Norwich Writers' Circle

It’s Play Time


November 3rd: A return to our normal haunt, The Assembly House in Norwich’s Theatre Street will see accomplished playwright and former committee member, James Dimelow, providing the fun. James will be treating us to his workshop, entitled “Play Time”.

James has penned six plays to date and received praise from London’s Soho and Royal Court theatres. “An urban Wicker Man” was how one review described his second script, Fall & Rise.

James’ workshop will herald our second in-house competition. In-house competitions can be entered free of charge by members. Non-members may also enter but must pay £3. James will be returning as speaker to deliver his adjudication of the competition on February 2nd which will include feedback to individual submissions’ authors. For full guidelines please click here: Competition Two.

Looking forward to seeing you all Tuesday. Don’t forget your pens and pads, now will you?



Yes, it certainly was entertaining.

First Prize: £500. ‘Escargot Africains’ by Sarah Isaacs. Sarah lives on the north-east coast of Scotland and was unable to attend the Award Ceremony. A prolific competition entrant, Sarah has suffered from ill health and considers her writing and creativity to be important in her recovery. Mr Stokes said of her entry, “This is an intriguing and chilling story of status grabbing and manipulation, with a depiction of a cold and atomised suburban society where appearance is optimum.”Jeremy, Mitch Johnson and Ashley-1

There to collect his cheque for his second placed entry, Yellow was Mitch Johnson, pictured here with Olga’s son, Jeremy (left) and competition adjudicator, Ashley Stokes (right). Ashley said of his entry: “This is a compact, emotional story, full of understated anxiety and fine

character work; overall

it is a sharp and affecting slice-of-life.”

Third placed winner, Phillip Vine was also able to attend and be handed his prize. Summing up Chief Mustard, Ashley especially liked the story’s quirkiness, its use of mustard to explore the history of Cluedo versions and characters in the game. “The dialogue is very funny in this enjoyable and unusual love story,” he went on.

Jeremy, Phillip Vine and Ashley-1

Phillip was also pleased to pose for the camera.

Seven “Highly Commended” certificates were also awarded to Valerie Bowes from Caterham, Surrey; Greg Cook from Diss; Maggie Davies from Tunbridge Wells; D.P. Dignam from Berkhamstead; Janet Swinney from London; Stella Whitelaw from Oxted, Surrey and
Christopher Woodhall from Dereham.

Well done all!

We hope to publish the winning entries here as soon as possible. Many thanks due to all the team, including Maureen who came in at the last with her work on designing and writing the certificates. Watch this space for the 2016 Olga Sinclair Open Prose Competition.



Important Note: 20th October 2015 sees a change of venue to our usual home. We will be welcoming members and visitors in the historical Fishergate Room at Anteros Art Foundation, 11 – 15 Fye Bridge Street, Norwich.  7:30 start.

WordPress Mustard Pot Unthank Logo

Everything is gearing up for the big night of our Olga Sinclair Open Short Fiction Competition. Adjudicator Ashley Stokes, local writer, tutor and cheif editor of Unthank Books will lead the prize giving. All are welcome. The competition prize giving will be followed by readings, raffle prizes and refreshments.

To help us host the event we ask members and visitors to bring

the customary door fee: £3 (Members), £5 (Visitors)


6th October 2015 Report

Tuesday 6th saw another good turn-out with a mix of members and visitors enjoying an informative and engaging talk by Charles Christian.

Charles’ central focus were on suspension of disbelief, both within one’s fictional world and with characterisation. Fantasy worlds possess rules that should not be ignored. More than mere syphors, good characters have warts as well as likable sides.Charles Christian1

In terms of plot devices, he advised against “jumping the shark” – no cheating the reader with sudden means of escape. Consistency should be maintained. People should not behave in ways that simply serve the plot. The bottom line: Neither destroy the magic nor make people unbelievable.

Questions & answers followed, including one or two relating to Charles’ expectations for the Cooper Prize. Entrants need to come up with a well rounded male protagonist with an emerging hidden skill or surprise element to their personality. Stories can take the form of flash fiction pieces or be up to 2000 words in length. For full guidelines please visit the Competitions page.

Anne Funnell kindly thanked Charles on behalf of the Circle.

This term, for £3 we are allowing non-members to enter our in-house competitions. Remember also that all competition entries recieve a critique by the adudicator.