New Year reading recommendation!

Here at Exeter Writers, we hope you had a very merry Christmas. We would post a photo of our Christmas party but everyone was having too much fun to remember to take one!

We'd also like to wish you all the very best for the New Year. in case you've already got through all the new books you got for Christmas, or if you have a book voucher burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to consider Su Bristow's debut novel, Sealskin.

Published by Orenda Books, available in e-book format with the paperback due out in February, Sealskin is a retelling of the selkie legend and tells the story of Donald, who makes a terrible mistake which changes the lives of himself, his family and whole community.

"Winner of the first Exeter Novel Prize, Su Bristow transports us to a different world, subtly and beautifully exploring what it means to be an outsider, and our innate capacity for forgiveness and acceptance. Rich with myth and magic, Sealskin is, nonetheless, a very human story, as relevant to our world as to the timeless place in which it is set. And it is, quite simply, unforgettable."

Things I Have Wasted Money On

Exeter Writer, Hayley Jones' short story 'Things I have Wasted Money On' has been selected for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual for 2017.

Hayley's story was shortlisted for last year's Exeter Writers short story competition and went on to win the Devon Prize. Since then, Hayley has joined our merry band.

Well done Hayley!

National Novel Writing Month

November was NAtional NOvel WRiting MOnth, more commonly called 'Na-no', when writers around the world aim to write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November.

That's 1,667 words a day (or a bit more if you plan to take the weekends off).
Did you Na-no this year?
Four of Exeter Writers did; Elizabeth Ducie, N Sian-Southern, Angela Wooldridge and Lynne McVernon.

Pictured below are Elizabeth and Angela at a write-in on day 30 in their last push to beat their target!

St Michael's Book Fair 2017

Exeter Writers had a stall at the St Michael's Book Fair last Saturday (26th November). 

If you went along you may have bumped into (from left to right); Elizabeth Ducie, Cathie Hartigan, Margaret James and Lynne McVernon.

No time like the present!

If you pick up a copy of this week’s ‘My Weekly’, you’ll find a Christmas story by Exeter Writer, Angela Wooldridge (page 83 ;) ).

Angela says; 

“I’d had a previous story turned down, but the editor, Karen Byrom, was good enough to include some feedback. She also mentioned what sort of stories she was currently looking for. This prompted my Christmas themed story which was accepted (and yes, it did mean that I had to start thinking about Christmas in August!).

Taking advice and paying attention to the guidelines hasn’t failed me yet!”

A Broad Abroad!

Exeter Writer, Elizabeth Ducie, will be talking at St Thomas Library, Exeter on Thursday 3rd November.

Come along and chat as she talks about her years of travel which have provided so much inspiration for her novels.

Plymouth Literature Festival 2016

Members of Exeter Writers are taking part in the upcoming Plymouth Literature Festival.

Cathie Hartigan and Elizabeth Ducie will be speaking as part of Writers Talk, with the West of England Authors 
on Saturday 22nd Oct at 1.30pm.

Elizabeth will then be hosting a Women Writers Panel at 3pm
 where Sophie Duffy will be joined by 
 Teresa Driscoll, Babs Horton and Carla Vermaat.

All events are free and take place in the Plymouth Athenaeum.

Wednesday 2nd November at 7.30pm, Richard Handy takes us on a journey through history to reveal the facts about secret weapons in the early 1930s and the rise of the Nazi state – the dangerous technologies, the industrial espionage, stolen secrets and the global financing of super weapons that inspired his rollicking spy thriller, The Reich Device.

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2017

The Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2017 is

First prize £500
Second prize £250
Third prize £100

Plus a prize for writers in Devon of £100

Closing date 28th February 2017
Click here for further information.
Good luck - we're looking forward to reading your entries! 

Why I wrote 'The Truth About Us' by Simon Kettlewell

A few years ago I saw a snippet of a documentary on relationships. It was a snippet because my daughter was very young, I was the main parent, and for years rarely saw a whole programme in one sitting. In this documentary a very elegant older woman was talking about inviting her husband’s lover to come and live with them in a bid to hold their relationship together. That was it. That was all I saw. This didn’t sound like desperation on the woman’s part to keep a husband to herself, but more a recognition that they were older, and the thought of ending a long relationship and everything that would come with it would simply be too much.

Elizabeth's Busy Summer

EW member, Elizabeth Ducie, is having a very busy summer. In the past six weeks, she's launched not one, not two, but three new books.

Exeter Writer, Jo Cole is racing to raise money for Cancer Lifeline Southwest

My name is Jo and I´m a Scrambled Leg newbie for 2016. I first heard about the Legs when Lisa gave a talk at an event (probably during Chudfest) two years ago.

