The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings May 2019


Friday May 3rd 2019 – Jottings

In the absence of Jonathan; group wordsmith and scribe, the following belated notes have been shackled together. Maggie is stepping down as Chairman of the group with Jenni stepping in to fill the gap as best she can, although thankfully Maggie will still be along to meetings – where she can- to be on hand to guide.  Warm wishes were given to Maggie for supporting the group so ably over the years.  Andrew Preskey also sent his regards to the group as he is stepping away from writing, and the group, for the foreseeable future.  There was sadness that personal circumstances meant that Andrew was no longer writing but he left a legacy to the group with a number of books related to writing and publishing together with a Waterstones gift voucher which he asked the group to use as they saw fit.  The suggestion that a library of books be set up and the “Annual Writer’s Guide To …” be purchased with the voucher with all books made available for loan to members was met with general approval.

Maggie started off by sharing Carol and Bob’s post for a competition, although entries were now closed it looked as if the competition might be an annual one.  JC will review and post on website if appropriate.

 Erica continued – reporting that she was now on her 7th edit; the general feeling was that this is well within normal parameters.  Erica then introduced us to “The Well of Random” five wonderfully oblique documentaries on BBC 4, introduced by Seren Jones, that were well worth a listen to.  In her busy life she has also completed an online course on short story writing which, if recall serves me correctly, featured author Patrick Ryan.  One of the notable things that Erica took from the course was how a collection of short stories needed to anchor stories significantly placed providing a theme, and that it was fashionable to do a Novella with the short stories.

Mary, after a complete break from writing, is now back full steam.  She is examining dialogue in more detail.  Looking from the point of view of an observer watching a play or film, observing closely what people do in the scene during the dialogue, has provided a different way of considering what and how dialogue can be written.

Fran brought along her latest book, her fourth, for us to browse through – Unconscious Adventures: A Year of Daily Dream Drawings – with many congratulations from the group.  Fran told of her approach to Waterstones for a book launch there, she is still waiting to hear back although if she does sell through Waterstones they take a steep 50% of all sales.  Other suggestions, from the group, were: Babooshka Books in Shanklin Gallery, Regent Street, and a Newport bookshop near the The Appollo Theatre.  A previous book launch in Cowes library with one donated to the library had been successful but the focus needed to be on promoting sales.  Fran has also been doing a lot more copywriting.

Piers is still in pursuit of writing a good love scene focusing on the emotion rather than the graphic detail.  Recently reading Radclyffe Hall’s “Well of Loneliness” – written in the 1920’s and banned in the USA – and “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit” by Jeanette Winterson, Piers had been inspired by the passionate quality of the writing with very little graphic detail.  His book is now 50,000 words in and is reviewing in the light of his new inspiration.

Tony reported that the Nightingale hotel, which is now open to the public, is doing well despite the continued resentment and inappropriate behaviour of the other local hoteliers.  He has restored and painted the Tiger from atop the Isle of Wight Zoo which will be travelling the country.  He is also painting the Gothic Circus bar, and has more work to complete at the zoo.  Tony is a very busy man indeed with his work adorning more and more canvases across the Island.

Sue had, to date, sent submissions to 6 agents, with regard to her latest and 4th novel.  Her agent for her first three novels had proved very helpful in creating an elevated pitch – mentioning previous book sales, number of pages read on Kindle, and her connections with the blogging community – as she ventures into a new genre. Whilst Sue had approached agents who had similar books in their armoury members of the group suggested that might already have reached their quota so sho9ld be wary of being too focused .  Mary suggested using “Agent Hunter”.  Lucy advised that she had submitted to over 50.

 Aidan is making good progress with Chapter One and may soon be looking for Beta Readers.  He is still prolific in writing short stories for his Facebook page although FB was being problematic in allowing him to share with groups.  This has prompted him to consider starting a Blog.

Fiona has been recording plenty of interesting stories in her journal of animal antics; especially the monkeys.  She regailed us with tales relating to the New World monkey detailing thug like behaviour.  The novel that she “Ghost” wrote has now been published “Are We Nearly There Yet – Croyden to Cairns” by Graham Naismith.  It seemed a little mean that Fiona’s only acknowledgement was as a proof reader.

Freda has four of her books in Newport library.  She has been writing a lot but does not have the wherewithal to type it all up.  A happenstance meeting with a playwright at another group has led to a planned meeting where her novel will be thoroughly gone through with a view to it being turned into a play. Freda also has childrens stories and poems that she would like to get typed up and sent off.

Martin is in the process of sending his latest novel to agents; he will be trying agents/publishers in groups twelve weeks at a time.  In the meantime he has started a follow on novel and a new book that he has been thinking about for three years.

Jenni is 12,500 into her first book with about 15,00 words of 12 short stories in various stages of development.

have  She also told us about the BBC “Sounds of the Well of Random”

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