Update on January Fiction Fix:
What a great night at the Draper’s Arms last night! Many thanks to all the people who turned up and either read or listened. I managed to speak to most people and know that they enjoyed themselves, but for anyone I didn’t get to speak to in the break or afterwards, I look forward to catching up with you next time.
Readers were Jilly Paddock, Mark Fryday, Morgan Fitzsimon and myself. We usually start with work that is already self-published or independently published, but last night, as there were quite a few pieces which fell into the not-yet-published section, we reversed the order and started with the Fiction-in-the-Making section. Jilly read from her next novel, Warbird, Mark gave us a sneak peek into his forthcoming novel The Innocence Machines, after which I interviewed him about the differences between his current and next work, and I read from my next novel, The Zarduth Imperative – Discovery. After the break Jilly continued the section with her latest fantasy story, Ladder to the Moon. We continued the readings with the Self-Made Fiction section, with Morgan reading from The Last Enchanter and a reading from Floodtide by yours truly. But the evening didn’t really end there, because there was quite a bit of discussion going on for a while after that. I enjoyed the night very much and the others seemed to as well.
The next Fiction Fix will be at the Draper’s Arms, Cowgate, Peterborough, (post code) on Sunday 5th February. We look forwards to seeing you there!
It looks as if the first month of the New Year is going to be just as busy as most of 2016 was.
For a start, there’s another Fiction Fix on Sunday 8th January. If you’re a writer and want to read your work aloud, or if you just fancy coming along to listen, keep in touch via The Finger on the Pulse, my private Facebook group for this regular monthly event at The Draper’s Arms on Cowgate in Peterborough. PM me on Facebook to join it. the meetings are usually on the first Sunday in the month, but as this happens to be New Year’s Day that seemed a bit impractical as the pubis unlikely to be open.
The pub is a few minutes’ walk from the bus and train stations and the nearest car park is the Trinity St. Car Park, round the back of Peterborough Museum. Parking is £1.50 all night (literally – till 6 am!) Here’s the Google map link: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Peterborough+Cathedralfirstname.lastname@example.org,-0.2461277,18z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xcd53906a57999a5!8m2!3d52.5724834!4d-0.2392101
Secondly, the following weekend I’ll be running the next of the series of writers’ workshops at Spalding Library. This is Story-Telling for Writers II. Last time we looked at the structural devices that can be used in telling your story. This time we’ll be looking at the story-telling devices you can use to control the flow of information to the reader and ensure you don’t repeat yourself. Contact the library to book, there may still be a few places left.
This Weekend’s Public Engagements
(Don’t worry, you can still buy the paperback (contains all the countdown stories plus the wider anthology to which I contributed) or download any of the 12 countdown stories individually, or buy the 12Days Kindle version, which doesn’t include the countdown stories. Check Amazon out for the latest prices. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_6?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=12days&sprefix=12Days%2Caps%2C137&crid=3U93DHFSIWMGO)
I have a busy weekend ahead with the online launch party (on Facebook) this evening for the 12Days anthology, in which I have a story called Avenging Angel. this is a private launch party for the contributors, but should be both educational (never done an online launch party before!) and fun. This mainly horror anthology is in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and has been the brainchild of Matty-Bob Cash. I’m proud to be part of it, especially as it’s raising money to help others less fortunate than myself. Here’s the cover:
I also have an appearance tomorrow morning at Huntingdon Library with the Telling It group. This is part of Huntingdon Library’s Author Festival, and is the first time I’ve read with them, but I’m looking forwards to it. I will be reading a new childrens’ story I’ve written. I don’t normally do childrens’ fiction, but I thought I’d have a go as the library wanted something Christmassy/wintry and the Naxadans don’t celebrate Christmas! This is the poster for the latest Telling It public meeting.
And on Sunday there’s another meeting of the Peterborough Fiction Fix. The poster is below. There will probably be some open-mic slots available during the evening.
Next workshop at Spalding Library will be on Saturday 10th November:
(Part 2 of the Story-Telling for Writers will take place in January.)
Next workshop at The Deepings Library will be on Monday 28th November:
This workshop has up to 15 places available and will be FREE again as it’s my free taster workshop, Getting Started. You will still need to book a place, so contact the library for this, details of opening times if you’re phoning them above in the poster, and the e-mail address for use at any time is also shown. Please don’t expect an immediate reply if you’re e-mailing, as the library’s opening hours are a bit limited – but at least they are still there, and the library itself is thriving!
Next writers’ workshop at Spalding Library
The next workshop for writers at Spalding Library is on Saturday 5th November, at the usual time of 10 am, and it’s already almost full! There are 12 places and it’s £5 to attend, payable in advance at the library. I hope to see you there!
Next Peterborough Fiction Fix meeting
will be at 8pm at The Draper’s Arms, on Sunday November 6th. Further details to follow. We hope to see you there!
Getting Started workshop at Spalding Library
This workshop ran on Saturday 8th October, and was probably the most successful workshop I’ve ever run. I’ve since heard from several people that it was a lot of fun, as well as teaching them ways of getting their work started off.
This event is next Saturday but all the places are now filled. However, I am running it again at The Deepings Library soon – we know it’ll be in November, and that it will also be a free event, but we just haven’t yet worked out when it will be. Watch this space!
Never Mind “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, there are Two New Workshops and an Author Event!
