Norwich Writers' Circle

We Have Lift Off!

WordPress Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition Logo 2016

Thank you to everyone who made the Launch Night of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition a success. One member who deserves a mention is Anne Funnel who kindly brought along her collection of porcelain Van-Dal shoes for our interest, including a large and decorative, shop window display piece.

With guests and presentations, food and drink aplenty we had ourselves what in old fashioned parlaLaunch2016ance could be described as “a gay old time”.

With Frances & Michael Holmes getting proceedings started with their “History of the Norwich Shoemaking Industry”, old times was the theme. A pity more of us didn’t attempt a verse or two of “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, but to be fair the wine hadn’t yet started flowing.

Next up, a word or two on behalf of our sponsor, from Simon Goodman. Simon’s grandfather was one of the founders of Van-Dal Shoes. Simon is now retired but happily gives talLaunch2016bks about his family heritage. He was particularly appreciative of Norwich Writers’ Circle asking Van-Dal Shoes to sponsor this year’s open competition, since his mother was a biographer and member of the East Anglian Writers. In addition to regailing us with his stories, he also brought along his treasured and historic Chain of Office of the Norwich Footware Manufacturers’ Association.

It may not have escaped your notice that we have an additionalLaunch2016c page on this site: Unthank School. The School is the brainchild of last year’s adjudicator, Ashley Stokes. He too was there on Tuesday evening, announcing an EXCLUSIVE 15% DISCOUNT OFFER to Norwich Writers’ Circle members when enrolling on Unthank School courses. This is very generous of Ashley and we hope many members wanting to benefit from personalised tuition in their chosen genre will take it up.

And so lastly to this year’s competition. This year, best selling author Rachel Hore is adjudicating for us. Here for those who wanted to join us on the night but couldn’t, are Rachel’s extended guidelines. She will be looking for:-

  • A sense of narrative. The story needs to be going somewhere. Make your stories dramatised rather than described.
  • Good structure. No complex plotting. Instead use small shifts in perspective.
  • A feel for the characters – ordinary people made distinctive. Illuminate an aspect of their lives written in a fresh way.
  • Maybe a twist at the end.
  • Avoid cliches and make imaginative use of the “shoes” themeLaunch2016d

Happy writing one and all.

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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

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.

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.

Norwich Writers' Circle

19th January 2016

WordPress Ejike Ndaji

Norwich Writers’ Circle’s new year begins on Tuesday 19th January at our new meeting venue – Anteros Arts Foundation on Fye Bridge Street.

Join us at 7.00pm, for a 7.30pm start, when we will be welcoming Ejike Ndaji. The spoken word poet will be demonstrating and discussing his craft, as well as setting our latest Circle Competition.

We look forward to seeing you soon.