Welcome to Felixstowe Scribblers

Friday, March 31, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers
News will shortly be circulated and published on this weblog regarding the Online Jotters and how this community will advance.

Watch this space! It is worth the wait!


Felixstowe Scribblers

The Bognor Regis Drama Club has circulated details of their 2006 Playwriting Competition. The play should have a running time of between 20 and 45 minutes and be an original work that has not previously been publicly performed or published.

The entry fee for their annual One-Act competition is just £4.00 and there are three modest cash prizes with the winner also being presented with the Alice Mortimer Challenge Cup. The three winning entries will be staged during the following Spring.

Judging the entries will be Tracy Low, Associate Producer at Chichester Festival Theatre who has an especial interest in promoting new work.

See their website at www.bognordrama.com


Felixstowe Scribblers

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 4th April at Felixstowe Library with its usual 7.30pm start time. The homework theme is for 500 words on MAKE BELIEVE or DREAMS or both together. Hope to see you there!

Please note that, after some confusion over the charity that will benefit from the collection for Bill Budner, a further vote will take place. The charities are either the TEAR FUND which is a Christian organisation working across the globe, or the EAST ANGLIAN AMBULANCE TRUST [NOT the East Anglian Air Ambulance] which is a local charity here in Suffolk. The cheque will be drawn at the meeting and posted to the recipient charity .

Keep Scribbling!

Monday, March 27, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Just to inform you that the report for the meeting of 21st March has now been completed with notes on all the stories and poems that were read out from The Platform. Thanks to Louis for providing them.

See them at http://nar8or.blogspot.com


Getting Published: The Romance Genre.


Romance Writing
Criteria Needed
A sympathetic heroine
A strong irresistible hero
Emotional Tension
A believable plot
A happily-ever-after-ending.

Romance readers dislike heroes from certain locales, namely, Germany, Scandinavia and the former Soviet Union and its current descendent states, these locales do not sell.

The hero’s occupation matters!  For the readers certain jobs are shorthand for masculine: cowboys, spy, soldier, CEO and policeman.  Occupations that indicate the opposite: playwright, dancer, sculptor, painter do not sell books.

Athletic endeavours.  Sports superstars do not make super heroes.  Readers don’t want to hear about a hero that is sport obsessive, it can remind them of their partner at home and offers little escapism.

Publishers have their own criteria for writers see websites below to download specific information.








www.eharlequin.com  (this one features an entire ’Learn to Write’ section along with a section called Community that between them off tip sheets for the company’s series as well as submission procedures, articles, bulletin boards and even chat rooms.  Published authors and editors also log on from time to time.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Could this be another opportunity for unpublished novelists to sell their wares online? A recent communication reads:

"I operate a new website for unpublished authors. http://www.newwritersbookshop.com/

The site is now up and running, but before I start the publicity campaign, I need more writers to submit their work to the site. Would you please pass these details on to the members of your writers group and encourage them to have a look and consider submitting their work?

Adrian Storton"

This site sounds similar in principle to the facility offered at Little Lemur Publishing that has already been used by members of the Scribblers and can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/ultra/littlelemur/

Whilst on this subject it may be worth checking out the following very interesting website
http://www.jbwb.co.uk/links.html There may be a lot more resources there than you would expect!

Another recently received communication says:

"I'm leading a weekend residential course at the Abbey, near Abingdon, in late April (details below).

The Abbey is a Grade 1 listed building with a purpose-built guest house and excellent food. It is set in 4 acres of grounds and is especially beautiful in the spring.

If you have any further questions, please click/paste on the link below or feel free to call me.

Anne Aylor's Creative Writing Courses
46 Beversbrook Road London N19 4QH
tel: 0207 263 0669
email: anne@anneaylor.co.uk
web: www.anneaylor.co.uk "

Friday, March 24, 2006

Felixstowe Scribblers Report of Meeting on 21st March 2006

Felixstowe Scribblers

Felixstowe Scribblers Report of Meeting 21st March 2006

Apologies were received from Les who is unwell, and from Alex also unwell.

In attendance : Caz, Christine, Peter, Kate, Zoe, Lisa, Dick, Kay, Scott, Louis, Dick, Liliane, Morag, Gordon, Tony, Julie, Graham and Dave.


A special welcome to Julie and Graham from Ipswich who made their first visit to the Scribblers. Graham enjoys writing short stories whilst Julie has written poetry and is deciding the direction her work will take.

Another special welcome to Maurice James who runs the Coast to Coast poetry and short story competitions. A close acquaintance of Dick, Maurice comes down to Felixstowe two or three times a year and this time his visit coincided with one of our meetings. Maurice spoke of the background to Coast to Coast and some of the impressive judges he has had for the competitions including the present Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Geoffrey Archer's wife Mary and a certain Richard Bradshaw. Details of the Coast to Coast competitions will follow so it will be really good if the Scribblers will boost the entries.

