Sunday, 26 June 2011

Meeting Report: 20th June 2011

On 20th June we were privileged to welcome award-winning novelist Jill Hucklesby as the judge for our ghost story competition. Although a distinguished and busy author, she had found time to read all seventeen entries several times before settling on a shortlist - and finally the four prize-winners. As well as being generous with time, Jill was also extremely generous with both her praise and constructive criticism. She gave pertinent and detailed feedback to all entrants with invaluable tips on how to achieve clarity, consistent characterisation, pace and atmosphere.

In first place was Roz Balp, who was delighted to receive copies of four of Jill’s novels. Her entry, ‘Faniel’, was described as intriguing, with excellent dialogue, a very strong dénouement, and elegantly written. The judge had no suggestions for any improvement! The lively and humorous ‘In-Comers’ by Amanda Giles came second and was praised for its strong structure and very satisfying grisly twist ending. Jill Fricker’s beautifully written atmospheric tale set in Victorian London, ‘Shadows and Fog’ was third. In fourth place was Ezzie Gleeson-Ward’s ‘Marked’, set in a school and described as a very stylish piece, tightly-written, with strong characterisation and excellent description.

An impromptu question and answer session on writing and being published followed, which everyone found both fascinating and informative. Following Jill's feedback, some of the writers are reworking parts of their stories before they are included in our next group publication 'Ghost Writers' due out in October.

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