Next meeting and dates to mid 2020

Next Meeting Monday 9 December, 7pm. We are celebrating our first year and will have food and refreshments.

People attending are welcome to bring edible and beverage contributions. 

Writer's Neuk first half 2020 poster

 

Get them in your diary!

Why not write and share with us?

Write something and bring it along

Anyone can bring some text to share up to a maximum of 300 words. Please bring three copies to share. 

 December’s topic

Celebrating the holiday in today’s busy world

Let your imagination flow. Go with it.

Blog with us. Something to share? Get in touch.

Get involved in producing blogs for our site. There are other opportunities in Colinsburgh Library and, elsewhere in our community.

Dyslexia

We are moving forward with our dyslexia-friendly approach. It’s a browser thing. General info here. Apple tips here.

February 2020 Meeting Report

Posh new Mac
Jenny’s (aspirational) workspace – she loves her wee Mac and it’s not me!

Our monthly get together 24 February

Here we are on the last Monday of the month, 7pm in Colinsburgh Library, for our regular get together. It has taken a while but that date and time slot is now so easy to remember that it is embedded in my internal calendar. No longer do I need to ask, “What date is our next meeting?” More like, “We’re halfway through the month – time to think about getting that piece of writing ready.” Crunch time; I always work better to a deadline. Does that work for you?

We are growing

Well, hopefully not in kilograms but another new member. This evening we were delighted to welcome a lady who moved to the area last Autumn. As often happens, she and her family have been visiting the East Neuk for many years and upon retiring, she decided to relocate here permanently. Luckily she has found her way to our local group and happily she has brought her writing interest and skills with her. A warm welcome!

Catching up

After apologies from members who could not make it this evening, we had a catch up on news, helped along with hot cuppas and biscuits. We do like our home comforts and a relaxed ambience!

Tonight’s agenda

  1. Developing the website
  2. Preparing a theme bank
  3. Writing a blog
  4. Sharing our work

Our website

Our website has been up and running for over a year now and we are looking to develop it further. It is visited by people from near and far, which is the great thing about the internet. Our writing group does not have physical boundaries and we can reach out to like-minded people who can’t always attend but still want to share our interest in the written word.

Next steps

Mac outlined the points laid out in last month’s blog and a discussion ensued.

Main points:

  1. All shared writing should be published under a nom-de-plume. Rationale is that protecting ID assists genre change, practise and the invitation of feedback and critique (accepting some of it might not always be ego massaging). Also, people well established in a field can avoid exposure before they want it (if ever).
  2. Provide an image to link with the NDP.
  3. Agree a way so a visitor to our site will readily find a chosen writer’s work
  4. Writers can invite critiques.
  5. We agree *not* to reveal anyone else’s ID.

Yes but…

Agreement was reached in principle but an important point was raised.

This was, that it might be advisable for critiques to be given directly to the author concerned, privately, rather than publicly, online. Apart from fledgeling egos being irreparably damaged, once criticisms are made in print, they cannot be taken back. Point taken!

Preparing a theme bank

We started brainstorming themes that the group might consider for future meetings. Whilst we did compile an initial list, we would like to open this up to to other members, to add to, before confirming. The aim is to have a bank, so that themes can be confirmed well in advance, in readiness for future meetings.

Blog training

This is ongoing but we hope gradually to be able to have more members who feel confident to add blogs to the website and also to start having different interest categories.

Sharing our work

There was an “anything goes” theme for tonight.

Firstly we had “The Farewell” – a poignant piece telling the story behind a photo. It was set in Germany in the late 1930’s and showed a father kissing his young child goodbye before dropping him off at kindergarten. On this day he would not be picking him up in the afternoon, as he was on his way to the front.

New Member Reads

Next we encouraged our new member to read an extract from her novel, a very daunting prospect, on your first visit. We were delighted that she felt able to share her work. It is a central part of our group’s ethos to provide support and encouragement for anyone starting out. In fact she has a a full first draft and is looking for a fairly rigorous edit. We were happy to be part of that journey.

