Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Monday, 29 May 2017

Small but perfectly formed ...... Linda Mitchelmore

No, that's not me small but perfectly formed but the writing group I belong to, Brixham Writers. There are just a dozen of us and as the room we use at Brixham Library is very small it suits us perfectly. We meet once a week from September until the end of May and then in June, July, and August we meet in whoever wants to host the meeting in their home. Cake is obligatory. We have 'homework' set every week but can bring 'work-in-progress' to read out if we prefer. Not all of us attend every meeting. So .... the twelve members. We are all published in some way - short stories, journalism, novels, letters-to-editors (often the hardest thing to get published!), poetry, radio plays, memoirs. The group has been going for thirty years or so and Anne Goring is a founder member. Anne is the lynch-pin who holds us all together but we diplomatically take it in turns to be in the chair each week. Anne has had many historical novels published, radio plays, and she also writes short stories. Anne's books are borrowed from libraries. Here's one of them.
Our newest member is Margaret Mason, who has two novels on the go under her pen-name, Rosina Farley. Margaret is a published poet and brings a dash of academia to the meetings. John Rossiter is also a long-time member. John is unusual in that he has been in all the armed forces - army, navy, and airforce. His memoirs are often very amusing and very non-PC these days but in context of the times they are just right. John also treads the boards and has an Equity card and has appeared as an extra in films. Hannelore Mackenzie is German and is the absolute 'homework' star as she always does it. Hannelore's sister-in-law, Brenda Mackenxie, has written many travel articles for many different publications. Brenda also had her first novel published round about the same time she called cards with an 8 and 0 on them. How good is that!
Now then, you could be forgiven for thinking we are all of a certain age. But we're not. We have Ian Carr who is a mere boy in his early forties and whose first novel, Sons of Natal, was published last year. Ian has a second novel almost finished. Ian is on the town council so he attends meetings when he can.
But it is Catherine Billing who is the baby of our group. Catherine is in her early twenties and a very loyal, almost every meeting, attendee. Catherine has seen her work published in Writing Magazine. Her first book, Into Eden, written under her pen-name of Cate Frances, is a memoir about her travels in the Grand Canyon. Champagne is on ice as Catherine's book is due out very soon, and being published by Breakwater Press. Art students at our local college have done the cover art work for this book.
Sandra Woolfenden is a name readers of Take-A-Break, My Weekly, and various other women's magazines might recognize as she's had hundreds of short stories published, many of them back in the day when magazines like True Romances were very popular. Michelle Heatley is our techie expert. We all need one. Well, I need one! Michelle's wonderful book, Fish Soup, was well received and she has another couple - if not three - novels on the go. As I write, Michelle is putting an anthology of the groups' short stories together. The cover is being worked on (by Catherine's college friends again).
And now our very high-profile and best-selling member, Kate Furnivall. It's a truism that if you want something done ask a busy person. Kate is never too busy to help group members with advice, or contacts, or to cast her eye over something a member has written and would like an opinion on, even though she often has the tightest of deadlines. Kate's books have been translated into umpteen languages, and we love to hear about her lunches in London with agents and editors and publishers and all the swish parties at writing at that high end of the market involves. Something to which to aspire indeed. Kate has also had contemporary novels published under her married name of Kate Sharam. Kate's latest historical novel is The Liberation.
Carole Llewellyn - even though she now lives in Spain and is sorely missed for her vivacity, her immaculate and glamorous dress-sense, and her musical Welsh voice - pops in from time to time when she is back in Blighty. Carole is a short story writer and has also had historical romances published. Oh to be sitting by a pool in the sunshine as Carole does to do my writing.
And then there's me ...... enough about me! I can't imagine life without my Brixham Writer pals now .... they crack the whip to keep my pen on the paper!

8 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading about the Brixham Writers, Linda. There seems to be a nice mix of experience and personalities to make the group work well. :)

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    1. Thanks, Victoria. It works well for us all, I think. And they critique very constructively, and kindly!

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  2. Sounds like a great group Linda! One of the things I miss since moving to Argyll is lovely Dumfries Writers which I was a member of for many (many!) years.

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    1. It is a great group. And I have had so many short stories out of the weekly 'themes' that are set.

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  3. What an interesting mix of writers, Linda - and it sounds as though you are all great friends too. Lovely to have such a wonderful group to check-in with on a weekly basis. I'm very grateful to be a part of the Aberdeen Writers' Studio, but we meet monthly rather than weekly - perhaps that needs to change...

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    1. Ah, well, Rae .... sometimes I have a grumble about it being weekly but really it's the best thing. It's amazing how two hours in the company of like-minded folk can motivate me!

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  4. That was great, Linda. I feel you've introduced me to your friends. I hope you all carry on meeting for many years to come!

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  5. Thanks, Jennifer. Last weekly meeting tomorrow - definitely cake and maybe a bit of fizz!

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