Welcome to Felixstowe Scribblers

Monday, January 30, 2006

Social : Tuesday, January 31st, the social Grosvenor.

Hi Scribblers,

Just a reminder that this Tuesday, January 31st, the social and meal takes place at the Grosvenor. Start time is 7.00pm for 7.30pm. If you haven't booked and would like to come along then please either let me know by email at scribblers@ntlworld.com or just come along on the night. We'll be happy to see you.

The next Scribblers meeting will be at the Library on 7th Feb at 7.30pm.

For those interested, Episode three of the mini-series should go on line this coming weekend.

Keep Scribbling!


The War Within: an aspect of the human cost of the war in Iraq.

We are going to go a little off topic here if that is OK but I found the material in this article so compeling and informative of topics that we have talked over on several occasions.

It is always tricky to get into politics and as Im very respectful of other peoples opinions and try to be humble with my own. And that makes me a little reluctant to mention this - and there is little in recent years as contentious as the Iraq war.

One of my interests - and something that the mainstream media fails to cover beyond the tally on the nightly news of the latest fatalities - is the really quite huge numbers of people being returned to our society from the war changed in really quite profound ways. Each one of these men or dont forget increasingly women also has a family that must come to terms with this change and a community that must adjust to having them in their midst.

Beyond the headline of the 2,181 US troops killed in Iraq are other numbers as many as 16,337 US soldiers have been wounded - and required 'medevac' - some estimates are as high as 25,805. As the technology and technique of war has changed since the Vietnam era with better body armor, and efficent prompt evacuation of casulties to well equipped casulty clearing stations many casulties who would have previously died survive - no humane person could say that was a bad thing - but many of these survivors who are then 'medevac'ed out of theatre are left with the most grevious and incredibly profound injuries such as paralysis loss of limbs or serious head trauma. And alongside the shattered body's come the shattered minds.

This is the story of The man in a photograph. He is James Blake Miller, now 21, of Pike County, Kentucky, and he is an icon, although in ways probably never imagined.


Related links:

'MOD accused of hiding real cost of Iraq war' - The Scotsman

UPDATE / Postscript:

'100th UK Casulty reported' - Manchester Evening News

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Local Photography: Some moody photos of Felixstowe Beach

Felixstowe in WinterIn conversation with Dave yesterday he said a lot of people liked the local photography we feature on the site from time to time - and that came back to me when I was thinking of what to put up today. So I had a little search on google image search and flickr and turned up this image which I'm not sure but could be our very own Keith and these moody images of Felixstowe in winter.

Related links:
BBC - Suffolk - Coast - Ecard - Felixstowe Beach
google image search

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Normblog 'Writers Choice': writers writing about books.

The 'writer's choice series' from 'normblog' features writers writing about books. Here is a list of the pieces that have appeared to date, with the links to them.

David Aaronovitch on some of the books in his life.

Andrew Anthony on The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst.

Sarah Baxter on An Empire of Wealth by John Steele Gordon

Pamela Bone on Saturday by Ian McEwan

Nick Cohen on Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman

Clive Davis on Spandau: The Secret Diaries by Albert Speer

Katie Fforde on Electricity by Victoria Glendinning

Anne Fine on Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew by Bernard Hare, and Stuart: a life backwards by Alexander Masters

Jonathan Freedland on In the Land of Israel by Amos Oz

Linda Grant on The Romance of American Communism by Vivian Gornick

Ramachandra Guha on Football in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano

Gideon Haigh on Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

Sophie Hannah on The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch

Susan Hill on Hotel Savoy by Joseph Roth

Christopher Hitchens on How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

Doug Ireland on the work of Michel Onfray

Morag Joss on Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

Anthony Julius on Human Society in Ethics and Politics by Bertrand Russell

John Lloyd on Life and Fate by Vassily Grossman

Val McDermid on books that have influenced her

Mark Mason on Rain Men by Marcus Berkmann

Alex Massie on Game Time: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell

Sophie Masson on The Seven Crystal Balls / Prisoners of the Sun by Hergé

Linda Newbery on Nature Cure by Richard Mabey

Sally Prue on The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Philip Pullman on the novels of MacDonald Harris

Dina Rabinovitch on Bathsheba's Breast: Women, Cancer and History by James S. Olson

George Szirtes on Soul by Andrey Platonov

Andrew Taylor on Armadale and No Name by Wilkie Collins

Jean Ure on Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman, and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Minette Walters on King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard, and Dracula by Bram Stoker

Michael Walzer on The Company You Keep by Neil Gordon

Francis Wheen on Capital by Karl Marx

Camilla Wright on 'Justice At Night' by Martha Gellhorn

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

From Yours Truly

Burns Night – September 25th

The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life, a night to celebrate the life and genius of the national Bard. Usually everyone is piped into the meal and once everyone is settled, then a round of applause precedes the piping in of the haggis.

They toast the haggis with the traditional glass of whisky. The meal; usually consists of the traditional cock-a-leekie soup before the main course ("Haggis wi' bashit neeps an' champit tatties"), Haggis, mashed parsnips and potatoes followed by a sweet course of "clootie dumplin" (a pudding prepared in a linen cloth or cloot) or "Typsy Laird" (a Scottish sherry trifle).

This is followed by the cheese board, served with bannocks (traditional oat-cakes) and tea/coffee/malt whisky.

The speaker delivers an oratory on the life of Robert Burns which is usually followed by a poem or song and finally the toast to the lassies

To finish usually the company joins hands and sings Auld Lang Syne

Thanks to Angela Gray for the following:

We, the 'lassies', might not be so keen on haggis, but always love when we are toasted to from Robert Burns' Green Grow the Rashes:

Auld Nature swears, the lovely Dears
Her noblest work she classes, O;
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.
Green grow, etc

From Yours Truly

£25,000 Whitbread Trophy won

Just recently the winner was announced of the Whitbread Trophy. This is decided by
pitting the winners of the five book categories against each other  - poetry, biography, children's, debut novel and novel.

It was good to see that this year a biography won the prize namely Matisse The Master by Hilary Spurling 65, her long researched biography of the artist Henri Matisse. The win even surprised the Writer herself saying: "I must say I wasn't expecting this. My money was placed elsewhere."

From reports it appears there were heated debates amongst the panel deciding the outcome. Chairman of the judges Michael Morpurgo said: "So many people felt that this was a massive work, but yet it didn't read like it. It read like a story. We were reading about this man and his pictures and his life that he had, his family, his travels.’’

