The year is hastening by and we’ve just enough time to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. More information coming soon…
A House Called Askival is based upon her own experiences growing up in South Asia and upon the period following the Second World War, when India was partitioned. Born in Kathmandu, to missionary parents, Merryn was brought up in Nepal, India and Pakistan, before training as a teacher at an Australian university.
A House Called Askival is Merryn’s first published novel but she also writes short stories and poetry, which have been published in magazines and newspapers. Over a number of years, the BBC has commissioned her plays which have been broadcast on Radio Scotland and Radio 4. Her poem, Driving Lesson, is in the Autumn issue of Northwards Now.
Merryn read an excerpt from the first chapter of her book, which was greatly enjoyed by all.
Explaining how much she enjoys writing, Merry shared some of the difficulties of being a writer, namely ways of getting published. She enjoys writing every day and is greatly encouraged to do so, by family and friends. Askival was published by the now defunct Freight Books and she is currently in discussion with another publisher, with a view to having her second novel published.
There then followed a general discussion and questions on the writing process and getting work published. Merryn advised us, as budding writers, to:
- never stop writing
- consider the audience who will read our work
- write to communicate with your readers
A lively discussion followed as the focus moved towards getting writing out there.
publishing, and all that
Self-publishing can be a way forward for many writers. It has its drawbacks but it is one way of becoming known to readers and publishers.
We also discussed how publishers focus on a number of aspects of a writer’s work including:
- social media activity
- self promotion
Activities like these are becoming ever more important since many newspapers publish fewer literary reviews.
marketing experience leads to improvement
Merryn suggests that attending book festivals was a way of getting her novel highlighted and cited her own attendance at the Ullapool Festival as being a positive step in becoming more well known.
She approached several publishers with Askival and now appreciates that the number of times it was refused led to improvement in it, as she kept going and adapting and changing, according to their advice.
research, rest, write, research again
We discussed how research for a novel can prevent an author actually getting down to writing a story. Merryn suggested taking a break from the research and coming back fresh, for the next stage. Her advice was that there needs to be enough of a framework to help readers understand time, place and events but mostly they want to engage with the story.
Merryn now lives in the Scottish Highlands, where she is a high school librarian, relishing the challenge of encouraging teenagers to keep reading.
We very much appreciated Merryn coming along to speak to us and offering advice an inspiration.
Reading Room, 7 pm
We met, we agreed and we’re going ahead. This is a short update, to keep you informed.
Preparation – if youlike
Bring up to 250 words to share and share feedback on. This is about improvement, admiration and fun.
Blog update coming soon
Being a writer’s group, the first thing we planned is a blog about yesterday’s meeting, this is being written by a group member and will be posted soon. Blogging will be shared fun.
We will introduce a dyslexia-friendly approach. This may be accomplished by:
- changing our site colour scheme, or
- helping members set-up their browsers to meet their specific personal needs
We’re looking into this and aim to have a solution by the end of the year.
Click here, bottom of the page
Here’s a wee list of what people noted on our ‘Contact us, Write with us‘ forms. Talk about a broad parish.
- Getting a group going, setting up a writing group
- A bit of everything
- Short stories
- Stories with bit of a twist
- Dark stories
- Newspaper articles
- Historical fiction
- Writing in Scots
- Nature writing
- Short fiction
- Writing for children
Is that it?
Yes, 22 rules, at least from Emma Coats, a former Pixar Storyboard artist. There are lots of rules for every waspaect of writing. The particualr focus of her list is what she learned from being a storyboard illustrator.
Still, a story is a story. Does one size fit all? Experience suggests that, in the end, we discover our own rules, every time we crumple up our trash and throw stuff away with a snarl … OR every time we give ourselves a big warm hug, for a piece well written.
Here is Emma’s list:
This is the poster for our first event.
If you want to let someone know about this, just send them a link to this page short link just copy and send the bold text: https://wp.me/pae1nj-1j.
You can get more information here and generally explore our site.
The cartoon is “the Absent Husband Cartoon” from Pinterest.
Our first post – DIRECTIONS BELOW
… a writers group for aspiring writers in or around The East Neuk of Fife. If you live miles away and want to attend, you are equally welcome.
…writing now? Have you done any writing in the past? Would you like to get back to writing? Would you like to start writing? If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, this might be the group for you!
We propose to:
- Set up a new writers group in the East Neuk for anyone who is interested
- Have an initial meeting to clarify what people might want
- involve people with a common interest in writing
- help them develop the skills they want
- share information and support each other
- invite experts to talk on subjects of interest
- build and sustain our own blog
Where will we meet?
- the Colinsburgh Galloway Library in the Reading Room
- the 95 bus stops, east and west, are close by, so we can check the timetable for those who wish to travel by bus
When will we meet?
- once a month on a nominated day e.g. every third Thursday The time could be confirmed at our first meeting but possibly two hours e.g. 7 – 9pm
- to be agreed between us, but enough to cover the hire of the Reading Room, running costs and proposed events
- we estimate £3 -5 per session, to include a cuppa and biscuit
- we might even stretch to a bun!
On our first meeting we are delighted to have author, Merryn Glover, Co-Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland along. Follow this link to find to find out more.
What to do next …
If you are interested in our ideas and would like to come to the initial meeting, or be informed of future plans, please contact us. Leave your contact details and share some thoughts. Our first meeting is on 25th October at 7 pm.
We will not share your information with any other person or group. If at any time you want us to remove any information we hold about you, please get in touch
We look forward to hearing from you!