Welcome to Felixstowe Scribblers

Monday, May 29, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

The final episode of THE LOST SOCK - number 11 of 10 !!! - is now on line and reveals the answers to all the questions as the mystery unravels ...

To view it simply go to http://felixstowetv.co.uk/sock/ep11.html

Remember that you need broadband to see it - if you haven't got broadband then don't worry! Come along to the big screen premiere at the Palace Cinema, Felixstowe on Sunday July 9th.

Contact giles@felixstowetv.co.uk for details and bookings.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Library first Saturday: report on event on Felixstowe TV

Library first Saturday: "Refurbished Felixstowe Library first Saturday.
With a story teller, and some storytellers!
Felixstowe TV News, May 27th, 2006"

Friday, May 26, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Welcome to the seventh 2006 Debut Dagger bulletin.

The Shortlist

A big thank-you to everyone who submitted their work for the Debut Dagger this year. In another good year for the number of entries, what was particularly noticeable was the strong overall standard.

The ten shortlisted entries are:

The Belfast Boy (UK)
A Carrion Death (South Africa & USA)
Fiddle Game (USA)
The House on Fever Street (UK)
Ikumo (UK)
Imp (USA)
Moonshadow (UK)
One of Us (UK)
A Random Act of Generosity (UK)
Special Delivery (USA)

A full list of the authors' names will be published next week on the website as part of the main Daggers press release.

Congratulations to the all the shortlisted authors and good luck in the final round of judging. To everyone else, sincere commiserations. Reading through hundreds of manuscripts in a couple of weeks is a daunting task, but the variety and quality of what we read made the process enjoyable throughout. Ultimately, that's what keeps us reading.


Although that concludes most people's involvement with the Debut Dagger this year, there'll be one more bulletin to come at the end of June when we'll announce the winner and discuss some of the more common and avoidable weaknesses we found in this year's entries.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Life Expectancy of Bestselling Books - Lulu.com

Life Expectancy of Bestselling Books - Lulu.com

Print-on-demand publisher Lulu.com (mentioned here previously) has done a study on the lifespan of best-sellers and concluded that the number of weeks a book stays on the bestseller list has fallen to one-seventh of the average 40 years ago. This means that more books are becoming best-sellers, but that best-sellerdom means less in terms of revenue expectations. It's a pretty long-tail-ish conclusion: success is a lot more niche and small-s than it was back in the heyday of blockbusters. On the plus side, the physical costs associated with book-publishing are also way down, making smaller print runs viable, and Internet-era retailers like Amazon can sell millions of different titles.
The findings of the 50-year study are announced as America's book trade gathers in Washington for Book Expo (May 18-21), its largest annual get-together, while the movie of "The Da Vinci Code," the mother of all recent bestsellers, goes on worldwide release (May 19). The study was conducted by Lulu.com (www.lulu.com), the world's fastest-growing source of print-on-demand books.
The average number of weeks that a new No. 1 bestseller stayed top of the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List has fallen from 5.5 in the 1990s, 14 in the 1970s and 22 in the 1960s to barely a fortnight last year -- according to the study of the half-century from 1956-2005.

In the 1960s, fewer than three novels reached No. 1 in an average year; last year, 23 did.

"The blockbuster novel is heading the way of the mayfly," says Bob Young, CEO of Lulu.com, referring to the famously short-lived insect.


New page at felixstowescribblers.com: In Memoriam

Dave has written some really touching eulogies of some of our former members.

You can read them over at....Felixstowe Scribblers | In Memoriam

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Felixstowe Scribblers will be present at the re-opened Felixstowe Library this coming Saturday, 27th May 2006 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. There will be display boards, one or two ongoing stories and poems for adults and children.

Please come along if you can, whether it is to help or just to have a look round the wonderful new Felixstowe Library and admire the completely new concept that has been introduced.

With Cafe Libra now an integral part of the Library, you can also just drop in for a cup of coffee.

Here's to a brilliant day!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Comment from a control room . . .

This is a comment I found on a forum for professional TV people:

"I showed a soundie Felixtowe TV and episode 1. of the "Lost sock" and within five minutes the whole control room was watching all the episodes one by one, totally addicted! If they start wearing the "T" shirts.... I'm leaving!"

Now that's a reason for making films!

Chris Gosling

Saturday, May 20, 2006



Please, please, in an effort to reach out to him, find out where he is and bring him home, forward this information to all in your address book.

If you have any information please call Suffolk Police on

01473 613500

or Crimestoppers on

freephone 0800 555 111.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Felixstowe Scribblers Report of Meeting 16th May 2006

Apologies from Scott, Les and Jack.

In attendance Ruth, Liliane, Morag, Gordon, Ken, Dick, Dave, Alex, Peter, Christine, Kay, Tony, Judy, Zoe, Caz and Felixstowe TV represented by Chris and Giles.


