Daily Archives: December 2, 2013

Readers’ Network Event – 7 Minute Stories


This was a fab evening out and I am so glad I went! It was such a relaxing event, and Roz was not joking about the fairy lights, it all looked so pretty, shame I was right at the back with a limited view. read

Roz Goddard interviewed each writer and at the end the reading groups who created all the ideas, had a chance to feedback and question, they each received a copy of the anthology and will have the writers’ return to their groups in the New Year to tie the whole project up.

read1 Fascinating how the original ideas peeped through the excerpts of the works the writers’ read. And it was interesting to hear the writers’ talking about the process. For many this was their first commission. I look forward to reading their full stories in my own copy. book 1
I have a whole pile of books to read now and can’t wait for a relaxing Christmas holiday day to enjoy them. I will create some blog posts about all the material I have discovered and bought this year.

The Six Writers were;

Gaynor Arnold linked with Solihull Reading Group Gaynor has written a story featuring a vulnerable child that’s full of poignancy with a surprising twist.

Garrie Fletcher linked to a reading and writing group at Coleshill Library. An exploration of how a character’s past impacts on the present.

Ian McCleod linked with a Writing West Midlands young writer’s squad based at Stourport Library. The story packs a strong emotional punch, peppered with terrific period details, in the form of a letter.

A L Pietroni linked with an independent reading group in Stone in Staffordshire. (Where I used to live!) The discussion in this group focussed on what was distinctive about the town of Stone including its historical connections with silk, glass and brewing. Anna’s story incorporates all these elements with an added measure of drama.

Rochi Rampal (who I saw and listened to on a panel at the Writers’ Toolkit a fortnight ago and is a playwright) worked with an independent reading group in Bearwood. The group expressed an interest in neighbourhood and how you can live alongside someone and not really know them.

Amanda Smyth worked with an independent reading group in Perton. he She wasn’t able to make the evening event.

Information from http://www.wmreadersnetwork.co.uk/blog/ Copyright © 2013 Roz Goddard



As I walked up to the library I was delighted by how Christmassy the lights were and how it really felt like Christmas. I decided to take some photographs before I left. Here is the Eye wheel 2wheel 1 (Wheel- First there in 2004-05 when I went on it with my mum just around the time I first moved back to the County).

I took some photos and rinkwatched people skating at the rink and then came home.





Excited! First Event of December – West Midlands Readers’ Network Short Story Commissions


Excited! First Event of December –

West Midlands Readers’ Network Short Story Commissions


This event has SOLD out, I was invited back in November – it has just take 10 minutes to find ticket confirmation.
Should have printed it out or pinned the email. Didn’t fancy driving all the way into the city and finding I had no seat! I was invited to be in the audience and am honoured that I have a seat, sadly many people don’t, including a couple who had a story written for them. What a shame.

Roz Goddard (who I met doing the Writing Picture Books course at the Custard factory in the summer) is the co-ordinator of the West Midlands Readers’ Network, part of her role with this commission was to link regional writers with readers’ groups across the Midlands with the aim of facilitating exciting new writing.

The short-story commissioning strand does just that. In the Spring of 2013, numerous reading groups around the region applied to have a bespoke short story written for them – and after a long selection process, six were chosen to work with a writer who I felt would be a good match for the group. At the first meeting readers and writers met to discuss a list of possible narrative ingredients – then over the long, hot summer the writers tapped, scribbled, crossed-out and eventually produced six excellent short-stories which will be showcased during a special event.

Roz’s most recent Twitter feed reads;

Fairy lights, baubles, gerberas, jazz and short-story anthologies all packed for a sell-out story event tonight.

bring on the Showcase Copyright © 2013 Roz Goddard.

AND I have just found out they are giving the anthology away for free.

west midlands readers network

Looking forward to the first night of many this week with writers’ and readers’. Congratulations to all the writers who were commissioned to take part in this project.

I look forward to blogging about these talented writers.


West Midlands Readers' Network  Supported by Arts Council England

My Writing (admin) Day – Including Tips for Writers


I have included some tips for writers throughout this article.

  • Look for bullet points and bold text.


alarm-clock Today started with a half seven phone call, I had requested no work as I am booked out the rest of the week and have several writery things in the diary, a story commission group, a book launch and a Stanza meeting which I need to prepare a poem for. 1 nb
I was awake and didn’t get back to sleep. I started with a Polar Cup of Coffee and my offline laptop.

  • arm yourself with Polar cups of coffee

I had Admin to catch up with – my records stopped in September, next years resolution will be to keep on top of these. It has taken me an hour to catch up with monthly activity/submissions and expenditure.

