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Trudy’s Talkback February 2014


trudy draperWriting is a very lonely job – just you and the keyboard – but finding a publisher for your work is one step beyond loneliness.

You have your book or story in front of you; it is the best you can make it after hours and hours of work,  but you have no one to ask if it really any good – apart from family who don’t count because they won’t be really truthful.  To really find out if your work is any good, you need to take a deep breath and search the internet for a publisher, who will either make your dreams come true (publish your book/story) or fill your letterbox with rejection slips.

Google publishers wanting new authors and you will find details of many firms, who are seeking unpublished writers.  Read their instructions carefully and send off your work.  There is no escaping this nail biting process.  Don’t worry about rejection slips, as all authors over the ages have been given their fair share.  At least you will have tried.

I am not a fan of vanity publishers – where you pay to have your book published.  You will not really know if your work is any good, as work of any quality is published.  The firms just want your cash and are not concerned about the standard of the writing.  And even when you have the finished book in your hands there is no guarantee you will sell anything as self-published books are not usually welcomed into bookshops and the author has to do all the marketing for him/herself.

Another way of getting your writing assessed is to enter writing competitions.  Again, use the internet and Google writing competitions 2014 or writing competitions UK to find a list of forthcoming events.  Two I have found with a deadline of March 31st are the West Sussex Writers Second National Short Story Competition, which is asking for 3,000 entries – go to for full details.  The second is the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition again for 3,000 words; see   As an ex-journalist I have always worked to deadlines and the writing competition give a purpose to write something by a certain time.

At least it gets us away from the empty page with no deadline to complete a story.  So why not give it a go.

Trudy Draper

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Trudy’s Talkback August 2013


trudy draperThe Wight Fair Writers is proving to be such a success that members are queuing up to join us!  Chairman, Maggie Jones, reports that three new members – Rachel, Vince and Georgina – should be joining us at next month’s meeting.  She does realise that group membership is going above what we originally planned but as not everyone comes to every meeting, we should still be able to accommodate more.

 Maggie said: ‘I know some members feel that the size of the group might be getting too big, but because not all members make the meetings, it is great to be able to have new members join and encourage them with their writing in whatever way we can.

‘All we can hope is that the day never arrives when all members turn up at the same meeting – we could be sitting on each other’s laps if it ever happens!’

To write Talkback I need notes of each meeting – even when I Skype in, I cannot take the notes myself as I can’t see who is talking etc.  So we need a volunteer at each meeting to take the minutes – I only need informal notes of anything discussed or decisions taken, so not a huge job.  Maggie can’t take the notes every time as she is trying to chair the meeting and keep you all in order.  So can everyone please take a turn – it is a little job to help in the smooth running of the club.  Next month can someone step forward who has never taken the minutes to show the way.

Carol told everyone about the launch of the next writing competition.  It will officially be launched in September and is going to be called ‘A Wight Christmas.’  It is open to all ages, and WFWC members can also enter as we are no longer going to do an in-house comp ourselves.  The judges are all independent, and any entries from the members will be treated like ones that come in from anyone living on the island.  There are some fantastic prizes for all age groups too.  Camping Bestival tickets for next year’s festival is one of the prizes.  So get your thinking caps on and start getting some ideas for a story(s).  Entry price is still £4 for Adults and £2 for Under 18’s and Under 12’s. 


Becky Sealey – is a new member and finds writing therapeutic and enjoyable.  She has been writing short stories since she was 10 years old and takes a notebook everywhere, even on holiday, to write stories all the time – an example to us all.  Becky is writing a supernatural novel and looking into how to publish etc.  Good luck with all that, Becky.

Michelle – is working on a couple of short stories and has moved away from her usual historical settings and into the 21st century.  Her latest story is about an interfering mother-in-law.  Maggie sent Michelle the link to Alfie Dog for her to send this story to.  You haven’t got anything to lose, if you don’t try, you will never know.  Good luck with that Michelle.

Anne – hasn’t been writing much but reading lots of Rosmund Pilchard and Kate Mosse, so researching by reading.

Irene – has found a distributor in Shanklin, who has sold a lot of her books.  She has now sold over half her books and covered her costs on her self-publishing bill.  Irene has not been writing very much as she has recently been in hospital but when she can, is busy working on her novel, which is based on her life.

