Monday 8 April 2013

Spring Is Here...

You may have noticed that there were no blog posts last week. I was quite busy and very tired, so posting and reading other blogs just fell by the wayside...

Immediately after the Easter weekend, I had to get a few things sorted for the local writers club AGM. I was elected Chairman last April - so I have two more years to go before I have to step down. But there's still a lot to do, keeping the club viable and modern; moving forward into another decade...

Writers have so many opportunities to develop their craft nowadays via the internet, online groups and forums, a wide variety of competitions, courses and workshops, that it is getting harder for many groups to continue to attract members.

There are still a lot of groups around, some parts of the country fair better than others, but don't overlook them. Some will have visiting authors you might like to hear talk and to get their latest book personally signed.

When Nottingham Writers' Club was founded in 1927 life was much simpler for it's members. Short stories were read widely, and novels were what we now look on as novellas.

Publishers worked with their authors and didn't demand instant success to keep on producing the individual writer; and newspapers - there were lots of them in the first half of the 20th century - actively looked for articles and fillers.

Even in the 1930's writers were still writing to future deadlines. I do think this suggestion from the club magazine, Scribe, in July 1935, was a bit extreme...

"Now is the time to write your Christmas stories and articles. If you find it difficult to conjure up the appropriate atmosphere try sitting in a cold room wearing a heavy coat, with your feet in a cold bath."

The modern world does have some advantages after all... :-)

Do you think a writers' club or group still has a place in today's writing world?

See: for author talks, workshops and other info.


Unknown said...

Yes, there is still a definite need for writing groups. Although I don't attend the Erewash Writers' Group all the time, I am told by Janet, the secretary, they are at full capacity and may soon have to make a waiting list. She did add this sort of thing goes up and down, it's not always like that.

Also, EWG run some interesting workshops which I think is a good idea for all concerned. I attended a Matt Black poetry workshop a few months ago and this month, Keith Large is presenting a scriptwriting workshop.

Whether a group is successful or not though, is reliant on the members. If they don't participate, or take on some of the jobs, I imagine it could fold.

Hope you're feeling rested and bette now, Carol.

Kind regards,

liz young said...

The writers group I joined out here has faded, partly due to "natural wastage" and partly because no-one was prepared to be honest. It was only marginally helpful and when the woman who started it returns from a year travelling, the three of us who are left here will have a tough decision to make.

Teresa Ashby said...

The way the weather has been, we won't have to sit with our feet in a cold bath to get in the mood for Christmas stories this year :-) x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Carol - I wouldn't be without my writing group. It's where I got started and now I pass on lots of info etc to newer members. And I still enjoy the writing challenges, speakers and constructive comments we give each other when we read anything out.

Keith Havers said...

Is this a coincidence? My last post was also about writers' clubs.
I've also been to some of the Erewash events and always found them enjoyable. Like Teresa, I think I'll give the cold bath a miss.

Carolb said...

Thanks, Debbie. Your comments have been helpful.

Lizy, it must be difficult when you are in that situation. Fingers crossed it eventually improves.

You are right, Teresa, we should have had plenty of inspiration for winter stories this year. :-)

I agree, Rosemary, you have listed the elements I find important and helpful too.

Totally coincidental, Keith. Though the AGM may have channelled our thoughts. :)