CROYDON WRITERS Report on Most Recent Meetings 2019

Full Meeting  10 February 2020

AGM for Monday 9 March was CANCELLED due to current Virus scare. The procedures will be conducted on line, and ratified at the next meeting on 20th April. See NEXT MEETING page for details.

Take a look at Anand's blog.



(Latest first)

Full Meeting 10 February 2020
Despite stormy weather 11 Members Attending
and 5 apologies
Favoured monthly writing - WRITER OF THE MONTH
was: Maggie Leask ( Release Me )

The evening was very busy with discussion of normal business and the planned Celebratory Literary Luncheon to celebrate of 75 anniversary.

Main business was centred round our new publication 'little red book' which carries a brief account of our history and a series of tips for writers. We discussed plotting, development of a project and dialogue. The whole, though based on the new publication, was a membership led meeting which members thought was useful as we shared approaches and ideas.
Next Meet ing 9th March will be the AGM - see the relevant page on this site.
Full Meeting 11 November 2019

8 Members Attending 8 apologies

3 no attending were abroad; 4 were not well

Winner of the Daphne Moss Competition was:
The Body Vanishes by Anand Nair
Favoured monthly writing - WRITER OF THE MONTH
Committee (BBBC) by Sithy Hedges WMCW

The evening was very busy despite numbers. We discussed several matters of writing interest and then discussed and decided on the favoured entry for the month and judged the Daphne Moss entries. Pleasing that a new member was winner of Writer of the Month. 

Full Meeting 14 October 2019

9 Members Attending 5 apologies

Good attendance taking in to account the rotten weather prevailing and a bug making the rounds. Longer than usual spent on discussion of personal projects and the way forward. Then a useful discussion on the use and misuse of dialogue.

Winner of the Poetry Competition was:
The Shipping Forecast by Alan Patey (a Country Member)

The Sea Challenge
The Favourite was: The Sea (A) by Mike Jackson

Full Meeting 13 May 2019

13 Members Attending
Very lively discussion across a range of topics but all springing from members' reports on their current work.
Short Story Competition produced 6 entries these were discussed, each being led by the author if present. The a vote was taken.
Full Meeting 8 March 2018

13 Members Attending
Very lively discussion across a range of topics but all springing from members' reports on their current work.
Short Story Competition produced 6 entries these were discussed, each being led by the author if present. The a vote was taken.

Full Meeting 10 December 2018

15 members attending a great fun evening. Ethel pulled together something of a feast with any number of others bringing in their offerings - some terrific samosas from Kesh's wife, amongst others.
The usual business matters were much delayed by the chatter and partaking of the offerings, then we discussed our current projects and discussed the February meeting. Requests for material for the planned critique group in January were mentioned.
We then paused for more nourishment, and the evening ended with a near riotous Christmas Quiz which was the most wonderful chaotic fun. HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE - it began here - or so it seemed.
Meeting 8 October 2018

Members reported on their personal projects and progress. A record attendance of 14 members was achieved, two apologies, one new member.
The main business was a general talk by a published poet:
Patricia talk was well received and led to spirited discussions on many aspects of poetry.

Full Meeting 9 June 2018
Members reported on their personal projects and progress. A record attendance of 17 members was achieved.

The main business was a general talk by a local author Jilly Henderson-Long. She covered critique, the drafting of books and stories, approaching publishers, and 'self-publishing'. She then took questions. The whole was well received. This is likely to be her last visit to us since she is moving the Southend. She was presented with a copy of the Anthology and we wish her and her family the best in their latest adventure.

This was the last meeting

of the summer.

Next Meeting is for scheduled for Monday 10th September.

Meeting of Critique Group June
The group met and discussed 7 items. Those who sent in but were not there will receive their critique by their critique shortly.

Deadline for next Critique items is 19 July for the meeting on 25th July, at 19.15 for 19.30

Full Meeting 11 June 2018
Internal competition for Short Stories; prizes for first and runner up texts were given. Nikki won with her piece: The Typewriter. Jon was runner up with his Needs Must.
The session began with discussion round some notes on how to write a short story. Then the pieces were read and discussed and a vote was taken. A lively and useful evening - Krish (visiting) joined on the spot.