It was really nice that Caz came along for the first part of the meeting just to say hello to all her friends. She gave a very heart-wrenching thankyou for all the love and support from the Scribblers at home and abroad, for all the messages of goodwill and prayers from so many people connected with the Scribblers. Caz has invited all the Scribblers to attend a garden party that starts at 12 noon on Saturday 27th May at their house. Details of the address can be obtained either direct from Caz at carolewilkinson@ntlworld.com or from scribblers@ntlworld.com

Jack enjoyed his holiday staying in a log cabin in North Yorkshire and the visits to Morecambe and Windermere amongst other places. He is full of fun and looks extremely well despite everything. Apparently they were all kept fit by Jack's dog Kai!

Caz has also sent a message that reads:

"To All Our Friends at Scribblers.
"We just wanted to say a little thank you to all of you who have sent so many good wishes, love and prayers since we were told about Jack's prognosis. It is the hardest time of our lives but just knowing how much you all love and care will help to carry us through.
"All our love and thanks,
Caz, Karl, Jack and Kai. "

Les hasn't been too well lately and didn't make the meeting. We hope he gets better soon especially as we miss his splendid wit.

No news lately of 'twinkle-toes' Scott. Understand he is still taking his dancing lessons but will soon return to the 'action' at Scribblers.

Tony tells us that the Springfield Follies are presenting their Summer 2006 Variety Show at St Augustines Church Hall, Bucklesham Road Ipswich at 7.30 pm on 20th May, and at 2.30 and 7.30pm on 27th May. Tickets cost £6 and can be ordered from 01473-719089.

It was nice to see Ruth back at Scribblers again. She is now about 30,000 words into her third novel which she hopes will be part of a two-book deal. Her second book has already been sent off to four publishers by her Agent and now it is a question of waiting and keeping everything crossed. Here's to a successful result, Ruth.


The Felixstowe Library is to re-open on Tuesday 23rd May and I have been invited along to the official re-opening in the evening. The library really is looking fantastic now, and I am certain it will be the shop window for the Library service in Suffolk for many years to come.

This date keeps cropping up! Saturday 27th May. 10.00am until 4.00pm at Felixstowe Library. The Scribblers will be spending the day there advertising the Scribblers and helping to answer any personal enquiries. We will run ongoing poems and stories that the public will be able will be able to add words to. We will access to the Internet so that we can display our websites both for the Scribblers, the forum with, hopefully, an episode of The Lost Sock.

Our published authors should be along with copies of their books to display, discuss and possibly make a sale. When the event closes, at least one of us will be heading straight round to Caz's garden party!

Following on from Felixstowe, Woodbridge Library are presenting An Evening With the Felixstowe Scribblers: on Tuesday July 11th 7.30pm to 9.00pm. This will hopefully follow a similar but far shorter pattern to the Felixstowe one. Details will follow.

ONLINE JOTTERS NEWS http://www.onlinescribblers.com/

The winner of the Online Scribblers inaugural poetry competition was announced. It is Jack Wilkinson. Well done Jack! Your poem, Good and Bad, written here at the Scribblers meeting a few weeks ago, collected the most votes on merit.

A lot of people who voted agreed how difficult it was to select a winner from the high standard of poetry that was entered. Jack's victory makes him an honoured member of Online Scribblers and his poem may be read in our forum at the above web address in the Winners Enclosure which is a members only showcase. If you are not already a member then it is quite easy to register on line.

Currently there are 28 registered members who are able to enter the current short story competition that is on line at present and then be able to join in the anonymous voting process afterwards. They are able to post their own work in a members only forum for display and comment or join in one of the forums that are open for discussion.

There are six entries so far, but it is hoped this will increase. Anonymous voting will take place in exactly the same way as the poetry.

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

Our weblog is currently capturing hits from all over the world with well over a third falling into this bracket. The United States, France and even Japan supply regular visitors. Recently Chris Gosling of Felixstowe TV said that he was surprised that he was receiving so many comments about The Lost Sock from people who had first seen it mentioned on our weblog.

Alex is doing a major revamp of the .com site and anyone who has visited it recently will be amazed with the difference in looks and presentation. It's really been a hard slog for Alex but it should all be ready to be displayed at Felixstowe Library next week.

If you spot any typos or 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.


A bit of a hiccup with some new software allowed some people to view episode 10 but later they were unable to see it. Chris, the poor hard worked producer eventually overcame all the problems to put things right. Happily episode 10 is on line and able to be viewed. Episode 11 is due on line on 28th May and then that will be that, or will it?

There are still the Lost Sock T-shirts to come, DVD's of the entire story and, of course, the premiere at The Palace Cinema on Sunday July 9th. It's all happening!

Can you believe that nearly 80 people were involved with the filming, let alone the additional retail outlets, the police, the Port Authority ambulance and so many more local businesses and celebrities. Great fun, especially for the man with the yellow clipboard - Giles!

