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Networking with other writers.

August 26, 2011

Today was the latest meeting of the cluster group I mentioned a few months ago.  This time we all met up in Bishop Auckland.  Not only do most of us have a personal connection with the town, either having grown up or worked there, we all met originally at Wendy Robertson’s novel writing workshops in Bishop Auckland Town Hall a few years ago.

Since then, we have all gone our separate writing ways and meet up every few months to exchange news, views and discuss our writing.  We also share stories and memories about the town and the people, which sometimes spark new ideas.  Today, I suggested that we all take note of signs that we see on our different return journeys (by car, bus and rail) to see if any inspire us to write.  I tried this out while travelling as a car passenger from Brentwood to Richmond on Monday.  The results were fruitful, delivering seeds of inspiration for my first foray into writing science fiction.

When I got home, the Durham Book Festival programme was waiting on the doormat for me.  You can download one from  At a glance I have already marked Sunday 23rd October as a day in my diary to spend in Durham, one of my favourite places in the North East of England.  A visit there is always good for the soul.  I am particularly interested in the Book Apothecary:Drop-in book making session and am already sorting out books to take to the Big Book Swap.

I note that the Room to Write team (Wendy Robertson, Avril Joy and Gillian Wales) will be blogging about the Durham Reads experience throughout the festival.  You can find out more about their other activities at, where you can also make an advance booking for their forthcoming conference on how to process your book for Kindle.  They are holding two days of workshops on this at Whitworth Hall near Spennymoor on 17th and 18th March 2012.

I believe that it is essential for writers to develop their skills with digital technology these days.  There are so many opportunities available on line and submissions are often requested via e-mail.  In my experience this speeds up the selection process and reduces the waiting time before one hears back from publishers/competition organisers etc.  So many people communicate via social media tools that it seems sensible to consider promoting oneself and ones work this way. This week I joined Twitter as a way of linking to a potential new audience.


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