Workshop Blog 16/09/23

Hi everyone.

First of all, and following requests from some members, here are the fees and associated bank details for CWC. New members get their first two sessions free of charge, after which there is a membership fee of £10 per term (three terms) or £30 per year. Additionally, we charge £4 for every session attended, whether via ZOOM or at the YMCA. Competition entries are £4 per single entry and £6 for two where appropriate. Payments can be made at YMCA meetings by cash or cheque to our treasurer – Jeff – or by bank transfer. Please put your name or membership number on the payment as your bank account title will not come up.

Metro Bank

Account number:       39655934Sort code:                  23-05-80Account name:          CARDIFF WRITERS’ CIRCLE (all capitals)

NEWS NEWS NEWS!!! Our very own Jennifer Holdich (you may know her as Wilkinson) has obtained a two-novel publishing deal. Well done Jen. See here everyone:

https://www.thebookseller.com/rights/hodder-fiction-pre-empts-two-from-debut-holdich

More news from Jen to follow as and when.

Twelve people tuned in for this week’s ZOOM session, and we managed six readers and introductory chats with our two first-timers, Alice and Ceri. Stephanie was first up with a lovely poem called A Long Distance. She wouldn’t say who it was for or about, but it was beautiful as all her stuff is, describing the love growing between two people as specks of dust gathering until they form stars. (I paraphrase here.) Wonderful Stephanie.

Liam stepped up next, with another section of his magic/realism detective story. This piece was from farther on in the tale, but it was a joy to hear. I love Liam’s turn of phrase such as ‘a wiry streak of cynicism…’. As Nicola Sturgeon might say ‘fandabbydozy’. And great joy.

Rachel then treated us to The Slime Beast Of Mingle Cave (please correct me if I err Rachel), which is a children’s story. A great story and it had some lovely touches; for example: ‘The house the best thing – there’s always something going on. But it could also be the worst thing – there’s always something going on.’ Brilliant stuff and great descriptions.

Graham then gave us another section of his adventure featuring police corruption, spies, terrorism, chemical warfare, and plain old family tragedies. This reading made excellent progress and we learned much about some of the characters and how they regard each other. This Graham achieved by simple little touches such as how a sergeant steals a piece of the colonel’s jigsaw, just to mess him up. Brilliant interplay and a great action tale. Please make sure you finish it Graham, and read it all to us.

We then heard from Alice, who has written poetry mainly but now wants to write fiction. I offered to show her my tax return. Alice said she is mainly looking into fantasy as a genre, so again I offered my tax return as a guide. We hope that Alice will read us something next week at the YMCA.

Ceri has had a long interest in literature and hopes to write prose more than poetry. He is currently dabbling with a novel; in which he hopes to be realistic but with perhaps a philosophical leaning or influence. Again, we hope that Ceri will read to us next week.

We then heard from Jeff, who gave us the two poems he had brought last week but we ran out of time. In The End could have been regarded as cynical but I would say more realistic, and very well crafted. Quite a lovely piece. Love’s Loss Regained was very interesting. This featured a relationship going through hard times and interpersonal issues, bordering almost on desperation. But one partner (I believe the man) implores his errant ‘better-half’ to give him another chance. Been there, done that. Good stuff there Jeff.

Claire was next up with the beginning of a longish short story or possibly the start of a novel, which is untitled. (I didn’t catch what it was called, sorry.) Claire began this about four years ago and it has great descriptive writing such as ‘…fingers… soft like unworn silk…’ Beautiful, but what on Earth is going on? It’s a mystery to me, but then so is trying to set the Sky box up.

Final reader was Matt, who gave us the final chapter of The Stained-Glass-Cat, followed by a brief epilogue. Louse has defeated the malefant and now has a house, a garden, a family, and a little girl all his own. He is happy and his fears are a monster no more. He is feeling a lot braver and he has a conversation with the something-in-the-ivy who reassures him that it was actually all his own doing that he defeated the monster. His friends are still around and he is set for further adventures. The only discussion was about the title, and Matt now favours The Kitten and the Stained-Glass Cat. But that may change. Thank you Matt for giving us this lovely children’s tale, full of imaginative things good and bad.

If anyone is up for beta reading the entire work Matt is on the prowl for such assistance. He is also going to speak to some artists/illustrators he knows of for capturing the characters and scenes. Then he will be sending it off to agents and/or publishers. He could be our third traditionally published member in very recent years. There’s Laura (see previous issues), Jen (see above), and now Matt. Excellent.

Small points;

1.    We are now not having our article/review competition before Xmas but the flash fiction closing date for entries is 6th Nov. 250 words max, one or two entries. No name on entries, just the title. Separate cover sheet please with name, title, word count. Emailed to cardiffwriterscircle@gmail.com by close of play Monday 6th Nov. Adjudication Monday 4th Dec.

2.    We hope to have an open mic evening at the Flute and Tankard late Nov or early Dec. Watch this space.

Byeee, P.

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