Saturday, May 31, 2014

Perth Scribblers Anthology takes off!

This week I was delighted to be at a very well-attended book launch - not my own (hopefully that's next week) but that of the Perth Scribblers' first ever Anthology. Those are the Scribblers there, in the photo on the left. They are the "graduates", so to speak, of member Emma Hamilton's Creative Writing class at Perth College UHI.

I met the Perth Scribblers writing group because I offer an evening class locally: "Getting your book published." I didn't have a hand in the Scribblers' publication of their Anthology, which was already in hand, but I was glad to share all the things that I really wish I had known when I was first submitting my precious manuscript to literary agents - plus a lot more about the process of getting a book from concept to finished copies, and how to help promote it afterwards (health warning: Twitter will EAT YOUR LIFE).

Anyway, the Scribblers were kind enough to invite me to their launch party at Perth College and I was thrilled to attend as a guest speaker and interested audience member. They had multicoloured balloons, soft drinks and wine, music, lights, and a compère. I was envious! The evening kicked off with a short speech by Principal Margaret Munckton, followed by some words from Emma and myself, and then we listened to the Scribblers reading excerpts of their work.

As my evening course is about the nuts and bolts of submitting work, refining it and then promoting it afterwards, I hadn't actually heard or read so much as a single word of any of the Scribblers' work before. I am delighted to say that all the "turns" that evening were well-written, engaging, touching and often very funny. They included Island Hopping, Shaun Bartlett's description of a night spent camping on a traffic roundabout(!!), Carol Page's Mushrooms, which began in a deceptively contemplative manner and took a very unexpected turn, and Lorraine Callaghan's tour de force, George's Coffee, which I am not going to describe because it would be a huge shame to offer any spoilers. I thoroughly recommend the Anthology and I hope to see more of Perth Scribblers' work.

If you would like to buy a copy of the Anthology, it is available from Perth College library and AK Bell library at a cost of £5.00


If you are based near Perth (NB Scotland, not Australia, for my international blog readers!) and would be interested in finding out more about Creative Writing classes at the college, tutor Emma Hamilton has kindly provided the following information:

"Introduction to Creative Writing

Having been employed as an English and Communication lecturer at Perth College since 2003, I first delivered an evening class in Creative Writing in September 2012. This led to the creation of Perth Scribblers, a Perth College writing group which published their first anthology of writing in May 2014.

The Introduction to Creative Writing classes are delivered over a 10-week period on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm. These classes are designed for anyone wishing to begin, improve or simply try their hand at creative writing. The classes, which are fairly informal in nature, take into account the individual goals of participants and are designed to both instruct and encourage new writers. The classes teach techniques for the writing of short fiction – both stories and poems – and there is a weekly ‘homework’ task to allow students to further practise these skills.
Successful completion of the course qualifies interested individuals for membership of Perth Scribblers, who are desperately seeking new members! The group meets twice monthly for mutual encouragement and support which provides a useful forum for discussion, guidance and feedback."

If you are interested in attending any of my (Helen's) future evening courses about getting published/using social media, these will be appearing in the Perth College prospectus; I will post details in due course. Future courses are expected to run at Crieff Learning Centre.

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