Cleckheaton Writers Group took place last night at Cleckheaton Library, where Alice, Andy, Mandy, Sarah and myself where in attendance, Pauline, Kathy, Neil, Dawn, Laura and Martijn having passed their apologies.
The minutes from the last meeting were passed, with thanks to Kathy, and an update on the CWG/CLF anthology given. Mandy advised members that any stories/poems published in the anthology may not be able to be used to enter competitions or published elsewhere, so writers should choose their submissions with this is mind.
Work in progress (WIP) updates was next: Sarah is now up to 53k words on her WIP, Andy has been working on a new WIP since Wednesday night, Mandy has written a poem, a couple of flash fiction stories and been editing, Alice has been working on some short stories for children and I have written over 9k words on my current WIP plus have entered two competitions and sent two submissions.
I kicked off the feedback session with a couple of new chapters from my WIP. As some of the members had not heard my first chapter and it was relevant to the feedback I wanted on my new chapters, I read this out before reading the two new ones. Members felt that the chapters did cement the MC and her connections with the other characters. Sarah felt that the pink icing image in the first chapter felt a bit out of place but liked the way the MC's character was revealed through her attitude to food. She felt that the foster home seemed too big and that this would need to be changed but that there was really high quality prose in the first chapter. Alice felt that the description really added, particularly the burning mobile. She felt that there were a few too many 'but's' used in one section that jarred.
Andy then shared a piece entitled Shrodinger's Shotgun. I felt that it was very reminiscent of Trainspotting and Sarah felt it was very Bradford. Sarah suggested taking a few of the swear words out, or exchanging them for different ones as members thought there were too many of the same one. We liked that the main antagonist was the smallest of the thugs and the inner dialogue of the MC worked well. Andy explained the plans he had for his WIP and the sections that he has already written.
The Leeds Trinity Writers Festival is on the 22nd of March and the Northern Lights event at Sale, Manchester is on the 18th of March (this information has been shared to all members via email). Northern Lights is at a cost of £30 but there is a multi-storey car park nearby that could save on travel fees. The deadline for the Myslexia Short Story competition is looming and the entry fee is £10. It is free to enter the Dundee International Novel Prize and the deadline is 13th of March, with a prize of 5k and free publication. The Crime Writers Association deadline is 28th of February but with an entry fee of £34.
Sarah has been working on some writing exercises including 100 questions you can ask your character and agreed to forward the questions to the CWG members.
The next Cleckheaton Writers Group meeting takes place in a fortnight on Monday 6th of March at Cleckheaton Library 5.30-7pm. Both feedback slots are available.