Welcome to Slough Writers

Slough Writers is a friendly and supportive group for writers of all abilities, living in the Slough area. To learn more about the group and our meetings, check About Us or see our latest programme of activities.

We meet most Monday nights upstairs at the Palmer Arms in Dorney, from 7:30pm. If you're interested in joining, drop in and say hello.

Recent News (See All News)

Results Summer Competition 2019 (2019-11-13 16:12:22)

  • First and the Summer Competition Trophy: Resistance by Michael Pearcy
  • Second place: Bible John by Edward Harte
  • 3rd place: It's good enough for Socrates by Zoe Downing-Lane

Commendations were awarded to: Lorraine Forrest Turner for , Logie's Place; Terry Adlam for Duty calls and Carol Breuer for The Viennese connection.

In the photo from the left: Zoe Downing-Lane, Lorraine Forrest-Turner, Michael Pearcy, Terry Adlam, Edward Harte and Carol Breuer.

Author Nicola May visits (2019-10-13 16:29:56)

The meeting was addressed by a guest speaker, Nicola May, a friend of Lin�s, who is a self-published author based locally in Ascot.

Nicola gave a very entertaining, informative and candid talk about her journey to become an author. Having had considerable commercial success in recent years � her latest novel has over 180,000 sales, making her the most successful self-published author in the UK (via Amazon) � Nicola has been able to give up her job in PR to become a full time writer.

Nicola gave a very practical description of what she had needed to do to become successful, particularly the effort and marketing/negotiating strategies she has had to employ to earn a good income from her writing.

SLOUGH WRITERS SUMMER BBQ (2019-09-18 09:54:51)

All the gang at this year's BBQ. Thanks to Merle and Danny for hosting us.

Poetry Competition Results 2019 (2019-09-02 14:40:53)

Pic. Left: The assembled writers with judge Pete Cox, Harvey Martin (third place), winner Linda Hurdwell and judge Declan Grant. Pic. Right: Linda Hurdwell who won both the poetry competition and the writer of the year award.

(Second place winner Lee Taylor was not present at the awards.)

  • First and the SW Poetry Competition Trophy: Empty Shoes by Linda Hurdwell
  • Second place: The Only Thing Necessary by Lee Taylor
  • 3rd place: When The Birds Stopped Singing by Harvey Martin

Above left: two of our judges, Declan Grant and Pete Cox (right). Above right: Harvey Martin reads his poem.

Slough writer Linda Hurdwell enjoyed a successful evening at the Slough Writers Group AGM on Monday 22 July when she won both the Writer of the Year award and the Performance Poetry competition with her poem Empty Shoes.

The competition was judged by Slough Innerverse performance poets Pete Cox, Declan Grant and Donna Gerrish.

Speaking at the prize giving, Pete and Declan said that judging the competition had given them "real pleasure" and had taken them on a "roller coaster of emotions". They said that Linda's winning poem was "a powerful piece of writing filled with exceptional similes and metaphors".

More pictures coming.

Slough Writers AGM and Annual Awards (2019-09-02 14:01:12)

ANNUAL AWARDS

2019 awards and winners

Chair Terry Adlampresented the annual awards as selected by the members and the committee.

Left: Writer of the Year, as selected by her fellow writers, is Linda Hurdwell.

Right: Terry Adlam was selected by members to receive the The Taylor Award for services to the group.

The Sandy Lee-Guard Award for Endeavour was presented to Sally Clarke, decided by the committee.

Mary Fraser won the new writer award - picture will follow.

Annual General Meeting

During the group's AGM, in his summary of 2018-2019, Slough Writers chair Terry Adlam said it had been a challenging year but nonetheless successful. He praised the group for continued writing successes in print, on stage and online, and its collaborations with local groups such as Friends of Burnham Library, Slough Arts, Resource Productions and Wycombe Sound.

After several votes of thanks, Terry presented the group's annual awards, which included him receiving the Taylor Award for Services to the Group.

