Monday 26th March we welcomed author Rhona Whiteford to our group. Rhona is an accomplished children's author and she fascinated us with her account of how she came to write so many books for children and to create her own small publishing company to market them. Rhona brought with her lots of her own artwork which she uses to illustrate her books and design the covers. In the second part of the meeting she gave us some exercises to use imagination to create characters that children will love and also to create effective settings. It was a fantastic night that we all enjoyed so many thanks to Rhona for sharing her experience and skills. Read more about Rhona and her books on Amazonhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Rhona-Whiteford/e/B00NJJFIL0
January 8th Read your own work
Happy New Year to writers everywhere. Skem Writers have already started off the 2018 with our first meeting for constructive comments on our work. We have a new programme for the next six months which you can see below. Wishing all our members lots of writing success and another good year for our group.
Our fourth anthology Endings will be launched at Skelmersdale Library on Monday 7th August at 5..00 pm. All welcome to come along have a glass of wine or cup of tea and hear us read from our latest collection. This one is themed on 'endings' which of course also imply new beginnings. 25p from each copy sold goes to the No Whitemoss Landfill campaign. Copies are also available on Amazon.
Next meeting is Monday 21st August, note this is a change from our usual routine to avoid the Bank Holiday Monday. This meeting will be a workshop on serendipity in your writing and will include Oulipo fun and games. Come prepared to play. Bring with you a short piece of writing, your own or something from a book, it can be prose or fiction and a dictionary if you have one. I will have some spares and you can also use your mobile phone instead.. Visitors welcome as usual.
July 10th Read Your Own Work
Hooray, publication of our new anthology Endings is now under way. The manuscript has come back from editing/proofreading, happily with not too many corrections so it looks like we're on track for a May publication date.
We've been very busy the last couple of months putting together a new anthology. Our first two anthologies are sold out and in fact we have now published 'Tales of a New Town' in a kindle edition so you can still get to read our fantastic work. We still have a few copies of 'Fruits of Life' but even these are down to single figures.
Happy New Year to writers everywhere. Skem writers kicked off the year with an informal read your own work night then followed up with our annual night out to our local Wetherspoons where we were able to catch up with socialising which we often do not have time for at meetings. Trevor stole the show coming along dressed as Breaking Bad's Heisenberg but we let him off with this as it was his birthday.
Well we at Skem Writers have had our usual Christmas meeting and Christmas house party with plenty of good cheer, fun and games. All that's left is to wish writers and readers everywhere a very merry Christmas and to hope everyone gets the books they really want to read in their Christmas stockings.
Skelmersdale Writers group is celebrating publication of two new books by members Joe Welsh and Carol Fenlon.
Skelmersdale Writers' 2nd writing retreat got off to a cracking start when we all met up at Welshpool on the way for lunch and a bit of retail therapy.
We were out and about at the Celebrating Skelmersdale
event at the E-Rooms on 5th August. Lots of people showed interest in
the group, we were canvassing for new members and also showcasing our
books. Our next public event will be at Skem library, news of this to
Happy New Year everyone. We had a New Year party instead of a Christmas one this time and it was a right good do. Anyway to get down to business,
Last month we were visited by Liverpool comedy actor Gary Skyner. Gary gave us a very thought provoking presentation on how he has overcome the problems of living with with being the second UK child to be born with disabilities due to the thalidomide drug prescribed to pregnant women in the 1960s. He showed us the fight thalidomide victims have had to and still have to put up to get just compensation and he also showed us his great humour and strength of spirit which have enabled him to become a well respected actor and comedian. Gary has worked with many national celebrities including Ricky Tomlinson and has appeared many times on national TV. It was a smile a minute evening with lots of laughs and seeing all the different jobs and skills that Gary has mastered certainly inspired me to get on with my writing.
Here are some of our members strutting their stuff
Elizabeth Brown reading 'Brick Babies'.
PROGRAMME July to December 2013
We're on the move again. After a trial period at ASDA we decided to return to Trinity Methodist Church Hall which is more suitable for our activities. Many thanks to ASDA for hosting us and providing us with free tea and coffee.
Last meeting of this year will be on Monday December 10th for Christmas hilarity and Readings from our own work. We're postponing the Christmas party till our Chair returns from (yet another) gallivanting trip in the New Year but some of us will be attending a local panto. If you'd like to join us please email me for more details.
