Events Programme

Normally regular meetings take place on the second Thursday of the month, starting at 8.00pm. We usually finish at around 9.30, but sometimes it’s a little later.  However, owing to the Coronavirus Pandemic live meetings have been suspended until further notice.  We are endeavouring to offer members some virtual activities in the interim. 

Non members are welcome to attend future events via Zoom.  If you are interested please get in touch through the Contact Us page on this website.

 

Thursday 10th June:  Claire Steele (Writer & Creative Writing Tutor) – Workshop – Via Zoom.  More details to follow

 

Thursday 8th July:   Manuscript Evening – Via Zoom.  An opportunity for members to share a wide variety of writing and receive constructive feedback from the other participants.

 

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic a number of events have had to be postponed until further notice. We hope to reschedule them all once we are able to resume our normal meetings. 

 

PREVIOUS EVENTS:

 

13th May: Lee Farnsworth (Humour Author): Via Zoom.  Lee talked about his approach to writing ‘Odd Bird’ and the lessons he has learned, plus his experience of working with agents, editors and publishers.

8th April:  AGM: via Zoom. After the formal agenda there was a few mini talks from members of the group, covering a diverse range of subjects.  If you ever have something you would be willing to contribute, please contact our chair, Jonathan Bullard.

11th March, Will Burns: Via Zoom. Will discussed his practise as a poet and gave a reading of his work. His first full collection of poetry was published last year and his debut novel will be published this summer. He lives in Wendover and the local area plays an important role in his work.

Will is poet in residence at the nature-writing journal Caught by the River, he was a Faber New Poet in 2014, and was recently named as one of The Observer’s Debut Novelists of 2021. He has a Master’s degree in English from Royal Holloway, University of London and is a PhD candidate at the same institution.   More information about his work can be found here:  willburns.co.uk

11th Feb, Jane Corry via Zoom. Jane gave us a lively and entertaining talk, sharing with us her writing career and tips on how she goes about writing her novels.  She has written five domestic thrillers for Penguin. – all reaching the top ten Sunday Times bestsellers list, selling over a million copies in total, many being published in over 35 countries.  Her website can be found at https://www.janecorryauthor.com/

14th Jan, Manuscript Evening via Zoom.  Several members shared a wide variety of writing and received constructive feedback from the other participants.

Summary of Events Held During 2020

Dec 12th Christmas Social via Zoom.  Despite the impossibility of offering our usual buffet bonanza, everyone enjoyed Sherry’s Fiendish Quiz and we listened to the top three entries of the 2020 CW non-fiction writing competition.

Nov 12th Pam Chambers:  With a background as a Child Protection Officer and a Family Liaison Officer, Pam turned to writing crime fiction.  At this Zoom event, Pam explained to Chiltern Writers how she set out to challenge stereotypical ideas about villains and victims – and, hopefully, set the reader up to understand that the two things often swing back and forth. Although Pam had an established agent who was very keen, she found that was no guarantee of success, as they couldn’t get a mainstream publisher. In the end she decided to self-publish.  Pam’s website is http://www.pamchambers.co.uk/ 

October 8th – Tony Kent gave an entertaining an humorous talk about how he became a writer and his writing process.  Tony is a thriller writer, a criminal barrister and a former champion heavyweight boxer.  He writes the bestselling Joe Dempsey / Michael Devlin / Sarah Truman series of political and legal action thrillers.  In a 20 year history of high-profile criminal trials, Tony has dealt with the UK government, Scotland Yard, the NCA, MI5 and the FBI, as well as some of Europe’s most infamous organised crime groups. For more information take a look at his website:  https://www.tonykent.net/

September 10thManuscript Evening via Zoom and announcement of the results of our annual writing competition.  This year’s challenge was to write a 1,000 word non-fiction articles on any subject. The article had to be accompanied by a 100 word pitch to the chosen publication’s editor, summarising what the article was about and why they should publish it.  The competition has been judged by Chiltern Writers’ member and former Chair, Sandra Smith, a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in local and national magazines from Buckinghamshire Living to Town and Country.

