HWS – End of Year Reports 11th June 2013

Report from Events  Secretary, David Eadsforth

The second season of the HWS offered its members an eclectic range of speakers and topics.  The ten events comprised: two famous crime novelists, including PD James; a comedy novel writer, a travel writer, two poets, two history authors, a screenwriter, a literary agent, the curator of the Charles Dickens Museum and a performance artist.  And several of the speakers had careers in a numbers of areas, which gave them particularly penetrating insights into their chosen subject.  It was clear that, whatever the subject, the members found all of the talks to be both fascinating and useful.  Perhaps the best feature of all of the talks was the sheer enjoyment experienced by both speaker and audience; it has been highly rewarding to be able to tell a prospective speaker “we’re a friendly bunch” and to have this proved time after time.

The 2013-14 season is now shaping up to be just as varied and interesting; if you have not yet reserved the second Tuesday of each month in your diary, then do so now…


Report  from Competition Secretary, Hermione Laake

We have had an interesting and productive year for competitions. There has been a very good response to our competitions, with up to 20 entries coming in per month.

Once again we have been able to offer free entry to competitions, and we have been given some wonderful book prizes to pass on to our winners.

Memorably, a particular writer’s insight into the disabled sensibility has been highlighted by adjudicators; that is the writing of Anthony Ridgway.

More recently we have been able to offer a token of thanks to our adjudicators. In many ways our adjudicators are the object of our desire when we put pen to paper; they represent the culmination of all our efforts as writers, since they are our readers, and we are very grateful for their learned judgement in their specific disciplines.

We have continued to grow and improve together (we are currently refining our rules and improving our communication), and we look forward to some exciting new adjudicators and some challenging and enjoyable competitions in the coming year ahead.


Report from Liaison Officer, Dr Gary Farnell

2012-13 has been a busy year in terms of Liaison at the Hampshire Writers’Society. Liaison has been mainly with the following:

1) the University of Winchester

2) Winchester City Council

3) Hampshire County Council

But it has spread from the local to the regional and, indeed, the national level as well (including liaison with the National Association of Writers in Education, for example).

The Liaison role within the Society has also entailed ‘liaison’ in the sense of acting as moderator at each of the monthly Society meetings, thus ‘liaising’ between the invited speaker and the audience in the post-talk discussions.

Similarly Liaison in the above sense has also been with future invited speakers for the 2013-14 programme of the Society. It is good to see that, at this point in June 2013, next year’s programme is almost complete. Forward planning is at a more advanced stage than it was at this time last year. And this is due to the combined efforts of the now-expanded Steering Committee of the Hampshire Writers’ Society.


Report from Publicity Secretary, Carole Hastings

Across this year we have increased our publicity coverage to sixty different locations or outlets. We have posters in a number of venues – colleges, libraries, bookshops and various other places. I also make contact by email to local press and writing groups cross the county and I’m happy to add more interested parties to my monthly mailings so contact me on:mrshastings@btopenworld.com and I will oblige.


Report from Membership Secretary, Karin Groves

This season 2012/2013, membership numbers rose to 129 members, which was an increase of 22% on the previous year. Members travel from many parts of Hampshire and surrounding counties: Dorset, Wiltshire, Surrey, Berkshire, West Sussex, and London to the monthly events in Winchester.
Amongst the members you will find published and established authors; those seeking literary agents and publication; students studying for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees or attending creative writing classes; and those for whom, writing is a passion or an enjoyable interest.


Subscriptions for 2013/14

We are able to offer a special discount price of £25 until end of June for 2013/14 Membership of  HWS. (Sign-up ASAP, if you haven’t already!) Please note: from July, membership subscriptions will be £30. Students are free on production of a student card. Non-members pay £5 per evening.

All exceptional value for 10 monthly informative and entertaining evenings with well-known authors, novelists, commissioning editors, literary agents poets, journalists, playwrights, screenwriters and industry specialists.

You can subscribe or renew membership on the HWS stand at the Winchester Writers’ Conference or you can contact the membership secretary by email: membership.hws@hotmail.co.uk

The next HWS event will be on Tuesday 10th September in the Stripe Building at the University of Winchester when Andrew Taylor – crime and historical novelist – talks about crime fiction – Living to Write and Writing to Live and the special guest is John Apta, Chairman of the Police Federation.

We welcome ideas or suggestions for speakers, topics, activities or events, and we are always looking for members who would like to take an active role in the organisation of the HWS. You may wish to contact the HWS Chairman,Barbara.Large@winchester.ac.uk or for more information about joining the HWS, please email Karin, membership.hws@hotmail.co.uk  or get in touch via Hampshire Writers’ Society Facebook page.

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