Monday, 13 August 2012

New Norwich Writers Circle Website

Following the imminent closure of, Norwich Writers' Circle latest website launched today.

Our new online home includes all the latest NWC news and information, along side details on our forthcoming programme. You are also able to view videos from our popular YouTube channel and Twitter feed.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this Blog.

Please visit for more.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

General Notice

Summer meetings have been arranged at

The Green House” in Bethal Street, for members to meet on the first and third Saturdays of each month during the Summer beginning on 21st July at 2.00pm.

Annual General Meeting 3rd July 2012



3rd July 2012 at The Assembly House

with 22 members present.

The Chairman, Adrian Dearnly, felt that it had been a successful year with well attended meetings and social events and excellent speakers including Louis de Bernieres. The Open Poetry Competition was very well supported, culminating in an enjoyable Awards Evening. Despite unfilled committee positions and difficulties with the website. the committee and other members worked hard behind the scenes to maintain all services including updating the Blog. He thanked everyone and added that work is now underway to improve our web presence for the coming year.

The Treasurer Alan Rosser was pleased to report that we had maintained a good bank balance with the OPC generating over£700.

Doreen Rosser Membership Sec said that although numbers were down to 43 members it was to be expected given the difficulty with the website and the shutting of the Learning Shop which supported our leaflets.

Maureen Nesbit, retiring OPC Sec, was pleased that with a variety of helpers the Open Poetry Competition generated over 600 entries and turned in a profit.

Elizabeth Taylor retiring In-house Competition Sec remarked that although the competitions generated less entry numbers this year some of the competition genres were not general interest, however many members rose to the challenges.

Programme Secretary Phyllida Scrivens said that this year’s success had been a mainly due to Marilyn Fountains programme, She told the members that because of the questionnaire earlier in the year, this programme would be somewhat experimental although there would still be four competitions she had tried to fulfill the request for more workshops.

There was a lively discussion on ideas for the manuscript evening, - general subjects versus work in progress, versus failed competition entries versus feed back for visitors. Adrian decided that we should remain flexible and decide later what would be appropriate on the night.

 The Publicity Report: Victoria Bartlett thought the general overall publicity had worked well with several new members. However in the light of previous remarks it seems urgent to work on different aspects of the Circle including our social status, friendly atmosphere, reasonable rates and diverse events.

It was reassuring to have 22 staunch members present with enthusiastic volunteers taking up committee positions.

Election of Officers:

Chairman: Adrian Dearnley           Vice-Chairman: Sean Hindle
Hon. Treasurer: Alan Rosser           Publicity: Victoria Bartlett
Programme Secretary: Phyllida Scrivens      
Webmaster/Blog: James Dimelow
Competition Secretary: Anastasia Pope       
Minutes Secretary: Val Fullerton
Membership Secretary: Doreen Rosser and      
 Assistant: Jaani Seaman
Committee: Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Taylor      
OPC Secretary: Vacant

OPC 2013 and Circle Anniversary publication

There was a spirited debate when Adrian asked members if we should continue to have the OPC or celebrate our 70th year with an anthology of members work, or do something else (short story comp) or drop everything as open competitions took a lot of labour.

Diane Wilson suggested keeping the NWC celebration to 75 years as this seemed a more usual one.

Neil Walker asked if any members entered the OPC.

Put to the vote the majority voted to keep the OPC and left the committee to organize and decide how this was to be achieved.

Minor issues of venues for socials and other details of newsletter were then discussed before Vice President Elizabeth Bencze presented prizes.

The Cooper Prize for Dickens’s style writing
went to Doreen Rosser,

The Sutton Cup for Humour
remained with Sally Newton,

There was a tie for first place in the
Competition Cups
between Victoria Bartlett and Sally Newton
with Doreen Rosser finishing third.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Summer Social 23rd June 2012

The Social was so enjoyable that I completely forgot to take photos! My apologies for that. We were sorry that a few of our regulars were prevented from attending due to various reason but the heart of the writing Circle membership came with some family members and had great fun taking part in a hilarious word quiz supplied by Anne and Barre Funnell. The buffet was about right this time with varied contributions added to the basic salad, bread dips etc. provided by the Circle and the raffle generated £31 for our Circle funds. Adrian thanked everyone for making it an entertaining and happy event.

