Monday, November 23, 2009

Hoovering the Roof - In Praise of Writers' Groups

Once upon a time, way back at the fag end of the last millennium, a lone writer decided he’d like to meet up with other local authors to share their words. He put cards in shop windows (this was long before the days of internet forums) and half a dozen people responded. The East Dulwich Writers’ Group was formed.


To begin with, the group met in the back room of a local café. After the first few meetings, they decided it would be more comfortable to meet in each other’s homes, where they would have access to kettles, toilets, back gardens and – yes – roofs.


Twelve years later, over a hundred people have joined the mailing list for the group. In spite of the huge numbers, EDWG has remained intimate and informal, retaining an ethos of mutual support and constructive criticism. The ages of our members range from teens to octogenarians and we reflect the diversity of culture and class in this corner of south east London. We have people at every stage of their writing career, from absolute beginners to published authors and competition winners. All those who have attended regular meetings have appreciated the feedback and advice, as well as the motivation provided. For some of us, EDWG has literally changed our lives.

To celebrate over a decade of local creativity, EDWG presents their first anthology, Hoovering the Roof.


Now you're faced with a choice. Do you want to come to our launch event at the Bookseller Crow on the Hill on Thursday?


Or what about the event next Monday at Dulwich Library ...

Or perhaps you'd like to pop by the stall we'll be running in Northcross Road on Saturdays from 5th December ...

For details of all events, go here and click ... er ... 'events' on the sidebar.

Or maybe you can't come to any of these real life events but want a copy of the book anyway, in which case you need to go here and click 'Hoovering the Roof'.

Alternatively, leave a comment on this post with the words 'lucky dip' included in the text to have a chance of winning a copy of the book signed by the contributors.

If you want to know what I personally owe to EDWG and the way it has changed my life, check this out.
I still rely on the group. No matter how many edits I have done for other people, it's almost impossible to be objective about your own writing and the feedback is invaluable.

By the way, did I tell you how excited I am by this ...?

8 comments:

Debi said...

Eeek! What have I done? Can anyone tell me why my links, posting time and comments link have changed colour and I can't get them back via the normal route of changing fonts and colours in Blogger?

I've edited the links in this post but they're still almost invisible against the background for previous posts.

I hate how much time is wasted by irritating techy fartiness...

Liane Spicer said...

Wow! Wow! And Wow again! I just read that piece Debi Alper's Tide of Violence and it raised the hair on my head. Joan Baez said: It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page.

Utterly fascinating stuff. Every time I tell someone I write intuitively I feel like a fraud in the face of all the planning, charts, notes, storyboards and whathaveyous that many writers use.

Congrats on Hoovering! Just love the cover!

[Sorry, I'm no help at all with the techy things. Can only commiserate. :( ]

SueG said...

LUCKY DIP
Tee hee. I did it. Can't make any of the events, alas, but I'd love to try for the book. The group sounds so wonderful, but very unusual. I've heard so many horror stories about writing groups that I'm a bit gunshy, although this past year I have happily worked within a small gathering of like-minded writers. But who knows how long that will last....

Debi said...

It's strange and magical, isn't it, Liane? When it happens, it's the best feeling in the world and one of the real joys of writing.

Sue - you're in the lucky dip! I do think we're incredibly fortunate with our group. It seems remarkably self-regulating and I've made some close friends through it as well. A real bonus.

steve redwood said...

Well, I was waiting for your new book to come out, but I'm mortal (very much so) so I might have to take the antho in the meantime. Are you included?

Debi said...

Yep - an unseen chapter from Book 4, Me, John and a Bomb. And your book arrived today, Senor Redwood.
*rubs hands together with glee*

(it's a new kind of soap)

steve redwood said...

I'll rub yours if you rub mine... Oh, Hello, Greg, my oh my, what a tall strong man you are (scarpers off faster than an earwig with tinnitis).

Debi said...

Oh, Steve! You should know by now you can't run faster than G. He's had years of practice running away from me.

Pointless really, since I'm usually to be found prone on the settee eating chocolate, smoking and scribbling ...