Thursday, 25 March 2010

Resounding Rhythms from Wrekin Writers

'Yes this is Wrekin Writers,' Bryan said as a new member walked into our workshop on Saturday morning. The explanation was needed because when Drew walked in he found twenty of us with drums between our knees banging out African rhythms.

Okay so we're different but we had a lot of fun.

Getting to grips with the djembe (the drum)

Brenda had no trouble mastering the art. I pity the drum though.

To add interest other instruments were added. And the thing Angeline is holding, was dead. Mike is concentrating hard, hence the expression on his face.

 But no matter how much noise we made, we still didn't manage to wake Robin.

Saturday was a great workshop and it was interesting to use music, sound and rhythm to communicate rather than words. Our Chairman's Challenge is to write something inspired by the what we did. That should make for very intesting reading.

Chairman's Challenge

For those of you who are eagerly awaiting the results of February's Chairman's Challenge, I'm afraid you're going to have to wait another month. It has been judged but won't be announced until the meeting in April this is because of the two hour workshop we had during the March meeting.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Chairman's Challenge

Gosh December seems an age away but with the ice and snow that has covered Shropshire for most of January and February it seems like only yesterday.

However, it was some months ago and with me cancelling the meeting in January because of the weather, we didn't get to find out the results of our December's challenge until February's meeting.

As usual Wrekin Writers' excelled themselves when they tackled the subject 'it was the 24th December. During our read around, I flinched, I really didn't want the job of judging them but fortunately and bless her, my vice chair Barbara Groom offered to do the job for me.

So the results are as follows

1st - Dean King

It was the 24th of December
The day before the birth,
The day before your saviour came
To topsy turve earth.
And every year you’ll celebrate
The ancient eastern neonate,
And in his name you’ll spread the blame
To sanctify your hate.

It was the 24th of December
Myrrh, frankincense and gold,
The day before you heard
The greatest story ever told.
And every year you’ll cleanse your sins
With pious carols, pious hymns,
But in his cause you’ll make your wars
And justify your whims.

It was the 24th of December
They call in Christmas Eve;
The saviour myth a monolith
That flatters to deceive.

2nd - Angeline Wheeler

Tis the 24th December and I’m on the shelf
They’ve gone to the pub so I’m all by myself
Presents are wrapped and stacked by the door
I’m feeling half cut better sit on the floor
Now where’s that bloke that I meet once a year
He has a big belly, so fully of beer, I mean cheer.
He has a white beard, ooh how it tickles
He’s been at the pies ugh and the pickles
A great big softy who arrives with the snow
On transport he hides so they don’t see him go.
I hear the key turn and the light shines through the crack
Please be quick Nick, just hurry, they’re back
His eyes sparkle as he tips me the wink
Disappears up the chimney before I can blink.
Too much sherry I guess conjured this sight
But like a whisper is carried on the wind tonight
Happy Christmas to all
And to all a goodnight.

3rd - Darren Bailey


“It was the 24th December. Nearly midnight!” His pleading eyes were driving little wooden screws into her heart.
“All it takes is a little creativity, Nicholas.”
“I did make you a card.”
She dropped the pathetic construction into the snow. “If you were still up to the job you would have given me a sack full of wonderful things.”
“In an hour?”
“Well, that is precisely my point.” She climbed into the sleigh and looked down on the old fool. With that silly white beard and portly belly he was totally unsuited.
“The next Father Christmas selected will need to find the impossible a little less … Challenging.”

If you'd like to read more of our Chairman's Challenges we shall very soon be launching our anthology of 2009. For more details please check out our website on

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Chairman's report for 2009

Welcome to Wrekin Writer’s AGM, hopefully, if we’re quick we can get the formal part of the meeting over quickly as in past years. But before we look forward to a new year, I’d like to reflect briefly on 2009. What a year that was.

Simon kicked us all off to a good start with his romantic workshop in February. Falling in love with yourself as a writer and making time to spend with your writing with the same devotion you would a lover. I wonder how many of us used the diaries that he kindly handed out so that we could make dates with our writing?

March we all headed up to Attingham to suss the place out for the Book Fayre. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed our time there.

