Welcome to Felixstowe Scribblers

Thursday, May 08, 2008


For all your research and information for writers
visit your local Felixstowe Library
and the Suffolk Record Office .




In the Chair: Dick.

Apologies for absence were received from Alex, Peter and Rosie.

In attendance Debbie, Ali, Tony, Jane, Trish, Liliane, Morag, Steven and Lauren, Barry, Dave and Dick.

An extra Tuesday in April meant a three week gap between meetings, and goodness, the “excitement” we had during that time! Namely one World War Two bomb that was found, then towed out to sea, lost, found and then detonated. During this worrying saga we understand that Kay was one of the Scribblers who had to evacuate and ended up ’house sitting’ for Morag who was away on holiday at the time. Incidentally, Morag was back in Felixstowe at the home of a former Scribbler, Sue Smith, when the bomb was detonated and shook the house. It makes one understand the need for such an exclusion zone.

As a footnote to this, Felixstowe TV provided some really excellent coverage with the footage still available to view on their website at http://www.felixstowetv.co.uk/news.php


Confirmation of the results of the competition are:-

1st Ruth Dugdall - Old Dogs & New Tricks
2nd Kayley Lyndle - Off the Beaten Track
joint 3rd - Morag Clarke - Suspicious Minds
joint 3rd - Una McMorran - The Waiting Room

1st - Harriet Avery (aged 14) - It all started when...
2nd - Emily Sims (aged 11) - Cooking up Trouble
3rd - Megan Payne (aged 9) - Valentina the Doctor`s Daughter.

Maureen enjoyed the competition but with fifty one entries she needed help judging the entries with a friend and her son. Our sincerest thanks to Maureen for making this possible and, of course, congratulations to all the winners.


Nice to welcome back Debbie, Trish and Ali to our meeting.

Alex missed the meeting as he is in Scotland where his sister was married at the Bank Holiday. Let’s hope their weather was as good as ours!

Rosie has dropped out of the Scribblers for the time being because of revision for her GCSEs. Fingers crossed that it all pays dividends and she gets her passes. So best of luck Rosie and see you whenever you can make it back.

Peter is of course on the other side of the world by now and will miss the next two meetings as well. Doubtless he’ll come back with an Australian twang to his Suffick haccent.

Caz sent her sincerest thanks to The Felixstowe Scribblers for the collection in aid of Jack’s Just Giving fundraiser for EACH. The Scribblers are mentioned on their website.
An update on Liam can be viewed at


Tony’s brother has had his first book published in the USA where he lives. His first attempt, a saga of over a million words never made it, but this book was conceived written and published in just a few short months. Perhaps there is a market for publishing Stateside.

A message has arrived from Pat who has been missing for a while. She says

“I regret that I have not been able to attend recently. This year, Tuesday is proving to be a bad day for me because it is our main competition day at my golf club, and, as I am Lady Captain, I have a lot of work that day and usually that evening. But I do hope to see you all soon. I do enjoy the meetings.”

Scott has also been in contact and apologises for missing the last two meetings. The first was a little depression over his injured leg that led to an inability to do any fitness training. Overall this has given him not helped and this, can you believe it, has led to his first ever writers block. Scott and Aimee are off on holiday this Saturday and now, it seems, may also be starting another Tuesday class. Let’s hope they have a lovely relaxing holiday and come back refreshed and with fresh literary ideas for Scott. Just as an aside, there are some tips at http://onlinescribblers.com covering writers block.

A reminder that the Ipswich Arts Festival runs from June 28th until July 13th and will include three different writers’ workshops during the fortnight. Details of the events will be released early in May. Check out the website for more details including the 2008 Short Story Competition that has cash and book tokens available in three categories, Adult, Young People (ages 12-16) and Children (ages 7-11). The subject is for a 500 word story on ’Migration’ whilst the children’s competition calls for 250 words on ’Journeys’. Be warned that the closing date is rapidly approaching - Friday May 16th, so if you haven’t yet entered then visit
This will give you all the details you need.


We are pleased as punch that our Judy has at last had her book published. Entitled “Like Ships That Pass in the Night”, a cover shot is available on our weblog along with the LAWRENCE MEDIA press release. The book costs £12.99 and is available from Amazon or can be ordered from bookshops.

Well done Judy!

Of course there has been some not so good news for Judy. Her passion for Burma and the tales and pictures she has provided for us in the past, has been tempered by the dreadful tragedy that has cost so many lives. Judy says “Our friend and guide Zuu appears to be missing and my London-based Burmese friend is in distress as his parents live in Yangon and sister and family in the devastated delta region. He has no means of finding out whether they are even alive. I am so sad for them all.” I am certain that all Scribblers share Judy’s concerns.


Locked up after the meeting and the alarm activated. Had to re-enter the building and check round thoroughly before discovering a window on the upper floor had not been properly closed. The alarm reset perfectly after that.