Three prizes were awarded:

1st Prize (£30):            Killers by Christine DeVine

2nd Prize (£20):          A Slow Trip to Scotland (and a Slower One Back) by Jonathan Bullard

3rd Prize (£10):           The Not So Brave New World of Tourism by Rosy Edwards

The three winners will be invited to read out their entries at our Christmas Social (most likely a virtual event) on 10 December.  They may then appear in the members area of the CW Website.

August 13th – Simon Truckle.  Simon joined us via Zoom to explain how he self-published his first novel, a comedy, “Love Labours”.  Sharing his experiences provided helpful insights into the key requirements for professional editing, a strong cover design and launching a book via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.  That he lives Whitstable, Kent was evident from seagull noises in the background! His website is:  www.simontruckle.com

July 9th – Dave Sivers.  Local author of crime novels and CW member, Dave gave an excellent presentation via Zoom regarding series characters and story arc.  His insights and experience taught us about linking books within a series with over-arching plot lines and engaging readers with intriguing characters.  This is the link to his website: http://www.davesivers.co.uk/ 

June 11thOur first Manuscript Evening via Zoom!  Some minor technical issues were soon overcome and five members read their work.  As usual the standard was high and other participants provided some constructive feedback to the authors.  Given this success, we hope to run another Virtual Manuscript Evening before too long.

May 14th – Online workshop: Plot and Character – A Symbiotic Mix

Local writer and CW member Sandra Smith provided members with a workshop in the form of a worksheet.  This included guidance notes, writing exercises, examples and explanations with Sandra offering email support for participants.  Sandra’s website can be found at: www.TheCurrentMrsSmith.co.uk

April 9th    AGM held via Facebook

March 12th  meeting cancelled due to Coronavirus

February 13th  Manuscript Evening

January 9th   Interview with Sandra Smith, local writer and a former Chair of Chiltern Writers. Sandra talked to our Chair, Patrick Mahon about researching and approaching markets for her work. www.thecurrentmrssmith.co.uk

 Summary of Events Held During 2019

Between the following events we held Manuscript Evenings where members had the option to read out something they’d written and, if they wish, receive constructive criticism from the rest of the group. We usually limit the reading time to a maximum of 5 minutes. The quality and variety of subject matter is always impressive.

January – Creative Writing Workshop run by the renowned performance poet John Hegley (http://www.johnhegley.co.uk/ ) This session provided an inspiring mix of writing experiences, and featured John’s entertaining and inimitable take on language and life.

March – Workshop with Julie Cohen: ‘Creating Character’.  This was a hands-on, practical, fun workshop on creating a character from scratch. Participants started with a blank piece of paper and by the end of the workshop they had a fully-rounded character, using several techniques on how to best create character.  http://www.julie-cohen.com/

April – Annual General Meeting & Short Talks  AGM business was conducted as swiftly as possible to make way for some short talks by members of Chiltern Writers on different aspects of writing. This proved both informative and entertaining.

May – Talk by Adrian Poynton: Turning ideas into scripts.  Award winning script writer, Adrian Poynton, talked about becoming a professional script writer and how to turn ideas into scripts.  http://www.adrianpoynton.com/

June – Suna Erdem, a journalist who has written for a number of national publications including The Times, talked about her career to date.

August – Claire Steele – Workshop: ‘Raw Writing’. Author and creative writing tutor, Claire Steele facilitated a fun session to encourage the creative flow and unlock ‘writer’s block’.

September – Jules Wake – Tips for Getting that Novel Written & Published.  This was a Q & A session, with CW member Sherry Hostler asking Jules the questions. juleswake.co.uk.

October – Antonia Honeywell – Resilience and Reflection.  Making a return visit to CW, Antonia talked about her writing life since the publication of her novel The Ship. http://www.antoniahoneywell.com/

December – Christmas Social