At our last Manuscript Evening of the year, on 16th November, two brave souls provided extracts from their work to be critiqued by other members of the group. Bill Petsing read a section from his memoirs, entitled ‘Dad in the 1930s’, which painted a vivid portrait of family life in London between the wars. As a first-hand account, it provided a valuable record and a fascinating slice of social history. New member, Anne Hansen, then read her short story, ‘The Lost Weekend’, an experimental piece, based on a personal ad. It told the story of elderly love in a clear and charming voice. It had a beautiful flow and some intriguing sexual tension. In the second half, members divided into small groups to discuss various writing issues, including how to portray an angel and how to find imagery to convey emotion between two people.
On 4th December, we had our annual Presentation Evening. Sarah O’Halloran, talent scout from the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency gave a very entertaining talk and useful Q and A session on how to prepare work for a literary agent or publisher, clarifying the differences between a synopsis, a pitch and a blurb. She advocated approaching it like a job application by making sure it was complete and polished to give the work its best possible chance. She then gave brief feedback on all the entries in our annual 3000-word short story competition before announcing the winner of the coveted Catherine Cookson Cup. Marcia Woolf was first with her beautifully executed dark comedy, ‘All Saints’; Anne Hooker’s ‘Moving On’ was second; Elizabeth Allen was third with ‘Dereliction of Duty’, and Roz Balp’s ‘Ducking and Diving’ was fourth. Then, Vice-Chair, Kate O’Hearn presented the certificates to the winners of the five varied competitions of 2015 before handing the Writer of the Year Award to deserving winner, Sally-Ann Clark. The rest of the evening was spent eating, drinking and socialising. We look forward to embarking on another year of writing on 4th January 2016.
For more information about Hastings Writers’ Group, visit our website: http://hastingswriters.co.uk/ or email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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