The first Cleckheaton Writers Group of 2019 took place last night with Pauline, Mandy, Gemma, Arline, Kathy, new member Shaz and myself in attendance, Cassie, Sarah and Alice having passed on their apologies. Along with her apologies, Cassie also wished the Group a Happy New Year and that "she was very impressed with the Reflections anthology she bought at the launch before Christmas. She thinks it's a very good read indeed, such talented authors."
We welcomed Shaz to the Group and introduced ourselves and talked about our writing. Shaz writes poetry, journal and humour.
WIP updates: Gemma has written 10k (on Christmas Eve) and completed the first draft of her WIP. She is also waiting to hear back on three competitions/bursary awards, so she is now beginning editing. Well done Gemma.
Arline has been working on something in her head but she has not written any of it down yet. It will be a short story. We look forward to hearing some when and if Arline is ready.
Pauline has written notes and a few more scenes of her WIP and has reformatted my MG novel and read up to chapter 6. I look forward to her feedback and hearing some of Pauline's novel when and if she is ready.
Mandy has now started her novella in the middle, as suggested by her publishers, and has got her second draft to 20k (her first draft was 22.5k) including some flashbacks from the first half. She is going to leave it for a while, then read/edit and send to her publishers. She has also finished the first draft of her poetry collection which has taken 8 months and contains 50 poems. Well done Mandy.
I have completed three scenes for my crime WIP (which means I am about three scenes from first draft) and have written a poem that I brought along.
Kathy has written more on her humorous murder WIP, laying out all the coincidences, which she brought along.
Feedback sessions: I shared the three scenes that I had written for my crime WIP which was well received and led to a discussion of how I was ending the novel and my plans for the sequel. I also shared my poem, which is a personal goodbye to my Uncle who died recently. It was felt to be emotive and it was suggested that it could be used at his funeral.
Kathy shared the new scenes from her comedy murder WIP which gave us a lot of laughs. It was really good and we look forward to hearing more.
Shaz shared a love poem she wrote in 2005 which was sweet and well received. We look forward to hearing more of her work.
CW comps/workshops/events: Mandy reminded everyone that the Northern Writers Awards are still available for entry (deadline 7 Feb) in many categories (with a couple of new ones this year). The NWAs are free to enter and involve filling out a form as to why you should receive an award and what you would use it for, as well as your work as required.
Gemma mentioned that Retreat West also has some competitions to enter including novel, 1st chapter, quarterly themed flash short story prize and flash fiction. There is a fee to enter all of the Retreat West competitions and there are differing deadlines, please check their website for full details www.retreatwest.co.uk.
Pauline informed members that the February edition of Writing Magazine has details of a Script Reading window at Leeds Playhouse for writers who live in Leeds or West Yorkshire. You will need to fill in an online form, submit your work in .doc or pdf and there is a limit of one script per writer. The deadline is 31 January, please check the website for full details www.writ.rs/lpscript.
I reminded everyone about the Leeds Trinity University that runs on a Wednesday in February. I will forward further details once I receive them. There is also the new Leeds writing festival and the Leeds literary ladies, details of which can be found on Facebook.
Write-In sessions 2019: It was agreed that some of the members would be interested in continuing the write-in sessions that were held in 2018 at both the Ribbon Tree cafe and the Clifton Community Centre. Would members who are interested please email me with preferred dates/times/location and I will organise this. Also, Alice, Gemma and I have started meeting occasionally at local cafes (Ribbon Tree or Garden Cafe) on a weekday afternoon. Some of the other members expressed an interest in joining us, so when the next session is organised, I will copy in the details for Kathy, Arline and Shaz (if anyone else would like to be included, please email me and let me know).
I also asked members if there would be any problem moving the writing group to a Thursday night instead of a Monday and the members attending were fine with this. Please can members email me and let me know if they would be able to make Thursdays at the same time and place, and if it is viable, I will speak to the library and see if a room would be available for us.
Writing challenge/session: There was not enough time for a writing session, but we reminded members of the last writing challenge - If you could murder someone and get away with it, who would you murder and why? - in case anyone would like to take part. So far Kathy and I have written pieces from the challenge.
The next meeting of the CWG is scheduled for Monday 21 January 2019 at 5.30-7pm.