Freebie Time!

A packed house – standing room only! A very positive way to start the new year with our first meeting of a Plural of Writers. Short stories, excerpts from longer pieces, poems and flash fiction all burst forth in a flurry of new year enthusiasm.

We heard works by members including The Raven, one of which was about the feathered variety, the other being an excerpt form a longer piece of work about the trialing of a computer game. That was quite creepy! We then enjoyed a poem inspired by our prompt ‘Reflections’, which was tender and moving in equal measure. A change of gear brought us a belated Christmas poem which was not yer usual Christmas poem, but hey, that’s how we roll, here at BWC.

We’re getting together another short story/poem collection that will be published in the Spring. Our most recent collection, Tasty Morsels, can be downloaded for free in its digital version – YES FREE! – Here

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 17th Jan, usual time, (7pm) usual place, (Old Town Cafe, Parsons Street, Banbury) and as usual, everyone welcome.

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Onward into 2018

Thanks to everyone for coming along to our last meeting held just before Christmas. Yes yes yes… we know this blog is a bit late but you know how it is…

We had a reading of ‘The Writing Bar’, which was a tale of what happens when a writing group holds their meeting in a bar rather than a coffee shop and the new member has an agenda other than writing. It included within it both a Haiku and a poem – which we all thought was a good use of narrative to include other forms of writing. A touching story where love unrequited was almost requited (is that a thing?!) and reminded us that love takes many shapes and forms.

Quickly folllowing on was ‘There’s None So Deaf’, a new perspective on an old festive tale. A good slow reveal.

Then we got right proper posh and had a sonnet based on one of our prompts, ‘The Raven’. A humorous sonnet that kept true to the form. Some of us even learned what a sonnet actually was structurally, and enjoyed the piece for its language and imagery, so win-win!

Flesh was then made to crawl with an extract from a story entitled ‘Ticks’, previously published in the ‘Corona Book of Horror Stories’ (go get your copy now!). It was a truly creepy and revolting tale of a boy who grew up loving not the dogs in his household but the little blighters that lived on them. We loved the story and can only say that !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! all did not end well..

Back down to earth, we then heard the prologue from a longer WIP about the doom of planet Earth. The premise was that of an astronaut stranded in orbit in nothing but her space-suit and running out of oxygen, where she reflects on how she ended up joining the void she’s doomed to spend an eternity in. So quite cheery for our last meeting before Christmas, but a great story nonetheless!

There was much lively discussion ranging from myths that surround writing, to what language can/should and absolutely shouldn’t be used in sex-scenes. That made the Christmas bells jingle!

Our next meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday 3rd at 7pm and we hope to see you there.
All assignments are open so if you fancy coming along you may hear some works on the subjects of
Birth Marriage and Death
(the) Wallet
(the) Raven
A 300 word piece on an inanimate object which starts talking,
and last but not least,
Reflections
The assignments of course are simply prompts to inspire us. If you have other stuff you’re working on please feel free to bring it for a read.

Going From Strength To Strength

Due to illness and other nasties we were a small but perfectly formed group last week, other members choosing to stay in bed with a hot toddy. Or teddy. Who knows. However – what a great meeting. First item on the agenda was that we’re in Writing Magazine again. Top writers’ group or what!BWC WM

Then we heard a great poem based on ‘The Wallet’ assignment. Very mournful and evocative, focusing on the contrast in generations and the importance of mementos that can be missed by those focused on monetary gains rather than the person. It was a very moving piece that almost required hankies.

A short debate followed (it usually does) and a member read two other pieces, one a fluffy happy piece, which really was, and one a horror piece, which… really was! The happy one was a tale of love rekindled after a short absence and the horror one was a truly disturbing piece that grew from a fan-fic idea based on ‘the last cuddle’. Engaged us all, drew us in and jaws were suitably dropped, almost shattered. It was a relief then, when lovely cafe proprietor Cathy offered us several thick slices of lemon drizzle cake and obviously it would have been rude not to…This writing lark’s no good for the diet. Ah well.. January soon.

The next meeting, on Weds 20th, is still on even though it’s close to crimbo and it’d be great to see you all – no pressure and no need to worry about the office Christmas party – just turn up and enjoy.

