Speakers for 2016
The following meetings will all be held at The Nottingham Mechanics from
to 9.30 pm. The speaker will be there from 7.00 pm until 9.00 pm.
The cost £3 per person unless otherwise stated.
13th January 2016
Workshop on Writing Short Stories.
Keith Havers will run another of his popular workshops on writing short stories which will include how to
present your work for publication and competitions.
Christy Fearn author of 'Framed' joins the Writers' Group to talk about
her research for her writing. Research is vital for an author who writes historical novels, but
it also presents many challenges: How much research do you need? What do you leave out?
How do you deal with 'gaps' in research? Christy will be exploring these avenues
and describing how she researched her novel 'Framed' about the Luddites. She will also
be reading from her latest project; the sequel to 'Framed' called 'Notorious'. Copies of
'Framed' will be available to buy on the night.
Verse of the Year Competition.
This is our annual competition for our poet-loving members to write on the subject of Lies.
Only members can enter but visitors are welcome to come along and vote for their favourite.
The Annual General Meeting.
Michael Payne on 'The Company of Comedians'.
Much of the background to this, Michael's latest novel, is centred on Nottingham's
first Theatre Royal in St Mary's Gate which, in the century up to 1865, was the town's main place
of entertainment. This is Nottingham's "Forgotten Theatre', which existed long before the present
The novel is set in the 1760s when fortunes were being made by many, including actor / managers, who
were building ambitious provincial theatres. But the powerful Puritans regarded such places as Satanic,
with players no better than rogues and vagabonds worthy of imprisonment. Tom Hammond, a young
army drummer, dreams of fame with the Company of Comedians. His quest is in turn comic and horrifying.
Not only does he encounter love and jealousy, he must endure ridicule, assault and even suspicion of
murder in the confusion of 18th century privilege and poverty.
Read and Write Night.
A chance for members and visitors to share their work for feedback, work on the subject for the evening
(to be announced) and chat to other writers.
Peter Sterry on 'Presenting your Work to an Audience'.
Peter is a past President of Nottingham Speakers' Club and also of the National Association of Speakers' Clubs,
so is ideally suited to give advice on presenting your work to an audience clearly and meaningfully - and with a light touch if this
is suitable for the material.
To be announced.
Read and Write Night.
Manuscript of the Year Competition.
Like Verse of the Year, this is a competition for members to write a short story up
to 250 words.
The theme is still to be decided but as always the stories will be read out by a panel of readers and
the audience votes for their favourite.
Christmas Party and Awards Night.
21st October 2015
Sci Fi Night
Anyone who loves sci fi in the East Midlands will know Alex Davis. As well as writing, publishing and event organising, he’s the genius behind Edge-Lit in Derby. He’s also organising this special evening and the general details are:
Alex and two local authors, Stephen Palmer and Gav Thorpe are the main speakers and the event runs from 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm at our usual venue, The Nottingham Mechanics in North Sherwood Street. The evening will be a chance to meet the authors, ask them questions, listen to readings, get advice, buy novels, etc. Full details of the programme will be available soon and if you’d like to be kept up to date by e-mail, please let us know via our Contact Form. Every ticket holder also gets a goodie bag.
If you’re a member of Nottingham Writers’ Club, you don’t have to pay but you will need to reserve your seat as places are limited.
Tickets bought in advance are £5, bought on the night £7 and payment can be made
on-line now. If you’d prefer to pay by cheque or postal order, you can get details on how to do this via our Contact Form.
There will be a full programme during the evening of talks, Q and A sessions, readings and a chance to buy books and talk to the authors.
