Committed writers dedicated to working together to produce excellent poems, short stories, drama, life writing, and creative non-fiction

Why not contact us for more details about our small, mutually supportive monthly meetings? Don't be shy. No need to be brave!

Sheila 01823 67 28 46

Valerie 01884 84 04 22

Monday 28 November 2011


"Of course there are more than 10, but these should give you some food for thought – together with [Anna's] comments!

Number 1: think before you write.  No, really, because if you don’t then you are storing up trouble later on.  Give yourself the luxury of a ‘think tank’ all of your own before you ever put pen to paper.

Number 2:  what do you want to write?  I am talking form not content here.  Short story, novel, play, radio drama, podcast, film?  Each has a different approach so back to number 1 and think about it first – it’s not always your first thought of the appropriate medium that would suit your writing best.

Number 3:  why do you want to write it?  Creative fulfilment, to make money, to get clients, to enlighten and/or entertain?  All of these are valid, and it helps to know what your focus is.

Number 4:  who do you want to read it? Your ideal reader: are they a business person, a child, someone under 30 or over 60?   It matters because you will use different language to reach different audiences.
Number 5:  perspiration.  Because writing is not for the fainthearted, you need to put some effort in – though not necessarily sweat your way to success!

Number 6:  heart or head?  You, and your reader, are you appealing to their intellect and sense of logic or tugging their heartstrings – or both?

Number 7:   style and content.   Always go with your natural style if at all possible because then it will be your authentic writing voice.  Is that warm and chatty, cool and distant, short spiky sentences or long expositions?  You can do both, but match the style to the content: for example, a love story written in academic language won’t stir many hearts and a manual on how to get out of debt will irritate the reader if the language is not direct, clear and from the heart.

Number 8:  consistency.  A natural follow on to number 5 because if you are applying yourself to your writing you must do it regularly and consistently.  Block time out in your diary and make it sacred – it is.

Number 9;  edit and review.  However brilliant that first draft, it will be improved by your re-reading, editing and reviewing it – and then giving it to someone else to do see if it makes sense or could be improved.  You do’t have to accept their ideas, but it’s a good idea to do a little testing to see if you have achieved what you set out to do.

Number 10:  inspiration.  Why is this last?  Because for most writers it comes first, and they ignore the previous 9.  Inspiration is necessary, but not always and not all the time.  If you are waiting for it before you start writing then you will never get round to it.  Apply rules 1-9 as if you had been inspired and you will find by the end that you probably have been."

Thursday 17 November 2011


9/9/’59 Another new school. The date on my virgin exercise books on that first day made a big impression. Maybe because my parents were now divorced. 

‘It might as well rain until September’ I cry listening to that song! First Love! Subsequently died in a motor-bike accident. Police at our door at midnight, thought that I was his dead passenger.

© Penny Smale 
All rights reserved

Mourning's pall

Death, attired as a Red Admiral 
leaning into the evening waits:
stubborn, resisting, temporary.

Ghosts, anticipating summer’s demise
- days decked with the magnificence of foliage -
return for the funeral procession, suited up
in silence and yellow autumn scars.

A trembling cloth of dry, neutral leaves
slow burning, falls, transforming earth’s colour. 

© Sophia Roberts
All rights reserved


You told me so
It was in September, when first my love did die

When your fruit was hardening with softness
Like the skin of pears waited their turn
To deliver the year’s promised labour

Before his winkly, crinkly, crystal-blue eyes
Danced with the Autumn night stars
That haloed his Celtic want

That was a full twelve months of waiting
And still he stays in the hills, dancing a swirl
To leave both dog and fire to father his brogue

You told me so
It was in September, when I and swallows left

© Harry Mills 22 October 2011: Philippines
All rights reserved

What Can You Tell Me about September?

‘You’ve reached Brett Wood’s phone.  Leave your name and number: I’ll get back to you.’

Hi, it’s Melissa. Back from playing ‘happy families’ in Tuscany. Hope you missed me? 

