Ormskirk Writers' & Literary Society - OWLS - was established in 1963 by Dora Doyle to promote local writers. Founder member Ron Bartholomew contributed to the Waverly Encyclopaedias and was widely published in Practical Mechanics Magazine. A successful playwright, he opened his house to us for weekly meetings and served us with tea and home made cakes for many years. As Otis lifts Chief Engineer he also designed the press button control boxes used in lifts to this day. ALT="Ormskirk Writers' & Literary Society">

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Present: Graham, Pat, Kate, Saime, Alex, Val, Joanne, Susan, Liz, Ishbel, Janine, Jean, Dave Murder and Mayhem Val Jogging (short story extract) Irene is baffled when her bookworm husband Gerald starts taking up strange activities, such as jogging. Irene suspects a midlife crisis and or another woman. Val did explain that someone does end up dead, but didn’t give us ending… so maybe we’ll solve the mystery soon. Owls enjoyed how Val described the change in Gerald together with the frustration of Irene the amusing character of Gerald’s mum Kitty. Suggestions for improvement included tightening up of narration, but keep the detailed tone. Alex (Mayhem) Faraway from Nowhere Chapter A Gerbil’s Distraction Henry the camel is back! Delighting owls Alex once again read from his Henry the camel stories. We heard from a chapter in the first book, Henry has been recaptured and Oboe is the hero of the hour. The clever gerbil bites through the rope of the master’s tent, (recalling the earlier episode where he free Henry this way). After collapsing the master’s tent, Oboe distracts the other guards while Rozetta the rhino (a friend from a previous chapter) knocks down the camel’s fence. Sorry if I’ve spelt her name wrong Alex. Owls as always enjoyed Henry’s adventures, and enjoyed Alex’s energetic pace, and creative use of language, particularly the sensory language, and appreciated how easily we could visualise the scenes. We all look forward to hearing the full series one day. Pat (off theme) Pat shared a little story from her life, telling of her experience as an evacuee. The story told among other things the arrival of two female officers whose names are never known, and how Pat’s dad let the them take the bed, much to his wife’s annoyance. OWLS liked the gentle tone of this story, very much told from the perspective of a child, with the knowledge of a adult looking back. Graham (Murder and Mayhem) History In a very Edgar Allan Poe style story, Graham the theme to the extreme with the story of a young monk who stumbles across a dead girl floating in the local lake. He hurries back to his mentor to help solve the mystery. Who was she? How did she die? And why? Owls liked this spooky story, but felt it could be improved for quickening the pace, and revising the dialogue.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Minutes Present: Kate, Janine (returning visitor), Joanne (returning visitor), Alex, Graham, Jean, Dave (returning visitor) Susan (guest) Write on the Night Unfortunately none of us could remember the line we had originally come up with, so Graham came up with the following, to be used as the first or last line. “I ended up in jail” (or) “The result was I ended up in jail” Alex (last line) True Story Alex took us on a trip down memory lane with an entertaining story about his relationship with his now, wife. Working in different cities they would take turns to visit each other. One day Alex travelled down for the day to see Cath as she couldn’t come to see him. He had planned to take one train the home, but she suggested taking a later one. The result was that due to fuel restrictions and other bad luck he ended up in jail. Owls found this very entertaining, Alex’s slick writing style and the mingling of love and comedy were well received, especially the line where he referred to first picking Cath up at a jumble sale. Joanne (opening) True Story Joanne has and old bike which she affectionately called a “chain-dropper”, on meeting her friend Nige (possibly boyfriend, this wasn’t specified), on finding he’s a keen cyclist it spurs her on to get a better bike. They plan a cycling holiday, and Joanne sets out to look for a bike. She finds one in a second-hand shop, buys it, cleans it up, and heads out on some test runs with Nige. However, her dream bike turn into a nightmare when she finds out she’s bought a stolen bike and is taken off in a police car. Owls enjoyed the simple and relatable nature of the story, and how you suspected something was going to happen, but still didn’t see the twist at the end coming. Susan (last) Fiction A child is out flying a kite with their dad at a bird sanctuary, based on Martin Mere. They take time to admire the kite, but is surprised when it hits an eagle, killing it, thanks to the fact that dad had attached some extra features in tribute to his hero, TV presenter and tracker Ray Meares. Thus the dad is carted off to jail. OWLS liked the descriptive narrative. Dave (last) Fiction Idea It was Dave’s first doing this exercise. He used the line for an idea for a story about a girl called Samantha taking her boyfriend on a Friday night out. He dislikes her treated him to Champaign etc. later the boyfriend encounters a mysterious woman and a man in a suit while Samantha is in the ladies. What are they up to? Dave left us guessing, but said he’d probably continue the story afterwards. OWLS enjoyed the description of Samantha, and also the casual yet interesting way Dave introduced the mysterious couple. He had our attention and we’re eager for more. Jean (last) Fiction A holiday in Greece turns ugly. A couple are sight-seeing in Greece, and after stopping for a drink, they decide to go on the another place. However, a fierce old widow, accuses the woman in the couple of being a witch and stealing her chicken. They couple try to defend themselves, but the police end being called, the couple end up in jail and the holiday is forgotten. OWLS liked the light tone, and comic nature to the story, and found it very relatable. Kate (opening) Fiction A man who signed up with uniformdating.com meets a woman for a coffee. He explains a funny story to her about how he ended up in jail for running a speed camera more than once. He wasn’t sure how she’d take it, but she doesn’t judge him. A twist at the end proves that the man has gone on a date with a prison officer. OWLS liked the contemporary nature of the story with the mention of online dating. We also didn’t see the twist at the end. Graham (last) Fiction (based on fact) Graham’s was a cautionary tale of children who choose to “borrow” some things they need for a game of cricket from a posh school. However, they didn’t anticipate being thrown in jail for this. OWLS enjoyed the descriptive nature of the piece, but would have preferred more dialogue.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