November - We sent the month out with a bang with a super workshop from guest writer and tutor Jenny Newman. We submitted pieces in advance to Jenny and on the night the whole group was involved in discussing the pieces and giving feedback. It was not only a great opportunity to have your work evaluated by a professional writer and tutor but a great exercise for us all in how to give constructive feedback. We were also delighted to welcome David Evans, Jenny's partner who has also been a guest speaker for our group in the past, when he came to talk about his writing, particularly with respect to his fiction about South Africa and also about his work with Scotland Road writers.
July - Writers on the move. This month sees our group move to a new home. Asda has kindly offered us a meeting place at the Asda store on Ingram Way, Skelmersdale. Times of meeting remain the same, as above, 2nd and 4th Mondays at 7.45pm. Many thanks to Asda for their generosity and hospitality and also tremendous thanks to all at the Trinity Methodist Church on the High Street who have played host to us for the past year or so.
New programme - our new programme runs from July to December and it's a cracker. Lots of manuscript evenings as usual plus speakers, workshops and our super Christmas party. Details below.
Open mic night at Skelmersdale Library
Monday July 16th July we hosted this super event at Skelmersdale Library, with our group reading from our anthology 'Tales of A New Town' and also other work. We were joined by some fantastic readers and performance poets from Upholland Library and local townspeople. It was a great evening, much enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Yvonne and the library staff for making it happen.
Our May meeting saw us being entertained by romantic novelist June Francis as part of Merseyside's Writing on the Wall festival. June is the author of thirty books and came to share her expertise with us. We particularly enjoyed hearing about her life as a writer and her early struggles to get published - something many of us could identify with. We had an excellent night, the evening went by so quickly - and what a lovely lady. Thank you so much June, you inspired us all.
March 27th Three of Skelmersdale Writers who joined the North End Writers Titanic letter writing workshops had their letters selected to be used in the Sea Odyssey Giant Child Spectacular event to take place in Liverpool 20-22nd April. The photo shows them writing out their letters on special White Star Line headed notepaper at St George's Hall.
February 29th. We had a stall at the Concourse as part of a one day event to promote local community groups. We made lots of contacts with other groups and also with local people. All the programmes we had on the stall disappeared so we're hoping for a clutch of new members. Our first anthology After Nought sold out and we also sold some copies of our second anthology Tales of a New Town, which is still available, to order see details below.
February 27th, the group had a great evening with poet Will Daunt who took us through his written texts along with visual images to enhance the poems. Will gave us a short workshop on writing about place and we also had a lively discussion on the nature of poetry as Will showed how arrangement and form can change not only the appearance of the work but also the meaning and effects. A thought-provoking session that gave us lots of ideas for future writing.
Skem's long poem and also the winning poems and stories from the 50th anniversary competition are now on display in Skelmersdale Library,
Skelmersdale New Town's 50th birthday celebrations
Skelmersdale Writers' group attended the celebrations held at Skem library for the 50th anniversary of Skelmersdale's designation as a new town. We invited people who attended to help us write the longest poem ever produced (at least in Skem!)
Lots of people participated and we hope to have the whole poem on display in the library once we have tidied it up a bit! Copies of our anthology, 'Tales From A New Town' were also available and we still have a few for sale. See below for details or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some more photos from the day
Local historian George Orr chats about his Skem postcard collection
The kids get stuck in to building their own new town out of clay, some of the grown ups joined in the fun too.
and all the time the band played on. Skem Prize Band that is.
The chess club stand seemed to be really popular. Our Heather disappeared there for the whole afternoon!
Another contributor to our giant poem
Cath gets the ball rolling after a well-deserved cuppa.
and it just keeps on growing under the watchful eyes of Trev and Rita
and if it all goes up in flames, the Fire Service are here to rescue us.
and you can make your escape in a vintage Morris Minor, or even in a VW camper van - definitely so 1960s
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR MAKING IT SUCH A BRILLIANT DAY. DO WE HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER FIFTY YEARS TO DO IT AGAIN?
Carole Baldock visits the group 22nd August 2011
The group welcomed Carole Baldock, guest poet and editor of Orbis magazine and Kudos. We had an entertaining evening, learning about the trials of an editor's life and picking up tips on what not to do when submitting material. After a well earned cuppa Carole offered critiques of poems we had brought with us. It was an enjoyable session and members were encouraged to send work out rather than sitting on it at home.
Skem writers at Glenburn school's 40th anniversary celebrations
The group were honoured to be invited to judge an interschools' writing competition on the theme of Forty Years On. Prizes were awarded in seventeen categories, based on age and genre. The Skelmersdale Writer's special prize was awarded to Olivia Bott.
The group also manned a stall on the day, featuring memorabilia relating to the history of education in Skelmersdale and included a short written history by Carol Fenlon which was given away free on the day. The group is indebted to local historians George Orr and Harold Swift as well as to Marianne Howell at Skelmersdale Library, all of whom lent archive material for display.
