first ‘grown up’ dinner party. There was also valuable, and hilarious, advice on how to train a dog, and also how to master the art of pottering. Other fascinating guides set out how best to pack for a budget airline, how to recycle or repurpose all manner of household items, how to make money from a spare room and how to choose a care home.

Friday, 11 May 2018

23 April 2018 - Critique workshop

In a very relaxed, interesting and useful workshop, members focussed on the giving and 
receiving of criticism. We considered the pros and cons of techniques such as the 
‘praise sandwich’. We also spoke about the delicate balance of offering feedback in a 
positive, supportive manner while still making it honest and helpful. Members took part 
in a practical activity, working together to critique stories written by unknown authors. 
This experience was aimed at strengthening the support for members to develop their 
writing skills, receive feedback and solve problems in their personal writing projects.  

9 April 2018 - Sci-fi Entries

Tonight we read our entries for the science fiction short story competition. In 2000 words
 members took us to outer space, back through time, and up the A21 to encounter chemically 
enhanced, floating traffic cones. We explored alternative energy sources obtained through 
crystals or the power of dreams, and plunged in to a world covered in water. We considered 
ethical issues, such as creating humans in laboratories, lethal injections and capitalising on 
the extinction of animal species. We also considered the dilemma of going to the bathroom 
leaving one wife in bed and returning to find a second, identical wife, sitting next to her. 
Assuming the world is not taken over by computers, or aliens….members will hear the 
competition results in a few weeks.