COMPETITION SUBMISSIONS: 1000 words on "Huntingdonshire". Competition prizes: £15/£10/£5. PLUS, "On The Spot" WRITING SHENANIGANS.

06 Sept 2016

In Attendance:    

Hazel (Newton) - chair, Derek (Newton), Julia (Folly), Frank (Burns), Ruth (Ekblom), Mary (Matthews), Peggy (Chaffe), Olive (Cutting), John (Cutting), Matthew (Rix), David (Seaton), John (Williams), Sally (Runham)

Apologies were received from Patricia (Burn) and Zulma (Burgos-Dudgeon)


Hazel had received a letter of thanks from Needingworth Scribblers who ran the short story writing workshop in August. They had enjoyed the participative evening and thanked HWG for the gifts.


For the “Huntingdonshire” competition, entries for which were submitted this evening, Hazel has arranged for judging by Jean Fairburn of Needingworth Scribblers. Jean will assess for overall content and verify the outcome with a historian contact.


Hazel had information on HCR (Huntingdon Community Radio) a local radio which is happy to interview members who wish to raise issues or to promote a book.  John Williams recommended this possible method of outreach.


Mary mentioned the Huntingdon Author Festival and Huntingdon Literary Festival. Mary also referred to the activities of the “Telling It” group. These are all ways to promote work and develop our expertise.


Julia mentioned the Ely Literature Festival and a “Creative Writing Course” to be run by Waterstones in Cambridge on 14th September. Julia felt that the creative writing courses at Waterstones were worthwhile. (Since then, Julia has attended the CWC but felt that it had less to offer than meetings at HWG. However, she will let us know when Waterstones host author and publisher meetings as this could be important to individual HWG members).


Frank enquired about HWG’s Facebook page. Julia has kindly offered to do this, to be discussed by the committee.


The evening’s activity

Hazel provided “On-the-spot” writing material where members picked out at random a “Where” and a “What” word. We were to provide our own “Who.” Twenty minutes were allocated to writing followed by refreshments and lots of discussion. Afterwards, people could read their work to the others in the group.


  • ·         Ruth’s words were Katmandu and Turtle. This involved the CIA and a world of spies.

  • ·         Olive had Jerusalem and Whale. Tourists were seeking a travelling show of the Bible story Jonah and the Whale.

  • ·         John had Berlin and Dove which involved a tourist tour starting at the Brandenberg Gate.

  • ·         Mary chose Chicago and Bottle involving celebrating after a polo tournament.

  • ·         David’s words were Orange and Nice. The story included Grant McCann, the Peterborough FC manager hoping for promotion by judicious signing of new players.

  • ·         Hazel chose Budapest and Lion and after carefully setting the scene and introducing the hero, a writer for National Geographic, left the audience waiting with bated breath for the next part of this “serial.”

  • ·         Julia wrote about a zebra in Singapore wherein her tourist was not enjoying her stay in a down-market hotel room.

  • ·         Frank had chosen Berne and Marzipan and wove an interesting and far-fetched tale about St Bernard dogs carrying emergency supplies of marzipan to stricken Alpine climbers.

  • ·         Peggy had chosen Istanbul and broccoli.“Broccoli is good for one But, like Istanbul, Is hardly fun.”
    (I disagree, Peggy. I love broccoli. – editor)

  • ·         Sally’s words were dog and Hong Kong and featured a topical referendum.


The contributions were enjoyed by the group.


Additional contributions

Olive read a request from her granddaughter, aged 18, for written memoires from each of her grandparents. Olive and John had adhered to this request. Olive suggested that this could form the basis of a topic in a future programme.

Peggy felt that we should each write down memories for ourselves as well as for those close to us. Some people who develop Alzheimer’s are encouraged to write as much as they can with the help of those around. Memories such as letters and photos with a caption on the rear are crucially important to those who follow us.



  • Next month is the award’s evening for the Huntingdonshire submissions. Please see the programme.

  • Please do your best to submit a short piece of prose or a poem on a popular song title at the December meeting.


The meeting closed at 9.20 pm.

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