Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Where's Izzie?

Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of an integral member of the SVA community. None of us remembers Izzie saying that she wouldn't attend our first May meeting but she didn't come. We all have fingers crossed that nothing untoward has happened to our in-house expert on writing for the Internet. Linda has been deputed to put up the missing-person posters.
With Chris missing - called away by the demands of trucking commerce - we were down to four as we shared good(!) news.
We learned that Annie's latest text for an illustrated children's book has elicited an enthusiastic response from her mentor who suggested that Annie now move on to submitting a portfolio of work in her 'distinctive voice' to a specialist agent. Annie is now assured that this is the field she's going to focus on and she's joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and an on-line critique group that specialises in the same area.
Linda's submission for A Headful of Budgerigars was met with approbation from a London-based literary agent who represents women's fiction. The agent wants to see the whole manuscript. Linda's short story Telling the Bees will appear in Loom magazine in June.
Finally in (good) news, a recently launched, independent imprint based in Essex is going to publish Rob's new novel Out of Such Darkness in the spring of 2015. He's currently rewriting in line with the publisher's comments.
Linda read her short story No Children in Changi which Tony described as 'complex, intriguing, unique and subtle'. The central character Dr Trip is a survivor of of WWII imprisonment in Singapore's Changi jail and at the time of the story is showing an inappropriate interest in a female child-patient. Despite the intimations that the doctor is a paedophile, Linda's dispassionate treatment allows the reader to make up her/his own mind as to whether he deserves condemnation.
There was some discussion about when the piece was set and we all agreed that Linda established the period setting expertly - implicitly rather than in-your-face - by clever use of: the characters names; the nature of the interplay between them; the descriptions of clothing; and the language used in the dialogue.
After bemoaning the lack of a UK market for short stories the group went on to finalise details of the next meetings:
  • May 27th - at Tony's. Tony to submit.
  • June 10th - at Izzie's (providing we can find her). Chris to submit
  • June 24th - at Rob's. Rob to submit.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

While the Cats Are Away, the Mice Will Play

The latest meeting took place at Izzie's house. Without the guiding presence of Chris (at work) and Rob (on holiday), we did our best to stick to the guidelines, but may have meandered ever so slightly during the course of the evening.

Linda's short story, Telling the Bees is to be published in a local magazine called The Loom. Fellow members of the SVA were all delighted that her work is getting into print.

Tony is submitting short stories to The New Yorker and The London Magazine and has also found the time to enter The Bristol Short Story Competition.

Izzie is still writing for American online magazine, Mommy Hotspot and reports that viewing figures for her blog are on the up.

Annie has joined The Society For Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators and continues to work on her children's book.

Annie submitted a re-worked version of Ellie and the Dino-taur.

Tony thought it was an amusing read and great for parents to read out-loud. Several modifications to the pace and rhyme of the verse were suggested. At the end of the meeting he also came up with a name change for the main character that the rest of the group adored.

Izzie thought the verse was lively, engaging and perfect for teaching children all about the names of dinosaurs.

Linda suggested that the main character should be a boy and loved the sense of adventure.

At the end of the meeting, we put our heads together and deduced that the next meeting should be at Annie's house on 13th May. We're pretty sure that it's Linda's turn to submit, but had absolutely no idea about who might be blogging.