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Funny Bones at the Ready

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Photo courtesy of Cameron McDonald of McDonald Images

Last evening we welcomed Lynne Mortimer, much-loved columnist with various newspapers in the Archant family.  For those of you who were unable to attend, you missed an amusing and inspirational talk from Lynne about her 25 years as a journalist.  Lynne gave us a comprehensive ‘heads-up’ for how to tackle the next competition for the much-coveted Colin Sutton Cup for Humour.  In view of the number of absentees I hope you will find this information useful and I encourage you to enter even if you were not there last evening.

Her first job was as a mature mum of 35, writing for the Evening Star in Ipswich.  During her children’s teenage years she wrote under a pseudonym to save their blushes!  Lynne spoke about the panic of working to strict deadlines and of having to come up with 1,000 words every week on a different topic.  She explained how her inspiration comes from her own life, the importance of writing the truth at the core of every column and how she scours newspapers for ideas when she is stuck!

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Photo courtesy of Cameron McDonald of McDonald Images

In the past her stories have covered Waspi Women, weight-loss, public toilets, the Menopause (both female and male), the abuse of Parent & Child parking spaces, grammatical errors, energy saving light bulbs, her husband, grandchildren and her mother-in-law!  But never Brexit, religion, death, disability or mental illness. She certainly has her own “red lines” and always tries to keep her columns light-hearted and entertaining.

The Competition:

“Take one small frustrating life incident and expand it into a humorous article of 1,000-2,000 words.  It can draw upon similar frustrations or veer off somewhere else, but at the end of the piece it should return to the original incident, featuring a final pithy sentence or two.”

The deadline for entries is Tuesday 7th May, which is our next Manuscript/Critique evening.  If you are unable to attend please be sure to mail or email your entry to our Competitions Secretary Marian Pearson.  Details can be found at this link.

https://norwichwriters.wordpress.com/competitions/guidelines/

Good luck everyone!

On a different topic, your committee will be meeting next Tuesday to agree the arrangements and menu for the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition Launch Night on Tuesday 16th April, when we will be offered gin tasters courtesy of sponsor Black Shuck Ltd of Fakenham, and meet our adjudicator Piers Warren, author of Black Shuck: The Devil’s Dog.  Do bring your partners and friends to our party. £7 door fee for non-members includes light buffet with wine, teas and coffees.

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

Pedigree

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Congratulations to Norwich Writers’ Circle member James Dimelow, whose short play ‘Pedigree’ has been published by Fine City magazine.

The blackly comic Shakespeare-inspired short is featured inside the magazine’s January 2016 edition. The popular free glossy can now be read online, before being made widely available across the city over the festive season.

We look forward to hearing James’ play performed during one of our future meetings at Anteros Arts Foundation.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Thank You For The Music

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Congratulations to Norwich Writers’ Circle member Margaret Turner who has had another poem published in the Evening News.

Margaret’s poem, Sorry For The Muzak, was printed in the Poets’ Corner section of the paper on 7th June 2014.

Margaret adds, “This is my recollection of a conversation under local anaesthetic, with only minor tweaks, it can be sung to a certain ABBA tune!”

To read and download the poem please go here.

We next meet at 7.30pm on Tuesday 16th September in The Assembly House when best-selling author Rachel Hore will be discussing her life and career. Please feel free to join us.