Norwich Writers' Circle

A Productive Evening

Our manuscript evening on Tuesday 21st February was a success.  We welcomed three visitors and one new member.

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We tried a slightly different format than usual, breaking off into smaller groups.  Those who brought work waited for each member of the group to read it and then received feedback.  Overall, the evening was productive, enjoyable and informative.

We had the pleasure of reading poetry, fantasy, historical fiction, young adult, comedy, biography, academic and science fiction.

Our next manuscript evening is 20th June.

In the meantime, our next meeting is Tuesday 7th March.  Not only will we be launching our third competition of the year, but S. E. Craythorne, the adjudicator, will be giving a talk about the joys and struggles of working with an unreliable narrator as well as exploring how ‘reliable’ any realistic narrator can be.

We hope to see you there.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Manuscript Evening

WordPress Writing Brown Pen

We’re having a manuscript evening on Tuesday 21st February.  Attendees will be able to read their work in small groups and receive constructive feedback.

You can bring poetry, fiction, non-fiction – whatever you’re working on, we’d love to read it!

If you are interested in joining us, please bring a sample of no more than 750 words of your work.  You will need to bring six printed copies so they can be handed out for feedback.

If you do not have access to a printer, Phyllida Scrivens, our chair, has kindly offered to print them out and bring them to the meeting.  Please email them with the subject ‘manuscript evening’ to:

phyllida.scrivens@icloud.com

Please include your name and the title of your work in the email to make it easier to hand them out on the night.

Our meeting will be at 7:30pm at Anteros Arts Foundation on Fye Bridge Street in Norwich, opposite The Mischief Pub.

anteros-map

We look forward to seeing you.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Rib-Tickling Results

Local author Sheridan Winn returned on Tuesday 7th February to announce the winners of the Colin Sutton Cup for Humour.

The winners were:

1st Place –  Aubrey Hex: Snow White and the Ruby Slippers by Kathy Joy.

Sheridan’s comments:

‘Excellent blurb that built well and would make you want to pick up the book. Liked the over-sized ‘fairy-come-private-investigator’, Aubrey, and the grim sense of humour.  The intro set the scene and I liked the way you were straight into the action.’

2nd Place – Butterfingers Horses Around by James Ashley.

Sheridan’s comments:

‘This made me smile – a bit like a rude post card.  The author of this was clearly having fun as he wrote it – rollicking along.  The blurb is loopy and mad – I get the idea of where the story will go and the setting.  I think it’s pitched at older kids and young adults.

The intro is amusing but – in terms of writing – there’s a danger of putting in too many images and over-writing. ‘Purr’ doesn’t need 15 x ‘r’!’

3rd Place – Captain Webby and the Bathtub Crew by Phyllida Scrivens.

Sheridan’s comments:

‘Good series title and nice book title.  It would make a charming series of picture books for very young children – bath/board books.  Gentle humour.

Very well written blurb – clear and made me want to pick up the book.  Love the photos.’

 

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From left to right: 1st place winner Kathy Joy, adjudicator Sheridan Winn and 3rd place winner Phyllida Scrivens.

Congratulations to the winners!

All the entries were superb.  It wasn’t easy for our adjudicator to pick the winners, so we’d like to thank all those who entered and also thank Sheridan Winn for her thorough judging.

On top of getting to hear some rib-tickling entries, attendees were given the chance to look at and purchase copies of Stepping Out, our new anthology.

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The NWC would like to thank everyone who has bought one so far.

If you are interested in a copy you can purchase them at our meetings, or online at:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/various-authors/norwich-writers-circle-anthology-2017-stepping-out/paperback/product-23019691.html

Our next meeting is a manuscript evening on Tuesday 21st February where you will get a chance to read an extract of up to 750 words of work and get feedback from the group.

If you are coming, please bring six copies of your extract to the meeting so they can be handed out for feedback.  You can bring poetry, non-fiction, fiction, an article or blog post.  Whatever it is, we’d love to read it.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch: norwichwriters@hotmail.co.uk

We hope to see you then!

Norwich Writers' Circle

The Anthology Is Ready

We are pleased to announce that Stepping Out, our new anthology, is finally ready.  Anyone who filled in our interest form should be contacted shortly.

We can confirm the cost is £7.00 plus postage (where applicable).

Books will now be available to buy at our meetings.  Alternatively, you can order them online:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/various-authors/norwich-writers-circle-anthology-2017-stepping-out/paperback/product-23019691.html

front-cover

Norwich Writers' Circle

A Promising Proposition

On Tuesday 17th January we had our first meeting of 2017.  We kicked the new year off with a bang when our very own Phyllida Scrivens and Gill Blanchard launched the third competition of the year: Impressing the Publisher.

To begin, Gill and Phyllida offered some excellent advice on how to create a proposal with a good hook that will pull the publisher or agent in, offering samples of their own proposals to help.

The evening was capped off with a workshop.  First we wrote the start of our proposal synopsis, focusing on ‘the hook’. Gill and Phyllida advised that the hook could be a quote, the first couple of sentences or short an extract from the book that conveys something of what it is about and makes the reader want to know more.

Next came the hard part: giving and taking criticism from the group.  This went very well, with many participants receiving helpful pointers and suggestions from their peers.

Finally, Gill and Phyllida rolled out the competition.

To enter the competition you must submit a proposal for either a fiction or non-fiction book.  The guidelines are as follows:

1,000 words maximum

These 1000 words should consist of:

1). Synopsis: 200 – 300 words

  • Chapter outline & synopsis of plot/premise

2). Author Biography: 50 to 100 words

3). Marketing 50 to 100 words

  • Concept, audience, social media

4). Sample (remainder up to 1,000 words)

  • If you choose to submit a proposal for non-fiction, your sample should consist of a detailed chapter plan.
  • If your proposal is for a fiction story, your sample should be an extract from first chapter.

