24 March 2020
500 words, start of novel
set locally, Leics, Derbys, Staffs
Look out for
26 May 2020
Release of Kate Malinder's new book: Asking for a Friend
to be held in Birmingham, for details see
(This replaces the originally scheduled session of Members' Own Work)
Look out for David Bell's new book:
Reds, Rebels and Radicals
Our Thanks to our last speaker:
Shreya Sen Handley
Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing
Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not create a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long.
Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in.
Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin.
Keep your exclamation marks under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants, what do the "American and the girl with him" look like? "She had taken off her hat and put it on the table." That's the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.
Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
Elmore Leonard had an additional rule that he regarded as the most important, because it encapsulates all of the other rules:
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Ashby Writers’ Committee
Chair: Sue Shaw
Vice-chair: Mike Arblaster
Secretary: Diane Buxton
Treasurer: Samantha RidgwayProgramme secretary: David Bell
Jan manuscript meeting – members’ own work
28th Jan two favourite pieces: Please bring two pieces of writing (poem or
prose, no more than two pages - 500 words) to share with the members.
(ie: not your own work – something you have enjoyed reading).
11th Feb manuscript meeting – members’ own work
25th Feb Annual General Meeting. Review of last year’s activities, Election of officers.
10th Mar manuscript meeting – members’ own work
24th Mar comp: opening 500 words of a novel set locally (Leics/Derbys/Staffs).
14th Apr speaker: Rod Duncan: Rod grew up in Aberystwyth,and was identified as dyslexic at the
age of eight. He made his way through the education system by avoiding writing as far as
possible. Duncan studied Mining Geology in the University of Leicester. He moved to Taiwan in 1989, but returned to Leics in 1993. He is a lecturer at De Montfort University, and
the author of nine novels, many of them in the alternate history/steampunk genre.
28th Apr manuscript meeting – members’ own work
12th May comp: poem/verse on “What a Character!” No more than 30 lines.
May Kate Malinder's book launch at Waterstones in Birmingham
9th June speaker: Stephen Booth: Stephen is the author of the 18 books in the Ben Cooper/Diane
Fry crime series set in the Peak District, as well as several stand-alone novels. His latest book
“Drowned Lives” features Chris Buckley and is set around the canals of the Lichfield area.
23rd June manuscript meeting – members’ own work
14th July manuscript meeting – members’ own work
28th July speaker: Darren Simpson. His YA debut novel - Scavengers - was a Guardian Best Book
of 2019. He also provided the story for the multi-media novel The Dust on the Moth.
11th Aug manuscript meeting
25th Aug comp: prose: tba
8th Sept speaker: Sophie Draper: Sophie has 2 books published recently, Cuckoo and Magpie,
both psychological thrillers set in Derbyshire. She also works as a traditional oral storyteller
22nd Sept manuscript meeting – members’ own work
13th Oct speaker: Kate Mallinder: Author of YA novels, Summer of No Regrets and Asking for a
Friend. A Look at Young Adult fiction.
Meetings second and fourth Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise specified 7.30pm-9.30pm at Congregational Church, Kilwardby St, Ashby LE65 2FQ.
See 'Location' tab in menu for how to find us.
Membership £10 per annum
Visitors are welcome at a nominal fee of £4 per speaker meeting, £3 per comp/manuscript meeting (includes coffee or tea)