Carol and Bob – Bob has started writing again! (I didn’t know he had stopped!)  Carol is rewriting the fifth book and Bob has finished the first draft of books six and seven, both 65,000 words each.  Carol will add another 20,000 words.  Also Bob is trying to write another book, not in the Dylan series this time.  The crime TV series they are working on for BAFTA winning production company Red Productions and writer Sally Wainwright, Happy Valley is almost finished and will be aired on BBC1 in the summer of 2014.  A German publisher is looking at their manuscripts and next year their books will be translated into Turkish and Korean – amazing.  And we knew them when they weren’t famous!  Their next book, Snow Kills, will be launched on November 3rd at Prego’s Restaurant and hotel, in West Yorkshire.  It is a ticket only event and an actor will read chapter one.  They are involved in a competition with Scallywag Magazine and money raised will go to the Forget me Not Hospice – first prize is tea with Carol and Bob.  The police are also involved and up to 100 tickets can be sold.  This will involve the couple going on local television and radio as well as hosting a Help the Heroes, Poppy Day Appeal in Huddersfield Town Hall with the Military Wives choir and Joe Mckeldry (X Factor winner) raising money for the charity.  Back on the island they will be book signing at the Envy Hair Saloon, which is featured in the book and Waterstone’s.  A screen play is to be written from their book Deadly Focus by a young girl just out of university, who works for Red Productions.

Bit of wisdom from Bob: ‘the stone continues to gather moss at a great bloody pace.’

And the original group members were there at the beginning!

Anouska – has found an old manuscript and is working on it.  The story is set in a village using character she knows and she is putting real life experiences into her story, a comedy.  The group saw some of her drawings – she specialises in drawing animals and takes commissions – and everyone was very impressed with her work.  Not one to give up, she is editing her novel Dimensions yet again.  And any life experiences she gets she writes in her inspiration diary. 

That’s an idea we could all copy – write a diary so we don’t forget anything that could be used in a story.

Maggie – talked about her story Came as Me, Left as We, and she is to be a featured author on the Alfie Dog website, very soon, hopefully in the next two weeks.  Maggie has also joined Twitter at long last (her words) so if anyone wants to get in contact it is maggiej64jones.  She says: ‘twitter me and I’ll twitter back.’

Trudy – not at the meeting but trying to keep in touch – I  have found dozens of short stories I have written over the years and editing them to see if any are worth sending anywhere!  I have been surrounded by builders for the past six months so writing has been put to the bottom of a long list but hoping to get going again properly once work has been finished.


Talkback was written this month from notes by Maggie J.

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Trudy’s Talkback July 2013


trudy draperThe very hot weather is taking its toll on our members; they have wilted into their swimming pools and gardens with just five stepping out to attend the July meeting.  I’m sure numbers will pick up once this un British heat wave is just a distant memory.

The members, who made it to the meeting generously joined in the ‘go yellow day’ for the island hospice, by wearing yellow and raised £8 for the cause.  Maggie took the cash to them where it was gratefully received and Maggie adds her thanks to all who contributed.

Two items discussed were our joint novel Abbott’s Bay – we need a progress report from Chris and Louise who volunteered to take on the project.  If interest has waned then are others interested?  Report back please?

The merits of Kindle v paper was discussed with the group’s conclusion that paper would prevail against media products.


Caroline Whittle – is a fairly new member and not present; she wanted to tell us about a show of her wonderful illustrations this weekend July 20/21 at the Vestas Building, Atrium, Stag Lane, Cowes.  Try and get along to see them – show opens 10am to 4pm both days.

Maggie Currie – again not present, reports she is writing her third book, this time on divorce.  Good luck with the book, Maggie.

Irene – has started her second book – the plot is taken from an incident in her own life.  Interesting one!

Dave – said he entered the Isle of Arts and Wight Fair Writers spring Dr Who contest, unfortunately, he was not placed.  He is busy rehashing a story he wrote some time ago.  It is his version of Three Little Pigs from the viewpoint of the wolf.  He has found a site by Lynn Viehl to help with story layouts; we don’t have full address just Google it if interested in finding out how to do it.

