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EXETER AUTHORS ASSOCIATION

Writing Groups in Devon

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Blog posts : "writing"

The Bampton Charter Fair Experience

October 30, 2017

Last weekend the Exeter Authors Association were in action at the Bampton Charter Fair. This was the first time authors have been invited there for over 500 years so we have a lot of history to make up for. We shared a hall with the lovely people from the LARCS and it made for a chaotic, busy day.

The children's authors and entertainment section proved very popular with our special guest Ollie in a toga bringing ancient history to life. K.Y. Eden gave a fascinating insight into the writing of the Redcroft Journals trilogy and into the crazy life of a fantasy author.

Jenny Kane as always delighted her fans and sold out of most of her books. Fortunately, they are still available online. The Circle of Spears drama company gave a thrilling installment of their play WITCH... which completely stopped the tea chatter. John Hall gave a fascinating talk about researching and writing his terrorism based novels and a possible research trip to Oman. Richard Dee read one of his scary short stories and Richard the second or Richard Lappas to his fans regaled everyone with tales of Princess Diana and the Queen. 

P.J. Reed came in her performance poetry guise for this event, leaving her high fantasy and horror writing for more sinister times, and read her new poem regarding 'Colin the nearly new neighbour'.  Brian Willis, another performance poet from Tiverton entertained with his new selection of Gothic poetry.  Jeni Braund sold many copies of her Heartland poetry book in aid of the Anthony Nolan charity. All in all in was a fun-filled. action-packed day! 

If you missed seeing the Exeter authors they will be on display at the CreaTiv Hub, Fore Street, Tiverton, Devon from  Tuesday 28th November to Saturday 2 December with free goodies, cookies, a free draw and an amazing selection of books!

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Exploring the Devon Dialect

June 7, 2017

The Tiverton Poetry Group monthly meeting is always a surprising affair. The chameleon nature of the CreaTiv Hub, means you never know what you are actually walking into. On occasions our meeting has been held amid art exhibitions, photography and the hilarious children’s art centre time, when we ended up holding our meeting on a kiddie art table complete with beautifully vivid matching chairs.

The surrealist nature of the room reflects the surrealist nature of the group.  In what other context would a group with such disparate former lives as a postman, PhD student, life coach, author, teacher, air force corporal, and book shop owner all meet under the cover of darkness than to discuss poetry?

Last night we walked into a rainbow coloured treasure trove of vintage clothes. The atmosphere oozed with their memories of lives once lived and now discarded.

The past is indeed a foreign country and this month’s meeting delved into Devon’s poetical past with readings from John Keats, a one-time resident of Teignmouth, slightly risqué poem ‘Where Be Ye Going, You Devon Maid?’   and Rudyard Kipling, a Westward Ho! man, poem ‘The Gardener.’ We also ventured into the near past of Devon folk history with an attempted reading of Crediton born, Jan Stewer’s ‘Home! Home, Begad,’ which proved a highly challenging read.  Here is a section to attempt if you can…

Home! Home, begad. ‘Tis snawin’ an’ blawing’ an’ I be sneezin’ an’ barkin’ an’ me nawse gets nipped off if I aunly putts ‘en outside the door an’ the sky is as black as thinder an’ ev’rything in the shops is dear as zuvrins an’ they voretells ’tis gwain to be the wist winter o’ the lot.

But ’tis home an’ that’s all I cares about fer the present.

I’ve left the warm zin behine me fer a bit, zim-zo, an’ I mus’ zay I veels the cold most jewsive. If I aunly goes two enches away from the vire the ole gewse-vlesh creeps up all ovver me an’ me knees is knackin’ together an’ me teeth is chitterin’.

But ’tis home.

An’ there’s other kinds of warmness bezides the yet o’ the zin. There’s the zight o’ yer awn volks an’ the ole familiar noises which you never did’n use to take no notice of, but now they makes ‘e preck up yer yers like music.

It takes a brave man/ woman to slow your vowels and roll easy ‘z’s and try to speak like a Devonian.

After various levels of dialect success, the group moved on to their own Devon inspired poetry and AOB.

We were delighted to learn long standing member Audrey had won a Haiku Competition with an actual cash reward and people say poetry doesn’t pay!

Group poets P.J. Reed, Trina J. Stacey, and Brian Willis are performing at CredFest17 as part of the Exeter Authors Association ‘A Celebration of Books’ event on Saturday 17th June, Crediton Library from 2 – 5pm.  Everyone is welcome to this free event but spaces are limited.

For further information visit – http://exeterauthorsassociation.jigsy.com/credfest17-information

Finally, The Tiverton Poetry Group are planning their annual open poetry event at the Independent Coffee Trader, Tiverton with a tentative date of Tuesday 11 July.

More details to follow!

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Choosing A Title and other Author Chat

January 15, 2017

Today the North Devon ‘Authors in a Café group met in Bideford’s Latte and Lunch to take advantage of their January coffee and cake special offer. Any attempts at dieting were suspended for the duration. The focus for our discussion was titles – how to choose one, what makes a good one? What do particular titles tell us about the content? What kind of audience might a particular title attract? All agreed that the title and the cover image are inextricably linked. We were able to offer helpful suggestions to those amongst the group who are currently searching for a captivating title.

We hope that we will soon be able to announce an exciting ‘writers in residence’ event for our group, in a stunning and inspirational location. All we can say at present is, if you would like to come and chat to us about our work, keep part of 29 April – 1 May free.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 9 February and amongst other things,  we shall be discussing Susan Hughes’ blog post, which poses the question, how far can historical fiction writers can ‘bend’ the facts to suit their plots? https://www.bragmedallion.com/blog/history-making-susan-hughes/

By Janet Few

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The Twyford Writers - writing in styles

November 16, 2016

Twyford Writers braved the chilly autumn darkness this week to meet in The Royal British Legion Hall  and discuss writing they don't normally do.

It's always a challenge writing in a genre you don't like but it's always good to put a toe outside your comfort zone and test the waters of unexplored writing styles. The results were strange and wonderful. There was a highly entertaining soap parody complete with a heart attack, resuscitation, staff cuts, hospital romances, broken relationships, and embittered staff.

We had a food poetry extravaganza featuring chocolate in a variety of poetry styles including tanka, limerick, and senryu but requests for a quick sausage roll dinner were rebuffed.

There was also the strange experience of a horror writer writing a very creepy romance about the wrong type of love which brought a huge reaction from the group.

Finally, there was a descriptive narrative about Knightshayes in the form of a guidebook. 

The group then spent a very happy final  hour in the bar discussing future writing plans, stories and plotting future story twists. 

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Twyford Writers

October 10, 2016

The Tiverton-based writing group the Twyford Writers met last Thursday to discuss their latest writing projects.

The bar was vacated  due to a darts match so the meeting was held in the quiet surroundings the memorial room of the British Legion Hall. The group read their own very diverse interpretations of an image of a person with a diagonal dark/ light split background. From this starting place, the group's imagination ran to vastly different places. The scene was variously interpreted as a blind man being described a painting, a first-hand account of a chase through a snow covered landscape and of a couple's voyage to a new life.

It is always fascinating to listen to the stories being told by their writers and this session was no exception. 

The writing challenge for next month is to write in a form outside your normal writing comfort zone whether that means prose, parables, comedy or romance etc.

This hard working, fun group is open to new members. 

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