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.