Thursday, 20 November 2008

Book Launch - 29 November 2008

Dave Lee will be launching his new book, Bright From The Well - Northern Tales in the Modern World at:

Rare and Racy,
164/166 Devonshire Street
Sheffield S3 7SG

2 p.m. on Saturday 29th November 2008.

There will be readings from Dave's book plus a performance of Waterfall Galdor by singing group Wasume.

All welcome.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

New Anthology - Call for Submissions

From the PS Publishing news blog:

Allen Ashley is in the process of putting together a new anthology for PS Publishing. Entitled Catastrophia, it will be "a collection of stories loosely themed around the theme of catastrophes, disasters and post-apocalyptic fiction."

More information here.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Next Meetings

Here's the dates for the remaining meetings this year:

  • 18 August 2008
  • 15 September 2008 <-- NB: this is the actual, real date
  • 2 October 2008
  • 3 November 2008
  • 17 November 2008
  • 15 December 2008

Usual venue: upstairs room, The Old Queen's Head, Pond Hill.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

A useful round up of writing links

They're right here, courtesy of Paul Raven's Velco City Tourist Board. Some excellent and very useful stuff there. Give them a read.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

New Writing Prize - £50,000!

The University of Warwick has just launched the Warwick Prize for Writing, with a purse of £50,000. A panel of five judges, headed by China MiĆ©ville and including mathematician Ian Stewart and literary blogger Stephen Mitchelmore, will announce a list of 15 to 20 titles in October. A short-list of six titles will follow January 2009, and the winner will be announced the month after.

While the award describes itself as focused on innovative writing on a theme - this year's in Complexity - it's interesting to see it embrace genre fiction. Not all such prizes do... unless of course the writer doesn't identify as a genre writer. Like Jeanette Winterson, or Margaret Atwood, or PD James... Of course, it remains to be seen if MiƩville's leadership, and Stewart's presence, will result in a list which includes science fiction or fantasy works. I expect we'll see something not unlike this year's Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Something Worth Reading...

There's an interesting article on making writing groups work here on The Fix review site. It's all very much common sense, of course - or at the very least common courtesy. But it's worth reminding ourselves sometimes what it is we ought to be doing, both in our writing and in our commenting on others' writing.

Monday, 7 July 2008

July Meeting

Bit late posting this. Sorry.

This month's meeting - Monday 7th July. Old Queen's Head, upstairs, 7:30 pm.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Second June Meeting

Monday 16 June. Old Queen's Head, upstairs room, 7:30 pm onwards.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Next Meeting

The next meeting is Monday May 19th at the usual place and time: Old Queen's Head, seven o'clock onwards. Let's hope more turn up than to the last meeting.

A Useful Article on Writing

This piece here in the Austin Chronicle makes some good points about creative writing. But like the writer himself says, it should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, I think he's unnecessarily harsh on workshops:

Be careful of "workshop" classes in which you present your writing for the criticism of classmates and the teacher. Your classmates don't know any more than you; their comments will be mere opinions, backed by scant knowledge and experience – but they have the power to hurt you. You want your writing to be approved, of course; when it's not approved, that's painful. But if you shape your writing to the opinions of the inexperienced and unknowledgeable, you'll set yourself back years.

The above is probably far more true of online writing workshops than it is face-to-face groups. The size of online workshops, the drive-by critique nature of many of them, and the lack of clues in online dialogue make it difficult to assess the knowledge and experience of commenters. That's not so true of groups that meet in person.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Meeting Calendar

The room (upstairs, Old Queen's Head) has been booked for the following nights:

Monday March 17
Monday May 5
Monday May 19
Monday June 2
Monday June 16
Monday July 7
Monday August 4

If it looks a bit random, that's because they were the only free nights we could get.

Friday, 15 February 2008

BSFA 50th Anniversary Short Story Competition

For writers from the UK & Ireland.


To celebrate 50 years of the BSFA's promotion of British science fiction, we are please to announce our 50th Anniversary Short Story Competition.

The competition is open to any writer resident in the UK or Ireland. The maximum length of stories is 8000 words. The stories must be science fiction, but we're willing to take a broad definition of what that means. All entries must be accompanied by a £10 entry fee.

The winner will receive a cash prize of £500, the short listed runners up will receive £50, and the winning and short listed entries will be published in a special issue of FOCUS the BSFA's magazine for writers. The closing date for entries is midnight on Friday 5th September 2008 - the winner will be announced at Novacon 38, 14th - 16th November 2008.

Judges include Stephen Baxter & Alistair Reynolds.

Monday, 11 February 2008

February Meeting

As before - upstairs room, Old Queen's Head, Pond Hill. Seven o'clock onwards. The date is Monday 18 February.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008


Hello folks,

Browsing through the Chronicles forums, and found a discussion about Deep Genre, a blog run by several authors including Kate Elliott and Katherine Kerr. Handily, there are recent postings by David Louis Edelman concerning "How to write a novel".

Obviously what works for one person doesn't automatically work for anybody else, but its interesting to see Edelman's personal process broken down and analysed.

Interesting also to compare processes: I know I'm nowhere near as methodical as that, and that's possibly why The Project keeps stalling. It doesn't help that I've been invaded by another idea that could well be a go-er - this one does need careful outlining because of the characterisations and hidden plot twists, and while I know how to start and how to end, it's the lump in the middle that's the problem...again.

Anyway. Need sleep.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Convention Calendar

Here's a run-down of the chief UK 2008 sf and fantasy conventions which focus on the written genre. This list is by no means complete...

21-24 March - Orbital 2008 - Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow

26 April - alt.fiction - Assembly Rooms, Derby

19-21 September - Fantasycon - Britannia Hotel, Nottingham

11-12 October - NewCon 4 - The Fishmarket, Northampton

14-16 November - Novacon 38 - Quality Hotel, Bentley, nr Walsall