Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Planning Meeting - 19th September, 2016

On 19th September, it was our annual planning meeting, at which members gather to suggest competitions, judges and activities for the following year before voting to finalise the programme. A small but enthusiastic group assembled to discuss what we all wanted to do. There was agreement and disagreement, but fortunately, it was always amicable. This was a particularly important meeting as 2017 sees us celebrate our platinum anniversary as Hastings Writers' Group was founded in 1947 and is one of the oldest in the country. Another item on the agenda was, therefore, the celebration anthology, Strandline 11; it was unanimously voted to have an anthology and to have it unthemed but 'drawing inspiration' from the platinum celebration year. Many of the members present immediately volunteered to be involved in the project as writers, editors and proof-readers. 2017 will be a very busy year for the group as honorary member, Rosemary Bartholomew, is also organising a children's anthology to raise money for three local children's charities. Stories and poems are invited from primary-aged children (5 to 11) who live in Hastings or St Leonards. For more information, please email hwg.childrensproject@gmail.com

Manuscript Evening - 5th September, 2016

On 5th September, the group focused on the craft of writing through various problem-solving activities. In the first half, veteran Bill Petsing, read out 'Mistaken Betrayal', his ongoing memoir of World War II. He had acted on previous critique from group members, and everyone noticed the work was much improved. After the break, our Vice-Chair and best-selling author. Kate O'Hearn, shared a real and thorny problem with her current manuscript, 'Phoenix, Fire and Raynne'. As a children's author, she said she was finding it difficult to write from an adult's point of view, particularly as the adult in question is a terrifyingly evil demon and so was having to do it via another adult's perspective. She read out a section, but everyone said that it was convincing and that there was nothing to worry about, so she now feels more confident about carrying on. However, it just goes to show that even the most experienced and successful of writers need a bit of encouragement now and again. As always, all members learned something about the perennially fascinating challenge of writing.