The Mystery Of The Missing Minutes

In all the excitement of our book launch last month, it seems some of our regular reports slipped through the nets. So, for those of you following along at home, here’s Roddie’s report on our meeting from the 8th of August, 2018.

Nethergate Writers Meeting 8/8/18 at The Avery

Present: Craig, Roddie, David C, Rosie, Aileen.
Apologies: David F, Richard, Sue, Ray.

Meeting was chaired by Craig and minutes taken by Roddie.



Craig mentioned that the Meadowside Church in Marketgate could offer a room for three h for £18. Craig was going to look into this further. It was accepted that it would be unlikely that we could obtain a venue free of charge that offered privacy and quiet. Craig proposed tweeting a message asking if anyone knew of a venue – this was thought by all to be worth pursuing. David suggested a fund raising event, perhaps a sponsored hill walk or sponsored stories. Rosie noted that perhaps signing everyone who wanted to attend NW summer meetings, up for a fee that would cover the cost of room hire.

2. 50 Shades of Tay.

Everyone was pleased by the review received from Andrew Murray Scott and David C had circulated it to members. Books were being sold by Richard through Cairn o Mhor in Errol, David C was going to look into The Watermill at Aberfeldy and Roddie would look into a stall at Saturday markets in Dundee. Rosie mentioned that selling through the Tartan Cafe did not work out. There was concern that a definite date for the launch at Waterstones had not been agreed as there would be a lead time in contacting The Courier beforehand for publicity and also concern that if the launch was delayed till September, then the Courier may be full of articles on the V and A. Rosie would speak to Abby to see what progress had been made. Roddie raised the idea of a future project of having the authors read their pieces for an audio (MP3) recording. This was agreed to be worth revisiting later. Rosie felt that she could print off A3 posters for the launch. She also noted that internet banking was now operational for the NW account. To date ninety three books had been given out.

3. New project.

David had circulated a list of possible themes. Craig proposed the inspiration being members’ photo albums. Rosie thought all stories should have a photo. Roddie noted that a photo inspiring a story in the hard copy could be displayed on the web site, or a generic one could be sourced from creative commons to illustrate the story. Concerns were raised about whether members could produce enough material for a larger book of short stories of average length 2500 words (David C). Roddie suggested allowing longer stories, more than one story/poem from a given author, or making one purpose of Zoe’s classes to be the production of such material for the book.

The next meeting was agreed to be held on the 22nd of August, Rosie kindly offered to host it.


There were three items.

Craig read his short piece “I am Writing” which was an amusing and accurate portrayal of the process of the blocked writer. It was liked by all.

Roddie had circulated two pieces which will form part of his submission to the Scottish Book Trust New Chapter Awards in September. The first one was a five hundred word synopsis of the novel (Once We Were Heroes) and the longer piece was a self-contained short story that formed one of the chapters of the novel, made up from interlinked short stories.

It was agreed that the synopsis should follow the structure set out for writing synopses in an article on the SBT website. Repetitions needed removing and clarifications needed to be made.

The story “Easter in Purgatory” was read. It features the protagonist Danny’s futile romance and how in anger, he deals harshly with a troublesome customer. The descriptions of Danny’s hectic night in the busy bar were liked. Aileen and Rosie felt that the story would be improved by making Danny a little more empathic in the early stages. All very constructive advice.

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