An example to us all perhaps – something to aspire to??

Monday, January 23, 2006

The State of the Planet: Homework submitted by Les

Hallo George, long time no see, been away have you?"

"Yeah, bin’ down to earth on a sort of mission, guvnor wanted to know how things were going, you know, how they’re looking after the old planet, I’m supposed to hand in a report soon as I get back."

"Well then, what’s the problem? Why the glum face? You’d best do it and hand it in, you know he likes these thing done sharpish."

"If only it was that simple, you know how earth is his favourite planet, he put his heart and soul into that project, and he’s always had a real paternal interest in the environment and every living thing there. I know there’s been catastrophes of nature through the ages, that’s one of the things that made it such a challenge for the inhabitants, and built the diversity of characters but now, well when he reads my report he’ll go mad, and I’m the poor twerp who’s got to stand there feeling guilty."

"Why should you feel guilty? It’s not your fault!"

"It is my fault, it’s everyone’s fault, I lived there for seventy four years, I must have done my share of damage, you too in your time, but it’s getting worse. You ought to see it Harry, it’s a real mess, they’ve got vehicles, billions of them, going round at a heck of a speed, chucking out toxic fumes which go straight up into that lovely clear atmosphere ruining it and causing no end of damage to the balance of nature. I don’t know why they want to go that fast anyway, do you know Harry, they knock down and kill or injure thousands of people and animals every day. Then they’ve got flying things which carry hundreds of people all over the world, when one of them has an accident the lot can get killed. They don’t seem to care very much. Come to think of it they don’t seem to care much about anything except their own selfish way of living. There was some excuse for it in our day, we were ignorant about global warming and the ozone layer and polar icecaps and things, but now they are so well informed, thanks to things like education and communication. They know about alternative ways of doing these things but prefer to ignore them, don’t think about it and it might not happen, but it will happen, if we can see it why can’t they, I tell you Harry, there is going to be such a huge wake up call for them when he sees my report."

"Well then you’d better get it done and hand it in, if I were you I’d throw my hat in first though, best of luck mate, and remember, he cant kill you, you’re already dead."

"Thanks a bundle Harry mate, see you around."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Felixstowe Scribblers Report of Meeting 17th January

Felixstowe Scribblers Report of Meeting 17th January


: Judy, Allen, Caz, Jack, Morag, Ken, Les and


attendance Scott, Louis, Tony, Lisa, Zoe, Gordon,
Alex, Dick, Kate, Ann, Christine, Rachel, Liliane, Bill, Barry, Dave.

The Social Tuesday 31st January at the

The date for the social is fast approaching. The Grosvenor has
been booked and so far fourteen of us have confirmed and selected their meal. If
you haven't decided to come along yet but would like to do so, then please email
scribblers@ntlworld.com as soon as
possible. A menu is available and can be sent to you if desired. We will meet in
the Grosvenor at 7.00pm for 7.30.


The refurbished section of the library is complete and really
looks nice. We have met in the library itself so far, but the meeting room is
now ready to be used on the upper floor. We still have to overcome the problem
of access and egress for those unable to use the lift, as well as the emergency
exit but hope these will be resolved in time for the next meeting.



sends this from New Zealand:

"We are having the most amazing holiday here, with horse trekking through the
foothills of a glacier, walking through the bush at Abel Tasman and jetboating
on the Shotover River. Today I am visiting glo-worm caves in Waitomo, while
Lindsey goes black water rafting, which involves sitting on an inner tube in a
wet suit and hurtling through underground caverns for 3 hours- not my cup of
tea. Am keeping a daily journal, so may manage to write a few tales on my return
( how I survived in the tropical bush etc etc). Oh well, only another two weeks
to go and it's so hot! Must apply my factor 50 sunscreen again."


is off on her travels again visiting Asia and Australia. She doesn't
expect to return until April/May time. Wishing her the best of luck. Wonder if
she'll manage to meet up with Belinda and Geoff?


is another member who will be missing for several weeks. He has
enrolled for two courses that will hopefully help him step onto the ladder of
success. He will be resume in mid-March.

Caz and Jack

have had a really terrible time. Unfortunately they are
unable to attend because of the old winter thing - bad colds, runny noses, sore
throats. Hope to see them next time.


is currently in Portugal and will be back during February.


During Alex's deserved rest from the Scribblers and a week in Wales, Jan has
kept the website going with information from Online Jotters whilst her post note
today [Friday] was edited by Mark Ward who won the first short story writing
competition. An interesting theme coming up for the first February posting will
be on Family History which has been highlighted by the new series of 'Who Do You
Think You Are' on BBC2. Sounds an interesting project and hopefully Online
Jotters members will respond accordingly. If you are not yet a member of Online
Jotters then drop a line to onlinejotters@yahoo.co.uk to



Alex has put a lot of work into the site but is always looking
for content so if you have any news or items you would like to include on either
the weblog or the new .com site then please contact him at


as soon as


Alex Letter to a Budding Playwright

A thoughtful account on the enthusiasm and aspirations of new writers in
particular those looking to get ahead in the theatre business.

Dick Blobbalites

Chapter 1 of Dick's new novel and a follow up to the Lost Sock series - The
aliens discover water on Earth and begin their metamorphosis to

Dave Warming the Globe

Aliens find an Earth suffering the advanced effects of global warming and
land only to find the humans gone and the landscape sinking!

Bill Floundering

A student from modern times receives an ominous portent of the future,
however 'Norwich Island' survives intact!

Liliane The Dying Land

A profound account of the effects of climate change on the ordinary man, a
farmer finds his livelihood is at an end.

Rachel The New Man

A community forced to live beneath the rising sea, considers the Darwinian
effects of a new generation of humans engineered to life under the

Christine Year 2010

Characters from her earlier tales appear in the far future, where
extermination of those surplus to requirements can mean discovering past

Kate The story of Captain John Maclain will appear as a spy drama on
the website

Ann Title not noted

A Vulcanologist investigates strange happenings beneath the ground, only to
find two lights rising up to meet him...

Zoë Prisoner in the Sky

Beautiful and interesting angle on the Sun, its movements and perhaps its

Lisa A Suitable Planet

Aliens look down on Earth, bemused by humanity's penchant for
self-destruction, they warily move on...

Tony Who do we think we are?

A poem about mans arrogance and short sightedness asking whether we deserve
to be saved or even regarded as a higher species?

