Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Cleckheaton Writers Group minutes 22 February 2016

Last night the Cleckheaton Writers Group took place where Andy, Neil, John L, John R, Kathy and myself were in attendance, Mandy, Martijn, Laura, Dawn and Pippa having passed on their apologies.

After introducing the new members to members they had not met before, the minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

The Work In Progress update then followed.  Kathy has written a new short story which she had brought to share for the feedback session.  John L promised to email his short story that he promised to send at a previous meeting.  Neil has written a short story for the Writers and Artists Yearbook 'age' competition about a vampire (this is on his Facebook page) which he will be sharing for feedback at the next meeting.  Andy has been prewriting for his new project, working title 'My journey HSBC.'  John R has also been prewriting and writing short scenes that come to him.  I informed the group that I had written a couple of short stories that I had brought to share at the feedback session, and that my short Victorian Gothic Horror story that I performed at the Newcastle Halloween event is to be published by Wild Wolf publishing in an anthology that should be out in time for the Cleckheaton Literature Festival.

Kathy kicked off the feedback sessions with her short story The Picture.  The group enjoyed the story and although Kathy felt that it was too sentimental, we thought that the wrong footing and great dialogue offset this.  This lead to a discussion about short stories with twist in the tale endings.

I shared my first short story (as yet untitled) which the group felt placed the reader in the 'time' of the story well and the ambiguous ending worked well.  My second story (as yet untitled) was a fantasy and also had an ambiguous ending which the group preferred.  This lead to a discussion about open-ended short stories.

John L shared his first short story inspired by a photograph taken in a put of an empty bar stool with a shaft of light shining on it through the cigarette smoke.  The group enjoyed the story and felt it had a poetic style.  Kathy felt that even though John had described the empty bar stool before reading it, she was still pleasantly surprised by the ending.  John's second story entitled 'Archway' was also poetic, so much so, some of the members could imagine it as a performance poem.

John R then shared his ideas for his story and his prewriting, including some small scenes, including dialogue, of his writing so far.  The group enjoyed the realistic dialogue and felt that one scene in particular conveyed well the 'perceived problem' with the MCs attachment to her Christmas snowman.  This lead to a discussion about how John feels the story will grow from these scenes and John L suggested a timeline.

I then informed the group about the Leeds Trinity Writers Festival (6 April) call out for creative writing submissions on the theme of 'journeys.'  Chosen flash fiction, short stories or poems will appear in their anthology published by Indigo Dreams Publishing.  Short stories should be 700 words, flash fiction (250) and poems (40 lines) and sent to ltuanthology16@gmail.com.

I also reminded the group about the Readers Digest and Good Housekeeping competitions and Neil told the group about the Lorraine Kelly ITV short story for 5-7 year-olds competition (details on his Facebook feed).

I informed the members about a possible chance to visit the Houses of Parliament.  Local MP Jo Cox invited the Cleckheaton Writers Group to do so.  Could all members that wish to attend, please let me know via email asap so that I can let her know numbers to organise.  Thank you.

In regards to the proposed new Library opening hours, Kathy, Neil and John gave their preferences and Andy, Laura and Dawn have already done so.  Could any other members please let me know asap their preferences so that I can let friends of Cleckheaton Library know.

There was no time for a timed writing session and the next meeting will take place on Monday 7 March 6-8pm at Cleckheaton Library.  One feedback session is still available as Neil has taken one.

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