Meeting of Critique Group 23rd May
The group met and discussed 7 items. Those who sent in but were not there will receive their critique by the weekend. It was agreed that the standard of 'entries' was definitely on the up. This event is open to all. Just send an attachment to an email of something you want a critique on: an extact, short story, or article, up to around 1,500 words. Members who send something in may attend. Those who send material in but do not attend will receive a critique shortly after the meeting. Deadline for next items is 19th June, with the meeting on 27th June at 19.15 for 19.30

Meeting of CW May 13

The first thirty minutes were spent with a report from the Chair with indications of coming events; members updated the group on any work they were engaged in: 

Main business was taken up with Jonathan Last leading the group through and range of techniques to defeat writers block, or indeed giving a spurt to writing,

Jon gave groups of members prompts in the form of sentences, or words, newspapers, and for example names of colours. A lively discussion ensued and it was agreed a great deal was gained from a very informed and well led evening. Many thanks to Jon for his ideas.

Meeting of CW April 9

The first thirty minutes were spent with a report from the Chair with indications of coming events: Critique Group, Next Meeting.

Main business was taken up with a talk by
Chitra Soundar.
(Her site can be found here.)

The thirteen members present (almost a full house) were treated to... well, a treat. Chitra led us through a wealth of tips and ideas to spark the writing that dwells in us all. A key element was that she writes every day, even if in the form of what a musician would term as 'scales' in that she keeps a notebook and records her writing exercises such as a series of opening lines. She suggested writing two or three pages... then, write the end - what happens at the end to the character - then fill in the missing part as the main body of the story. She also might 'ring a friend' and simply say: 'Give me a sentence.' That prompt could cause a cracking short story to be conceived. Several searching questions were asked and the responses provided a number of further suggestions. There was something in her talk for every member at whatever level of writing achievement. We were privileged to have her address us.

AGM 12th March 2018

This is a brief report from the Chair.

The AGM dealt with reports from various officers. The Accounts from the Treasurer were accepted. The Committee was re-elected except that Mike Jackson is replaced by Michael Round as Chair. Mike will continue on the Committee as C0-Chair with special interest in publicity and liaison with the public, in particular the press.

The rest of the meeting was spent in open discussion on future aims and activities of the Group. A note on the details will be circulated shortly by the Chair. A small study group has been formed to report back on our next open competition for the public which may be open to and limited to people in the LB of Croydon, including the schools.

February 12 First Meeting of 2018

After the Chair dealt with brief business matters the evening was devoted to the Short Story with the lead going to Michael. Jon provided two short stories aimed for competition which the group gave opinion on. A very full meeting with imput from all members.

Committee Meeting at Spread Eagle Bar:

Mike (chair) Ethel, Gem, Michael, Jeremy; apologies Jon

Report from Treasurer on finances and membership, both robust.

Discussed long term level of membership fees

Revisited events for the year (see current listing).

Report from Michael that the Anthology is at the printers and he is eager to learn of membership purchases.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Committee met

Reports on Finances, Anthology, the Daphne Moss competition results approved, extra prize authorised, plans for coming year approved (see Diary and Events Page) (MOST RECENT)

October Meeting: Monday 9 October 2017

The Chair Reports:

As happens when we have a guest speaker, the meeting was well attended. Our speaker was Jane Porter, a professional writer and illustrator. She told us of how she became an illustrator for others books, and then moverd into writing her own books, which have sold well. She said that often her inspiration came from the childrens’ meetings she runs. One comment I will remember is that these illustrated books should be kept to 16 pages.

We all thanked her, some of us purchased books, and we agreed she had given us inspiration on the subject.

I am certain we can each learn from her talk, to help us to become published, should we wish it.

The Committee met on 25th May at the Spread Eagle pub

and discussed the programme, finances (strong), the establishment of an enhanced social media presence and a new competition for non-fiction writing - details at the next meeting.

Monday 11th September 2017 (MOST RECENT)

After the Chair dealt briefly with administrative matters the group reported on their individual projects. This took 45 minutes since members are busy and discussion and advice was exchanged. New Full Member Jo Bodley was made most welcome.