VERA MORRIS Crime Novelist Talks To SW (2019-07-09 17:21:05)

Although Vera Morris has always been an avid reader she gave no thought to actually writing a book until she retired. She said 'since childhood I've always had to have at least one book on the go and sometimes more. Not having a book to read makes me feel lost and incomplete'.

Agatha Christie is an author who has always impressed Vera so when, in an idle moment, she set about writing her first book the crime genre was an instinctive choice.

After completing several gory crime novels she joined a creative writing class having realised her books lacked something. She said she discovered there was a huge gap between enjoying reading and having the craft skills to write successfully. Vera joined the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) and learnt that her work was too gory and violent for the RNA.

But she was able to meet a woman from publishers Accent Press at the RNA who encouraged her to submit the first of her Anglian Detective Agency novels entitled Some Particular Evil (the title is a quote from Pride and Prejudice). The latest in the series is The Loophole. She is now writing her fourth book in the series with a contract to write more.

Vera does not indulge in detailed plotting saying, 'If I sit before the screen something will always happen.' She begins with a firm idea of the characters, the crime and who the perp is.

She said, 'having believable motives for a crime is very important to me - it is not enough simply to have a random psychopath on the loose.'

She has a male/female duo as the lead characters both of which have strongly developed identities. She avoids the trend of having deeply flawed heroes, preferring to have well rounded but interesting people in her books and a strong element of humour stirred in with the blood and guts.

Vera keeps notes on each chapter as the book develops and writes notes for the future development of the story, but she added, 'I keep notes but I make sure these notes do not become a straight jacket that limit my creative freedom.'

She is relaxed about her writing schedule aiming to produce about 7000 words per week in several intense sessions. 'I like to get exercise in the mornings -walking, gardening - and tackle the writing when my brain is stuffed with oxygen.'

She gets a lot of inspiration whilst showering and if she is not in the mood writing has to wait until tomorrow! She reckons to complete a book each year.

Her novels are approximately 95,000 words and go through three or four draft versions before completion. 'The first draft is completed without stopping to edited previous pages,' she said.

It seems Vera follows the well-established principle that is so familiar to Slough Writers - don't get it right, get it written.

Words and Pictures by Mike Pearcy

Results Of 2019 Short Story Competition (2019-06-03 17:19:09)

Andrew Unsworth has won first prize in the Slough Writers dystopian story competition with his chilling tale A Burden Eased.

  • First and the SW Summer Competition Trophy: A Burden Eased by Andrew Unsworth
  • Second place: No Law Against It by Robert Kibble
  • 3rd place: Isolde by Elaine Simmonds

There were three highly commended stories: The Doors Of Deception by William Campbell, The reliable Sunrise Tin by Carol Breuer and White Coats and Edward Harte.

Andrew's story, set in the not too distant future, tackles the painful subject of coerced suicide. Following the legalisation of euthanasia, the elderly are persuaded to ease the burden of care on their family and society by dying gracefully on live TV.

The competition, which attracted a record number of entries, celebrated the 70th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four

It was judged by Eton College academic Dr Anna Camilleri in recognition of Orwell's attendance at Eton from 1917 to 1921.

Anna, who currently teaches English at Eton, said of Andrew's winning story, "The idea of publicly executing people on live TV is a really compelling concept. Very Charlie Brooker-esque. It was the one I kept returning to as I read through the entries."

Second place went to Robert Kibble's story No Law Against It, which focused on the reduction of police presence on the streets leading to total indifference towards crime.

Third place was awarded to Elaine Simmonds's story Isolde, an intriguing tale of objectivity versus treachery.

Anna said that she loved the process of reading and critiquing the stories. When delivering the results, she took over an hour to comment on the entries, giving each writer hugely in depth and insightful feedback.

Terry Adlam, Slough Writers Chair shared all the members' thoughts in praising Anna for such a considered and helpful adjudication.

(This report by Lorraine Forrest Turner, pictures by Michael Pearcy.)