Jun 102016
 

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Well, the title of this post pretty-much says it all – there’s a meetup on Tuesday night (14th), and another evening of open mic fun and frolics on Wednesday night (15th)!

java juneWe hope to see lots of our lovely regulars at both, but newcomers will be made extremely welcome too. Read Your Words, for the uninitiated, is a spoken word event held in Javabean cafe where you can meet and hear writers from not only the TWW collective but also from a variety of other local groups. It’s great fun, costs nowt, and you would be daft to miss it. For more details click HERE or on the lovely pink poster on the right:

Following on from discussions at our last couple of meetups we’re in the process of restructuring the “readings” part of our Tuesday night meetings. The general consensus was to restrict the number of readings to three slots, with the option to book a slot and share work in advance so that more in-depth feedback could be offered. So far there have been no takers for prebooked slots or file sharing, so they’re still up for grabs. Use the comments section below or Facebook to grab a slot. As discussed, priority will be given to first-timers or new readers, with a rolling first-come-first-served schedule for regular readers.

May 302016
 

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Yes, the next Tunbridge Wells Writers meetup is TOMORROW (Tuesday 31st May 2016). If you are reading this on Tuesday 31st May 2016 then it’s TODAY, so you had best get a wriggle on! If you’re reading it any time after the 31st May 2016 then have a look at the event calendar to see when the next one is…

We have had an incredibly busy and successful UNFEST, both in terms of the TWWs collective slot at the Museum/Art gallery on Saturday and as part of Word Up (kind of 😉 ) an hour or so later at the Forum. If I can blow a personal trumpet for a moment, the ‘stuff’ conceived by FESTFICTION (Carolyn Gray, Peppy Scott, blue arsed flySelf) for Perk and Pearl has been very well received, and Postcards from the Hedge has gathered momentum steadily in the Forum Garden. We’ve had some excellent bits and bobs, and look forward to sharing them somehow and somewhere sometime. You meet some really interesting people at TWWs – who knows where that might lead? Certainly to MORE TWWs at Unfest if nothing else. Continue reading »

May 142016
 

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Well another fortnight has flown by (Whoooosh!), and here we are again just days from another meetup. Usual time and place (8:00 / St John’s Yard) and usual drill of meet and greet in the bar before ambling through to the Library Room for about 8:15-8:30. If you’re a first-timer just ask the bar staff and they’ll point you in our direction, or use the contact form below if you’re a bit nervous about jumping right in and would prefer a more formal meet and greet.

This is the last meetup before UNFEST kicks off over the bank holiday weekend and we have SO MUCH going on for that I can’t keep up with it all! In a nutshell, though, there are spoken word opportunities at both The Tunbridge Wells Museum / Art Gallery and the Forum, as well as an art and words exhibit, One Day in May, from three TWW members at Perk & Pearl’s compact and bijou gallery in Grove Hill Road. Additionally, those involved in the Perk and Pearl exhibit have also coordinated an open-to-all collaborative project, Postcards From the Hedge, that will feed into and from the full range of music, art and spoken word events hosted at the Forum over the UNFEST weekend. Blimey we’re going to be busy!

All of that and much more will be on the agenda for Tuesday, as well as the usual mix of literary chat, cross-fertilisation (oh shush! *tsk*), and, erm, boozing. Yippee!

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Fun starts at 1:00. Well, twelve, actually, but that didn’t rhyme. Our bit starts at 1:00 though!

 

Feb 212016
 

Announcement ClipartThe night we read our stuff out…

Yes, we did, thank you. It was at Javabean Cafe last Wednesday for Read Your Words, in case you were wondering. A nice turnout, as the gallery below shows, and wonderful poetry and prose from all those reading. And as if that wasn’t enough we also had our first group reading in the form of a short three-header script by Michael Benenson, performed by the man himself with able assistance from Christopher Hall and brave-but-enthusiastic Javabean first-timer Melissa-Jane Dalyanci (hereinafter referred to as The Tunbridge Wells Playas Players).  It was very, very good and heaps of fun. If you missed it you really should give yourself a kick up the bum. Continue reading »

Jan 302016
 

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Hi all –

A quiet meeting Tuesday, but hardly surprising given the vile weather etc! That said, even quiet meetings these days can be quite busy – about ten of us, I think.