Gotta Love Them Ravens

It’s always good to welcome new members and see the Banbury Writers Cafe group grow, which is exactly what we did this Wednesday. Introductions made, we soon got down to business. Two of our assignments recently have been The Wallet and Raven. Raven seems to have caught the imagination of several members and they read their work. All very enjoyable and interesting it was too, and the discussions that followed included the merits (or otherwise) of writing in the past or present tense, the world of gaming and writing there for, and that most pressing of questions – what is the collective noun for Ravens?

We had an interesting story from our resident prolific fan-fic writer that involved a toe, a bath and some ointment, and we shall say no more! We had the beginnings of a Wallet story, in which the writer declared it was pants before she’d even started, and although no-one agreed, it was suggested that the wallet could be a cursed wallet. And then it just got silly after that. But BWC is a great platform for encouraging writing and reading our work out loud and much positivity was taken from the evening.

Before we signed off at just gone 9pm, we had a table read of a screenplay by one of our members. Appalling Scouse accents aside, we hope we did it justice and our author was pleased. It certainly gave him the opportunity to make notes and help develop the action.

And it’s An Unkindness or A Conspiracy. An unkindness seems a bit mean, but A Conspiracy of Ravens sounds great!

Writers Writing

A bit late with the update, fellow readers and writers, but hey, busy busy busy! We had some excellent readings last week, encompassing the subject of Births Marriages and Deaths and a different story which included Achilles and a Jag, (no, really!) We had an off-the-wall BM&D story in which the best character in a long time was born – The Reverend Teacake – and another whereby witches and all things treacherous were laid bare. And last but not least, a story contemplating the spiky conundrumachilles-greek-raskol-apparel-orozco-design-studio-robertoorozco-artist-orange-black-shirt-homer-spear-shield-theos-mythology-mythos-warrior-war-spartan-greece-athens-illustration-illust of what to do with a relative’s ashes when the living cannot agree….

Our next assignment is ‘Raven’, with all the connotations that brings. Mind you, we’re a creative bunch, so it could turn out to mean anything! Still open is The Wallet and Births Marriages and Deaths and any interpretation thereof.

One of our members has had a poem accepted by Writing Magazine for publication next July. Excellent work!

Soon we will be having a table reading of a screenplay written by one of our members, a punchy, modern mystery where the protagonist discovers something about the universe that the powers-to-be don’t want us to know. We’ve been enjoying the evolution of this screen play for the last few months, and are delighted that the author is happy for us all to read it with him – for the first time in public.

We were also pleased to welcome to our meeting Corona Books, a fledgling publishing company, and who provided a very valuable insight into the world of publishing. And hopefully a regular attendee!

Our next meeting is November 8th in the newly decorated Old Town Cafe at 7pm. Hope to meet you there.

Red Balls

So what makes a good wallet? This, apart from horror films of the 1980’s, was the over-riding question for the group at Wednesday’s meeting. So easily sidetracked, us writers. But what a positive Can-Do meeting again. We listened intently to the story of Morwenna and the difficult path she trod between her ancestry with her place the modern world; a really good piece of writing with one of those endings that makes you say ‘why didn’t I see that coming?!’ As previously mentioned, 1980’s horror films came in for much debate as someone read their 300 word, 1980’s based horror story for entry into the Zeroflash August horror comp. It should be noted here that some of the group weren’t even born it the 1980’s (their input was limited!)

We had some sci-fi which involved red balls and immortality, more screen-play readings and – we just keep coming back for more – poetry!

So come on down, you writers or wannabe writers of Banbury and surrounding regions – it’s a cheap night out!BWC (3).png

Another cracking meeting!

Another cracking meeting for nearly all the members of BWC last week. First though, we should mention that group member Chloe entered Zeroflash’s August competition with her 80’s-set horror short (300 grisly words) and lo and behold – there it was on-line a few days later. Well Done Chloe. Here’s the link – scroll down to ‘Monsters Exist’.
We had some good readings in which we killed off a few characters (great feeling, especially if they were dislikable to start with), got all literaried-up with a reading of a poem by Catullus, then read some of our own poetry, had a quick tour of Russia, discussed the best ending for an AI story (creepy!), learnt some grammar and eventually came to the conclusion that cherry bourbons should not be allowed to exist (you had to be there). So much talked about! So much read! Horizons expanded!
We were then inspired to debate inspiration, which of course led on to poetry again, an itch it would seem, we will have to scratch properly. There once was a man from New Guinea, who wore only a pin-stripe cooks pinny, he rolled out his pastry, a little to hasty…

Join us next time to hear the final line! Or write it yourself and send it in!