It only remains for me to remind you all that the AGM is on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 when we hope a good turnout will ensure the future of the Circle with as many members as possible coming forward to help on the committee. We have found in the past that many hands do indeed make light work and even the smallest involvement helps.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

23rd June 2012 Summer Social

This year's Summer Social will be held at;

St. Anne’s Church, 115 Coleman Road, Norwich NR4 7HF
Remember to bring one plateful of a food contribution, and a raffle prize.
Family or friends welcome.

19th June 2012 Competition Five

Adjudication of Competition Five
A Charles Dickens Story. by Peter Mieville

Our literary skills were put to the test with a story based on Dickens style and social conscience. We were given many options: the start or portion of a novel, a short story, modern time or period issues, the guidelines asked for anything that might be inspired by Dickens writing.

Peter Mieville (an expert on Dickens) assessed each entry giving a comprehensive critique on the strengths and weaknesses of each piece with both helpful suggestions and praise where due. He said that all the entries were worthy of a place but he had to choose the winners using a basic criteria as all entries deserved commendation.

1st "Heaven’s Gateway" by Doreen Rosser.
Catholic convent schooling after the war.

2nd "A Tale of Two Faiths" by Victoria Bartlett
Dilemma of a Nazi war criminal who had tried to save some Jews

3rd "Abby Kendle" by Sally Newton
The honesty of a modern day young, homeless individual

Highly commended
"At Rest at the Swan Anchor" by James Beresford
"The Death Hunter" by Andrew Heron

A vote of thanks was given by John Halligan.

Peter writes under the name of 'Dominic Mieville'
Some of his titles include;

1. The Mysterious Burnchester Hall
2. The Burnchester Dome and the Sacred Cell
3. Tyro’s Journey

These are the first three titles in a quintet. You can find these if you google ‘Dominic Mieville’ and you can look for his books on amazon. There are more non-fiction titles under the name 'Peter Vaux'.

29th May 2012 Manuscript Evening

Because of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and last minute change to our programme there were fewer readers at the Manuscript Evening. We therefore returned to our previous style and read aloud to everyone. Eight members read varied pieces from poems, short stories and an article to the beginning of a novel, altogether an entertaining evening with helpful suggestions and praise given in equal measure.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Manuscript Evening 29th May 2012

Due to Jubilee celebrations our manuscript evening was brought forward to the 29th May. Nine people read their work, a variety of short stories and poems which were discussed and enjoyed by the other members.

  •  Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 19th June, the adjudication (by Peter Mieville) of competition 5 Charles Dickens story.  

  • The Summer Social will be held on Saturday 23rd June from 4 till 8 at
St. Annes Church
115 Coleman Road
  • Tuesday 3rd July at 7:30 Annual General Meeting at The Assembly House.
Please join us to ensure fresh ideas for celebrating the coming 70th year of the Norwich Writer's Circle.

Books by some of our speakers

Speaker: Anne Potter
Judge of our Competition 4

New book

And the Knight gets the King” by Anne deNize

Brann is a novice healer-priest who can’t heal anything. Try as he might, he cannot make the necessary connection with the god. With an ex-thief and an opinionated donkey he goes on the king’s quest – a decision which hrusts him into adventures to change his life forever.
available on line £1.99 from

Joseph Freeman
(Judge of Competition 1)
author of

Those Left Behind
(A Horror story)

As he fled he caught glimpses from the corner of his eye, and his only reaction was to run faster, so fast that his straining heart was at bursting point. Glimpses of something starved beyond the point of living, as white as bone running along beside him on all fours like an animal, yet more twisted and unnatural than he had ever seen before.

Friday, 18 May 2012



Due to the Queen’s 60th year Jubilee Celebrations our next meeting (a manuscript evening) will take place on May 29th 2012 instead of 5th June 2012.