Maggie – our star of the month was interviewed by Ian Mac from Vectis Radio (thanks to Maggie Currie for arranging it) about her writing.  One of her stories has been included in a compilation of short stories.  It is called Came as me, Left as We and was out on Friday 12th, and contains 21 feel good short stories now available on Amazon for Kindle or in book form at £6.99.  You can also download the whole book from for just £1.99.  Maggie is also having her eighth story published by Alfie Dog on 24th July – no ends to her talents.  Well done Maggie.

Anouska – is re editing the Vicar’s Daughter (first series) and is editing the second series, which is in draft form.  She is also working on Dimensions – a very busy time ahead.  In addition to her writing talents, Anouska is an accomplished artist and the group was thrilled to see her art folder called 365 Days of Art.  Anouska recently held an art exhibition of her pencil drawings of animals, but had no internet to tell us about it.  We are looking into having our next meeting at her house so we can see these wonderful pictures ourselves.  Maggie will confirm this nearer the time.

Val – is shortly going into hospital for a minor op, so we all wish her well and a speedy recovery.

Trudy – not at the meeting; is not writing much, so looking at old short stories and novel to see how they can be improved.  She has also offered to take on Abbott’s Bay, if no one else is interested.

Annual Winter Competition – name to be decided.  There will not be an in-house competition for members this year.   It was felt if we wished to enter, we could join in the main competition.  Forms will be available at Waterstones and from WFW as soon as the competition is announced in September.

REMINDER – for all the new members, if you have not yet forwarded your photo and a couple of lines about yourselves, please can you do a.s.a.p. to chairman Maggie?  The details will then be added to our website by Jamie.

NEXT MEETING will be on Friday 16th August – venue to be decided nearer the date.

Written from notes by Val and Maggie J – with thanks.

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Trudy’s Talkback June 2013


trudy draperWight Fair Writers might not be the biggest group in the world but its members don’t hang back when it comes to talent and enthusiasm.

The June meeting illustrated this point when members explained what they had been up to since the group last met.  And the group is always evolving with four new members joining in the fun this month.

Chairman, Maggie and Carol, one half of the successful crime novelist duo who write the D.I. Dylan crime series (the other half is ex police chief Bob) will be meeting Gilly Jenner next week to talk about the group’s involvement with Island Arts and the winter writing competition.  Organisation for this event starts months in advance and dates, venue, benefitting charities and how our group will be involved all has to be decided.  Many thanks should go to all who put in the time to organise this popular event.


Hugh Harrison, new member, has been writing for some time and two of his latest projects are a radio play and a novel about the Mau Mau uprising.  Hugh is not only writing from a factual basis but also an emotional one as his parents were there at the time of the killings.

Caroline Whittle, the second new member, is a well know commercial artist well known for her illustrations.  Caroline admitted to a 10 year passion for writing children’s story books with guinea pigs taking on the human form in the fairy tales – an interesting combination.

We talked about ideas on how members should approach agents and publishers and possible ways to promote our creative work; this was very informative and gave all many good ideas.  Carol reminded us of her invitation open to all of us that she could print short stories in the Bridgestock website and also the Q and A’s section gave a unique window for people to reach a wider audience – the site has a 40,000 following.  Check out for all the details of friends’ interviews, the blog tag and WFWC stories that have been printed.  I recommend everyone take advantage of this very generous offer; it can only do your writing career good.

Jacqueline Gazzard, the third new member, of Jacques, is a well travelled commercial branding advisor for charities is busy working one two books – a romance and a children’s story.  One is based on a girl working in the press office at Hampton Court and another is a story about the Tower of London.  Her knowledge of the area  is impressive as she works there

Michelle Angel, our fourth new member, was the winner of the summer competition and on Monday will appear on the Tom Stroud show with Carol and other winners of the contest.  Michelle is busy researching an historical novel set in the Regency period, which she is thoroughly enjoying.