May was the Book Fayre. Two days of totally contrasting weather but it didn’t matter we all had a fabulous time. Our guest authors all sold copies of their books and our competition was well received. Thanks to Darren for his very clever crossword and of course many thanks to Dorothy for arranging the whole event

June well what can I say other than ‘don’t feed the ducks.’ Liam O’Connell, a motivational speaker came to talk to us or was it to kick ass I don’t know but he certainly had an effect on many members. His message was we impose our own barriers and how is true is that so don’t. And also the Dyson, I still view mine suspiciously but the Dyson being a metaphor for those who drain us. There are still a few of us who use that term; it can be very apt at times.

July saw an intrepid group of writers heading south to a farm yard somewhere in Hereford with an impossible half mile drive way that seriously challenged the chasses on our cars. It was the Writers’ Bash. The idea was simple writers groups got together and for one balmy Saturday afternoon we all shared our work. The setting idyllic, the food excellent and the company absolutely amazing. It was an incredible afternoon and one I hope will be repeated. It was great fun to mix with other writers and to see what they were doing.

September we were privileged to welcome to the group Mary V Williams from Market Drayton Writers. A successful horror writer in her own right, Mary shared with us some of the secrets of horror writing. One phrase that really stuck in my mind was when she said ‘write about was scares you.’ That really got me thinking and although I haven’t written about it, what really scares me is once I watched an episode of Casualty – this family were driving along a country lane, the kids were fighting, the roads were narrow and around the corner came a truck, the evitable happened. I think the mother died and the others were badly injured. Not good when you live in a part of Shropshire where a b road is your equivalent to a motorway.

October was our annual workshop held in partnership with the Wellington Literary Festival. What a crowd greeted our speaker for the day Nick Fletcher. I was stunned and delighted to see nigh on thirty people there, even Nick was impressed. We all enjoyed a morning workshop on article writing and an afternoon workshop on short story writing and we all went away feeling that we learned something. A good day all round.

November our Writers’ Retreat for which I’d like to thank Mike and Susan White for arranging. Although I didn’t go this year I did see the pictures and it was wonderful to see the traditions of the Wrekin Writer Retreat were upheld. Raucous behaviour, lots of wine and the odd lap top scattered about the place.

And finally we arrived in December when thanks to my Vice Chair Barbara we all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas lunch at the Buckatree Hotel. That rounded a pretty amazing year off nicely or rather in style.

Perhaps though on a personal level I think the thing that meant the most to me was the way that over twelve months I watched so many of you not only progress but leap along the road to being writers. Articles, short stories, letters and novels were flowing from your pens. The successes being reported were amazing so well done Wrekin Writers last year, you did good. And for me it was a pleasure and a privilege to be your Chair and thank you so much for your support.

So here’s to 2010 and I wish you all every success.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Don't you just love it.

The headlines on the front of the Shropshire Star tonight


I have an image of poor firemen sitting in unheated stations waiting for a fire to warm them up.

However, the first paragraph reads 'Shropshire fire chiefs have announced a recruitment freeze because of mounting pressure to make budget cuts.'

Clarity is all important in whatever you write - maybe the reporters on my local paper need to remember that.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Another blogging Wrekin Writer

Dean King has joined blog land with a blog called, I love this, Gnome on a Rock.

Welcome Dean

Check his blog out

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Sick of the snow

Stuck in the house.

Looking for something to do?

Want to write but motivation not forth coming?

Oh tell me about it. Last night and today the powers that be decided to dump another six to eight inches on top of the snow we already had and have had since before Christmas. I'll tell you, not happy, not happy at all.

Oh yes, the news and the weather forecast tell you different 'Shropshire had another two inches today' not in south Shropshire they didn't, it was chucked in bucket loads and very big buckets at that. Check out Simon's blog because not only did we have inches of snow, we also had winds and drift.

Me I've totally had enough of it. I haven't been able to get my car out to go to the shops. No I'm not being precious the nearest shop to me is five miles away along untreated roads, not a good idea in a new sports car with wide tyres that my son informed me when I got it that it will skid like a bas***d.

But never mind all the stuff about the weather. We've got long, cold winter evenings to fill and there's only so much television you can watch. So for the fiction writers amongst you who don't want their precious typing fingers to seize up check out competitions. Most of them only cost pennies to enter and who knows. So for information on UK + writing competitions check out and cheer up your long winter evenings.

Good luck