The rest of the evening was devoted to hearing a range of poems for the Leslie Hook Cup which was won by Michael and is published on the new Member's Piece Page. Michael says he will be revising this version before inclusion in the Anthology

After the competition further discussion took place with members able to offer requests to the Committee at its meeting later in the week. The Chair broached the idea of a National Competition which will be discussed further.Report on the Meeting of Croydon Writers

Monday 9th July 2017

The evening, after business matters and reports were taken care of under the leadership of Mike Jackson, our chair, our visiting speaker Daniel Ross addressed the group on a publishing project he is engaged with in order to publish his first novel. This is an exciting approach to publishing through 'Unbound'. Detail of their site can be found at:  and Daniel's own book's progress can be followed at

After an interesting session with searching questions the group then reported back on individual project and several example reading were given. It was also decided that we should have a dinner get together at the Boulevard Restaurant in August, and hold the first Critique Group also in August

There is no formal meeting in August. The two items will be co-ordinated by Michael Round over the next week or so, on line.

Monday Monday 12 June 2017

The evening, after business matters and reports were taken care of under the leadership of Mike Jackson, our chair, the short story competition was run.

Nikki's short story was the clear winner of the six stories read aloud, In the future it was felt that there should be a print-off of all entires.

Monday 8th May 2017

Brief business matters were led by the Chair, the group then spoke of their work in progress.

Then Anand Nair one of our group spoke of her own writing developments and then answered questions. A lively and rewarded discussion then too place. 

Monday 11th April 2017

After the Chair dealt briefly with administrative matters the group was addressed by Chris Fielden. (Considerable detail regarding his activities, the competitions he organises and his body of work can be found on his extensive site:

Chris spoke for an hour and half and gave splendid insights into his own career as a writer and publisher. The members found his talk and the ensuing discussions both informative and inspirational. His advice that members should encourage each other with cross referencing critiques, with special mention of the importance of listening to critique be it agreeable or not because the views of people are important. It is other people who ultimately view our work.

Full details of his notes will be sent through the post to all members at the next Chairman's Mailing.

This event was extremely useful and the group was obliged to Chris for driving to and from Bristol to talk to us.

More power to your elbow Chis.

Report on the Meeting of Croydon Writers

Monday 13th March 2017 

This event was the AGM for 2017 to 2018 (This report does not constitute the formal Minutes of the meeting)

Reports were received from the Chairman, the Secretary and the Treasurer.

The Chair stated that all members of the Committee were content to stand for another year. They were duly elected with Jon Last being additionally appointed to the Committee (See Committee Page). The Chairman indicated this would be his last year in the chair.

A spirited discussion took place over the nature of editorship of the Anthology. Indeed the various impromptu mini debates during the evening made the AGM unusually alive and left little time for individual members to report on their work. However, what began as a meeting facing jeopardy -  the room had been twice booked so we ended up in the main body of the church itself due to the kindness of the custodian - ended as a successful view of the year's progress and a looking forward to future events, including open competitions. See the rest of the site for further information.

Report on the Meeting of Croydon Writers

Monday 13th February 2017

The group (11 present with one apology) was addressed by the Chair on a range of administrative matters and the Treasurer collected Annual Fee from members present. There are three new Country Members including one at present in Turkey.

Michael Round then took over the slot and reported that the number of entries for the Anthology to be published in November has risen dramatically with some very good material. 

The group was invited to report on their work in progress which was substantial with four members working on full books, one concerning the history of Irish nurses in the UK since Florence Nightingale, another working on a semi fictional account of growing up in an African village, a similar book is being worked on concerning cross cultural experiences between an Islamic Family from Pakistan and the impact of living in the west. Another member is working on a couple of novels in the thriller/conspiracy mode, and yet another is tacking a book based on feral children in Athens during the war.

The group then went on to discuss the use of mood, echo and 'punch line' in stories, even keeping an eye on the paragraph as a sub story itself; even as a brick in a wall also has its own beginning and purpose, the individual brick being part of the whole wall. We also looked at dialogue as a means of carrying a story forward.

Report on COMMITTEE Meeting of Croydon Writers

Wednesday 18th January 2017

The Committee met at a table in the Spread Eagle Pub Croydon. These are not minutes of the meeting but just an overview for members early information. The schedule for the year was drafted and may be seen here. Discussion regarding visiting speakers took place and we have a number of interesting people we hope to engage. These events may be different from the schedule to take account of their availability. Members will be informed accordingly. A proposition for competitions outside of the activities of Croydon Writers will be prepared, initially we will offer something to Croydon Schools as a trial run, with a money prize which could bring tears to the eyes of the winner and runner up. The new application form, and the new site were appraised and found not too wanting. Corrections have been made. 

Next Committee Meeting will be at 15.00 Wednesday 11th. If you have items you want brought to the Committee's attention text to Secretary please.

Croydon Writers