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A Talk to Go Down in History

On Tuesday 19th March we welcomed the award winning historical fiction writer Rory Clements to talk to use about his books, his writing process, and what led him to write historical fiction.

 

When asked whether he considers himself to be a historian or a novelist first, Rory commented:

“I’m definitely a novelist first. I’m no a historian. I didn’t go to university, I didn’t study history. But I’m very widely read – I read huge amounts of history and when I fix on a subject – say like the Babington plot, I’m probably one of the worlds experts for a few months on that subject and then I forget it all … But I do a lot of research, I do take it very seriously trying to get the historical background as close as I can to what I think it is.”

Clements explained that he had been inspired to write by his uncle, who ran away at a young age to become a sailor. He wrote many books about his adventures, which made Clements want to be an author.

He started out as a journalist, but soon moved on. During this time he read extensively, which helped him become the writer he is today.

Clements went on to talk more about historical fiction:

“Historical fiction vs history … I went to Oxford University to argue with a lot of historians who were sort of knocking down historical fiction. I think it has a real place in out life. I think we fill in the skeleton. History is a skeleton. There’s a lot missing from it … the fiction writer can fill that in and hopefully bring history to a lot more people in that way.”

After answering a variety of questions form the group, Clements has some excellent advice to offer anyone thinking of writing historical fiction:

What you’re trying to find first and foremost if you’re writing about a time long ago is you’ve got to find a voice …  you can’t write in  Elizabethan English you can’t write in Shakespearean English, because nobody would read it. They simply wouldn’t. Nor can you write in twentieth century English slang. You have to find something in the in-between… you don’t want it jarring to the reader.

The NWC would like to thank Rory Clements for his frank and open advice and intriguing stories. We’d also like to thank everyone who attended and had plenty of questions to ask.

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Results of the Colin Sutton Cup for Humour:

Hayley Long returned to give her adjudication for the Colin Sutton Cup for Humour.

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The results are:

  • 1st The Reluctant Bridesmaid by Phyllida Scrivens
  • 2nd A Week in December by Paul Taylor
  • 3rd Puppy Love by Maureen Nesbitt
  • Highly Commended No. 43 The Last Dragon by Iain Andrews

Congratulations to all the winners!

 

 

 

 

Norwich Writers' Circle

Meet Ralph Jackman

On Tuesday 4th April, Ralph Jackman, author of Actium’s Wake, is coming to give a talk to the NWC.

Ralph will be talking about his career and answering any questions.

If you would like to meet him, and chat and with other writers at the group, please come along to our meeting at Anteros Arts Foundation on Fye Bridge Road Norwich.  The meeting starts at 7:30 PM.  Light refreshments will also be served.

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Don’t forget, Ralph will also be out adjudicator for the Olga Sinclair Short Story Competition.

We hope to see you there!

Norwich Writers' Circle

newplays.org.uk

WordPress NewPlays.org.uk James Dimelow 2016

In anticipation of the performance of his short play ‘Pedigree‘ at the Maddermarket Theatre on Thursday 14th April, Norwich Writers’ Circle member James Dimelow has relaunched his website.

On the new look newplays.org.uk visitors can discover more about the author, along with the plays he has written. At the site visitors will also have the opportunity to watch the Assembly House animation, James wrote on behalf of the Norwich 12 tourism and heritage initiative.

In addition to his revamped website you can also follow James on Facebook and Twitter.

On Tuesday 5th April at Anteros Arts Foundation we will be welcoming back Ejike Ndaji. The spoken word poet will be adjudicating our poetry competition. Everyone is welcome to join us at 7.30pm (doors open from 7.00pm).

Norwich Writers' Circle

Nick Williams Reveals Research Techniques

WordPress Nick Williams March 2016

On Tuesday 15th March, Norwich historian and writer Nick Williams gave a presentation to Norwich Writers Circle, detailing his research techniques whilst preparing a number of publications. These included a series of heritage walks, The Blue Plaques of Norwich, a Guide to Rosary Cemetery and Trades and Industries of Norwich. A former Volunteer Co-ordinator for the recently disbanded Norwich Heritage Economic And Regeneration Trust (HEART), Nick still retains a strong interest in local history and is currently preparing a further book.

In an entertaining and informative talk, Nick stressed the benefits of using local archives, including Norfolk Record Office, Norfolk Heritage Centre and the Archant archives. Nick spoke of the importance of having a plan, close editing and the value of a comprehensive index. Members listened attentively, listening for tips to improve their chances of success in the annual non-fiction competition, the Past Search Trophy, sponsored by Gill Blanchard.

Nick will adjudicate the competition at our meeting on 17th May. Entries must be a narrative of no more than 1,000 words, detailing and justifying the writers’ choice of a person, place or event that deserves a Blue Plaque in Norwich, because of the part played in the history of the city. Nick will be looking for evidence of research, conclusions clearly based on research and whether such a plaque would grab the attention of a passer-by. Sources should be listed at the foot of the document (in addition to the maximum word count). Deadline for entries is 19th April. For full details of how to enter our competitions please click the Competition tab. Members can enter for free; non-members are welcome for a  fee. One entry only per person.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Past Search Prize Launch

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15th March the Circle welcomes Nick Williams to launch Competition 4. Nick is a local historian and author of Norwich: City of Industries and Blue Plaques of Norwich. This year’s Past Search Prize for Non-Fiction. This is a competition sponsored by member, Gill Blanchard’s Past Search business. For more information click “Past Search” above.

Nick will be enlightening us with his research techniques and giving us insight into the comprehensive and acclaimed Norwich HEART website. We look forward to Nick expanding the guidelines for the competition, whose theme this year is a mock nomination for a blue plaque.

As ever, visitors are welcome, and for £3 they may also enter our in-house competitions.

Please read the information provided on the right-hand side of our homepage, including door fee, which covers room hire.