The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Trudy’s Talkback September 2012


trudy draperThe group met on Friday 5th October and Maggie had a busy first meeting since taking over as chairman.  Her first task was a happy one – giving Carol a well deserved gift and card from us all in thanks for the five years as club chairman.  Maggie chose a pink orchid, chocolates and card as a small way to say thanks for the countless hours Carol has given to the group.  Not that she is leaving us; Carol is still a valuable club member and chairman of the sub committee, which runs our charity work.  Bob of course, the power behind the throne, just collected kisses from all the ladies given in thanks for supporting Carol over the first years of our club’s existence.  Maggie will carry on the hard work on behalf of us all.

First item on the agenda was an idea from Maggie for our website.  She wants a photograph of all current club members to be included on our site and everyone was challenged to write a sentence on themselves and what they are doing in the world of writing – what genre they write in, if they have won anything and what they hope for the future.  We ran out of time to take the photograph at the meeting so the picture will be taken at the next meeting.  PLEASE CAN EVERYONE ATTEND SO THEY DON’T MISS OUT ON SEEING THEMSELVES ONLINE.  Since Friday, Maggie has spoken to our wonderful Jamie who manages the site, and he suggested mini pictures of each member with their sentence about themselves instead.  Maggie thought it would be great for all members to be pictured and tell their friends about the site encouraging them to visit it.

Maggie, Carol and Bob recently met Deb and Phil Capon from the Nosey Pacas.  They are a retired couple who write children’s books with alpacas as the main characters.  Deb and Phil are funded by a mainland alpaca farm and they have other merchandise, pens, pencils, wrapping paper etc .  We will all have the chance to meet them at the presentation evening at Newport Minster on December 19th, when they plan to sell their goods and given a donation to both our charities.  Maggie plans to invite them to a future meeting, but with hectic schedules it may not be until the New Year now.

Rebecca Giltrow, who has her own blog and is in a writing group on the mainland emailed Carol to ask if our members would complete a questionnaire for her.  Maggie will send the link round to members, who can then decide whether to join in or not.  Check her out on

Our speaker at the meeting was PHILIP BELL a writer for the past 10 years, who moved to the island 2½ years ago.   He has worked as a copywriter and wants to become a full time writer.  At present he runs a children’s publishing company with his wife, who is an illustrator.  They go into schools talking to the children and the last book he published was for Newchurch Primary School; the children drew the pictures and money was raised to produce it with Philip publishing it as a freebie for them.  Look out for an article about him in the County  Press (5.10.12) about the island literary festival next weekend.  Philip was full of exciting projects; he has bid for funding to run a 12 week community based book courses  for adults.  He needs at least 10 people to attend each week and our group members have applied for places, taking it in turns so everyone has a go.  We discussed the possibility of Philip helping us finish our book Abbott’s Bay with a view to getting it published and selling it in aid of charity.  Different ideas were discussed about our group also helping Linda’s book along too, as well as alongside this was an idea to publish our competition stories into a book.  Dates and venues for the book courses are flexible and other writing groups are competing to be included, so we must wait and see if Philip gets back to us with positive news.

Publicity for our NEXT COMPETITION  is underway; Carol has emailed every island school and Maggie has contacted some teachers directly to get the word out that we want youngsters to enter our Christmas contest.  The competition was advertised in the local paper on 5.10.12.  Carol and Bob were interviewed by Heather McCallum, which will go live next week.  The message to all members is to encourage as many people as possible to enter to contest, which is in aid of two worthy charities – The Earl Mountbatten Hospice and St Catherine’s School.

Maggie also reminded members not to forget to enter the in-house contest and showed certificates she had won over the years; her message – IF SHE CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!

Another contest worth a shot is the writer’s section of the IOW MUSICAL FESTIVAL.  There are sections for short stories and poetry; you need to buy a booklet from the County Press shop for around £3.  Kate Young of the paper told Maggie that not a lot of people had entered last year and she herself won three cups.  Another contest for members to show off their talents.  Give it a try.


Anne Jones – said sorry she had been unable to complete our book’s chapter 13 as planned, as life had got in the way, but she promised to have the chapter ready for our November meeting.

Bob and Carol Bridgestock – Deadly Focus is now being published in South Korea with its population of 50 million.  They are involved in TV work, which is going well but they cannot talk about it – agony for Carol!  Their life is very busy and full with planned meetings  with scriptwriters, producers, and actors.  In addition both books are selling well along with their audio book; plus Bob is giving one of his family talks next Thursday and they are involved in three workshops for next weekend’s Brading bash.

Chris Brammell – been busy watching the Paralympics this summer instead of writing and is waiting for news of a recent competition he entered; also he is busy finishing another story.

David Harfield – had to leave the meeting early so we did not hear his news.  Sorry David;  in future any member who has to leave early should let Maggie know so that no one misses out on giving their news.

Louise Kimber – has not been writing recently but plans to keep a diary of her three week trip to India.  Her trip will take her to Calcutta and then she is spending time on a houseboat in Cashmere.  As soon as she gets home, she is off to New York with her daughter – have a great time Louise.

Anouska Penn – her fantasy story Dimensions is being proof read by Mel, who is enjoying it.  Anouska  is on her third draft of the Window Boy, which is on hold at the moment as she is now looking at an old sci-fi story for teenagers.  She would like this to become a series eventually, but life as Andie Penn  has taken over and she is busy with magic shows.

Irene Burkett – many congratulations to Irene who is self publishing her book One Wren’s War in two weeks’ time.  She plans to print 1,000 copies at a cost of 80p each, which will be A5 size and retail at £6.  Irene has a busy time ahead as she plans to be involved in all the publicity for the book, getting it to retailers and selling it.  It will be out in time for Christmas, so don’t forget to buy your copy.

Linda Edge – successfully completed a 52 mile charity cycle ride around London – many congratulations on completing this mammoth task.  Linda proudly told Maggie the next day, that her son Che has just been on a writing course, one of four children from his school to be chosen.  Well done Che and don’t forget to enter our Christmas contest.

Maggie Jones – is exhausted as she has just finished her synopsis and finally re-read and re-written her story The London Boys.  Now comes the hard bit, actually trying to find a publisher interested in the book.  Maggie also plans to enter our in house contest and the IOW Musical Festival Competition.

Trudy Draper – I could not be at the meeting in person (I live 70 miles away) or on Skype as I have just moved house and the internet connection was messed up in the move.  As well as packing boxes and telling the world and his wife that we have a new address, I have been trying to write a sit com.  As any TV fan knows, there is not enough humour on our screens so I am trying to write an amusing  political screen play.  I planned to enter the script in a TV competition  but the deadline is looming and I don’t think I will make it for this contest, but plan to complete it anyway.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – is 9th November at Carol and Bob’s house.  There might be a change of venue if our hosts have to go north suddenly, and we will keep everyone updated if this should happen.

Trudy’s talkback is written from notes by Linda and Maggie.


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