Readers of the weblog will have seen the latest report from Judy who is lapping up sunshine and goodness knows what else in the Southern Hemisphere. It seems that her long holiday is almost over and she hopes to be back at Scribblers for the second meeting in April. We are looking forward to a lengthy report on her adventures - including meeting up with Belinda and Geoff a few weeks ago.

For the longer serving members of Scribblers, there was an email from one of our former members Sheila Nea. Dear Sheila is a lovely lady who lives over in Harwich and regularly used to drive all the way round to Felixstowe for our meetings. Rumour has it that she would have swum across but couldn't find a way of keeping her towel dry! Sheila writes :
"I read your messages and am so pleased to hear from you.
"At the moment I am really enjoying THE LOST SOCK. How devilishly clever. So far I've recognised Jack and you and probably will see more familiar faces.
"Am just getting back to writing again. But mostly my grandchildren are filling it up with homework. Very impressed this evening to read my grandson Dominic's homework on a play called 'Two' for his Drama class.
"Love to all the Scribblers known and unknown. SHEILA."

Tony, a member of the cast in RUSHMERE PLAYERS presentation "A Few Good Men" by Aaron Sorkin, reminds us that performances take place on 23rd, 24th and 25th March at 7.30pm at Rushmere Hall School, Lanark Road, Ipswich. Tickets are available at £6.50 from Tony, any member of the cast or by telephoning 01473 604655. They will cost £7 on the door.


Dave has been asked to give a presentation on Ipswich Speedway to the Ipswich Family History Society but not until next year - rumours spread like wild fire - they are saving up to pay his fee.

The Scribblers are still awaiting confirmation of details for the RaW presentation at Woodbridge Library and also the re-opening date of Felixstowe Library. As soon as details are fixed then I suspect there will be a need for volunteers.


The current situation with Online Jotters is that proposals have been put to the Committee members and very shortly full details will be released and all online members circulated. Our objective is to perpetuate the online group but also to create a real community with the Felixstowe Scribblers. There will be an emphasis on using a forum where writers' work may be posted in a password-protected area where feedback, comments and discussions can be made. Additionally it is intended to run competitions as Jan did, but this time with the ability for all members to read the entries and cast their vote.

WANTED : One organiser for the group. If you are interested then please contact scribblers@ntlworld.com


[Notes prepared by Louis]

Kay – Nightmare
A descriptive and engaging story looking at life and death from a different viewpoint. A female lorry driver witnesses her own death in an accident.

Dave – Steel yourself Mary
A terrifying tale of the past catching up with oneself. An escaped killer stalks the witness that put him away.

Caz – Always be Grateful
An inspirational poem dedicated to Doctor Mike Bamford, celebrating 25 years of caring for children.

Christine – The Choirboy & Forget-me-not
Two poems. The Choirboy illustrates the feelings of a mother hearing her sons’ voice, over a telephone. Forget-me-not stirs the eternal love that lasts beyond this life.

Peter – The Slow Drop
A gripping real-life account of being trapped on a slowly falling scaffold tower, down, down, towards the ground…

Kate – Written in Stone
A portrayal of broken promises and lies within a relationship inspired by ancient sacrificial monuments.

Zoe – Claw
In an amusement arcade the suspense rises as the prize is almost hooked…a fluffy bunny!

Lisa – The Voice Inside
A powerful poem about the degradation of self-esteem within a violent relationship, and the bravery it takes to rescue ourselves.

Lillian – Seeking Refuge
A paranoid thriller that might be extended, sees a woman attempting to escape from an unknown stalker. But will flying to Australia be far enough away?

Scott – Trapped
Life inside the womb has never sounded so good, but all good things come to an end…

Tony –
Continuing the story, this novel excerpt sees the trapped Cambridge student trying to escape as he becomes aware of his deadly predicament. But as the poison gas leaks into the room, is it too late?

Louis – Disturbance
Even if you hear strange noises from next door, don’t disturb them, you never know what may come calling…

Julie – Restless Love
A poem in honour of a departed lover and friend, advising us to cherish the good times whilst they last.

Dick – The Felixstowe Affair
"Look out Chris! I think he’s got a gun!"

Morag – Muddy Boots
An excerpt from her published novel, Caroline investigates the darker reaches of the house, but who is following her?

THE WEBLOG NEWS at http://nar8or.blogspot.com/
If you have any news or items you would like to include on either the weblog or the new site then please contact Alex at fswebsite@hotmail.co.uk as soon as possible.

THE NEXT MEETING will be on Tuesday 4th April at 7.30pm in the Felixstowe Library. Please arrive promptly or ask for a contact mobile number if you are likely to be late, as the doorbell cannot be heard in the meeting room!

HOMEWORK THEME 500 words on MAKE BELIEVE or DREAMS or both together.