15th May 2012 Competition 4 Fantasy/Science-fiction story

Adjudication of Competition 4 Fantasy/Science-fiction Story by Anne Potter.
Anne used these seven elements when choosing the winners. 
  1. Good Story
  2. Succinct use of words
  3. Format, Punctuation Grammar and Style
  4. Use of senses
  5. Story moved forward with dialogue
  6. Satisfying Conclusion
  7. Credible new technology
 She said all the stories were good satisfying reads and it was a difficult decision to make.
The Winners
1st “Endangered Species” by Elizabeth Bencze
2nd “The Story of the Allegorians” by Alex Sykes
3rd “2212” by Victoria Bartlett


Recent Successes

Victoria Bartlett’s poem was highly commended in this year’s Open Poetry Competition. “Gumbo” is featured in the 2012 Anthology which can be bought for £6 plus £1 P&P.
Please send your cheque made out to “Norwich Writers’ Circle”. to

The OPC Secretary, 1 Stannard Road Norwich NR4 7JD

Maureen Nesbit’s article “Black to Nature” entered in Walkopedia 2011 Travel Writing Competition is to be published on their website. Although not a prize winning entry it was judged as an excellent piece and will have a permanent place on their site.

Lyn Fountain’s short story: “The Bantam Menace” published in 19th May 2012 edition of Peoples Friend.

8th May 2012

Cenelly Hernandez Castillo, author of “Everybody Treats Me like an Idiot” is hosting fundraising events at her home in Norwich for Amnesty International every Thursday this year from . Everyone is welcome, for more details and directions e-mail her on  or phone 07875548286.

Friday, 4 May 2012

1 May 2012 How to Cheat at Novel Writing

Or 'How to Construct Aid Memoirs for Writing a Novel'

Anne Funnell gave a comprehensive talk on how to organise and keep track of essential information when writing long fiction. She stressed the importance of keeping characters, places, times and other data, in order and easily accessible, to avoid mistakes.
Paul Taylor gave a vote of thanks for the helpful demonstrations commenting that they will be invaluable to anyone embarking on creating a complicated piece of work.

 Taking Notes
Anne Funnell Answering Questions

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Open Poetry Competition Results

17th April 2012

The winners of the 41st Open Poetry Competition,
adjudicated by Helen Ivory:

1st Mother by Dorothy Fryd
2nd Hotel Small Hours by Gina Shaw
3rd Love, the Verb by Dana Smith

Family: My Parents Staying by Nicolette Golding
Humorous: Epitaph for our Time by Gerard McKee
Minimalist: Little Stars by Chris Hardy

A further sixty-two poems were selected from the 622 entries and featured in this year’s anthology with ten “Highly Commended” and twelve “Commended”.
The evening was made very interesting as many of the poets had travelled to Norwich to hear the results and read their poems. Altogether it was a very successful year and the evening was most enjoyable.

 Chairman Adrain Dearnley
 Judge Helen Ivory
 Vice President Elizabeth Bencze presents 1st Prize
Dorothy Fryd reads winning poem "Mother"

“The Incomparable Mr Dick”

3rd April 2012

Peter Mieville's talk reflected on life and works of Charles Dickens. He noted that the author had many local connections to this region and was partly inspired to write “David Copperfield” after a visit to Norwich. Reviewing his early career culminating in his fame with the publication of “The Pickwick Papers” his prolific writing was in part motivated by his desire to support a large number of relatives. Peter gave moving readings, illustrating Dickens level of perception, consciousness and humour and a lively discussion rounded off a very enjoyable evening.

Information supplied by Adrian Dearnley

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Results of Competition 3

Tuesday 20th March 2012
The winners of Competition 3 for the Colin Sutton Cup for Humour, A Tall Tale judged by storyteller Andrew Brammer

1st “A Portrait of the Forger as a Young Man” by Sally Newton
2nd “Mrs Patterson’s Flowers” by Victoria Bartlett
3rd “Barney’s Continental Adventure” by Doreen Rosser

Laughter was the main ingredient of the evening with a twist in the tale, a misleading statement and a bumbling hero. The winners were chosen from 14 entries all of whom found life farcical and entertaining.

Forthcoming event
Our next meeting on 3rd April has a more classical bent with Peter Mieville reflecting on life and works of Charles Dickens with a talk titled “The Incomparable Mr Dick.”

Thursday, 8 March 2012

March 6th 2012: Speaker, Anne Potter on “The Writer’s Web”

Anne Potter started the evening with a brief history of her working life then followed by giving the members the benefit of the many facts that she has gleaned in her two years of research about publishing your own work on the web. Encouraging members to ask questions at the end of each section, she covered selling short stories, articles, novels and online submissions, which were both interesting and informative.

