Saturday, 31 December 2016

Greenacre Writers Round-up of 2016

Greenacre Writers has had another busy year, kicking off a 6-session ‘Life Writing/memoir’ course, led by Anna Meryt. The course covered planning the framework, characterisation, time frame, description and getting published.

March saw Josie Pearse, of Pearse & Black, running Taking it Further. A one-off taster workshop for writers who are working, or thinking of working, on a longer project.
In June the Finchley Literary Festival took place over a long weekend starting with a Memoir Writing Workshop again led by Anna, where we were treated to some interesting exercises and the differences between writing fiction and life writing.

There were fund-raising activities beforehand, a short story competition launched in February and we were delighted when Joanna Cambell agreed to be our judge. One of the winning authors, James Woolf was able to attend the festival to receive his prize. Carol Sampson and Mr Greenacres encouraged local business people to either donate or sponsor the festival including Squires Estates and the Redwood Café.

Finchley libraries supported the festival again. We held various events including talks by Harry Parker discussing his debut novel based on his army experiences. A.L. Bird, read from and talked about her fourth novel a psychological thriller. Allen Ashley, launched his latest book.  

Saturday morning saw Yvette Edwards, Irenoson Okojie, and Catriona Ward, who spoke about their writing process and held a lively panel discussion with questions from the audience.

The ever popular Dragon's Pen with Gillian Stern, Cari Rosen and Antonia Honeywell gave local writers the opportunity to showcase their writing though we discovered one not so local writer had travelled all the way from Solihull.

Saturday afternoon our Literary Delights included Joanna Campbell, judge of the FLF and Greenacre Writers short story competition, who announced the winners. Joanna then read from her latest collection of short stories and gave an amazing talk about the short story form and her first novel. Antonia Honeywell, author of the highly regarded novel, The Ship, and Rosie Canning discussed the literary representations of orphans in fiction with readings from classic and contemporary texts. Sunny Singh, author of three novels was interviewed by Lindsay Bamfield, talking about her extensive writing career and her influences. Vaseem Khan was our final speaker of Saturday and he spoke about his love affair with India and read from his bestselling debut novel.

On Sunday, Katharine Norbury spoke about her memoir incorporating travelogue, mythology and nature writing. After hearing of Katharine’s exploits we were ready for our Guided Walk. Led by Mr Greenacres and Rosie Canning there were readings from books that mentioned Finchley with a lunch stop at Redwood Café (one of our sponsors) in Swan Lane Open Space, and a tea stop at Finchley Golf Club.

Our final event was the Music and Poetry Palooza, organised by Anna Meryt, an evening of lively performance poetry and music supported as ever by Cafe Buzz.

We were delighted that the BIG GREEN BOOKSHOP were the festival's book sellers.

Our members have been busy with their writing and we are always pleased when they achieve success.

FLF Coordinator Lindsay Bamfield had a flash fiction piece Bird Music published in The Great British Write Off Timeless Echoes anthology. It's been shortlisted in the GBWO competition too. Lindsay also  edited Finchley Remembered II which was published  in September.

One of our newer Greenacre Writers, Marcelle Mateki Akita, recently released her debut collection of short stories entitled 'Lizard & Other Stories'. The collection focuses on girls and women of Ghanaian and mixed heritage. 

Allen Ashley has been very busy launching The Planet Suite and Slow Motion Wars – a short story collection co-written with Andrew Hook. Alan guest-edited a journal “Wordland 7: Mountebanks”. He was also named as “Barnet Eye Blog – Barnet Teacher of the Year 2016” and we offer him our hearty congratulations. Plus the Start that Novel course, and his new “Distance Group” that started November 2016.

In April, June, October and November, Rosie Canning and Mr Greenacres led walks where they discovered woodland, a secret orchard, a viaduct, footpaths, green fields, brooks and literature! After all that walking, writing and poetry, there were of course lunch stops and afternoon tea at a variety of amazing cafes.

Rosie Canning led a spring and autumn writing retreat at St Katharine's, Parmoor. 

Our regular groups continue to meet regularly, and there is also the the new Novel Focus Group starting in January 2017 and run by Allen Ashley - Subjects covered will include:  Novel planning, Structure, First pages and chapters, Characterisation, Location, Dialogue, Pacing, Style and Editing techniques. If you are serious about settling into writing your novel, this is the course for you. 

February 2017, Josie Pearse will be working with a small group of writers, mostly novelists, serious about finishing a longer piece of work, who get together weekly in Central London (Tottenham Court Road). Josie hopes to move to Barnet in the New Year, and we look forward to hearing about more workshops and courses.

Finally we had some wonderful conversations with writers including Alex Wheatle, the new  Guardian children’s fiction prize winner, Rebecca Mascall, Yvette Edwards, Tasha Kavanagh, Kit de Waal, Harry Parker, Katharine Norbury, Louise Beech, Vaseem Khan, Joanna Campbell, some of whom went on to appear in the Finchley Literary Festival during June.

We look forward to more achievements next year -

Wishing all our followers a peaceful and joyous 2017

Stop Press:

We are thrilled that Finchley Literary Festival has been awarded 'Best event of the in Barnet' by the Barnet Eye Community awards for the second year running. For all the other categories and winners see The Barnet Eye Community Awards.

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