That’s not to mention another Peterborough Fiction Fix. The first workshop is at The Deepings Library, and celebrates the takeover of the library by GLL – and, of course, its continuance as a proper library. The Friends of Deepings Library fought legal battle after legal battle to stay open and serving the public in the Deepings, and as soon as I heard that Lincs. County Council wanted to close them, I contacted them and offered to run a free workshop – I thought it might help bring local people onboard for the fight. My reason for doing so was that I feel quite a connection to the library, not just because I’m now an author, but because between 2000 and 2005 I taught Geology and Creative Writing at The Deepings School, and I used to drop in to the library with leaflets and posters, and they always displayed them for me. I went to a couple of their events to raise local awareness and enthusiasm, and encountered at one of them a gentleman who used to be in my Geology class – which was great! However, FODL decided that they’d prefer it if I ran that workshop for them after the takeover…so that time is – well, if not now, then very soon!
So if you’re reading this and would like to come to the workshop on Thursday evening the 29th September, we’d love to see you there. It starts at 6.45 pm, and finishes at 9 pm. Just remember to book a place, as they’re limited, by calling 01775-346528 during opening hours (or leave a message and they’ll get back to you) or e-mailing email@example.com. Opening hours at The Deepings Library are:
Wednesday 10.00 – 15.00
Friday 13.00 – 17.30
Saturday 10.00 – 13.00.
And because I’m doing that for them, they’re putting on an author event for me, which is why there are 2 posters below! I will be reading from my current novel Floodtide and from my next novel, The Zarduth Imperative, and will have my usual display of rocks and minerals that the hero of Floodtide, Jordas, would see in the lava tubes of Naxada. Copies of Floodtide will be available to buy and have signed as well.
This workshop was pretty successful, and drew together a lot of very different people who are involved in writing plays, novels and short stories. Here are some photos:
Poster for Author Event at Deepings Library for Helen Claire Gould on Saturday 1st October
But that’s not all that’s happening! It’s an exciting time, because there’s the next meeting of Peterborough Fiction Fix on Sunday 2nd October, with a mixed genre line-up, and I’m also running a new workshop, “Getting Started” at Spalding Library, a week later (Saturday 8th October). Spalding Library is open every day, so you can phone to book a place on the workshop between 9 am and 5 pm Monday – Wednesday and Friday, and between 9 am and 6 pm on Thursday, and 9 am and 1 pm on Saturday. (There are 12 places on the Getting Started workshop, which is particularly aimed at budding writers.)
Here are the posters:
Poster for “Getting Started” FREE workshop at Spalding Library, Saturday 8th October
So get your diary out, make an entry, book a place on the workshops, and we’ll see you there!
Live Readings of Fiction – Self-Made Fiction & Fiction in the Making
Starting next month there will be a series of meetings in pubs, bars or cafes, where fiction will be read aloud to an audience, by the writers. This is Fiction in the Making (i.e. it’s not finished yet, but the writers want to dip their toes in the water and see how it goes down) and Self-Made Fiction (it’s been self-published). So come along to the first meeting at The Draper’s Arms on Cowgate, Peterborough (just round the corner from the bus station) details below – and bring your ears! The pub has food available, the usual (beer and so on), and for anyone who doesn’t drink alcohol, coffee and tea and soft drinks are available through the evening.
Regrettably, I have had to cancel the two workshops below, due to unforeseen circumstances. I hope to be able to run them in the near future.
2 new Workshops
On Wednesday, 6th July, at 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm, I will be delivering a Self-Publishing workshop at City College, Brook St., Peterborough, OE1 1TU. The title is: Print vs. e-Publishing: Which Should you Choose? This is a preliminary look at the differences between getting your novel printed and having it formatted for e-publication.
And on Thursday 14th July (the following week) I’ll be delivering a Creative Writing workshop at The Goldhay Centre, 105, Paynels, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 5QP. This workshop is entitled “Dialogue”, and covers as many aspects as possible of writing dialogue. There will be lots of writing exercises, and some de-mystifying of myths related to writing dialogue! This workshop runs from 6.45 pm – 9 pm and it’s also priced at £15/person.
New Geology Talk at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, Churchgate, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 2RA.
To celebrate Tim Peake’s return to Earth from the International Space Station, the museum has organised Space Weekend for the 4th and 5th June. I will be giving a talk on Asteroids, Comets & Meteorites on both days, the Saturday and the Sunday, at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm, so you have 4 chances to see it. I have already put this up on my Facebook account, so you may be familiar with the poster below:
Geology Workshop at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, Churchgate, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 2RA.
I’m pleased to report that this event had an appreciative, if small, audience. One gentleman told me he’d never look at rocks in the same light, having spent 20 minutes or so looking at a selection of representative rock types through a hand lens. I have to agree – I do think that even the slightest of nodding acquaintances with geology can change the way you view rocks. You start off by thinking they’re all either grey, black or brown, and end up realising that in fact, due to the minerals that make them up, they are composed of many different colours and textures. It was as much of a revelation to me when I started researching rocks to get the background to Floodtide right.
And I’ve never looked back.
On Friday, 26th February, at 2 pm, I will be running a geology workshop at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum. This fine building, recently renovated, will provide a magnificent setting for the workshop, which is on Plate Tectonics and the Rock Cycle.
The workshop will start with a PowerPoint presentation on how the rock cycle interacts with plate tectonics, a summary of the evidence for both of these Earth systems, and an overview of the theories for the formation of our Moon, one of which may well have kick-started plate tectonics on Earth. This will be followed by a closer examination, using rock samples and hand lenses, of some major types of rock which form part of the rock cycle.
The workshop is free, but you’ll need a ticket, which can be obtained from the Museum from next Thursday on. There are 40 places available. Pop into the museum for a ticket or book by phone on 01775 764555.
We hope to see you there!