A sequel to the Lost Sock? No! Definitely not! Chris has thrown a gauntlet down this time. His latest idea, and one I think the Scribblers will be up for, is another locally based film rather than a serial, a bit harder edged this time. It needs to be a serious action oriented, with a strong story line and very dramatic. Set in Felixstowe, Chris is looking for a selection of 500-800 word ideas in synopsis form.

The challenge is on and all the Scribblers are invited to put their ideas down on paper then pass to Chris for possible acceptance. The scriptwriters? The original four are all willing to take the challenge on again, but are there others who would like to take this on?

THE 1,500 WORD OPEN THEMED HOMEWORK. Reviewed mainly by Alex

'Obsession' by KAY A crisp, poetic work that begged the answers to so many questions. Kept everyone's full attention throughout.
GORDON 'Type 'A' Behaviour'. A satirical and amusing look at some of his past writing. The humour is still there! Long may it stay.


'Night Off' by ALEX. Still retaining his usual style, and with a longer work this time. He held interest from the very first word until the last.
PETER produced 'A FRUITY CASE' a mystery with a very humorous twist in the tale.
CHRISTINE shared two humorous poems, 'Voices in the Night' and 'Never Ignore the Witch.'
TONY read out a synopsis for a detective based novel apparently planned out and written on Felixstowe beach.
JUDY delivered 'Daisy' part of a novel she began some time ago. Suspense, a woman in peril and terror in a foreign jail.
An untitled work by ZOE with a realistic insightful narrative and easy to visualise.
RUTH gave the prologue to her third novel 'The Sacrificial Man'.
LILIANE A move away from the normal family based story with 'A Bizarre Case' about vampires.
DICK 'First of All' embraced the genre archetypes with this storytelling knockabout.
'Prying Eyes' a detective thriller based on a marital affair…

THE NEXT MEETING will be in THREE WEEKS time on Tuesday 6th June.

The HOMEWORK THEME will be a 500-800 word synopsis for a storyline for Felixstowe TV. [See above for details.] For those not wishing to undertake that challenge, then the same 500-800 words on PROMISES.

There will be no 1,500 word work this time.

We would be pleased to see you all on Saturday 27th May, between 10.00am and 4.00pm at Felixstowe Library if you can make it. Otherwise see you at the next meeting.

Keep Scribbling!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Poetry Competition WINNER

We are very pleased to announce that the winner of our first online poetry competition is Jack Wilkinson with his excellent poem GOOD and BAD ... Well done Jack!

We enjoyed reading Jack's entry very much, as we are sure everyone else did too. We happen to know that Jack wrote his winning poem at a Felixstowe Scribblers meeting for his 'homework'.

On behalf of all at Scribblers we wish Jack all the very best and hope that we are privileged to read much more of his outstanding work.

Online Scribblers members can go to the Winners Enclosure to read Jack's winning entry at www.onlinescribblers.com

All the entries were first class, but of course there can only be one winner. On behalf of the admin team at Online Scribblers we would like to sincerely thank all those who took part in the competition.

Debra & Dave(admin team)

Center for Book Culture: Interviews With Authors

I'd like to flag this up as one for the real, real Felixstowe Scribblers Weblog ultra hardcore only: lightweights step aside, there is nothing to see here, move along, you wont like it here....

This page links to 'the centre for book culture' (and can I be honest in my partial ignorance here who I presume are a US based literary organisation) who have a page on their site with a collection of interviews of authors talking about their work - some of the material is dazling - and there are dozens of them.

Its a huge site but the rest of their material seems well worth a dip too.

Oh well - thats my excuse for not writing anything for another couple of days covered then....

Center for Book Culture: Interviews With Authors

Related links:

'Bloglet' free email update service to end.

Ive recieved an email from Bloglet who power the free e-mail update service that they are phasing their service out.

Shame as it was rather good - so lets say a big thanks to 'bloglet' and farewell. 'Bloglet' was a pioneering service launched back when words like "blog" and "rss" had yet to enter most people's vocabulary.

However as an alternative there is our XML feed which you can use in your RSS reader - if that is gobbledegook to you check out the RSS page at wikipedia for an explanation.

To quote....

'In the meantime, I will leave Bloglet up and working as is, without any support. I'd like to phase it out slowly over the next few weeks.'

....there is an alternative service called 'Feedblitz' that we may convert over too - Im not promising the timescale - but in the meantime any problems give me a mail at the usual place fswebsite@hotmail.co.uk and all the other services will be still available.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Author wins Short Story competition with world's richest short story prize taking home £15,000.

Ive included a picture as it makes it easier to hate him...:-)Oh well you can but dream....

"James Lasdun has won the first National Short Story competition with An Anxious Man, it was announced last night, beating short-story veterans William Trevor and Rose Tremain, bestselling author Michel Faber and Delhi-based Rana Dasgupta to the £15,000 prize"

Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Anxious Man wins world's richest short story prize:

Related Links:
Guardian Books

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Lost Sock: Episode 10 is now up.




