Hastings Writers’ Group

AUTUMN was in the air when we met on Monday, September 30, for the results of our Hidden Gems competition.

This, new in our programme for 2013, is specifically for new writers, and people who for whatever reason, have not been placed in a HWG competition during the last two years.

As ever, a good variety of stories were entered. Our judge, former English literature lecturer Dr Elizabeth Allen, is a long-standing favourite with the group. She is very knowledgeable, very well-read, and has a real love of the English language.

After talking us through the entries, she announced the results. In fourth place was Alex Willis, with George, which he told us was the first chapter of his forthcoming novel. Third was Janet Kates, with her story, The Class, about murder and mayhem in a creative writing class. Second was Mike Rayner, with the introspective, beautifully written Happy Birthday.

The winner was Marcia Woolf, a relatively new member. Her story, Like Father, Like Son was picked out by our judge for its excellent use of language, combined with a tightly-structured plot about a death and a family funeral.

As well as the competition results, the group had its first sight of our new anthology, Animal Writes, which will be available for sale at the Books Born in Hastings event in the town hall on October 12. The book features a new Pegasus story by Kate O’Hearn. We also looked at, and enjoyed the new book smell of another new publication – The Alphabet King, by Kate Errington. Well done Kate!

The Hastings Writers’ Group meets fortnightly at the White Rock Hotel. Our current group anthology, Strandline, is available at the Hastings Waterstones, in Priory Meadow.

We currently have a very few vacancies for new members - if you are interested in joining the group, or in finding out more about our activities, please contact the membership secretary, Amanda Giles, on 01424 442707 or email membership.hwg@gmail.com. You can also visit our website at www.hastingswriters.co.uk, and find our page on Facebook.