Christmas Night

Christmas books

Christmas? On December 7? You’d better believe it.

Celebrate tinsel time with a night of festive fun at St Boswells Village Hall. There will be games, readings and book sales, with the opportunity to make a donation to Blackwell’s Christmas Appeal. Bring a sample of your writing to read and some seasonal food to make the party go with a bang.

See you at 7pm on Thursday, December 7.

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Wendy H. Jones

Wendy H JonesCrime writer Wendy H. Jones, a social media and marketing expert, will be our guest at November’s meeting.

Wendy is the best-selling author of the Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie crime novels and the Fergus and Flora Mysteries for young adults. Her writing builds on an extensive career in the Royal Navy, British Army and education.

For details of Wendy’s work, go to http://www.wendyhjones.com

The meeting takes place on Thursday, November 16, 2017, in the Lesser Hall of St Boswells Village Hall. Refreshments will be served from 7pm, with the talk due to start at 7.20pm. Non-members are welcome to attend on payment of a £3 entry fee. 

This is a Live Literature session funded through the Scottish Book Trust

Book Sales

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Members have two great opportunities to sell their books in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017, from 9.30am to 5pm
Scottish Widows, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh
(Building is opposite the Royal Commonwealth Pool)

Scottish Widows has requested that all books be discounted by £1. An additonal 10 per cent levy will be used to supply children’s books to the company’s nominated charity.

Volunteers to man the table have been arranged.

Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 9am to 5pm
Borders General Hospital

A 50 pence charge per book sold will be levied to cover table hire/ administration costs.

Volunteers to man the table will be welcome.

Members wishing to sell books at these events should bring them to the meetings on October 19 and November 16. To arrange another delivery method, please contact a committee member.

Blind Critique

criticism You’ve written a little piece of prose or poetry. It seems okay, but what might a reader make of it? Maybe it’s time to seek some advice.

Our October meeting will be a “blind critique” session. It works like this:
* Bring five copies of your prose (500 words max) or poetry (two max).
* Don’t put your name on the written material, so that you remain anonymous.
* Groups of four or five people will read and discuss your work.
* You will receive constructive comment and feedback.

It’s an informal opportunity for people to cast an eye over new material and help a writer in his/her quest to improve their work. We’ll focus on the positive.

The meeting takes place on Thursday, October 19, 2017, in the Lesser Hall of St Boswells Village Hall, Jenny Moore’s Road, St Boswells. Doors open at 7pm for refreshments, with the session beginning at 7.20pm. Non-members are welcome to attend and are asked to pay a £3 entry.

Peebles for Pleasure

Members and visitors enjoyed fine times at the Creative Peebles Festival (August 25 – September 3, 2017). Contributors to the “Abridged” anthology read excerpts from their work at Eastgate Theatre (August 26), while the Open Mic event at Silver Tree Studio (September 2) provided an opportunity for all writers to present five minutes of prose or poetry.

Both events showed that the written and spoken word in the Scottish Borders is in robust health. Positive feedback from participants was pleasing and encouraging. We hope to return to next year’s festival.

The readers were:

Abridged – Campbell Hutcheson (for Gwen and Antony Chessell), Heather Bolton, Ros Anderson (and for Vee Freir), Tony Parkinson (and for Gillian Vickers), Hayley Emberey, Margaret Skea (and for Jane Pearn), Pamela Gordon Hoad and Laurna Robertson.

Open Mic – Tom Murray, Tony Parkinson, Laurna Robertson, Pim Claridge, Ros Anderson, Campbell Hutcheson, Eileen Johnson, Hayley Emberey, Norma Powers, Molly MacIntyre, Philip Hutton, Kathleen Mansfield and Jenny Anderson.

A round of applause to Caroline Adam and festival staff for their assistance and to Theo and Elodie Emberey for help with refreshments at the Open Mic.

Creative Peebles Festival

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Saturday, September 2, 2017, at Silver Tree Studio, Pennel’s Close, off High Street, Peebles, from 2.30-4.30pm (doors open at 2pm). Entry is pay as you please.

An Open Mic event to showcase writers’ prose and poetry and to celebrate the spoken word.

Reading slots are timed to last a maximum of five minutes (around 700 words of prose).

For further information, contact Hayley Emberey on 07518 381852, 01896 850706 or by emailing hayleyemberey@gmail.com

The Art of Plotting with Janet O’Kane.

On Thursday 16th March 2017, the Borders Writers’ Forum was fortunate to have a ‘masterclass’ on plotting with local crime fiction writer, Janet O’Kane. Janet discussed the importance of ‘hooking’ the reader in the first few sentences by creating questions – the who, why what when and how?  She likes to have secrets in her writing as they lead to conflict.  Plot is also vital in crime fiction as is character and Janet ensures all her characters have jobs to do, working to drive the plot forward with credibility. The motive  has to be convincing and in keeping with the situation.

Janet admitted she writes by the ‘seat of her pants’ and describes writing books like driving in the dark – only a illuminating enough road at a time.  She uses strand sheets to keep herself on track with the various sub plots and showed examples of these to the group.

At the beginning of the evening Hayley Emberey interviewed Forum member – Dr Oliver Eade, which was a fascinating insight into his motivation, achievements and his many varied published books.