John Betjeman Young People’s Poetry Competition.

Thanks to Jan for spotting this very interesting poetry competion....

The John Betjeman Young People’s Poetry Competition sponsored by the Esmée Fairbairn foundation Closing date: June 30th

The poetry competition will be for 11-14 year olds and will centre around poetry of place. It will be open to young people living anywhere in the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland.

Entrants will be limited to one poem each about their local surroundings or any aspect thereof, whether it be a house, a street, a garden, a park, a city or a wider landscape.

The spirit behind the competition will be to encourage young people to understand and appreciate the importance of ‘place’. Winners to announced in September.


Related Links:
http://www.johnbetjeman.com/index.htm for general information and news about John Betjeman and his centenary. Well worth a few minutes reading through.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Here is an up to date on the Online Scribblers forum.

We are now up to 27 members. Considering that most of the forums pages are not open to the public this is a great achievement in such a short time ... well done everyone.

The poetry contest went very well indeed. There were 11 entries, all of a very good standard. A winner will be announced on Tuesday 16th May at the Felixstowe Scribblers meeting and simultaneously on the forum website. However, some of you have not yet voted. Please visit http://onlinescribblers.com/index.php?showtopic=53 to cast your vote. Voting is open to all members, and if you have entered the competition you may use one of your two choices for your own entry. Voting will close at 6pm BST on Monday the 15th May 2006.

Our Short Story competition has taken off really well, there are currently 6 entries. If you have not submitted your entry yet you may do so by going to http://onlinescribblers.com/index.php?showtopic=67 - submission guidelines are included. This competition will close on the 31st May 2006.

A few days ago the forums were re-ordered to make it clearer which can be read by non-members and which are 'Members Only'. One or two members have indicated that they are having difficulty in navigating in the forums. We have put a brief guide to navigation on the forums homepage which will stay in place for the time being.

It is disappointing that although many members are visiting the forums not many are taking the time to start or reply to topics. Many members, like myself, live overseas and would love to hear your news. It would be great if some of you would use the forums to post any information, news or just gossip that you wish to share.

There are short stories from Vincent West and Rochelle Moore in the 'Your Work' forum which require reading ... critique is invited.

From time to time I try to find an interesting or wacky website as Website of the week ... If you know of a website that you'd like to include please post it in a new topic in the 'General Interest' forum.

All feedback on the forum website is invited, and can be made either by posting in the forums or e-mailing admin@onlinescribblers.com.

Best Wishes from Debra

Friday, May 12, 2006

Prose and Poetry Prizes 2006 sponsored by The New Writer magazine.

the new writerOne of the major annual competitions for short stories, novellas, single poems, poetry collections, essays and articles; offers cash prizes as well as publication for the prize-winning writers in The Collection - special edition of The New Writer magazine each July.

Closing date 30 November 2006 .

Essays, Articles, Interviews - covering any writing-related or literary theme in its widest sense up to 2,000 words. 1st prize £150, 2nd £100, 3rd £50. Single entry £4 (TNW subscribers two entries at same fee).

Short Stories, Serials/Novellas - stories up to 4,000 words,
serials/novellas up to 20,000 words on any subject or theme, in any genre (not children's). Previously published work is not eligible. Short Stories: 1st prize £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100. Novella: 1st prize £300. Entry fees £4 per short story (TNW subscribers two entries at same fee) or £10 per serial/novella.

Single Poems and Collections - single poems up to 40 lines and collections of between 6 - 10 poems. Single poem entries must be previously unpublished; previously published poems can be included as part of a collection. Collection: 1st prize £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100. Single: 1st
prize £100, 2nd £75, 3rd £50. Entry fee £4 per single poem (TNW subscribers two entries at same fee, £10 per collection.

All work should be clearly typed, double-spaced (except poetry), on one
side of white A4 paper and paperclipped. Entrants may make as many
submissions as they wish but please include your name, address, title of
entry, word count and category on a separate cover sheet with every entry.
Preliminary judging will be carried out by The New Writer editorial board
with guest judges making the final selection so there should be no
identifying marks on the entries. Judges in recent years include Mimi
Thebo, Jane Draycott, Ros Barber, Margaret Graham, Phil Whitaker. Entries
are non-returnable. A full list of winners will be sent provided SAE is

Further information including guidelines and entry fees at
or send SAE for printed Entry Form to The New Writer, PO Box 60, Cranbrook,
Kent TN17 2RE
tel 01580 212626; fax 01580 212041; admin@thenewwriter.com
or writers can enter at the secure credit card server at

Last year's winners are listed at http://www.thenewwriter.com/prizewinners.htm

The New Writer: the contemporary writing magazine which publishes the best
in fact, fiction and poetry is published bi-monthly, annual sub £27.00
(UK), £33.00 (Europe incl. Ireland air mail), £37.50 (Rest of World airmail)

For a free recent back copy of the magazine send 3 x first class stamps
(UK) or 5 IRCs to: PO Box 60, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2ZR.

