Next Meeting, 4th March

In the Reading Room at

Colinsburgh Library – 7 PM to 9 PM

Preparation – if you like

Bring up to 200 words to share. This is about improvement, fun and writer-to-writer support. If you don’t want to share, that’s fine too. You are welcome.

Last meeting 7th February

Being a writer’s group, a blog about Thursday’s meeting is here, written by a Neuk member. All members are welcome to blog with us.

Directions? Why not come along …

… and enjoy a pleasant evening with interesting people who are into writing?

Come blog with us … Let’s blog let’s blog away.

If you wish, you can get involved in producing blogs for our site. There are other opportunities for Colinsburgh Library and, elsewhere in our community.

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 find solutions. With the storm in November and low attendance we didn’t advance this. Let’s clarify and implement our plans.

Meeting 7 February, report

Here we are again. Some of us have the lurgy, others are recovering, one or two are in rude health and don’t even know what a lurgy is. Many may have been supping medicinal whisky (this being Scotland and all) … even if they didn’t have the lurgy.

Some of us couldn’t make it, others did. All in all we are growing and finding our feet.

Writer Andy Frazier joined us last night. He shares a few thoughts about the experience below. Thanks for this, Andy.

Back into the swing

Andy Frazier

Although I have written numerous books on a wide range of subjects over the last ten years, I must confess, apart from a monthly magazine column, it has been just over two years since I last sat down to write in a professional capacity. During that time my focus has been on our other business, something which involves much more stress.

Time poor

Reaching my wits end last week, I suddenly realised that I was becoming a slave to time, rather than its keeper, and months were passing by with a rushing sound usually reserved for cyclists.

Itch to scratch

So, on Wednesday morning when I sat at my desk, instead of the usual admin, I opened Scrivener, my writing ‘app’ of choice, and started scribbling. In amongst those files are a few pages of ideas, research, crazy facts and half written projects.

An hour’s distraction from the day to day problems around me was all I was seeking. Next thing I knew, it was getting dark outside.

Coincidentally

On Thursday morning, by pure coincidence, I saw a poster on social media for Writers’ Neuk, who were due to meet that evening. I have to admit to having never physically been to a writers group before, although I do belong to a few online. Had it been any other day, I am not sure I would I have noticed it but, on this day, I decided to attend.

Inky fingers

What I found was not only a friendly bunch of like-minded people, but each one with a passion for the written word and a desire to share and receive ideas from others.

Not knowing what to expect, I had taken with me my scribbles from the day before, which had been little more than an exercise I had set myself, to get the ‘juices’ flowing again.

After an hour of general discussions about our individual on-going projects the group asked me to share mine with them. © Andy Frazier

Come back soon and read Andy’s easy introduction to the Storyboard. Ed.

Want to blog with us? Get in touch via our contact form. Our community library and Writers’ Neuk need you.

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

22 Rules of Storytelling

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.

Join us …

Here is Emma’s list:

rules for storytelling

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!