Louis They're all Gone

Aliens try to ensure that humanity is held to account for its deeds, the
destruction of the Earth now appears as somatic symptoms on its

Scott Floater

Two polar bears, despairing at man's stupidity, find a new iceberg to live
upon but how long will it be till this home begins to melt too?

Barry Its life Jim but not as you know it

An article written for a newspaper asks why the Church is so affronted by the
Da Vinci Code, and considers the open interpretation of the Gospels.

This section compiled by Louis.

Work from Kate and Les is included later in the report and both writers will
welcome feedback and comments. Please email them to


or bring them along to the next meeting.


Following such an excellent evenings readings, Rachel
recommended a book entitled 'Evolution to Post Humans by Stephen Baxter. This
book is available for loan via the Felixstowe Library.


The Next Meeting is at the Library in three weeks time
on Tuesday 7th February at 7.30pm.


A maximum of 500 words on DECEPTION which
should be written in an historical genre if possible.

I would ask all members to keep this word limit in mind when
writing their stories. Also it would be very helpful to provide a couple of
extra copies of your homework to help those members with hearing difficulties.



has volunteered to produce a 1,500 word whilst we will offer the
other spot to Caz who was unable to attend this meeting.


Thanks must go to Liliane for collecting the key, to Alex and everyone who
helped prepare the meeting area. To Louis for compiling the Platform notes and
to everyone who came along to make the meeting so enjoyable.

Until next time

Keep Scribbling!


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Screenwriting: Inspiration - not motivation - for writing. Ask MetaFilter.

I came across this hugely interesting thread in one of my regular haunts 'Metafilter', a highbrow collaborative weblog, with several contributors discussing Writing in all its aspects, and then up pops a professional screenwriter with a really interesting summary and exposition technique....

'Context: I'm a professional screenwriter. I wrote the movie SYLVIA. The following works for me. I'm not saying it will work for anything else.

Start with three sentences representing the beginning, middle and end of your story.

Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back.

Woman buys house. House turns out to be haunted. Woman defeats ghosts.

Those are dumb examples but you get the idea.

You already have a finished story. You just need to expand it now.

You expand it by doing the exact same thing.'

Also from the same thread there is mention of a book I had previously never heard of 'Writers Block' - I've included links to that too.

Related links:

Inspiration � not motivation � for writing. | Ask MetaFilter
'The Writers Block' on Amazon.com

Friday, January 20, 2006

Online Jotters: Post Note 11

Post Note 11

Editor Mark Ward

Posted : 20th January 2006

News: Welcome Lisa – making 25 Online Jotters to date.

Looking to the Stars

There has been a great tradition of science fiction writing both in Britain and the US. Now it seems that the opportunity rises yet again for new writers in the SF and Fantasy genres to write and see if they can tell a story that will amaze, captivate and take the reader on a journey into imagination and the future.

For over twenty years now the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future competition has provided an avenue for new writers to break into this exciting world. It is run four times a year, the next deadline being the 1st May 06’, and with a 17, 000 word limit, this certainly offers a lot of scope to see where a story will take you. There is a quarterly cash prize plus publication in the anthology and then an overall best winner is chosen from all previous winners for that year, along with a further prize sum.

If this is your bag then why not give it a go, it is free to enter – details on the site URL below. Let your imaginations run wild and take a trip to the stars, in some dark caves or see what mysteries lurk in the deepest oceans, it is all up to you. Bon voyage.


I saw these two lines in a book I started reading last night, it doesn’t say where they came from or who wrote them but they really struck me with the simplicity and depth of the words.

He Kitanga Kanohi
He hokinga whakaaro

(Tr) To see a face is to stir a memory

A few quotes on Writing -

You don't write because you want to say something' you write because you've got something to say.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it.
~ Seamus Heaney

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and the lightening bug.
~ Mark Twain

(Printed with their kind permission)

Worthy of mention and with their permission:

This poem was inspired by attending a funeral of a 95 year old woman who lived in a tiny cottage and could always be seen sitting at her little window looking out at nature


She never heard her last farewell
Now from the heavens she doth view
The silent dash, the ambulance crew
Trying to avoid the rush-hour queue.
Blue lights darting through busy streets
Fighting to revive her life, it fleets
Her final journey from her home
Her picture window now left alone
She sits and rests and views it all
From her new home o'er earth she calls
Those at home they can be seen
Mournful flashes, her window's gleam
Goodbye, my family and my friends
I bid you now my last farewell

Next Post Note

Friday 3rd February is devoted entirely to tracing your family history and compiled by Yours Truly.

Felixstowe/Ipswich based blogger 'sparticus' photo's of Felixstowe in January.

I love this guys work - a mixture of Irony, depression and humour. See more of 'Spartacus' a.k.a. Mark's work at sparticus' latest photos slideshow on Flickr or 'I am Spartacus' weblog.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

if ever you're in the area - post script

A while ago we covered this interesting art instalation. It has now concluded - the photos before and after are pretty shocking.

Photo before - 5th Jan 2005

Photo after - 5th Jan 2006

Notice the three charachters waving goodbye with a flag - presumably the artists saying goodbye.

From their website....

'"If Ever You're in the Area" is an art project by Bettina Furnee, relating to fear of invasion and rituals of commemoration, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war in 2005. The project is carried out in collaboration with writers Tony Mitton and Simon Frazer. '

Facinating stuff - and keys in nicely with the Scribbler's various interests in Erosion and the changing landscape around us.

Im going to miss this.

Related links....
The original FS Weblog post on the 'if you are ever in the area' instalation.
if ever you're in the area

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

‘Global warming!’ - Kate's homework posted for you all to read.

‘Global warming!’ Jake kicked the heater unit in disgust, ‘Why do we keep on believing the Ukrainians will get themselves together enough to keep the pipelines clear?’
With another vicious kick to the half-broken rusted scrap metal masquerading as central heating in his down-town office, Jake turned around to see a visitor filling the doorframe. His dog was standing to attention, a look of puzzlement on his whiskery face, a tentative growl rumbling in the air.
Anyone stupid or determined enough to make his way down here, through the icy walk-tops built to connect the citiscape, past the flight sergeant from hell he’d been given on his fall from grace, deserved to be acknowledged.
He pointed his zapper towards the shadowed figure and the plexiscreen slid back. The glorious apparition who walked into his shabby space had him stumbling backwards and tripping over the unfortunate Rover, who in turn retreated into the corner and his bedpile of osater skins. ‘Holy Moses’, he mumbled, gripping the plexi form edge of his float desk, which dipped alarmingly then steadied.