Next we heard a poem called “Heartfelt”. This is a work in progress, which often happens when you air a poem. At the end of the day, you can listen to suggestions and you whether or not to take them on board. Whose poem is it after all?

Reading Rhythm 

To finish off we heard a performance poem called “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” What a fabulous way to end our evening. It was fun, quirky and the kind of presentation that stays in your memory. I hope we can hear it again sometime soon and perhaps open it up to a wider audience.

Thanks for sharing, everyone!

Next meeting… will be remote thanks to COVID-19

 

24 February Meeting

24th February 7 pm or a little earlier

Writersneuk.com be creative

Here we are again. Jenny is only just back in business (with a new laptop to boot) and I hope she keeps well.

As for me, after a hectic weekend with grandkids (Mr Bounci-Castle) … I realised The Writers’ Neuk was on tonight … oh dear.

Please consider this a panic attack. I won’t make excuses, but have plenty of ’em just in case; most involve writing and looking after energetic grandchildren.

Business of the day

The writing topic for today is: ANYTHING – that means you can share anything in your store-cupboard.

Meeting plan:

  1. Enjoy a few minutes buzz as we catch up
  2. Plan to introduce our writers’ words:
    1. All shared writing should be published under a nom-de-plume. Rationale is that protecting ID assists genre change, practise and the invitation of feedback and critique (accepting some of it might not always be ego massaging). Also, people well established in a field can avoid exposure before they want it (if ever).
    2. Provide an image to link with the NDP.
    3. Agree a way so a visitor to our site will readily find a chosen writer’s work
    4. Writers can invite critiques.
    5. We agree *not* to reveal anyone else’s ID.
  3. Create a monthly schedule for routine posts
  4. Develop a blog post rota for people willing to provide them. THis could also include editing practise for those interested.

On top of all this, we’ve had a notification about a local workshop. Does anyone know Victoria Mackenzie? https://victoriamackenzie.net/

… and now it’s 2020

Did you ever? Another year gone and here we are leaping forward into 2020.

In the way of hectic times our best laid plans for blog posts, news and content fell by the wayside. We hasten to deny over-indulgence and wild-society is in any way responsible for omissions.

Get down to it

Our next meeting is on Monday 27th January from 7 pm (technically) in Colinsburgh Library reading room. More information here. We look forward to welcoming you and hearing your craic and, if you care, some writing.

Preparation – on a Burns theme

We know at least one person isn’t a Burns fan. Because of this we thought we’d invite up to 300 words on one of the following topics:

  • a mouse
  • a louse
  • an exciseman

As usual there will be tea/coffee, biscuits and who knows?

Bring something

Please remember that some of our members are ‘deef’ (have hearing impairment) and would be grateful to have copies of contributions to read. This helps them follow the reading. Please bring three copies to share.

If you have a printing problem, please drop a copy to either Jenny or Mac and they will print them before the meeting. Any issues, use the contact form.

Blogger off

Let’s create a blogging group to coordinate and encourage the production of relevant content on our website. We’ll happily run a training session to help out. The steps we envisage:

  1. Agree who is going to do it
  2. Agree on what we want to achieve: blether? content? poems? ideas?
  3. Decide on what training is wanted
  4. Agree our programme
  5. Develop our site

It’s been a while since our festive bash. Looking forward to seeing you on Monday.

Mac and Jenny

September Meeting

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We were a small number but we covered a lot of ground!

Our Writing

Each of us had brought along a short piece of writing. One definitely has the beginnings of a crime novel, involving metal detectorists and the discovery of a hand. Another piece had a strong geographical element where the writer was viewing a low flying aircraft, marvelling at their approach through a scenic Scottish glen. Next, there was another murder. Or was it? Some might say an act of revenge. We definitely entertained each other.