nd Sept 2 Booze and Amuse, readings from favourite books. Kate The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan Setting mothers and daughters, daughter born in America, mothers emigrated from the chaos of China in the 30/400s Ishbel John O’Farrell An Utterly Impartial History of Britain, or 2000 Years of Upper-Class Idiots in Charge A section from funny book, combining real historical events with comic opinions formed in hindsight. Jean Kind of Cruel Sophie Hannah Keith V A Non (sorry if I spelt this wrong) Poet

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Minutes 20th May 2012 Compiled by Saime Present: Kate, Judy, Alex, Saime, Val, Graham Apologies: Sarah, Cec, Keith V, Liz Notices: Alex has been contacted by Dora Doyle daughter, who proposed the idea of possibility of Dora Doyle every 18 months. If so she would donate £100 Graham will write the next article for Val’s newsletter. It’s Owls 50 We would appreciate it if owls would express their view on whether we should anything. Please email your ideas for what to do, and also if you have any dates in mind which you feel would be good to use. They don’t have to be designated meetings, we would just like to know what the group’s feeling is before the next committee meeting. Readings: This week was a Write on the Night with the opening line “It’s not my fault”. Kate It’s not my fault A dark story about a mother with two children with different psychological/developmental problems, and struggling with a frustrating lack of information from the social workers and doctors. Owls liked how Kate took a seemingly simple childish phrase, and not only put it in the mindset of an adult, but also took a simple phrase with a simple meaning in a direction, that was both surprising and disturbing, but showed her talent for detail and depth. Alex Alex used the phrase as a possible start for the for the 4 Henry has reached the paradise of Grishalan, and has been given a room with Mrs McGregor the giraffe and her son Mack. Mrs McGregor’s cakes have been stolen and Mack protests his innocence, “It’s not my fault”, and Henry thinks he recognises the thief’s footprints. Henry and Mack set out to find the thief. They find George the Gorilla who says “it’s not my fault” before he’s even asked about the cakes. Although a rough draft it still all the humour and twist and turns we’ve come to expect from Henry’s adventures, hopefully Alex will tell what happens next very soon. Judy “It’s not my fault” Jenny is mortified when Mitsy the cat gets out and kills her twin brother Danny’s mouse Cassius. Danny is anxious to give his mouse a burial, but Jenny is more concerned that nobody will believe it really wasn’t her fault. All the while mum tries to keep the peace, but can’t resist giggling later a the fact that she’s just had to attend a funeral for a mouse. Judy took the pure childishness of the opening line and ran with it. Owls found it both funny and touching, and those who have children remarked on Judy’s accurate portrayal of the children’s behaviour. Graham did not submit a Write on the Night piece, but posed the question of who may have said “It’s not my fault” as their last words. It is the OWLS 50th Anniversary this year anniversary this year.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Next Meeting May 17th Write on the Night: Opening line, “It’s my fault”

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Ormskirk Writers & Literary Society (OWLS) When? Meetings held on the first and third Monday of each month at 7:30 Where? New Church House Who to contact? If you are interested in joining, or just want to enquire about what’s going on this year please contact… The secretarial team: Saime Higson: saimehigson@hotmail.co.uk Val Hearn: jrhearn@supanet.com Or: Find us on facebook: Either search for us or follow this link. https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/ 124457731015964/?fref=ts What to expect? Ormskirk Writers’ & Literary Society - OWLS was established in 1963 to promote local writers. Today, whether your into poetry, playwriting or prose, OWLS offers a relaxed atmosphere where both novice and experienced writers can meet and discuss their work. All visitors may attend three free meetings before joining. What’s on this year’s program? May 20th Jun 3rd Jun 17th Jul 1st Jul 15th Aug 5th Aug 19th Sept 2nd Sept 16th Oct 7th Oct 21st Nov 4th Nov 18th Dec 2nd Jan 6th Jan 20th Feb 3rd Feb 17th Mar 3rd Mar 17th Write on the Night: Opening line, “It’s my fault” Workshop on dialogue Debate and discussion evening. Manuscript evening Write on the Night: Pick and Mix Manuscript evening Manuscript evening Booze and Amuse. Pick your favourite books, new books you’ve read or anything you want to share. Dora Doyle Manuscript evening Jo Cowell (in house) Manuscript evening: Murder and Mayhem: Halloween/bonfire night. Write on the Night, objects as stimulus. Christmas Party Manuscript evening, Reflections theme Manuscript night, Burns night/Scottish theme Manuscript evening. Manuscript evening: Valentine’s Day story/poem whatever you like. AGM Manuscript evening.
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