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)

SPEAKER -MARY NONDE (Coach and Feng Shui Consultant) (2021-02-13 10:40:48)

On Monday 8th February we had Guest speaker, Mary Nonde, author of Awaken Your Intuitive Vision, life coach and innovator of creative vision boards.

Mary explained: 'Life is a series of transitions. The Intuitive Vision Board (IVB) gives you an excellent steer in how to prepare for this. A wonderful example of what happens when you get out of your own way and allow quantum intelligence to work through you.

'I became a pioneer of the Intuitive Vision Board and author of Awaken Your Intuitive Vision. I have inspired many people to seek a breakthrough in their lives with this ground-breaking process.'

This technique, Mary told us, could be used to map out a future as a writer and help to see the way through all the pressures in life that stand between us and the achievement of our goals.

Mary explained, 'Once upon a time a metaphorical hurricane whipped through my life and flattened the lot. I lost everything all at once except thankfully my teenage daughter and our dog. Faced with a crisis of such magnitude, I created a new Intuitive Vision Board. It became both my lifeline and pathfinder to get back on my feet and this proved once and for all the potency of the method.'

Mary also found her calling and now empowers others to become the authority over the direction their lives should take.

Mary Nonde speaking live at Slough Writers on Zoom.

Mary would love to have feedback from members. Her email is: mary@marynonde.com. The first two to reply with feedback could receive a signed copy Awaken Your Intuitive Vision!

To visit her blog - https://www.marynonde.com/blog/makinglifechanges

To buy her book on Amazon - http://bit.ly/AwakenIntuitiveVision To make an intuitive vision board or find out more about heronline event - https://marynonde.com/intuitive-vision-board-life-coaching-programme

Four or five writers got in touch about the book. Some offered to buy/pay - Lorraine, Neil, Vin. Sonia was the first and Ian was the second for the freebees.

7th December - Results 2020Article Competition (2020-12-15 17:03:59)

The challenge was to write 1000 words on the theme of the one piece of advice I would give. The judge was the editor of the Maidenhead Advertiser James Preston. James gave detailed feedback of all the entries.

  • First and the Poetry Trophy: Short Cut by John Downing
  • Second place: Never Rly On Spellcheck by Neil Dickinson
  • Third place: To Write Lists by Robert Kibble

Highly commended: If You Want My Advice by Michael Pearcy

Picture shows the judge and the three winners clockwise from top left: James Preston (editor of Maidenhead Advertiser), John Downing, Neil Dickinson and Robert Kibble.

Old Windsor-based writer John Downing has shown he is the worthy winner of the 2020 Slough Writers Endeavour award by going on to win the group's annual article competition.

The Endeavour award is given to the member who has yet to be published or win a competition but continues to practise their art and improve.

The December article competition on the theme of the one piece of advice I'd pass on was judged by Maidenhead Advertiser editor, James Preston.

John's winning article Short Cuts tells the harrowing story of a ski trip in Verbier, Switzerland. Instead of returning to the village using ski-lifts, John decided to take what he thought was a short cut. The serious mistake left the writer with a terrifying choice - spend the night in an uninhabited area closed off to skiers or risk a perilous walk down the mountain in pitch blackness.

Second place was awarded to Neil Dickinson for his witty article Never Rly On Spellcheck. Robert Kibble took third place with his amusing pieceTo Write Lists and Michael Pearcy received a highly commended with his thought-provoking If You Want My Advice.

Slough Writers has been holding weekly meetings for over 50 years and has continued to hold them, albeit remotely, throughout the Covid pandemic.

report by Lorraine Forrest-Turner

Monday 2nd November - result of Summer Competition 2020 (2020-11-07 20:13:41)

Lockdown inspires rich tapestry of heartfelt stories

Winning writers clockwise from top left: Harvey, Edward, Lorraine,John and Sonya. On the right is Lorraine with the Summer Competition Trophy.

The latest Slough Writers competition has produced a surprising collection of short stories. Based on the theme of the spring lockdown, members wrote about loneliness, anxiety, frustration, death, boredom and the rediscovery of love and beauty.

First place went to Lorraine Forrest-Turner for Chinchilla Rats at Machu Pichu. Like the chinchillas returning to Peru's biggest attraction during lockdown, a tired marriage gradually reignites when life's intrusions are taken away.

Runner up was Sonya Weiss with Ellie, a beautiful telling of a little girl searching for her sick mummy in a place full of people too preoccupied to notice her.

Edward Harte took third place with the vividly descriptive A History of Nordic Dreams. Unaware he is on a ventilator, a Covid patient tries to make sense of a curious time spent with friends in Stockholm.

Two stories were highly recommended Lockdown by John Brown and Mrs Reynolds Moment by Harvey Martin. The competition was adjudicated by Robert Kibble and judged by the participants.

