Thursday 15 November 2012

Chudleigh Writers' Circle

Welcome to my interview with Roger Brandon from Chudleigh Writers' Circle.


Hello Roger.  Can you tell us a bit about your writing group?
The CHUDLEIGH WRITERS’ CIRCLE was established August 2009 by published author Kate McCormick. It is held monthly at 10.00am-12.00 on the 3rd Wednesday in a room in Chudleigh Town Hall. Within the last few months we have also established an evening group, meeting in members' houses, on the same day.
How many members, on average, does your group have?
Membership is 17. Average attendance is 10.
Who are you and what is your role within the group?
Roger Brandon – Treasurer, which includes an unofficial ‘general organiser’ role. I also co-organised our 2012 literary festival.
How are your sessions structured?
Generally members take it in turns to lead a session. Some are published authors, others are not. The topic changes monthly; short stories, writing for media, poetry, getting published etc.  There will usually be exercises, discussion, and an opportunity for some open reading. This is for short, light readings. We instituted the evening meetings specifically for critical open readings, and a few members working on more lengthy subjects attend those. 
Once or twice a year we will pay for a professional (local) author to lead a session. Once a year we have a day out – this year was a morning at RAMM [Royal Albert Memorial Museum] with an afternoon writing up and reading. 
What types of things do you cover in your group?
All sorts - short stories, writing for media, poetry, getting published, literary quizzes, exercises to generate creativity, etc. Also occasional professional input.  
What genres do the members of your group write?
Everything. One member even writes pharmaceutical manuals, and another is an ex-journalist.
Have you ever written collectively as a group, such as producing an anthology?
We produced an anthology entitled ‘Lavender Chickens’ which grew out of an exercise that we did one day. It is a mixture of prose and poetry. 
What kind of support does your writing group provide for its writers?
We have informal support, of course, between members who are writing to publish. Formally, we have the Wed evening critique group.
Where do you get your ideas/writing prompts from?
We discuss as a group. Ideas tend to come from writing magazines, both paper and internet.
Do you have guest speakers at your group?
Yes. We like to get in a guest from time to time, as finances allow – usually about twice a year. In the last year we had Chris Waters (various exercises in creative writing) & Jackie Juno (poetry mainly). We also, of course, have speakers at our Literary Festival.
Does your writing group have a website/blog/Twitter/Facebook?
No. Two of our published authors, however, produce a local internet mag (Chudleigh Phoenix) which carries notes on the Writers’ Circle. (They also have their own personal blogs/twitter/facebook). 
How would someone go about joining your writing group?
Reports in the Chudleigh Phoenix or the Parish Magazine are generally followed with a contact point. Otherwise we tend to work by word of mouth with someone approaching any of the members.
Thank you Roger.

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