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 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


Another great meeting at The Artery in Parsons Street where we chatted about that Enigma of All Writing – poetry.

Love it or hate it, the group will be aiming high over the coming months to manage something more than a limerick.

Come and join us if you can!

We had good readings of pieces inspired by our latest topic, ‘Journey’, which is also the subject for the Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition, closing date 31st July.

Our next meeting is 24th May at 7pm – if you feel you need help or inspiration with your writing, please come along.

We’re an open and inclusive group and would love to see you at our next session.


Speak Up!

One of the great things about going to writer’s group is the diversity of people you’ll find there and the different writing styles that come from such diversity. Here at BWC we have such a great mix of members whenever someone is reading out their work (or asking someone else to if they’re too shy) one thing is for sure: we will be impressed/inspired/encouraged/moved/and often entertained – whether the work being read is a poem, a short story or on occasions a non-fiction piece.

At our recent meeting we were bandying-about our Ghost Story efforts (in no more than 650 words which is a challenge in itself!) and three of us had written some cracking stories.  Two had literary leanings, the other created from a real-life experience.  Our newest recruit was too nervous about reading her own work so it was read for her and she found the experience quite unusual – reading your own work in your head is one thing, hearing another voice with other intonations and inflections is quite another!  But such a useful experience for a writer. Didn’t someone once say to hear your work properly you should read it out loud? – the words sound so different voiced than when left sleeping on the page.

A recent subject suggested by a group member was to see if we could write a biography of someone.  Or something.  Might sound abstract but that’s how we roll.  If we want to give one of our characters an airing, to help pin-point what their character actually is before we commit them whole-heartedly to a novel, then presenting a short bio to the group is really helpful. Or maybe someone will write a bio of the lettuce in their fridge which then gets turned in to a short story which goes on to win some fantastic prize somewhere. But that’s us – open, creative and positive.  We even have a collection of Happy Ending stories to prove it!

Our next meeting is April 12th at 7pm at The Old Town Café at 21 Parson’s Street, Banbury.

Writing Assignments

We set ourselves a writing assignment every three meetings or so, which gives us a turnaround time (deadline) of about five to six weeks to complete.

The topics are varied, and come from discussion in the group and have ranged from titles such as ‘The Odd Chair’, to ‘Green’ to ‘must have a happy ending’.

There is no pressure to complete the assignments: they are just used as a way to inspire and encourage some writing.

Once we have what we think are enough pieces from each assignment, we will gather them together and put them out in Kindle format (this may change) to give other people a chance to see our stuff and to get names out there for those of us keen to get stuff to a wider audience.

Our first book, ‘The Odd Chair’, is on / (Please note it has our old name, ‘Naomi’s Cafe Writers’ Group’ on it!).

As a group, we like to encourage writing, and getting stuff out there is a good motivator for a lot of people.

We do not push this aspect on those that do not wish to get involved. It’s just something we do as an aside to our other activities such as readings / feedback /  sessions on specific topics asked for by the group.