The New Writer email News is included free of charge in our subscription
This monthly emailing to our subscribers covers (a) breaking news of urgent
interest to writers, (b) announcements that we receive too late for the
next issue of the magazine, (c) other useful items including market updates.

If you would like to see the latest email News go to http://www.thenewwriter.com/
and click on the pink box.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Just the usual little reminder about our next meeting this coming Tuesday 16th May at 7.30pm at the Library. The homework theme was to be written in the genre of DETECTIVE, either as a short story or the start of a novel. The 1,500 word open themed work will be undertaken by Gordon and Kay.

News of Jack - that he, Caz and Karl have been staying in a log cabin at Ingleton, North Yorkshire and that they have felt it is like a home from home. Have had some text messages from Caz to say they have been to Lake Windermere, also Morecambe and been enjoying the lovely weather. Jack has been tired out and I'm sure that Caz is exhausted too. Will report more at the meeting.

Don't forget to cast your vote for your favourite in the ONLINE SCRIBBLERS POETRY COMPETITION. Voting closes on Monday 15th May, at 18.00.

Why not enter the members only ONLINE SCRIBBLERS SHORT STORY COMPETITION that runs until May 31st.

Watch out for the World Premiere of the full length feature film version of "The Lost Sock" on SUNDAY 9th JULY, at THE PALACE CINEMA, FELIXSTOWE Keep Scribbling!

Wonder how many folk will be wearing the Lost Sock T-shirt that was designed by Debbie in Northern France.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

We at Lost Sock Towers are delighted to announce the World Premiere of the full length feature film version of "The Lost Sock" on SUNDAY 9th JULY, at THE PALACE CINEMA, FELIXSTOWE (on the Triangle), - courtesy of Vivienne who is very kindly allowing us to use Felixstowe town centre's very own big screen! Exact times are still to be confirmed but it's likely to be very early afternoon.

At the last count, there had been over 100,000 viewings of the online episodes, so it's going well, very well indeed!

Your LAST CHANCE to order the Lost Sock T-shirt expires tonight - please email us before the end of Wednesday if you don't want to miss out! Only £9.50, just let us know how many of which size. Thank you! Orders to giles@felixstowetv.co.uk

The T-shirt was designed by Debbie, our good friend in Northern France.

See the Lost Sock blog at http://ftvthelostsock.blogspot.com/ for full details of the premiere and the T-shirt.


Felixstowe Scribblers


If you haven't yet cast your votes in the Online Scribblers poetry comptition, then time is gradually running out. The latest day for voting is on Monday next, 15th May, with a cut-off time of 18.00 [or 6 pm in real time!]

There are some lovely poems to choose from so why not select your favourite?


Don't forget to enter the short story competition. Closing date for entries is midnight on 31st May. This is a members only competition and entry is free. If you aren't already a member then why not register today?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Evening Star webcam of waterfront redevelopment.

From the Evening Star website....

"Our webcam shows work taking place on the multi-million pound redevelopment of Ipswich's waterfront, viewed from the roof of the Evening Star's offices in Lower Brook Street."

Evening Star Webcam

Related Links:
Evening Star

Guardian Unlimited Books: Internet culture spells doom for strait-laced orthographers

One of my favorite little 'literary' haunts on the internet is the Guardian Books page - if you cant find anything to get you going elsewhere there will always be something there to 'whet your whistle' - this is from an interesting article from earlier this week....

'If you believe the internet is the fount of all wisdom, giving free rein to bloggers to exercise their vocal cords, think again. Ancient English cliches and expressions are being mangled by the culture of cut and paste and the spread of unchecked writing on the internet.

According to the Oxford English Corpus, a database of a billion words, dozens of traditional phrases are now more commonly misspelled than rendered correctly in written English.'

Guardian Unlimited Books : Internet culture spells doom for strait-laced orthographers.

Related Links :
Guardian Unlimited : the Guardian website
Guardian Books webpage

Monday, May 08, 2006

Writers and other delusional people: There is no more gullible, self-delusional, fog-headed being on the planet than an aspiring writer.

J. Steven York pictured rightThis is a highly erudite and enjoyable rant from the official blog of J. Steven York pictured right a US based best-selling novelist and genre-writer.

The quotes I love are 'an entire industry of crooks, con-men and scam artists exists to exploit them (writers),' and 'It's like the entire herd of antelope crowding around the lion shouting, "Eat me! No, eat me!"'

Found by Margareta ....

I heard yet another story the other day of a writer being scammed by a so-called agent. What was most horrifying about the story was not that they were paying the agent to rewrite their stuff, but the sheer glee and delight with which the writer was submitting to the process.