Anyhoo – to business: We’ve got two “formals” (for want of a better term at this point) cued up for 23rd Feb and 2nd March. It was felt better to bite the bullet with the members who were there and set some firm dates than to procrastinate further. Hope all can see the thinking there. The two scheduled formals are:

  • 23rd Feb: Justin Richardson will be hosting a roundtable discussion to identify some group aims and objectives for the mission statement / manifesto / whatever the hell we decide to call it. These will then be incorporated into the website, along with some outlines on the differences between formal and informal meets (see previous proviso), so that potential new members will know what to expect. Bring pads and/or post it notes, and in the meantime feel free to share any initial thoughts with Justin either at the meetup on the 9th of Feb or via Facebook messaging.
  • 22nd March: Glyn Harper will be presenting a workshop on Planning & Structuring a Novel. The first part of the evening will include a Powerpoint presentation (we’ve asked – and the projector at SJY should enable this!) with Glyn sharing his own process, gleaned from a variety of professional resources and honed to his own needs. Following that we’ll be sharing our own methodologies (Ha!), because if one thing above all others is certain it’s that one person’s meat (or veggie-burger) will prove to be another’s poison!

The second – writing – half of Scott Kingsnorth’s Comedy Sketch Workshop has been provisionally pencilled in as April’s “formal”.

Announcement ClipartIn addition to above we had an excellent reading and feedback session, then some general chat focussing on the collaboration with SEEart proposed by David Hensley and the potential for “Jollies” to two local literary festivals (Chiddingstone / Rusthall) and one not so local (Suffolk). Blimey – how DO we pack it all in?

I’ve probably forgotten heaps, but for those who couldn’t make it for various reasons that’s the gist. Make sure you’re there on the 9th and we can get you up to speed properly.

Final thought: Don’t forget it’s Read Your Words on the 17th. Bring your words if you have them, yourselves if you don’t, and your friends and families in either event.

Jan 232016
 

text pic 1Hello again all! Well here we are, just a few days away from our next meetup on Tuesday. We will be revisiting all of the stuff I posted about last week, so to save me repeating myself just scroll down to the previous post if you’re on our homepage or click the link at the end of this post.

In addition to the ‘outstanding items’ found in the link there will also be the opportunity for a bit of a reading and feedback session. If you have anything you would like to share, bring it along. Reading slots will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, and if people keep readings to around ten minutes we should be able to squeeze in around four-six readers. We’ll also be looking at further ideas for ‘formal’ meets and putting some flesh on the bones of those projects already on the table.

If you’re a writery type living in or around Tunbridge Wells please feel free to come along and join us. If you’re the swashbuckling type just rock up and pitch your hat into the ring, or if preferred use the Contact Us form and we’ll arrange beforehand to meet and greet and ease you in gently…

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Jan 192016
 

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A quickie post to bring those who couldn’t attend up to speed on our first meetup of 2016.

Firstly, what a lovely meetup! Loads of faces, including some new ones, and loads of ideas and energy flying about. Great start to 2016!

Anyhoo, there was all sorts up for discussion, all bulleted below: 

  • Formal and Informal Meetings: It was generally felt that we should ease into the new year gently and not be in too much of a rush to organise a “formal” meetup. With that in mind we’re going to stick with informal meets for the next couple while we all get back into the swing of things. The first ‘formal’ meeting will therefore be on Tuesday 23rd February, and the main item on the agenda will be a forum to discuss the ongoing aims and objectives of the group and how best to present them to potential new members. That’s nowhere near as heavy as it sounds, but we do think some clear guidelines would be helpful so newbies know what to expect and how they can get involved. We also hope to come up with a better way of differentiating between the two styles of meeting, as “formal” and “informal” sounds a bit starchy on the one hand and a bit casual on the other! Justin Richardson will be steering the forum, and would love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the interim.
  • Projects: Several suggestions were put forward for projects, including revisiting the comedy sketch writing workshop and the writer-on-writer podcast interviews. Further suggestions included semi-regular poetry feedback evenings, and a workshop on preparing manuscripts for submission / publication.
  • SEEART Festival: Tunbridge Wells Writers have contributed to many local art and literature festivals over the years, but SEEART has to date gone under our radar. No firm plans yet (or even loose ones) on how we can get involved, but certainly an exciting opportunity for some kind of interactive community project. David Hensley has offered to coordinate this one, and he would greatly appreciate your ideas and input.
  • Read Your Words: Three Read Your Words events have now been scheduled for 2016. Dates can all be found on the event calendar in the sidebar. The first event, hosted as always by Delightful Debbie at Javabean, is on February 17th. Read Your Words offers ALL local writers (this is NOT a TWWs event!) an opportunity to share their writing with a wider audience, whatever genre or form that writing takes. It’s a fun evening in a friendly and supportive environment, and is particularly suited to those taking their first plunge into the pool of public reading and performance. We hope to see you (yes YOU!) and all your friends there, whether as readers or as members of that supportive and appreciative audience.

