Thursday, 8 December 2016

Sad News

Writing Buddies, the group for writers, is closing down.

We have been meeting since 2009 when Penny Legg and Pam Whittington started the group. Since then, we have gone from strength to strength, weathering venue changes and the aging demographic of our members.

The group has been meeting at the Old Southampton Bowling Green for most of 2016 and it is a popular venue. Meetings have been lively and fun. Guests have included crime author Peter Lovesey and Hampshire Poet Isabel Rogers. Writing Buddies continue to make great gains in their writing, with members signing new book deals, self-publishing, signing with agents and giving talks about their work all over the country. Writing Buddies as a group is thriving and popular.

However, running the group is not a one person job. Penny appealed in vain for help within the group and it was not forthcoming. The current treasurer has done sterling work for the last eighteen months but now needs to move on and with no one willing to take her place, or to become secretary of the group, there was no alternative but to close down.

The Writing Buddies Facebook Group will continue to operate but this blog will now no longer be updated.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the group over the years. It's been a ball!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Peter Lovesey at Writing Buddies

We are looking forward to welcoming crime writer Peter Lovesey at our meeting on Friday 7th October, 2016 at 2pm. Peter is an old friend and it will be good to catch up with him.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Writing Buddies' News

Things have been busy for the Writing Buddies recently, hence the lack of posts on this blog. Now it is time to catch up.

We were very sorry to lose a long-standing Writing Buddy, Pauline Cahill in August. It was only March when Pauline joined the Writing Buddies at the London Book Fair and since then she was tireless, publishing a book and launching a new blog. It was a great shock to hear of her death. Penny Legg and Jacqueline Pye represented Writing Buddies at her funeral. Our deepest sympathy goes to her family.

We made the move to the Southampton Old Bowling Green ( and now use their clubhouse for our meetings. This has proved to be a really good decision as we are totally spoilt each month! We have the place to ourselves, have two lovely ladies to serve tea and (jolly good) cake and it is very convenient for parking, so we are all happy.

After nearly eight years existence, we have taken the plunge and joined NAWG - the National Association of Writing Groups. It is early days yet but we are already enjoying the benefits in terms of the information and advice sent out to us. We have always been an informal group but we know now that we should have a Constitution and accordingly are taking steps to put one together. This will lead to an AGM to accept it, make up a committee and then we can go on from there. Watch this space for more of this.

Lisa Scullard has given two talks on social media and using it to market our work recently. Lisa has her finger on the pulse and her advice has proved invaluable. (

Josephine Shaw facilitated discussions on how to succeed in the market with a new book idea; how to use photographs to enhance a book and how to create suspense in a short story.

The role of the literary agent and ideas on how to find one have been discussed at length, with opinion divided about the need for one. Several Writing Buddies have agents and several more are currently looking for representation, with the main reason for seeking one being the superior connections an agent has. It was pointed out that most of the major publishing houses will not look at a manuscript unless it is presented by an agent. This was felt to be the cause of the rise in self-publishing and several Writing Buddies have made the decision to self-publish because they did not wish to go through the long-drawn-out process of battling through the slush pile.

The next meeting of Writing Buddies is on Friday 7 October at 2pm, when multi-award-winning crime writer Peter Lovesey will join us. He will be speaking about thirties crime writer James Cobbett. Everyone is welcome.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Another Move!

After two meetings at the Frog and Parrot pub, the Writing Buddies are on the move again.  This time, we hope the move will be permanent.
   The next meeting, on Friday 3 June at 2pm will be at the Southampton Old Bowling Green clubhouse. 
   We will welcome Lisa Scullard talking about laying out a paperback for publication.  This follows on from her talk about e-book publishing at the last meeting.
   If you are a writer, you are welcome to join us.  The first meeting is free.  

Friday, 4 March 2016

New Venue!

After a year at the Central Library in Southampton, it is sad to go but go we must! Thank you to all the staff at the Central Library for having us.  You have been wonderful!

We have moved to the Frog and Parrot pub, Above Bar, Southampton.  Meetings are back to our preferred starting time of 2pm on the first Friday of each month.  See you there!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Writing Buddies February Meeting

Writing Buddies will meet for the opening of the 2016 season at 2.30pm at the Central Library, Southampton on Friday 5th February. Everyone welcome.

New Year, New Leader

A new year and a new beginning for Writing Buddies as founder Penny Legg takes a short sabbatical and Christine Donovan takes on the mantle of leader until June 2016. Christine is a long-time member of Writing Buddies and is looking forward to the challenge of leading the group.