Norwich Writers' Circle

A Toast To The Happy Couple!

The Norwich Writer’s Circle would like to congratulate Anastacia Pope, our Competitions Secretary, on her recent nuptials!

graham-and-ana

Ana and Graham were married on Saturday 29th October.  The NWC would like to wish Mr. and Mrs. Seaman all the best.  We know the two of you will be very happy!

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Norwich Writers' Circle

Summer Times

As per usual throughout the summOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAer members will be able to meet at the Greenhouse Cafe. 42-46 Bethel Street, Norwich NR2 1NR from around 1pm. These are simply informal get togethers over a light lunch or simply a coffee, for as little or as long as you like.

We try and be sure that at least one committee members turns up so you will never be alone! It is a good opportunity tOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAo discuss ongoing writing projects, bounce ideas and maybe offer suggestions for improved meetings. Or just talk about the weather or a controversial TV programme!

No need to let anyone know you are coming. The dates agreed are:-

SATURDAY 13th AUGUST

SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST

SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER

Norwich Writers' Circle

End Of Season

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5th July:  Yes it’s that time again, your Annual General Meeting. As is policy on these occasions there will be no door fee to pay. Nevertheless you may still like to bring some spending money along for additional raffle prizes. Just as we did for the Summer Social, tickets we be available at £1 a ticket and £2 a strip.

The AGM is your opportunity to help make that improvement you’ve been wanting to see in how well the Circle works for you. Be it your thoughts, your ideas, or practical help in running events, without you there would be no Norwich Writers’ Circle.

Following the reports and general business we end each year with the in-house competition prize givings. Those of you who’ve been long-term supporters and members will know that we have two regular competitions that leap frog one another; one year we’ve the Ivy Ferrari Cup (for Romantic Fiction) and the next, the Cooper Prize (for an adventure or thriller with a strong male protagonist). This year it was the latter.

Originally the Cooper Memorial Award, just like the Ivy Ferrari, it was named after a former member.  But which one? Curiously, early records show that in 1946 the Circle had a librarian called Mr Cooper and a Mr A E Cooper as secretary. What we have here is the kernel of a home-grown thriller. Who can shed light on this mystery fellow?

Those of you who’ve added your name to the booking list for the supper afterwards may have information to share.

See you there.

Norwich Writers' Circle

A Busy Week

21st June kicked the week off with a well attended and varied, entertaining Club Night. Notices came first , particularly St. Peter Mancroft Church requesting contributions from Circle members to its glossy magazine. But it wasn’t long we were listening to a fair old mix of pieces from the members.

Anne Funnel explained her contribution was a contemporary theme, international terrorism. More specifically, an updated version of how to accidently-on-purpose get yourself a new car.

Other readers included Margaret Turner and Andrew Heron who each gave us a couple of poems;  Christopher Woodall with his developing novel, mixing historical biography with fictional thriller; Phyllida Scivens with a sample of her next project: the life and times of a Norwich Lady Mayoress; and Barré Funnell who treated us to his entry for last year’s Olga Sinclair Open Short-Story Competition, which you’ll recall required clever use of the word “mustard”.

This nicely leads to another reminder of this year’s deadline: 17th July (Postal) and 31st July (Email). So you’ve still got a fair amount of time to perfect your brainchild.

And so to Saturday 25th: A big “thank you” is due to Anne & Barré for once again inviting us to their home. A pleasure in any weather, which is just as well when considering the thunder, lightning, and downpour we had.

Thank you also to Margaret for organising her quotes quiz. And well done to Ian for winning!

Those that able to make it came laden with food and raffle prizes. Rain did not stop play. In fact towards the end it was the rain that stopped, enabling us to venture outside for a group photo.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Closer Ties

WordPress Writers Centre Norwich Alice Kent

7th June’s meeting was a very relaxed affair in Alice Kent’s company. There to share with us the aims and work of the Writers’ Centre Norwich, and tell us something of Dragon’s Hall.

Beginning in 2003 as a joint enterprise between the UEA, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and the Arts Council England, the WCN supports and extends the university’s contribution to literature. Its aims include support to writers, commission of new works and, through its many workshops and Online Studies, encourage young talent.

Click here for details of all of the 2016 events the Centre are running.

In 2012 the Centre led our winning bid (in competition with Nottingham) to become an UNESCO City of Literature. This has done much to boost the city’s status as a major cultural and educational tourist destination – our literary heritage dating all the way back to the Middle Ages. Is it not fitting that the Centre’s home is around the corner from where the first woman published in the English language made her home?

Today Dragon Hall is staffed by twenty Writers’ Centre workers.  Alice herself has been the Centre’s Director of Communications since March 2015. One of her biggest pleasures in her role is taking literature into schools and a love of literature to the hearts of tomorrow’s talent, principally via the UNESCO Young Ambassador Scheme.

Several building maintenance and renovation plans are currently on the table and it is hoped that come 2018, Dragon Hall will have evolved into a National Centre for Writing. And what might that gains our fine city? Capitalising on its existing status, it is hoped the Centre will offer accommodation for writers and translators in residence from around the world, a meeting place for writers to network and find space and peace in which to read and compose. It will also house its own teaching spaces for children and young adults.

Alice spoke with such infectious enthusiasm we were sorry she could not stay longer. Phyllida gave the vote of thanks, including a request for Alice to return at some stage as the redevelopment continues to keep us updated.

