Monday, 22 July 2013

Flash Fiction Entries on a hot night: 15 July 2013

Hastings was basking in the heat on Monday 15 July as a large group of members gathered to present their entries for our latest Flash Fiction competition. The task was to create a complete story in 250 words, and the challenge was clearly popular.  As the stories were short, we had the unaccustomed pleasure of hearing everyone read their complete pieces, and as ever, there were an enormous variety of styles, themes and topics.  Our members are quite fond of dark deeds, disaster and general mayhem – the total body count for the stories was alarmingly high…. We finished the evening with an informal discussion about where we liked to write – locations varied from on the sofa in front of the telly via the utility room in the company of the boiler to a purpose-built log cabin.
     We were glad to welcome two new members to the group, and another prospective member attended the meeting as a ‘taster’.  We also heard that one of our members, Kate Giles, has finally clinched a big publishing deal for her childrens’ books – in Norway.  Her work is to be issued as hard copy, e-book and audio-book in August.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Poetry Competition Results, 1 July 2013

The room was packed for the results of the Poetry Competition on Monday 1 July, with our guest judge, Hastings-born poet Richard Evans. One of the most well-respected young poets working today, Richard has published two collections of poems, and is working on his third. It was a very poetic evening - the group heard that that our Chair, Jill Fricker, has just been awarded a prestigious Bare Hands International Poetry Prize for 2013, and we also welcomed Yvonne Rees, from Arts Forum Poets, as a guest to our meeting.
Richard read us a selection of his poems before reviewing the entries. He said that the standard of entries was high, and main criteria he had used to judge the poems was how easy he had found it to experience the world of the writer. In fourth place was Marcus Towner, with his vivid ‘Obadiah’s Observations. Marcus told us that he now has an up-comiing ‘gig’ to perform as Obadiah. One of our newest members, Rachel Marsh, was third, with ‘Lanterns in the Cottage’, about smugglers in Hastings. In second place was our star poet, Jill Fricker. Her haunting piece, ‘On Meeting’, was about the birth of a child. In first place, much to her surprise, was Steph Gaunt, with ‘Writers’ Block’. Richard felt that this poem had painted a particularly accessible picture of the writer’s world, and the place of poetry within that world.
Following the judging, Richard shared some thoughts with us about the place of rhyme in poetry.
At the meeting, we welcomed one new member and one prospective member. We heard about the new website, and the Amazon success of Mike Walsh's 'The Music of Melancholy'.