Sue’s Views

Getting back on track after the excitement of our book launch, Sue provides us with the update this week.

Nethergate Writers’ Meeting Wednesday 19th September 2018
Minutes by Sue, 24 September 2018

Present: David C, Craig, Rosie, Roddie, Richard, Sue

Apologies: Abby, Aileen, David F

1. Writing

The first piece of work was by David C called ‘Her Chance to Shine

David explained the idea came from nurses who murder patients in hospital. There are to be three parts to the story from different viewpoints, the first from Thomas, the father. We liked the descriptions but it was suggested that David could start with the action and the family then slip in the back story. The work produced interesting questions i.e. The reasons she has developed her views, why she is a sociopath and why she chose that family. It was also suggested that she communicate with the boy directly creating more suspense. We all enjoyed it and found it quite sinister and very much look forward to the next instalment.

The next piece was by Roddie called ‘Everyone wants to be Dougal Haston

This is a story he has previously written and it was agreed the language works better than before. There were differing opinions as to whether writing it in the second person added to the story or didn’t help the flow. It was also suggested that one of the female characters, Mindy was described in more detail than the males so Roddie agreed to put in more male descriptions. We all enjoyed the story and agreed it would be suitable to submit to ‘New Writing Scotland’ A discussion then followed about covering letters accompanying submitted work. Roddie made the point that they are not looking for personal histories and won’t take the time to read them. The most important point is that the work has not been published before. After they accept it more details can be given.

The final piece was by Richard which he has altered since first writing it and is called ‘Tedious Talks on Telemetry

This is about people on smart phones, gesticulating. It was agreed there was good rhyming and it was more effective being read aloud rather than reading it. An amusing question was asked about whether these people would eat pork pies and it was decided that quiche would be more appropriate! It was agreed the work was clever and amusing.

2. Business

Next was an update on the sales of 50 Shades of Tay. Verdant Works were not interested in stocking it nor sadly were VisitScotland. Craig has been to McManus Galleries where the contact had slight reservations about the title so we await the outcome. David C commented that the Birnam Arts Centre embraced the book and title!

Rosie followed this with an update on copies sold and money collected to date:

Fiona has sold 12 copies to the Discovery Point shop. Rosie will ask at the V & A and DCA is a possibility as selling outlets. Waterstones took 60 in total and they are offering us a Christmas signing to promote sales. The Birnam Arts Centre took 8.
194 have been sold and 7 through paypal. There are 100 left after free ones given out to shops so we have already made our money.

We were disappointed by the lack of press coverage and Rosie is going to email the Courier to update them.  It was suggested we offer buy one, get one free at the Christmas book launch at Waterstones but no decision on this was made.

3. Future venues

Room 2G03 at the Dalhousie building is booked again for two weeks time at a cost of £20 per night. For 2019 it was suggested that we work out how many meetings we will have and all members pay in advance. It was felt that £20 was a good deal but we should not be depleting our funds to pay for this in the future. This will require further discussion.

4. Zoe’s classes

We then discussed Zoe’s classes. We are sure she originally gave us a date in October but nobody could remember when. We all seemed satisfied by the last classes discussing a different topic each week for the first hour then reading and discussing our work during the second hour.

5. Next project

We talked about our next project, producing an anthology of short stories and whether we should work on this during Zoe’s classes.
‘The Nethergate Writers Photo Album’ has been discussed previously whereby we each bring a photo to Zoe’s class with the possibility of completing a short story by the end of the classes. Previous work could be used.
It was suggested we meet once a month during classes and it was suggested that Abby email Tom, Scott and Linden with regard to this.
We would set a date for monthly meetings at the university in between Zoe’s classes if that suits her. Craig will email Zoe about this.

Craig has been approached by Steve Finnan from D.C. Thomsons’s heritage department at the launch of 50 Shades of Tay. He would like to discuss creative ways we could work together. Craig will get in touch and find out if he would like to come along to our next meeting on Wednesday 3rd October. It was suggested that we bring some work along to that meeting.

The meeting concluded at 9pm with thanks to Craig for taking the chair.

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