"On The Spot"


03 Jan 2017

In Attendance:    

Mary (Matthews) - chair, Hazel (Newton), Derek (Newton), David (Seaton),

Patricia (Burn), John (Williams), Sue (Worthington), Sally Runham,

Olive (Cutting)  and John (Cutting).

Apologies from Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon and Peggy Chaffe

(Peggy had emailed Sally to wish the group a successful evening).

Welcome and Notices

Mary welcomed everyone to the meeting. Hazel showed two Christmas/New Year Cards.

  • The first was from Noel and Gilly (Fletcher). Noel recently left HWG to move to Mendlesham in Suffolk, where he aims to set up a new writers’ group (MWG). HWG members were amazed at Noel’s drive and determination and wished him success in this new venture.

  • The second card was from Margaret (Faulkner) wishing HWG a happy and productive New Year.


Mary let us know about a self-publishing workshop on 25th February. See: www.threeshirespublishing.com


Sally showed books she has written using Create Space (following on from a threeshirespublishing.com training event) which aim to encourage submissions of mini sagas for competitions. Although not the finished item, she hoped members would write mini sagas for future editions of the book and that the book itself would gather momentum, thereby encouraging many budding writers. (Mini sagas are not easy to write but easy to read).  Patricia gave useful comments and feedback on this publication.


John mentioned a large Self-Publishing Conference at Leicester University on 22 April. www.selfpublishingconference.org.uk


Patricia encouraged members to write for the group website. She suggested 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 u2trish@aol.com.    


The evening’s activity

Mary introduced the evening activity of ‘On-The-Spot’ writing about at least one of the six treasured artefacts taken from the display cabinets at her cottage.

  • A Russian Doll

  • A Pine Cone

  • A Starfish

  • A Mouse Dressed As An Angler

  • A White Cat Curled Up Asleep

  • A Thatched Cottage

After a short period of study and perusal, the group started to write and continued for 20 minutes.
They were then allowed 10 mins to prepare to read the work during the refreshments interval.
Then the contributions were read by each author.

Patricia read a story about a Russian Doll much admired by the head of MI5

David managed to include all of the items in a football match between Peterborough and Chelsea

Hazel does not like Sleeping White Cats (nor any other type) invading her flower garden

Sue wrote of the Sleeping White Cat and other toys at Christmas

In John W’s horror tale a Russian Doll cursed an otherwise idyllic old Thatched Cottage.

Sally’s Resolution for the Chinese New Year of the Starfish was to focus on life’s Detail

Olive’s rural tale spoke of a Mouse doing hard farm exercise and following a diet but only after one more helping of Christmas pudding

Mary post-Christmas blues also saluted exercise and eating Starfish sushi as lifestyle choices


This session was enjoyable and well-received by all listeners.

Note, there is absolutely no obligation to respond to the on-the-spot challenge and, although most did so this time, sometimes people prefer to spend the time chatting over coffee.


Other reminders from before Christmas but still relevant:


Hazel - Local Radio as a way of broadcasting our work.


Frank - ‘The Writing Magazine’ and the Cambridge Library Service where magazines from around the world could be accessed. From Frank’s subsequent email:


1. Writing Magazine, ideal for budding writers and self-publishers, Visit: http://writ.rs/wmxmas16


2. If you are a user of the Cambridgeshire Libraries, they have a brand new website, and you can access everything on-line, including a growing selection of E-books, and a world-wide selection of free newspapers and magazines. Visit:  www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/ , click on the eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines, eNewspapers link, and you will be asked to download the Spydus App for books, and Zinio for magazines. This is an excellent service, and it's all free!



Mary closed the meeting at 9.20pm, wishing everyone a Happy New Year.


The next meeting will be on Tuesday February 7th with guest readers relating the Song Competition entries and members to place votes for their favourite.

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