Trudy, not a new member but one of the original people who started the group after our college course, Skyped from Sussex (not Kent Bob!) and updated the group about Abbott’s Bay our group novel set on the island and up to chapter 23 and nearly 30,000 words.  Trudy, Chris and Louise were asked to form a sub committee to complete the novel.  Trudy decided to back out of the committee as the 70 mile distance between members of the group was too far as round the table chats were needed to push the project forward.  So over to you two and good luck!  Trudy is to revamp a novel written some years ago and try and find a publisher.  It is a tale of a family, who are hit by tragedy and fight to change of the law of the land to help get through their grief.

Anne, is busy working on short stories she might send to Alfie Dog site or women’s magazine.  Anne and Maggie reported on a course they attended run by Jamie The Computer Geek who supports us on our club website.  The informative course covered internet security on Facebook and other systems and social networking sites.  Carol told our new recruits the background of how the group was formed; how it raised money for charity through competitions and how it encouraged children to write; also the origin of the website and the recent joining up with Island Arts.

Anouska, is busy with her job as a magician/children’s entertainer; also proof reading her story Dimensions and revisiting a story she wrote in her twenties.  And well done to Anouska who has won first prize in a local art competition and her entry is being displayed in Ventnor at the Rembrandts Gallery between June 24 and 29.  Excellent news!

Carol and Bob are going from strength to strength with their third book in the D.I. Dylan detective series, White Lilies, number three in the Amazon paperback charts for British detectives and number four in the Kindle version.  This is such an achievement and means sales are really doing well and continue to do so.  And they are not sitting on their laurels as their fourth book in the series, Snow Kills, will be published later this year – the cover is being designed and the final proof readings are taking place.  They are rewriting their fifth book Reprobates and at present writing books six and seven.  And in their spare time – do they have any?  – Carol and Bob are working with Sally Wainwright on a new BBC police series as storyline and police procedure advisors; also working with Red Productions as advisors on a long running ITV series about detectives so watch out for RC Bridgestock in the credits.  How do they fit it all in; they can’t be on the island very often as some meetings are in Manchester.  Glad you are retired Bob; you must be busier that when you were solving real murders.    Carol added to her comments on her website to tell us about Top Tips for Writers and how to develop characters.  So do click on the site to find lots of ideas to help your writing.

Maggie has had a six week nightmare with her internet providers and been offline just because she wanted to change companies.  Maggie now has seven short stories published on Alfie Dog – a great achievement – and she explained development and improvements to the short story site happening soon.  In addition, industrious Maggie has submitted a short story to People’s Friend and Woman’s Weekly and slogging ahead with her rewrite of her novel and we all know how hard that is.

Other matters of interest and worth a look – Crooked Cat website, Relaxed Writers facebook page and the Mslexia site who are running a story competition.

Please note, Bob was at the meeting – it was at his house after all – beavering away in the background, he made the drinks, served  food, took some brief minutes and typed up the first version of the minutes (Carol typed the second).  Our sympathy to Irene who couldn’t attend the meeting as a couple of hours earlier had had to have her cat put to sleep and we all know how sad it is to lose a family pet.  Our thoughts are will you, Irene.

NEXT MEETING is 12th July at Godshill – please let chairman Maggie know if you cannot attend and everyone keep writing.


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Trudy’s Talkback May 2013


trudy draperGremlins, or life or whatever you want to call it hit so many members in recent days that only four attended the May meeting of the Wight Fair Writers club.  Illness, book signing tour and no internet connection for me to Skype into the meeting are just a few of the problems members had to contend with this month.  It was a shame that two new members, Ann Porter and Michelle Angell, turned up for their first meeting and the only member chairman Maggie Jones could introduce them to was Anouska with ten members sending apologies.  I hope we have better luck for our June meeting.

The new members were welcomed and the business part of the meeting was kept very short due to the lack of members present.  Maggie will send out the results of the recent question and answers on the future of the club round to members via email.  She will have to wait until her internet is reinstated before she can send any emails and has lost her connection after changing providers.  Maggie explained about the book being written by members of the group; after 18 months of writing a splinter group of three had taken over the project.  No members of the Abbott’s Bay novel  group could attend the meeting to give a progress report; Maggie just reported that the 26,000 words already written were being edited and the story would then be completed.

MEMBERS’ NEWS: Ann Porter writes in many genres; at present has been concentrating on writing children’s alphabet stories.  Half way through her stories she asks: ‘you’ll never guess what happened next?’ and Maggie suggested she could add to each story and Anouska said it looked like the beginning of a series of books, which could be called: You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next books.  Ann is looking for someone to do drawings for each of the stories and might call on artist Anouska to help her.