typewriterAll-in-all not quite the “quickie” promised in the opening paragraph, but there was an awfu’ lot to squeeze in. We’re just a week away from our next meetup, so if I’ve left anything out just give me a shout and I’ll make sure to get it in next time. 

Jan 022016
 

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Hello again all, and welcome to a lovely, shiny new year bright with possibility and potential! A very Happy New Year to you all, and here’s hoping your festive festivities, whatever their flavour, were everything you could have wished for.

Now… down to business…

We’ll be meeting for our first meet of the New Year on January 12th. Usual time and place (St John’s Yard, 8:00pm), and at this stage, as far as we know, in the usual “Library Room”. If there’s any amendment to that I’ll let you know via the magic of the interweb both on this site and the group’s Facebook page, but for now assume we’re good to go. Subsequent dates are now highlighted on the Events Calendar in the r/h sidebar, but I will, of course, be giving the usual shout out before each meet.

The agenda for the twelfth will be a very informal one as it’s our first evening back, but will hopefully provide some direction for the first quarter as you (yes YOU) tell us what you want and when you want it from Tunbridge Wells Writers. At this stage we have a couple of ideas on the bubble, the first being to finally get Fright Night Two organised as an e-book (with Fright Night Three scheduled for September as a lead-in to Fright Night Four), and the second a somewhat sketchy proposal from Justin Richardson (who will hopefully provide a less sketchy one soon!) to get a “Group Manifesto” organised and prominently displayed so that potential new members will know what they can expect should they stumble across us. Other loose threads at the moment are a comedy sketch writing workshop, building on Scott Kingsnorth’s presentation on that theme in November, and I still rather like the idea of a series of podcast interviews in the style of Radio Four’s Chain Reaction (as proposed by Karen Tucker) so let’s see if we can put some wheels on that carriage too!  All fresh ideas greatly welcome: whether an existing member or a new reader considering taking the plunge, just fetch up on the twelfth and throw your hat into the ring.

chocolate-chip-cookie-crumbs-on-plateTTFN, and thank you again to all those who contributed to this year’s Festive Countdown – a wonderfully diverse collection of cross-platform writing (as always), attracting over five thousand views throughout December.  

 

Dec 252015
 

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Well I never! There we were thinking all the unwrapping had been done and somebody sneaked another gift under the tree at the last minute! We all know Christmas is a time for giving, but sometimes we overlook one Very Important Person who is equally deserving. Don’t forget yourself this year…

THE PRESENT

timerIt’s Christmas time again. It’s funny, but as one gets older it comes round more often. Or is it just that it seems to?

Christmas is associated with the giving of physical gifts, one to another, and the giving of time spent with another, which is often more important for others who are in more difficult circumstances. After all, presents can be bought with money, but time cannot be bought as we are allocated only so much by our humanity, and, when it has been spent, one cannot go to the bank of God and borrow more. Continue reading »

Dec 242015
 

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Well, Christmas Eve – but the last Tunbridge Wells Writers present for this year…

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SANTA

The street is silent, the early darkness and biting cold keeping people inside their homes. The shower of snowflakes falling from the sky is too light to lay; the flakes melt on impact with the ground. The grey paving slabs of the footpath and black asphalt road surface glisten with reflected light from the yellow street lamps. If the gritters aren’t out tonight the roads will be treacherous by morning.

kiplingA white van turns into the street, its headlights illuminating posters in the windows of the corner shop. Quality Street are five quid a tub for this week only, and Mr Kipling’s deep-filled mince pies are only ninety-nine pee for a pack of six. There are wines on special offer too, and there’s a lottery draw this weekend guaranteed to make four lucky winners millionaires.

The van passes the corner shop and pulls over to the kerb outside of number eighty-six. The driver sits for a moment watching the snow dancing in his headlights. He smiles, his lips, red from the cold, almost concealed behind his curly white moustache and beard. He turns off the headlights and cuts the engine then opens the door and steps out onto the road. Continue reading »

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