1,500 WORD OPEN-THEMED WORK will be written by Liliane and Peter.

For those under the weather, get well soon,
Until next time
Keep Scribbling!
Information, Competitions, Advertisements [as available] etc

Welcome to the writersroom newsletter, keeping you up to date with BBC New Writing. In this edition:
1 INSIDE THE BOX: Read or listen to a Q&A with top TV writers Ashley Pharaoh and Debbie Horsfield.
2 SCRIPT ARCHIVE: Brand new EastEnders script available to download.
3 TORN screening on BBC THREE:Watch the new drama, a collaboration between BBC northern exposure and the Asian Theatre School.
4 SCRIPT TO SCREEN: Read a writer's journey, from sending in an unsolicited script to getting a TV commission.
5 JEFF ARCH INTERVIEWRead an exclusive interview with the scriptwriter for Sleepless in Seattle.

1 INSIDE THE BOXNorthern Exposure recently hosted Inside the Box, a free public Q&A on writing popular drama for television in Leeds. The session featured top television writers Debbie Horsfield (Cutting It, Born to Run) and Ashley Pharaoh (Life on Mars, Down to Earth). Listen to a clip from the session online or read the complete Q&A transcript:http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/insidethebox.shtml

2 SCRIPT ARCHIVE Fan of EastEnders? Download the script from a recent episode and see how it's written:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/script_archive.shtmlMore on EastEnders: http://www.bbc.co.uk/eastenders/

3 Torn screening on BBC THREE TORN written by Ray Grewal in collaboration with Asian Theatre School, directed by Bafta-nominated Avie Luthra and produced by Melanie Harris, is being screened on BBC THREE this Wed 22 Mar at 01:00 on BBC Three. It is the result of more than a year's work and is a collaboration between BBC northern exposure and the Asian Theatre School in Bradford. BBC northern exposure works closely with a number of theatres across the North of England, finding and developing a diverse range of new writing and performing talent for BBC drama. More on Torn:http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/tv/torn.shtml

4 SCRIPT TO SCREEN From sending in an unsolicited script to writersroom, writer Paul Farrell went on to be commissioned to write an episode for Silent Witness. Read his journey from Script to Screen here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/scriptoscreen_paul.shtml

5 INTERVIEW WITH JEFF ARCH Writersroom talked exclusively to Hollywood screenwriter Jeff Arch about his work and life.Read a transcript of the interview:http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/interview_jeffarch.shtml

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Excellent new Events Diary from 'Felixstowe TV'.

There is a most excellent new Events Diary on 'Felixstowe TV'. This is something that has needed doing for a while - seems pretty comprehensive to me.

From the Felixstowe Tv Website....

'Everything you tell us about is listed here, including events at the Palace Cinema, The Spa Pavilion, and Live Music in the Gigs Guide'.Events Diary

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

On line this evening! Episode Six of the Lost Sock. This, together with episodes 1 - 5, can be found by logging on to



Felixstowe Scribblers

The 2006 Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition at
www.blythweb.co.uk/sps organised by the Suffolk Poetry Society. First prize, kudos, £250 and a silver rose bowl suitably engraved!

Some other websites that may be of interest








Felixstowe Scribblers

Welcome to the third 2006 Debut Dagger bulletin.

In Brief - The Synopsis
Five years ago, as I was preparing my entry for the Debut Dagger, I wasn’t too bothered about the synopsis. It had taken me three days to write the 3000 words of the first chapter; logically, it should therefore take about half a day to do the mere 500 words of the synopsis.
It didn’t work out that way.

I quickly learned what many Dagger entrants before and since have discovered: that the challenge of writing a good synopsis is out of all proportion to its length. Writing a synopsis requires you to simultaneously know everything that’s going to happen in your story, and be able to strip 99% of it away to leave only the most important details – and to then sum that up in a fluid and engaging way. No wonder it almost drove me to distraction.

Of all the questions we receive from potential entrants, a fair number – and all the most anguished ones – concern the synopsis. They’re always the hardest questions to answer, chiefly because it’s very difficult to speak about the synopsis in generalities – which you have to do if you don’t know the particulars of the story in question. To address that problem, I’ve tried to illustrate most of what follows with reference to that detective story par excellence, The Hound of the Baskervilles. If you haven’t read it yet, or seen one of the films, you may want to put aside this e-mail until you have. After all, one of the key rules of a synopsis is that you have to give away the ending.

The first rule of the synopsis, though it sounds obvious, is that you have to know what will happen in the book. If you haven’t written the book yet (as many Debut Dagger entrants haven’t), that can be tough, but if you don’t have a clear idea of your story then the difficult business of writing a synopsis becomes almost impossible. Clarity of expression always follows clarity of thought.