Martin’s in London now, thank god, earning lots of cash, and Will and Poppy are at school – so sweet in their uniforms.  Which means I’ve been abandoned - and want to be abandoned with you. 

Call me.

© Tim Scott
All rights reserved


Today we feel that we are leaving Cornwall far too soon
As we think of our first night amidst reflections of the moon

From our bedroom window we observe Cornwall’s unique light
And our minds will always dwell on such a special sight
When we describe the atmosphere, wonder and beauty of this scene
We wonder whether friends will believe where we have really been

Thank you!!

© Kenneth Campbell 2010
All rights reserved


September in England sees the countryside colours turn from summer greens to autumn yellows, reds and gold. Then there’s another September in the southern hemisphere. Here purple Jacaranda and crimson Flamboyant trees begin their tropical day-time bloom, before dusk heralds the sound of crickets accompanied by light from the Southern Cross.

© Kenneth Campbell 2010
All rights reserved


Call me by the name of Bangkal Tree
Rheumatoid knuckles, curled, outstretched
Branches for begging arms, swaying, nodding to passing birds
Telling ancient secrets in the night’s relentless rain
A wet silhouette, a gnarled face forgetful of it’s name
Leaves of artificial green, that sheen, reminiscent of kid’s plasticine

© Harry Mills Philippines 16th November 2011
All rights reserved


The wind changed direction today.
The light is raking across the hills.
The leaves on the trees are now old, dark green.
September is on the cusp of seasons,
Like an inflammation of the joints.
Like the zig-zagging of Romanesque archways.
A place of transition,
A time of rubbing, tension, and friction.
Where life meets death,
Unreconciled, incomplete.

© Caroline Nicholson
All rights reserved

What can you tell me about September?

I held his gaze while he told his story. Disabled with memories. Anger viscerally connecting him back. Others too. Warmth and understanding palpable through common threads of hurt. Shared experience haunting them all and keeping them stuck.

The boarding school survivors group hugged each other and left.

© Liz Redfern
All rights reserved

September 1958

‘September Song’ played on the radio,
The fragrance of Mum’s plum-cake filled the house,
Pencils lay, sharpened, in their wooden box,
(The ever-errant compass yet to find.)

As we made camp under the Harvest Moon,
While vast Orion stood our glittering guard,
We never gave thought to our September years.

© Gill Dunstan
All rights reserved


September is the cold air on the
Skin, breathing on bare legs,
Breaking the stillness and irresponsibility,
the luminosity and light of summer;
the lazy heat; endless, gentle nights.
This is the transitional month of sad beauty,
leaning towards the shrivelling leaves,
the contraction and meanness of winter.

© Valerie Taylor 11.11.11
All rights reserved

Tuesday 1 November 2011


Remember, you aren’t dealing with a novel;
a poem is not a fine carpet of words.

Rather it is a path across a field
to what might turn out to be a wood

or a line of cottages. It wasn’t written
for you, like a note on the kitchen table, explaining

Back later – Adrian phoned – Buy milk. It says
something that you can’t quite understand

about the colour of the sky. Some poets
will casually deploy words like eldritch, ontic,

topos and chthonic that may cause
the reader to turn away or turn to other books.

It is not absolutely certain why, or if
this is deliberate. A poem is

a doomed struggle against the world, a series
of failures that add up to something more important

than its success. If you choose to walk through a poem
as you would an unfamiliar neighbourhood,

noticing perhaps two lovers at an uncurtained window,
then you will be more likely to return

to it, aware this time of other things,
the names of streets, the habits of local dogs.

C. J. Allen 2011

Poem is probably accounted for by my spending more time reading and writing and thinking about poems than is actually healthy for a grown man. If it’s trying to do anything, then I hope Poem encourages people to feel more comfortable with those aspects of poems which aren’t immediately or easily understood. I think about it as a kind of postcard to the reader.  C. J. Allen