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A Talk to Go Down in History

On Tuesday 19th March we welcomed the award winning historical fiction writer Rory Clements to talk to use about his books, his writing process, and what led him to write historical fiction.

 

When asked whether he considers himself to be a historian or a novelist first, Rory commented:

“I’m definitely a novelist first. I’m no a historian. I didn’t go to university, I didn’t study history. But I’m very widely read – I read huge amounts of history and when I fix on a subject – say like the Babington plot, I’m probably one of the worlds experts for a few months on that subject and then I forget it all … But I do a lot of research, I do take it very seriously trying to get the historical background as close as I can to what I think it is.”

Clements explained that he had been inspired to write by his uncle, who ran away at a young age to become a sailor. He wrote many books about his adventures, which made Clements want to be an author.

He started out as a journalist, but soon moved on. During this time he read extensively, which helped him become the writer he is today.

Clements went on to talk more about historical fiction:

“Historical fiction vs history … I went to Oxford University to argue with a lot of historians who were sort of knocking down historical fiction. I think it has a real place in out life. I think we fill in the skeleton. History is a skeleton. There’s a lot missing from it … the fiction writer can fill that in and hopefully bring history to a lot more people in that way.”

After answering a variety of questions form the group, Clements has some excellent advice to offer anyone thinking of writing historical fiction:

What you’re trying to find first and foremost if you’re writing about a time long ago is you’ve got to find a voice …  you can’t write in  Elizabethan English you can’t write in Shakespearean English, because nobody would read it. They simply wouldn’t. Nor can you write in twentieth century English slang. You have to find something in the in-between… you don’t want it jarring to the reader.

The NWC would like to thank Rory Clements for his frank and open advice and intriguing stories. We’d also like to thank everyone who attended and had plenty of questions to ask.

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Prepare Yourself.

Our first manuscript evening of the season is on the 6th November. It will be led by Kathy Joy of Fine Tune Your Fiction, a professional critique service.

This time, we’re going to try something different.

As usual, you can bring along six double spaced printed excerpts of no more than 1000-1500 words of a current or past project, be it poetry, prose, screen play, non-fiction, or a blog/journal article.

However, if you don’t have anything ready to be critiqued, we have some other options.  Do you have a blurb you’d like to get some feedback on? Or a book cover? Or both? Bring 6-8 copies, double spaced, to the meeting and work in small groups and get constructive feedback.

Are you stuck somewhere in your current project and need to bat ideas around? Do you have questions like:

“My character needs to find a piece of evidence but I can’t think of a believable way to do it.”

“I can’t decide between these titles. Which do you think works best?”

“If my protagonist does this, would they still be likeable?”

“Should I write this in third or first person?”

“I need to find a title for my work/can’t decide between these titles.”

You can ask your fellow writers in the group and bat ideas around and see if they can’t help you fill in some gaps or overcome hurdles you are experiencing. Bring excerpts of your work to give context, six copies, double space, but not more than 1500 words.

We hope to see you there!

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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!

 

 

 

 

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

Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016 Anthology

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During the prize giving gala for the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016, not only did we announce the winners, but we also revealed our plans to release an anthology.

It will contain:

  • The winning entries of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016.
  • The shortlisted entries for the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016.
  • The winning entries of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Fiction Competition 2015.

The estimated price of the anthology is £7.

Copies will be available to order in time for Christmas.  Further updates will be posted on our website and Facebook page!

Norwich Writers' Circle

The Results Are In!

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On Tuesday 18th October, we were pleased to announce the winners of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016.   There was a huge turnout to the gala where we had five of the ten shortlisted entrants with us.

Before we announce the winners, the NWC would like to take a moment to thank everyone who entered the competition.  It certainly wasn’t easy for Rachel Hore, our adjudicator, to pick just ten stories from the 139 entries we received.  It was even harder for her to pick the three winners.

Now, without further ado, the winners of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition  2016 were:

 

The Winners:

1st Place:  Mary Outram from Headingley, Leeds.
Story Title: Boots
A contemporary tale of aid workers in Iraq.

2nd Place: Sarah Evans from Welwyn Garden City, Herts.
Story Title: Clatter of Love
A social tale of separation and a tug of love.

3rd Place: Mickie Dann from Norwich.
Story Title:  Save Your Soul
A story inspired by meeting a refugee while on holiday in Italy.  Mickie is a long-time member of Norwich Writers’ Circle.

The runners up (in no particular order):

Jonathan Bowman from Coltishall, Norfolk.
Story Title: The Rawi.

Anne Pearce from Attleborough.
Story Title:  The Creative Writing Class

Sue Ryder Richardson from Framlingham, Suffolk.
Story Title:  Twisted Feet

Bridget Bowen from Beccles, Suffolk.
Story Title:  The Last Dance.

Sarah Isaac from Perthshire, Scotland.
Story Tile:  Souterrain.

Judith Drazin from Bristol.
Story Title:  The Reunion.

Sandy Norris from Malden in Essex.
Story Title:  New Shoes

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Runners-up Jonathan Bowman, Sue Ryder Richardson, Anner Pearce and Bridget Bowen, with 3rd place winner Micki Dann, Adjudicator Rachel Hore and Jason Larke from Van Dal Shoes.

 

Why did Rachel choose these particular stories?  In her own words:

“The stories I recruited for the shortlist were usually ones that engaged me from the first paragraph or even the first line.  Where I was quickly drawn into the character’s world and made to care what happened to them.  Even the lighter tales among them I chose because between the lines of entertaining narrative the offered truth; some striking observations of, or a slant of human behaviour.”

The NWC would like to congratulate the winners!  Your entries were memorable, expertly crafted tales.  It is easy to see why they were the pick of the bunch.

If anyone is interested in reading any of these amazing stories, we are going to be producing an anthology which will contain all of the shortlisted stories of 2016 plus the top three of 2015.  It will be released mid-November with an estimated price of £7.  If you are interested in buying a copy, keep your eyes on this website and our Facebook page for updates.

Finally, the NWC would like to thank everyone who attended the prize giving.  It was wonderful to see you.

We would also like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Rachel for all her hard work and excellent adjudication.  Given the high caliber of the entries, we know it wasn’t easy!

If you didn’t win, don’t worry; we will be hosting another competition next year.  The theme will be ‘Strangers’.  Once again, keep an eye on this website and Facebook for details.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 1st November.  Sheridan Winn, author of the Sprite Sister books, will be joining us to help us launch our second competition of the season, The Colin Sutton Cup for Humour.  We hope to see you there!

Norwich Writers' Circle

Feeling Animated

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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

#deadromantic

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Congratulations to Norwich Writers’ Circle member James Dimelow, who will have an excerpt of a play performed in a rehearsed reading at the Maddermarket Theatre.

The opening scene of James’ latest play ‘Romance’ – which takes a wry and knowing look at marital breakdown – is being featured in an evening of new writing on Thursday 11th February. The 7.30pm event, which is part of an ongoing monthly series of readings, has been organised by Red Duck Producktions.

Discover more by going here, visiting James’ Facebook page, or calling the theatre Box Office on 01603 620917.

On Tuesday 2nd February, at our next meeting, James will be adjudicating our Playwriting Competition. Join us at 7.00pm, for a 7.30pm start, at Anteros Arts Foundation. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

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.