‘Captain Jake MacLean? I have come to the right unispace?’ The low voice was authoritative and beguiling him with its off-earth accent, a hint of the exotic softening the definite power he heard beneath. Its owner came forward and clicked on the visitor’s space for a chair and lowered herself gracefully into an attentive pose.
Jake Maclean , First Captain (Higher Fleet), ex-Outer Pirate, poacher turned gamekeeper, was lost, sunk into submission by one unexpected and very welcome
Intraspace traveller.

Desperate to keep his cool, keeping the plexi between them as token defence against the subtle charms of his guest, Jake leaned across to shake hands. After the slightest hesitation, she put her hand in his, saying, ‘How gallant. I thought only the outriders shook hands these days. But then, they do say you’ve kept some interesting company in your days off-earth.’ Rover did his growling for him, as Jake took a second, clearer look at the woman. He raised his eyebrows in interrogation.

‘Lieutenant Silvie Mann, here at the behest of Central.’ Jake’s eyebrows went through the roof. Central didn’t involve herself with the petty workings of on-earth crimes and misdemeanours. ‘ I am personally commanded to bring you on board with one of her Projects.’ She unzipped her travelsuit, leaving Jake a little breathless. Out came a scrollkeeper, which she tapped open and pushed gently across the desk. Looking at him from eyes that could encompass the outer islands, she said quietly, ‘For your eyes only, Captain.’

Amnormal well frankly paranormal service knowing this place will sort of be resumed - somebody is back from holiday.

And a huge thankyou to 'Yours Truly' for watering the plants and feeding the cat while I was away.

Something A Bit Different

From Yours Truly

Warm yourself up this January day and check out the fantastic animal photos


Steve Bloom photographs of animals in the natural world are truly breathtaking. He moved from his native South Africa to England in 1977 to work in the graphic arts industry.  It was during a visit to South Africa that his interest in wildlife photography emerged, and soon he established a career as a wildlife photographer. He has since won awards for his work and had books published containing his very vivid images.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Online Jotters

Putting Pen to Paper

Tonight I received the following response from the challenge I set Online Jotters in the e mag before Christmas and again in Post Note - Putting Pen to Paper - we all love receiving letters from friends and family - if you had the choice whom would you write a letter to and why? The person can be someone you have known or someone you would liked to have known, they could still be alive or dead—the choice is yours.It can be on any subject and for any reason – perhaps declaring your love for someone or commiserating because a person’s relationship has failed? a moan about something that annoys you or a development you are concerned about?, maybe a fan letter to a celebrity or one hoping to blackmail someone.Letters should be no more than 500 words in length. As always please include permission for your work to be printed online. onlinejotters@yahoo.co.uk

The letter that I would write would be to seek assistance from various agencies in trying to discover if one of my international speedway friends is both alive and safe.
Following my efforts to build up international acquaintances in some Iron Curtain countries to share speedway racing interests, I established contact in the late 1970s with Vladimir Tsvonatzkij, then of Novosibirsk, Siberia, USSR.
Vladimir enjoyed his speedway at Novosibirsk even though the Russian league spread right across the USSR meaning that travel to matches would take days to accomplish. Such was the size of the USSR that here in Suffolk we were hundreds of miles closer to Chernobyl than Vladimir.
We corresponded throughout the most worrying of times - and shared the events as Communism was overturned in the Soviet Union. Pockets of militiamen remained loyal to the Communist Party and caused many problems in Russia. Vladimir wrote from Novosibirsk on 20th March 1992:
"I fell into death trap! It was at teacher's training college - I was talking to the students about speedway when two special contingent militiamen burst in. We didn't do anything bad or wrong! Just reading a German motorcycle magazine (Bahnsport) and discussing it in German.
"The militiamen took me away and I was beaten up by three others and almost killed. My ribs were broken. You see how dangerous it is for common people in Russia now! I've sent a declaration condemning a violation of human rights to the local authorities…."
His next letter, dated 25th December 1992, was from Vladivostok. The militiamen had been "dismissed" but in fear of his life Vladimir fled to the eastern-most port in Russia by Trans Siberian Express. Some five days and 5,955 kilometres later he reached the once closed City of Vladivostok.
"I have been unemployed for six months now," he told me. "It is almost impossible to find a job to earn money to live here. Food prices have gone up by as much as 120%. There is no meat in our local shops. My sister and family have helped me.
"Last week I got a task writing articles about speedway in the newspaper 'Morning of Russia'."
Shortly after that Vladimir found a job working in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant on the Vladivostok waterfront and earned a mere $5 US a month.
My wife and I were very concerned for him but there seemed little we could do to help. Perhaps a year or so later we lost touch - with letters and cards eventually returned undelivered.
Though I never had the pleasure to meet Vladimir I remain bitter about his desperate situation, sorry I was unable to help and extremely unhappy that I do not know if he survived those terrible times. My one desire is to find out what has happened to my friend. It was my ambition, but perhaps now it is a broken dream. Unless you can help?
Dave Feakes
Word Count: 487
13th January 2006.
© All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yours Truly

Three books for your bookshelf from A and C Black – soon to be joined by a fourth for the poetry writer!

Firstly what I call my writer’s bible (!)

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2006 RRP £13.99 Published 2005 Edition 99th ISBN 9780713671735
A brilliant guide to markets in all areas of the media, regularly revised and updated, with a foreword by Terry Pratchett. Listings include newspapers and magazines, book publishers and literary agents, TV and film producers, websites, picture agencies and libraries, societies, prizes, festivals and editorial services.

Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2006 RRP £12.99 Published 2005 Edition 2nd ISBN 9780713671742
For the aspiring writer and illustrator: all the information you need in the children's market including up to date listings for newspapers and magazines, book publishers and literary agents, TV and film producers, websites, picture agencies and libraries, societies, prizes, festivals and editorial services

Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Lisa Tuttle RRP £11.99 Published Edition 2nd Edition ISBN 9780713672442
Answers all those questions as to what makes fantasy different from other types of fiction and how to build a science fiction world? This genre is very popular with readers and offers a exceptional challenge to the writer.
The author offers practical tips in this market and covers ideas, world building, language, structure, short stories, writing for children, finding an agent and the various markets.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

From Yours Truly

Blaze Online Creative Writing Course

Spark your imagination and fuel your writing

The Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow has been offering classed to adults for over 25 years.

