Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Flash Fiction Workshop - 19th January, 2015

On Monday 19th January, Dr Elizabeth Allen, our resident English Literature lecturer, led a workshop on Flash Fiction. First, we discussed four very short stories of different lengths and genres, saying what we thought was successful and what wasn't. The key questions explored were: whether to have a resolved ending or not, the optimum number of characters and how to make such a short piece resonate
In the second half, Roz Balp shared a practical editing exercise from the OU free online Creative Writing course. The main focus was on what should be slashed and what needs to be kept. We decided this depended on what the author wanted to place in the foreground and which words or phrases couldn't be sacrificed for the sake of atmosphere.
There was a buzz of friendly disagreement throughout the evening with a wide range of opinions and ideas being expressed.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

First Meeting of 2015 on 5th January

The first part of the meeting was devoted to discussing and resolving various group business issues:
1. The accounts for the period ended 31st December 2014 (14 months due to a change in the date of the end of the financial year) were presented by the Treasurer and approved by members
2. The budget estimate for the year 2015 was presented by the Treasurer and approved by members.
The meeting thanked Samantha Davey for her work as Treasurer
3. Resolved: to move the AGM to January each year in line with both the subscription and financial years now ending on 31st December.
4. Resolved: to create a committee post of Fundraising Secretary to initiate and organise fundraising activities. Some members are experienced in fundraising and are willing to assist the Fundraising Secretary as needed.  If you would like to volunteer for this role, please contact eileen@eileenmasters.net . If there is more than one volunteer, the membership will vote. All are welcome to put themselves forward and we particularly encourage new members to volunteer.
5.Resolved: Amanda Giles will take the lead in organising HWG’s judging of the anthologies entered for the National Association of Writers’ Groups competition. HWG has been given this responsibility because we won last year’s Volunteers to participate in judging please contact Amanda on aloeamanda@sky.com.  All are welcome to assist and we particularly encourage new members to participate.
6. At present, members have to be up to date with their subscriptions in order to continue their membership. It was suggested that there should also be a minimum requirement for attendance. It was agreed, without a vote, that more information is needed and the matter was adjourned to a later meeting. Meanwhile, the committee will decide on a sympathetic case by case basis.
7. Resolved: Former members who wish to return will not automatically be put on the waiting list. Instead, the committee will decide, on a case by case basis, taking into account the contribution that former members made to the group and their particular circumstances.
Then Elizabeth Allen read her winning Catherine Cookson Cup story. The judge, Catherine Smith, had this to say about it: 'Nothing is wasted. Every paragraph, sentence, comma and word is deftly deployed in the service of the story.'
Finally, we tried to get the creative juices flowing by exploring genre in an exercise given to us by our Chair, Eileen Masters. We worked in groups  to discuss, categorise and extrapolate a story from a given paragraph. Most of us found this pretty challenging; hopefully, we'll improve along with the weather!