But knowing what happens is only the beginning: once you’ve got that, you need to know how to describe it. And the key to describing it is knowing how long the description has to be. The image that comes to my mind is of the story as some sort of complex organism sitting under a microscope, and the author as the scientist peering through the lens and twiddling the dial. You can zoom all the way out, at which point the organism looks like nothing more than a dot, or you can zoom all the way in so close that you can see every last detail of the thing. At any given level of magnification you can describe what you see: the further out you zoom the less detail you see, but the clearer the overall shape becomes.

Similarly, a novel can be described on any number of different levels, from a sentence which gives the barest bones to the full 100,000 words which gives every last nuance and detail. Crucially, however closely you look at it, the shape should always remain the same.
For example:
Detective Sherlock Holmes travels to Dartmoor to investigate the death of local magnate Sir Charles Baskerville, reputedly killed by a demonic hound. After many twists and more deaths in the dangerous wilds of Dartmoor, he discovers the killer was Sir Charles’s long-lost nephew Stapleton, trying to seize the family inheritance.

Two sentences, fifty words, and it manages to include the protagonist, antagonist, victim, solution, motive, and even hint at the bleak locale which gives the book so much of its character.
This is obviously very reductive, but it does the job. In fact, I’ve found that if I can’t sum up my book in a couple of sentences that’s usually an indication that I haven’t thought it through clearly enough. In which case, having more words to play with doesn’t make it any easier.

Once you have that kernel of what the story actually is, you can start fleshing out the picture to the level of detail required (in this case, enough to fill 500-1000 words). You’ve got the main characters: now add the subsidiary characters. Mention some of the more prominent sub-plots. Describe, if you’ve space, how some of the clues lead to new plot-points. Talk about the settings and the mood. But keep everything within the basic framework of what the story is.

When writing a synopsis, it’s important not to shy away from using techniques and styles that would be inappropriate in the actual text of the novel. You don’t have time for much nuance in a synopsis. If you’re going to cover all that ground you need big strides, broad brushstrokes and sweeping adjectives. The usual rule of ‘show, don’t tell’ is inverted. In the novel, Conan Doyle can spend his whole first chapter demonstrating Holmes’s brilliance by the way he deduces a man’s life story from the walking stick he has left in Holmes's front hall. In the synopsis, this becomes: ‘Brilliant private detective Sherlock Holmes…’ The same opening scene also shows the relationship – affectionate but completely unequal – between Holmes and Watson, as Watson tries unsuccessfully to make deductions of his own. In the synopsis: ‘…and his long-suffering sidekick Dr Watson…’ Likewise events. In my ultra-short synopsis, I dismissed almost the entire action of the book with the glib phrase, ‘After many twists and more deaths…’ Naturally, if you’ve got hundreds rather than tens of words to work with, you fill in more of the plot – but you can still skip over painstaking bits of exposition or deduction with something gloriously vague like, ‘After weeks of searching…’ Action scenes, if you have them, are particularly easy to compress: a dozen pages of cut-and-thrust, derring-do and mayhem can become, ‘a hard-fought struggle.’

For most people, the synopsis will always be the hardest thing to write. Holding a whole novel’s worth of story in your head, and then getting enough distance to pare it down to a few hundred words, is a tough assignment. Like me, you may find it easier to squeeze the story down to its barest essentials and then build up again. You’ll probably find you need to take shortcuts and make simplifications that substantially underplay the complexities of your novel. Don’t worry. The judges don’t know how much you’ve oversimplified or even misled them with the synopsis, they just want it to sound like something they want to read. And above all, remember this. With the synopsis, you’re not giving us a schematic plan of the novel; you’re not bound to give us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You’re doing what writers have always done: you’re telling a story. Whether you do that in one thousand words or one hundred thousand words, there'll always be things you have to leave out. The trick of all fiction is knowing what to leave out of the story; the skill is in telling it so that the audience don't notice.

Website Changes
We've made a few changes to the website this week. The two most significant ones are that we've added a couple of questions to the FAQs, and we've replaced the '10 Deadly Sins' with a style guide which covers much the same material, but adds a few suggestions on formatting.
It's important to stress that all these changes merely clarify things that people have found confusing in the past. We haven't changed anything in the rules, nor have we changed anything that would disadvantage people who have already entered (the style guidelines are simply suggestions, NOT requirements).

Recently Asked Questions
Q. I entered the opening of my novel in the Debut Dagger last year and didn't get shortlisted. I've done a fair bit of work on it since, though it's still essentially the same book. Am I allowed to enter it again this year?
A. You're very welcome to submit the revised novel for the dagger this year (you could even submit exactly the same entry, but that would probably be unwise).

Long version: If you haven't already entered, you have six weeks in which to send us the first 3000 words of your novel and a 500-1000 word synopsis of its development. You can either do this by post, in which case please enclose a cheque for £20 and an entry form and send them to PO Box 477, York, YO23 1XQ; or you can enter online.
Synopsis: 6 weeks!

