September 2013 archive

Sep 30

General Knowledge for Writers

General Knowledge for Writers   It is much easier to find information now than ever before because of the internet and speedy answers from search engines, on-line encyclopaedias…. It is tempting to think that perhaps we do not need reference books any more but there is something sensual about large format books, with shiny paper …

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Sep 30

Writing Detective Stories

Writing Detective Stories     So you want to write a detective story!   Session31 1)What are the properties of good detective stories? Ask members to list 5 as a brainstorming exercise. Share and discuss ideas, including:   a) A strong central character/team/duo ( Holmes and Watson, Morse and Lewis). List ‘individual’ investigators eg Miss …

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Sep 28

Poetry from a session on ‘Punctuation’

Poetry from a session on ‘Punctuation’ A fun poem from Marc: Comma, comma,  comma, full stop. Exclaim! Question?  Back to the top ^ The ‘Grammar Police’  will be all over me For my messings’ about  with that < apostrophe This, a misplaced comma,  could be actually correct. It’s not like I’m using it  just for …

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Sep 24

Fun With Limericks.

Fun with limericks. Sometimes you need a warm-up exercise or a filler at the end of a session Often depending on numbers a session may not take as long as expected as fewer participants means less to share and discuss. It is useful to have a few fun sessions on hand which can also be …

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Sep 23

Modifications to Writing Sessions

Modifications to Writing Sessions   Modifications and Outcomes From Session 30: (Punctuation (the only way?) Sometimes you might prefer to take a session but alter it to suit your group. In a recent session I started with Session 30. Punctuation (the only way?) but, because of the size of the group we did not do: …

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Sep 22


Poetry   The Kite by Patricia Payne. We flew his kite, my grandson and I. With the wind beneath it skimmed the sky. First to the left and then to the right It was such a colourful sight. Orange, green, purple and red, On the way down it just missed his head. Up again, swirling …

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Sep 17

Book Review – The Free World

Book Review – The Free World – Writers’ End by David Bezmozgis A strange book, I had trouble deciding whether I liked it or not. It took too long to get to know the characters, nearly half the book. They were not vivid or well drawn. In the end I decided I did not like …

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Sep 14

Punctuation (the only way?)

Punctuation (the only way?) Session 30 NB. Ideally you need a copy of ‘Eats Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss, or examples of passages where a change in punctuation completely changes the meaning, which you may find on the internet. We have discussed punctuation before and looked at examples of how very different the meaning …

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Sep 11


Clichés Session 29 Let me be clear, I don’t have the answers, but, I am going to start with a question: What are they? Are clichés useful shorthand, truisms used for emphasis, often tautological and therefore irritating, always irritating? Are they amusing, hackneyed and overworked, witty or a sign of laziness or lack of imagination? …

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Sep 08

Get Active on Lanzarote

Get Active on Lanzarote by Sue Almond Relaxation and a chance to recharge the batteries are what most people want from a holiday. If, for you, that means lying on a sun bed with a book all day and eating out in the evening that is fine. You can certainly do that on my favourite …

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