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Our last meeting of the season

Tuesday 3rd of July was our annual general meeting, and the last meeting of the season. It was also our last meeting at Anteros. In September we will move to Chantry Hall.

Other changes to the group include:

Door fees will be changing. Members will continue to pay £3, while guests will pay as follows:

  • Speaker evenings the door fee for guests will be £7.
  • Other meetings, including workshops and adjudications, will be £5.

It was also the time to give out the trophies to the winners throughout the year:

  • The Cooper Prize – Iain Andrews
  • Past Search Prize for Non Fiction – Phyllida Scrivens
  • Colin Sutton cup for Humour – Phyllida Scrivens
  • Overall Trophy – Phyllida Scrivens

 

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We hope everyone has enjoyed this season as much as we have, and we look forward to seeing you in September. The new programme is live on the website. Remember, we’re moving premises, so we will be meeting at Chantry Hall:

CHANTRY HOUSE MAP

CHANTRY HALL

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

Member Successes

Congratulations To Gill!

cover.jpgNWC member Gill Blachard has recently had not one but TWO books published.

First is I Therefore Post Him as a Coward: An anatomy of a Norfolk scandal, which documents a disagreement between a clergyman and a knight in 1836 and how it affected the small Norfolk town it took place in

Next is Lawson Lies Still in the Thames: The Extraordinary Life of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson, which details extraordinary life of John Lawson.

Both books are available for purchase.

Well done Gill!

 

Norwich Writers' Circle

Results Of The Ivy Ferari Cup

Tuesday 2nd May saw S.E Craythorne return to announce the winners of our fourth and last competition of the season – the Ivy Ferrari Cup.  The theme was ‘motherhood’.

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The winners were:

  • 1st place Iain Andrews with Judgement of Solomon.
  • 2nd Kim Lewis with The Sparrow.
  • 3rd Phyllida Scrivens with Especially When You Dance.

Congratulations to the winners!

The NWC would like to thank Sally for her superb adjudication.  We’d also like to thank everyone who entered the competition.

Our next meeting is 16th May.  Robert Welton, the Librarian at Jane Austen College and former bookseller, will give a talk about how his library is designed to encourage reading, what type of books youngsters read these days as well as his views on the future of printed books.

We hope to see you there!

Norwich Writers' Circle

Don’t Be A Stranger To Your Voice

It’s official!  On Tuesday 18th April, we officially launched this year’s Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition.  We were joined by Ralph Jackman, our adjudicator, Frank Meeres, author of Strangers: A history of Norwich’s incomers, and Charles Wilde, marketing and development manager for Norfolk Museums Service, who have kindly agreed to assist us with the competition this year.

gala5Gala 1

First, Frank Meeres gave a fascinating talk on some of the mysterious and intriguing ‘incomers’ into Norwich.

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Then it was up to our adjudicator to offer advice to prospective entrants:

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“I’m afraid, that if you have come today to glean what it is that the adjudicator will be looking for, or what kind of writing I like, then I’m afraid I’m not going to be very helpful.  Because the answer is I like such a wide range of writing, just as I do with music … When something’s good, it’s good.  It stands out.  It captures the reader.  It lingers in the memory afterwards.  So I encourage everyone, whatever their style, to give it their best, no one can ask more, but also to have the courage to submit.”

– Ralph Jackman

Ralph went on to detail his take on the theme, what sorts of images or ideas it conjured for him:

“A brief google of ‘stranger’ led me to the following: A person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar; A person who does not know, or is not known in a particular place or community; A person entirely unaccustomed to a feeling experience of situation.  What a broad palette this allows us … The first thing that crossed my mind, is how we were all strangers once, even to those who love us the most, not just our partners,  but our mums and dads, our brothers and sisters, our best friends.

How do we move from stranger, to dear friend?  Is there something there, to be explored?

Then in the news, Prince Harry spoke of the need to speak about his grief “even to a total stranger” and I thought, what is it about strangers, that we can open up to them? Why is it, that we can share with them our deepest secrets or worst pain?

What other opportunities does meeting a stranger bring? A chance to start again? A chance to pretend, to assume a different persona.

People deliberately move, uproot their entire lives, in order to become a stranger, as a means to start again, to protect themselves from painful memories, or distance themselves from sins of the past.

So being a stranger can, on the one hand, feel lonely, isolated, even frightening.  But on the other hand, it can be desired, wanted, liberating.  Celebrities might seek to be a stranger, to escape the recognition, and they haven’t necessarily sinned … Then I thought how interesting it is, that even in the modern world, with the internet, mobile phones and the like, it’s still possible to be a stranger.  The mask of the internet allows people to hide who they really are.”

– Ralph Jackman

So in short, there is no secret formula that will pique the adjudicator’s interest.  The best way to set yourself above other entrants is to write the story you want to tell and tell it well.  The theme of ‘strangers’ allows for a variety of different interpretations and there are countless ways to explore it.

“I am open to all styles and all genres. 2000 words is not a large number, but it’s enough to change a reader’s life … This does not mean your stories must make the world a better place but perhaps it needs to have entertained, or been thought-provoking – something that makes it an experience … Don’t try to second-guess what I might like. Write a story that you want, in the manner that you want it to be told.  Ultimately, don’t be a stranger to your voice.”

– Ralph Jackman

With this in mind, we wish all entrants the best of luck!

For full details of the competition, including terms and conditions, please visit the competition page.

Remember if your entry wins, not only do you have the chance to win a cash prize, but also see your work in print in a future anthology.

The anthology containing the winning entries of the 2015 and 2016 competitions is available to buy at our meetings or online at: http://www.lulu.com/shop/various-authors/norwich-writers-circle-anthology-2017-stepping-out/paperback/product-23103350.html

Copies are £7 each plus postage (where applicable).

Stepping out Front 2.0

The NWC would like to thank Frank Meeres for giving his talk, the Norfolk Museum Services for their generous offer of help – particularly Charles for coming to the gala and for his steadfast support.  Finally, we would like to thank Ralph Jackman for his enthusiasm and thoroughness, as well as for agreeing to be our adjudicator.

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

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

The Anthology Is Ready

We are pleased to announce that Stepping Out, our new anthology, is finally ready.  Anyone who filled in our interest form should be contacted shortly.

We can confirm the cost is £7.00 plus postage (where applicable).

Books will now be available to buy at our meetings.  Alternatively, you can order them online:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/various-authors/norwich-writers-circle-anthology-2017-stepping-out/paperback/product-23019691.html

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Norwich Writers' Circle

The Christmas Party

Saturday 17th of December was our annual group Christmas party and it was wonderful to see so many faces.  There was food and drink aplenty, and everyone had great fun.

 

After tucking into some delicious food, the group played a few rounds of ‘The Connecting Wall’, which was organised by Paul Tayor.  The game was inspired by the BBC program ‘Only Connect’.  Special thanks to Paul for putting this together.

At the end of the evening, everyone went home with a raffle prize, a Christmas hat and, we hope, a little extra Christmas cheer!

Our next meeting will be January 17th 2017, where Gill Blanchard and Phyllida Scrivens will launch Competition 3: Impressing the Publisher.

We hope to see you there!