Friday, March 17, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

A reminder that our next meeting is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 21st March in the Felixstowe Library.

The 500 word homework theme is in the genre of Suspense or of poetry or both. The 1,500 open themed topics will be produced by Kay and Dave.

Applications are welcome to take control of the Online Jotters following Jan's resignation. With the appointment will be a place on the Felixstowe Scribblers committee. If you are interested or would like further information then please contact me at scribblers@ntlworld.com as soon as possible.An update on the Online Jotters is that a proposals have been forwarded to all committee members for discussion and decision on Tuesday night at the Felixstowe Scribblers meeting. Results will be published as soon as possible after the meeting and members of the Online Jotters will be informed directly.

Re the 'Lost Sock' - Felixstowe TV tell us that the filming due to take place tomorrow, Saturday 18 March, from 11:00am - 1:00pm: has been cancelled. A short scene involving the characters Bert and Bill will still go ahead as arranged but extras are not required for this.

Hope to see you all on Tuesday,

Until then,

Keep Scribbling!


Thursday, March 16, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Applications are welcome to take control of the Online Jotters following Jan's resignation. With the appointment will be a place on the Felixstowe Scribblers committee. If you are interested or would like further information then please contact me at scribblers@ntlworld.com as soon as possible.

An update on the Online Jotters is that a set of proposals have been forwarded to all committee members for discussion and decision on Tuesday night at the Felixstowe Scribblers meeting. Results will be published as soon as possible after the meeting and members of the Online Jotters will be informed directly.

Dave Feakes

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Jack had his planned operation at Addenbrooks last Friday and was allowed home to Felixstowe yesterday [Tuesday]. Caz says he is fine although a little sore at present.

It looks as if he will have a home tutor starting next week before eventually getting back into mainstream schooling.


Monday, March 13, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Received a message from our nomadic Scribbler, Judy just the other day. She says: -

"Hi Dave - thanks for all the reports - it is great to get the message from Jack, let's hope that life will be on the up for him now.

You will be pleased to hear that today is too hot to even go outside - 37 degrees and scorching. Went to the beach yesterday and saw a dolphin swimming really close to the edge - bit of a shock at first as it looked like a shark - touch of Jaws!

Off to New Zealand Monday night where we pick up a small motor home. Internet reports temps. of around 17 degrees daytime and 7 degrees at night so digging out woolly socks and long trousers!

Look forward to seeing one and all mid April.

Best wishes Judy."

By the time Judy gets back to England I expect our temperatures will have soared into double figures!

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers


You may already have learned that the organiser of OnlineJotters, Jan [Yours Truly] has decided to resign from the post. The resignation took place with immediate effect on Thursday last.

Jan had put an awful lot of time and work into the OnlineJotters to establish the group and, as you will be aware, ran both a short story and a poetry competition.. She also produced her first ezine which was a really good read and contained winning entries from the competitions together with regular searches and discoveries of many resources on the Internet for members of both the OnlineJotters and the Felixstowe Scribblers to use.

It is therefore with regret that her decision was accepted but take this opportunity to thank her for all the hard work involved in laying the solid foundations of a valuable facility for writers.

Obviously someone is needed to replace Jan, and so I ask that if you are interested in taking over then please email me at mailto:scribbler@ntlworld.com as soon as possible. Jan was a member of the Felixstowe Scribblers Committee so whoever takes over will automatically be invited to take her place.

Although no future plans have been formally discussed, the intention is obviously to continue with the online group but with more emphasis placed on a writers' community. The recently provided forum will be adapted into a place where writers can communicate directly with each other, post their work in password protected areas for critique etc. and run competitions which will be judged by members themselves.

As soon as discussions have taken place with committee members and new plans formulated you will be informed. Details will be posted on the weblog at http://nar8or.blogspot.com/

Disruption to OnlineJotters will be kept to a minimum.

Thankyou for your patience and understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Feakes,
Felixstowe Scribblers.


Felixstowe Scribblers

Episode five of the Lost Sock is now live on www.felixstowetv.co.uk/sock

There is still some filming to do before the series is complete - the next shoot is on Saturday 18 March, from 11:00am - 1:00pm: on the beach near the pier.

Extras are required for this shoot so if you are available please turn up on the day - and if you have already been filmed before, please wear the same clothing. Also it would be wise to check http://ftvthelostsock.blogspot.com/ before leaving for the shoot in case it is cancelled because of the weather.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Report of Meeting held 7th March 2006

Felixstowe Scribblers

Felixstowe Scribblers Report of Meeting 7th March 2006

Apologies from Kay, Les, Jack

In attendance Gordon, Dick, Caz, Morag, Scott, Zoe, Lisa, Tony, Peter, Liliane, Alex, Dave.