  • Keep financial records up to date – log and go

As a freelancer it is advisable to keep records and receipts for tax purposes. As yet I am making no money from writing, but in the future I know I will and these records will show my expenditure before profit and hopefully enable to claim some expenses back from the initial outlay or tax back from the money made (which is almost guaranteed – as we are allowed a personal allowance of nearly £10K before we have to pay taxes *although the government take it for a year before they reimburse any struggling artist!) and I know Poetry is a small market, the smallest of all and is a tough one to make money from, poetry however is my passion and my love, but not my only writing plan.

  • Be realistic – On gaining financial reward – writing is a small market and Poetry…
  • Poetry is a mere stall on that market, somewhere on the far side miles away from all the amenities! 

I will reveal some admin information at the end of the year – as much for my nerdy interest as anybody else’s, this year has cost a small fortune but far less than a hobby like horse riding or racing cars!
It is money well spent. I had originally set aside £450 to 500 that is what a years membership to the slimming club would have cost me. As for my weight, I can address that issue next year!
Needless to say I blew that budget before the summer.

  • Create a writing budget (cut corners from somewhere, you’re worth it!)

I am now working my way through the writing magazine (I finally took out a subscription for) and writing a DECEMBER Action Plan, as I have not committed any intention to paper since the beginning of the Autumn.

  • Set goals for the month, know what you want to do, need to do, how you are going to do it and when!

It was exceptionally hard to stay organised during NaNoWriMo, but now that’s over there is no excuse.
I would like to take part of the day to catch up with PAD poetry challenges which I abandoned just over half way through, if they are still online.

I then spent another 2 hours creating my December Action Plan, including a list of 30 opportunities for submissions I want to look into today on my day off.

  • Give yourself time for Admin, check it off the TO DO list.
  • Weekly slots, save sifting through the files and paperwork for mindnumbingly boring hours.
  • Do it offline if you can. YOU KNOW WHY!

I skipped breakfast and ate lunch. Which reminded of all the chores I have to do downstairs. It has been ages since I had a day like this to organise writing and dream up future plans, I think the last time I dedicated a day to all the tasks surrounding the writer was perhaps August and as I cannot afford a PA and UK Interns don’t work for free, there really is no choice.
Over lunch I made calls to estate agents and have finally moved onto actioning the 2nd part of trying to sell my apartment by going with the Estate Agent I should have used in the first place.
I was just settling back to the PC upstairs when there was a knock at the door – the postman with parcels… parcel parcels that CAN be opened before Christmas and are for me!    I knew what it was. Funny on this writing day that I should receive my 2nd subscribed magazine and the Writers & Artists Yearbook 2014! Did a little happy dance and then turned straight to the Poetry Section.wa bk

Now, for the 1st time since September*, I am working through my Action Plan.
* I wrote one in October and abandoned following it. Was busy with Inkspill, the Literature Festival and performing Poetry. November I didn’t write on, because of Nanowrimo.

  • Don’t just write an Action Plan… DO IT!

December Begins…


hello dec© Copyright 2013 Getfunny.net

So December arrives and I sleep – a whole day of hibernation. After the party (my Gran’s 90th) I think I was exhausted. Plus Mr G and I stayed up until the small hours.

At first I slept until 1pm and then I fell asleep and went back to sleep at 6pm, I have been up since 9pm and need to go to bed soon to make sure my body clock is right for tomorrow.

I have tomorrow off work and then have a full working week after.

Tomorrow I have a meeting I have been invited to in the city with a regional network about short story commissions, I am attending a book launch on Wednesday, have a Stanza meeting (Poetry Society) on Friday. There are several events which I may/ may not attend to watch/ perform poetry – depends if I get my energy levels up! I have to write some new material too and am enjoying writing for the blog challenges again too.

As far as Christmas Countdown goes – I am excited – I am like a kid at Christmas time.

Today we opened our wooden drawers in our Advent Calendars – Mr G surprised me last week with a Santa Sleigh Wooden Advent Calendar complete with surprises in every drawer. And he has a wooden reindeer which I enjoyed filling before the weekend. Sometime last week he jokingly commented that I should write Christmas cracker jokes (implying that mine were just as bad.) So with a little online research I filled his with Christmas cracker jokes and treats.

He had a build the burger sweet which in 3 parts only just fitted in the drawer and this joke:

Name a bird that writes?

To which he answered; ‘You’ which is funny, but wasn’t the true answer.

I got a Roses chocolate and a blank scrabble tile … intriguing.

xmas1 chalk tree

I felt a bit Christmassy – especially as there were so many people today on social networks posting images of their Christmas trees and kids in elf costumes. We watched a Christmassy film and I looked up a Christmas fudge recipe.