In early 2005 the Centre launched Blaze, online creative writing courses. The courses are designed to suit writers of all levels and will inspire you, motivate you, keep you on track and put you in the virtual company of other writers. You can study from anywhere at any time

There are two options

Kindling: creative writing for beginners

An introductory course that will show you how to approach writing, find the right words and to communicate your ideas and stories. By writing, by reading and by discussing the components of writing as well as the element of creativity and imagination crucial to any writer, this course will get you started and keep you going.

Feeding the flame: creative writing for writers

Writing is a balance of inspiration and hard graft. Staying motivated and excited about writing even through the difficult patches remains critical for all writers. This course if for you if you are already writing on your own and have some confidence in sharing your work with others.

Courses commences at various points throughout the year last 10 weeks and cost £100

Basic IT skills and access to the Internet are required.

Online tutorials and discussion forum will be used throughout and you will receive individual feedback on your work. The course tutor, Elizabeth Reeder, is a published author, who has been teaching with the Centre for many years.

The Centre also offers man y classroom based writing classes throughout the year including novel writing, creative writing for all levels, intensive writing and features writing.

For further information please contact Alix McDonald on 0141 548 4314 or by e mail alix.mcdonald@strath.ac.uk

You can also visit www.cll.strath.ac.uk

Saturday, January 07, 2006




At Felixstowe Library,

7.30 pm Tuesday 3rd January 2006.

1 Apologies for absence

Morag, Peter, Lisa, Ann, Louis, Bill and Ruth.

  1. In attendance

  2. Dick, Alex, Liliane, Judy, Caz, Zoe, Gordon, Tony, Les,
    Christine, Ken, Rachel, Scott and Dave.

  3. Ratification of existing committee

  4. All existing committee members agreed to serve until further
    notice. The same conditions apply that committee members will serve until
    resignation. The committee comprises of

    Secretary : Dave Feakes

    Treasurer : Caz Wilkinson

    Website : Alex Price

    Member's representatives : Morag Clarke and Dick Bradshaw

    Online Jotters : Jan McGeachie

    The committee was approved.

    Margareta proposal:

    Elect the Scribblers committee every year on the regular
    basis, through nomination of people standing for election, and direct votes -
    which gives the whole proceedings a really democratic aspect.

    Proposal rejected unanimously.

    Members thanked the committee for all its hard

  5. Secretary's Report on 2005

  6. Following a very hectic year in 2004 with Culturama and the
    Anthology taking so much time, 2005 was somewhat quieter and possibly can be
    described as a year of consolidation.

    Membership held up remarkably well, in fact it increased
    quite significantly during the summer months peaking with our record
    attendance of 27. Our average attendance was 18 per meeting with a total of
    429 attendances made by 39 members throughout the year.

    The Scribblers suffered some losses too. Belinda
    Janz and Geoff returned home to Australia. Ellen Kirby resigned
    to set up her own business but is still active with the Ipswich Writing Group.
    Richard Barker is currently unable to attend but hopes to resume at a
    later date. Sue Smith and Mark Ward recently resigned.

    The Social side of life…

    24 members and partners attended the New Year Social
    at the Grosvenor. Another successful evening that Caz followed up by
    successfully nominating the pub for Rachel Sloane's Salt and Pepper Award.
    Belinda threw her own enjoyable birthday party at the Grosvenor.
    Gordon had a surprise 60th birthday party in Ipswich
    that was attended by several Scribblers. It was back to the Grosvenor at the
    end of August to bid au revoir to our dear friends Belinda
    and Geoff.
    Tony hosted a musical mayhem party at his home
    with several Scribblers present whilst the final get together of the year was
    at the Brook Hotel at the invitation of Felixstowe TV. During the year
    Alex added a fresh new dimension to Scribblers evenings with after
    meeting wind-downs at the ALEX
    which have been quite successful.


    The first project was to answer a challenge from Chris
    Gosling of Felixstowe TV to write a mini-serial of ten, ten-minute episodes
    for his broadband TV station. The challenge was accepted, every writer
    involved with initial ideas and a group of 4 writers eventually sat down to
    filter through them before incorporating them into the script. The challenge
    met, Felixstowe TV began filming the series using local actors including Tony
    in one of the starring roles whilst Dick and Dave [aka Bert and Bill] also
    have roles to play. The first episode was launched on 30th December
    2005 via BBC Radio Suffolk.

    The second project, The Online Jotters was set up by Jan
    following all her research, thought and hard work. It has evolved into an
    absorbing project with writing competitions, exercises and is a massive
    resource for writers. Online Jotters deserves better support that Jan is
    working on. She has also produced posters for display at libraries to
    advertise her group.

    Our successes:

    The 2004 Anthology was a sell-out.

    Jan set up, organised Online Jotters and produced
    their first exercise with Writers Tennis, competitions and an excellent
    newsletter on line.

    Mark was winner of The Online Jotters first writing
    competition with "Chilled to the Bone". He has also written a novel that is
    due for publication in 2006. Morag was runner-up in Online Jotters
    first writing competition with "Independence Day." Jan was winner of
    the first Online Jotters poetry competition with "Coming to Blows"

    Early in the Year Caz had several poems read out on
    Radio Suffolk and also had her 'Charity Begins at Home' published in the
    excellent Wessex Cancer Trust production.

    Dick was third in a mini-saga writing competition.
    Ruth published her excellent book 'The James Version.' Les
    published 'Another Life' which is a personal history and anthology.

    Doreen's local history book 'Under One Umbrella' went on
    sale. Morag's 'Green Wellies and Wax Jackets' was finally published in
    book form after many disappointments. Gordon's homework 'Knees' was
    adapted by Tony and performed on stage at Rose Hill and Rushmere
    Schools in Ipswich. Sue has a short story accepted for future
    publication in Aquila

    Scott had a ghost story published in Best magazine.
    Rachel won the October Coast to Coast Writing Competition with her poem
    'The Choice' at her very first attempt. Ruth won the Debut Dagger award
    for her new novel 'The Woman Before Me.' Dave guest-edited another
    edition of the Libraries and Heritage in-house magazine 'Chapter and Verse'
    and published articles in other issues. Provided a factual feature on Jeremy
    Doncaster's career for his souvenir programme at his farewell speedway
    meeting. Was interviewed by Lesley Dolphin on BBC Radio Suffolk's Action Desk
    to help a lady, born into a gypsy family, with a manuscript that she soon
    hopes to publish.

    Meeting Format and feedback

    The general format of the meetings has remained unchanged
    throughout the year. There has been a variation in the length of homework
    submitted at meetings ranging from 3 x 1,500-word work down to 2 of the same
    length. Additionally we started the year with a 200 maximum word limit on the
    shorter work but realistically that was far too short and was soon increased
    to 500 words.