Liliane, Caz, Dick and Dave attended Bill's funeral at Walton Church on Friday last. The church was packed for the service, a tribute to how Bill was loved and respected by all who knew him. He was devoted to the church throughout his life and those who met him found a friendly welcoming character. How sad the event of his sudden passing, how sad too, that so often we believe we know a person yet really don't know them at all.

Bill's poem, 'The Ink Well' was printed on the front page of the programme of service. I include it below.

The Ink Well
[Reflections of a writer gazing at his inkwell]
When the ink is dry,
Long after it has faded,
The word of God holds true,
When my pen is stilled,
Long after I am called home,
The power of God remains,
When my book is closed,
Long after I am at rest,
The love of God flows on,

Bill Budner.

A collection for Bill raised £40 and, after a show of hands for the two charities the family had chosen for donations, it was agreed these funds should go to the East Anglian Ambulance Trust - a local charity here in Suffolk. Thankyou all for your contributions.


After two months in the sun in Portugal, it was good to welcome Peter back to Scribblers in the midst of a dank, dark, wet and windy typical 'winters' evening.

It was nice to see Caz attending again, and she hopes now to get back to more regular attendances with Jack coming along from time to time as well.

Jack, who recently celebrated his twelfth birthday, sent us this thankyou letter which reads:-

"I would like to send my sincere thanks to you all for your cards and gifts to me at Christmas, my Birthday and of course all the cards, letters and gifts sent to support and help me get through my treatment over the past year.

"I am always so grateful that so many remember me and would ask you all to accept this as a personal thank you because I have to do so many it would take me too long to do them individually.

"My planned treatment is now finished and some home tuition should be starting soon, then back into school gradually, which is going to be hard after so long but a challenge. It is being organised for me to get back to fencing, as I have missed that very much, more than school that is!

"Many thanks again to you all for all your kindness, love and support to me.

"Lots of love to you all,

From Jack."

Just a snippet of news, Jack has a small planned operation on Friday at Addenbrooks. He hopes to be home again on Saturday. Our thoughts and wishes to him.


May I say once again, thankyou all for your cards and gifts together with the excellent evening at the Grosvenor last Monday. Once again, the food and the company was superb. Thankyou.


Morag has told us that, as part of the BBC RaW campaign, the Manager of Woodbridge Library wants to host a talk by local Writers and those who attend writing groups. This is likely to on a Tuesday evening (not a Scribblers night), possibly in May but details will follow later.

Morag has agreed to chat about her novel and the support she gets from our writing group. She wonders if Dave [who has agreed], and perhaps a couple of others from Scribblers, would be prepared to go along and say what the writing group is all about, and why you attend and who is welcome.

It is thought that people who are unsure of their writing (which is who the RaW campaign is aimed at) might think a group is for experienced writers only and would be afraid to attend. A talk might dispel this myth.

More news nearer the time, and hopefully there will be some volunteers to go along.

FELIXSTOWE LIBRARY is expected to be officially re-opened on Tuesday 23rd May [again to be confirmed]. During the week it is planned to have a small display from the Felixstowe Scribblers whilst on Saturday 27th May we have been invited to host an event in the Library from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Lynne Gibbs the Library Manager has suggested that perhaps we can do another 'running story' and perhaps you would like to make some suggestions of how best we can present our group at this event?

Ideas and thoughts please for both the Woodbridge and Felixstowe events to scribblers@ntlworld.com


Sometimes the telephone rings at an ill opportune moment, perhaps during a televised rugby match as happened last weekend…..

There was a request from an unpublished author for information on how to publish his story that had been handwritten. It is a question I have been asked a number of times before.

To be fair he had made enquiries with a number of printers for self-publishing but found that most quotations for a small order ran into £1,000's. He then found a printer in Ipswich who was prepared to publish them for around £1 a copy, but the questions had to be asked. What is the quality of the paper, the print, etc.? Did it include having to type the story up?

From his further enquiries, he was directed to the Scribblers who would have all the answers. Quite honestly he was taken aback when I failed to recommend a high quality publisher who would take his work on at their expense!

Consideration needed to be applied to the type of story he had written and which publishers would be possible contenders for the forthcoming blockbuster. Consideration too about typing the story up into a presentable format, editing and having it proof read. Assuming that all this criteria had been met then the one thing that had been overlooked was marketing it. These days self-published writers have to contend with sales. If that wasn't enough then he was concerned that his work could be plagiarised and his copyright ignored…

Sometimes the question has to be asked - who wants to be a secretary?


News from Online Jotters and their forum will follow.

THE WEBLOG NEWS at http://nar8or.blogspot.com

If you have any news or items you would like to include on either the weblog or the new site then please contact Alex at fswebsite@hotmail.co.uk as soon as possible.

Over the last two meetings we have been collecting members 'pen pictures' for inclusion on the felixstowescribblers.com site which we would like to be fully operational by May and coincide with the re-opening of the Library.

