Merryn Glover at Writers’ Neuk

For our inaugural Writers’ Neuk meeting in Colinsburgh Library we invited Merryn Glover, author of A House Called Askival, to speak to us about her book and about being a writer.

Barsottibackground

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.

first novel

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.

reading

Merryn read an excerpt from the first chapter of her book, which was greatly enjoyed by all.

learning shared

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.

questions answered

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.

thanks Merryn

We very much appreciated Merryn coming along to speak to us and offering advice an inspiration.

Next Neuk 29 November

Reading Room, 7 pmneuk logo 250

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.

Dyslexia-friendly

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.

Directions?

Click here, bottom of the page

Writers’ Neuk, 1st Event Poster

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.

181015 Writers Neuk PosterThe cartoon is “the Absent Husband Cartoon” from Pinterest.

a writers group …

overview 2… 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.

Are you…

typo…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

Draft aims:

  • 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

How much?

  • 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!

First meeting

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!

Starts on 25th October

I get a lot of letters from people. They say: “I want to be a writer. What should I do?” I tell them to stop writing to me and get on with it‘. Ruth Rendell

Starts on Thursday, 25th October

The date is set.  Get started here, share what you like, come if you can.

Our guest … Merryn Glover

Merryn G.jpgAskival paperbackMerryn is Co-Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland. We’re delighted to have her along.

She is awriter with a published novel and work appearing in anthologies, journals and newspapers, and has had plays broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 4.

The reason she is available is that she’s having a short sabattical to spend time writing her next book, here in the East Neuk.

She will get involved with us and, if we want, share from her experiences. We have invited her to give a reading and talk about her work too … you’ll love it.

Find out more about Merryn’s work here.

Daring to Begin …

The longest Journey, as they say, starts with a single step. Join us and help make Writers’ Neuk a fun thing to do. Let’s get going.

Mac Logan and Jenny Hoggan

I hope some day to write something worth plagiarizing.’ Anonymous