Just as an aside: An update is just what the Writers’ Centre Norwich is having right now. We look forward to announcing and featuring more of the Circle’s events and competitions there too in the coming months.

If you’ve not yet entered the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition you may be thinking you’ve not given yourself time to develop your plot, you’ve not lost your chance to win. There is still until next month to get your entries in.  Deadlines: 17th July (Postal) & 31st (Email).

Click here for full guidelines.

Good Luck!

Norwich Writers' Circle

Everyone’s A Winner!

WordPress Nick Williams May 2016

At the meeting of Norwich Writers’ Circle on 17th May we received the adjudication of entries for the Past Search Trophy for Non-Fiction, as sponsored by writer and NWC member Gill Blanchard.

Local writer, historian and former Sheriff, Nick Williams had taken time to read and carefully analyse the 2,000 word essays, proposing people, places or events that deserve a coveted Blue Plaque in Norwich.  In his opening remarks, Nick said: “These competition entries have been a pleasure to mark and I am impressed by the high standard of both research and writing.”

’He went on to give feedback to each writer. The wide variety of topics included Gurney Court, Robert Watts, a former Lord Mayor, New Mills, Jenny Lind and Lawrence Scott.  And then the moment we were all waiting for.  The winners!

Joint 1st

Andrew Heron on Jenny Lind, popular Swedish opera singer and philanthropist who gave her first concert in Norwich in 1847. The Children’s Department at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital is named in her memory.

Mickie Dann on Robert Watts, 18th century notorious murderer and the last man to be executed in Norwich on the actual site of his crime.

3rd place

Barré Funnell on New Mills Yard on the River Wensum, now a neglected landmark in the city, yet with a rich history since 1430 of grinding corn and supplying water.

Highly commended

Iain Andrews on Gurney Court.

Phyllida Scrivens on Joyce Morgan, Lord Mayor of Norwich 1975-6

Paul Taylor on Laurence, Scott and Electromotors

As is our tradition, each entry was read aloud with members and visitors agreeing how much we had all learnt about our city. Sponsor Gill Blanchard endorsed the adjudicator’s comments about the evidence of research and resulting narratives.  Chairman Phyllida thanked Nick Williams for his endeavours and invaluable feedback before the meeting enjoyed refreshments and conversation.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Inner Voice

WordPress Mindfulness

3rd May‘s turnout was affected by all sorts of factors, but those that did make it to the meeting had a very enjoyable, relaxing evening. Yes, there were fewer of us, but we still had much to exchange in way of thoughts and ideas.

Vice Chairman, Sean Hindle drawing on his psychotherapist training, got everyone paying mindful attention to their bodily senses. More precisely, this was an exercise in honing in on that personal, intuitive gut reaction we have to different situations. How does the body respond to: “Everything in my world is as it should be?” Does it flinch in disagreement or comfortably agree?

For some this was a warm-up, for others, an opportunity to chill out.

For Circle newcomer, Kathy had the biggest surprise – her very first poem. And she never knew she had it in her.

So, on to the speed dating itself. Half the fun is in the milling around. In pairs and threes we cross pollinated, nurtured further the odd cernel of an idea, and perhaps here and there fertilised a dormant plot that had stopped growing.

Entries for the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition are already coming in. But there’s no rush to the deadline. You’ve still time to read through, revise, edit and perfect.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Feeling Animated

WordPress Gressenhall Farm And Workhouse Museum Of Norfolk Life

Norwich Writers’ Circle member James Dimelow is looking for an animator – or a group of animators – to work with on an exciting local history project for Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse and Norfolk Museums Service.

To discover more about the animation(s), tentatively titled ‘Ghosts Of Gressenhall’, please go here.

We wish James every success on his search. The playwright can contacted via his website, or alternatively via Facebook and Twitter.

Norwich Writers' Circle

NEWSFLASH!

5th April update: Unfortunately we have to report that Ejike Ndaji is now unable to attend tomorrow’s meeting, for which the committee accepts his apology on behalf of the memberWordPress Word Powers.

All who entered this competition are urged to still bring copies of their entries as we plan to keep to the programme.

For those who’ve not entered, please also feel free to bring along any work in progress or completed creation as this slight adjustment to proceeding may afford you time to have your labours appraised. There may even be time for a writing exercise or two, as well of course, refreshments, banter, inspiration and cross polination of ideas, and the customary bottle of wine to win.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Six Honest Serving-Men

Ben Scott02For our meeting on the March 1st 2016 author of childrens books and creative writing tutor, Benjamin Scott took inspiration from Rudyard Kipling. Specifically, Kipling’s poem naming What and Why and When, How and Where and Who. And then he told us what to do.

The workshop’s theme was how perspectives of one event differ from character to character. Benjamin had us coming up with scenarios inspired by postcard images, giving voice to objects and landscape features, switching tenses and heads – first person to third. A very insightful exercise as it turned out.

Paul Taylor gave the vote of thanks.

Successes: Patricia has been commissioned to do another article for Flora International Magazine.

Notices: Things are moving along nicely in preparation for this year’s Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition. We’ve secured an adjudicator and sponsors, including Van Dal Shoes. More information will follow closer to the launch date. And again, if any members have someone they’d like to hear as guest speaker and can be approached, or would themselves like to present a workshop to the Circle, please tell the committee.