    Taking into account the number of new members that arrived
    and the increase in the average attendances, I believe that we have coped
    extremely well under the circumstances. Apart from one exceptional evening
    when we had 27 in attendance, we usually ended the meetings by ten pm.

    Calls had been made for meetings to be split into two groups,
    something that the majority voted against back in the summer. The reason for
    this decision was that most people enjoyed the diversity of the stories and
    that smaller groups would become segregated into a 'them' and 'us' situation.
    As secretary I could belong to neither group as I would have shown favour to
    one and not the other. Alternatively I could have moved between the two groups
    during the evening but would have lost sight and appreciation of everyone's

    Part of the reason this split was suggested was that feedback
    and critique of work was considered insufficient. From this criticism I will
    re-emphasise that it has always been the view that Scribblers will not
    participate in harsh criticism. An example: should a new writer come along,
    read out their work only to have it torn to shreds, would be extremely
    distressing and demoralising. They would hardly return again and may even
    cease writing altogether.

    Unlike some, I find it difficult to give honest and accurate
    feedback simply by listening briefly to the words of a writer, especially on
    subjects which I have limited knowledge. This is why many comments made are
    either kind or receive little feedback. This is the reason that we have
    offered alternative options for feedback.

    1 Work may be displayed on our weblog for in depth feedback.

    2 The opportunity exists to request feedback by handing or
    emailing a copy of the work to willing members for comment.

    3 Feedback can be personal to the writer, shared with the
    group or remain anonymous. On the weblog it would be open to everyone - the
    downside to this is that owners copyright could be breached.

    4 Online Jotters also offer feedback via their fortnightly
    Post Notes.

    5 Feedback is a path that we should follow providing it is
    done correctly - our methods have actually been used successfully by various

    I hope this indicates that the Scribblers are aware of their
    members' needs.

    Just to 'lighten' proceedings a little, we introduced a
    Halloween special evening that was run by torchlight and was very enjoyable.
    It may be possible to add more themed meetings to our calendar during the
    coming year.

    From one of the resignations referred to earlier, it seems
    that after four months absence from Scribblers, we were criticised for
    having a social club atmosphere, have too many members relaying their short
    work and no in depth critique or feedback.

    The way the specific email was worded indicated that
    the sender had formed another official writers group to be made up from
    Scribblers members and that they too would meet on the last Tuesday of the
    month - immediately clashing with two of our pre-arranged social dates.

    Felixstowe Scribblers have no objections to 'competition' in
    fact it is welcomed. Just ask who Ipswich Writers Group approached for advice
    on setting themselves up, ask the Clare Writers Group too and, further back in
    time, the Tendring Writers over the border in Essex. Would they have
    approached us if we not had some kind of reputation? The Scribblers have
    always shown willingness to help others with advice even if it may sometimes
    mean losing membership - the priority is to benefit the writers themselves.

    Those four months could have been used to better effect with
    a simple phone call or meeting to make the intentions known before rather than
    after the fact and would have avoided any misunderstanding.

    Since then a further resignation has claimed that he does not
    feel that the whole dynamic and structure of the Scribblers is conducive
    towards his writing and career development. "It was an insult to have no
    mention of the recent competition. The level of support from the part of the
    Scribblers administration towards this creative venture was pitiful. It is
    obvious to me that if any creative effort does not come from certain quarters
    in the group now then it does not warrant the attention, time and response."
    Obviously all these comments need addressing.

    Sometimes there are avoidable deflections for the last three
    or four months have been shrouded with many problematic and upsetting
    situations both through a string of time consuming emails and the anonymous
    comments posted directly to our weblog. These have affected both Alex and
    myself with concern and lost time.

    All this lost time should have been used for personal
    creative writing and progressing the website.

    The Online Jotters

    From a discussion earlier in the year between Jan and myself,
    Online Jotters was created. It has been nurtured, organised and lovingly cared
    for by Jan thanks to all her tireless effort. She has managed extremely well
    and although she is disappointed with the membership level, she still has
    plans to advertise for more members. Jan quickly organised fortnightly post it
    notes on the weblog, run a Writers Tennis series, organised a short story and
    a poetry competition along with independent judges, and produced an excellent
    e-magazine on line for all to see. Additionally Jan has provided valuable
    information on writers' resources and websites etc. that are regularly posted
    on our weblog. In essence, Jan has been brilliant and certainly done a
    tremendous amount of work that deserves far more recognition.

    Despite all her efforts I am still receiving adverse comments
    about the Online Jotters. Here, at the AGM I would like to emphasise that
    Online Jotters is a Felixstowe Scribblers facility set up basically to
    help those who cannot attend meetings, to stay in touch and share writing
    skills online. There is no obligation to join although it would be nice for
    all Scribblers to be involved. Any questions or comments concerning Online
    Jotters should be forwarded directly to Jan [Yours Truly



    The Weblog and New Website

    The work that Alex has put into the weblog and the evolving
    website has been enormous and invaluable. Much of the success of the
    Scribblers is the ability of 'surfers' and people searching for a locally
    based writing group to link to our site.

    I know that we all have our own ideas on how personal
    websites should look, but Alex has made ours unique. Of course there have been
    teething troubles and a few harsh words flying around at various times, but he
    has overcome with aplomb.

    It is amazing how much material is embedded in the weblog,
    from reports of meetings, to writers' competitions, information and general
    writing resources. Some have been from Alex, some from Jan. The .com site will
    be even better and anyone who has logged on will appreciate the results of his

    Of course there have been one or two blips, like the ability
    to post anonymous messages directly onto the weblog some of which were
    extremely concerning for one of our members, and other immature postings that
    detracted from the good name of the Felixstowe Scribblers. That situation
    could not continue and so security was stepped up to allow only traceable
    comments to be made by email.

    Other things such as the ability for the Online Jotters now
    to post directly onto the site have eased the pressure on Alex whilst some
    other minor issues are being corrected.

    Overall it is our site that Alex is hosting so brilliantly
    and it is up to us to feed him information of our successes, etc., so that
    they may be displayed for all to see.

    The Modernisation of Felixstowe Library

    Having viewed the exciting plans for a one million-pound
    modernisation of the library, we were originally concerned that this could
    have meant the end to our regular meeting place, especially during the works.
    I am glad to say that there have been few problems during the first phase of
    the work and our needs have been well catered for. We now move into the second
    phase when our initial accommodation will be in the new part of the library,
    but shortly, once flooring is completed and the room furnished, we will be
    allocated the new meeting room. It is exciting. The finished library will be a
    brilliant and prestigious facility to Felixstowe so we must feel very proud
    that the library will remain our hosts.

