New Year Resolutions?

Are you wondering if this could be the year to start writing that novel, but you're just not sure where to start?

Just as a marathon runner doesn't start training by setting off for a 26 mile jog on the first day, writers don't (usually) plunge straight into a 100,000 word novel.

They limber up, practise and find out what they're good (and bad) at.

Meet the Members: Margaret James

What do you write? 

Novels, short stories, articles for magazines - I am a regular contributor to Writing Magazine - and non-fiction guides for writers.

When and where do you write? 

All the time - at home, on the bus, on trains, early in the morning, late at night, on paper, on screen and in my head.

Winning NaNoWriMo

[A member of Exeter Writers reflects on how she spent last month.]

Each November, writers all over the world challenge themselves to write fifty thousand words in a month. The more mathematically minded among you will already have done the calculation, but for everyone else, that’s just 1667 words each day, every day, for thirty days.

Cathie at St Thomas Library

Exeter writer, Cathie Hartigan will be at St Thomas Library on Tuesday December 1st talking about not only her debut novel, The Secret of the Song but also about her experience as a creative writing teacher, and more recently, as a successful self-publisher.

The information is on the poster above. All are welcome, however if you plan to go along it would be helpful to let the library know in advance.

Meet the Members: Elizabeth Ducie

What do you write?

I write a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. My debut novel, Gorgito’s Ice Rink, which was published last year, is a quest novel set in post-Soviet Russia.; I am currently working on a three-book series of thrillers set in Africa, Latin America and Russia.

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2016

The 2016 Exeter Writers competition is open for entries.

It's Official! Su Bristow's Sealskin acquired by Orenda Books

Karen Sullivan, publisher of Orenda Books, is delighted to announce the acquisition of World English Language rights for debut author, Su Bristow's Sealskin, in a deal negotiated with Broo Doherty of DHH Literary Agency. 

Simon scoops Trisha Ashley award!

Double Book Launch

Congratulations to Exeter Writers members Cathie Hartigan and Sophie Duffy.

Secret of the Song, available now
What lies behind the discord? The answer lies in Cathie Hartigan’s debut novel Secret of the Song.

When an old music manuscript is discovered at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum, trouble descends on the group asked to sing it. Can Lisa solve the mystery behind the song and its disturbing engraving on the cover? Will the song’s secret be revealed before further harm befalls them all?

From our Short Story shortlist to publication

We were pleased to get an email from Jim Kroepfl, who regular readers will recall was awarded both 2nd and 3rd place in our 2013/14 Short Story Competition. Jim submitted his 3rd-place story, The Front Line, to the Midway Journal literary contest.... and we're delighted to hear that the story has been placed.

As the Midway Journal wishes to publish The Front Line, we've temporarily removed the story from our website.

Our warmest congratulations to you, Jim!

The Business of Writing

This writing business means that there's often something new coming out and this week we have two new publications;

Elizabeth Ducie's The Business of Writing is now available in paperback as a single volume.

Originally published as three separate e-books, this useful book provides a simple road map for writers who want to set up and run their own small business.



Meanwhile Sophie Duffy, Cathie Hartigan and Margaret James are looking forward to Christmas with A Christmas Celebration, a compendium of stories, quizzes and puzzles.

Both are available in paperback and on Kindle.

More Competition Successes

Tracey Glasspool
Elizabeth Ducie

Exeter Writers members, Tracey Glasspool and Elizabeth Ducie are delighted to have both won prizes in the 2015 Writers Reign Short Story Competition.

A patchwork of history

A group of writers prepares to boldly go...
What do writers do all day?

When they're not writing, they're imagining, and sometimes they go on outings to fascinating places, which is what a group of Exeter Writers did yesterday.


It is with great sadness that I record the death of my husband, Ray Girvan, whom many of you have known for some time. Ray and I joined Exeter Writers in about 1998, but he soon decided that, as a technical rather than a literary writer, the group wasn’t really for him and left. He remained a presence in the group, however, coming to social occasions and managing the website, which he did for several years until he became too ill to continue.

2014/5 Short Story Competition Results

Congratulations to Ceri Lowe-Petraske who has won this year's competition with her wonderful story The Parrots of Peckham Rye. You can see the full results, including shortlisted and longlisted entries, and read the winning stories, by clicking here.

Gorgito's Prize

The debut novel by member, Elizabeth Ducie, has been chosen as runner-up in this year’s Self-Published Book of the Year Awards. Gorgito’s Ice Rink is a tale of love, loss and broken promises, set mainly in 1990s Russia, just after the fall of the Soviet Union. During that period, Elizabeth was helping to restructure the Russian pharmaceutical industry, and “although the story is completely fictional, Gorgito is based on someone I worked for, and some of my experiences found their way into the story” she said.

Margaret and Cathie Launch Another Writing Guide

The Short Story Writer’s Workbook by Margaret James and Cathie Hartigan, provides excellent guidance on the various forms that short fiction can take. What is the difference between a competition story and one for a commercial magazine such as Woman’s Weekly? What makes a good flash? How on earth can you squeeze an entire story into the handful of words that a micro flash requires?

Website updates

As you can see, we are busy making some changes to our website. Please bear with us while we fine-tune the details!

Short Story Competition 2015: Longlist

The longlist for our 2015 short story competition has now been published and can be found by clicking here. The shortlist and results will be announced in June.

Clare Wins Exeter Novel Prize

Congratulations to Clare Harvey for winning the 2014 Exeter Novel Prize. Her novel Cage the Minute (since renamed The Gunner Girls) is an absorbing and moving story set in WWII. The novel is to be published later in the year. Exeter Writers is proud to sponsor the first prize for the competition and many members came to help out on the day.

Left to right: Bert Tyler-Moore, Helena Fairfax, Clare Harvey (winner),
Broo Doherty (judge), Derryl Flynn, April Hardy, Beverly Stark

Sophie's Book Trailer

Sophie Duffy's third novel, Bright Stars will be published by Legend Press on 1st October. But in the meantime, she's put together a trailer for her second novel This Holey Life. You can watch it now by clicking here.

A Journey in Story

Here at Exeter Writers, we are busy reading all the entries for this year's short story competition and the results will be announced in June 2015. In the meantime, we were delighted to receive this article recently from one of last year's prize winners, Jim Kroepfl, telling us about his writing journey.

Tracey Wins Again

New member of Exeter Writers, Tracey Glasspool, is celebrating another competition success after winning the short story category of the Hysteria 2014 Writing Competition.