Writing in Your Room

The Writers roomWriting Room members; I’m not in this picture, but John Newton is on the back row and wearing glasses.

John Newton is the founder of The Writing Room, a writer’s group I’ve belonged to since spring this year. It meets every month in Heath and Reach, Beds. John is a published author, as are one or two others at the group. I’ve learned a lot, and my first few short stories have been posted on this blog.

If you are interested in joining the group, please get in touch with me via my Contact Page.

He writes:

“The Writing Room, our Leighton Buzzard writers’ group, held their annual short story competition that runs for three months. Each year, I put together exactly the first 300 words of a short story that stops at the word, “and…”. 

The Writing Room Members must complete the story with exactly 700 words to finish at precisely 1,000 words between June and the end of August. The stories are then read out and marked at the September meeting. Marking is done by every member present, giving marks out of ten.

At the end of the evening, marks are totalled and averaged. Writers of the three highest marked stories share in a £50 prize, the winner receiving £30, the other two £15 and £5.

The competition is always very popular and it is fascinating the different directions individual stories take after the word, “and…”. This year we saw some wonderful characters and many twists, turns and endings.

Each year the scores get closer as our system of critique and advice improves the writing skills of Members.

This year only between two and three points separated most of the short stories from the winner, Christine Barrow. Next year could be tighter.”

John Newton

This piece was previously published in the Leighton Buzzard Observer. I didn’t enter the competition this year, but I took both these photos.

Writers Room winnerThis year’s winner, Christine Barrow.

John has written some rapidly paced and extremely adult thrillers under the name of Maddy D’Eath. This is the pseudonym of the main character, a female assassin. The books can be found for Kindle on Amazon, and as paperbacks at Waterstones.

Just to remind you, many of the links on this blog take you to Amazon, where whatever you buy there, (it doesn't have to be books) earns me a percentage.

This allows me to eat, so I don't become faint with hunger while I'm slaving over the blog software. It costs you nothing, but if you buy something from Amazon after being directed from this blog, thank you.

Little Red Reader

Gawcott phone box mini libraryMain Street, Gawcott, dusk.

It had stopped raining in mid afternoon and the skies had cleared so I’d gone for a ride on the bike. I took the opportunity to go to Hillesden Church to take photos for my other blog but now I was riding home. It was dusk, on the last Sunday in September.

As I rode along Main Street in Gawcott I spotted a phone box mini library and realised what it was immediately. I parked the motorcycle and got the camera out.

Continue reading "Little Red Reader" »

In The Face Of….

 Jack Pimlico looked Death in the face. “You again” he said, and laughed. Death looked back at him.
            “This can not go on,” he said. “Sooner or later you will pass away, then I can do my job” Death was not a towering skeletal figure with a scythe and a black hooded cloak, as you might assume. The suit was a dusty black alright, but Death looked like a dumpy middle aged businessman, short enough that most men could see the top of his bald head.


Continue reading "In The Face Of…." »

Posting Time

 I’m changing the frequency of posting here. I need to concentrate on my second blog, The North Bucks Wanderer and on other blog related work, so I will be posting here once a fortnight instead of once a week.

But it’s not too bad. The posts here are generally about twice as long as I had originally intended, so I’m publishing just as much material as planned; it’s just on a different timescale.

There’s already plenty to read here, and here’s a few to try: (Links in the captions)

Geoffrey Wellum First LightGeoffrey Wellum, Spitfire pilot

Used book shopFive Reasons to Visit Used
Book shops instead of
going online

The MartianLife on Mars


Double eclipse 2How to find classic science fiction
writers you’ll Really Like.

I’ll see you in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, if you would like to keep up to date with Roger The Reader, why not subscribe?