Thursday, 14 February 2013

Strandline, our 2012 Anthology, now on sale!

Our 2012 Group Anthology, Strandline, has just gone on sale in Waterstones in Hastings. 220 pages of great reading, giving an excellent idea of what a writers' group can do. Priced at £8.50.
If you live outside Hastings, please send us your contact details via the website, and we will arrange for you to buy a copy.

Manuscript Evening with Kate O'Hearn: 11 February 2013

It was another busy evening for the Group on Monday 11 February, with again, very good attendance.  We started with a treat. Marcus Towner read us his winning entry for the 2012 Catherine Cookson Cup, our major annual short story competition. ‘Perhaps an Indian Summer’ is a gentle and evocative love story – an ideal topic with Valentine’s Day so close.  Following that relaxing interlude, it was down to work – a session on how to get the best from our Manuscript Evenings, led by Kate O’Hearn with help from Stephanie Gaunt. Firstly, we talked about how best to express our comments to our colleagues, to enable them to take on board what we say. Next, we looked at the presentation, style and content of people’s writing, and the areas we could usefully address. Kate reminded us that everyone’s view was both valid and valuable. We are all readers as well as writers, and all have a feel for what works for us as individuals.
     Next, two people courageously presented extracts from their work in progress, so we could practice our new skills. Maurice Haken took us through a new short story ‘A rewarding Co-incidence’, and new member Kate Giles presented an extract from a historical novel she is currently working on. Both pieces generated much lively discussion.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Meeting Report - Monday 28 January 2013

We had an exceptionally busy evening on Monday 28 January
    Well over twenty members braved the lashing rain to present their entries for our first internal competition of the year – Memoir Writing. Everyone had a chance to read out a sample of their work, and it was fascinating to gain insights into such an astonishing variety of lives. The extracts were in turn inspiring, funny, poignant, intriguing – and raunchy. Amongst other things, we heard about a love for music, an irrational fear of bandages, a trip in a runaway car, being a VIP cab driver, house moves, ‘Bob a Job’, schooldays, fostering adolescents, boxing, being an army child, fraught holidays, working in a casino, and many strange family secrets… The entries now go off to our judge, former group member and creative writing tutor Andrea Samuelson. We hope she enjoys reading them as much as we obviously enjoyed writing them.