Michelle Angell: has written since she was very young and was the winner of the recent Dr Who competition, run by WFW in conjunction with The Isle of Arts.    Currently Michelle is concentrating on her historical writing.

Anouska:  in June is having an exhibition of her drawings and showed some to a very impressed meeting.  Some were animal pictures and Anouska is also editing Dimensions and writing a story on how she became a Christian.  Busy Anouska is also looking at a story she wrote when very young called The Vicar’s Daughter – proof that you should never throw anything away as you never know when it will come in useful.

Maggie J: In April she had two more stories published with Alfie Dog taking her total to seven stories published – well done.  Maggie is also busy re-writing a short story, trying to cut the wordage down, so it can be sent to a magazine.  One story has been rejected by People’s Friend but undaunted Maggie has sent another story to Woman’s Weekly, so fingers crossed for success.

Maggie reported that another new member is expect at the next meeting in June – this time a man to up the numbers of males in our group to four.

An agenda will be sent out a few days before our June meeting, do try to be there whatever life throws at you.

This column has been written with the help of notes taken by Maggie Jones.  Many thanks.

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Trudy’s Talkback April 2013


trudy draperMembers of the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle we need you!  Feedback is needed to make sure the group is on the right course for a great future.

The Wight Fair Writers’ Circle was formed after students attended a creative writing course in 2008 at the Isle of Wight College.  The group wanted to keep in touch after the six week course ended and so the circle was born.  Now five years later chairman of the group, Maggie Jones, wants members to look at the circle’s aims and ambitions.  Maggie hopes the monthly meetings inspire members to write and so will be sending out a list of questions for members so the future of the group can be planned.  On the list are questions about when and how often to meet, if speakers are wanted and what members hope to get out of their membership.   SO OVER TO YOU MEMBERS, EMAIL MAGGIE WITH YOUR THOUGHTS AND ALL WILL BE DISCUSSED AT MAY’S MEETING.

Also can each member email Maggie their birthday (not the year!) so cards can be sent out to each person when it’s their special day.

MINUTES: we are planning to share the writing of the minutes.  A different member will be asked to take on this very simple task at each meeting to spread the load and keep people involved with the running of the club.  Short notes are needed so I can write the Talkback to put on our website.  It should only take a few minutes.  Let Maggie know what you think of this idea.

ABBOTT’S BAY  we started writing this novel over 18 months ago and to keep the momentum going, a splinter group has been formed to look at the whole project and hopefully finish the book for the rest of the group to read and with a bit of luck, admire.  The group of volunteers are Louise, Chris and Trudy.

MEMBERS’ NEWS:  TRUDY: has been writing a script with a political theme, but it’s not going too well so has been put in the back of the cupboard for now!  Also re writing a family saga novel and thinking about how to get it noticed by a publisher.

ANNOUSKA:  is working on a novel in a comedy format of the story of a village and the four people who live there, and one who has a secret.  She is enjoying working on developing the main characters.  As well as writing, Annouska is busy working on an art exhibition of her pencil drawings.  She mainly draws animals and buildings.

MAGGIE: did a very brave thing; she asked Carol to put the first chapter of her new novel on her blog.  Carol has 40,000 followers to it was exposed to many readers.  The book is called The London Boys and is a dark family saga.  Maggie asked for feedback and is thrilled that several people did come back to her with comments, which she has taken onboard and one result is to rename the book The Lynch Mob.  Well done Maggie for asking for help and advice in such a public way.  Also Maggie reported on her success with several short stories on Alfiedog website and she has just finished another story, which she is planning to send off to a magazine.

A REMINDER Carol has invited group members to send in their short stories for her blog; it is massive exposure so do join in and email a story to Carol.

ANOTHER REMINDER: our friendly Isle of Wight Computer Geek, Jamie is running a day course on May 8 on how to use Social Networks, at just £30.  So get in touch with him if you are interested in attending.  Spaces are limited.

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING: Friday May 3rd, please come along, we have a lot to discuss.

