Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Cleckheaton Writers Group minutes Monday 8 July and Monday 22 July

Cleckheaton Writers Group met last night where Gemma, Cassie, Alice, Karen, Pauline, Kathy, Sam and Zander were in attendance, Mandy, Sarah, Mark and Jennifer having passed on their apologies.

The minutes from the last meeting were approved and we welcomed Sam's friend Zander to observe the meeting.

WIP updates: Karen has been editing her romantic suspense novel in readiness to pass to beta readers before the RNA NWS deadline of the end of August and believes she is just over half-way through. Alice suggested sending the first half of the novel to beta readers now, so they can make a start, and then send the rest when completed. Cassie has written a new short story which she brought to share with the group. Gemma has sent her WIP out to seven beta readers. She has received three back, one who likes, one who does not and one that has given her a headache as there may need to be substantial alterations before the RNA NWS deadline. She attended the Harrogate Crime Festival where she saw CWG member Sarah who has just recieved a book deal with the digital imprint of HQ. Congratulations Sarah. Pauline asked Gemma what her novel was about and Gemma gave an excellent elevator pitch. Pauline has been working on more scenes for her Bickerman novel, altering and extending them. She has also changed her mind about her MC being an alien. Sam has drafted his prologue and has moved on to chapter one of his WIP. Kathy has been busy with other creative pursuits. Alice has started writing a new MG book which is not a sequel to her first novel, that is with her editor for feedback.

CW Comps/workshops/events: Morley Festival is upcoming and there is a competition for Scottish female writers (only people who live in Scotland). Pauline kindly passed around a couple of the last couple of editions of Writers Forum so members could make a note of any competitions.

Feedback: Cassie shared her short story 'secret lives and consequences' which was well received. There was great characterisation both of the MC narrator and Mrs Pickering. The group felt the subject was very relevant at the moment with the upcoming Alan Turing £50 note and Gemma encouraged Cassie to enter the story into a competition. Alice shared the prologue and first chapter of her new WIP wich was well received. She gave an overview of the story and explained the difference between an MG, a teen and a YA novel. We look forward to hearing more.

The next meeting will take place on Monday 5 August and Alice has passed on her apologies.

Due to my holiday, I was unable to make the meeting of 8 July but Kathy kindly took some minutes:

Cleckheaton Writers Group Monday 8 July 2019

Present: Alice, Gemma, Kathy, Mark F
Apologies: Karen, Pauline, Cassie, Mandy and Sam

Minutes taken as read. Mark F informed the group that Mark S would not be joining us any more until further notice as he is currently tied up with other committments.

WIP/Updates: Kathy - in terms of writing, nothing of note. Has entered the Grindstone Dirty Dozen competition with the three stories shared at the feedback session in May. Entered after alterations from feedback of course. Mark - has changed his first chapter from last round of reading (adding 'past' dialogue). Had thoughts about the second chapter and how to manage, but has not accomplished writing per se. Was firmly told that 'thinking' counts. Gemma - has got her manuscript out to her beta readers. Still has work to do on it but will do this once comments/feedback has been received. Deadline is end of August so has given readers until the end of July. Is trying to write a synopsis (15 versions so far...) and is using Pro Writing Aid (used with Scrivener) which wiggles out items such as adverbs, passive voice, starting sentences the same way (I, I, I and so on). Alice - is waiting for feedback as her book is currently with Tilda from Golden Egg. Trying to wait and not think about it, so is planning a sequel. She has a one-to-one booked in. Will be beta reading Gemma's book.

Feedback: Alice read the end of her book (submitted with Tilda). Her Aunt had given some feedback on a possible loose end and she wanted to check if everyone had the same loose end. It concerned whether one of the girls had indeed been taken or not in the book. The group discussed and felt if just one word was changed then it woudl move the pieve to a threat of being taken, rather than an ambiguous 'had it happened or not?'

Competitions/Festivals/Other: Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Festival, Harrogate 18-21 July. This is the one with Creative Thursday that Karen has attended in the past.

Discussions: Synopsis - sparked by Gemma's struggles to write one. How to write one, what editors look for etc. and what to include. Could differ and depends on what editors look for and obviously guide you on how to structure for pieces you are submitting.

Research: general discussion on 'safe' reserach. Bit of an issue if you want to research posioning on your laptop or explosions. Apparently certain University libraries run checks on borrows and subject matter, Big Brother...

Write-ins 2019 and Writing Challenge/Session: There is a regular Monday meet up at Ribbon Tree Cafe in Cleckheaton from 2pm for those writers who wish to meet to write, all welcome. No writing challenges were set or carried out at the meeting.

Meeting closed.

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