05 July 2016

In Attendance:    Mary (Matthews) - chair, Hazel (Newton), Patricia “Pat” (Burn), Zulma (Burgos-Dudgeon),  Nina (Kira), John (Williams), David (Seaton), Derek (Newton), Frank (Burns), Sally (Runham).

Apologies were received from Ruth Ekblom who visited briefly to liaise with Hazel.


Hazel welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave the notices. A thank you card (continuing the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme) had been received from Noel who expressed his appreciation of gifts presented last month and of friendship over many years. Olive thanked us for the flowers and sends her love. She hopes to be at the next meeting. The group passed on their best wishes.


Mary presented the “challenge,” an activity that started last month at the AGM. This evening those present were charged with the following:

“During a sorting and decluttering, shoes were thrown rather carelessly into a cupboard. A Wellington boot landed close to a ballet shoe. What did they say to each other?”


The evening’s main activity was the reading of 300-500 word contributions by members.


Frank started by reading “I’m a long distance cyclist.” Frank has travelled in many countries as a lone long-distance cyclist and is an established blogger. He is putting his experiences together in a book and this presentation forms part of his introduction.


Hazel read a poem on “Drought” which everyone appreciated. This has won first prize in a competition.


John presented a topical poem on “A field of poppies.” This was written in 2014 at the start of the 100 year commemoration of the First World War.


Frank gave an anecdotal story of his tour of the battlefield memorials and his chance encounter of a friend’s relative’s grave at Thiepval.


Zulma presented a small part of a novel that she is writing about a teenaged girl and her relationships with her parents. Her character is developing within a family of forceful personalities. The members of the group were keen to hear more of this story.


Sally read The Legacy and this sparked a discussion on memory boxes and the importance of preservation of key family mementoes without unnecessary hoarding.


Pat read a chapter from the start of her novel “The Closest Thing To Crazy.” Pat also described the fan fiction genre and “fair usage rights,” that was useful for the group.


David read an extremely topical piece called “Doomed” about the outcome of the recent referendum vote. This was enjoyed by the group and Mary asked if she could pass this on to others who would enjoy it. (I hope it is not too prophetic, David).


Mary read a short piece on “Relative Sanctuary” from her childhood, adhering to the original theme of memories for the activity that was lost in translation.


The group had refreshments during which time there was a lot of discussion and people also worked on the challenge set by Mary.


After the break, Sally read a piece on the joy of mastering self-publishing. She also asked for any mini saga contributions from the group that could be added to the book and entered into its bi-monthly competition. (Competition winners will go to the front of the book and their names added to the authors list).

(What is a mini saga? A mini-saga is a story of exactly fifty words, neither more nor less. It must tell a story. It should have some dimension to it: time should pass. It should have gravity. That’s to say, it should make a point which has some drama or psychological truth. It must aim, in fact, to be a saga in miniature. Extract from “Mini Sagas – The First Collection.  By Huntingdon Writers’ Group).

Pat read a further chapter from “The Closest Thing To Crazy” which analyses relationships between key Star Trek characters.

Members presented their responses to the challenge (Wellington boot/ ballet shoe).


John spoke of the two unmatched items of footwear coming to a tragic end in the decluttering process.


Sally gave a short response of their love affair.


Pat described their relative experiences of attending Glastonbury. Wellington could recall only mud at the festival whereas Ballet shoe danced centre piece on the stage.


Any other matters. Hazel explained that the August meeting would be a workshop by the Needingworth Scribblers on short story writing. Please remember competition entries for September, a 1,000 word (exactly) piece of prose on “Huntingdonshire.” Hazel hopes to invite an outside judge from a local history society to judge this.


Mary mentioned a local well attended group called “Telling It” that meet to share the spoken word. Each person gives a short presentation but there is no need to contribute this time.  The next meeting is on Thursday 14th July at The Falcon in Huntingdon. The facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/tellingitevents/?fref=ts


Hazel thanked Mary for chairing the meeting. The next meeting is on Tuesday 2nd August 2016. Have a good Summer.

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