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Trudy’s Talkback February 2013


trudy draper

OUR FIRST MEETING of 2013 on February 8th proved to be a busy one. Six members attended and all wore their best bib and tucker as photographs were being taken.  We have a members’ section on our website and our chairman wants each person in the group to write a sentence about themselves and the pictures were needed to add to the rogue’s gallery.  Our group is very lucky to have The Isle of Wight Computer Geek manage and design our website and he had arranged photographers Clint and Kelly to come to our meeting.  Of course there are always prima donnas in the room and this time it was Maggie our chairman who was looking for supermodel photograph to head our members’ page.  After the second or (was it the 100th attempt Maggie!) everyone was pleased and our grateful thanks to the patient and generous photographers.

ABBOTT’S BAY The group is writing a novel – each member writes a chapter and we talked over the results so far – 25,000 words in the last 18 months.  We decided we needed a structure to work to so the loose ends already created can be tied up.  Maggie volunteered to read the chapters so far, pinpoint the story lines in need of finishing off and any mistakes in continuity.  Her findings will be sent round the group for comment.  We all look forward to hearing her thoughts and hope it will inspire all of us to join in with this unusual and exciting project.  It certainly gets you writing and to a deadline, which many of us need.

CAROL’S BLOG:  Maggie reported that Carol, who could not be at the meeting – her ankle is all strapped up after a fall down the stairs (get well soon Carol), has started a new section on her blog.  She would like members to send her short stories and poems for her to publish each month.  So hopefully everyone will join in and get writing to be a published author.  As Carol has 40,000 followers, it is quite an audience for our work!


Trudy – Carol is to publish a story by Trudy entitled Adoption in her new section on her blog.  Maggie’s review of this story – ‘please go onto the site and have a read as the story is wonderful and very heart warming.’  Trudy is also campaigning to stop part of her local hospital in East Grinstead from being demolished to make way for housing.  This means research and factual writing rather than fiction, but it is a good discipline.

Dave – has taken a pen name and is writing a blog; the link is  He is writing urban fantasy as well as taking an OU course.

Anouska – is assessing all her old work to get herself refocused to get back to writing again.  She is also proof reading her work.

Maggie – has had three books accepted by Alfie Dog, an e-book publisher.  Her stories can be found on with each costing just 39p each.  Two stories have already been published – Bessie’s Rescue and The Knicker Thief – and the third The Right Result comes out on 27th February at 12 noon.  Maggie says she is the proof that if she can get published, then anyone can!  Don’t sell yourself short, Maggie, you have worked so hard to get this success.

Chris – recently collated his stories and printed them out to give to his family as a wonderful Christmas present.  Now his is hoping to send them off to a publisher.  Good luck with that, Chris.

Anne – has started a short story but since Christmas has been too busy to finish it.

Louise – had to leave early, so unfortunately was not able to share with the group what she has been up to.  We look forward to hearing what you have been doing at the next meeting.

Details of next month’s meeting to be announced.

Talkback has been written from notes written in long hand by Chris and deciphered by Maggie!

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Trudy’s Talkback December 2012


trudy draperFair Writers Writing Circle had its Christmas meeting in Brighstone on 14th December.  And as someone who could not be there, I had fun reading between the lines trying to work out what really happened at the meeting.  It looks as though Christmas cheer was abundant and there was much present giving, drinking, eating and merry making with business kept to a minimum as it should be.  Linda very kindly opened up her lovely home, complete with 22 Christmas trees (I wish I had seen this spectacle) and the highlights of the meeting were the mince pies (Bob particularly liked the brandy filled ones, surprise, surprise), chocolates, and lots of alcohol – Chris, who luckily was not driving that night, consumed a whole bottle of mulled wine before tottering off home.  (There was no news make public if the women of the group disgraced themselves, so I presume they were teetotal and ate sparingly, with no raucous behaviour, unless someone tells me differently!)

Eight group members managed to find the new venue and everyone welcomed a new member Maggie Currie, who now thinks that all meetings of the FWWC are alcohol fuelled events.  Another new member will join us in January; Carola Cooper comes from a writing family and publishes her work in e-books.  She has said she will happily critique people’s work and is already looking at Maggie’s writing.  I’m sure she will be another great addition to our already fantastic group.

