The Webmaster’s Witterings – 3rd of October 2018

Craig has all the news from our most recent meeting


Nethergate Writers Meeting – 3rd October 2018
Present – Abby, Craig, Richard, Roddie, Sue
Apologies – Aileen, Colin, David C, David F, Rosie

1 – Steve Finan from DC Thomson Media Heritage
For the first half of the meeting we were visited by Steve Finan, who is in charge of the DC Thomson Media Heritage department. Steve has been a journalist with DC Thomson for his entire working life, and has written for a number of their publications, including The Courier and Sunday Post, and he is now involved with looking for ways to utilise the vast wealth of material in the DC Thomson archive. So far, this has included publishing two volumes of household hints and tips taken from the Sunday Post’s ‘Pass It On’ columns from the 1950s, as well as ‘Lifted Over The Turnstiles – Scotland’s Football Grounds In The Black and White Era’. Steve is, however, interested in finding out of there are ways that the archive can be used to help spark some creative writing, too, and had approached our group at the recent launch night for ‘”50 Shades of Tay”.

We had a most entertaining and productive discussion, with Steve telling us about a range of resources that stretch way beyond the obvious titles of DC Thomson’s newspapers, the People’s Friend and the company’s famous comics, to include lesser known works such as the ‘Woman’s Way’ magazine from the early part of the 20th century and Dixon Hawke, the detective who has appeared in more published appearances than any other fictional character.

We’d like to thank Steve for taking the time to visit us, and certainly hope that we may be able to work together in the future.

2 – 50 Shades Updates

Fiona has been into the Quirky Coo, and they have taken 10 copies on a ‘Sale or Return’ basis. Craig reported that, unfortunately, the McManus had decided not to take any copies.

Abby is going to contact Waterstones regarding the offer of a signing event in the run up to Christmas, and will send a copy of the press release to Steve.

David F had asked by e-mail about the prints we had produced of some of the pieces and which are now on display in the Waterstones cafe. We need to check with Rosie where David’s piece has ended up, as it was used on the table at the launch night rather than being one of those in permanent display in the cafe. If any other members want specific prints, we may be able to order these from Pulse North, and it would be best to collect orders together rather then doing it piecemeal.

Abby also floated the idea of postcards based on some of the 50 Shades pieces.

3 – Nethergate Writers meetings

We decided upon provisional dates of the 7th November and 3rd December as the dates for our next two Nethergate Writers meetings, but these may be subject to change. We also discussed the format of these meetings, and whether these will be different from the upcoming classes with Zoe. It was felt that perhaps too much of our meetings are currently taken up with business discussions, rather than looking at member’s writing, and it was agreed to try and restrict the amount of time devoted to non-writing discussion at future meetings.

4 – Writing

We had two pieces of writing to discuss.

The first was Roddie’s poem ‘Untarnishing The Star O’ Rabbie Burns’. Written in Scots, it is a response to an article in which former Makar, Liz Lochead, had compared Burns to movie producer and alleged rapist and sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, and makes the point that it is futile to judge historical figures by contemporary moral standards. The poem was well received, although it was felt that it could be improved by restricting the criticism to the idea, rather than also including criticism of the people holding those opinions.

The second piece was by Craig, and was the introduction to a short story ‘The Lucky Horseshoe Motel’. Craig had asked in particular for thoughts on how the main character came across, and while it was felt that his attitude and eye for detail was well described, the setting (the US deep south) and language used didn’t quite ring true. Abby did say that it made her want to hear more of the story though, which is always a positive thing.

The date and venue for our next meeting is still to be determined, although some of us will be attending Zoe’s classes, which start on Wednesday 24th October in Marwick’s cafe in Union Street.

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