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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Monday 31 July 2017

West Sussex Writers celebrate 80 years!

I'm rather proud to say that I was the Secretary of West Sussex Writers for three years. During my time on the Committee I met many terrific writers of all genres and one of my favourite jobs was having dinner with best-selling crime writer Belinda Bauer. As one of the oldest and largest writing groups in the UK, West Sussex Writers is celebrating 80 years of existence. On Saturday 29 July I was lucky enough to have a ticket to their Writers' Day event in Worthing.
Alison MacLeod gave the key note address with a evocative journey of pictures and words through Sussex from 1937 to 2017 (see photo right). Alison later led a writing workshop - she's always so enthusiastic and inspiring that several of us asked her if she could develop an 'Alison MacLeod APP' so that when a writer is in need of a shot of her infinite energy they could conjure her up along with her motivational words of encouragement. (Someone really should develop this idea.)
Throughout the morning and afternoon there were also workshops led by: Stephanie Norgate, Melanie Whipman, Umi Simha, Clare Best and Julie Everton, covering poetry, prose, life writing and screenwriting. Over coffee and lunch there were plenty of opportunities to chat to other writers as well as the workshop leaders - it was all wonderfully informal. I caught up with many old friends and also someone I'd met recently at the Bath Flash Fiction Festival - she'd travelled all the way from Dorchester for the Writer's Day. Finally, at the end of the day there was a birthday cake to celebrate West Sussex Writers' 80th year.
Thanks to my recent win in the Commonwealth Short Story Prize I was considered one of the group's success stories and was absolutely delighted when Richard Buxton asked if I would cut the cake. As you can see from the photos below I had to try out the typewriter first - wasn't it a magnificent cake? (It tasted pretty good too!)
It was a nice touch that current members got in FREE for the whole day and non-members paid £22, which seemed exceedingly good value considering the quality of the speakers and the refreshments.
Big thanks must go to all the current Committee members who made the day possible. All your hard work paid off. Congratulations and here's to another 80 years of West Sussex Writers!

Friday 7 July 2017

Horsham Festival - Writing Workshop 13 July

If you live near Horsham (West Sussex, England) and are free on the evening of 13 July then why not come along to my writing workshop. It will be held at Horsham Library (Lower Tanbridge Way, Horsham, RH12 1PJ, Tel: 01403 224353) from 7.30 - 9.30pm (refreshments included in the ticket price!) and is part of this year's Horsham Festival. The flyer is below with details on how to get tickets - £7 in advance from Horsham Library or £8 on the door - pretty good value for 2 hours of me talking about FLASH FICTION and HOW TO WRITE FOR COMPETITIONS. There will be some writing exercises, which will be very relaxed and you can choose to join in or not (I know not everyone wants to write or share their work in a group). I will be sharing some TOP TIPS from award-winning short story writers, well-known judges and readers for writing competitions ... golden nuggets of wisdom from those who've won BIG!

Right now I feel confident on sharing my experience of writing for competitions having just returned from Singapore and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize giving (I was Regional Winner for Canada and Europe). Look out for my next post where I share my experience of meeting the rest of the Regional Winners and one of the judges in Singapore ... In the meantime you could read all of the winning stories and watch the short videos we all recorded, click here.
You can also read Vijay Krishnarayan's Blog about this year's Commonwealth competition and the prize giving event - click here. Vijay is the Director General of the Commonwealth Foundation, which is a very imposing, and scary, title for such a warm and lovely man.