August 19th, 7pm. C’mon down and join the party

July 19th – Shoulda Been There!

Yowza! What a corker of a meeting! Sorry you missed it! We had men in strange green suits, a dodgy-looking geezer with big ears looking under a car bonnet, skinny dipping in Germany and the unfinished tale of teenage desire (watch this space!) Lots of readings and discussion, and then just before 8pm one dare-devil lit the touch paper with the outrageous question
‘So what is poetry?’
Immediately the poets amongst us flew into action with explanations, observations and examples. The non-poets demanded definition, and those with a cheeky smirk suggested that a shopping list could also suffice as a poem if we really wanted it to.
Our next assignment therefore, should we wish to accept, is to write a poem for our next collection of works to be published in the autumn. Now that will be an interesting read.

Colons, semi-colons, commas – all came up for discussion/dissection and we all went away having learnt a little bit about…something…

Next meeting Weds 2nd August, 7pm £3 subs, The Artery/Old Town Cafe, Parsons Street Banbury. You know you want to.

Coffee, crisps, and cake. Sandwiches, tea, and treats.
All call to the hungry, desperate, and unprepared.
Countryside rolls casually by beyond the dirt streaked glass.
There a pond that has merged with a field.
Here a walker, trailing a dog abound with unkempt energy.
All come and go, seen, considered, but swiftly forgot.
Now a tree, gnarled, jagged, preciously flawed.
Fields, a cliche of quilted patchwork, vanish into mounds and swells.
Bushes spring forth with determined urgency and block all else.
A conversation three rows up becomes a public affair.
He did, she did, we did, they did.
The more we try to ignore, the more we seem to listen.
Red brick residences, representing myriad loves, laughs, and longings.
A thud and a thunder as opposing travellers blur past.
Too hazy to see if there is another dreamer watching our passing.
Eyeing the world with equal nonchalance, unwittingly crossing paths.
Too late now for coffee, or crisps or cake.
Little need for sandwiches, tea or treats.
Time instead to collate belongings and retrieve tickets.
Sliding to a halt. Sliding a door open. Back to reality.

Mike Dale

Good Stuff!

Another evening of lively discussion, debates, readings and competition entries. There was a lot of feel-good factor 50 flying around and we all left energised and ready to write some more.
On September 2nd we aim to be part of the Banbury Old Town Summer Party celebrations and you’ll find us in Parson’s Street doing some street reading. We’ll be entertaining you with flash fiction and short stories, so please put it in your diary and come along and have a listen.

In the meantime, here are some links to self-published works by some of our members. Busy busy busy!

Drinking Poetry by Chloe Gilholy

A Collection of Unsettling Short Stories by Jacci Gooding

Clara Bow and the Seal of Solomon Adventures by Michael Dale

And our group anthology; short stories inspired by the title

The Odd Chair

Our next meeting is on June 21st 7pm at The Old Town Cafe

Our Journeys

Maybe it was the lovely warm weather, or just the great atmosphere at The Old Town Cafe, but we had a very productive meeting with lots discussed and much read, and we were very pleased  to welcome one and half new members to the group (you had to be there). Some of us read our  Dragonfly Tea short story competition -inspired pieces, ‘Journey’ aloud, in preparation for putting in our next ebook of short stories, and toward the end of the evening were riveted by a reading of a screen play written by new-comer Mike.

We discussed the merits of writing flash fiction, a couple of group members having contributed to the 101.org site, where you write a complete story in only 101 words. Not be outdone, group member Kieran wrote a story in 50 words.  Purely, he said, by accident.  Here it is.

The Journey

The silence is deafening.

Together we are alone. So close yet so far apart. I can feel her there. Punching me silently until I’m numb. We try to ignore each other. But it only draws our attention.

Eyes forward. Transfixed on the road ahead. Do I stay? Do I jump?

See you at the next meeting, this Wednesday (7th) at 7pm