"FUN WITH WRITING PROMPTS!" with Patricia Burn.
+ SUBMISSION OF ENTRIES FOR SHOST STORY COMPETITION.
07 Mar 2017
In Attendance: Mary Matthews – chair, Hazel Newton, David Seaton, Patricia Burn, Denny Gaudin, Sally Runham, Olive Cutting and John Cutting.
Apologies from: Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon, Sue Worthington, John Williams, Frank Burns, Peggy Chaffe and Ruth Ekblom.
Guest readers: Andrew Fleming and Mavis Williams
Welcome and notices
Mary welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Hazel read the notices.
She reminded people to hand in their ghost story for this month’s competition.
There is also a planning meeting of the committee at 10.30 am on 16th March at Hazel’s house.
Sally will email the code for the Indoor Bowling Club outer door.
If anyone arrived and was sufficiently deterred from entering, please let me know.
Likewise, if you hear of any prospective new members who could not get in, we would love to know about this.
The evening activity
Mary then introduced the evening’s topic presented by Patricia Burn.
Patricia holds workshops to stimulate creative writing and provided notebooks and pens this evening.
Some material written in the notebooks and retained by Patricia may be included on the HWG website. However, each writer retains the copyright to their material.
Patricia set a range of writing prompts tasks.
Timing of each was effective using large egg timers, verbal advice of time running out and then a final bell to finish.
The tasks set this evening were as follows:
Write a list of 25 sentences that all start with the same word: a colour and the example given was green (5 mins)
People chose different colours as their prompts. Not all completed the full 25 sentences requested.
Patricia asked us whether we had noticed patterns as the sentences progressed.
Some became more adventurous, and in some cases, unusual words and even poetry were beginning to flow.
Patricia herself uses this method to overcome writer’s block by focusing on the task at hand.
·Apologise in a paragraph without using the words ‘sorry,’ ‘apologise’ or ‘regret.’ (5 mins)
Each person achieved this very well, as expected of practiced writers. Some were rather moving and could be used in other work.
Write a poem of 4 lines with the first line opening as a question. (5 mins)
Several found this quite difficult but some created beautiful poetry even in this limited space and time.
Describe the days of the week as if they were people (10 mins)
The descriptions were typical of the days of the week.
Examples were Monday wearing business attire and Saturday looking glamorous in high heels.
For some, Sunday was a time of melancholy and planning for the week ahead.
Olive suggested that Saturday and Sunday is a couple never to be parted and always left in peace.
The final task was to choose one of four offered prompts for a 20 minute session.
Refreshments were enjoyed with plenty of discussion.
Members then read the short prose results to the group.
Most chose the prompts about the surprise of suddenly finding a second key on a keyring or of finding that you have lost all but one of your feathers.
Sally read about a choir love affair ending on a flat note
David found someone else’s key ring at Peterborough Football Ground
Hazel wrote about a mysterious key
Olive was an angel at a nativity play but found her costume rather featherless
Mary found a key to a cottage and drew everyone in to open a secret locker (we’re waiting with bated breath for the punchline)
Denny was a pigeon with royal blood trying to get to Buckingham Palace
Mary thanked Patricia for a stimulating evening’s activity and everyone applauded.
Mary closed the meeting at 9.30pm. The next meeting is on 4th April when Mary will talk about using social media to help raise awareness of our work.
Events Ahead and Sources of Support
Hazel has 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. www.bridportprize.org.uk
Patricia encourages members to write for the website. She suggests 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 email@example.com.
Hazel - Local Radio as a way of broadcasting our work.
Sally- Please refer to www.threeshirespublishing.com for help with self-publishing. I attended a course in February and found this source really supportive. Help with all aspects such as editing, proof reading, cover design and promotion can be sought. One person on the course is making superb progress with publishing a story based on his family history that has been on his agenda for many years. You no longer need to leave your bestseller to fester waiting for the right agent or publisher to come along.
We hope to see you at the next meeting on 4th April. Enjoy the start of Spring and the ‘Hosts of Golden Daffodils.’