If you haven't been to a meeting lately, or would like space for your pen picture on the website, then please email scribblers@ntlworld.com or see me at the next meeting.


What a dramatic tale from LISA. Based on her experience in her youth, "A SMILE FOR THE JUDGES" told of a gymnastics competition that mother and trainer wanted the heroine to do. A gold medal imminent, would this be her last ever vault. One of the best ever short stories ever read at Scribblers.

DICK had the unenviable task of following this, but the second chapter of the adaptation of "THE LOST SOCK" is progressing nicely with all the background to the Cambridge Professor, the study into crime, the rumour mongering and scams that would precede the perfect crime in Felixstowe. Another excellent presentation of work.

SCOTT made a special request to read out what he considers is his best work so far, and which may be the stepping stone towards writing for children. Certainly with fiancée Aimee preparing illustrations one asks the question of just how can his "FOREVER AFTERS" fail? In Scott's inimitable style one has to take in the land of Trifle, the Castle of Jelly, King Knickerbocker and Queen Jelly along with Doughnut, Hundreds and Thousands, Prince Tutti and a daughter named Fruitti. Not forgetting that evil Éclair… An evening of thoroughly brilliant creative writing.

CAZ was given the opportunity to read out "MAN'S BEST FRIEND". The true story that was centred around the purchase of a puppy that would give Jack something to help his recovery from all the intense treatment he needed. He chose the name, Kai and the moving story was wonderful to hear. If anyone has ever seen Kai, the Golden Retriever - there was a picture on the weblog some time ago - then they will know that it is best to keep your shoes on, otherwise they'll be carted off and chewed up….


ZOE read out two poems, the first was a short verse on "PUDDING" and the second, entitled "SOLITUDE" was beautifully written on the subject matter. The mastery of the words and construction of the poem was excellent.

TONY shared his "MONTANA CAFÉ" in which the central character explained why he had verbalised at his landlady and then added that 'Solitude is a black pudding without relish.' Another fine tale.

PETER produced "ROCK SOLID" was based on characters in a family of whom two boys disliked their Aunt's pudding so much that they refused to eat it. Left out for the birds, they watched them swoop onto the pudding then fly up to the roof. Moments later each beak full of pudding rolled down the roof then fell with a thud onto the concrete below.

LILIANE produced a follow-on to her last homework, this time called "AUTUMN LEAVES". Her descriptive writing produces wonderful images in the mind, from sitting tranquilly in the garden reading a book to selling a large house for a flat… No doubt there is more to follow…

ALEX shared some of his best work so far with an untitled story of a couple on a cruise ship together. He became disenchanted with her, so much so that he wanted her to disappear - the cost of the cruise ensured their savings were gone - A really creative and enthralling work.

GORDON at last has found his writing hand again. It was good to hear humour flowing through his poem "JUST DESSERTS." A glutton for desserts, this was based on the menu from the Grosvenor!

DAVE considered his work the best he had written for a very long time. Entitled "PUDDING LANE" it told the story of a man living in solitude and hiding a terrible secret about his long missing wife…

THE NEXT MEETING is on Tuesday 21st March at 7.30 in the Library. As always, please arrive promptly or if you are late, then please ring my mobile on arrival so that we can let you in!


It is hoped that the organiser of the Coast to Coast publications and competitions Maurice James will be along to sit in with us and, hopefully give some insight into his literary work.

HOMEWORK THEME 500 words in the genre of SUSPENSE or a poet or both.

1,500 WORD OPEN-THEMED WORK Dave and one volunteer please!

Until next time,
Keep Scribbling!
Information, Competitions, Advertisements [as available] etc
RUSHMERE PLAYERS presents "A Few Good Men" by Aaron Sorkin. Our Tony is in the cast This will be performed on 23rd, 24th and 25th March at 7.30pm at Rushmere Hall School, Lanark Road, Ipswich. Tickets are available at £6.50 from the cast or by telephoning 01473 604655. They will cost £7 on the door.
From Lynn Whitehead at the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.
Dear Writers
Just to remind you of our next two Sunday Masterclasses:
Nigel Bryant (Former Chief Radio Drama Producer for BBC) on 2nd April "Writing drama for radio"
Fraser Grace (Author of ‘Frobishers Gold’ touring nationally in Autumn) on May 14th – "Public Theatre – write about what you don’t know."
As usual, call 01473 261142 to book a place

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

From Yours Truly`s Other Half

Internet Explorer 7: Tour of new features

Take a quick tour of the new features in Internet Explorer 7 which is to be found in the new version of Windows (Vista) due for release later this year and also as an upgrade for existing Windows XP users (not 98 or earlier).


From Yours Truly


E.MAIL ENTRIES ARE ACCEPTABLE. rhymingonly@yahoo.co.uk
FY5 3QX.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Hi Scribblers,

Just a reminder that our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th March at 7.30 at the Library. The homework theme is for 500 on either PUDDING, SOLITUDE or both.

