Ghost Stories Competition Results Night - includes readings of the top 3 winning entries
02 May 2017
In Attendance: Hazel Newton (chair), Mary Matthews, Derek Newton, Frank Burns, John Cutting, Olive Cutting, Patricia Burn, Sally Runham, Denny Gaudin, Alan Mould, Ali Lyons and Sally Runham.
Apologies from: David Seaton and Sue Blight.
Guests from Needingworth Scribblers: Anne Wingfield (Judge), Joan Tucker (Judge), Helen O’Mahoney (Judge), and Janet Nicholls.
Welcome and notices
Hazel welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the Needingworth Scribblers.
Hazel also gave the notices.
The next meeting will be the AGM and the 2017/2018 programme will be available.
Members have been given voting papers for the awards of Writer of the Year (less than three year’s membership) and Writer of the Year (three years and over). Those who have received the award are then ineligible for the next two years. Hazel will also email absent members to obtain the overall results. The committee will determine the Writer of the Year – Commended category. Awards will be presented at the AGM.
The evening activity
Anne Wingfield of The Needingworth Scribblers discussed Short Story Writing. It originated in Germany and is now the most important form of writing in USA. The first prize in the most prestigious competition, the Sunday Times Short Story Award, is £30,000.
Helen introduced the HWG ‘Ghost Story’ entries and gave a short resume of each one and a brief critique. More detailed comments were also given to each writer.
The awards were given in reverse order:
Bronze Award £5: Ghosts At The Old Manor by Denny
Silver Award £10: Ghosts of Mentors Past Change The Points On Life’s Journey by Sally
Gold Award £15: Ghostie by Olive
Denny and Sally read their entries before the refreshment break. Denny’s story described memories of a concert hosted by Lucy Boston at The Old Manor in Hemingford Grey. Sally recalled mentors in her past and placed them into a fictional ghostly setting.
Refreshments followed and there followed lots of discussion about short story writing.
Olive read the winning entry. ‘Ghostie’ decided who lived in the haunted house and also had a mischievous input into furnishings and lifestyle. After many years, a change of job caused the family to market the house but Ghostie deterred prospective purchasers until the right young couple came to view. On the day of moving, the youngest child reluctantly but maturely parted from Ghostie, who wished them well in their new home. Everyone applauded.
Needingworth Scribblers were thanked by each writer and also by Hazel on behalf of the group for the detailed and very helpful critiques. Bouquets of flowers were given to each judge.
Frank told the group about a ghost in Kimbolton Castle which appears in the early New Year.
The meeting closed at 9.30pm.
The next meeting, the Annual General Meeting, is on 6th June 2017. Writer of the Year Awards will be presented. Please note that we also collect the annual subscription fee of £12. There will be time to read contributions from members. We look forward to seeing you there.
Events Ahead and Sources of Support
Hazel has flyers for the Bridport Prize competition. The closing date is 31st May 2017. Poems, short stories and flash fiction are among the categories and the prize money is serious. www.bridportprize.org.uk
Patricia encourages members to write for the website. She suggests blogs of about 500 to 700 words www.huntingdonwriters.com. On Any Theme. Please visit the website frequently and create new links to the website through Facebook and other media in order to raise its profile above earlier (and now defunct) HWG websites. Email all website contributions to Patricia at email@example.com.
Hazel - Local Radio as a way of broadcasting our work.
Sally- Please refer to www.threeshirespublishing.com for help with self-publishing. I attended a course in February and found this source really supportive. Help with all aspects such as editing, proof reading, cover design and promotion can be sought. One person on the course is making superb progress with publishing a story based on his family history that has been on his agenda for many years. You no longer need to leave your bestseller to fester waiting for the right agent or publisher to come along.