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Jumpin’ Jack Flash

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Our first meeting of new season kicked off in style with our speaker Keiron Pim, where he discussed how got started in his career, from starting out working for the EDP, to how he came to write a book about dinosaurs, to finally getting to work on his life’s obsession.

At the end, he graciously read from his book.

The NWC would like to thank Keiron for such an extensive and intriguing talk.

Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting.

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye until September…

The NWC has officially broken up for summer.

Our next meeting will be on 18th SEPTEMBER 2018 at 7:30pm at our new location in Chantry Hall.  

 

 

We have a full programme in store with manuscript evenings, workshops, and speakers including Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing, and Mitch Johnson, author of Kick.

If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch: norwichwriters@hotmail.co.uk

And don’t forget your entry into the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition.

We hope everyone has a wonderful summer, and we hope to see you in September.

 

 

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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

 

Norwich Writers' Circle, Uncategorized

An Evening with Heidi Williamson

Members of Norwich Writers’ Circle were delighted to welcome award-winning poet and mentor Heidi Williamson to our meeting on Tuesday 16th January.  Heidi led an instructive and entertaining workshop on how the use of poetic techniques can improve both our prose and poetry.

Heidi

The group was challenged to join a number of free-writing exercises, demonstrating the use of sound, patterning, editing and silence.  Heidi encouraged us to experiment with the length of sentences, to read our work out loud when editing (where we get bored, the reader will get bored!), to seek stronger words to replace overused verbs.  We should look to improve both the rhythm and vocabulary in our sentences.

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Heidi recommended us to become absorbed in a different world, seeking out occupations or places that are out of our life experience, in order to expand our range.  Why not to go the dictionary, find ten random words and try incorporating them into a paragraph of free writing? Do not be afraid to repeat words for emphasis – poets often use patterning repetition to great effect.

Finally the group discussed the use of silence, pauses and tension in our writing, techniques more often found in poetry than in prose.

The workshop was inspiring and enlightening and Robin Parkinson thanks Heidi on behalf of the group.  During our refreshment break Heidi signed copies of her two anthologies, Electric Shadow and The Print Museum.

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

Manuscript Evening

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We’re having a manuscript evening on Tuesday 21st February.  Attendees will be able to read their work in small groups and receive constructive feedback.

You can bring poetry, fiction, non-fiction – whatever you’re working on, we’d love to read it!

If you are interested in joining us, please bring a sample of no more than 750 words of your work.  You will need to bring six printed copies so they can be handed out for feedback.

If you do not have access to a printer, Phyllida Scrivens, our chair, has kindly offered to print them out and bring them to the meeting.  Please email them with the subject ‘manuscript evening’ to:

phyllida.scrivens@icloud.com

Please include your name and the title of your work in the email to make it easier to hand them out on the night.

Our meeting will be at 7:30pm at Anteros Arts Foundation on Fye Bridge Street in Norwich, opposite The Mischief Pub.

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We look forward to seeing you.

Norwich Writers' Circle

Competition 1 Winners

On Tuesday 6th December, Norwich Writers’ Circle welcomed back Dr. Susan Burton to adjudicate our first competition of the 2016-17 season.  The competition was to write a personal profile or non-fiction character study and the winner would be awarded the Annual Past Search Prize for Non-Fiction sponsored by Gill Blanchard of www.pastsearch.co.uk.

After a thorough and comprehensive assessment of the entries, including an invaluable tip on detecting the difference between Personal Memory and Collective Memory during an interview, Dr. Burton announced the winners.

  • 1st  Phyllida Scrivens with ‘Christopher’, a study of a man with Down’s Syndrome who spent a year of his life as official consort to the Lord Mayor of Norwich.
  • 2nd Anne Funnell  with ‘The Hernia Hedge’, a study of Mary Manning, Norfolk Gardener who kept records for over 60 years of when certain plants first flower each year and who had visited Anne’s garden to identify plants.
  • 3rd Maureen Nisbet with ‘Victoria Refused to Fall’, a study of a woman called Joan from Leamington and her life during WW2.  In the discussion afterwards Maureen admitted that Joan was her mother.

The authors read their entries aloud to the meeting, followed by a humorous reading by Iain Andrews of a fictional magazine interview with medieval character Will Kemp.

The entertaining evening finished with the raffle and refreshments.

Our next meeting is Saturday 17th December and it will be our Christmas party!  There will be drinks and a buffet.  The party will be held from 4pm -7pm in our usual spot in Anteros.  Members and guests are more than welcome.  There will also be a raffle with some fantastic prizes up for grabs.

We hope to see you there!

 

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Chairman Phyllida Scrivens, winner of the Past Search Prize for Non-Fiction 2016-17

 

 

 

Norwich Writers' Circle

E-Course In Writing Your Family History

WordPress Gill Blanchard Portrait

Gill Blanchard, one of our members, and owner of Past Search, is repeating the first module of her E-Course in Writing Your Family History in May 2017.

It is a practical writing course that guides participants through the process of bringing their ancestors to life in an entertaining manner. It will enable students to choose the most suitable format, decide what to include (and exclude) and how to find and integrate relevant background context.

The course consists of two ten week modules, although module one can be taken as a stand alone unit. Lessons are delivered electronically. Students receive individually tailored in-depth feedback; have regular live discussions with the tutor and each other and access to an online learning hub.

Module One starts 13th May 2017. 10 Weeks. £125

  • Starting Out
  • Expanding a Family History Biography
  • Bringing your Family History to Life – Building Background Material
  • Developing a Family History Further
  • Introduction to Publishing, Layout and Production

For more details, please contact Gill:

gill@writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk

Or see the website at: www.writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk

About Gill:

Gill is a historical biographer and writer, professional genealogist and qualified tutor. She has had three books published, including Writing Your Family History (Pen and Sword). Forthcoming books include a local history based around an 1836 scandal and a biography of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson (1615-1665). She writes regularly for national family history magazines and  holds an MA in Biography.  She also regularly undertakes commissions to write and produce family and house histories for clients.

Writing Your Family History is part of the Past Search historical research business run by Gill Blanchard. See: www.pastsearch.co.uk

Author of Writing Your Family History: A Guide for Genealogists, BA, MA, Post Grad. Cert. Ed. (Adults).

 

 

 

 

Past Search Family, House and Local History Research and Tuition

Office 14 Meadow View House

191 Queens Road Norwich NR1 3PP

Tel: 01603 610619

E-Courses email: gill@writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk

Work email: gblanchard@pastsearch.co.uk

Her forthcoming biography of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson can be ordered at: http://tinyurl.com/hak7o49

Sign up for Gill’s email newsletter at: news@pastsearch.co.uk

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GillBlanchard

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/laqzoc7

 

Norwich Writers' Circle

Debut Novel by Christopher Woodall

Congratulations to NWC member Christopher Woodall on his debut novel launch of 30TH November.

Norwich Writers’ Circle would like to congratulate member Christopher Woodall on the launch of his debut novel November, held in Jarrolds Book Department.

Over sixty people, including family and friends, filled the space enjoying wine and nibbles before hearing a presentation by Christopher followed by a book signing.

November has been ten years in the making; springing from a single, at first seemingly inconsequential, year-long encounter with a group of factory workers in France in 1976.  There is an extensive cast of diverse characters, their stories interwoven within many sub-plots, the narrative exploring poverty, friendships, and prejudice.  November has been described as ‘complex, deep and rewarding’.

Both Chairman Phyllida Scrivens and Committee member Gill Blanchard were there to support Christopher on his very special evening.  Christopher’s book, published by Dalkey Archive Press, is available at Jarrolds and from Amazon.