Author Archives: Craig Pay

About Craig Pay

Craig Pay writes speculative fiction. His short stories have been published in various magazines receiving positive reviews from the Guardian newspaper, Interzone and Strange Horizons. In 2011 he won the NAWG David Lodge Trophy. In 2013 he completed a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Bolton University, receiving the Vice Chancellor's Prize. Craig runs a writing group in Manchester. He enjoys Chinese martial arts and many other hobbies. Craig has recently completed a science-fiction / Chinese mythology novel set in Titan orbit. He is represented by John Jarrold.

Meeting: 9th April

Apologies for the delay in posting for this month’s meeting. I was away from the UK. Thanks to Graeme for the following notes and this photo which I managed to pilfer from Facebook . . .

Meeting: 9th April

Eric was first up, with another chapter from “Autumn Man”. Feedback was complimentary about the character development and the horror, but some people felt the sequence with the children could have been extended to make them more sympathetic. Continue reading

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Meeting: 12th March

Busy meeting last night with twelve people attending, including four new members, so I’d like to welcome Beverley, Liz, Luke and Danny. You all gave the most amazing feedback. Looking forward to reading and discussing your work at future meetings.

Meeting: 12th March

Last month was a slightly mad affair, due to the weather, and several members arrived late, myself being the worse culprit. With all this disruption we ended up with three pieces of writing to carry over. We also had three new submissions making for a total of six for this month.

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Meeting: 12th February

Apologies for my late arrival at last night’s meeting. This was due to the rather exciting weather. It took me nearly three hours to make the usual 35-minute journey into Manchester! I’d also like to pass along apologies from Damien who wasn’t able to attend for the same reason. We both had work in DropBox. I’ve left these in DropBox along with another piece from James. These three pieces will be the first to be discussed at next month’s meeting before we move onto new submissions.

Meeting: 12th February

So, we eventually had nine people attending last night’s meeting including three new members. We discussed four pieces of work and two of these were first submissions. As I arrived halfway through I didn’t make my usual notes. My thanks to Graeme who started to take notes in my absence, however I didn’t realise so I didn’t continue after I arrived. Anyway, because of this I’ve decided to omit my usual constructive/sarcastic notes. Hope that’s OK.

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Meeting: 8th January

So here we are, another meeting, another year! Difficult to believe that our writing group was established back in 2010. The fact that we’re still going strong, after all this time, is quite an achievement.

Meeting: 8th January

First of all I’d like to apologise for the temperature at last night’s meeting. It was freezing! Next month, someone give me a nudge and I’ll turn on the heater right from the start. Alternatively, Eric has offered to bring along some logs. I suggest we get a fire going, huddle up, toast some marshmallows and we can finish up the evening with a quick round of Ging Gang Goolie.

Anyway, next up, I’d like to welcome Anjel who joined us for the first time last night. You gave some great critiquing advice and we’re looking forward to reading your work at future meetings.

Before I start, I know I’ve already nagged about this on our Facebook group as well as in the meeting itself, but I just want to remind everyone to get submissions into DropBox one week in advance of each meeting as per The Rules. This month’s meeting was about as early as it gets after New Year — first day of the year was a Wednesday — which probably meant the meeting crept up on everyone rather more quickly than usual. So we had a few late submissions. If you submit late you run the risk of members not having the time to read your work. If in doubt, leave it to the following meeting; better yet, get it submitted a few days earlier.

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Meeting: 11th December

Last night’s meeting was held in the slightly chilly ground floor room at MadLab. But we had warm mulled wine to keep the cold away as well as a slight overabundance of mince pies. I’m pleased to say that we finished on time at exactly 21:30. Don’t expect that level of self-control at future meetings!

Meeting: 11th December

First of all I’d like to wish everyone Season’s Greetings, Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, Io Saturnalia, Joyous Kwanzaa, Dong Zhi Kuai Le! I hope you all have a relaxing few weeks until the next meeting.

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Meeting: 13th November

Another excellent meeting last night. I’d like to welcome Owen who joined us for the first time. Apologies from Graeme for missing the first part of the meeting — I think he may have landed his time machine on the wrong day earlier on in the week and he’s ended up a day out of sync.

Meeting: 13th November

We ended up discussing just three pieces of work, which resulted in some detailed critiques again, including a first submission from Damien. There was an attempt to coerce positive feedback with the offer of Jelly Babies. This failed. Darn. Next month I will up my game. Continue reading

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Meeting: 9th October

This month we were back to our usual venue at MadLab. A slightly quieter meeting than usual with just five members attending, discussing three pieces of writing. I’d like to welcome our latest new member Damien who gave some great feedback — we’re certainly looking forward to reading your writing at future meetings.

Meeting: 9th October

With just three pieces of writing to discuss, the critiques were rather more leisurely than usual with a greater level of detail and we even managed to finish a little early. Just bear in mind that it’s unlikely we’ll have as much leeway at future meetings so our critiques will probably need to be shorter for next month.

I often struggle to summarise my critiques, as you all know! I jot down my critique points at the end of each piece so I’m able to read them out during the meeting without any delay or repetition. I certainly avoid talking about spelling or grammatical mistakes — though I do identify these ‘in-line’ in a paper copy that I hand over to the author — but I’m still often faced with a dozen or more critique points, too many to be able to raise in one meeting. I try to pick out just 3 or 4 main points that I think were most important. If there’s a couple more that I don’t get around to raising, that’s fine, they’re noted down in the copy that I hand over to the author so he or she will still receive my feedback.

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