Last minute change of venue with this month’s meeting to a room over the Terrace bar just next to MadLab. Bit noisy, but we managed. Before we get started with the critiques I’d like to say hello to Michael Vaughan who joined us for the first time last night. I’d also like to offer a belated hello to Phill Campbell who actually joined us for the first time in last month’s meeting, but I forgot to mention this when I posted the notes last time, what with the whole ‘me not being there’ thing going on.
We had five pieces submitted this month with nine members attending and we started a little late due to travel problems and with the changes to venue which not everyone knew about. The weather always seems to affect travel time this time of year so no worries — I was 10 minutes late myself. I will leave earlier next month!
Apologies for the delay in posting these notes but I was unable to attend this month’s meeting as I was away in a galaxy far, far away. My thanks to everyone who attended especially to Graeme Cole for his notes and Graeme Shimmin for the photo.
Graeme Cole’s notes were so good, I’m just going to copy them straight in . . .
In Craig’s absence, the group convened as usual and were even able to commandeer a full plate of biscuits from the MadLabbers downstairs.
We had a late start last night with several members arriving late due to problems with the traffic. No worries, it happens. Graeme Shimmin sent his apologies that he wasn’t able to attend as planned, so his piece has been bounced to next month’s meeting.
Now, as it happens, we have quite a few pieces to carry through to next month’s meeting. With nine people attending we were originally hoping to critique seven submissions, six with Graeme’s piece slipping to next month. With the late start and some extremely detailed critiques we only managed to discuss three pieces. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The time slipped away from us so we were obviously having a great time. I certainly took away some detailed notes and I thoroughly enjoyed the feedback. A couple of people were surprised when 9.30 rolled around; two and a half hours that disappeared very quickly.
First of all I’d like to welcome four new members who joined us last night, that’s Charmini, James, Robert and Alan. Alan isn’t in the photo below, he joined us a few minutes later. Looking forward to reading all your work in the future. Thanks again to Graeme for providing Alan with directions over the phone — sorry, but I don’t know Manchester well enough!
We had a busy meeting last night with thirteen members attending in the end, probably one of the busiest nights we’ve had in a long time. Although we had six pieces submitted into DropBox we only had time to discuss four so the last two pieces (from Craig and Luke) will go forward to the next meeting where they will be the first to be discussed.
Happy Birthday to us! This month’s meeting marks our third birthday. This is a huge achievement that’s only been made possible with the continued support and enthusiasm from all of our members both past and present. Well done to everyone! I’d also like to thank MadLab for providing such a fantastic venue.
We’ve seen a number of success stories over the years with many of our members achieving publication for the very first time and most (if not all) members stating quite equivocally that their writing has certainly improved since joining the group and continues to do so with every meeting. It’s often difficult for a writer to identify a singular cause-and-effect that has led towards an improvement in their writing, but I think all members (myself included) believe that the group has certainly contributed towards this goal. I’m personally looking forward to the next three years and more beyond that!
Before we get started with the critiques I’d like to welcome Brian Clarke who joined us for the first time last night. We’re all looking forward to reading your work at future meetings. I’d also like to thank members who made generous donations via PayPal after the last meeting. Once we hit fifty quid we’ll make another contribution to MadLab.
First of all I’d like to welcome Rachel and Paul who attended this month’s meeting for the first time. Your critiques were excellent and we’re looking forward to reading your work at future meetings.
Before we get started with the critiques, I’d like to mention Eastercon, which ran during Easter weekend a couple of weeks ago. James and I both went along, and we had a great time. We attended dozens of panels and met so many other writers–it was great to meet up again with former Manchester Spec Fic member Chris Behrsin who popped over from Poland for the weekend. I think it’s fair to say that we both came away inspired and invigorated, if suffering from mild sleep-deprivation. You can read more about the whole experience via my personal blog. I’d like to organise another trip to next year’s Eastercon to be held in Glasgow. What do you all think? I’ll nag you all nearer the time, but it might be worth popping a reminder in your diary right now.
Next, I have to congratulate Graeme Shimmin on being short-listed as one-of-six for the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award for his novel A Kill in the Morning which we’ve been critiquing during the last year. To say that this is a Big Deal is, of course, a huge understatement. Fingers crossed for the final round. Well deserved!
Finally, next month’s meeting will mark our third anniversary. It’s incredible to think that our group has been running for this long. I know a lot of writing groups struggle to make it past the first or second year. During the last three years our writers have invested so much time and effort in supporting each other. We’ve seen some members achieve their very first publication, with others going on to make second and subsequent publications. Members have embarked upon and completed creative writing degrees, won literary prizes and launched successful publications of their own. And, most importantly, I think we’ve all enjoyed ourselves. I have to thank MadLab for supplying the venue; none of this would have happened without their consistent support. It will be interesting to see what the next year brings. I promise that there will be cake and candles at the next meeting!
First of all I’d like to welcome James Bones who joined us for the first time last night. You gave some great feedback and we’re really looking forward to reading your work at future meetings.
Before I get started with the critique summaries I’d like to mention Eastercon. So far we have two members with tickets booked (myself and James) and a couple more thinking about it. It would be great to meet up with group members, past and present, so if you’re attending and you’d like to catch up with a drink and a chat on the Saturday evening just add a comment below, drop us an email or pop a comment on the Facebook group and we’ll sort out a rendezvous.
So we had six members attending last night with four pieces of work being discussed over at the alternative venue of Hackspace Manchester… Continue reading