About Us

You can learn more about the group in the following sections:

A short history of the group is also available.

In Brief

Members of Slough Writers have a wide range of writing interests: from short stories to articles, poetry to plays, novels to travel guides. Some of our members are published regularly, others write just for fun but whatever your style and aspirations the Group aims to provide support and encouragement to help you reach your full potential as a writer.

We take our writing seriously but we also strive for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and organise a number of social events throughout the year.

Our Work

In 2007, Slough Writers celebrated its 40th anniversary. While 40 should mean Ruby, Slough Writers celebrated with paper by producing an anthology showcasing the different styles of work produced by its then-membership. The anthology is the perfect way to see the breadth and depth of Slough Writers and we're pleased to announce that it is now available in electronic form.

You can download the anthology as a PDF (viewable with Adobe Reader).

Meetings

The Group meets every Monday, 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, for three terms in the year. These roughly coincide with school terms - autumn, spring and summer - each being 13-14 weeks long.

The meetings are held upstairs at The Palmer Arms in Dorney, with the opportunity for a chat and drink afterwards. See the contact page for a map and address.

We run a varied programme that involves developing writing skills, critiquing member's work, in-house competitions and most importantly providing support for all the issues that writers face, from writers block to getting published. The timetable is scheduled by the committee based on suggestions and topic given by the members.

All our meetings start with a short formal section detailing new markets, items of interest to the group and any writing successes the members wish to share. After that, the rest of the evening is given over to different topics:

Workshops

To encourage members to try new styles, Workshops are included in the timetable. These evenings present one or more 20-minute writing exercises for the members to try and if they want to, share with the group. Workshops are not only useful learning experiences to get members thinking about a new topic or technique for the first time, but in seeing how other people approach the exercise. Previous exercises have included writing from two points of view, a new take on stereotypes, circular poetry and applying techniques for finding inspiration.

Discussion Nights

Discussions Nights provide a chance for members to share their thoughts on particular topics and swap experiences. Topics have included goals for the future, difficulties with markets and why we write.

Manuscript Evenings

These evenings are a chance for members to bring along and read out work in progress and get immediate constructive feedback. All styles of writing are accepted, with the only restriction being a 10-15 minute time limit on readings at the discretion of the Chair.

Longer pieces of work can be read over a number of evenings. Members provide constructive feedback and suggestions for direction or possible markets depending on the requirements of the author.

Members can read any manuscript out on any evening by contacting the Chair at the start of the meeting.

Guest Speaker

These meetings provide a chance to hear a speaker on a topic of interest to the Group.

The speakers range for those involved in the world of writing to those who are not but still provide entertaining evenings intended to broaden the horizons of the members and provide inspiration.

Resources

Other resources available to members include:

Circulating Critique

Manuscripts of any length can be given to the CC Administrator for a more considered critique than is possible on Manuscript Evenings. The manuscript will be circulated round three members who will each return a written appraisal. This service is available only to paid-up members and anyone making use of this service is also expected to act as a reviewer when called on.

Member Pages

All members may have a page on the Slough Writers website to share their interests, successes and areas of expertise with the group. Members can be a valuable source of information for other members.

Library

We have an excellent lending library stocked with a variety of books on all aspects of writing.

Any member may borrow one or more books. There is no specified time for lending but it is preferred that all books are returned by the end of the term in which they were borrowed. All books must be signed for.

Notice Board

The notice board holds a mass of information of interest to members including: competitions, new markets, writing courses, arts events and performance opportunities. All members help with the contributions to and upkeep of the notice board.

Competitions & Awards

Each term the Group organises a competition for members. An external judge is appointed and there is a trophy for the winner and cash prizes for the three winning entries. The autumn competition is for articles, spring is for short stories and the summer term is for poetry.

An internal competition is also arranged for the summer break. This usually has a larger scope than the in-term competitions but with the same format. The subject varies each year and has included a one-act play, novel (first three chapters), poetry collection, film treatment and a long short story.

At the AGM at the end of the summer term, three awards are presented:

The first two are voted by all members, the third - eligible to members of less than three years - is awarded by the committee.

Other Activities

Productions

From time to time the Group has staged performances of membersí work and have over the last ten years had their plays put on by Windsor based Total Theatre.

Social Events

The Group organises a number of social events each year including a barbecue towards the end of the summer term and a Christmas dinner and dance in early December. Other outings such as theatre trips are arranged by members on an ad hoc basis. All social events are open to members and their partners.

Special Interest Groups

SIGs form dynamically under the Groupís umbrella. They concentrate on a specific genre or a project and meet at the home of a member. Recent and current SIGs include: poetry, drama and play-writing.

Workshops

We have run a number of writing workshops in the local area. Some by invitation and other self promoted.

Outside Involvement

The Group actively promotes itself and the members to be involved in the local community and with other organisations and events. These have included readings in bookshops, working with community publishers, One World Festival, Slough Show, participation with dance and theatre groups, an anthology for Crossroads, stalls at local carnivals and as judges in other Writing Groups competitions.

Membership

If you like the sound of this, have a look at our Programme and join us at our next meeting. Maps are available on the Contact Us page.

Potential new members are very welcome to come along and simply sit in at a meeting to see if we meet their requirements. See the Membership page for more details.

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