AWARDS - for the 250 word inspirations arising from "Songs."
+ FREE SUBJECT: read & comment.

07 Feb 2017

In Attendance:    Hazel (Newton) – Chair, Mary (Matthews), Matt (Rix), Derek (Newton), David (Seaton), Patricia (Burn), John (Williams), Sally (Runham), Olive (Cutting), John (Cutting) and visitor, Denny (Gaudin)

Apologies from: Zulma (Burgos-Dudgeon), Peggy (Chaffe), Sue (Worthington) and Frank (Burns).


Guest readers: Andrew Fleming and Mavis Williams


(Post meeting note: Sally had received apologies from Frank who is travelling at present, but he hopes to be at the March meeting. Don’t forget to write your Ghost Story, Frank (perhaps about an invisible fellow travelling cyclist?). The next competition is referred to later in the newsletter.)


Welcome and notices

Hazel welcomed everyone to the meeting. She introduced the guest readers, Mavis Williams and Andrew Fleming. News of Noel Fletcher had been received by Hazel and an extract is given here.


“We are pretty much sorted now, just the conservatory floor to go down…

I passed some information on….. for inclusion in your spiffing new website – very upmarket. …The Mendlesham Writer’s Group inaugural meeting was attended by 10 people plus me, of course……I threw them in at the deep end with a game of  ‘Who, Where, What’ which had the right effect with the usual laughs and identified the wide range of approaches that members had. I am giving homework each month to be read aloud, critiqued and scored so we can determine the ‘Writer Of The Year’ but also to give members practice in critiques, confidence in their own writing and learning from their peers.”…..I have recently published a personal anthology of short stories and poems with the …title of  ‘And I don’t even have an uncle in Australia!’ on the Amazon Direct Publishing Site, in e-format…Also, I have sent off my film script for Kobra to the Amazon Film Studios for their assessment so fingers crossed….. Please say hello to HWG for me.”


Ruth’s email address has changed. Please refer to Hazel for the new one.


Hazel had 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.


Linda Hutchings would like to come back to the group but has been held up by two unfortunate injuries. Linda hopes to have recovered enough by the April meeting.


Hazel reminded everyone about the 1800-2000 word prose competition entry on the theme of a Ghost Story to be submitted at the next meeting 7th March 2017. Three copies of each are needed as they will be judged by three members of Needingworth Scribblers.


The evening activity

Mavis and Andrew read the competition entries for the December submissions which challenge was 250 words of poetry or prose on a Song Title. Members were to vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Forms to write appraisals were also provided by Hazel.


The submissions were:

  • Eighth Day (Hazel O’ Connor)

  • What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

  • Dance Floor Filler For All Comers (Sit Down by James)

  • Fireworks (Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds by The Beatles - Lennon/ McCartney)

  • Dance Me To The End Of Love (Leonard Cohen)

  • And The Award Goes To….. (All You Need Is Love by The Beatles - Lennon/ McCartney)


The entries were each read twice, which everyone found useful to help make their choices.


Refreshments were then shared which included homemade buttered scones from Hazel. The group chatted and swapped helpful tips. Mavis and Andrew counted the votes.


The winners were:


Gold Award

  • Patricia with “Dance Me To The End Of Love.”


Silver Award

  • Olive with “And The Award Goes To….”


Bronze Award

  • Sally with “Dance Floor Filler For All Comers.”


After the results, Hazel gave gifts to Andrew and Mavis. Everyone applauded their efforts.


After the awards, Hazel asked if people wanted an on the spot challenge or if individuals had items to read.


  • Olive read “Stars” sparked by red safety lights on tower cranes which hung in the night sky just like strange new stars.

(This was a building site outside of the hospital window).

  • John read a poem that he wrote for a fellow hospital patient to ease their stay.

Note that writers are never bored or lost for words! Even in challenging situations.

  • Patricia read a poem by Leonard Cohen called ‘Closing Time,’ which, as a song, has a lighthearted tune in contrast with the dark tone of the lyrics. It was Patricia’s second homage to Cohen.

  • Denny read a short piece “School Reunion” describing beautifully the panic experienced when unable to recall a former classmate’s name as she rushes to greet you.

All items were enjoyed by the group.


For the activity in March, to follow submission of our Ghost Stories, Patricia kindly offered to bring some writing prompts.


Hazel closed the meeting at 9.20pm. The next meeting is on 7th March.


Events Ahead and Sources of Support


There is a self-publishing workshop on 25th February 2017 see


A Self-Publishing Conference will be held at Leicester University on 22 April 2017.


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 above earlier (and now defunct) HWG websites. Email all website contributions to Patricia at    


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


Frank - Writing Magazine, ideal for budding writers and self-publishers, Visit:     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: , 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!

 Site created by Patricia Burn

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