Please may I ask that you try and arrive promptly. If you think you will be late please email me in advance for my mobile number - in this way you will be able to phone me on arrival for entry.

Representatives from the Scribblers attended Bill's funeral on Friday last - we'll discuss the charity of choice at the meeting. If you wish to add to the collection in memory of Bill then you will be able to do so on Tuesday.

If you are a member of the Online Jotters then have you yet tried the new forum at http://s15.invisionfree.com/OnlineJotters/index.php?act=site

This was created by Debbie in France for Jan and allows the opportunity for members to keep in touch. Currently there is an ongoing story that needs some input so, if you are a member, then please have a go. If you are not yet a member of the Online Jotters then please email Jan at onlinejotters@yahoo.co.uk

Hope to see you all at Scribblers on Tuesday,

Keep Scribbling!


Children of Pulilan Foundation

Felixstowe Scribblers

Here is a message from Sonja, who is the secretary of the Children of Pulilan Foundation, a registered charity here in the UK. [Charity No 1105367]. She says:-

"I am writing to request if you mention our charity's appeal in your magazine. The Children of Pulilan Foundation was set up with the aim of helping the underprivileged children aged 5 to 13 years of Pulilan, a small rural town in the Philippines. There are two ways in which the charity will benefit these needy children:

1. by providing cash funds to assist in their education

2. by sending second hand shoes and clothing to Pulilan for the chilren to wear.

We are appealing for shoes and clothing for donation.

For more information please contact Sonja 07891346274, or 01394 382794 (Secretary), Paul (Treasurer) 07761429580 or Rexie (Member) 01473 729103.

I thank you for your asssitance.

Sonja Coombes"

Friday, March 03, 2006

Online Jotters: Post Note 14

Posted : 3rd March 2006

Link to the new Forum:

Isn’t it great? Hasn’t Debbie done a good job? For those of you yet to find it then please sign in and enjoy. Here is the link again:http://s15.invisionfree.com/OnlineJotters/index.php?act=site

Novel or Jigsaw?? By Mark Ward

In between doing college assignments, family life and reading for college, I try to at least get some time on my writing. The main bulk of the latter is taken up with plotting for what I believe will be something worth reading…and hopefully worth publishing as well, we can but hope!
Now the reason why I compare it to a jigsaw is that the plotting is an exercise in fitting the right piece into the exact slot in just the right way. If it doesn’t want to go in then there must be a valid reason why.
This is just how I have found it to be when planning and plotting what I need to do, who or what goes where and why. If I want Joe to do this then I need a reason, he needs motivation or an action or event to react to.
If this part of the puzzle is not in place then, I feel, it will be incomplete and the discerning reader will grow weary very quickly of a text that has plot holes you could drive a bus through.
I am relatively new to the writing game but to use another example or analogy, it is a game of two halves…get your players into the field, make sure they know their role and the second half will fall into place…hopefully scoring the winning goal with the publishers and the public. I just hope that it doesn’t turn out to be like Leicester City’s current season or it could well become a novel of comic tragedy.
Here is a useful link that has helped me to pin down some plot points.

A Small World?

Had a surprise reading through my coursebook I came across a familiar author’s name - Lesley Glaister. I realised we went to school together in Felixstowe – she has obviously retained her maiden name. She now teaches Creative Writing at Hallam University Sheffield but it made me feel humble to read her list of credits - so many books in print!

Aspects of Whitby

I have today received details of the Caedmon Literary Festival Poetry Competition from the Festival organiser Alan Whitworth. Apparently the number of entries was surprising and the standard high which had made the task of choosing the winners more difficult for the judging panel.

I was surprised to find that the judges were the same couple that judged the Online Jotters competition before Christmas. The winning entry was Whitby Ways by Jean Roebuck but on page ten of the booklet my entry Reflections Of Whitby was also included in the final selection. It tells the darker side of the town from a Goth’s point of view during the Goth weekends held there every year.

For those of you in this area at the end of April then you might be interested in the following:

The First Caedmor Literary Festival
Whitby 23 – 28th April 2006

Poetry Reading
Book Readings
Antiquarian Second Hand Book Fair
Trade Exhibition

Venue: Whitby Mission and Seafarers CentreHaggersgateWhitbyEvent Days and Times: Daily 9.00am - 5.30 pm

Use it, don’t lose it: onlinejotters@yahoo.co.uk

And Finally:In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

Thanks again to Alex, Dave, Debbie, and Mark for all their support.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bill's funeral

Felixstowe Scribblers

Bill's funeral will take place tomorrow, Friday 3rd March at 1.30pm, at Walton Church.

We have a small collection towards an as yet unannounced charity. If you wish to add to the collection it will be possible at Scribblers on Tuesday next when I hope we will know the family's wishes.


Felixstowe Scribblers Weblog Feed