Rule #1 in this business is: Money always flows towards the writer. If it doesn't, something is seriously wrong. If you fail to recognize this, or worse, mistake it for success, you are playing the fool.

There is no more gullible, self-delusional, fog-headed being on the planet than an aspiring writer. So predictable and common are their delusions that an entire industry of crooks, con-men and scam artists exists to exploit them, and such a sweet deal it is for them, too. Not only are most of their scams perfectly legal, their marks are actually grateful to be scammed! It doesn't get much better for a predator than that. It's like the entire herd of antelope crowding around the lion shouting, "Eat me! No, eat me!"

Wait. No. Keep reading. You may resemble this remark. Fact is, most of us do at one time or another. And if it does describe you, take comfort that you have plenty of company. I hear from these people all the time. Some of them I've had extended correspondence with, and I've learned some things.

Most of the writers getting scammed aren't dumb. They're nice, intelligent people who sincerely want to be writers, and have simply lost their way. Most of them are so invested in whatever flavor of Kool-aid they've swallowed that they not only can't see the truth, they don't want to. Yet most of them are aware, on some level, that something is wrong. That's usually why they write me. They have concerns. They have questions. Just not enough to wake up and look around.

Read on

Related links:

J. Steven York's Multiplex of the Mind: Writers and other delusional people
J. Steven York's weblogYorkwriters.com, the official web page for Steve and Chris York

Friday, May 05, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Online voting is now taking place to select the winner of the inaugural poetry competition. Go to http://www.onlinescribblers.com/ to make your choice. Voting closes on May 15th with the winner expected to be announced the following day.

Remember you must be a member to cast your vote - if you are not, then why not register. It's free and easy to join.

A reminder that there is also a free to enter short story competition which will close at the end of May. Currently there is just one entry from Vincent West. We don't want him to have a walkover do we?


Felixstowe Scribblers

Just to remind you that the very notable Fraser Grace is running a workshop for us on tackling BIGGER subjects. It’s at the Wolsey Studio, Ipswich as usual, and the price is still a ludicrously cheap £10.

Fraser is the author of ‘Who Killed Mr. Drum’ for the Riverside Studios, London and ‘Breakfast With Mugabe’ for the RSC.

The w/shop, on Sunday May 14th, starts at 10.30 for coffee with an 11 am kick-off. Tea, coffee & biscuits are provided, but you’ll need a packed lunch or enough dinner money to visit the Greyhound.

Phone 01473 295900 to book your place.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Patrick Parrinder's Nation and Novel: The English Novel from Its Origins to the Present Day.

Nation and Novel: The English Novel from Its Origins to the Present Day  Patrick Parrinder
In the Guardian, Terry Eagleton reviews Patrick Parrinder's Nation and Novel: The English Novel from Its Origins to the Present Day.

The review makes for provocative and interesting reading - and is 511 pages shorter and £25 cheaper.

The review passes through the books rich landscape populated by the likes of Defoe, Scott and Dickens, and concludes with....

As the Victorian age passed into a world of mass migrations, new nation-states and the collapse of empires, national identity became an increasingly self-conscious literary topic. As Parrinder points out, the very idea of national identity, as opposed to national character, reflects a certain anxiety. National character, supposedly, is an objective set of features (in the case of the English, common sense, moderation, idiosyncrasy, philistinism, emotional reserve and so on), while identity is usually what you are still in search of. "What are we?" is a less unsettling question for a nation to ask itself than "Who are we?"

Related links:
EducationGuardian.co.uk | Books | What are we?
Link to the books page on Amazon

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Felixstowe Scribblers Report of Meeting 2nd May 2006

Apologies were received from Ken, Louis, Kate, Scott, Caz and Jack.

In attendance were Peter, Di, Judy, Morag, Lisa, Kay, Zoe, Liliane, Tony, Dick, Gordon, Dave and Alex.


Here is an update on Jack and his mother and father Caz and Karl. Jack recently had a great time flying his favourite Peregrine Falcons at a bird sanctuary near Peterborough. Very shortly hope to have photographs uploaded to the weblog. Since then they have been to Extreeme Adventures in Norfolk where a rope harnessed Jack and Karl swung through the trees whilst Caz kept her feet firmly on the ground. They were at the Lotus factory and track on Tuesday where Jack was seen hurtling around the track in at Lotus at around 130mph. Later this week they are off for a week in a log cabin at Ingleton, North Yorkshire and hope also to visit Alton Towers.

It was nice to Lisa back at Scribblers after missing the last meeting following her daughter's accident that resulted in a broken arm. Hopefully the plaster will be removed on Thursday so homelife should soon be back to normal!

Talking of Lisa, she soon starts as a Sunday assistant at the Needham Market Library. Ironically Morag works her last day at Woodbridge Library on Thursday before switching her attention to her local vets. Best wishes to them both on their new careers.

