Over the past two years I’ve been to various writing groups:
Hasiwriters (based in Haslingden Library)
Irwell Writers (meet in the Mosses, Bury)
Holmfirth Writers (meet in Holmfirth Library)
Slaithwaite Writers (meet in Slaithwaite Library)
Drop-in Writing Workshop (meet in Brewed Coffee, Horwich)
Cheetham Street Writers (now closed)
Clayton-le-Moors Writers (now closed)
Freewriters (meet Bacup Library – library under closure threat)
Many libraries are under threat of closure. We know the reason why but that doesn’t mitigate the threat to one of the only vehicles to authors wanting a fully textured feedback. Groups per se aren’t a panacea to all writerly needs you need to know what you want and hope to find it, whether it’s genre feedback, a place to be sociable, somewhere to preach the merits of your latest masterpiece, get advice, make connections or whatever. They all have plusses and minuses. Some bemoan or eulogise whatever happens to be big in current affairs, others are rowdy social affairs where writing commitment is tested by wise-cracking folk of a slightly older generation. One or two struggle to function much beyond a bare framework of random, uninspiring idea prompts. They’re not all like that and with some effort you should be able to come away with narratives that you are comfortable with.
I’ve been going to writing groups since 2010 and religiously maintain an archive. They cover all genres. I’ve no preference for the short story form but I do note it is unsuitable for some of the ideas I plan on developing at some future point of time.
Attending writing groups means many story starts. It’s easy to assume the stories may never see print but as someone with an eye on a potential publisher, I archive and organise them each year. The following list is date written / wordcount / title. Genre is excluded, but note I am unlikely to write anything that doesn’t have an element of the fantastic, or suspense (or some point if an anecdote).
Recent Stories (* = unfinished)
|11/02/15||302||Oasis of the White Lily*|
|02/06/15||471||Dare in the Forest*|
|16/06/15||381||The Cockroach King|
|21/07/15||331||Dice of Destiny*|
|20/10/15||318||A Child in a Woman’s Body|
|17/11/15||488||The People with Wings|
|09/12/15||3022||I am Zhlogh|
|07/03/2016||87970||The Tau Device|
|20/06/2016||641||Circus in town*|
|04/07/2016||479||The Sin of Sloth|
|05/07/2016||53||The Glass Fly*|
|20/07/2016||212||The Last Meeting|
|27/09/2016||118||Twilight on Vernon Street*|
|04/10/2016||185||Instructions for moving a planet|
|15/10/2016||404||Winter by the Sea|
|27/10/2016||542||That Which Waits|
* * *
At some point I’ll add some thoughts on the Sufi themed visit to Burnley Mechanics on 06/11/16.