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">

Saturday, 6 March 2010

OWLS A.G.M. and Reports

AGM held on 1st March 2010
Present: Margaret (Chair), Alex(Treasurer), Ishbel (committee), Tricia (committee), Bryan, Neil, Tim, Keith, Dave. Visitor: Sue Johnson.Apologies: Judy, (Secretary), Cec. (President)
Annual Reports:
See attached reports from Margaret Forshaw (Chair); Judy Ingman (Secretary); Alex Munro (Treasurer); Tricia Statter (Jo Cowell Award Competition).
Margaret read her own report, and that of Judy Ingman (who sent her apologies). Alex presented the financial report, and distributed the summary to members present.

Report of the the Meeting

Disappointing few long-standing members attended. It was therefore gratifying that Neil, Tim, Keith and Dave, comparatively recent OWLS members, were present and contributed to the discussions.
Proposed: Membership fee remain at £24.00 p.a with the option to spread settlement in two payments of £12.00 through the year.
Seconded by Bryan
Proposed: That Judy Ingman (retiring secretary), receive a £20 Book Token in appreciation of her work while in post.
Seconded by Tricia.
Replacement of Secretary: At Judy (resigning as Secretary), had suggested that the secretarial work could be split between three people and outlined these as Minutes, Correspondence and Social. The Committee agreed and Judy said she is happy to continue taking minutes and distributing meeting reports to members. Margaret volunteered to undertake the Social aspect of the work. This left the correspondence to be allocated to a willing volunteer. Full information about the work involved can be obtained from Judy.
At the AGM, in Judy’s absence, Ishbel offered to take the minutes of this meeting and distribute them to members, together with the various Annual Reports.
Margaret then invited suggestions for the forthcoming Meetings Programme, starting next month, and the following list resulted:
Many more Manuscript meetings; Science Fiction; Poetry; Tragedy; Favourite Author (readings); Love Story; Themed evening (e.g. colour Red); Spontaneous writing; Memoirs (life experience); Adventures; Short radio script (Alex offered to give a workshop on this).
Some members suggested we extend the 1000 word limit at MSS meetings, and Tricia reminded us that OWLS used to have a ‘first come, first served’ system, whereby members on arrival would add their names to the list of people wanted to read their work. When time ran out, those who had not yet read their work would be given first choice at the next session.


From the Chair:
    1. Having completed a year as Chairperson, I want to thank all the members for their support. It is satisfying to see the club entering another decade with a healthy number of members still attending regular meetings. Also a good number of new younger members taking an interest in our group; however I feel maybe more could be done to encourage the younger element to join. (Suggestions on a postcard please!)
    2. This last year has also seen a few of our members struggle with illnesses, and whilst it is nice to see those members once again back on the road to recovery, it is with sadness that we note the passing of our dear friend Tom Hancox, a member not only of OWLS but also of the Playwright group.
    3. I would like to thank all those members who have given so much of their time to organising and running OWLS. Without these people there would be no OWLS, as so much depends on their organisational skills.
    4. I wish to donate £50.00 to OWLS funds in memory of Ron Bartholomew. This is part of the proceeds from the sale of my little book “A Taste of my Family”, (“recipes from before….”). It is selling well, and the rest of the money will go to charity, (www.niemannpick.org.uk), a rare, fatal genetic disorder which surfaces as a child grows).

Please forgive any omissions, and be assured they are not intentional.
Margaret Forshaw.
1st March 2010
Secretary Report for AGM 2010.
We will have had 18 meetings up to AGM. (2 to go) The following are a synopsis. 4 Manuscript; Three workshops: Music and Writing led by Pat; Art inspiration led by Lynn; Article workshop led by Tricia. Two Speakers: Will Daunt was guest speaker at Dora Doyle evening on poetry, Jenn Ashworth spoke on Blogs for Beginners in January 2010. There were 3 short story evenings; a ‘First Line’ competition which Ishbel won, an Adult Fairy Story, and a children’s story. There was an Article evening, a Radio Sketch, a Literary evening, a Poetry evening, a further Article evening to come in preparation for this year’s Jo Cowell competition and our own internal Jo Cowell 2009 led by Graham and won by Tricia Statter. We had our usual Xmas party with games, food, etc.
  1. Attendance. There was only one meeting with fewer than 10 members including some newcomers, otherwise the average was 12 at each meeting, 28 including guests at the Christmas party. We have had 9 interested new attendees with 5 signing up to join.
  2. Ron Bartholomew commemoration. This year Cec and Ishbel finished the anthologies edited after the Network day held in 2008, (North West Writers Anthology). These were published under our revived imprint ‘OWL Publishing’ in 2009, for sale at £3.99.
  3. Role of Secretary. A) Minute taking. B) liaising with members and reminders of meetings and content. C) Receiver of all correspondence and responsible for answering/acknowledgement. D) Answering queries by interested members of public, telephone, email etc E) Setting up committee meetings and alerting members as to venues. F) Following up lapse members. G) Keeping in touch with those members in bad health. H) Being part of committee to arrange programme and represent members requests.

Judy Ingman
Jan. 2010.

Jo Cowell Award Competition Report

The competition is for an article or non fiction piece. The judge is Ron Ellis who has written lots of crime novels as well as non fiction books on various local topics. He also writes for the Champion and has his own publishing business. The closing date of the competition is 30th June and the word count is up to 3,000 words.

I have approached the Writers News and Writers Forum with a press release. The Writers News have emails back to say they will publish our press release but Writers Forumacknowledged. We will be advertising locally and sending entry forms to local writers clubs. Also the entry form is on Owls blog.
So far I have received one entry.
Competition co-ordinator Tricia Statter
2nd March 2010
Accounts details spreadsheets have proved too big to go on the blog. Members may obtain Copies from the treasurer

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