Norwich Writers' Circle

Slanting The Truth

On Tuesday 7th March we welcomed Sally Craythorne (S. E. Craythorne), author of How You See Me, to give a talk on reliable narrators.

SallyCraythorne

Her talk was informative and fun and everyone learned that no narrator can truly be trusted.

“We want things to make sense.  So if something doesn’t make sense we kind of pull it into the schema of our knowledge …  Memory is an active process and can be therefore unreliable.  If you’ve got a first-person narrator recounting a story, it’s their story, it’s probably not truth, even if you’re making it up.  They will be fallible.”

– Sally Craythorne

Sally went on to describe the five main types of unreliable narrators:

1. The Picario:

A narrator who exaggerates and brags.

Example: Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

2. The Madman

A narrator with a mental impairment.

Example: Before I go to Sleep by S. J Watson.

3. The Clown

A narrator who does not take narration seriously and deliberately plays with the subject of the narration.

Example: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

4. The Naive

An immature narrator with a limited POV – this could be a child.

Example: Until I Find You by John Irving.

5. The Liar

An in-tune narrator with a sound knowledge who deliberately lies and misrepresents events, usually events or actions they don’t want to reader to know about.

Example: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

“… traditionally all narrators are unreliable to some extent and that’s part of the joy of reading them – that you get carried away with the story and then you go ‘hang on, do I know this person at all?’.  But … if you do want to make your narrator unreliable, which is really good fun, you have to believe in them.  You have to think about the fact that your reader has to read that book all the way to the end … Their unreliability is to make them real rather than to make them completely unreadable.”

– Sally Craythorne

With this in mind, we then discussed our fourth competition of the year: The Ivy Ferrari Cup.  Traditionally, this contest was for romance fiction but in recent years it evolved to focus on strong, central female characters.

So, what is Sally looking for in winning entries?

First, all entries must follow the theme of motherhood.  This can be a mother, either biological or foster/adoptive.  It could follow somebody with motherly qualities who cares for another person who does not have to be a child or even related.  This person could be a grandmother, or friend, or even a nurse.  It is up to you to explore and bring out the fullest of this theme – the only stipulation is that the character must be female.

Sally is specifically looking for:

  • Diversity
  • Believable characters
  • Good story

The story must also be fiction but it can be any genre.  Although Sally is looking for realism, she is happy for any genre ranging from contemporary to sci-fi.

Your narrator does not need to be unreliable either.

As the word limit is only 2000 words, it is advisable to stick to a minimal cast of characters.

The deadline for the contest is 4th April. Entry is free to NWC members, or £3 for non-members.  For full details of the competition, please visit the competition page.

The NWC would like to thank Sally for her thought-provoking talk and excellent advice.  We would also like to thank everyone who attended.

Our next meeting is Tuesday 21st March at the Anteros Arts Foundation.  Phyllida and Gill will announce the winners of the Impressing the Publisher competition.

We hope to see you there!

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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

19th April 2016

WordPress Shoe Collection

Everyone is welcome to joins us on Tuesday 19th April when we will be launching our second Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition. This time our popular competition has the theme of shoes.

The launch will feature a whole handful of speakers, including Rachel Hore, who is judging this year’s entries.

Other speakers on the night will be local historians Michael & Frances Holmes, Ashley Stokes from Unthank Books, plus Simon Goodman from Van Dal Shoes, who are sponsoring the competition.

The evening starts at 7.30pm (doors open from 7.00pm) at Anteros Arts Foundation. Refreshments will also be provided.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Different Perspectives

WordPress Benjamin Scott Author

Tuesday March 1st:  Hosted by children’s author and creative writing tutor, Benjamin Scott aka Max Chase, members are looking forward to another entertaining workshop. This Tuesday is Benjamin’s return visit, and he is all set with a series of exercises sure to inspire and unleash our hidden potential. We all know how good it is to experiment and succeed in genres we might not otherwise try.

Visitors are always welcome. Please be reminded that there is a door /admission fee for room hire. We look forward to seeing you at Anteros Arts Foundation at 7.30pm (doors open 7.00pm).

Norwich Writers' Circle

Proetry

WordPress Ejike Ndaji

The first meeting of 2016 buzzed with enthused chatter as we all caught up with each others’ news. Christmas is a bit of a Marmite time of year. Most either love it or hate it. The 19th had us all reunited and welcoming visitors and new members in our love of words. The festive period had not gone without successes.

James Dimelow has had one his scripts accepted by Fine City Magazine; the EDP has given coverage to Phyllida Scrivens and her recently published book; and Gill Blanchard had news of her own forthcoming book.

And then to the main business…

A big thank you to Ejike Ndaji for an entertaining and very informative evening. Ejike is no stranger to the power of poetry. In his voluntary work for the Red Balloon charity his performances encourage. And as he demonstrated with us, poetry allows subjects such as Martin Luther King to be delivered with a passion less carried in an essay or novel.

For a large number of our members less practiced in the art, the power of Ejike’s “proetry” as he likes to call it (being a rhythmic narrative spoken aloud) was an inspiration. Which is just as well. Ejike has also kindly agreed to adjudicate the in-house Colin Sutton Competition for Humour.

Ejike had taken time to prepare a handout for the evening which included, in addition the history of the spoken word and recommended spoken word artists, tips not only on writing but dealing with nerves when performing.

Details of our next meeting and other forthcoming evenings and events can be found on our programme page. As always we welcome new members and visitors.

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Words & Women Competition

Words And Women’s annual prose competition is now open for entries, and we’re proud to announce that this year’s guest judge is the Sunday Times best-selling novelist Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth Is Missing.
The competition offers a first prize of £600 and publication for the winner and twenty commended iWords and Women Competition 2015n our anthology Words and Women: Three
Entry is open to women writers over the age of 16 who live or work in the East of England.  Short works of fiction, memoir, life-writing and creative non-fiction are all welcome. Entries should be 2,200 words or under.    See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for further details. 
Please spread the news!
Norwich Writers' Circle

Mustard Competition Thanks

WordPress Thank You

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has entered our inaugural Short Fiction Competition.

The entries are currently being adjudicated by Unthank BooksAshley Stokes.

Discover if you have won our competition prizes of £500.00, £250.00 and £100.00, and hear a selection of entries, at a Gala Evening on Tuesday 20th Tuesday October.

We hope you can join us for what should promising to be a highly enjoyable evening. Watch this space for further details of this exciting night in the coming months.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Mustard Update

WordPress Mustard Bottle

The postal deadline for entering our inaugural Short Fiction Competition has now passed. Do not worry, we will still be accepting entries online up to and including 31st July.

Run in conjunction with Unthank Books, the competition has a first prize of £500.00. All entries must be a maximum of 2,000 words long, and reference ‘mustard‘ somewhere within the text.

The prize-winning stories, adjudicated by Ashley Stokes, will also be considered by Unthank Books’ Editoral Board for publication.

To discover more about this exciting writing opportunity please go here.