Did anyone manage to hear Dick on BBC Radio Suffolk today with Nick Pandolfi? If you did then please let us know what you thought!

Our Debbie, an Online Scribbler from France has won the design a T shirt competition for The Lost Sock. Her design can be seen at http://www.felixstowetv.co.uk/sock/news.html where details of how to order a shirt can also be found.

Alex arrived late at the meeting after driving back from Poole in Dorset where he had been helping his family. Good to wind down at the other Alex after the meeting!!


Could there be any truth in the rumour that there will be another Felixstowe TV production in the coming months involving the Scribblers writing team?

With the re-opening of the Library after the modernisation, the Scribblers, as previously reported, will be actively involved on Saturday 27th May at the Library from 10.00am until 4.00pm.

Basically we need to have a presence there, backed up with a static display to explain about the Scribblers, show some of our work off as well. If you would like your work included, preferably typed on one A4 sheet of paper, then please pass it to Dave or Morag as soon as possible. Any work that cannot be shown on the display boards will be included in an examples folder.

Offers please to join our band of merry band of helpers. It may mean chatting to interested members of the public and visitors alike, and inviting them to add words to an ongoing poem and short story.

Arrangements are being made to show websites along with the Felixstowe TV series The Lost Sock on one of the computers. There may also be an opportunity for our published authors to display their books for sale.

Ideas too are required for the BBC RaW project that is being organised at Woodbridge Library probably during June. The Felixstowe Scribblers have been asked to participate on one as yet to be named evening. The objectives are :

1.To promote writing for pleasure.
2.To let people know that writers groups are nothing to be scared of.
3.To encourage people to join or set up writing groups.
4.To provide embryo writers with some guidance and/or enthusiasm.

Some thoughts have been put to me that the evening could involve a 'Scribblers meeting', a question and answer session together with a workshop for budding writers based on Scribblers activities and run by willing Scribblers.

An interesting set of ideas put forward by Woodbridge Library. What do you think? Ideas and comments to scribblers@ntlworld.com please.

Something else we must not forget is the Beach 'Party' Summer Social on Tuesday 27th June 2006. Ideas and actual venue please to the same email address scribblers@ntlworld.com


As you will be aware the Online Scribblers forum has replaced Online Jotters and is currently in a state of growth. We already have 26 registered members, have just completed the inaugural poetry competition with 11 entries and have anonymous online voting to select the winner is now available.

A short story competition for this month is now up and running with one entry already posted. Have a go! There may not be any prizes, but there is the prestige of it all! The short story calls for no more than 1,500 words on any subject or genre. Free to enter, you will need to register if you are not already a member.

Go to http://www.onlinescribblers.com/

There is also a members only forum to display your work for feedback - again there is a story there by Vincent West who asks for comments.

The forum is there to be used - Lets make it a really huge success!

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

The weblog has now well and truly passed the 5,000 hits mark which is really great news. Hits are coming from all around the world - Australia, Japan, France, Canada, USA, South Africa, Sweden, Israel, India, Greece, Austria, Switzerland and even a few from the UK!

News or items you would like to include on either the weblog or the new site .com site are welcome so please contact Alex at fswebsite@hotmail.co.uk

Talking of the .com site it is hoped this will be fully operational by the last week in May.


All the filming work has been completed, and the first nine episodes of eleven are currently online. If you haven't already caught up then go to http://felixstowetv.co.uk/sock
You will find the site looking more professional now. It contains news of the T-shirt competition mentioned earlier, photographs, blogs, cast, background information etc. A really comprehensive site.

Dick opened proceedings with some more background on the novel he is writing - The Lost Sock - completely round the wrong way! The book comes from the film!!!! The information supplied involved two letters to the Chief of Police and the Head of Landguard Fort explaining that a special anti-terrorist exercise was taking place that should go unnoticed - then enter Percy and Rita at Felixstowe Railway Station….

Dave followed with a tale loosely based on the weather. Called A Foggy Night in Newcastle it centred on the main character and a mysterious looking character…

Liliane rounded the night off with another tale from probably the most famous family in Belgium..October 1945 saw Jan return home to his family after being stranded in the Belgium Congo for years….

In between came the 500 WORD HOMEWORK.

Zoe began with STORM - a wonderfully descriptive work and easy to visualise this story of the undulating storm with all its effects.

Tony and his Torrents of Desire led everyone a merry dance with the two perfect bodies, such wonderful shape… down below nothing but water and an Ark… who on earth would have thought these were actually rain clouds?

Peter followed with a true tale written many years before. Entitled The Most Memorable 1947 it told of the terrible winter coupled with all its snowdrifts and eventually followed with the hottest summer for years.

