I had been toying with the idea of starting my own writers' circle as I did not seem able to find a circle in my area. However, readers of this blog will have read about my discovery of the Southampton Writers' Circle and so the need to start my own group has died away. However, I felt that there was something missing and with the formation of Writing Buddies, I hope to fill the gap I see in services for writers in Southampton.
I know that I am new to the area and there is bound to be someone out there in Readerland who will email me and tell me I have it wrong, there is an existing group offering the services I am about to offer and asking me who do I think I am, starting something similar? Well, I apologise but the fact is, as a newcomer to the area, I have not found them.
So what am I wittering on about? Writers' Circles offer their members a place to meet and try out their writing. Members read excerpts and friendly criticism is offered. Circles run competitions and invite guest speakers to talk about their latest books or share expertise. Writing Buddies is different. Writing Buddies is open to both professional and non-professional writers of all genres and both sexes. It is basically a group which meets for a cuppa and a chat upstairs in the large Borders store in the Southampton city centre. Anyone who has an interest in writing can come along, pick up a coffee and sit down to discuss any aspect of writing they wish to. So, we might talk about the latest developments in the fiction market, an editor's view of journalism, discuss how a plot can be pushed forward, talk about writing organisations and writing courses, the latest developments in book selling or anything else the group fancies. The emphasis will not be on reading out our own work but on the wider world of writing. Thus, Writing Buddies will not overlap with existing writing circles and will, I hope, complement them.
Writing Buddies will not put people in touch with agents or publishers. Writing Buddies will not critique work. Writing Buddies may though, pass on information about where to go for such services if they are necessary. It just depends on who joins the group that week and who knows whom.
The management of Borders has been very supportive. It seems that they have wanted to have such a group within their store for a while, but did not know where to start to find writers interested in coming along. My initiative has therefore been of interest.
Depending on how we fare, I would like to see guest speakers pop in to join the group, to bring new ideas and new possibilities to our merry band.
If you fancy coming along, the meetings are free and start at 2 p.m. If you would like more information, please do contact me.