    The downside to the year :

    A dreadful time for our youngest member Jack and his
    parents Caz and Karl. If you have followed the website news you
    will be aware of everything poor Jack has been through with extensive
    chemotherapy, radiotherapy, investigations and an operation. He has been to
    Ipswich Hospital, Addenbrooks, and Great Ormond Street and recently was away
    from home for nearly five solid weeks. Every stay in hospital has seen Caz at
    his side. Our thoughts and prayers have been with them throughout. Now,
    finally, the main treatment is over.


    too has had a bad time this year having lost both her
    parents in a very short space of time.


    was hospitalised for an operation recently.


    has had a personal dilemma recently whilst
    Tony tore his Achilles tendon playing basketball and was in plaster for
    about 10 weeks.

    I hope this covers fairly, the last twelve months of
    Felixstowe Scribblers.

    Responses to items in Secretary's Report

    Unanimous support for the Scribblers position of keeping
    constructive criticism to the means emphasised above.

    In respect of large attendances. Agreement reached to
    maintain one group and not divide into separate sections.

    Suggestions :

    If there are large numbers divide on the night. Rejected.

    Unanimous opposition to dividing into separate groups

    Refrain from reading work out from absent members as this
    affects those attending meetings. Agreed

    Cut out preambles and waffle prior to work. Agreed

    Important to keep to the 500 and 1,500 word targets.

    Set a cap on the number of readings possibly 15 a meeting and
    then those who haven't read go first next meeting. Some members may not have
    done homework and would 'sit out' anyway, or names could be drawn out of a
    hat. *

    Vary the cap according to the members present 15-16 is a good
    level that keeps the meeting to a good length and doesn't overload everyone.

    ** Agreement to trial an informal cap, see how it works then
    review after 3 months.

    Concerning resignations.

    The various criticisms of Scribblers organisation and
    activities were thoroughly discussed and there was agreement that the group
    actually works very well in its present format despite its imperfections.

    Ongoing problems.

    The weblog/website has had some problems with anonymous
    postings that Alex has dealt with. There have also been a spate of critical
    and inappropriate emails that have involved the committee, particularly Alex
    and Dave in a lot of deflection and management. Agreement that if this occurs
    again then an option will be given to the critic[s].

    Thanks for their efforts

    Jan has done a terrific job with Online Jotters and sincere
    thanks go to her.

    Sincere thanks to Alex for all his work on the

  7. Treasurer's Report

  8. Caz apologised for the brief report. Since the last AGM a
    small voluntary donation of 50p for each meeting was suggested. This has
    proved a good way of keeping expenses in check and allowed us to provide tea
    and coffee, etc. It helped to bolster funds and went a long way towards
    financing the felixstowescribblers.com website. As at 29th December the
    Scribblers showed a small profit, mostly raised from these donations for tea
    and coffee.

    Matter arising.

    Online Jotters competition judges were taken out to lunch for
    their services. Although there was no prior notification for this, the
    secretary and treasurer have agreed to pay this bill subject to receiving a
    receipt or invoice for this expense. All accepted and agreed.

    There was also a request for a fee to join National
    Association of Writers Groups but this was withdrawn after NAWG declared
    online groups were not welcomed. An additional request for postage was lodged
    to enable Online Jotters post information out to approximately 100 writers
    groups. Whilst Scribblers members understand this request, the financial
    situation is such that we are cannot meet this claim and this was therefore

    Jan has offered to fund this herself, and the meeting
    confirmed they have no objection and expressed their gratitude to

  9. Website Report

  10. The website is divided into two sections:

    A The active content

    B The static content

    The static site, felixstowescribblers.com is almost finished
    and Alex hopes that this will go live within the next four or five weeks.

    As far as the weblog is concerned there have been huge
    problems with spam, offensive comments and a number of phantom Felixstowe
    Scribblers sites are increasing. Currently the following sites are neither
    authorised by Felixstowe Scribblers, nor official.






    The main problem is that they affect the number of hits on
    our own official site.

    Alex made a request that anyone receiving the Ipswich Evening
    Star or the East Anglian Daily Times - should they see any articles related to
    writing then please email him details for inclusion in the weblog.

    Alex does need some help imputing material onto the sites so
    volunteers are needed to help.

    Websites should go public soon. One concern is that not
    everyone is happy for their personal material to be viewed and critiqued by
    the world. Alex, Ken and Dave to meet to see if it is possible to have a
    password controlled area for members only where private work or material that
    we only want to share with Scribblers may be posted.

    Alex can help to organise personal websites if members want

    Dave would like a showcase page to highlight our members
    published work giving links for orders and purchases to be made.

    There is the facility to include pictures of writers if

  11. Online Jotters Report

  12. I must admit in the six months or so that Online Jotters has
    been in formation that there have been times I have felt more and more
    isolated living so far away from Felixstowe. That might be something to do
    with losing both my parents in the last year and the writing group and my
    relations that still remain in the town are now my only connections but I feel
    that I have held true to the principles which I first offered.

    The idea was for those of us who are unable to attend
    meetings can communicate by mails and the twice-monthly post notes online. I
    was pleased to see that membership was growing steadily but that seems to have
    dried up despite all my efforts at contacting other writers groups. Just
    recently I have also contacted Student and Hospital radio stations in the hope
    to attract more members as someone at one of the Universities I contacted
    suggest that I do this rather than contact the individual Student Unions.

    Those members that the group has do seem to have their quiet
    periods but I suppose I should expect that being as I too was offline (thanks
    to Wanadoos inefficiency) for much of the period to the run up to the closing
    date for the first competition. I was still able to print the entries and
    present the results (seven entries from the 24 members) personally to the
    judges, ready to be included in the e magazine close to Christmas as promised.

    I hope that as part of the Post Notes my various trawls
    online have proven to be a valuable information source with notes for other
    online writer’s links.

    I am open to any suggestions and welcomed the feedback I got
    from both Dave Feakes and Mark Ward - I shall continue to keep the Post Note
    twice monthly and hopefully keep the e magazine to the same format

    *Regarding the next e magazine I would like it to be 100%
    Online Jotters articles/stories/poetry – with me just doing the editing. We
    can see that 2006 is going to be totally different for us with (hopefully) the
    adoption of a little ‘un in the house and Gordon’s intention to start his own
    Professional Photographer/computer doctor business so I will confess that
    Online Jotters won’t take such high priority.

