What have I been up to? Well, working really. I am the editor of The Woman Writer, the almost 100 year old magazine published by the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. I have spent time working on that and it was published once again this month. I was pleased to see that it was in the December edition of Writers' News, along with a piece written by my colleague, Sylvia Kent, about the history of the Society. She kindly mentioned me as the magazine editor, which was good of her and I, who luckily had just finished the front cover when the magazine called for the article, supplied the image.
Sylvia has just launched her latest baby on the world. A complete history of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, The Woman Writer, published by The History Press, features a super shot of Joyce Grenfell, our President for many years, on the front cover. This book is so new I have not seen a copy yet. I am reliably informed that I have a small place in it. I will get a copy from Sylvia shortly, so will then see for myself.
Last Wednesday I gave a talk at the Southampton Writer's Circle on the history of the Society. I stood in for Jean Morris, the Society's chair, who could not make the date at the last moment. As I am a Circle member, I was asked to give the talk and to present the prizes for the Greensleeves competition, which Jean had adjudicated. I was very pleased to present the trophy to Elizabeth Streatfield, a worthy winner.
I am coming to the end of my work for my book, Folklore of Hampshire, which needs to be with the publisher soon. This has been a major labour and, although I think I will miss researching some of the interesting facts for the book, it will be nice to move on to finish work on my next publication, Southampton Past and Present, which has to be ready by March 2010.
In the meantime, I am kept on my toes by my students! I mark scripts for the non-fiction section of the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Writing Course and great fun it is too. The students are from all walks of life, different ages and from many countries of the world. They are all united in a will to write, that drives them on to create prose which is, sometimes, a real joy to read. This is a new venture for me, having started tutoring for the Writers Bureau only in August and it is a thrill to watch my students develop and blossom.
If you are listening to the radio tomorrow, Wednesday 18th November, at 7 pm UK time, you might want to tune in to Express FM and listen to the Write On programme hosted by Rob Richardson. Readers of this blog may remember that I devoted a piece to Express FM a short while ago, when the programme was temporarily taken off the air. I am pleased to say that it is now back on again and I am the guest tomorrow. It is the first time I have been interviewed on radio, so apologies now for any nervousness you might hear on air!
Looking slightly further into the future, on Friday 20th November, Peter Lovesey, the charming crime writer and Daggar Award winner, will be a guest at my group for writers, Writing Buddies. If you fancy a cuppa and a chat, you will find the Writing Buddies in Borders, Southampton, from 2pm onwards. It is free, just pull up a chair and join in.
Well, I think that is all for now. More in my next blog!