[Report by Lorraine Forrest-Turner]

7th September 2020 - Annual Awards (2020-11-03 16:06:40)

Newcomer of the Year: Phillip Kavvadais. Endeavour Award: John Downing

Writer of the Year: Mike Pearcy. The Taylor Award: Terry Adlam

28th September - Guest Speaker Jenny Barrett (2020-09-28 14:46:14)

Jenny is Senior Lecturer in Film, Department of Creative Arts, Edge Hill University, Liverpool. She writes both novels and short stories and her fiction blends the everyday with the slightly odd. She has taught, studied, researched and written about cinema for nearly twenty years. She has an MA in Creative Writing and has read her stories at a number of local events, including the Tate Liverpool. Her short piece, On the One Hand, On the Other Hand, uses the many everyday phrases linked to hands in the context of Covid-19 and was recently published by Writing on the Wall's literary festival in June 2020. Her short story about Crosby Beach entitled Number 42, was published by Short Kid Stories this year. Her passions also include watching her partner cook. She is dreadful at gardening but tries anyway. She lives in Liverpool and loves the beaches of the north west coast.

An excellent evening where Jenny gave a fascinating talk about not only her background in academic writing and teaching but an in-depth and thought provoking and enlighten discussion about what the writer can learn from the cinema in all its forms. It was an evening that educated, entertained and inspired.

There was a video recording made of the evening and if you would like to see it, please email Lorraine who will send you the link.

[Report by Terry Adlam]

Results of 2020 Poetry Competition - Secrets and Lies (2020-07-18 11:30:43)

  • First and the Poetry Trophy: Tammany Adieu by Edward Harte
  • Second place: The Power to Send by Harvey Martin
  • Third place: Crickets and Flies by John Brown

(top from the left) Edward Harte, Harvey Martin, John Brown, (bottom from the left) Andy Barrett (Judge), with Michael Pearcy and Terry Adlam who were highly commended.

Poets Embrace Secrets and Lies challenge written by Lorraine Forrest-Turner.

The 2020 poetry competition has been won by Edward Harte with his poem Tammany Adieu about the life and death of Mary Anderson, who led a secret life as New York bondsman, and politician Murray Hall.

Inspired by a secret and lies workshop earlier in the year, the theme of the 2020 competition prompted a wide range of subjects from fake news and marital betrayal to twins separated at birth and biblical tragedy.

Second place went to Harvey Martin for The Power to Send and third place to John Brown for Crickets and Flies. Two additional poems,The Third Magpie by Terry Adlam and What is Stolen by Mike Pearcy, were highly commended.

The competition was judged by Andy Barrett a song writer and poet, and former journalist and editor. On announcing the competition, Andy advised members of the group that he was looking for "a balance of poetry and verse". He said, "Poetry is the inspiration, the moment, the feeling, the idea captured in words. Verse is the form the words are constrained by."

During his excellent adjudication, Andy gave an in-depth, intelligent and erudite analysis of each of the 12 entries, often offering advice on how to improve the writing further.

He said of Edward's winning poem, "It's a piece of free verse with a clear structure in its subverted stanzas each of which takes the story one step forward, seen through the eyes of Mary Anderson's step-daughter. The reader immediately wants to know more and the poem shows glimpses of superb language: 'A kind of kissing; January's North Atlantic wind keening', and 'as Boston fades in the mouth of the Charles'.

Left: Andy Barrett delivers the results and right: Slough Writers members.

Child Welfare a Priority - Guest Speaker (2020-05-25 22:45:13)

Our Guest Speaker on Monday 18th May was Steve Crocker, Director of Children's Services for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. He is responsible for all aspects of child welfare including young asylum seekers smuggled into the UK.

Steve gave a fascinating, frank, sometimes harrowing, sometimes uplifting insight into his role and child welfare overall. An eloquent speaker who kept us all engaged for well over an hour, explaining the work of his department, some of the legal complications that arise and how the work of his team has an overwhelmingly positive outcomes for the children involved, not a message that the media like to highlight.

Being a coastal county with major ports nearby, there are often calls for child welfare support for Illegal immigrants and sometimes young people who are victims of trafficking gangs. These cases obviously bring with them harrowing experiences but also uplifting stories of young people, often fleeing from wars in their own countries, who are willing to face many dangers and make huge personal sacrifices for the opportunities our society can offer.

Amongst the professional stories, Steve also told a personal story from his youth concerning his father who was an ex-military policeman. With his wife, Mr Crocker senior would offer sanctuary to local women who were victims of domestic violence. Steve rounded off his talk by offering the thought that domestic abuse was by no means a new phenomenon, and solving it could well be the next challenge for society.

Slough Writers is grateful to Dave Smith who introduced Steve to the group. Chair Terry Adlam thanked Steve for his fascinating talk.

Slough Writers are always pleased to meet people with experiences outside writing and publishing. All these interactions serve to broaden our experience and inspire us to write in new areas.