Members’ news:

CHRIS: is going to write chapter 14 of the group’s book Abbots Bay over Christmas and Trudy will write chapter 15 in January/February.  Chris entered the in house competition and got his inspiration from Heather McCallum and her radio show.

MAGGIE C: has three children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.  Maggie and her husband retired to the island and she started attending self-help courses and now Maggie has written several books on the subject.

ANNE:  was so busy travelling to Oxford and London that she missed the deadline for the in house competition, but vows to enter the next one.  Anne is interested in writing short stories, which she feels many people are interested in nowadays.  She buys Writing Magazine and Writers Forum to find out about more competitions.

LOUISE: has been travelling and written a travel log, which she hopes to write up at some point.

CAROL AND BOB: there is no stopping these two; their third book is coming out on March 25th and book four is due out at the end of next year.  The TV series they are advising on is also out next year.  Carol is organising popular TV writer Sally Wainwright to meet the writing group next time she is in town.

LINDA: life has been full of fostering and entertaining and Linda is considering writing a book on the ups and downs she and her husband have faced during their eight years as foster carers and four years as adoptive parents.  Carol and Bob suggested the idea of the book and Bob came up with the title When Tears turn to Smiles – says it all.

MAGGIE: our chairperson has been busy writing and re-writing a short story and also entered the in house competition.

IN HOUSE COMPETITION: the results were first place to Chris, second place to Bob and third place to Maggie.  Well done to all.

Thanks to Linda Edge for her notes of the meeting.


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Trudy’s Talkback November 2012


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The Wight fair Writers Writing circle had a busy meeting in November with the highlight being news that another member of our group has published a book.

Huge congratulations go to Irene who has had 1500 copies of her book, ‘One Wren’s War,’ about Margaret the wren published. She has a book signing at the County Press Shop, Newport on Saturday (Nov 24). Irene’s publicity plan includes a review by the Wrens, and books on sale at The Christmas Market in Newport at the IOW tank museum, the Roman Villa, Brading and a museum in Portsmouth. Irene has shown that it has taken just six months to complete and publish a book – an incredible achievement.

Members’ news:

Trudy has written a story for our in-house Christmas story competition and is writing a political comedy.

Linda has also written a story plus a poem for the contest – a first try at fiction and her family of husband and two sons have also entered the main contest.

Anouska is suffering from writers’ block complaining her imagination has crashed temporarily.

Maggie has been busy as usual writing a poem for the musical competition and a short story for our contest. She is busy trying to get a literary agent for her novel and had a pleasant rejection letter not the usual standard one. Don’t give up the search yet, Maggie.

Anne said that once she writes she never stops and is hoping to enter two competitions in two magazines.

David said he has lost heart trying to find a publisher or agent for his poems. He has a collection of 36 poems plus illustrations drawn by a friend and is thinking about an e-book or self publishing.

Carol reported that lots of prizes have been donated for our Christmas competition (Irene gave £10 for a prize in the children’s competition and Maggie has got two presents for the children’s competition too).

Carol and Bob will be on IOW radio on Heather McCallum’s show on December 13 to talk about our presentation evening. As usual the evening will be full of stalls to raise money for charities. Our busy duo have written series 3 for the crime drama details of which are secret so far. Their books have gone to 360 degree films, a London literary agent wants film and TV rights and their first book, Deadly Focus is now going out to Korea and talks are ongoing for it to go to Denmark as well. They go from strength to strength, well done!

Chris was involved in an event at the college called The Future aimed at 14 to 24 year olds.

Hazel, who has not written before, outlined a synopsis of a story idea which centres around a porter in a hospital.

Doreen, who was a guest of David & Hazel’s for the evening came along to see how the group runs, and has never written before, but is going to write an article for the County Press about a club she runs.

So as usual the writing life of all our members is full of different activities. We are a very versatile lot.

The next meeting will be on Friday December 14th at chairman, Maggie’s house in Godshill, when we will join in a secret Santa. Subs are a bargain 50p a meeting to be paid at the beginning of the New Year. At the January meeting will everyone bring £6 subs please and give to Chris. Many thanks.

Talkback is compiled from notes written by Linda and Maggie.


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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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