Stephen lives and works in Shropshire, UK. He is the author of nine SFF novels: Memory Seed (Orbit 1996), Glass (Orbit 1997), Flowercrash (Wildside 2002), Muezzinland (Wildside 2003), Hallucinating (Wildside 2004) and The Rat & The Serpent (Prime Books 2005). In 2010 PS Publishing published his Urbis Morpheos ("… a supremely odd yet deeply rewarding experience.") In 2014 Infinity Plus Books published his surreal slipstream steampunk novel Hairy London, and in 2015 his new philosophical thriller Beautiful Intelligence. A novella No Grave For A Fox is forthcoming from Infinity Plus Books. His short stories have been published by Wildside Press, Spectrum SF, NewCon Press, Mutation Press, Eibonvale Press, Solaris, TFQ, Unspoken Water, Kraxon Publishing, Tickety Boo Press and Boo Books. Further short stories will appear in 2015. Typically Stephen's work is far-future and ecologically minded, but he has also written near future work, including Muezzinland and Beautiful Intelligence, both of which have strong links to Africa. His favourite authors include Gene Wolfe and Jack Vance, Gwyneth Jones and Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville and Philip Pullman. He likes Wales, cats, Steely Dan and The Simpsons.
Joining Games Workshop at the age of nineteen, Gav was a staff writer and games developer on the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universe for fourteen years, and has also written novels for the same for the past fifteen years and more. His most popular works include The Sundering trilogy, The Path of the Eldar, works from the Horus Heresy series including Deliverance Lost, the audio dramas Raven’s Flight and Honour to the Dead, and the New York times best-selling novella The Lion. He is also published by Angry Robot books where you can find his epic swords-and-sandals fantasy saga gathered in the omnibus collection entitled Empire of the Blood. Gav has also worked on, and is currently working on, numerous tabletop and video games, including as a designer, writer and world creation consultant. He lives near Nottingham with his partner Kez and baby boy Sammy.
Alex is an author, editor, publisher, creative writing tutor and events organiser based in Derby. His debut novel, THE LAST WAR, is out in July from Tickety Boo Press and is the first in a science-fiction trilogy following the aliens of the Noukari. He is co-ordinator for Derby's annual Edge-Lit event – running this year on the 11th July – and also part of the management committee for this year's Derby Book Festival. He also runs Boo Books, Derby's independent press, aiming to promote regional talent alongside internationally known authors. Their latest release is The Electric, available in paperback for the first time. For more information, visit
http://boobooks.net/ and https://alexblogsabout.wordpress.com/
Order Tickets on-line now
In-House Workshop on
Point of View.
This is a subject that
many writers find difficult so during the
two hours we'll be looking at the merits
of first person vs third person, third
person limited vs third person omniscient
and the ways of using the narrative voice
to really get to know the characters. A
lot of people don't realise when they're
'head-hopping' but a professional agent,
editor or publisher always will.
We'll be using examples
from published books as well as setting
exercises to illustrate the above.
The cost to visitors for
this mini workshop is £3 which will
Duncan Pile on
This is a subject an increasing number of
writers are interested in, and a meeting
no writer can afford to miss.
Duncan, in his relaxed style, will talk
about all aspects of the above and will
welcome questions and discussion to get
the maximum value out of the session for
everyone. Topics will include
- Advantages and disadvantages of
- Proof reading
- Who do you pay and who do you turn
- Is it worth creating a paperback?
- Taxation, home and abroad
- Getting the formatting right
- How do you harness the power of
- E-publishing as a route to traditional
Alex Davis - On How to
make the most of literary festivals and
'There is a thriving scene of literature
festivals and activities in the East
Midlands, and indeed nationally. But how
does a writer make sure to make the most
out of these, be it as a panellist or
speaker, or an audience member? Join
publisher, editor, author and event
organiser Alex Davis for a session
exploring how to ensure that literature
events boost your writing career.'
Christy will talk about her work and
inspirations and will be happy to answer
Christy was brought up in Lord Byron's
childhood home town of Southwell. From an
early age, when she visited Newstead
Abbey, she was fascinated by the local
poet who had a tomb made for his beloved
pet dog. She studied English Literature
and Drama at Clarendon College and then
York St. John University, where she wrote
her dissertation about William Godwin,
Mary Wollstonecraft, Byron and the
After graduating, Christy performed in
the play ?'he Weathercock' which toured
Greece as part of the Britain and Greece
festival. The play was a revival of the
production in which Byron himself starred
in 1809, before he went on his Grand Tour.
More recently Christy has given talks
about Byron, Shelley, Coleridge and Mary
Shelley as part of Lowdham Book Festival
and the International Byron Society
Festival. She has written a novel Framed
about the Nottingham Framebreakers. Byron
is a character in the novel, stepping in
to aid the local Luddites and making his
maiden speech in the House of Lords.