It was a great opportunity to let the local community know about Skem Writers and what we do, also to sell our books but most of all it was good to be included in Glenburn's celebrations and to reflect on how the school has developed and touched the lives of most people in the town either as pupils or parents of pupils, or as adult education students. Here's to another great forty years.
Wildlife poetry workshop and reading with guest poet CAROL THISTLETHWAITE,
Monday 23rd May. The group welcomed Carol who engaged us with a series of exercises which stimulated us to write on the subject of wildlife in all its variety and guises. After a well earned coffee break we were treated (and I mean treated) to a reading from Carol's collection about birds, From The f Field Book published by Bewrite Books. Magical imagery and language held us enthralled together with computer illustrations of the birds. A fantastic evening enjoyed by all.
PULP IDOL (May) 2011
Six hopeful novelists entered the Skelmersdale heat of Pulp Idol, organised by Liverpoll's Writing on the Wall Festival and hosted by Skelmersdale Writers' Group. Each writer had three minutes to read from their work and impress judges Sarah Mclennan and Toby Forward. Winners Cath Cole and Seb Koehorst are pictured here with the judges. Cath and Seb will go forward to take part in the final, competing against other writers from across Merseyside on May 28th at the Leaf Cafe on Bold Street. All the finalists will have the first chapter of their novel included in a book to be published by Writing on the Wall and the winner will enjoy an introduction to an established publisher.
Tales From A New Town, our latest anthology is selling fast. Get your copy now before they're all gone. Order details below.
NEW PROGRAMME JULY TO DECEMBER 2011
PULP IDOL 2010
Tuesday 11th May at the Engine Rooms, Skelmersdale Writers hosted a heat of this year's Pulp Idol contest. Five aspiring novelists read from their first chapters to Judges Jim Friel and myself. Only one writer could go through to the final. It was a hard choice but we finally selected Mathew Eland. Mathew will compete in the final to be held on 16th May at the Contemporary Urban Centre in Liverpool. All the finalists will receive a book containing their first chapters which can be shown to agents. The overall winner wins a residential course at Ty Newydd creative writing centre.
Left to right, Jim Friel, myself and heat winner Mathew Eland.
Elizabeth Brown and I showing off our new anthology at Ormskirk Library's group networking event, Monday 26th April 2010
After Nought - Our first anthology - available now. 57 pages of excellent prose and poetry
BUY NOW - £3.OO + £1.OO P+P. Email for posting details email@example.com
******* ONLY SIX COPIES LEFT******** NOW'' S YOUR LAST CHANCE TO BUY THIS ORIGINAL COLLECTION ********* DEFINITELY A COLLECTABLE OF THE FUTURE.. (January 2010)
LAUNCH OF TALES FROM A NEW TOWN ANTHOLOGY AT SKELMERSDALE LIBRARY.
The group is grateful to Skelmersdale Library for hosting a reading of our new anthology on Thursday 15th April. Members of the group and members of the public attended the reading which was enjoyed by all. Joe Welsh acted as master of ceremonies and Lyn Fenton came along to talk about the work of Marie Curie Cancer Care and to thank the group for dedicating the anthology to the organisation (each copy sold makes a 25p contribution to Marie Curie.
Trevor Jenks struts his stuff!
Dr Ailsa Cox from Edge Hill University's Creative Writing Department gave a reading and workshop on the short story on Tuesday 16th March at 7.45pm. Dr Cox is an expert on the short story form and has done much to raise its profile in the UK, including the development of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize for a published collection which is now a well recognised national competition. Ailsa Cox is the author of the Routledge Writer's Guide, Writing Short Stories. Her short fiction has been published in many literary magazines and her short story collection The Real Louise and Other Stories has recently been published by Headland. After reading a selection of excerpts from her short stories and using these to illustrate her writing process, a lively question and answer session was followed by a short workshop on creating narrative voices, so that each of us took away a new character which could be developed with further writing. Yet another very enjoyable event in our series of speaker evenings.
JENN ASHWORTH ON APPROACHING AGENTS 2nd February 2010
Preston based writer Jenn Ashworth shared her knowledge of synopsis writing and how to approach an agent. This was a skilfully presented workshop. Jenn included a wealth of information for writers aspiring to the publication of a full length book or collection and provided an useful handout for future reference.. Feedback from the group was excellent and we look forward to seeing Jenn read her own work at Edge Hill's Rose Theatre on Wednesday 3rd March 7.30pm
for more information about the group and/or events, email firstname.lastname@example.org