Morag let us into her secrets with My Diary which explained about the hurricane force wind yet she had to get up and go out to feed and muck out her two hungry horses whilst husband Lewis lay snuggled up in bed…

Kay provided us with the opening lines from the story she wrote for her daughter Rita. Midnight on Hazy Street explained about Rita and her friend Harriet encountered 'Bloody Lewis' [Yes! Another one!] the bully and their attempts to escape…

Judy brought us back to earth with Where's Arthur? A sad and moving tale of an 89 year old widow suffering the effects of dementia, remembering how her Arthur had gone off to war for such a long time but could not recall his death around 20 years before…

Alex arrived in time to read a poem 'The paths of Suffolk', short, exact and in his own indomitable style.

An excellent evening of work and discussion.

THE NEXT MEETING is on Tuesday 16th May at 7.30 pm in the Library. There is now a bell installed by the door and is currently audible in the meeting room.

500 WORD HOMEWORK THEME is in the genre of a DETECTIVE, be it as a short story or the start of a detective novel. Could be interesting and maybe lead to entries for next years Debut Dagger Award!

1,500 WORD OPEN-THEMED WORK will be undertaken by Gordon and Kay.

Personal thanks to Liliane for collecting the key, to Morag being milk monitor and for Di, so sweetly persuaded to do the washing up! And of course thanks to everyone for the collection.

Until next time

Keep Scribbling!

Short Story Radio: internet radio station showcasing new fiction online.

Found by Jan ....

Coming soon to an Internet link near you …………

Have you come across www.shortstoryradio.com which is an internet radio station that shortly will showcase new fiction online? It’s a chance for Writers to have their work professionally broadcast and made available to the widest audience possible recorded by professional voice actors. Stories must be written in English,

Writers who submit a story for consideration are offered their own web page, which can contain a short biography and also an excerpt from the story they submitted for consideration in either Word™ or PDF format.

Catch - there is a story submission fee! But in order to launch with a selection of quality stories already available, they are asking writers to submit a story for consideration free of charge.

From these they choose ten - fifteen stories which will be recorded and broadcast from the site's launch date. Writers who are interested in submitting a story for our launch should contact Ian at editor@shortstoryradio.com for further information.

Writers of any nationality are welcome to submit a story, but the story must be written in English. There is no restriction on period or style but the story must be fictional.

Maximum 3,000 words. Stories should not contain expletives or content of an overtly sexual or violent nature.

Stories submitted for consideration must not have been published or broadcast previously and must be original pieces of work written by the writer who has submitted the story.

You will receive email confirmation once your story has been received, but only writers whose stories are accepted for broadcast will be notified. No further correspondence will be entered into once work has been submitted. If you do not hear from us within 4 weeks of submitting your story please assume that on this occasion we have chosen not to accept your story.

Writers may submit only one short story at a time, but are free to submit up to ten short stories in any six month period.

Stories cannot be altered or changed after they have been submitted.

Unfortunately we are not able to offer feedback or a critique of stories submitted to us.

You retain the copyright to your submitted story, regardless of whether or not it is chosen for broadcast. Copyright of the recording of broadcast stories remains with Wyndham Granite Communications, who have the right to broadcast the recording of each story on shortstoryradio.com for a period of six months. After this period any further broadcast or use of the recording of a story can only be made by prior arrangement and with express permission of the writer and voice actor.

....Thanks Jan.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

This warning was passed to the Scribblers by Les and Joan It says:

"If you receive a card through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) saying that they have a parcel awaiting delivery instructions and can you contact them on 0906 6611911. DO NOT call the number. This is a mail scam originating in Belize.

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.

Should you receive one of these cards from PDS, then please contact ICTIS at
http://www.icstis.org.uk or your local trading standards office."

Monday, May 01, 2006


Felixstowe Scribblers

Episode Nine on line now!


Watch out for the final two episodes... yes, that's right. Two episodes to go to discover the truth...


Felixstowe Scribblers


The first poetry competition to be organised by the new Online Scribblers has now closed to further entries. The subject matter has been wide and varied, the standard of poetry in many differing styles has been excellent. Very shortly a voting process will be available for you to select TWO poems of your choice - and this does allow you to vote for your own entry too. The winner will be the poem that attracts the most votes.



The first Felixstowe Scribblers - Online Scribblers Short Story Competition is now open for your submissions. It is available to members of both the Online Scribblers and off line members of the Felixstowe Scribblers in a members only forum. If you have not yet registered then all you need to do is to visit http://www.onlinescribblers.com/ to join.

The basic conditions of entry to this competition are:

One entry per member ... Up to 1,500 words on any subject.
There will be one overall winner.
Your entry must be your own original work.
Anonymous judging by online and offline members.
By entering you agree that it may be featured on the Felixstowe Scribblers and Online Scribblers websites should it be a winner.
Winners will be decided by anonymous voting between members.
Closing date for entries is: 31st May 2006.
Winner will be announced: 18th June 2006 or soon after.

Good luck !!!

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