Christy has a passion for local history
and literature, supporting the campaign to
keep Newstead Abbey open, she aims to
raise the profile of Byron as a local
Fearn's Facebook account
Framd: A Historical
Novel about the Revolt of the Luddites
Order a book directly from
David was born in
Nottingham, England in 1930 and was
educated at the High Pavement Grammar
School. He qualified as a psychiatric
nurse in 1955 and worked in this field
until his retirement.
He now spends time
writing and telling stories, performing at
the Nottingham Storyteller's Club (now
renamed Tales from Two Cities) and now
writers about Jamaica and other tales.
Later in the year, the
very popular speaker and screenwriter,
Chris Morgan, will be giving another talk
on his subject.
Ann Evans, children's
Ann recently did an all
day workshop which was a fascinating
insight into the writing of children's
books from picture books up to Young Adult
fiction. We learned a lot that day so
we're looking forward to finding out even
more on this evening.
See the report of Ann's
Summer Party - with
This is the date of our Summer Party to
which members and visitors are welcome. As
well as the usual opportunity to get
together and chat, this year we?re also
having something different.
One of our members, Michael Payne, has
had a book published entitled 'Going to
the Pictures' and he'll be giving an
illustrated talk remembering the city's
many picture palaces, their films and
memorabilia from their birth in Victorian
Goose Fair to the present day of
If you love films and Nottingham's
history, you won?t want to miss it.
There will be a small charge to cover the
cost of the food provided.
Alison Davies, local
Alison comes most years
to one of our speaker's evenings and every
time she has something new and interesting
to say. She writes articles, stories and
is a member of a local story telling
See the write up of her talk
in June last year.
Chris Morgan, film
Chris has been a
screenwriter since 2003. He used a grant
from EM Media (funded by the European
Social Fund) to undertake training in
film, including screenwriting, directing
and producing, with Raindance Film
Festival in 2005.
Despite a number of screenplay sales,
options and assignments, Chris' career as
a screenwriter looked like it was never
going to happen. However, he got made
redundant in the round of public sector
cuts in 2011 and this provided him with
the perfect opportunity.
He took six months out of the rat race
just to write, went to the Cannes Film
Festival for the first time, made some
good contacts and left with a paid writing
assignment. He'd arranged to meet a film
producer there who asked him to write a
treatment (outline) for a horror film
which the producer liked so much he asked
for the full film script. Chris is
currently finalising this project 'Reunion
in Hell', which is scheduled for filming
this year, possibly in Eastern Europe.
During the six months he took out, Chris
wrote 3 new scripts and it was during that
period that Chris' work dramatically
improved and he learnt how to write
screenplays effectively. There are two
more projects officially in development ?
The Robbin Hoodies, a modern update of
Robin Hood, and The Hanging Tree.
Both of these projects are the subject of
funding applications to Creative England's
iFeatures programme. Chris also completed
another paid screenwriting assignment
recently, a psychological thriller,
'Coldheart Creek', an original screenplay
of his own for an American producer.
Chris believes that it is difficult to
sell film projects now without the benefit
of a novel and Chris has turned his hand
back to his first love, novels, and plans
to write a novel version of each of his
film projects in order to help them sell.
Gail Simmons, travel
Gail is a travel writer
who has travelled widely and has written
for many UK and international
Gail's credits include
articles in TIME magazine, the Telegraph,
Observer, Guardian, Times, Sunday Times
Travel Magazine, Wanderlust and CNN
Traveller. She has also broadcast on the
BBC radio's flagship travel programme,
Excess Baggage, and From Our Own
Before becoming a
full-time travel writer, Gail studied for
a Masters degree in Medieval Studies,
lived in a medieval Cumbrian castle,
listed historic buildings for English
Heritage and led walking trips in Europe
& the Middle East.
As well as relating her
own experiences, she will be talking on
how to give a sense of place to your
playwright and storyteller
Andy had to cancel last
year because of work commitments, so we're
delighted that he's been able to
He's a children's
writer, a playwright, a short story writer
and story teller. His work includes BBC
commissions and many theatre productions
and his work has won awards. Not
an evening to miss.