Wednesday 2 January 2013

Leeds Writers Circle

Welcome to my interview with David Cundall, from Leeds Writers Circle.


Hello David.  Can you please tell us a bit about your writing group?
Leeds Writers Circle meets 7.30pm Alternate Monday evenings. Workshops are usually on Saturdays 11:00-15:00, about once per month. It was established in 1928.
How many members, on average, does your group have?
Who are you and what is your role within the group?
I'm David Cundall and I'm the secretary. 
How are your sessions structured?
Manuscript Meetings: Announcements followed by readings by members.
We usually get through 6 in about 90 minutes.
Workshops: very individual programmes for each one, not possible to generalise.
We also have 3-4 competitions a year and produce and Anthology every few years.  The last one was 2011. It won second prize in the NAWG anthology competition.
What types of things do you cover in your group?
I’ve been a member for the past 4 years or so. I think we cover most things.
Song-writing is very rare. 
What have been some of your most popular/successful activities?
The manuscript meetings are well attended (30-50% of the membership)
We have a literary quiz and an open–mic night in August which are very popular.
Workshops tend to be limited to 12-14 participants but are often of high quality. 
What genres do the members of your group write?  Is there are lot of diversity with regards to your members' writing?
Just about everything. Yes. 
What kind of support does your writing group provide for its writers?
As well as the open discussion at manuscript meetings, more indiviudalised support at some workshops, people often communicate as individuals eg I’ve critiqued someone’s novel and he’s doing the same for me.
What is the best piece of writing advice you've been given?
Show not tell.
What is the best piece of writing advice you give?
Show not tell. 
Do you have guest speakers at your group?
Yes we do. We have external workshop leaders and external judges for our competitions.
That’s about 8 people per year at least and I do not have the time to list them all here. 
Do members of the group get a chance to run/lead a session or part of a session?
We have as many member-led workshops as externally-led ones (this year twice as many). 
Does your writing group have a website/blog/Twitter/Facebook?
Facebook and members’ forum are for members only.
How would someone go about joining your writing group?
Just turn up at a meeting, or phone/e-mail me beforehand if need further details.
Thank you David.

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