Saturday, 13 October 2018

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Bill Daly's "Never Proven"

Bill Daly’s  New Scottish Crime Book Launch of “Never Proven” will take place at
7:30PM on 7 November at Waterstones Book Store, Byres Road, Glasgow.

It will include an Author Talk and signing.

Free glass of wine - everyone welcome!

For Sunday Post readers, there will also be a feature on the Author in the October 21 edition.

Magi Gibson Poetry workshop 9th October 2019

Magi Gibson.Poetry workshop.

Magi gave us a run down of how she got started in her career as a poet.

She had just returned from Inverness book event. Explaining how she had not brought any books for sale as she was waiting for a reprint of… ‘Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks.’ Our members were disappointed, not to have purchased it at the workshop.
However the book will be back in Waterstone's in Byres Road soon.
Our group was given a “Hand” to kick-start our poetry workshop.

Maggi asked for each person’s, favourite colour, animal, sound and favourite weather. Then finishing with your name and then… I am.

Poems were born, before our eyes. Surprizing the writer and the listener.

Magi explained how skills are transferable and therefore they can be used in any form of writing you enjoy.

She suggested we look of natural patterns in our work and expand truth with experience. With rhythm and flow. With occasional metaphors added. All these effects can be extremely useful to bring the emotion out in your poem. Like in other forms of writing show don’t tell. The poem had to be real at that moment for the reader or the listener.

Magi hoped she had encouraged the already active poets in our group as well as the flowering owns, who were yet to blossom.

She was looking forward to reading our poetry competition entries.
“Betty Munnoch Award” poetry competition. Theme… Smell

Deadline 30th November 2018

                Posted by Hilary Stevenson.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Open Manuscripts. 2nd October.

Open Manuscripts.    2nd October.

Today is the closing date for entries for the 750 word competition for the five to seven years old children’s fiction.

Ten members submitted manuscripts which will be judged by author Paul Bristow and the results available and readings made at the Annual Dinner on 23rd October.

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The rest of the meeting was dedicated to readings by those present, of any stories, articles or poems. Members were able to give advice, comments or ask questions.

There were two poems.  One spoke of re-occurring poignant memories of lost companions; the other recalled of an uninhibited Scottish uncle succumbing to the lure of nude bathing in Biarritz.

Two exerts from embryo books were read and discussed. One was a history of building the Blawarthill Parish Church in Glasgow. The people and effort involved in its physical creation and the characters and events which maintained it as a hub for local events.

The other book was about the interrelationships of fictional characters of extreme viewpoints. A successful Bookie (turf accountant) and his female companion interact with a straight-laced god-fearing community.

One documentary covered travel in the Northern Territories of Australia, emphasising the spectacular wildlife, inhabitants and scenery.  Another told us of the wide spread of activities and competitions of a local Life Boys group, its work with guide dogs and its association with the Boys Brigade youth organisation.

There was an anecdote from a River Cruise with the organisers falling over themselves to celebrate the non-birthdays of two passengers with chaotic results.

A two part mythical story told of the problems caused by a family tradition of Grandfathers giving Christmas presents of chocolates to their grandsons wrapped in the pockets of old overalls.

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Next week, a Poetry Workshop given by Magi Gibson.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Home publishing --- Pete Marrison -

                                  25 September 2018.                               Pete Marrison

Pete explained what he meant by ‘Home publishing’ (ie home printing, binding and distribution; as opposed to self publishing where you pay for someone else to do that work.)

Where very short runs are required with occasional extra copies required. Eg for xmas presents, memoirs.
Able to achieve quick turnaround.
Editorial control is yours.
Last minute changes possible.
Cheaper unit cost.
Job satisfaction.

Perhaps initial outlay for binding machines.
Requires some degree of skill and effort.

Pete described and distributed examples of various options available; starting with simple printing and folding, for example the Erskine Syllabus.

Staples can be used for small quantities of sheets and he explained how the scope a simple stapling machine can be extended by using a piece of scrap polystyrene or using a bradawl.

