Mini Saga Competition Results and an On The Spot Writing Competition. 

06 Feb 2018

In Attendance:   

Olive Cutting (Chair), John Cutting, Hazel Newton, Sally Runham, Derek Newton (until 8pm), Linda Hutchings, Anne Price, Tom Maclennan and Elizabeth Chandler
Patricia Burn, Mary Matthews and David Seaton.

Competition remiinder:

Hazel reminded everyone that the Short Story Competition is to be submitted at next month’s meeting on 6th March. Please submit three copies of an entry that is typed and double spaced. 1,000 words (exactly) on the theme ‘Folded’.  The front page has only the title and word count: please do not put the author’s name on the document.

This is to be judged, very kindly by the Mendlesham Writers’ Group.

Welcome & Notices:

Hazel welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Olive who is president of the group. Everyone introduced themselves. The website, designed and updated by Patricia, was praised by several members.

Hazel provided leaflets for the Bridport Writing Competition. Please email Hazel if you would like more details of this. For new members, enrolment forms will be available at next month’s meeting.

Hazel displayed a range of books by members and there was a short discussion on publishing.


The Mini Saga Competition:

Olive had kindly offered to judge this competition and presented her critiques and suggestions.

The summary of this is included here:
“Mini Sagas: General Comments

Well done! Very acceptable entries from everybody, even those who were obviously trying something new to them.


50 words, not including the title; showing the passage of time, so no description or set pieces.

Hyphenated words – I don’t know what instructions were given, but 3 entries took hyphenated words as one word, and 3 took them as two words. As long as the word count remained at 50, I’ve accepted either.

One entry included the title in the count, which was a pity, because it was a pleasing little piece, and the extra words could easily have been included in the text.

Layout: at least 1.5 spacing should be used, if not double – it makes reading easier, as does spacing between words and punctuation. Read it aloud, mark pauses – do they need a comma or a semi-colon?”  Olive Cutting

The entries were then read by the group.

Hazel read one on titled ‘Mini Saga’ which was a very chilling piece of horror. Listeners felt rather perplexed by it but also felt it atmospheric and all felt that the idea was worth developing.

Linda read about ‘King Olaf’s Downfall’ . The group asked for this to be read twice to try to get a better understanding. Olive had suggested that double-spacing would  make it easier to read.

Elizabeth read ‘Baby Steps’ which again the group find rather perplexing but definitely worth developing as very intriguing.

Anne read about a Christmas Round Robin letter that was well-received, with a slight change.

Tom read ‘The More Things Change’  about dinosaurs which was interesting, but Olive had commented that punctuation and grammar would help with its enjoyment.

Sally read about ‘The Herald Of Free Enterprise’ ferry disaster of 1987. Olive had commented that this did not create an adequate sense of panic aboard the doomed ship.

Linda read about a Necklace bringing back memories at a relative’s funeral. Everyone really enjoyed this one.  It had included the title in the overall word count: Olive suggested that the author include extra words in the mini saga text to make an imaginative and poignant  piece.

Elizabeth read ‘We Live Alone’ which was felt to be very atmospheric, but not sufficiently rounded as a short story.

Anne read a saga praising heart surgery at ‘Papworth hospital’ and suggestions to change wording were made.

Tom read about U2 ‘The biggest band on the planet’. This was enjoyed by the group, but was rather more statements of fact than a developing story.

Olive read the winning entries, both by Hazel:

In first place, Unexpected, £10 prize This was about the joys of fatherhood at fifty. Olive judged it a superb example of a mini saga without flaw.

In second place, Practice to Deceive, £5 prize        

Hazel asked Olive to choose a third placement to receive the £5: Olive chose:

‘Christmas Round Robin letter’ by Sally

The group praised Olive’s excellent feedback. This was mentioned particularly by new members. Thanks to Olive for incredibly hard work. Olive said she had enjoyed the task.


After a break, lively discussion and refreshments including buttered scones, the group did an on the spot challenge. Photos were circulated and everyone wrote for 10 minutes, then read their own work.

Elizabeth’s story was written by ‘Peter the photographer’ of her sepia photo, which included an ex-serviceman unable to talk about his wartime experiences and putting all of his thoughts and actions into creating wonderful flowers.

Tom wrote a lovely descriptive piece about a café in France serving lemonade and cakes: we all wanted to be there.

Anne gave a poignant tale of flowers on a balcony reminding someone of their loss and their need to move forward and now take positive action – in honour of the deceased.

Sally’s computer hacking spy story had been influenced by reading John Le Carre’s new book.

Olive wrote a topical piece that ended dramatically with  ‘votes for women!’

Hazel preferred the imagined history at her castle than considering the boats in the harbour. She clearly isn’t going to see ‘The Mercy’ this weekend!


The meeting closed at 9.20pm


Next Meeting

The next meeting is on Tuesday 6th March. Submission of the Short Story competition. Please bring some of your work to read. This is a super opportunity for constructive comments from others there. An on the spot may also be played, this is an optional activity, too.








Also, please continue with the annual project. Annual Project, 1,800 to 2,500 words on Biography or Autobiography Fiction or Nonfiction. Submission 3rd April 2018.


Hazel distributed leaflets from the VER Poets Open Competition with a closing date of April 30th 2018. Please refer to the website:


There is a new Facebook page for HWG at the following link:


Patricia encourages members to write for the website. She suggests blogs of about 500 to 700 words 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. Email all website contributions to Patricia at       




Sally Runham

HWG newsletter editor




 Site created by Patricia Burn

 Privacy Statement.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now