The handouts she brought with printouts of web pages complete with step by step explanations were welcome and helpful, particularly to novices who might be nervous when first trying to navigate the web.
 Anne completed the evening with a brief set of guidelines for

Competition 4 A short science fiction or fantasy story.

It should be some thing readable, could be some scientific invention that you can extrapolate or fantasy: person power, fairies, etc Anne suggested we look at websites for examples of these.

Please look on the guidelines in your programme for format.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Kindle Success

Anne Funnell published three e-books on Kindle Direct Publishing.

The first “Light Bytes” by Anne Funnell, is a collection of eighteen of her short stories available on Amazon E-books.consisting of quick, amusing reads intended to lift the spirits of people staying in hospital after surgery. All proceeds from sales will go to Papworth Hospital Charity (Patients’ Relatives Accommodation)

Two other Amazon e-books by Anne Funnell are available: “The Widow Maker” and “The Monster Mincing Machine”

Thursday, 9 February 2012

21st February 2012 Manuscript Evening

Don’t forget to attend the new style manuscript evening bringing a piece of writing to read. The new table arrangements are an attempt to allow more people to read and therefore get the necessary feedback to help and support their efforts.

7th February 2012 Adjudication of Competition 3

Heidi Williamson’s adjudication of Poetry Competition on “The Journey”.

The results of the competition produced a variety of subjects and styles. Heidi’s criteria included structure, craft, detail and language but most of all the experience of entering another world. She stressed the importance for poets to look out for spelling mistakes and to keep the rhymes and sustain the subject throughout. She stated that the poem is the event not just a record of an event

She found the winners poems impressive, imaginative, unexpected and well crafted.

Elizabeth Bencze with “A letter” (a message from Mars)

Margaret Turner with “Queen Margaret” (A personalised account of the life and funeral of a Gypsy Queen who died in 1740)

Anne Sanderson with “From Earlier Ages via Modern means to Earlier Age” (cultural experience of a visit to China)

Mickie Dann with “The Gingerbread House” (likening a journey into womanhood after leaving school and the experience of a first job in a sweet factory to a fairy tale)

Visit Heidi’s website for details of poetry workshops.

Recent Successes January 2012

Lyn Fountain was featured in the press having won a competition run by FOND (Friends of Norfolk Dialect) with her story “Things that go Bump in the Night”.

Neil Walker was Highly Commended for his entry in the Dormeasan Story Competition 2011 in association with Your Healthy Living magazine with his story “The Richest Man in the World” The competition drew over 1,000 entries.

Anne Funnell has produced a book of short stories suitable for people staying in hospital (Watch this space for more details.)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Descriptive Language Workshop

17th January 2012
Andrew Brammer’s enthusiastic explosive opening to his storytelling workshop “It’s Alive” set out to help us to develop and enrich the descriptive elements of our writing. It proved to be an exciting and entertaining experience bringing alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia, metaphor, simile and analogies to intensify the effect of oral storytelling to his audience. These tools transferred to the written page allow us to imagine for ourselves the constructive layers that paint a landscape of the senses within the stories that we create.
An evening of humorous storytelling by Andrew Brammer on Friday 23rd and Friday 30th March 2012 at 8pm at the Forum. Tickets available from Theatre Royal Box Office 01603 630000

Saturday, 14 January 2012

New Look

Norwich Writers' Circle committee member James Dimelow has recently relaunched his website.

Since 2004 has showcased the best new plays, playwrights, theatre companies and writing festivals.

In addition to the main website gaining a new look, the NewPlays family now includes a Twitter account and YouTube channel, to further enhance your online experience.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Descriptive Language Workshop

Don’t forget that we begin the New Year on 17th January with Andrew Brammer’s workshop “It’s Alive.”   Andrew intends stimulating our minds to enliven our stories by using more descriptive language.

Spelling Mistake

Due to technical difficulties with our website we are unable to make corrections on the on-line programme where Peter Mieville’s surname has been misspelled with an e (Mievelle). We apologise for the mistake and hope that we will be able to address this error in the near future. Meanwhile we look forward to Peter’s talk on Charles Dickens on 3rd April and his adjudication of Competition 5: “Charles Dickens Story” on 19th June.