 

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

A common topic that comes up is how we write and when we write. What are our writing habits? Some of us write in the morning, others prefer later in the day. Night owls are happiest through the wee small hours. Whilst some people can write anywhere, anytime, for instance on their phone, more often we prefer a settled space in a quiet room or space. Others can write outside, for instance on a beach or a park bench. Some of  us plan to write and may even have a set time. Others can be stimulated at random times by thoughts or experiences and come back to write ideas up, at a later date. Some individuals prefer to use a keyboard, whilst others like pen and paper. others still use a good old fashioned pencil. Do you prefer silence or background music? if so, what kind? Can you get back to writing after an interruption or do you lose the flow? Do any of these things really matter? We decided not. As long as we write, that’s the main thing.  

You’ll never guess what…

I’ll never guess, what?

We’re one year old next meeting.

Thinking of anniversaries, we’d love 50 words on the theme of an anniversary surprise – take it anywhere you like.

Strut your stuff

http://charlisays.com/10-funniest-writer-quotes/

As usual we invite you to bring up to 300 words of prose or poetry or script-writing … whatever you choose. If you can’t, we’re glad to see you anyway.

Focus?

A common topic that comes up is how and when we write. What are our writing habits? Some of us write in the morning, others at different times.

We all like a familiar space to write, whether it be a room or a quiet corner of the house. Some of us plan to write, whilst others are stimulated by thoughts and experiences.

The session focus will be the ideas people have for writing effectively, their discipline and techniques for keeping the nose on the grindstone.

We are planning a session on WordPress. An introduction and a chance to get involved in running our own site.

Festivities

Please have some thoughts about what we should do for the festive season. Fancy a pub get together, accessible to the 95 coastal bus. All ideas welcome. We’ll decide at the meeting.

August Meeting Report

Let’s Get Started

We did a great thing! We supported each other! It all began with a question about editing and how some of us struggle with getting past this stage in our writing. We gave each other lots of advice, including:

  • get the gist down and go from there
  • just get it all down in one go                                                                   
  • get a feel for it – Is it working?
  • go back and edit/polish at the end
  • simplify things
  • read and self-edit as you go

We all had our own ideas but the one which resonated the most was:

“Don’t eat the elephant all at one time!” In other words, one step at a time but do what suits you best.

Dialogue

Dialogue was also on the agenda. One of our members is writing non-fiction, based on a self-help/advice theme and wanted to know if using dialogue to illustrate some points would be effective. We talked about posing some questions at the beginning of a chapter and then using dialogue and scenarios to try to answer them.

Our Writing

Continuing the theme of dialogue, we had each prepared a piece of writing to bring to the meeting. These included:

  • a self-help piece, as mentioned above
  • a conversation which brought peace and harmony to the writer
  • one which had a mystical theme
  • a comical version based on nosiness and gossip
  • a memory which include some assertive tones, used when faced with health and safety gone mad!

We tried reading the first piece as a play and found that the use of dialogue gave it a real authenticity. With another we found that, as it was all dialogue between only two people, there was no need to attribute the words to each speaker, as it was perfectly clear who was speaking. Some of us had previously not used dialogue much at all but focusing on this evening’s task, discovered it can really bring a piece of writing to life, whilst effectively moving the story along. It’s effective use showed how to tell the story through he use of dialogue, using less description. More strings to our collective bows!

How do You Write?

Another topic that came up was how we write and when we write. Do we need to have a set time or place? Do we need silence? Can we cope with interruptions? Again, our answers proved that everybody’s different and we should write when we can and how we can. As always, each member took away fresh ideas and perhaps confidence, from the discussion. Something which, as a group, we always try to achieve through our meetings.

Looking ahead

The conversation carried on for a wee while after our meeting. We started to think about how we might use a monthly Saturday morning space that is available, 10-12 noon, on the first Saturday of each month. Poetry, screen writing, play writing, proposals, developing skills… 

All this and we’re nearly one year old.