Friday, January 21

Writing Group

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Writing Group meets on the third Tuesday of every month, except July and August, at 3.00pm. Usually, meetings are held in a local café, but occasionally we get together at a member’s home.

We are a friendly collection of members who enjoy writing, whatever form that may take. It isn‘t a group designed to teach creative writing skills – we wouldn’t presume to do that – nor are we editors or proof-readers. We are mostly enthusiastic amateurs, although we do have an ex-English teacher to advise on the technicalities of English grammar and punctuation, and a just-published author to point out all the pitfalls! We try to encourage each other to write, to try different types of writing and to share the ups and downs of trying to write anything! It doesn’t matter whether you’ve done any writing before or not.

Each month we set ourselves a writing task of some kind. Then, at the following meeting, we share what we have managed to produce. We discuss each member’s piece of writing in turn, making sure that comments are always helpful and positive. Members comment on how they set about writing their piece, what they found difficult, what flowed well, any techniques or sources that they found helpful. We also look at the background to the piece of work, its themes, its characters, the setting, the atmosphere created by the author.

Our own personal writing can sometimes be mentioned in our discussions, if relevant, but we do not read out chunks of our latest novel every month! That said, we do try to be as encouraging as possible – recently supporting one of our members who has just published his first novel.

Sometimes we set tasks which focus on particular aspects of writing e.g. for example, developing a character, or setting the scene. Or, we use particular stimuli, objects, photos, paintings or sculptures, buildings, music, the natural world to inspire our work. We want to make our activities and our meetings interesting, informative and enjoyable.

Some of our members are in the UK, but they still contribute work to be shared and join us where possible, via one of the video-conferencing platforms.

As time goes on, we are accumulating quite a collection of short stories, poems and articles. Maybe one day we may publish an anthology, perhaps in aid of charity, to showcase our efforts. We also plan to organize field trips, and a creative writing workshop.

If you have any questions or queries about Writing Group, or would like to join, please contact Pam Phakey, Groups Coordinator, groupscoordinator@u3acalpe.org, in the first instance.

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