Monday, 2 November 2009

Group Profile: Fylde Brighter Writers

Steve Brodie from Fylde Brighter Writers talks to the PrestonWN about his group, and their latest competition - open to all writers. Read on for details...

Fylde Brighter writers were formed in 2006 following the closure of a creative night school class we attended the previous year. We still wanted to write and to keep in touch so decided to form our own writing circle. Once we got our own website up and running, other writers contacted us and we have a healthy core of around ten and a number of occasional visitors and affiliates. After a nomadic couple of years wandering from venue to venue, we're now settled in the County Hotel pub in Lytham and meet every Thursday evening.

Three of our members, Jackie Blake, Lauren Huxley-Blythe and Christine Axon are featured in the latest Leaf anthology, 'Ada and more Nano Fiction' and Eleanor Broaders has a poem in 'Openings 26', the 2009 anthology of OU poets. Eleanor also has had poems published in many other anthologies. Karen Pailing has won poetry competitions in Writers News amongst many others. Steve Wilson set up the Lancashire Writers Blog and his 'Caught in the Act' is on the BBC Lancashire web pages. The rest of us gamely plug away.

We've just launched our latest competition, the snappily titled 'Fylde Brighter Writers Short Story and Poetry Competition 2010'. It's open to anyone anywhere apart from our members and our relatives and it also has an Open theme. The top Prizes are £200 for short stories up to 2,500 words and £100 for the poetry prize and there is no length limit to the poetry. No one has entered a saga yet. There are runners up prizes too and small but beautifully crafted trophies for the winners. It cost £5 per short story or £10 for three stories and £3 per poem or £5 for three. We have postal and on-line entry options and the closing date is 27th February 2010.

(if you're interested in entering this competition, there are more details and contact information via the Brighter Writers website, here)

We ran a successful competition in 2008. We judge it ourselves, gradually whittling down the entries to the top ten which we then read out, debate, argue and champion our favourites over a couple of evenings (with wine) until we arrive at our winners. It's a lot of work but we feel it helps create a proper identity for the writing circle, it shows us the standards we need to reach to win other competitions and it can be great fun to do.

Why join a Writing circle? I greatly admire people who can sit down and rattle off fabulous stories in isolation from the rest of the world but I find the support of a Writing Circle invaluable. For natural prevaricators (such as myself) it's a constant dig in the ribs because I need to write something every week to take with me otherwise questions are asked! Constructive critques by the members of work is also useful. We had one member who changed her writing style after being asked to try something different by another member and now writes in a beautiful languid atmospheric way that she didn't before. We all bring hints tips and competition ideas in with us to the meetings and the collective sharing of information is something that you couldn't get on your own.

We've also published a couple of books via Lulu. 'Girl on the Bridge', a story of a, well, a girl on a bridge, seen from the perspective of other people looking at her in a park. We wrote a chapter each in this and found it to be a great collective way to get a story written. We published our anthology 'Coming Around' last year. It contains our competition winners and a couple of pieces - stories or poems - from each of us. It's available, for £3.99, from, via our own website and from in the US. I'm not quite sure how it got there, I think Lulu put it forward!

We will be producing another anthology in 2010 following the competition. Lulu is a great way to get your work quickly and cheaply into print. we find, and we're impressed by the quality. A few of our people have produced their own work for family and friends on Lulu and I'd recommend it anyone.

PrestonWN is always pleased to hear from you about your groups, projects and publications. If you have news about competitions, writing or reading opportunities or you'd like us to promote your group, event, book or workshop, get in touch with us and let us know.

1 comment:

  1. Good article - sounds like a fun group, and an interesting competition. I agree totally about the lulu site - it may be vanity publishing, but for a fiver or so, it's cheap but very professional vanity publishing,