Welcome to my interview with Julia Peach from Lindum Scribes Writing Group.
Hello Julia. Can you tell us a bit about your writing group?
I belong to the Lindum Scribes Writing Group. We hold monthly meetings at The Day Centre, Neale Road, North Hykeham, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN6 9UA. The group was established in 2001, but it was 2004 when we proudly announced ourselves as the Lindum Scribes. All our meetings are held in the evening.
How many members, on average, does your group have?
Over the years we have had between twelve and twenty members. Our members prefer a smaller group so that everyone has a chance to read out their work and obtain that valuable constructive criticism.
Who are you and what is your role within the group?
I am the Chairperson of the group. During a writing meeting it is my role to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly. Outside of the writing meetings, the committee (which includes myself) meet once a month to discuss future events/activities/workshops etc.
How are your sessions structured?
At the start of a writing meeting we go through any business matters that are relevant to the group. Following that we usually have a short break before going on to read out our work.
What types of things do you cover in your group?
Anything that is writing based and that will help individual members achieve their goals.
What have been some of your most popular/successful activities?
Outside speakers add a variation to our meetings and are always popular. Carrying out readings and a play to the Women’s Institute, our Christmas meal, Halloween night where all members wore fancy dress and brought a ghost story or poem of their own creation. The Ghost Walk in Lincoln and the ‘ghostly’ boat trip on the Brayford. We have also taken part in the Lincoln Book Festival and interviews on BBC Lincs. All have been successful activities.
You mentioned you have outside speakers. Who has spoken at your group?
We usually have two or three guest speakers a year. In the past we have had Margaret Dickinson, Steve Wade and Kathy Wade (Steve writes non-fiction books and Kathy writes as Kate Walker for Mills and Boon), Karen Maitland, Jude White (proofreader), Peter Hopper (retired journalist), Alice Seabold, Phil Cosker, Claire Littleford and Dr Carling (Scientific Support Manager). Next year we are hoping to have Alex Davis and a forensic scientist.
What genres do the members of your group write?
Our members write across the whole range of genres – romance, historical, science fiction/fantasy, horror stories and children’s stories. Some of our members write short stories and novels whilst some of the members write poems. At the moment I am writing factual articles about the history of Lincoln.
Have you ever written collectively as a group, such as producing an anthology?
In 2006 we published an anthology entitled The Lincolnshire Tales. This was a collection of twenty-five stories, all written by Lincolnshire writers. The stories included those about love, murder and intrigue.
On November 1st we released our anthology, The Lincolnshire Tales onto Amazon Kindle. We have added new stories to the ebook anthology, which should make it an interesting read and a real page-turner.
What kind of support does your writing group provide for its writers?
We all try to support each other by giving constructive criticism. We also try to source relevant competitions and avenues that may let to publication. In the past we have also used a ‘buddy’ system where we emailed stories to a specific members for a more detailed constructive criticism.
Where do you get your ideas/writing prompts from?
These ideas can come from research, experience, dreams, conversations, activities and meeting people. I always carry a notebook and jot down ideas throughout the day. If I wake up and remember a dream I always make a note of it in the morning. You never know when these can be used.
What is the best piece of writing advice you've been given?
The best piece of writing advice I have been given is to write from experience.
What is the best piece of writing advice you give?
The best piece of writing advice I have given is to continue to write and submit your stories to publishing houses and competitions. NEVER GIVE UP despite those dreaded rejection letters. If you get published in the smaller magazines give that credit to yourself. You are a published writer and you are on the rung of the ladder that will hopefully lead you to the top.
Do members of the group get a chance to run/lead a session or part of a session?
Yes. The ones I remember are ‘Power of Lyrics’ workshop and a ‘Sensual’ evening workshop. We also hold theme evenings were we are asked to write on a certain theme for the next months meeting.We have also run workshops that have been open to other writers and writing groups.
Does your writing group have a website/blog/Twitter/Facebook?
We have a web site – www.lindumscribes.org and a Facebook page - Lindum Scribes. Some of our members have a blog.
How would someone go about joining your writing group?
If they contact a member of the committee via email or telephone we can then give them further details about the group. All the committee names and contact details are on the web site.Thank you Julia.