Shirley has finished the first draft of her sci-fi novel, and is about to start editing. She may look for an agent when it’s ready. She has had some short stories accepted onto the mobile publishing site Ether books; up to five can be uploaded free.
Janet is busy reading widely, so as to compare various writing styles.
Karen is planning to get back to working on her novel very soon.
Jo is writing her travel memoir, having got going with it following the previous meeting. She is currently writing detailed chapter plans.
Silma is currently considering self-publishing her fantasy book for children, possibly using the Kindle publishing system. Feedback from publishers has been positive, though so far none have accepted - the group commented that positive feedback was a really good sign.
Glen has completed her book Voices From Eastleigh for The History Press, and it is about to be published. There was loud approval for this! Glen is holding a launch party and would circulate details. She has entered a short story competition, and her reading of one of her poems is featured on The Art House’s CD of their recent Open Mike evening.
Jimmy continues with his Southampton miscellany book for 2013 publication, and has gained permission to take pictures from West Quay. He has visited a useful private collection of photos. Jimmy has found business community site LinkedIn helpful, especially for suggestions for publishers for his books. His children's picture books need editing for language level, but may have a local publisher, and Waterstones have said they’d like to see them, which is exciting. Jimmy’s book Growing Up In Wartime Southampton, Someone Else’s Trousers is now available for Kindle.
Veronica told the group about the Friends of Southampton Cemetery, and about the Deanery Poets group. She suggested writers pass on to the Mayflower their memories of activities at The Gantry, which no longer exists. She spoke about Age Concern’s new magazine Life to the Full and distributed copies. She and Penny are both involved in its publication.
Lynn is a new member. She has been writing children’s comic stories, and would like to start writing comedy. The group mentioned, as before, that good sitcoms are currently in short supply, and that the BBC is currently looking.
Vijay has been looking at the information about comedy writing on http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom and he is working on the early stages of a script of his own.
Jacqueline’s flash fiction is published in the current edition of What The Dickens internet magazine. She has found a possible format for her article on a relative’s WW1 diary, and has just started a six-week online course on writing literary short stories. She plans to blog about the course.
In the discussion, everyone was very pleased to hear that the ebook publisher Ben Ottridge is due to meet with us on March 9th to explain his no-upfront-fee system. Several members expressed an interest. We also discussed the need for blogs and websites, and how to get started with both, and our Yahoo email loop. We were all worried about library closures, but thought overall that ebooks would grow but not eclipse the printed book any time soon. The Nuffield Theatre writers group was mentioned, as they are currently looking for new members.
The Writing Buddies will meet next on Friday February 24th at 2pm at The Art House, Above Bar, Southampton. Anyone with an interest in writing will be very welcome.