On the way back to Ipswich along the A14, first a motorcyclist joined dead in front of me and disappeared into the distance at approaching a ton. I was travelling at 70mph and being caught and overtaken by a very fast moving car when another vehicle, a taxi, came from the Trimleys to join the A14, accelerating hard and beginning to pass me on the inside - I had nowhere to go, but the idiot of a taxi driver decided to brake hard after nearly spearing me in the side. He hung back and then came past me a few miles down the road well in excess of the speed limit.

If you think that was enough, coming off the A12 were two fire engines, blue lights flashing and I got trapped between them. I couldn’t brake to let the second one past to begin with because it was not safe to do so. Although I pulled to the side, I kept driving as I did not want to cause an accident by stopping but the following fire engine did not attempt to pass. The Orwell Bridge and cones, miles of cones. The leading fire engine was caught behind a stream of slower moving traffic and then - ahead I could see all the blue lights, police vehicles all over the place - that’s when the second engine came past me. There was carnage at the Wherstead turn-off and, although only two vehicles were apparently involved there were many more slewed all round the scene. From the newspaper reports the driver of the car involved is critical.

After that, I got home safely, though perhaps a little shakily! One could say that the library alarm delayed me sufficiently to avoid being directly involved in the accident…..

The platform:

The Open 1,500 word work:

Liliane: Too Long at the Fair.
Dick : Just Like Robbing ‘ood.

The Themed 500 word assignments on ‘Fair or Fare‘:

Debbie: Cloven
Ali: The Snarl’s Tale
Lauren: Random Story Part Three.
Tony: The Things We Do for Timothy Whiteboots
Jane: All the Fun of the Fair.
Trish: Strawberry Fair.
Barry: The Cricket Club.
Dave: Fair.

Dick and Dave then read out a short script for Bill and Bert of The Lost Sock fame, entitled “The Navy Lark - Felixstowe.” Guess what that was about! Tony was asked if we could write a 30 minute skit on the missing bomb…. That’s one for the melting pot perhaps.

Next meeting Tuesday 20th May - and another special meeting.

This time it is the Bill Budner Trophy up for grabs. This means that the homework is on any theme and in any genre you wish.

The only stipulations are that your work must be typed and anonymous - so you must not include your name at all.

The work will be laid face down on a table and then Scribblers will pick an entry, have a few minutes to familiarise themselves with the work before reading it out to the group. Everyone will have the opportunity to mark each work, the winner being announced later in the evening with the trophy being presented to them by the current holder, Morag.

Thanks to Barry, Lauren and Steven for providing the eats again.

Until next time,

Keep Scribbling!

Dave (for Dick)



1) Riverside Writers' next meeting - dates & writing project.
2) AGM Report for 2008.
3) Photos of Words from Wordsmiths
The next meeting of Riverside Writers will take place at 7.30-9.30pm at West Kirby Library in The Concourse, on Monday, May 19th.
May's writing project is set on the theme of The Stray Shoe. How many times, when you've been travelling around, have you seen a perfectly good shoe flung onto a grass verge or bus stop roof, or similar? Who did the shoe belong to, and how did it get there? Where is the other shoe now, and who has it? In a poem or short story (of any length), tell the story of the stray shoe.
AGM Report for 2008
Founded in 1998 by Val New, the group has recently been experiencing a dramatic increase of membership. A year ago, the group was on the verge of being disbanded due to poor attendance, but this is most certainly not the situation now.
After many years of service, Val New has retired as Treasurer. We thank her for all her hard work. Our new Treasurer is Peter Hurd, who writes poetry, non-fiction and fiction in several genres.
Tim Hulme was re-elected as Secretary. Tim’s humorous stories have been broadcast on Radio Merseyside, and his work has been published in The New Cauldron magazine.
Adele Cosgrove-Bray was re-elected as Chairperson. Adele has been published by Hadley Rille Books, Dark Moon Press, Prediction Magazine and others. For more information visit:- http://www.adelecosgrove-bray.com . Or try her MySpace site:- http://www.myspace.com/whimsicalpixels .
Riverside Writers presented Words from Wordmsiths on April 7th, as part of Wirral BookFest. Everyone who took part in this well-attended evening of readings enjoyed the experience and considers the event to have been a success. West Kirby Library has invited us to hold a similar event next year, which is excellent news.
Each month, Riverside Writers set a project wherein everyone in encouraged to write either a poem of short story (of any length) to a particular theme. The theme might be a specific location, or inspired by an unusual photograph or phrase, or there might be a required opening sentence. Sometimes a random bunch of words (eg. potato, cuckoo clock, ballet shoe, Lamborghini) might have to be used within the same written piece.
Participation is not mandatory, but everyone who has taken part has found the exercise worthwhile, both in terms of improving their writing skills and confidence, and in providing them with a body of work.
The projects have also given the meetings a focus.
GROUP PURPOSE (in no particular order)
a) To encourage people to write.
b) To offer constructive, polite criticism of each others’ work.
c) To offer useful advice about the publishing industry.
d) To encourage use of the internet as a networking tool.
e) To provide a friendly and informal atmosphere where writers of all genres and abilities can socialise.
A copy of this AGM report can be read at http://www.myspace.com/riversidewriters where comments can be left.


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