Slide-on plastic splines can be used without any specialist equipment. They are neat but are easier to apply if robust front and rear covers are used.

Plastic Combs will securely accommodate large volumes, but require each sheet to be punched and necessitate the purchase of Punch/Binder. (starting at approx £40). Plastic Combs allow a book to be fully opened without straining the spline.

Thermal Binders produce a neat end product with much less skill and effort than required with plastic comb binders. The electrically powered heater/binders also start at about £40.

Spring Back binders offer an extremely simple and attractive solution and require no specialist equipment. They may have a high unit cost. eg £15 for A4 size.

In all cases, the content needs to be checked, edited and proof read even more than if it were to be sent to a professional publisher.

The finish on the external cover is essential if you want your material to be read or even looked at.

Think about colour, glossy, illustrations, style and thickness for the covers.

Don’t let yourself down by presenting your masterpieces to the recipients in second hand jiffy bags. Pre-order suitable envelopes.

The talk prompted discussion of the comparative merits of home or self publishing, particularly in relation to family history; which several members were interested in.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Paul Bristow. Children’s Fiction. 18 Sep 2018.

18 Sep 2018    Paul Bristow.  Children’s Fiction.

Paul spoke of his Inverclyde background and displayed illustrated examples of how he had used his local area’s folk tales, myths and legends as inspiration for many of his early stories.

We carried out a ‘mash-up’ exercise; used for when stuck for ideas: we used combinations of disparate subjects to create a character eg a “ninja blacksmith”   or  “caterpillar superhero”.

Each of us then worked on a possible outline of story involving that character. We gave the character a problem or purpose and eventual solution or outcome.

Another example of ‘idea generator’ was to make a list of films titles and randomly pick two to create a new twist. “Tom and Gerry” meets “Titanic”?

Maybe use your own local area which you know well as the setting, but perhaps give it a twist. Perhaps in the future or past: maybe in extreme weather conditions.

Paul explained that whilst children’s books are frequently illustrated, publishers are not looking for the author to provide illustrations or even suggestions of pictures. They have their own set of artists.

Helpful sources for Children’s authors include:-

SCBWI Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 
Carousel: The Guide to Children's Books 
Children’s Writers and Artists Yearbooks.
Many thanks to Paul for his ideas and suggestions; they should be of considerable help to members in creating their 750 word stories for the Albert Hammond competition in two weeks time.  ( Children’s Fiction 5 – 7 year olds – Deadline 2nd October)

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Sept 11th 2018 - Achilles Heel

Hilary welcomed fourteen existing members and one new member attended the first meeting of the season.

The subject for this week was “Achilles Heel” which produced stories and poetry relating to the actual, idiomatic and mythological origins of the weakness.

Diana’s Peanut Butter told of a chaotic joiner, a guitarist and an old aunt whose accident with broken glass mixed with peanut butter exposed the narrator to her fatal allergy.

Pete’s tale also involved an accident with broken glass where an exhausted actor attempted to remedy his problems of depression by swatting a fly which precipitated both the fly and the actor’s demise

Joan Fr. Produced a powerful poem, inspired by Homer’s stories of the warring Greek Gods and described Achilles fatal flaw.

Cathie gave us a family tale of an actual wounded Achilles Heel tendon and the embarrassing consequences brought about by using her foot as a substitute fork lift truck and bulldozer during furniture removal.

Morag read a poem with plot we all recognised. The perfectly planned and executed diet undermined by the powerful lure of a mars bar.

Kate. The true story of multi murderer Peter Manuel whose weakness in needing to show off about his crimes, led to his conviction and hanging in Glasgow in 1958

Elizabeth’s produced family story about the worry of a baby born with a foot defect. Fortunately, it was eventually completely rectified.

Hilary’s rich young girl with a pampered lifestyle came to an abrupt end when the family’s wealth came to an abrupt halt.

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Bob read from one of his Serina fantasy books of a blind girl’s unusual and controversial method ascertaining the sex of the unborn child of one of her relations.

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Next week’s workshop is Children’s Fiction 5-7 yrs presented by Paul Bristow.