    The meeting was very happy with all Jan's efforts and
    agreed that they would all like to record their sincerest appreciation
    and gratitude for all her hard work in making the Online Jotters work.

    Margareta proposed a separate weblog for the Jotters. The
    proposal was unanimously rejected.

  13. Social events

  14. The Winter Social at the Grosvenor has been arranged
    for the evening of Tuesday January 31st.

    There is a possibility for a birthday social on either Monday
    27th or Tuesday 28th February. This to be confirmed.

    A Felixstowe Scribblers beach party has been agreed for
    Tuesday 27th June


    front of the Alex [or the Fludyers] in case of rain.

    Matters Arising

    The question was raised: 'Is the group too social?'
    Unanimous agreement that it is not. One January and one Summer Social
    is ideal. Socials are a fairly new innovation but at least 20-25 people attend
    each time so this clarifies their popularity.

  15. Structure of Meetings

  16. For fuller comment please refer to the Secretary's

    AGM Item 9 Proposed by Louis

    Louis suggests I notice in the meeting reports that the
    stories of 500 words in length are barely given more than a mention of their
    title and little other comment. Might I propose that a member of the group
    take some brief notes (i.e. 50 word synopsis) of the piece being read out? I
    would be more than willing to scribble a few notes and give them to Dave at
    the end of the fortnightly meeting. In this way Scribblers can gain more of a
    feel about what went on, and perhaps lead to further discussions via the web
    page or email.

    Apologies to Louis but this
    point was not raised during the AGM.
    However I feel that if there are
    sufficient volunteers to take notes on a meeting to meeting basis then there
    will be no objection to including them in the meeting reports.

    It has taken myself a little while to become accustomed to
    writing a piece of 500 words, before this most of my 'short' stories were in
    the region 5-8000 words! Can I propose that longer pieces be put online for
    constructive criticism etc? Agreed but there are also other options
    open for feedback and constructive criticism.

    We were informed that a new group of writers had been formed
    by Sue who will no longer be attending Scribblers. It seems that this is more
    a group of friends rather than the formal group that was originally indicated.
    They will meet monthly to discuss and critique their work, together with their
    future writing plans.

    It is a shame that Sue no longer feels happy in our large
    group, and here I wish to record thanks for the effort and hospitality she has
    shown in the past with committee work. I wish her every success for the

  17. Planning for the next 12 months

  18. There will be no Culturama this year because of the
    organisational time and effort that is needed.

    IpArt 2006 is likely to see a Creative Writing Event or
    weekend sometime in June to be organised by the Ipswich Writers Group. This is
    an event supported by Ipswich Borough Council. Alex is to communicate with the
    Ipswich Writers to find out more details about the proposed event.

    Ken: The Arts Council is happy to fund activities that bring
    people in from outside, like an open event but would not fund an internal
    event only.

    Proposed by Jan

    As a Felixstowe Scribbler Committee Member I 
    suggest organising a Creative Writing Weekend in 
    Felixstowe (to mix with those members from 
    online) either Easter or one of the May Bank Holiday 
    weekends. Use the facilities at the Library, contact
     local writers to give talks, book accommodation 
    for those who come from afar. Proposal rejected. We do not have
     the organisational resources to 
    host an event, on the scale suggested, however, we will investigate the possibility 
    to be involved with the
     proposed Ipswich event. 

  19. Anthology

  20. Agreement has been reached to produce a new one and we can
    start the selection process of articles now. We need to learn from our
    previous experience and ensure no date is included in the title as that
    shortens its shelf life. Other improvements should be to ensure there are no
    'gaps' on the pages and that short fillers be used where necessary or
    illustrations etc to make the production more professional. The idea is to
    benefit a charity preferably a local one that may have publisher

    The committee will investigate further and
    report back to the group on which charity is most likely to be selected.

    Scott's partner Amy is prepared to help do
    little filler sketches etc for the anthology.

    Proposed by Margareta

    Margareta suggests to continue with the good
    practice of a printed Scribblers anthology (if not annually, then may be every
    second year.) Agreed.

  21. The effects of the Library modernisation

  22. Problem

    The upper level can only be accessed
    currently by lift until the stairs are eventually placed. Unfortunately one
    member is unable to travel in lifts which could be a problem in the immediate
    future. Dave to investigate the possibility of using the library area
    until the stairs are in situ.

    Some members have expressed a problem with
    hearing the softer voiced members which was particularly bad in the high
    roofed original building. The acoustics are better now in the library but
    obviously we need to try and help people in this position. In the past we have
    found a solution by providing copies of work at the meeting so that those with
    hearing difficulties could follow the stories. The recommendation is to supply
    extra copies of our work at meetings. Agreed

  23. New Posters for Libraries

  24. An Online Jotters poster has been supplied
    by Jan and was passed round and accepted for display.

    The question of the provision of a fresh
    Felixstowe Scribblers poster arose again. It was challenged that why, with a
    healthy membership, did we need to produce a poster for libraries etc.? The
    response was that generally there is a turnover in membership so we still need
    to maintain the groups profile and this was accepted. Caz will ask Jack to
    assist with this

    We also need a member's information card
    [credit or business card size] to hand to members containing the relevant
    contact, email addresses and website details. Agreed as a good idea.

  25. Press Releases

  26. Dick informs us that the Town Crier is happy
    to carry reports but do we need them? What is the point? Response. Report
    events that are of general interest, competition winners, having books
    published etc. Again this keeps us in the public eye. Dick has agreed to do
    quarterly reports providing a draft of what needs to be included is passed to
    him. All agreed.

    1. Any Other Business

    Caz raised the point that although Sue has
    resigned, she remains a signatory for our cheque account. Liliane volunteered to
    become the new signatory and was accepted with thanks.

    Scott has some additional ideas for the
    meeting formats for example varying the homework procedures from time to time
    and requesting that:

    Everyone writes in a specific

    Do a speed writing exercise at meetings of
    around 50 words.

    Do an internal competition, perhaps four times
    a year with a small prize [paid for by a small entry fee]. It is possible that a
    trophy will be provided and that the winner's name be engraved, the trophy being
    passed from winner to winner.

    The meeting agreed that these were
    excellent ideas and immediately adopted the genre idea for the next

    The committee thanked all members for
    attending the AGM, and especially to Rachel for providing these comprehensive

    There being no further business the AGM was
    closed at 22.15

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