Cover reveal for Su Bristow's 'Sealskin'

What happens when magic collides with reality?

Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland.  One night he witnesses something miraculous; and makes a terrible mistake.  His action changes not only his own life, but that of his family and community.  Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow where there has been violence?

Meet the Members: Angela Wooldridge

Angela is currently the secretary of Exeter Writers.

What do you Write?
My short stories cover all sorts of subjects. This may be partly because I'm still finding my way, but also because I like the freedom a short story gives you to experiment and try new things. 

Short story competition 2015/16 - The Final Results

Exeter Writers are delighted to announce the winners of the 2015/16 Exeter Writers Short Story Competition.

We received many fantastic entries, and thank all our entrants for their efforts. We can now reveal the winning stories and their authors. We can also reveal the authors of the shortlisted and longlisted stories. Congratulations, everyone! We hope to see you next year.

1st – Mr Dixon’s Lawnmower – Michael Snelle
2nd – The Indus Seals – Frances Thimann
3rd – Not as Fast as Lightning Boy – D. Bruton
Devon prize – Things I Have Wasted Money On – Hayley Jones

Short Story Competition 2015/16 - The Shortlist

Well, here we are! It was a difficult decision, but we winnowed our competition longlist down to a shortlist of just ten stories. The authors have been informed (but their names are still confidential) and Exeter Writers will make its final decision on the winners on Saturday 14th May. Congratulations to our shortlisted authors, and watch this space...

Short Story Competition 2015/16 - The Longlist

We can now reveal our longlist of finalists in the annual short story competition. The task of judging is shared between all of our members, and these are the ones that stand out so far. At this stage, none of us knows who the authors are, so no names will appear until the finalists are chosen. But whoever you are, congratulations! And to all the entrants, many thanks and keep writing. 

Meet the Members: Su Bristow

Hello from Su Bristow, currently Chair of Exeter Writers.  Next year, world domination…

What do you write?

I write stories with an element of fantasy.  My first novel, Sealskin, is a retelling of the Scottish legend of the Selkies, or seals who can turn into people.  It won the Exeter Novel Prize 2013, and as a direct result of that, I now have an agent and a publisher.  It will be published as an ebook in the second half of this year, and in paperback early in 2017.  The next step is the cover design, which should be ready in the new year.  Watch this space…

Exeter Novel Prize 2015

Congratulations to Lucy Welch,
Winner of the 2015 Exeter Novel Prize!
Pictured here with the finalists:
Lucy Ayrton, Louise Mangos, Lucy Welch (winner), Lizzie Lamb, Christopher Holt (and Mark Dlugash, not pictured)

The Exeter Writer's Short Story Competition 2016 is now closed.
Thank you to everyone who entered. 

The winners will be announced in July 2016.

1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, as well as the winner of the Devon Prize will be published on the Exeter Writer's website.

Good luck! We are looking forward to reading all your entries.

Can you write up to 3,000 words before February 29th 2016?

There's still time to enter the Exeter Writer's Short Story Competition!

First prize £500
Second prize £250
Third prize £100
Plus a prize for writers in Devon of £100

What Gets In The Way

 (by Jan Cascarini).

How many times have I said to myself, ‘Tomorrow… I’ll start writing tomorrow, once I’ve got this out of the way’? This, of course, being anything from emailing the phone company about a discrepancy in my latest bill to spring cleaning the entire house. (Needless to say, the house is only ever cleaned in fits and starts.)

Exeter Writer, Angela Wooldridge is joining writers around the world in a Storytime Blog Hop this week.

Click on the link to read 'Uninvited Guests'. Then follow the links at the bottom to nine more tales of speculative fiction.

Angela's flash fiction story 'Room Mates', features on the MashStories podcast this month.

Elizabeth's Second Novel Makes Good Start

Member Elizabeth Ducie is hoping a recent competition success is a sign of things to come. Elizabeth is currently working on her second novel, Counterfeit!, which is set in Southern Africa and deals with dodgy goings-on in the pharmaceutical industry. It is the first in a series of three novels, featuring three strong female protagonists.

Meet the Members: Cathie Hartigan

What do you write?
Short stories and novels – my debut novel, Secret of the Song, was published in September 2015. I’m also the co-author of a series of non-fiction guides for writers.

When and where do you write? 

The spare room is my office and it’s there I do most of my writing and the admin for CreativeWritingMatters, including all the competitions we run. Consequently, you can hardly see the surface of my desk, so when I can, I go to the Devon and Exeter Institution in Cathedral Yard. It’s a wonderful library as well as a great place to write with no distractions.