Suffolk Writers Group

 

Do you like writing stories or poems?

Would you like to discuss ideas and work on improving your craft?

Do you dream of having your work read and loved by others?

If so, you might like to join one of my weekly creative writing groups. They take place in Ipswich on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm

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To book a place and/or ask any questions email me at maielizabethblack@gmail.com or phone me on 07943 068033.

About Me (Mai Black)

I love helping people to improve the quality of their writing as well as making the whole experience of being a writer more enjoyable, sociable and creative.

I have a degree in English Literature, am a trained teacher and have been studying creative writing on a formal basis for six years. I’ve won competitions for short stories, travel writing and poetry with my work appearing in ‘Best’ Magazine, ‘Let’s Talk’, ‘Suffolk Magazine’ and ‘The Telegraph’. I’ve also had published a variety of English and History materials for primary age pupils.

Ravenswood Writing Group (Every Tuesday 7.30pm – 9.30pm)

This is a new group catering to people of differing experience who are interested in trying a wide variety of genres, including biography, short story, comic plays and novels. Sessions are held at my home in Ipswich which has a large enough dining table to comfortably sit approximately eight members per evening. Having a home setting helps to create a cosy, friendly environment. Tea, coffee and biscuits are included in the price.

Damselfly Writing Group (Every Thursday 7.30 – 9.30pm)

This group has been running for almost five years. Most people are in the middle of a writing a novel but we work under the principle that studying and writing a variety of genres can help enrich our work. We discuss such things as point of view, characterisation, plotting techniques and, as with the Tuesday group, we always create a new piece of work as part of the session.

A typical evening’s format for a Tuesday or Thursday session

  • Ten minute discussion of what everyone has read or written in the week
  • Free writing task
  • Discussion of a piece of writing – either from a group member or a professional piece
  • Input on a chosen subject e.g. characterisation, settings or similes
  • A break for drinks, biscuits and general chatting
  • A time to write individually based on the input provided
  • A time to share work and get feedback from myself and the group

(It’s lovely when people read their work aloud but it’s OK if you choose not to.)

Costs for Group Sessions

You can either pay £30 a month via direct debit or £10 per session. Refreshments are provided free of charge.

Individual Sessions

Some people prefer to work one to one. I can offer support with formulating new ideas, help with grammar and layout and overall feedback on your work.

Each session costs £30.

Here’s some lovely feedback  I’ve received from someone I’ve been working with.

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“I’ve really enjoyed working one to one on my novel. Mai’s helped me with plotting, characterisation, style and theme.  Most of all she’s helped to give me the motivation to get the job done!” – Carl, Ipswich

Editing and Proofreading

If you’d like me to edit or proofread your work via email, send me a short extract of two hundred words and we can discuss a fee based on the style, content and accuracy of your work. I particularly enjoy assisting with stories for children and young adults but will consider other genres.

Individual Achievements of Group Members

  • Lesley won two hundred euros and had her travel piece published in The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-writing-competition/
  • Adam and Kelly wrote ‘Highly Commended’ pieces of Flash Fiction for the weekly Microbookends Competition.
  • Gem and Kelly from Thursday’s Damselfly group launched a hugely successful reading blog The Book Eaters.
  • Kelly was a joint runner up in the Felixstowe Short Story Competition one year and on another occasion had a story shortlisted
  • Kelly won our concept competition and received very encouraging feedback from agent Meg Davis.
  • Anna had an article about Montessori education published on www.familiesonline.co.uk
  • Gem was a runner up in a competition for Dystopian World stories
  • Aaron won our synopsis competition to receive feedback on his work from literary agent Meg Davis
  • Teresa had a story published in Your Cat magazine.
  • Elliot had his story published in Fiction Vortex Magazine
  • Graham has written a variety of interviews and record and theatre reviews. He says there’s a lot more to come so watch this space.
  • Megan has had a romantic novel published on Kindle at Amazon
  • Tim has published two novels on Amazon: The Buried Man and Clockwork Hearts
  • William won a competition to be one of Suffolk’s Young Poets of the year and read his work alongside Allan Ahlberg
  • Ipswich Writing Group published ‘Four Word Stories’ on Amazon
  • Teresa, Jay, Carl, Ann and Samantha have had work published on the Ipswich Town and Waterfront website.
  • Kes has had an article published on the Ipswich Town Talk website entitled ‘Town’s Last Premiership XI – Where Are They Now?’

Examples of Recent Activities

Each week we have a dedicated silent time to write by ourselves. Everyone is then given the opportunity to share their pieces. (It’s fine if you choose not to).

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Sometimes we work together to discuss characterisation in successful books

Harry Potter Character Map
An analysis of characters from Harry Potter

Sometimes we try out the famous ‘cut up technique‘ as used by David Bowie and TS Eliot-

poets
A mini poem/story based on the Ipswich Waterfront

Sometimes we discuss ideas about writing in pairs and small groups.

Kes and Harry
Poet Kes discussing his work with me.

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Sometimes experienced writers may use unfamiliar literary terms. It may help your writing and your ability to give constructive feedback if you have a look at this list and learn a few each week.

List of Literary Terms

Author Visit – Ian Andrew 19th April 2018

7.30pm to 9.30pm

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This successful crime/thriller author is the creator of the Wright & Tran series of detective novels, the first of which, Face Value, was awarded the 2017 Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Ian joined the Royal Air Force at eighteen as an aircraft technician and subsequently served as an Intelligence Officer. Having been a long term resident of East Anglia, he now lives in the rural south west of Western Australia.

He’ll be talking about his writing journey from putting those first few words onto paper up to the present day, delivering his story with great humour and warmth.

After hearing Ian speak and an have opportunity to ask questions, everyone will also get a chance to do a little writing of their own based on some of Ian’s character descriptions. Beforehand, try to think of a person you might like to describe physically. A photo of your chosen person could be helpful but you may prefer to work from memory.

If you’d like to book a place at the session or ask any questions, email suffolkwritersgroup@gmail.com or ring ‘Mai’ on 01473 711639.

The session costs the usual group fee of £10 and takes place in my home in Ravenswood, Ipswich.

It starts at 7.30pm and ends at 9.30pm.

Cakes, tea and coffee are provided free of charge.

 

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2 thoughts on “Suffolk Writers Group”

  1. Hello Mai,

    My name is Rhys Moffat- I am a 26 year old history teacher who has recently moved to the area.I would like to use my summer to get into writing and in the long term attempt to write a novel. I was wondering whether the Suffolk writers group would be a good opportunity to meet like minded people. I am a complete novice though, so may well be out of my depth early on.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kind Regards,

    Rhys

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