The maximum size of your sample will depend on how many words you used for the synopsis, author biography and marketing.

For example, if your synopsis is 250 words, your biography 100 words and your is marketing is 50 words, you will have used 400 of your 1000 words, leaving you 600 words for your sample.  There is no minimum for the sample, so you could write less than the amount of words you have left, but you need to ensure that what you have written has a good hook and captures your story.

Phyllida and Gill also offered a little advice on what publishers and agents are looking for when considering a proposal:

  • Originality.
  • Fresh voice and new insight.
  • Why you, and only you, can write this particular story.

If you want to enter the competition, email your entry to norwichwriters@hotmail.co.uk

The deadline is 21st February.  For more details visit the contest page.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Anthology Cover Revealed!

Back in October, we announced we would be launching an anthology.  We had hoped to release it mid-November but there have been several delays on the way.  The good news is we are almost there and would like to reveal the cover:

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We are now in the final stages.  Copies should, all being well, be available to buy at our next meeting on 17th January 2017 (and every meeting thereafter) or via a link we will provide.  Anyone who filled in one of our interest forms will be notified as soon as they are ready.

The anthology will cost £7 plus postage.

Norwich Writers' Circle

The Christmas Party

Saturday 17th of December was our annual group Christmas party and it was wonderful to see so many faces.  There was food and drink aplenty, and everyone had great fun.

 

After tucking into some delicious food, the group played a few rounds of ‘The Connecting Wall’, which was organised by Paul Tayor.  The game was inspired by the BBC program ‘Only Connect’.  Special thanks to Paul for putting this together.

At the end of the evening, everyone went home with a raffle prize, a Christmas hat and, we hope, a little extra Christmas cheer!

Our next meeting will be January 17th 2017, where Gill Blanchard and Phyllida Scrivens will launch Competition 3: Impressing the Publisher.

We hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

Norwich Writers' Circle

Competition 1 Winners

On Tuesday 6th December, Norwich Writers’ Circle welcomed back Dr. Susan Burton to adjudicate our first competition of the 2016-17 season.  The competition was to write a personal profile or non-fiction character study and the winner would be awarded the Annual Past Search Prize for Non-Fiction sponsored by Gill Blanchard of www.pastsearch.co.uk.

After a thorough and comprehensive assessment of the entries, including an invaluable tip on detecting the difference between Personal Memory and Collective Memory during an interview, Dr. Burton announced the winners.

  • 1st  Phyllida Scrivens with ‘Christopher’, a study of a man with Down’s Syndrome who spent a year of his life as official consort to the Lord Mayor of Norwich.
  • 2nd Anne Funnell  with ‘The Hernia Hedge’, a study of Mary Manning, Norfolk Gardener who kept records for over 60 years of when certain plants first flower each year and who had visited Anne’s garden to identify plants.
  • 3rd Maureen Nisbet with ‘Victoria Refused to Fall’, a study of a woman called Joan from Leamington and her life during WW2.  In the discussion afterwards Maureen admitted that Joan was her mother.

The authors read their entries aloud to the meeting, followed by a humorous reading by Iain Andrews of a fictional magazine interview with medieval character Will Kemp.

The entertaining evening finished with the raffle and refreshments.

Our next meeting is Saturday 17th December and it will be our Christmas party!  There will be drinks and a buffet.  The party will be held from 4pm -7pm in our usual spot in Anteros.  Members and guests are more than welcome.  There will also be a raffle with some fantastic prizes up for grabs.

We hope to see you there!

 

phyllisa
Chairman Phyllida Scrivens, winner of the Past Search Prize for Non-Fiction 2016-17

 

 

 

Norwich Writers' Circle

E-Course In Writing Your Family History

WordPress Gill Blanchard Portrait

Gill Blanchard, one of our members, and owner of Past Search, is repeating the first module of her E-Course in Writing Your Family History in May 2017.

It is a practical writing course that guides participants through the process of bringing their ancestors to life in an entertaining manner. It will enable students to choose the most suitable format, decide what to include (and exclude) and how to find and integrate relevant background context.

The course consists of two ten week modules, although module one can be taken as a stand alone unit. Lessons are delivered electronically. Students receive individually tailored in-depth feedback; have regular live discussions with the tutor and each other and access to an online learning hub.

Module One starts 13th May 2017. 10 Weeks. £125

  • Starting Out
  • Expanding a Family History Biography
  • Bringing your Family History to Life – Building Background Material
  • Developing a Family History Further
  • Introduction to Publishing, Layout and Production

For more details, please contact Gill:

gill@writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk

Or see the website at: www.writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk

About Gill:

Gill is a historical biographer and writer, professional genealogist and qualified tutor. She has had three books published, including Writing Your Family History (Pen and Sword). Forthcoming books include a local history based around an 1836 scandal and a biography of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson (1615-1665). She writes regularly for national family history magazines and  holds an MA in Biography.  She also regularly undertakes commissions to write and produce family and house histories for clients.

Writing Your Family History is part of the Past Search historical research business run by Gill Blanchard. See: www.pastsearch.co.uk

Author of Writing Your Family History: A Guide for Genealogists, BA, MA, Post Grad. Cert. Ed. (Adults).

 

 

 

 

Past Search Family, House and Local History Research and Tuition

Office 14 Meadow View House

191 Queens Road Norwich NR1 3PP

Tel: 01603 610619

E-Courses email: gill@writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk

Work email: gblanchard@pastsearch.co.uk

Her forthcoming biography of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson can be ordered at: http://tinyurl.com/hak7o49

Sign up for Gill’s email newsletter at: news@pastsearch.co.uk

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GillBlanchard

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/laqzoc7