Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Cleckheaton Writers Group meeting 5 September

The first of the Cleckheaton Writers Group meetings at the new time of 5.30pm to 7pm took place last night with myself, Andy, Sarah and Arline in attendance, Kathy, Neil, Dawn and Mandy having passed on their apologies. 

The minutes from the last meeting were agreed and it was decided that having spoken to several of the members who cannot make the new time, that one meeting a month should be held on a Saturday morning so that they can attend if they wish.  It is suggested that Saturday 24 September be the Saturday one for the month of September, please can all members who will be attending let me (Karen) know and if they will be taking a feedback slot.

WIP results were shared: Andy has been writing some poems and typing posts, Sarah has been editing, written a 500 word story that she has submitted and been accepted, and I have written a 500 word story following the last CWG writing challenge, have been editing, submitted a synopsis and three chapters of my current WIP for an agents feedback at a SCBWI event (this Saturday in Newcastle), which I had brought for feedback from the group (Arline had not joined the meeting at this stage).  Sarah informed the group that she too had submitted her WIP for feedback with an agent and she too will be at an agent event this weekend, but hers is in York on the Sunday.  Karen and Sarah wished each other luck and agreed to let the others know how they get on.

The feedback sessions were taken by Karen and Sarah.  I shared my synopsis with the group, having not written one before and the group knowing the WIP from the various chapters I had shared previously.  It was agreed that as it was made clear before the event that WIPs did not have to be finished, my synopsis not revealing which of the MCs die at the end is acceptable, so long as I have in mind which one.  I have my ending in my head and intend to write it as soon as possible and the group felt that the synopsis was fit for purpose.

I then shared my 500 word CWG challenge flash fiction in which I had put in the three phrases suggested as themes for the challenge entitled Hiding.  This was a light-hearted piece which was fun to write but I am not sure if I will send it anywhere.

Sarah then read her 500 word CWG challenge flash fiction entitled The Final Destination, but informed the group that she was not happy with the ending.  Arline suggested that the male MC could turn up with someone else at the end, or Karen suggested that he could not turn up and Sarah decided that she liked Arline's idea and might work with that.

The group discussed that Wakefield Literature Festival, Ilkley Literature Festival, York Literature Festival and Harrogate Children's Festival are happening soon and that Morley Literature Festival is in October, tickets on sale now including a Simon Armitage workshop.

In terms of competitions, Sarah informed the group that the new Writing Magazine had a pull-out section listing upcoming competitions up until May 2017.  She shared the details of the Baby Shoes Project anthology in which she has had a story accepted, Mandy has had two accepted and she hopes that Kathy also entered her flash fiction that was shared at the last meeting.  Writers can still enter this, which is for charity, by writing an up to 500 word flash fiction along the theme of 'For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn' and upload it to www.thebabyshoesproject.weebly.com and you should hear within the week whether it has been successful.

Arline recommended a podcast entitled Poems Please which she thinks is BBC Radio 4 (maybe 2 or 3) and the book The Snow Child, the author of which is featured in Writing Magazine this month.

Instead of a timed writing session, challenges were set for a flash fiction, story or poem on the following themes for the next meeting (all of which are current competitions available to enter in Writing Magazine):

1) 500 word flash fiction themed 'making change happen'
2) Write the last 100 words of a story (no theme given)
3) Write up to 1000 words of a story in epistolary form (e.g. letters, text, email, blog)
4) Write a story with the first line 'Is that what you meant to do?'
5) Write a story which uses the following three words: bag, cheese and upload

You can choose any of these, or all if you are feeling prolific, and it can be a story or a poem.  Good luck.

The next meeting is Monday 19 September 5.30pm-7pm at Cleckheaton Library, followed by Saturday 24 September 11am-1pm at Cleckheaton Library.

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